Title: This Side of Crazy
Word Count: 86,000
Genre: Women's Fiction
Cissy Pickering swears that shooting her daddy in the back was the smartest thing she’s ever done. After surviving more than eight years of his abuse, she had to prevent him from having the same secret with her two baby sisters. What she didn’t count on was being sent to the Greater Mississippi State Hospital instead of prison.
When a caring, yet unorthodox, hospital psychiatrist tries to unlock the family secrets that led to Cissy’s crime, the 16-year-old retreats to a world of make-believe and compulsive counting. Meanwhile, three generations of women struggle to understand and forgive Cissy while coming to terms with the loss of their son, husband and father.
But when the psychiatrist digs too deep and Cissy retreats even further from reality, her maternal grandmother uses her wealth and connections to help Cissy escape the hospital. On the road, and with no plan, Grandmother doubts her ability to ensure Cissy’s emotional survival. Their tender relationship and an unearthed secret from Grandmother’s past force Cissy to decide what’s best for her own future — and whether she wants to keep running.
THIS SIDE OF CRAZY is told from two viewpoints: Cissy’s and Grandmother’s. This book will appeal to readers who enjoyed the strong female Southern voices in Secret Life of Bees.
First 250 words:
My sisters and I had already consumed an impressive stack of books since school let out, reading long into the sticky June nights, even under threat of punishment. We’d needled Mama until she finally agreed to take the three of us to the Biloxi library this morning. Her chief argument against getting more books — and a flimsy one at that — was that we read too fast and the books we had should have lasted all summer. I ignored her complaining. It's one of my special talents.
“Cissy! Get your butt down here right this minute! Your Corn Flakes are getting soggy!” Mama’s voice carried easily from the kitchen, down a long hallway and up a flight of stairs. That was her special talent. As was prematurely pouring milk into cereal to punish her daughters’ lollygagging.
I slipped into a plaid cotton sundress and my pink plastic sandals that squeaked when I walked and rubbed blisters on my little toes. The sound irritated Mama just enough to make those blisters worthwhile. Some might call this childish behavior for a 16-year-old but I took fun wherever I could find it.
Mama and our housekeeper, Bess, were locked in a battle of wills over one thing or another. I tuned them out, rushing out of my room and down the hall toward the bathroom to brush my teeth. What I saw stopped me short, the plastic of my shoes sticking fast to the wood floor.
Title: The Accidental Socialite
Word count: 75,000
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction
When small town Canada collides with the glitz and glamour of London, someone’s lady parts trend on Twitter.
Quirky and a little clumsy, Paige Crawford leaves Edmonton, Canada because she doesn't want to spend the rest of her life living in a city best known for its big mall and above average murder rate. Dreaming of a fabulous career, cultured friends and preferably, a hot foreign boyfriend, she leaps on a plane to London, England. Twenty-four hours into her adventure, Paige ends up at a club and, having one too many, trips out the front doors only to be caught by a notorious and married footballer.
Waking up in a foreign country is hard enough, but waking up to find yourself on the front cover of a national newspaper and being labeled a home wrecker is less than ideal. And London seems intent on teaching Paige lessons she didn’t know she needed—such as how to narrowly escape deportation after assaulting Prince William with a Star Wars toy or the British definition of fanny after using it liberally in a presentation at work.
Things start to look up when Paige meets expat southern gentleman Jason Frost. He seems perfect, and not just because he knows Paige isn’t truly a harlot or because he introduces her to fancy things she’s only seen on Gossip Girl. But when Paige realizes Jason’s been the one feeding stories to the papers to manufacture himself a famous girlfriend, she is determined to rebuild her reputation and concentrate on developing her career. However, the paparazzi are only interested in catching her bad side. Train wrecks sell magazines and Paige is tied to the tracks. Look out London, this small town girl has a few lessons of her own to teach.
First 250 words:
It was 3 A.M. and all I wanted was a cheeseburger.
“Miss, we only sell Big Macs after midnight,” said the McDonalds employee.
My stomach grumbled. My diet since I got off the plane had consisted mostly of Champagne, Vodka, and seared tuna.
“Yes, I understand that and I will pay for a Big Mac, but I would like a cheeseburger, so can you, like, remove a patty and mid bun and hold the secret sauce? Please?”
“Miss, I am sorry but we do not have this item.”
Liar. He didn’t look sorry. I immediately wanted to get on the next flight home. It rained cheeseburgers in Canada.
A tall, drunk and incredibly beautiful blonde South African girl appeared at the till next to me.
“I’ll have a hot dog.” That was my new best friend, Lucinda.
We walked out of McDonalds with a small fries to ‘split’, which really meant Lucinda was going to watch me eat them. As I was elegantly shoving eight fries into my mouth at once, not unlike a four-year-old, a swarm of camera wielding hyenas approached. One flash triggered the rest and little white dots burned into my retina. I stumbled, almost dropping my fries.
What was going on? I looked for the celebrity garnering all this attention. I couldn’t believe my luck, I was about to spot someone famous on my first day in London! But when Lucinda slapped the second fist full of fries out of my hand and pulled me towards a taxi, I realized with confusion that the so-called celebrity was me.