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Sunday, 28 October 2012  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Genre: Contemporary
Category: Young Adult
Word Count: 63,000  

Three Sentence Pitch
Rory Turner used to have the typical American family, but now she’s an Aussie outsider, living on a Dr. Pepper can-sized island with the dad she’s only just met. Settling into her new life is hard enough without the seemingly harmless pranks someone is pulling on her, stuff like leaving a dead bird on her bed. Rory is determined to find out why, before the pranks turn deadly. 
Question 1: In your MC’s voice, what costume character do you relate most to and why?

Hands down, the costumed character I relate to most is Alice from ALICE IN WONDERLAND. Not only is my new home in the Land Down Under, where everything is not what it seems, but it comes with a very unhospitable Queen of Hearts, my father’s best friend and ex-fiance, Rita Harper, whose eyes say, “Off with her head,” every time she looks at me.

Question 2: As an author, what makes your manuscript a tasty treat (aka marketable/unique)?

Swoon-worthy boys, the most stunning setting on Earth, a dysfunctional family relationship and a seventeen-year-old mystery equal a tasty YA read.

First 200 Words:

When a girl turns sixteen, she has certain expectations as to what will happen.

Her bra size will mysteriously increase at least two cup sizes and she’ll shoot up three inches overnight. The guy she’s been crushing over her whole sophomore year will dump his cheerleader girlfriend and ask her out instead. Her numerous friends will throw a surprise party for her in which the whole school turns out. Later, everyone will remember it as the best party they’ve ever been to. And for the finale, her parents will blindfold her and guide her to a shiny new convertible parked in the driveway with a giant red ribbon around it. “Happy birthday,”they’ll say as they hand her the keys. “And don’t worry about the gas or insurance; we’ve got it covered.”

I never thought I’d be alone at the airport on my sixteenth birthday, handing my passport and one-way ticket to a United Airlines agent for the flight leaving in twenty minutes from Los Angeles to Sydney.

I never thought the only happy birthday I’d hear would be from the surprised agent as he glanced at my passport and back at me. “Sweet sixteen, isn’t it?” he asked as he scanned my passport through the computer.

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