Title: Wings, Wrinkles, and Wrappers
Word Count: 44K
Genre: Middle Grade paranormal
For Kate, it's been six months and twenty-three days since the sadness made her dad drive away and not come back. Seventeen days since she last spoke to her once-best friend Sophia. And an entire lifetime of eleven years without ever knitting a single hat. When Kate accidentally prays for help she ends up stuck with two old ladies who happen to be her long-dead grandmothers. They provide more caustic and silly commentary than actual assistance and Kate wants them gone. But getting back to heaven isn’t so simple. First, Kate must help them actually improve her life in some way.
From knitting to winning back a best friend with a chain of gum wrappers, Kate goes along with her grandmothers' "lessons” in hopes that they’ll hurry up and leave, until she realizes their stories could hold the key to bringing her dad home. But when the rescue plan backfires and only drives him further away, Kate has to learn her grandmothers’ biggest lesson of all: when to love and when to let go.
Told in epistolary format as a series of letters in a Father-Daughter notebook, Kate’s journey explores the binding nature of family stories and relationships through generations.
Grandma Bev never gave up on Grandpa Henry and I’ll never give up on you. So, I knitted you this hat.
6/15 Kate, It’s Wednesday. I’m sure you’ll be leaving another hat on my doorstep today. Hopefully you see the notebook. Just wanted to say thanks for the hats. All of them.
You missed my birthday last year. I know that’s not the best way to start a note but my next birthday’s in 33 days and it’s all I could think to say.
July 21st, remember?
I was sure last year when I turned eleven you would be at my party. You’d only been gone ten days and I guess I thought you were just taking a vacation. And if you were coming back soon, my birthday would have been the perfect day. It would have been like a surprise party, but not really a surprise because I knew all along you wouldn’t miss my birthday.
Mom made a shopping list that morning. “Air mattress, popcorn, pizza…anything else?”
It was a sleepover party with Sophia, just like always. And just like always, I knew you’d make my special, birthday tradition cake. So I said, “Strawberry ice cream and Kool Whip.”
Mom tapped her pen on the counter but didn’t write it down. “Why, Katydid?” She wouldn’t look up from that shopping list so I knew she was just pretending not to understand.
I played along anyway. “In case Dad forgets to go shopping.”
Entry Nickname: Middle Grade Leverage
Title: Team L.O.S.E.R.
Word count: 49K
Genre: Upper Middle Grade Contemporary
I am seeking representation for my upper middle grade contemporary novel complete at 49,000 words. When the world fails you, Team L.O.S.E.R. has your back.
Eighth grade president, Corbin Webster is used to hard work. But when he’s forced to accept the position as mentor to a team of outcast sixth grade delinquents, reality smacks him upside the head. It is one thing to be told to teach his team right from wrong. It’s quite another to discover that they’re a car thief, a pick-pocket, a hacker, and a girl who cosplays a different character each day and who refuses to answer to her real name.
To foster kindness and team spirit, Corbin has them find a student who needs their help. When they choose a boy whose lunch is stolen daily, Corbin stages an intervention. There they find that this bully has his own bully at home, and that his father controls his family by starving them. In order to get proof of the real abuser’s criminal activities, and to put him away for good, Corbin must use the illegal skills that landed his group on Team Loser in the first place.
The early morning light hit the small, old houses in my neighborhood until they glowed like pastel jewels. Gramp’s scrambled eggs were a perfect bright yellow so I scooped them from the pan, and onto his plate. “Come and eat before I throw it away,” I yelled.
“Corbin Webster, do I look like a track star to you?” His cane made crabby thunks on the worn linoleum but he had to duck his head to hide a smile. He might fool the salesmen at the front door, but I knew better. Gramps put the great in great-grandpa. If it wasn’t for him, I’d be in some random person’s foster home.
“I don’t need any eggs,” he said. “Coffee is fine.”
“You’ll eat them and like it.” I tried to sound stern instead of worried. “Besides, there’s plenty.” If I didn’t watch him, he’d starve himself to make sure I didn’t go hungry. “Mrs. Sanchez brought over a dozen this morning when she dropped off the suit. She said her chickens lay too many for her to eat.”
“That’s different.” He picked up his fork and shoveled some into his mouth. “It would be a crying shame for food to go to waste.” I finished my coffee and carried my plate to the sink. Two birds perched in the mimosa tree outside the kitchen window and sang like they were in the opening credits of a Disney movie.
Gramps whistled low. “Dang boy, you look sharp. Turn around.”