Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Love Triangle Entry #25

Title:  The Secret Life of Mindy Palmer
Genre: YA contemporary thriller
Word count:  60,000 words


THE SECRET LIFE OF MINDY PALMER is my YA psychological thriller set in the social networking world where making the wrong connections can prove fatal.

17 year-old Lia's life is shattered when her champion swimmer sister drowns in an apparent accident witnessed by two people who can't provide answers; comatose Aaron and Josh who has severe amnesia. Lia looks for clues in the Teenangst chat room where she discovers Mindy had a secret identity. As Lia delves deeper into her sister's social networking world, she realizes the killer is on her trail and more lives are at risk. She is torn between loyalty to her dead sister and her living family members. Lia must bring a killer to justice and step out from behind Mindy's shadow to become her own person.

My debut young adult novel, Letters to Leonardo was released in 2009 by Walker Books Australia. It has been widely reviewed and has more than earned out its advance. I am also the author of three books for younger readers, Hope For HannaA Duel of Words and Harry's Goldfield Adventure.

First 250:

They said it was time for me to move on, that three months was long enough to “get over what happened” to my sister.

But grief isn't something out of Goldilocks and the Three Bears — 'too much, not enough, or just right'.

You can’t measure sadness in a cup, or weigh it on scales. You can only count the days, weeks, months or years between the time it takes for one person’s heart to stop and another person’s heart to mend after losing them. 

How could there be a ‘right way’ to cope with Mindy's death, and the fact that I missed her like crazy? And how was I supposed to deal with being the only person in the universe who believed she was murdered?

People like Mindy don't just drown, not when you can swim 100 laps without stopping, not when you can stay underwater for more than a minute without taking a breath.

Maybe I could have stopped it. Maybe I could have convinced whoever did this to her that Mindy should live, that we needed her to keep our family whole.

After my sister died, there was nobody I could talk to. Nobody who really knew Mindy and what she meant to me. It wasn’t the sort of stuff I could discuss with friends; especially ones who reckoned my sister thought she was “too good for everyone”.

Mindy wasn’t like that, though. It was just that she preferred to keep things real, to cut through the crap. 


  1. Really love the concept to this! Your query gave me the chills (in a good way).

  2. :( Poor girl. I want to just give her a big hug!

    This was a great opening. I wanna read more to see how this story unfolds. :)

    1. Thanks, Cassie Mae,

      I have worked a lot on this because an agent said they didn't engage with the main character:)

  3. Awesome beginning! I would keep reading :)

    1. Thanks for your positive feedback, Hope:)

  4. Wonderful opening. I can feel the poor girl's grief. Love 'The Three Bears' analogy.

    1. Thanks, Kelley,

      I'm glad you like The Three Bears analogy:)

  5. This is such great writing, I can really feel her sadness. I wanted to read more!

    1. Thanks, Cortney,

      I'm glad you'd like to read more:)

  6. Love the voice in this one. Love how it's psychological. Love the social networking aspect. Great!

  7. Thanks for this awesome opportunity, Cupid:)

    I am learning so much about the start of novels and querying just by reading all the other fabulous entries and comments.

    I really appreciate all your hard work to help writers:)