Title: GIRL NUMBER 8
Word Count: 85,000
Genre: YA Fantasy
Seventeen-year-old Lexa has a secret…only she doesn’t know it.
Lexa Billow has spent the last seven years hiding among the poor from the wealthy royals who killed her father for no good reason at all. But when she is summoned into a competition by the sons of her father’s killer, she suspects there may be more to the story than she was told.
Suddenly she’s the eighth participant in a highfalutin contest, and her tattered trousers have been replaced with a gaudy ball gown that weighs more than she does. When the games begin, Lexa discovers her problems are far more complicated than wearing frilly clothing and playing Mother May I with a bunch of high society she-devils.
Now she’s being blackmailed by the brothers, her best friend may not be who he says he is, her grandfather is dying, and her mother is missing.
Instead of scavenging for food, Lexa is searching for weapons.
To complicate matters, she is falling for a mysterious guy who says he can save her, but even his love comes with a price. Lexa must defeat the arrogant brothers in order to save her family, find a way to follow her heart, and try to win the dreadful competition...or die. Then suddenly, everything changes.
The real enemy enters the game…
First 250 words:
I fall flat on my face when the door gives in. I needed a steady crutch, because all of my other support conveniently disappeared into hiding the moment I was handed the envelope. I couldn’t even count on the door to hold me up.
After wiping my mouth on my sleeve I slip the dreadful letter in the back pocket of my trousers and walk briskly past the civilians, their empathetic eyes mapping every step I take. The throngs on the dirt street widen, allowing me more than enough room to pass through. My mouth produces an abundance of saliva as the sandwich I had for lunch threatens to resurface.
One member of the Source had to be chosen for the elimination process. Never in a million years should I have been chosen. I’m not smart, pretty, or even at the higher end of the lower class. It doesn’t make sense at all. And that is what scares me most.
Walking against the wind doesn’t slow me down. My pace speeds, the crowds thin, eyes begin turning away, and I am suddenly running, darting past a number of decrepit living quarters before Leel’s quarter comes into view. He’s waiting on the porch. For me. He knew I wouldn’t run home to a grandfather who is a few breaths short of taking his last, or to a mother whose impure mind might recognize her only daughter. Or not.
Just as I mount the steps of his porch, I see it.
Entry Nickname: BingBamBoomBFF
Title: Sucker Punching Magic
Word count: 75,000
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Luz Bangor wears a ginormous loser L on her forehead and doesn’t expect to peel it off anytime soon. Not when everyone compares her to her brilliant younger brother Eric. Then he goes missing. Desperate to save him, Luz turns to her unpredictable, sucker punching magic. But her magic backfires, putting her straight into the path of her brother’s powerful enemy.
Home-schooled, troll-shifter Jude Kozlowski wants the world to accept him as a decent guy, not the “who’s that tramping over my bridge” stereotype. But, his huge frame and pistachio skin scares normal humans and his shyness keeps him from meeting anyone else. Even his part-time paper-pushing job has him working alone. Fitting in seems hopeless.
That is, until Luz crashes into his cubicle at First Metro Finance, thugs on her heels. Smitten and presented with the chance to be a hero for once, Jude vows to help Luz rescue her brother. When the villains snatch Luz, Jude pursues. He braves a string of neighborhood vigilantes, a spoiled poodle and a troll biker gang to track Luz to Underhill, the fairy fortress. There, the unlikely pair must square off with the evil Fairy Godmother or lose Eric—and each other—forever.
First 250 Words:
Jude could blame a lot of things on The Fairy Tale Effect, but missing the bus wasn't one of them. He’d been at the stop, nose deep in his calculus homework when the Number Ten shot by, ruffling his hair. He jerked his head up. Didn't the driver see him?
It was 4:35 in the afternoon, on a clear day in downtown Milwaukee, and at 6’2, Jude was a big target. Hard to believe the bus driver hadn't spotted him. Yet the guy hadn't even slowed.
Snapping his calculus book shut, Jude leaped to his feet. Book, paper and pencil in hand, he barreled down the sidewalk in pursuit.
He needed his job. The order and routine. The chance to be normal.
If he waited for the next bus, he’d be late. His heart racing the pounding of his feet, he dodged the parking meters and the guys who cradled cheap wine in paper bags outside the military surplus store.
Halfway down the block, the bus’s brakes shrieked. Its axles groaned into a belligerent idle. The side doors disgorged a bearded dwarf in a trench coat. Bounding over the sidewalk and the dwarf, Jude closed on the rattling old bus. He was almost beside it. Then, as though the driver floored the gas pedal to get away from Jude, the Number Ten rocketed down the street.
He sprinted full out. A puff of smoke curled from the bus’s exhaust pipe as it turned the corner and disappeared from view.