NAME: Ellen Rozek
MENTOR: Erica M. Chapman
TITLE: The Recruited
GENRE: YA thriller
WORD COUNT: 76,000
PITCH: Recruited by the government to help fight Renegade terrorists, Naomi must keep her growing friendship with a gang member a secret from her employers—and the Renegades themselves—if both of them are to survive.
The clank of her cell door opening startled Naomi upright. “Williams, you have a visitor,” the guard said.
Naomi stared blankly at her, legs dangling off the edge of her bunk. “What?”
“You have a visitor,” the guard repeated. “There’s a man here to see you.”
“But it’s not my parents’ day to visit, and my dad—”
“You. Have. A. Visitor.” By now there was no masking the irritation in her voice. “Get your ass up and come with me.”
Picking herself up off the bed, Naomi attempted to straighten her wrinkled uniform before her hands were cuffed. It was September 4th, 2025, according to the small calendar she used to count down the days left on her sentence. The guard held her by an elbow as she escorted Naomi through a maze of hallways to the small visiting area at the front of the facility.
The room was about half full with girls and their families or friends. They talked in low voices, their volume occasionally flaring up on a shout or a curse. Laughter was all but unheard of here.
It took Naomi two seconds to identify the man who’d come to see her. He sat by himself at a table in the farthest corner of the room. His posture was perfect, better than hers, even though her mother had been telling her to sit up straight for years. As the guard led her to the table she noticed his expensive-looking suit and his neat, close-cropped hair.