Title: MR. FRANK’S FIVE
Category/Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 78,000
Is your main character hot or cold?
My MC, Jolene, is most definitely a feisty firecracker and could therefore be described as hot. Jolene is laser-focused on her future and is determined not let anyone, or anything, get in the way of her goals. She is passionate, determined, and at times even a little hot-headed.
Seventeen-year-old Jolene Jasper is determined to break her family’s cycle of teenage pregnancy and poverty. She’ll do anything to pursue her dream of getting her doctorate and becoming an historian. As a reclusive bookworm, Jolene banks on her brains being her ticket out of her small southern town. But such dreams aren’t easily attainable when her family can barely afford bread.
When her favorite history teacher, Mr. Frank, dies, she’s surprised to learn that she is a beneficiary of his will. Thanks to his generosity, she may be one step closer to seeing her dreams become reality—but there’s a catch. Per Mr. Frank’s stipulations, she must go on a road trip to uncover clues that will lead to various historical spots, and she must do so with four other students specifically chosen by Mr. Frank. Including Jake Wyatt, the boy Jolene finds herself fighting hard not to fall for.
Jolene and her fellow road trippers come from different backgrounds, but they share one common goal: to leave their town behind and become something greater than they’re destined for. During their trip, they’ll discover clues that will lead to their reward, as well as learn about themselves, each other, and perhaps gain the greatest prize of all—friendship.
First 250 words:
A large mahogany desk was the only thing separating me from the nasty stench coming from the lawyer sitting behind it. He smelled like a combination of cigarette smoke, sweat, barbecue, and stale liquor.
Maybe I watched too many courtroom dramas on T.V., but I’d always thought lawyers were supposed to be clean-cut and well dressed. I imagined they smelled like aftershave. Not Mr. Talbot, whose name I knew thanks to the plaque that stared me in the face. His appearance gave me the impression that perhaps he’d lost one too many cases. Defeat did not look good on him. His short-sleeved white button down had what looked like a mustard stain on it, and the little amount of gray hair he possessed was unruly and very greasy.
I’d never been to a lawyer’s office. I wasn’t even sure why I was here now. Last week at school, I was called to Principal Edward’s office, where his secretary handed me a sealed envelope. The letter inside said I was to come to the Talbot and Tilmadge Law Office on the 25th of May at four o’clock. I’d never been in trouble, and the only explanation I could come up with for this summons was a case of mistaken identity.
“Can I get you something to drink, Miss Jasper?” Mr. Talbot asked peering over his glasses.
“No, thank you. Um…why exactly am I here?” I asked.