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Amy Trueblood's Blog


“20 in 2018” Celebrates THE CALCULUS OF CHANGE and PEOPLE LIKE US

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 27 February 2018 · 122 views


One of the things I’m incredibly happy about is being a part of the Class of 2K18 and supporting my good friends as their book babies make it out into the world.

The Class of 2K18 is a group of 20 talented Young Adult and Middle Grade writers who have their first books releasing in 2018! We’ve come together not only to support one another but also help promote each other’s titles.

My new series, titled “20 in 2018” features a new release from the Class of 2K18 and will include the cover, blurb, and buy links for that debut. At the end of the week, I’ll be giving away that book (or books) as we do have some writers who share a book birthday!

To enter, all you have to do is leave a name and contact info in the comments below by Friday, March 2 at 11 p.m. EST. Email or Twitter handle is just fine! U.S. entries only please. Winner will be announced on Monday, March 5.

Today there are TWO books in the “20 in 2018″ giveaway…



A poignant and empowering teen novel of grief, unrequited love, and finding comfort in one’s own skin.

Aden isn’t looking for love in her senior year. She’s much more focused on things like getting a solo gig at Ike’s and keeping her brother from illegal herbal recreation. But when Tate walks into Calculus class wearing a yarmulke and a grin, Aden’s heart is gone in an instant.

The two are swept up in a tantalizingly warm friendship, complete with long drives with epic soundtracks and deep talks about life, love, and spirituality. With Tate, Aden feels closer to her mom—and her mom’s faith—than she has since her mother died years ago. Everyone else—even Aden’s brother and her best friend—can see their connection, but does Tate?

Navigating uncertain romance and the crises of those she loves, Aden must decide how she chooses to see herself and how to honor her mom’s memory.

Now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound.




Kay Donovan may have skeletons in her closet, but the past is past, and she’s reinvented herself entirely. Now she’s a star soccer player whose group of gorgeous friends run their private school with effortless popularity and acerbic wit. But when a girl’s body is found in the lake, Kay’s carefully constructed life begins to topple.

The dead girl has left Kay a computer-coded scavenger hunt, which, as it unravels, begins to implicate suspect after suspect, until Kay herself is in the crosshairs of a murder investigation. But if Kay’s finally backed into a corner, she’ll do what it takes to survive. Because at Bates Academy, the truth is something you make…not something that happened.

Now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound.


Want to win a copy of one of these beautiful books? Remember to leave your name and contact info in the comments. Please specify which book you would like. If open to either, please let me know.






2018 Sun versus Snow Agent Round is Here!!

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 07 February 2018 · 152 views




Today is the day our amazing agents can begin reading the Team Sun entries and making requests. Not only will they see the amazing entries here, but they can also make requests for Team Snow over at Michelle Hauck’s blog!

As the agents move through the entries, please remember that contests are subjective. Our agents have a definitive idea of what they would like for their list. If they do not request, it DOES NOT mean the entry was not worthy. No matter what happens, you’ve got to keep querying and NEVER GIVE UP!

Before Team Sun totally blisters Team Snow, here are some guidelines to remember:

There is no commenting in this round except for agents. Sorry, but no cheerleading as this may lead to an unconscious bias.

We are happy to see and retweet your thoughts and cheers over on Twitter under the #sunvssnow tag! That’s the place to hang out and have fun! I hope to see my Team Sun members present and waving their pom poms! We have some scorching hot entries that are going to completely melt Team Snow!

Watch both my and Michelle’s Twitter feed as we will be tweeting when an agent makes an appearance!

Agents will consider entries at both the blogs regardless of whether they are Sun or Snow fans. Michelle and I are hoping the agents go crazy with the requests! There is amazing talent on both our teams!

Good luck to all and be sure to get out the sunglasses and sunscreen because the heat is coming for Team Snow!



SVS 1: Everything Comes Back To You – Adult Women’s Fiction

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 07 February 2018 · 137 views



Category/Genre: Adult – Women’s Fiction

Word count: 87,000


Is your antagonist hot or cold? 

