Sunday, September 16, 2012

CAGI Finalist #34

WORD COUNT: 62,000


Eyre House is a YA gothic contemporary that recasts Jane Eyre in a sleepy southern island town, complete with all the ghost stories.

All seventeen-year-old Evan Richardson wants out of his summer is an escape from the foster system that’s run his life. A job at Eyre House on quiet Edisto Island, SC, seems like the perfect solution. But the plantation-turned-bed-and-breakfast has a lot more to offer than freedom and employment. The island is full of ghost stories, and Eyre House seems to have more than its fair share of secret passages and things that go bump in the night. The tough part is telling what's ghost, and what's story.

Ginny, whose family has owned Eyre House since before the Civil War, seems like the perfect person to help him figure it all out. She’s sexy, confident...and, as the owner's daughter, completely off limits. Except that Ginny's way more interested in distracting Evan than in ghost hunting, especially when the ghosts he’s uncovering are hers. Still, Ginny is hard to resist – and Evan's not sure he really wants to. But when he wakes in the night to the heat of a burning bed, Evan knows the ghosts must be after him. And he’s pretty sure that Ginnny is hiding something behind those honey-gold eyes.

Worse, the ghosts are growing more and more dangerous. When Ginny’s ex-boyfriend is found dead in the Eyre House pool, Evan knows he’s got two choices: figure out what’s going on, or become the next ghost to haunt Ginny Eyre.

First 250:

I swore under my breath for about the millionth time since leaving Charleston, the blasting staccato of rain against my helmet not quite drowning out the deep rumble of my bike’s engine. Lightning highlighted the rural road ahead of me, and the marshes that surrounded it. It was hard to believe it wasn’t even six yet. The clouds rolling up the coast were dark as hell. Even with the right gear, I was cold, wet, and tired.

I had wanted to leave early, and make Eyre House by midafternoon. The Gages had never given a damn about me, but they sure as hell had done their best to keep me from leaving today. They’d delayed me until just before the storm hit, leaving me to make what should have been an easy ride in a torrential downpour.

Personally, I suspected the loss of my foster payment was to blame. Fucking assholes.

So much for arriving early to make a good impression. Instead, I’d be lucky to get there before dinner, and all bets for being presentable were off. I urged my bike faster and swore under my breath again. At least the road was empty. Seemed I was the only one stupid enough to be out in this weather.

Lightning cut the sky again, and my headlight glinted off a sign that announced the start of the McKinley Washington, Jr. Bridge. Once I crossed the mile-long stretch of concrete, I’d officially be on Edisto Island. I’d be free. No more foster families, no more foster system.


  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your hook here...totally sucked into this kind of book. But, I wasn't sucked in by the voice - male POV is often tough for me to relate to, and a tough sell to boot.

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