Friday, February 27, 2015


Word Count: 84,560
Category/Genre: YA Contemporary/mystery

150 word Pitch:

During a late-night storm, Lyndsay Richards has an out of body experience while falling asleep – a defense mechanism for dealing with her mother and stepfather’s nightly fighting. During this OBE, Lyndsay sees Mr. Jenkins, her neighbor and janitor at her high school, moving a dead body. The next morning she gets proof what she witnessed wasn't a dream. However, without any credible evidence she can't go to the police. Jenkins is a decorated veteran, a sweet old man, and his son is a local cop, so who’s going to believe her? Only her BFF, of course, but definitely not her close-minded boyfriend. As clues mount, Lyndsay discovers she has less than two weeks to prove Jenkins is a serial killer before he kills again. It doesn’t help that she runs into him every day at school. And, the worst part…now the old man’s found out what she’s up to.

first page:

Apparently, marriage must suck.

That’s the only logical conclusion I can come to right now.

It’s going to be another long night. So far, he’s criticized her career, her cooking, and her hair. What’s next? The way she breathes? They’ve been at it since ten and it’s now way past midnight. Tonight’s fight between my mother and Neal is shaping up to be epic.

You would think I’d be used to it by now, since it happens almost every night. Well, except for the nights my stepfather doesn’t bother to come home until three or four in the morning.

His surly voice carries from their bedroom next door. I catch snippets here and there – his words sound more venomous than usual, even for him.

“–nothing but a cold, empty shrew,” he hisses.

“You never give me a chance,” my mother says, pitifully trying to appease him. “Please calm down…you’re going to wake Lyndsay.”

Too late for that.          

Neal’s answer comes a second later, in the form of a book or a shoe that smacks the other side of the wall above my head with a loud thwack.

I jolt as if struck, snarling through gritted teeth, “Great…now, he’s throwing things.”

My stomach twists. I clench my pillow until my hand cramps, wishing these walls weren’t so damned thin, wishing I could get some sleep, most of all, wishing he would stop torturing her. Why does he treat her this way? She doesn’t deserve it.


Must’ve been a drawer this time.


  1. I like the tweak you did at the end of the pitch. Makes it much more clear.

  2. Pitch: Great concept, good job on the revision!

    250: Love it, I would read on. Good luck! (#7)

  3. I really don't have anything to say. Stellar.

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks for both your comments - they brought such a smile to my face :)

  5. I think this is really good, really clear and flows nicely. I read it straight through and didn't stumble once. I just wonder if there's some way to foreshadow the hook in this beginning. Or, maybe you have but I just don't see it. Otherwise, it's wonderful! Good luck!


    1. Thanks, Shari! Yes, the connection between the parent's fight, the storm and the OBE all happen on the very next page :)

  6. Pitch: On the whole, smooth and intriguing. Nice title. First sentence is a little confusing to me - which is the defense mechanism, the OBE or the falling asleep? If the storm is unimportant, a more compelling opening might be that Lyndsay Richards regularly has/uses OBEs to distract herself from her mother and stepfather's nightly fighting. Genre might be Contemporary Fantasy because of the OBEs, though I'm not sure.

    +1: I would delete "apparently" in the first sentence. 4th paragraph breaks narrative structure, switching to 2nd person. Near the end "...wishing he would stop torturing her." Does the MC feel like she's being tortured, too? I wonder how this home situation impacts the overall story. I didn't see it in the pitch.

    Overall, I think this entry is very good. Writing is smooth and compelling. Great voice. Interesting twist with OBE.
    (#14 OSN)

    1. Thanks for your comments, Melissa! The storm is actually important to the plot, and the OBE she has that night is her first. She has the OBE because of lack of sleep coupled with something that happens on the next page. And you know, I've put 'apparently' in and taken it out more times than I can count! I finally decided it adds to her snark/disgust, so I left it in. This is her mother's second marriage to have gone awry so she has her reasons for being a doubter when it comes to marriage ;) But I'll probably add and delete 'apparently' at least a few more dozen times, LOL!


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