Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Love Triangle Entry #14

Title: Begging to Breathe
Genre: YA mystery
Word count: 50,000


When her archrival Julia winds up doing a literal dead-man's-float in the pool, Tessa Crichton must clear her name from the police--and from herself.

Ever since a near-drowning caused permanent brain damage, Tessa has had memory blanks, episodes where she wakes up and can't remember certain hours. She wishes her brain would erase yesterday's painful loss to Julia, but because weaknesses are never convenient, the hours around Julia's death are empty as Tessa' gold medal case from the day before.

All Tessa wants is to swim, to win, but with most of the suspicion on her, nationals is more stressful than ever. As the last day progresses, she takes it on herself not only to win all her races, but also to find the real killer. Sleuthing is harder than the 200 butterfly, though, and she finds herself with an entire team of suspects--including her boyfriend, her best friend, and her nemesis.

As Tessa investigates the deeper connections between Julia and her teammates, she finds every secret except the one she needs. But this digging is getting dangerous, and if Tessa doesn't clear her name soon, she might uncover another secret for which someone is willing to kill.

First 250:

I used to wonder what killing someone would be like. But then, I used to wonder about a lot of things. For a while, I wondered about being a sixteen-year-old college freshman. About whether boys really were as sexy as the movies made them seem. About living on shitty cafeteria food.

But mostly I wondered about killing someone.

I pictured it in so many different ways—an axe splitting the skull with blood gushing like a chocolate fountain onto my shoes. A rope squeezed tightly around a neck as limbs twitched around me. Even the quiet ways, like a meal where the mouth froths before the poison registers. Horror in the eyes. Accusation. Finally, grudging admiration. Because I won.

It happened differently.

And I didn’t like it half as much as I wanted to.

Chapter 1:

It’s six AM, and I’m crawling out of bed. The junior next to me doesn’t stir, even though I’m not trying to be quiet. After two seasons together, sharing hotel rooms, she’s pretty used to weird sleeping habits. Especially mine.

Swimsuit. Cap. Goggles. Check, check, check. Water bottle and power bar. I step into a pair of way-too-tiny shorts and pretend I don’t know that half my ass is falling out. Big baggy sweatshirt on top, and suddenly I’m more frump than tramp.


  1. Dude! This is pretty wicked awesome! I know I thought more about sexy boys than killing someone, so this instantly intrigues me to this girl. I really want to know more about WHY.

    Awesome! (Oh, I said that already. Um...) Fabulous! :)

  2. Wow, she's got a lot going on! Great concept and very enticing beginning :) Good luck!

  3. Cool idea. So she is swimming again after her injury? Am I reading it correctly? She's a sleuth - cool. I hope we get to know what she finds.

    1. Oooh, thanks for pointing that out--it's actually been almost a year since she the accident, so she's been back in the pool. *must clarify*

  4. Sounds like a great story.

    Earlier today I was going through a few agents websites. Reading your query reminded me of a sports comment on an agents want list. I couldn't remember which agent it was until I went back now and read their info.

    But check out Caryn Wiseman @ Andrea Brown. It looks like this might fit into what she wants.

    Under what she's looking for.
    sports fiction for girls and boys that has a hook other than the sport; page-turning thrillers;

    Good luck with querying.

    1. Haha thanks for the info! The problem there is that all the Andrea Brown agents are awesome, but you can only submit to one! Oh, decisions :)

  5. Wow, this is an amazing query.

    You completely hooked me in:)

  6. Gorgeous opening. And I love secrets and death and swimming, all rolled together like chocolate and caramel and nuts. Mmmmm.

    Partial. 100 pages.

    1. I think I should be worried that my query+first 250 made you hungry :)

  7. Yay! Congrats on the partial! I knew you'd get one cuz this story sounds amazing!

    And now I must go off and find some snickers bars. :)

  8. This one really stood out! Kinda of creepily intriguing. I really went for it! Great job! And CONGRATS!!!