Did someone say contest? Well, I'll be . . . I LOVE contests! Yes I do!
Brenda Drake is hosting Aunt B's Book Club Contest over at her site. You can check it out here or here for further details. But in essence, the contest will be judged by a group of teen girls who love to read YA. Teen girls--THAT'S MY INTENDED AUDIENCE. I write YA, so this sounds kinda great to me.
And of course, what's a contest without prizes? There will be a prize consisting of a ten page manuscript critique plus synopsis critique by agent intern/editor/cover art designer/writer extraordinaire--Cassandra Marshall. That sounds pretty cool. A ten page critique and synopsis help would be very helpful. Yes it would.
But before I email my entry, I would love to run it by you all to make sure it's at top notch performance--I don't want to look like a fool. That would suck. So take a look and tell me what you think. I can handle it. I'm tough (sorta).
Okay, I'm having trouble deciding which one to do. So I'm posting both options, Desert Rice and Wanted: Dead or Undead. Let me know which one sound better. Thanks a bunch!
Title: Desert Rice
Genre: YA Contemporary
Pitch (35 words or less): Samantha Jean Haggert isn’t thrilled with hiding the fact she’s a twelve-year-old girl, but her older brother, Jacob, will do anything to keep Sam safe from male attention and hidden from the law.
Excerpt (250 words or less):
“Grab ‘er feet!”
Grabbing her feet meant I had to touch her and that was the last thing I wanted to do.
“Don’t just stand there.” Jacob bent over and took hold of her by the shoulders. “I can’t do this on my own.”
I shook my head. The stench was awful and it made me gag. Pulling the collar of my shirt over my nose barely diffused the smell.
Jacob stood, put his hands on his hips and stared me down. “Sam, there’s no other way. You have to help me. Just grab ‘er feet so we can get this over with.”
The idea of touching a dead body scared me and I shook my head once more.
“So you want to leave her here?” He swung his arm wide. I flinched, but my brother wasn’t trying to hit me, only emphasize his point. He needed help, and there was no one else to give it to him but me—his little sister. “Where people can see and the wild dogs might get at her? Is that what you want?”
No, I didn’t want that. Of course, I didn’t want that. I wasn’t that cruel, but I still didn’t want to touch her. I didn’t care that she was my momma. It frightened me. I’d never been this close to death before. What would it feel like to touch a dead person? Would she be as stiff as a board? What if the sheet fell off her face and I saw her staring right at me?
Title: WANTED: Dead or Undead
Genre: YA Western Romance with a bit of zombie mayhem for fun
Pitch (35 words or less): To join “Red’s” posse, Trace has to agree to her terms: no names, no questions, and he must swear if he gets bit, he can’t cry or beg for mercy when she severs his brain stem.
Excerpt (250 words or less):
“What’s wrong with Pa?”
No one had to tell her that something was seriously wrong. Elisabeth could see it, smell it, even taste it. The fetid air clung to her lips and tongue nearly gagging her. She swiped at her mouth with the back of her sleeve trying to erase it from her senses, but it was no use. Rot combined with a syrupy sweetness filled every inch in the small two-room cabin.
“It’s nothing to worry about.” Her ma dipped the washcloth in the tin bowl and rung out the extra water before bathing her husband’s pallid face. “Go put your brothers back to bed, then fetch more water.”
Elisabeth didn’t move from where she stood watching just outside the bedroom door. She couldn’t. She was too frightened, believing that if she left, for even a moment, death would seep through the cracks and take her father. Her younger brothers stood behind her, peering from behind her skirts, just as frightened as she was, but too afraid to move either.
“Is he gonna die?” She didn’t want to ask, but looking at her pa contorted in pain and suffering in agony, she couldn’t imagine any other outcome but death. She almost willed it for him—almost.
Kind of interesting that both stories start out with yucky smells--death and near death. Weird. So which one do you like better? Or do they both suck? Your help is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.