When Anna was young, there were a lot of kids that made fun of her—for her thrift store clothes that smelled like her mom’s cigarettes, for the free meal tickets she had to hand the lunch ladies in front of everybody. But nobody was ever as deliberately cruel and cold as Camille. Anna had nothing, and nobody except for her best friend, Gabe. But Camille wanted Gabe and saw Anna as competition. Like an avalanche plowing down a frost-bound mountain, Camille wouldn’t stop until she swept Anna from her path.



Anna trusts her best friend Gabe with her life. But even after almost two decades, trusting him with her heart is a different story.

Sixteen-year-old Anna Campbell can’t even count the number of times she’s come home to find the rent money gone and her mother passed out with a needle in her arm. Making friends is impossible—someone might find out what’s going on with her mother, and she’s too busy with a college program that could finally help her escape the chaos at home. But when her partner on a class project is Gabe Weatherall, a wealthy college student whose life couldn’t be more different than her own, she has an unexpected glimpse of what she’s missing.

Not only does Gabe make her laugh, he sees past her shabby clothes and snarky comebacks. When he draws her into his huge, loving family, he offers her a safe place and a chance to belong. But Anna’s childhood scars are deep, and she knows she’ll never fit into the Weatheralls’ world. She takes off to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor and traveling the world, leaving behind the family she almost had.

When unexpected circumstances bring Anna home over a decade later, she’s thrust back into the whirlwind of the Weatheralls, and she can no longer deny the feelings she’s had for Gabe for close to half her life. But secrets from her childhood surface, and people from her troubled past return, threatening the tenuous new life she’s built. Anna will have to decide if she can let go of her past to take a chance on a future with the people who’ve been there all along.

EVERYTHING COMES BACK TO YOU, women’s fiction, is complete at 87,000 words. Readers who appreciate love stories that endure across time, distance, and economic backgrounds, such as Jennifer Weiner’s WHO DO YOU LOVE and Renee Carlino’s SWEAR ON THIS LIFE, will enjoy this book.


First 250 words:

Anna Campbell took a shaky breath to calm the jackhammer in her chest as her professor rattled off a list of names from the podium. The guy seated to her right shot a pointed look at her scuffed sneaker, and she pressed a hand to her leg to still the nervous tapping.

The person whose name her professor was about to call had no idea that Anna’s future was riding on them. As one of only a handful of high school kids who qualified for this competitive college program, this project was her shot at a scholarship, at a life where she wasn’t always looking over her shoulder.

The sharp crinkle of paper in Dr. McGovern’s hand echoed through the lecture hall as his finger slid down the list and then stopped.

Anna clutched the hem of her ratty hand-me-down t-shirt, its bright orange hue glowing like a beacon as she waited for her partner’s name.

“Gabriel Weatherall.”

Her gaze flew across the room to the tall, dark-haired guy slouched in his chair, idly rolling his pen between his fingers.

He hitched his chin to acknowledge her, and then looked away. Less than a second later, his head whipped back, and his mouth dropped open in an almost comical enactment of a double take.

Well, it would’ve been comical if her whole life wasn’t at stake.

She forced herself to flash him a friendly smile. As his eyebrows raised and his lip curled, Anna felt her scholarship slipping from her grasp.



SVS 2: Bloodstone – Adult Urban Fantasy

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 07 February 2018 · 137 views



Category/Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy

Word count: 77,000


Is your antagonist hot or cold?

Hot! My antagonists passionately believe in their cause–to set things right and undo the injustices perpetrated against them.



When Katelyn Grey inherits the family brownstone, she’s keen to learn about the family she never knew. But the family hid secrets, including that she’s descended from Celtic witches and has magic abilities. Her attempts at casting spells go awry, annoying the sentient brownstone and confusing the already rattled resident ghost.

There’s no time to figure things out. Someone is stalking her. Katelyn barricades the doors and digs her heels in. Her inheritance includes a mystical key, and they want it–at any cost. Katelyn is given an ultimatum: hand over the key or her stepmother and sister will die. The only problem is that to find the key, she needs magic.

Katelyn must find a way to tame magic to save the family she has, even if it means exposing the dark secrets of her other family’s past. Each secret she uncovers will change her forever.


First 250 words:

I’d never been far from home. I never had the need until a lawyer showed up on my doorstep two days ago. Now, I sat in the back of a cab driving through a seaside town on the other side of the country.

