Query #2 Punishment Summer

Note- I have omitted any salutations and contact information, as Pitchwars will not allow a greeting this year.

Genre: YA Action/Adventure
Word Count: 66,000

Sixteen-year-old Nicki Steele’s summer is in ruins. Grounded and caught sneaking into her room after a party, she’s sent to her grandfather’s cabin in the Mendocino Forest. Though her own house doesn’t feel much like home, the timing for her exile sucks. Being stuck in the woods for ten weeks will give her sort-of best friend a clear shot at Nicki’s sometime-boyfriend. As if that isn’t bad enough, Grandpa’s cabin is decorated with dead animal heads and there’s no electricity or cell phone service.

The last time Nicki saw Grandpa was when she was four years old and he feels like a stranger to her. She hides the wrist-to-elbow burn mark from the house fire that killed her sister and keeps quiet about the mother who ran out on her years before. Though Nicki hasn’t heard from Grandpa in years, she’s surprised to discover how much he knows about her life. But, soon after arriving, she begins to suspect Grandpa is lying – about his name and why he lives in the woods.

In spite of Nicki’s unhappiness about her ‘sentence’, the summer brings an unexpected bright spot: Grandpa’s German shepherd, Queenie. The prospect of romance with a neighbor boy also gives Nicki hope for some fun as her days are filled with learning how to fish, hunt and tend the vegetables. An expert at fitting in, Nicki hopes good reports about her behavior will convince her dad to bring her home early. But vying for a good report loses importance when Grandpa takes off, leaving Nicki to deal with an injured girl and two hostile deputies. From secret pot farms to human trafficking, Nicki soon learns nothing in ‘The Mendo’ is as it seems. When the lives of new friends are threatened, Nicki must decide how far she’s willing to go to protect those she cares about.

Complete at 66,000 words, PUNISHMENT SUMMER follows Nicki as she outgrows her past and learns there are some choices she can’t undo. Told in the first person, I think this contemporary young adult story about secrets and loss will appeal to fans of Jay Asher. In addition to writing fiction, I was a corporate writer for many years, though my writing was not published under my byline. I would be happy to send the manuscript or its opening chapters to you.

1 comment :

  1. I love the premise of this book, I think the idea is fantastic and I'm sure the book reads great. I'm not pubbed so take this with a grain of salt, but this feels more like a synopsis. Like you are trying to tell the whole story in this little blurb. I'm guilty of doing the same thing. I keep hearing the word "concise" in my head as I rework my own query. You worked super hard on your book, tons of blood, sweat, and tears, so they should take a few minutes and read your work, right? Unfortunately agents and publishers are inundated and simply don't have the time or the energy. My advice would be to pare it down. Good luck to you!