Rafflecopter randomly selected me to participate in The Writer’s Voice (yay!), and now I’m anxiously waiting to hear if one of the awesome TWV judges (Cupid of Cupid’s Literary Connection, Brenda Drake of Brenda Drake Writes, Krista Van Dolzer of Mother. Write. (Repeat.) and Monica B.W. of Love Ya), will pick me for one of their teams
*cue flashback to 5th-grade kickball*
I’ve posted my query and first 250 words below and would love to get your feedback — whether you’re a coach, TWV participant or fellow writer. Thanks for reading!
Sixteen-year-old Sadie Vonner has spent her life training to be a Reconner, an elite agent who scours Earth’s rapidly rising seas for resources. She’s had a clean record since the accident that killed her best friend, Brandt, and if she can put the past behind her and make rank, she’ll be able to explore the drowned world outside Water Lily, her floating seaborne city.
But then she finds the note.
Written by Brandt the day he died, it leads to a series of puzzles he hid throughout the city and raises questions about the circumstances of his death. Desperate for answers, Sadie risks her shot at Reconner to play a final round of their childhood treasure-hunting game. But she’s not the only one looking for the trail’s end.
There’s Emery, the frustrating boy with the strange accent who insists he can help solve the riddles. But as they grow closer, she suspects he isn’t who he claims to be. Then there’s Brandt’s brother, a powerful city officer and violent alcoholic who will stop at nothing to claim the final clue for himself. As he stalks her every move, Sadie questions just how much he knows about Brandt’s death.
The race is on to find what Brandt was hiding, but when Sadie unearths a conspiracy Water Lily will kill to protect, she must decide whether to expose the truth. Doing so isn’t only deadly — it could also destroy the entire city. But keeping the secret could leave her trapped on Water Lily forever.
WATER LILY is a YA thriller set in the near future on an Earth ravaged by rising seas. It’s complete at 92,000 words.
As an editor for the Mother Nature Network, I write about climate change and rising sea levels, and my articles have appeared on CNN, The Huffington Post, Forbes, Yahoo and The Associated Press. I’m an SCBWI member, and I have a master’s degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina.
“They’re back,” someone whispers.
My classmates press their faces to the windows, fingertips smearing the glass as they stare out at the endless ocean.
“They’ve been gone for weeks,” Roger says. “I thought they were dead.”
My hands curl around the edge of the desk, which is something of an antique — the trees that made it are extinct. “The Reconners?” I ask. No one answers. My classmates are more likely to talk about me than to me.
I jump to my feet and join them, squinting through the smudged glass at the tiny brown-clad men and women in the sea below. Their Hovercraft slows as it approaches the city, and the sun glints off the weathered tarp strapped to the cargo-hold.
They found something.
Grabbing my communication tablet from my desk, I dash past gray-haired Professor Wright, who’s nodded off mid-lecture once again, and duck into the nearest stairwell. It’s already flooded with a sea of people trickling down to the deck, but I swim through them, determined to grab a piece of the Reconners’ latest find.
Excited chatter fills the air as we spill onto the sun-baked deck, and I squeeze through the thousands of citizens until I find a spot where I can breathe. The wind whips my dark hair into tangles, and I pull strands of it from my mouth, tasting salt. My heart marks the seconds as they tick into minutes, and my hands are nervous at my sides.
But then, finally, the portal door opens.