Title: RACE TO BUTCH CASSIDY'S GOLD
Genre: MG Mystery
Word Count: 43,000
Twelve-year-old Maggie McCoy wants to be brave and spontaneous. But she's not. So when she and her fearless cousin Jake stumble upon century-old clues leading to gold coins hidden by Butch Cassidy—farm boy turned infamous bank robber of the Wild West—she crumples her "to-do" list to prove she really can be daring and impulsive.
And at first, searching for gold with Jake and their quirky Grandpa Jim in his beat-up Winnebago is the grand adventure she's always wanted. But Maggie's newfound courage falters when she learns they must outsmart and outrun a dangerous thief who is also after the treasure.
The race is on. But just as Maggie and Jake think they've solved the mystery, Jake is captured and all the "to-do" lists in the world won't save him. Maggie is his only hope...if she can find the courage.
RACE TO BUTCH CASSIDY'S GOLD is a 43,000-word middle grade mystery in which Maggie's present-day adventures parallel Butch Cassidy's past until mystery and history collide. This book stands alone, but can open the door for a series that exposes readers to fast-paced adventures across the fifty states.
With a Master's degree in Elementary Education, I have taught both elementary and middle school. I am a regular attendee of writers' conferences and have three published magazine articles.
First 250 Words:
Twelve seconds until summer vacation. Maggie's eyes locked on the jerking hand of the classroom clock as it counted down the last seconds of sixth grade. Someone in the back of the room began chanting, "Ten, nine, eight—"
Everyone else joined in, "Seven, six—"
Almost time! Maggie thought, sitting at the edge of her seat.
Just a few more seconds.
RRRRINGGGG!! The class erupted into cheers.
Maggie jumped out of her seat, slung her pink backpack over her shoulder, and slipped out the classroom door. As she ran down the school's rickety old steps, she pulled the "to-do" list she had carefully prepared the night before out of her back pocket.
Five minutes. That's how long she'd given herself to make it to Slotz Convenience Store. She studied the large crowd in front of her and took a deep breath. She examined her bright green digital watch, pushed the start button, and took off running.
"To your left," she called, pushing past a circle of fifth grade girls in a group hug. "Coming through." Maggie sidestepped a large boy picking gum off the bottom of his shoe. "Watch out." She darted around a curly-haired girl rummaging through her backpack. Just a few more steps and Maggie would bust out of the crowd. She glanced at her watch again. One minute down, four to go. So far, so good. She thought she just might make it in time.
Boy, was she wrong.