Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bouncer Post #87

Genre: YA thriller
Word count: 66k


Seventeen year old Madeline Martin gets strange looks for her blue hair and punk fashion, which isn't such a big deal, but if she gets caught shoplifting or skipping school again she'll be really sorry. To keep her in line, Madeline's mom sends her to stay with her uncle in upstate New York for the summer, to work in a public library. Being away from her Manhattan friends and lifestyle sucks, but it’s way better than juvy hall. Alone in the library one night, Madeline stumbles onto an envelope tucked inside the pages of an eighteenth century atlas and unwittingly uncovers a political secret hidden away for centuries. Confiding only in the roguish neighbor guy, who's dealing with issues of his own, Madeline sets out to uncover the truth of what the found documents mean, as well as whoever may be willing to pay big bucks for them. After discovering she’s being followed by a stranger, and the police can’t help her, she has no choice but to unravel the mystery on her own.

Expelled from the IRIA, eighteen year old Armand Dantuine is after the truth as well, but not for the same reasons. He’s been hired by an international organization to retrieve the same secret documents, offering him a chance to gain the respect he never had in Iran. One person will stand in his way, however, and if necessary, the Martin girl will be a casualty of little importance.

Told from dueling points of view of both Madeline Martin and Armand Dantuine, my YA thriller, The 49th Parallel, takes on a series of twists and turns as both race to achieve their goal. In the vein of National Treasure meets The Da Vinci Code for teens, it’s packed with action, suspense, and a hint of romance, complete at 66K words. I am a member of SCBWI and a moderator at YALitChat.Org

First 250:

Mom says I’m my father’s daughter.

She doesn’t mean it in the good way. It’s why I’m stuck here in the most boring town in upstate New York for the summer, working in the public library. It was this or change bedpans for old people in a retirement home, and I’m not about to work around human defecation all day.

One last book to return and I’m done for the night. I roll the book cart toward the American History section, causing the faded parquet floor to creak like it’s in pain. Except for that, it’s quiet up here—too quiet on my first night closing alone, and this big old place gives me the creeps. It’s three levels, with the third floor skirting a transparent railing around the center staircase. From up here, you can see all the way down to the atrium floor, where the moonlight from the glass ceiling spills in like silvery rain. Distorted shadows dance across the floor there, provoked by a breeze through the tree limbs that hug the outside windows.

This job is supposed to keep me out of trouble, and I have to admit, even though it’s torture being away from my friends in Manhattan, it’s way better than being stuck in juvy hall for something I didn’t do. Mom doesn’t get it—why I put myself on the line for my friends. That’s what she means when she says I’m my father’s daughter.


  1. I was once a purple-haired library page, so I immediately love Madeline. You lost me a little with the second character in the query - it's just a lot to take in for something that should be a tease. But you brought me back with your first 250. Great voice and beautiful description. Good luck with this!

  2. WOW - LOVE the query. I love that you describe the characters, then tell us their viewpoints are "dueling" - just that one word packs it full of action for me.

    Good luck!!!

  3. Great opening for the 250. You're off to a good start!
    Good luck!

  4. Bouncer Bookish HandygirlFebruary 13, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    Sounds like a good premise, and I like the voice. You're in!

  5. I second that! You're in (again)!

  6. Thrillers scare the crap outta me in a good way. This sounds awesome!!

  7. Congrats on getting in! I like the voice, and definitely unique idea. Good luck!