Nickname: My boyfriend rigged the lottery
Word Count: 83K
Genre: YA Contemporary Suspense
In Marina’s culture, dumplings are thought to bring wealth and good fortune to anyone who eats them. It’s in their shape, her A-Ma says, and in the way they’re stuffed full, almost to bursting. But Marina’s been eating dumplings her whole life and good fortune remains as elusive as a good boyfriend. She’s a piano prodigy who secretly loves indie rock, and she’ll need a packed house full of luck to reject her mother’s plans for her life and follow her own dreams.
When Marina wins the lottery, she believes her time has finally come—until her dad inexplicably forbids her from claiming the prize. Suddenly given the means to break free from a life she never felt in control of, she turns her back on everything she knows and accepts the money anyway.
But Marina’s lottery win comes with strings attached. She soon finds herself tangled in a corporate scandal so devious it could bring the entire state lottery crashing down. When she finds evidence linking her dad to the intrigue, she has no one to turn to but an edgy guitar player she just met—a guy harboring secrets of his own. Now Marina must repair her broken family bonds and figure out who’s pulling the lottery strings before her prize turns into a noose.
My best friend’s raspberry spritzer sat dangerously close to the edge of the table, a twitch of the elbow away from tumbling to the floor. It was non-alcoholic, of course. The staff at Valer Prep made sure that alcohol was only consumed by parents (preferably ones with fat checkbooks) at the annual fundraising events. The students’ drinks were just fruit juice and club soda.
The parents in the decked out ballroom were dressed like they’d gotten lost on their way to the Oscars and ended up at our school’s silent auction by mistake. They mingled about, bidding on rounds of golf at exclusive country clubs and dinner cruises around the San Francisco Bay. What they really should have been bidding on were self-help courses like How to avoid screwing up your kids or How to break your workout addiction in ten easy steps.
I reached over Darya and slid her drink to a less precarious spot in the center of the table. She didn’t even notice—she just kept staring at the phone in her hands.
Okay, I was staring at it too.
“The draw was at six. Why haven’t they posted the numbers yet?” Darya’s eyes were wide, and her dark hair hung in thick waves down her back. She had the tiniest hint of a Spanish accent, but it only came out when she was stressed or upset. Like now.
“Relax, it’s only been five minutes.” Despite my words, I felt anything but relaxed.
~ VERSUS ~
Title: The Water Child
Entry Name: Mochi Monster
Word Count: 65K
Genre: Contemporary YA
One minute. That’s all it takes to change fifteen-year-old Tora’s life. Like turning a paper crane into a flower, it only takes one crease.
I’m seeking representation for THE WATER CHILD, a contemporary YA set in Japan during the 2011 tsunami as best friends make a cross-country journey back to their hometown in a last-ditch attempt to heal a dissolving friendship.
Tora Hayashi and Sakura Suzuki have always been best friends, since their first day in kindergarten when they stole ice cream from a convenience store – and it all melted. Inseparable. But when boy-crazy Sakura ditches Tora on the most important day before high school entrance exams, Tora realizes that their friendship is changing, possibly forever. To make matters worse, Tora’s own life is soon undermined by family secrets. Her fun-fabulous mother abandons home, permanently, and returns to Miyako, the coastal town of Tora’s childhood.
Tora determines to find the truth about her mother and cling to her fading friendship by sneaking away to Miyako for spring break with Sakura. But nothing goes as planned. When the earthquake and tsunami hit, separating friends and family, Tora faces a choice – survive alone or fight to find and save the lost, her runaway mother, misguided friend, and Masa – Sakura’s troublesome boyfriend who may be more noble than them all.
First 250 Words:
Men in orange suits dash onto the train tracks. They run single-file, practiced. They haul the remains of the body off the rails. My hand tightens on the metal pole near the train door and my eyes blur over my iPhone screen. Everyone knows why we’re delayed, we simply don't say it.
"We apologize for the inconvenient delay," buzzes the train conductor.
Electronic doors slide open, releasing the inconvenienced passengers. I stifle a shiver as a gust of early spring air washes into the train car. Morbid curiosity claws at my throat. I gulp it down. Don’t look, don’t stare. The doors slip closed and the morning breeze falls to the ground, locking me inside the train.
“Tora," Sakura calls. Her eyes meet mine through a mirror in her makeup compact. She's re-coating every single eyelash in thick black goo, legs crossed and sitting in the handicap zone. "Better text Emiko we’ll be late,” she whispers and taps her school bag, laden with Emiko’s books.
I catch the smirk on her lips as she covers them with pink lotus glaze. Poor Emiko. The last time she forgot her books sensei scolded her in front of the entire class and she looked like she’d downed a wastebasket of wasabi.
My fingers tap the keys.
Stuck at Shibuya. On way now! Don't worry. Ganbatte!
That’s code for don’t stress, together we can do this! If only I believed it. The high school entrance exam is in only two days.