Thursday, May 3, 2012


As part of The Writer's Voice competition, I am posting my query for Legasea, as well as the first 250 words of the manuscript.

YA Mystery
67,000 words


When sixteen-year-old Aileen Shay sees a dead girl floating in the bay during a midnight yacht party, she never imagines her new boyfriend may be involved.

The only thing Aileen knows about Jamie Flannigan is that he personifies the one thing she has been drawn to her entire life – the ocean. But as she grows closer to him, she realizes he knows more about the murder than he's telling. He hides the fact that the girl in the bay was his cousin. And when the Flannigans refuse to cooperate with the police, then keep a vicious attack on Jamie's sister a secret, Aileen searches for answers with her childhood crush, Ian Glenn.

Aileen learns that Jamie's family belongs more to myths and legends than they do in the real world. They are selkies, and after they kidnap Aileen and threaten her family, Aileen suspects the Flannigans are responsible for all of the attacks.

But they aren't the only ones keeping secrets. Ian's father as well as Aileen's own grandmother have connections to the attacks. As Aileen uncovers the truth about the murder, the selkies, and her own family, she learns why her soul is bonded to the sea. But with that revelation comes a choice – to permanently sever her connection with the water, which comes at a painful cost, or embrace a legacy that just might get her killed.

First 250:

The moment I stepped onto the boat, I was breaking my mom's number one rule: Never go into the water without parental supervision. But that rule was old, ancient. Would one tiny crack even be noticed?

And more importantly, could a party on a 100 foot yacht be considered breaking the rule? It was more like a party on a private island. Safe as houses, my grandma would say.

Ian stood on the deck with his arm stretched out to me. Mae dug her sharp elbow into my ribs, nudging me toward him. “Come on, Aye. No one's gonna see you out there.”

It was true. The water was black and calm, no light for miles. No one was around to spot me. No one would tell my mom. Even the moon complied by sliding behind a dark cloud.

I still didn't move.

As if sensing my reluctance, the water decided to play devil's advocate. The gentle waves rocked the boat up and down, the motion beckoning me, pleading with me to step off the dock.

“Aileen?” Mae jiggled my arm.

“What? Oh.” While I stood there being the indecisive queen of the world, everyone else had climbed on board. Kids were plunking drinks into coolers, seeking out private places to...ya know, and untying the ropes so they could cast off.

Mae would never let the party leave without her. Thirty more seconds and she would get everyone to join in a rousing chorus of “Come on, Eileen,” a song she'd learned from my dad.

*To see more of my writing, check out the short story blog I share with two other authors: We take submissions.*