Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Writer's Voice 2013: LEAD ME BACK HOME

Woot! I won the lottery! What lottery? The one that let me into the awesome Writer’s Voice contest, hosted by Brenda Drake, Cupid, Monica B.W., and Krista Van Dolzer. (For all the details about this contest, click here.)

Thanks, beautiful hosts, for letting us stick our necks out!


LEAD ME BACK HOME is a YA supernatural, complete at 81,000 words.

Sixteen-year-old Trisha Myles thought her sister loved her. But after her sister commits suicide, it turns out she wished Trisha never existed. Confused and guilt-ridden, Trisha takes her sister’s suicide note to heart and abandons her friends and old life to become a social ghost. Not existing is sort of peaceful—until a vicious bully targets her.
She’s saved by Jesse Reagan; the one guy in Hoghfield, Alabama, who outranks her as an outcast. Trisha’s desire to live blossoms, but friendship with Jesse is more than she bargained for. When she sees the slashes on his arms, Jesse explains he’s been cursed by a botched magic ritual. Now, spirits pass through a gateway embedded in his body, and the only way to stop the revolving door is by sealing it with blood magic. Trisha thinks he’s insane—especially when he tells her someone cursed her, too. But after the freak accidents start, Trisha begins to believe. And when she witnesses a spirit pass through the gateway and Jesse is nearly crushed by a truck, she knows it’s not a delusion.
When the accidents increase and the gateway demands more blood magic from a weakening Jesse, they have no choice but to seek help from his coven—the same group that accidentally cursed him. A ritual can save them, but their preparations reveal ties between Trisha and Jesse that go beyond their curses: ties that link Jesse’s coven to Trisha’s sister’s death.
With more questions than they started with, time to perform the ritual is running out. Soon the gateway will bleed Jesse dry. If Trisha can’t save him, she will lose the boy she’s come to love…if a spirit-backed accident doesn’t claim her first.
When I’m not laying down the words, I’m dreaming up my next Halloween costume, making experimental cakes, or willing my garden to grow.  

First 250:

The DVD fell from my shaking fingers. I stood frozen as I stared at my sister, my thoughts slipping like stripped gears. Kelsie lay across the bed, an empty pill bottle resting loosely in her manicured fingers with Daddy’s name printed neatly on the label. Her golden hair draped over the edge of the mattress like the clocks in the Dali painting we studied in freshman Art last year. The smoky eye shadow around her glassy eyes was perfect, her lip gloss smudge-free on her lips as a wondrous smile stole across her expression. She stared at me but didn’t see me. As my lungs filled to call for help, hers exhaled her last breath.
I tripped as I ran downstairs and barely caught myself on the bannister. No one was home. Daddy was still at his office, and Mom had gone to the salon. She’d offered to take us, but it was Kelsie’s first trip home from Mulby University, and I begged her to spend the day with me. We hadn’t seen each other since summer, and I was dying to tell her about this guy who’d just come back to school. I was going to bring it up during the movie… but her plans were different than mine.
The police came; I couldn’t remember if I’d called them. I clutched my cellphone, its red plastic exterior creaking under the pressure of my fingers, so I supposed I had. An officer escorted me into the kitchen and offered me a bottle of water from our refrigerator.