Title: JUMPING FENCES
Category/Genre: MG Contemporary
Word Count: 41,000
Is your main character hot or cold?
Here’s a tip. If a girl with a Puerto Rican mom and an Italian dad describes her personality as “cold”, then she’s a lying liar from East Liar-stan. And you can take that to the bank, courtesy of me – Mira Caputo.
I love my dad and my best friend Cecy with all I’ve got inside. As for Luna, the flat out most amazing horse in the world? I’d jump through fire for her. Actual fire. No joke.
What I’m definitely not is a green-eyed, horse-hating, walking ice cube…like someone else I know (I’m looking at you, Peppy Prinsen).
Jumping Fences is about fathers and daughters and unlikely friendships. But most of all, it’s about the powerful bond between a girl and a horse.
A sleepy summer in Connecticut horse country suddenly gets interesting for 12-year-old Mira Caputo, when a headstrong thoroughbred gallops into her life and steals her heart. Luna is spunky, proud, and beautiful. Unfortunately, she also belongs to the pretentious Penelope “Peppy” Prinsen. Mira dislikes Peppy immediately, and the feeling is mutual.
To be with the horse, Mira fakes her way into the wealthy world where Luna lives. She introduces herself as the daughter of her father’s foul-tempered boss, the man whose estate they’ve lived on, and whose horses they’ve cared for, since the death of Mira’s mom. With access to the hunt club secured, Mira revels in early morning rides with Luna – and avoids Peppy like a pile of steaming manure – until she learns that the Prinsens are selling Luna to a third-rate race track.
Rescuing Luna from a life of misery means Mira must somehow change Peppy’s mind about the high-spirited horse. Yet each time she blunders into equestrian high society, with its polo games and horse shows, she risks her dad’s job and the new life they’ve built around it. Mira discovers the key may be to help Peppy stand up to her own domineering father in a very public way. At the hunt club’s biggest event of the summer, Mira must risk all the consequences of discovery to save the horse she loves…and the girl she despises.
First 250 words:
This summer isn’t exactly living up to my expectations. That’s the polite way of saying that falling into a pit of poison ivy would literally be an improvement.
So far there’s only one reason to crawl out of bed. The bad news is, I’m late again.
I throw my hair into a quick ponytail and tuck the t-shirt I slept in into my jeans, then find my way down the dark hall to the ridiculously bright kitchen. The paint color is called ‘cheerful mornings’, like that’s possible. Temporarily blind, I feel around for the fruit bowl and grab three apples.
Horses love apples almost as much as they love those red and white peppermint candies. Unfortunately, Dad stopped buying candy after my last trip to the dentist. Somehow he missed the dentist’s memo about soda, which is the only decent thing that’s happened to me all summer.
Outside, the air smells like salt and buzzes with flies from the nearby barn. I swat at one with my soda can.
“Die, foul beast!”
But it doesn’t die. The stupid things never do. They also don’t spend all summer without their best friend.
I charge down the hill, but skid to a stop at the driveway. It’s covered in perfectly white stones, like a layer of snow that I’m not allowed to mess up. So I ballerina-toe my way across, arms way out to my sides for balance. I’m the world’s most ridiculous tightrope walker – a soda and apple in one hand and two apples in the other.