Title: GONE MISSING GIRL
Genre: Contemporary YA
Word Count: 85,000
Shy eighteen-year-old albino Ansel thought letting the girl with the banged-up ankle sleep in his parents’ book shed was a good idea. That was before she passed out in his shower, woke up in a panic and accidentally attacked him. Any normal guy would have called the cops but normal isn’t Ansel’s style. And honestly, who would trade a cute, albeit slightly bent, girl in for a bunch of doughnut-eating officers anyway
Ansel nicknames her Catskin and begins the dubious task of earning her trust. A few awkward conversations later, two things are clear: Catskin doesn’t want to be the way she is. And she doesn’t think she has any place in society now. Challenge accepted. Ansel won’t give up until Catskin understands that different doesn’t mean wrong.
Somewhere along the way Ansel’s uneasy awkwardness and Catskin’s emotional edges meld into a steadfast love. It’s a bond that both are half afraid of but also utterly bound by. Which, from the stories in Ansel’s fairy tale books, sounds about right.
When a near-drowning leaves Catskin hovering near death, Ansel is forced to contact her estranged parents. His actions provoke a shocking confrontation between the wealthy world Catskin was born into, and the starkly average one she now shares with Ansel. One that makes it clear Ansel will lose Catskin forever if he doesn’t act fast.
Refusing to give up the imperfect girl who fits perfectly inside his heart, Ansel goes to war with Catskin’s father, who wants his embarrassing daughter permanently committed to an asylum With no legal recourse, Ansel opts to wing it and kidnaps an unconcious Catskin. But it won’t matter who has control of Catskin’s body, if she never regains consciousness and claims her own life.
I have never been that guy. You know, the one surrounded by adventure and covered in awesomesauce. That would be my younger brother, Ethan.
But Ethan wasn’t in the book shed that night.
It’s not like you get to pick and choose life-altering events the way you do socks from the bargain bin.
I went out to the shed for a bottle of spine glue.
But when I flipped on the overheads, I found a shrunken zombie lurking just inside the doorway.
*Insert very macho scream*
Right about then the broom slid sideways, hitting the light switch and leaving me stranded in the dim twilight of the Alaskan summer.
When my brain wasn’t immediately harvested, I took several deep breaths. Convinced myself that I had not, in fact, just seen a zombie in the book shed. Turned the light back on.
It was still there.
But it wasn’t a zombie. It was a girl.
Filthy, tangled, rumpled and undersized, but definitely female. Definitely alive. Her mouth hung partway open now, eyes wide, yet disturbingly empty. Like her entire body was deserted. The void inside her was menacing. A sort of awful maw that might chew me up, if I got within reach.
Which, I had no intention of doing.
Hell, I couldn’t even find my voice to bother asking who she was, where she’d come from or why she was in there.
Of course, she wasn’t exactly a Chatty Cathy, herself.