Title: INSIDE THE CIRCLE
Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 70,000
Inside the Circle twists a suspenseful, dark love story through the subculture of ultra-rich teens in Scottsdale, Arizona and the drug cartels of Mexico and South America.
Inside the Circle is 17-year-old Kate Connor’s story. Kate and her friends are “The Circle,” a tight group of friends who grew up fast and are now as hard as diamonds. Their parents are distracted and absent, and the friends of The Circle promise to take care of each other without judgments.
They use their freedom to try anything at least once in the backyards of mountainside mansions and the shadows of late-night clubs. Eventually, though, their dangerous appetites land them in the dark counter-culture of serious adults who aren’t playing rich-kid games.
Kate unexpectedly falls for Marcos, the unwilling teenaged heir to the Vega cartel. Then, Kate’s reckless best friend ominously disappears. Kate’s unique voice evolves from the detachment of an ex-addict to the clarity of a strong, young woman who feels too much. Kate loves, she loses, and she learns to stand on her own, outside of the circle.
I’ve been teaching high school for sixteen years, and I love listening to the way that teenagers talk. I’m a member of SCBWI and PNWA. I received a BA in English Literature from Indiana University. I also have an MFA in Dance/Choreography from University of Arizona; I’m fascinated by artistic construction in all art forms. My writing was recently published in Silk Road Review.
“I’m out in a couple of weeks. That’s what the doc said this morning,” Allison says offhandedly, like she doesn’t care if she stays or if she’s released. It’s freezing in here, like always. I shake off a shiver and lean back into the short, vinyl couch. Outside the window, the shadows on Camelback Mountain deepen as the sun starts to set. Nice view, I think. When I was in-patient here at the Center, my room faced the other way.
“A couple of weeks, that’s good, Allison. That’s nothing,” I say, watching her play with her platinum watch. She twists it around her wrist.
“It’s all bullshit anyway,” she says, rolling her eyes. “I just went too far one night, you know? I’m not an addict.” Sure about that? I want to ask her. Instead, I keep my face still.
I imagine her in daily group, doing those “complete the sentence” games that the doctors use to get a patient to discover her inner fuck-up.
Finish this sentence, Allison: I might be an addict if…
Well, Doctor, I might be an addict if… I took a bunch of painkillers and drank half a bottle of whiskey and ended up in rehab. But that was just supposed to be a little jump-start before I started to party. Before lines of coke off the compact in my purse. And did I mention the fix that I keep in my car?
Oh, yes, ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner. Or actually, an addict.