Title: AUSSIE OUTSIDER
Category/Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 58,000
My Main Character is most uncomfortable with:
This might seem like a cop out, but Rory can’t really say that she’s uncomfortable with either snow or sun. As a former California girl turned Aussie outsider, she lives for the warm sun on her face, sweet island breezes and dazzling turquoise water. Yet her favorite memory of her mother is when they trekked up to Big Bear one Christmas Eve to sled and drink hot cocoa with noses as red as Rudolf’s. So which is worse: snow or sun? Rory cherishes snow in her memories, but lives for sun in the present.
When her mother suddenly dies, sixteen-year-old Rory Turner finds herself living on a Dr. Pepper can-size island with her father, whom she’s only just met.
Settling into her new home is awkward with a double scoop of awk. There’s Rory’s stranger father, for starters. Not to mention the confusing Aussie slang, no movie theaters or fast food joints, and all the other teenagers attend boarding schools on the mainland. Plus, someone really doesn’t want her to feel welcome: stealing her precious pictures of her mother, leaving a dead bird on her bed and even giving her food poisoning. She suspects Rita Harper, who was jilted at the altar by her father.
Rory’s only bright spot is Rita’s nephew, Tark, who’s quite charming when he’s not acting like a cactus. But when she uncovers a tragic secret from before she was born, she fears that Rita’s pranks will turn deadly. Especially when her father’s new love interest is found unconscious on the bowling green. If Rory can’t convince her father and Tark that Rita is a monster, her new home could be six feet under the ground.
AUSSIE OUTSIDER combines the family setting and romance of THE REECE MALCOLM LIST with the mystery of FALL FOR ANYTHING, in a unique “Down Under” setting.
First 250 words:
Nobody’s first thought when they wake up is this: “Today my mom is going to die, so I should run into her bedroom this very minute to tell her I love her.”
I wish I could say I’m not nobody. But I am. My mom wasn’t even on my mind when my alarm went off that morning. Instead I was thinking about how much I hated Thursdays. And pop quizzes in Biology, especially when I hadn’t read the chapter yet.
No, I didn’t rush into her bedroom. I hit the snooze button at least twice, and reluctantly dragged my butt out of bed to take a quick shower. After dressing, I slouched into the kitchen to eat breakfast before catching the bus to school. Just like any other morning.
Only it wasn’t any other morning. It was the morning. The one where I should have told my mom I loved her. Not the one where I gave her the silent treatment.
She was leaning against the counter, reading her texts and emails on her smart phone as she sipped her protein shake. Her shoulder-length hair was pulled back in a low ponytail and she wore a matching tank and shorts, with her running shoes laced on her feet. Just another weekday morning for her, too.
I plopped down on a barstool at the opposite end of the counter without uttering a word, as if I could voice my anger better with silence than a thousand heated words.
If only I’d had a crystal ball.