As we turned down a cobblestone street, I took a deep breath and relaxed. The trees sparkled with yellow leaves fluttering in the breeze. Identical brownstones lined both sides of the street, each three stories high with skinny black shutters. Wrought iron rails led up stairs to tall, mahogany doors. Signs of life were everywhere: a toy truck sat on a step, a package leaned against a door, a rake stuck out of a pile of leaves.

The cab stopped in front of the one with chipped and faded bricks. Twigs jutted out of the planters. Grime coated the beveled green windows, and cobwebs traveled from the doorframe up to a mass of webbing.

The taxi retreated while I stood on the sidewalk gripping my suitcase. A heavy lump settled in my stomach. I double-checked the address before heading toward the brownstone. My aunt willed it to me along with instructions.

I hesitated with the key in the lock. Then, I closed my eyes and turned the key. As the door opened, a surge of stale air rushed past me, as if the house breathed a sigh of relief.

A strange sensation washed over me. I had never seen a picture of this place, let alone been inside it. Yet, it felt familiar.



SVS 3: The Broken Road – Adult Women’s Fiction

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 07 February 2018 · 133 views



Category/Genre: Adult – Women’s Fiction

Word count: 107,000


Is your antagonist hot or cold?

My antagonist isn’t a person, so I’ll describe the weather. My novel begins during fall in Iowa, the oaks and maples painted in vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows. The second half of the novel takes place during winter in the ranchlands of Wyoming. The ranch is cradled in a snowy valley, protected by the foothills and Medicine Bow forest.



Dear Agent,

Thirty-four-year-old Dana Cooper is one of the best horse trainers in the country until an accident leaves her paralyzed. Now she spends her days in physical rehabilitation, angry at the world, at her family who avoids her, and at her boyfriend who left her. What’s the point of rehab when she’ll never walk again, never train another horse? The only thing she wants is to save her horse, who was also injured in the accident. When she meets Matt Ross, a veterinarian and friend of a fellow rehab patient, Dana’s wish becomes a reality.

Although Matt appears confident and cocky on the outside, his life is unraveling. His divorce and separation from his two sons are bad enough. Now he feels responsible for the accident that leaves his best friend, Renn, paralyzed. When Renn introduces Matt to Dana and asks him to save her horse, Matt only agrees out of guilt. After meeting the bitter horse trainer, Matt wonders if he’s made a mistake. But as he gets to know Dana, he catches glimpses of a different woman beneath her anger.

Dana tries to fight her growing attraction to Matt, scared to open her heart, certain that love is another thing she’ll never have again after her accident. But Matt’s the first person who gets her back on a horse, showing her she can still ride, and she’s impressed by the bond he develops with her horse. When Dana’s family abandons her after she’s released from rehab, she feels like her life is over. So when Matt asks her to go to Wyoming because his granddad is gravely ill, she takes a chance and says yes. As they come together in the vast and wild ranchlands of Wyoming, they’ll both have to choose between hanging on to the past or forging a new present together.

THE BROKEN ROAD is an epic novel that can best be described as Me Before You meets The Horse Whisperer. I have direct experience with the physical and emotional impact of spinal cord injuries. My teenage daughter has paraplegia as the result of a broken back.


First 250 words:

Dana was about to prove them all wrong. The thought made her smile to herself as she walked down the long aisle of the horse barn, the fall leaves crunching beneath her boots. A gust of wind stirred the leaves, sending a chill through her, making her zip up her fleece coat.

She stopped halfway down the aisle and stood outside of the stall, peering at the bay horse inside. He looked back at her with his wary brown eyes, with a hint of distrust she wasn’t sure would ever disappear.

“You ready for this?” she asked him, reaching for the handle. As soon as the latch clicked, he jumped back, spooked by the sound.

“Easy,” she said in a calm voice. “Easy, Wild Man.”

She stepped into the stall and reached for Wild’s halter, getting a firm grip on it in case he lurched forward. His nostrils flared, expelling a breath of air so strong, it blew Dana’s strawberry blonde hair away from her face. “You’re fine,” she said, giving his neck several firm pats, trying to loosen him up, hoping he’d absorb her confidence.

