Name: Lora Douglas
Twitter Handle: @LoraWrites
Title: THE STOLEN GIRL
Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 70K
My Main Character's Most Fearsome Obsession is:
Discovering your Mom and Dad kidnapped you as a toddler is pretty terrifying. Spending the summer before college digging into their pasts like an overaged, hipster Nancy Drew is Hailey’s worst nightmare. With only three weeks left on her juvenile probation sentence, Hailey can’t risk getting into more trouble. But a box in the attic exposes a horrifying secret her parents have been keeping. There has been a kidnapping, but it’s not the one that’s brought the FBI to Hailey’s front door.
When seventeen-year-old Hailey Larson spots her face on a missing persons poster, she’s forced to question if the people she calls Mom and Dad are even her parents. Not that she’d mind an upgrade in the parental units department. No more neurotic Mom popping Xanax just to function. No more Dad, a.k.a. The Warden, and his impossible house rules. Still, with three weeks left on her juvenile probation sentence—a wrong place, wrong time, totally not her fault situation—Hailey’s not about to stir up any more drama with the cops.
Determined to find out as much as she can on her own, Hailey starts digging into her past. The massive house fire that allegedly destroyed all of her baby photos is starting to look more convenient than tragic, and discovering her birth certificate was “amended”—so not helping. But when there’s no record of her parents ever living in the small town they claimed to be from, and the house that should have been reduced to a pile of ash is still standing, Hailey’s convinced her parents are kidnappers.
When Hailey discovers a box buried under insulation in her attic, she realizes THE STOLEN GIRL isn’t her parents’ worst secret. Exposing the truth means altering her family forever. But if she keeps her mouth shut, Hailey abandons the one person that needs her most.
BRING HANNAH HOME, the sign demanded. Please help, it begged. Red, block letters labeled Hannah Shea a missing person.
Labeled me a missing person.
Bile, hot and acidic, flared up the back of my throat. This had to be a joke. A sick, sick joke.
All the pertinent information was listed.
BIRTHDAY: AUGUST 30, 1997.
BROWN EYES. BROWN HAIR.
Yup. Well, brown under the purple highlights, but whatever.
ESTIMATED HEIGHT: 5’ 5”
ESTIMATED WEIGHT: 125 LBS.
It was only an estimate because no one had seen Hannah Shea for fifteen years.
There was a reward for information. A hotline number and a Bring Hannah Home gmail address.
IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ON HANNAH’S WHEREABOUTS, PLEASE CALL THE FBI MISSING PERSONS HOTLINE AT 1-800-FINDHAN.
A woman carrying a screaming toddler cut in front of me, her massive diaper bag bumping my arm. “Sorry. ’Scuse us.”
“Uh huh,” I mumbled, barely aware of her, my gaze skimming the other lost faces crowding Walmart’s community bulletin board before snapping back to Hannah.
Hannah Shea. Last seen October 21, 1999.
Two years old.
I counted backwards on shaky fingers, not trusting my rattled brain. 2002, 2001, 2000…1999. I was two years old. Of course I was. We had the same freaking birthday. The height and weight estimates were exact. The picture… The picture made me want to throw up.
It was me. My nose was smaller, my cheekbones a little more pronounced. But the eyes—the eyes were dead on.