Friday, March 6, 2015


63,000 words
MG mystery/sci-fi

When Bones Malone pulls a half-delirious man from the Langille River, he stumbles onto a secret: his town is ground zero for a new technology that brings people's nightmares to life.

Langille was meant to be a fresh start, away from Bones’ father. Bones only wants to look after his mom and brothers and stick to throwing fastballs instead of right hooks. (He never starts fights. Honestly. He just ends them.)

But as he and his friends uncover a plot to turn Langille into a waking nightmare, Bones lands in his biggest fight yet. He's up against powerful people who use fear as a weapon on anyone in their way—including the town's nosy new reporter, Bones' mother.

Bones might be the bravest kid around, but he'll have to face the nightmare invention and confront his deepest fear if he wants to save his town—and his own struggling family.

First page:
Clouds hung low above the town of Langille, gray as wet cement. Bones hoped the rain would hold off. He was pitching that night, if he could still throw. He flexed his sore knuckles. Stupid. He should have punched Tony Spezio with his left hand.

As if she could hear his thoughts, his mother walked faster. She was three steps ahead, locked in Too Angry For Words mode, each stride radiating fury. Bones and his brothers struggled to keep pace.

“Mom, come on,” he said.

She marched on. She had not looked at him once since they left the Spezios’ house. “I said we’ll discuss it later.”

“I know I shouldn’t have punched Tony, but—”

She whirled. “Quentin Malone. The last thing I want to hear right now is an excuse.”

He winced. She only used his dreaded real name in formal situations, like the first time they met with a lawyer. Or when she was really mad.

“He was picking on Rory, Mom,” Bones said. “I was trying to stop him.”

“It’s true,” added Dylan, the youngest Malone. “Tony called Rory a little sissy. He was trying to make him wear a dress.”

Their mother froze. “He was what?”

Everyone looked at Rory, who stared at the sidewalk. Bones didn’t think his 10-year-old brother could bear to hear the story repeated.

He had tried to make peace. Honestly. He asked Tony politely to leave Rory alone. But Tony responded by calling the Malones a bunch of mama’s boys and said something crude about their mother.

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