She secured him in the crossties and took her time grooming him, talking to him, letting the motion of the curry comb and the brushes sooth his quivering muscles.

Dana didn’t normally get overly attached to the horses she trained, but there was something different about Wild. No one else noticed him at the sale barn, but underneath his wild eyes and trembling body, she saw a champion.




SVS 4: Derek Hyde Knows Spooky When He Sees It – Middle Grade Paranormal

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 07 February 2018 · 112 views



Category/Genre: Middle Grade Paranormal

Word count: 43,000


Is your antagonist hot or cold? 

My antagonist is cold as brass monkey bars. In Alaska. In February. Before Global Warming. His name is Norval Nussbaum, and he’s not only calm and calculating, he’s coldly cynical and brrrr-utily bad.



Dear Sun vs. Snow Agents,

Twelve-year-old Derek Hyde isn’t tingling with undiluted joy that the spookiest old mansion in town is about to become the Hyde Funeral Home & Used Coffin Outlet. Especially since he has to live there with his mortician parents, Jack and Formalda.

Of course, being driven in the family hearse to his first day at middle school doesn’t exactly add whipped cream to his broccoli.

As if things couldn’t get more horrific, an evil classmate named Nussbaum attacks him in the cafeteria with a plate of beef stroganoff. Seems this kid used to love living in the old mansion himself, but got yanked out after accidentally blowing up his own mom and dad. With his chemistry set. Now his dead parents are stuck as ghosts and Nussbaum is a foster kid stuck on revenge, vowing to get even with Derek’s family for taking over his haunted home.

Derek desperately craves a nice place to live, but a couple of minor details stand in his way—just some blood-curdling apparitions that scare the pants off him and a classmate bent on ensuring he ends up in his parents’ embalming room. As a client.

DEREK HYDE KNOWS SPOOKY WHEN HE SEES IT may appeal to young readers who enjoy the creepiness and humor of PARANORMAN and Lauren Magaziner’s THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN WITCHES.


First 250 words:

There are far worse things in life than being raised in a funeral home. For example, you could… um…

Okay, here’s one. You could have your brains eaten alive and slurped down by cranky, overworked zombies who haven’t had their morning coffee.

Or how about this? You could be stuffed into a spin dryer at Leo’s Laundromat & Hideous Stain Removal Service and set to Extra Dry/Huge Load.

But Derek Hyde wasn’t eaten and he definitely wasn’t spin dried, either. Just driven to the narcoleptic town of Littleburp in the family car (actually, an old yellow school bus), and then to a really unfortunate and grossly undesirable address: 1313 Slimeytoes Lane.

As the bus splashed its way through a beautifully timed thunderstorm on the worst day of Derek’s life (so far), his mom and dad worked at keeping his spirits up by singing their favorite, most embarrassing song: Poopy Head, Poopy Head, Don’t You Be a Poopy Head.

It didn’t help.

It was bad enough his parents dragged Derek out of his seventh grade class and away from all his friends to limp across the country in a broken-down bus on this Journey to Nowhere. Much worse was the notion of moving him into a spooky old manor house they planned to convert into a funeral home.

You see, his parents were funeral directors. Morticians. Undertakers.

On this appropriately stormy autumn day, Derek watched through rain-streaked windows as they screeched to a halt in front of the scariest mansion he’d ever seen.

It had towers. With turrets.





SVS 5: The Bees in Egypt – Middle Grade Fantasy

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 07 February 2018 · 60 views



Category/Genre: MG Adventure/Fantasy

Word count: 40,000


Is your antagonist hot or cold?

Despite the fact that Khufu lives in the blistering heat of the Egyptian desert, an icy cold chill can be felt whenever he’s around. A long-preserved anger has been buried deep in his soul for as long as anyone can remember and it’s showing no sign of thawing.



Dear Sun Vs. Snow Agents,

When 12-year-old Hamish Bee is forced to spend the summer holidays with an eccentric uncle and two annoying younger sisters buzzing around him, he wishes he could fast-forward to the end of the holidays and be done with it. He almost gets his wish when Uncle Alastair introduces them to his latest invention, which he describes as a “virtual reality prototype.” But one teensy-tiny glitch and a Very Bad Decision later, Hamish finds himself with the two smaller Bees in the middle of a swarm of pyramid-builders in Ancient Egypt.

