Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 56,000
A text message leads seventeen-year-old Shaun Daley to question what everyone else has taken at face value—that his gifted twin committed suicide.
Torn apart already by grief and his parents’ crumbling marriage, Shaun turns to his brother’s best friend—nerdy, introverted Mira Patel—for help with the message.
Mira has her own problems, struggling between unrealistic parental expectations and a sister who breaks every rule in their traditional Indian household. But she helps Shaun track down the ex-classmate who sent the text, only to witness the guy’s death in a freak hit-and-run. Then her sister dies of a drug overdose.
Three deaths—a hit-and-run, a suicide, and the overdose—yet they share a common link. And the only way Mira and Shaun can stop a killer clever enough to mask his murders as accidental, is to find that link and stop him before he finishes them off, too.
My Young Adult contemporary, IMPERFECT LIVES, told in dual POV, is complete at 56,000 words.
Seven hundred and forty fours. And I had lived in hell every second.
David was gone forever. Repeating that phrase a million times in my mind the past thirty-one days hadn’t made any difference. I still expected to wake up to my twin’s screeching in the shower.
I never knew I’d miss that awful sound. That I’d give anything to hear it again.
Sheets tangled around my legs as I lay in bed and waited out the minutes creeping by on my cell phone screen.
Forty four thousand, six hundred and forty seconds of emptiness since my life got ripped apart. I hadn’t realized emptiness could hurt so hard.
Whoever said time was the ultimate healer was an idiot.
I stared at the ceiling in the early morning light filtering through the curtains, then gave up and dragged a pair of jeans over my boxers. I wasn’t getting any sleep tonight, and by the sounds of it, neither were my parents.
The walls of our three-story colonial could withstand force five gales, but did nothing to muffle my mom’s sobs from the adjoining room, or my dad’s frenzied pacing in the hall outside.
Something heavy thudded against my bedroom wall, followed by the sound of glass shattering. Dad stopped pacing. “What the hell, Terese?” A pause, then, “Oh, for God’s sake, get a grip! He’s not coming back.”
Dad was great at stating the obvious.