Title: THE SECRETS WE KEEP
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. With the clock ticking, clues mounting, Lyndsay 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.
250 word 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.
“Great,” I snarl through gritted teeth, “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.