Almost immediately they’re discovered by the young, troubled King Amenhotep, who insists that they join him at his palace. He’s intrigued by their strange clothing, and is just superstitious enough to believe they’ve been sent by a divine force to help him.

If bickering with his mutinous sisters in the desert heat while fretting about the vanished time machine aren’t trying enough, Hamish learns of a shadowy murder plot to overthrow their new royal friend. Hoping to buy time in order to determine who exactly wants Amenhotep dead (and why), the children flee with the King… the sting in the tail being they’ve now become targets by association.

With adversaries hot on their heels, the children must uncover a conspiracy and defeat a nefarious villain who is much closer than they ever imagined. And if they can manage all that, they’ve still got to find a way home or the honey-loving people of Ancient Egypt will be acquiring three extra Bees—forever.


First 250 words:

There’s a particular combination of feelings that only ever happens in the instant you realise you’ve made a Very Bad Decision.

You may have experienced it; the ground no longer appears to be beneath your feet, the blood in your veins is replaced with icy cold liquid, a concrete ball of fear has landed in your stomach, and a high-pitched screaming sound (“Undo it!” “Take it back!” or some variation on that theme) fills your head.

As a result of a very specific recipe of circumstances, Hamish, Bernie, and Callie—otherwise known as the Bee children—were being collectively subjected to that very combination as they hovered between the floor of the laboratory and the ceiling overhead.

To be fair, the day hadn’t started out so oddly. Hamish had returned home from school filled with the type of joy only the last day of term can bring; endless summer days loomed ahead, no classes, no homework, all about to be kicked off with the annual family summer holiday.

He was met at the garden gate by twin glares.

“Holiday’s cancelled,” Bernie said, by way of welcome. She wasn’t the type to elaborate.

Hamish looked to Callie for more detail.

“Aye, it’s true.” Callie took a big breath—a sure sign that it was not going to be a quick explanation.

Hamish leaned against the garden wall in preparation. And that, he would later realise, was precisely the point where it all began to unravel.





SVS 6: Warriors Rising: The Hunt – Middle Grade Urban Fantasy (Ownvoices)

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 07 February 2018 · 54 views



Category/Genre: Upper Middle Grade Urban Fantasy (Ownvoices)

Word count: 68,000


Is your antagonist hot or cold?

I find this question insulting. As I am Mao, the powerful mistress of the last known warrior society on Earth, of course my greatness cannot be encompassed by a vague term such as ‘hot’ or ‘cold’. I have, however, been told that my love for my warrior son burns almost as bright as my hatred for those blood traitor brats, and that I have an unmatched ability for keeping cool in adverse situations—except the ones involving those insufferable blood traitors.



Dear Agents,

In a Chinese warrior society on the outskirts of San Francisco’s chinatown, all thirteen-year-old Faryn Liu wants is to protect her people from demons just as her father once did. Too bad she and her younger brother, Alex, are marked as blood traitors, unworthy of wielding swords because they’re half Chinese. Still, under the watchful eye of their grandfather, the siblings train in secret, hoping to someday prove themselves worthy.

When Faryn sneaks into town to buy medicine for her grandfather, she helps a warrior god save the people from an ancient Chinese demon. Faryn’s bravery activates the magic of a powerful spear, and marks her as a warrior destined for the greatest honor—to guard the ruler of the gods, the Jade Emperor, as a Heavenly General. That is, if she can fulfill a quest to find an island of the immortals before the last day of the Lunar New Year.

Spurred by their grandfather’s dying wishes and hints that their missing father might be on that island, Faryn and Alex set off seeking ultimate honor. As the siblings defeat demons and treacherous gods on the road to glory, they realize their multiracial identity might actually make them the most powerful warriors of all. But the brutality of her god-given power, along with the threat of war between the gods and demons, forces Faryn to question the virtuousness of the gods. Becoming a Heavenly General means fulfilling a multi-generational dream, but at the cost of turning her back on what she knows is right: protecting the people of Earth.

