Sunday, February 10, 2013

Bouncer Post #148

Genre: Contemporary Middle Grade Mystery
Word Count: 34,000


History's proven that skeletons are claustrophobic - if you shut them up in a closet they’re going to get out.

The summer twelve-year-old Celia Narro walked into her new closet in tiny White Birch Cove she stepped back through a century of skeletons into a new outfit: defacto leader of The Mis(s)fits, a club sworn to defeat a prejudiced secret society.

All Celia wants is a one-way ticket back to New York City, where she's oh-so-close to her big break in fashion.  Treasure hidden by her new home's previous owner seems tailor-made – for years the whole town’s been dying to get their hands on it. With history disappearing around them Celia and twelve-year-old Joe Eli, a Renaissance Fair geek, get to work.

But seriously, it's the worst way to win new friends ever: Celia and the geek versus the most popular girl in her class-to-be, a girl with the home-field advantage, family ties to the secret society and designs on Joe. The trail winds through nettles, traps and explosions, coming to a dead stop when Joe’s kidnapped. Celia must choose between two forks in the trail: giving up her dreams AND her old best friend or saving the life of a new friend, who may be something more. One choice will send White Birch Cove spiraling back to a time when women and minorities lived lives dictated by gunpoint, but either fork will stab Celia's future in the heart.

The Mis(s)fit Club: Lost Soles struts down the catwalk at 34,000 words as a contemporary middle grade mystery blending Nancy Drew and Cloudy With a Chance of Boys into a front-row seat to the challenge of change, making new friends and discovering boys as a strong woman-to-be.

First 250:

Raise your hand if your parents ever ruined your plans and/or your life. Okay, maybe that's not such a good idea — especially if they're reading over your shoulder.  Never mind, I already know the answer anyway. Plans have been torched.

The trick is to watch for the phoenix. You know, that freaky mystical bird born from the ashes. Back before the stolen shoes, the ball and her first kiss Celia thought her life was ruined
too – certainly well before the kidnapping. But we’ll get to that - before a phoenix can rise there has to be a fire.

Chapter  One: A New Season, A New Vision

“With the right pair of shoes a girl can change the world.” What's so great about change anyway, Celia Narro thought. She hugged the quote in its little gilt frame to her chest, hoping it would protect her heart from the hammer blows. Through a shimmery veil of tears she watched two workmen nail a piece of drywall over the little door she had shared with her best friend Indira Prabshan for the entire first twelve years of her life.

“Hey girl it's not forever you know,” Indira said, putting her warm arms around Celia's shoulders. Her lemongrass perfume floated up like a sigh. “You'll find a way back and verything will be just like it's always been.”

Celia's stomach lurched. The little dressing room had lost its magic. It was empty and Celia didn't know how to get it back.


  1. Love the first line of the query! I will say that the query seems to pack so much in that by the end I was a little lost. But I love the idea of secrets and memories locked up in closets, and your first 250 make me want know why the workmen are drywalling it up!

  2. Love the first line and first paragraph. There's a lot of info in the next two. A trick I've learned is to look at the first 30 pages and use what's there to create the query. First 250 were really intriguing. Very curious why it's being closed up.


  3. "...before a phoenix can rise there has to be a fire." This gives me chills.
    "The Mis(s)fit Club: Lost Soles struts down the catwalk"—love it.