Monday, May 20, 2013


Contemporary YA
60,000 words


Three months after her father's funeral, Dani Butler receives a heart-stopping email.  The sender claims to be her father and says he had no choice but to fake his own death. He asks Dani to enroll in Lexington Preparatory Academy to help him commandeer the evidence to send the men after him to jail.

A shy girl like Dani has no business attending the infamous military academy CNN dubbed "boot camp for teens," but if there's the slightest chance the email is real, she can't ignore it.

As Dani investigates, she realizes how little she knows about the man she lived with and idolized for sixteen years. And Dani is changing. In the process of leading her team to victory in the school's war games and sneaking off campus to further her investigation, she realizes she isn't the sort to blindly follow anyone.  But old patterns are hard to break, and when Dani discovers her father's real agenda, she must finally overcome the last of her dependency on him.  Because her father is bent on revenge, and if she can't retrieve the top-secret missile schematics she inadvertently helped him steal, the security of the school--and the nation--will be at risk.


I need your help. 
I tear my gaze from the email's subject line.  It lands on the sender's name--soldierOfFortune--and adrenaline floods my veins, flushing out the numbness that sustained me these last few months. 
Dad.  The thought hits my brain in that split second before logic intervenes, reminding me how impossible that would be.
On closer examination, the address is, not  The account this stupid spammer chose just happens to be similar to the email address my dad always used.
I lean back in my chair, trying to calm down, but my heart is still racing from the adrenaline rush.  I'm aware of everything around me.  The musty smell that has clung to The Captain's guestroom, despite a thorough cleaning and new paint.  The flicker of my laptop monitor.  The blood whooshing through my veins.
I want to delete the message, but my fingers have other plans.  Before I realize what I'm doing, I've clicked it open.
I’m not dead.
I stare at the screen, waiting for the words to rearrange themselves into a Viagra advertisement or a money-wiring scam, but they don't move.  It's not spam at all.  It's someone's idea of a sick joke.
Anger sears through my body.  I shove my laptop away, but it doesn't help.  I've never been in a fight before, but if the person who sent this email walked up to me, I'd deck him. 
I pace the length of the room, running through a mental list of suspects.  Justin Thompson was pissed when I outscored him on last year's Geometry midterm.


  1. Gahhh, I am SO in love with this concept!!! It sounds absolutely FANTASTIC!!! :D Good luck!!

  2. Oooh. I'm intrigued! Good luck!!!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Love the query and your first 250 is spectacular. I'm craving to read more.

      Great work!! Good luck!

  4. The voice is AMAZING. Plus, a killer story. As someone who lost her dad as a teen, your first 250 had me right out of the gate. I can FEEL her hope. And her anguish.

    HUGS! Can't wait for all the requests!!

  5. The emotions, the writing, the plot! When is this getting published?

  6. Amazing!!! Love a good mystery all fraught with emotions!! Woo!

  7. This sounds wonderful and I enjoyed the writing. I'd love to see it!

  8. You've been ninja'd! I would love to see a pitch, one-page synopsis, and the first fifty pages. Please send it as a word attachment to...(contact Monica/Brenda for further details!). Looking forward to reading your work :)