Steeped in Chinese mythology as well as questions of racial identity, WARRIORS RISING: THE HUNT is a 68,000 word standalone Upper Middle Grade Fantasy with series potential, and will appeal to fans of Rick Riordan’s PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS.


First 250 words:

On the eve of the Lunar New Year, the demons invaded.

Golden lions and red dragons danced down the streets. Creatures with the heads of fearsome beasts and the hands and feet of costumed humans. They paraded past squealing children, dancing to the beat of drummers and explosions of firecrackers.

Every corner of San Francisco’s Chinatown lit up with red lanterns hanging from rooftops. Men, women, and children crowded the streets, purchasing dumplings from shouting vendors and exchanging packets of money, hong bao, to ring in the year of the horse.

“Look, sun zi,” said an old woman next to me. She nudged her grandson. “It’s time for the annual parade of the Jade Society warriors.”

My pain-in-the-butt younger brother’s words echoed in my head. Get into town, get our grandfather’s medicine, and get out, Alex had insisted. Yet I couldn’t resist pausing to watch the show. A procession of teenage boys and their fathers, clad in bronze armor from head to foot, marched in two neat rows toward the costumed dragons. Five horses carried riders in the front. Both lines stopped when they met in the middle of the square.

The crowd quieted in the presence of the most powerful men in Chinatown. I mean, these guys were literally on their high horses.

Mr. Wei, the chef who ran the most prosperous restaurant in Chinatown, rode beside his short, trollish-looking son, Yao. Behind Yao was Luhao, a lanky boy with a long, narrow face, permanently fixed in a leer.





SVS 7: The Symptoms of Dying – Middle Grade LGBT Magical Realism

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 07 February 2018 · 57 views



Category/Genre: MG LGBT – Magical Realism

Word count: 41,000


Is your antagonist hot or cold?

Anxiety and depression are never hot or cold—they can be both. Here, though, they’re cold. Always cold, gripping, making sure to tighten their hold on everyone’s hearts and throats. They freeze everyone before people can think or act.



Dear Sun Vs. Snow Agents,

Twelve-year-old Jacob Allen has a secret: he has a crush on his best friend—a boy. At least, it used to be a secret. Now that his family knows, they’ve got plenty to say about how a relationship with another boy could never work. As lecture-induced panic attacks begin to steal away the person he thought he was, Jacob starts keeping an even bigger secret: he’s going to run away from home. He’ll leave any day now. It’ll be easy—not a soul knows about his plans.

Except his cousin, Olivia.

Twelve-year-old Olivia Taylor has been in a coma for almost a year, but she doesn’t know it. As far as she knows, she has spent the last months with an aunt, living in an empty coffee shop. Then she starts hearing the voice of a mysterious boy who’s planning to run away from home—he’s just outside the shop door, but it’s locked, and she can’t find the key. Olivia is desperate to help him. Until the boy tells her terrible things about an accident and a girl stuck in a coma, and then she’s no longer certain she wants to find her way out.

Jacob already feels lost to a family that can’t accept him, and when Olivia’s doctors say that he’ll need to let her go if she doesn’t improve soon, his anxiety climaxes to a crippling point.

To help Jacob, Olivia must open a door that’s been locked for as long as she can remember. She isn’t sure she’s ready to face the real world, but if she doesn’t find the key soon, it’ll be too late to save Jacob…and herself.


First 250 words:

We’re not at the hospital for me, but my back really hurts. A lot. Probably because of the floor.

Most people don’t know this, but after Mom and I close Kustard Kones: Ice Cream Parlor, we make a nest of blankets on the floor and tuck in for the night.

Keeping the parlor alive costs a lot of money and what’s left of it is drained by the hospital bills. Once upon a time, Kustard Kones was a family business. Now everything’s on Mom’s shoulders, because the rest of the family is dead.

Except my cousin—Olivia.

The accident killed my aunt and uncle, and left Olivia in a coma. Because of her, we had to sell our house and start sleeping on the floor. Because of her, it’s bye bye to tons of money every month.

But Mom doesn’t want to turn the machines off, because Olivia’s soul is still there, still alive. I’m not sure I believe in souls, but I don’t want to become a killer.

I hate sleeping on the floor, sure, but I don’t hate Olivia.

Okay, maybe a little. But it’s harder to hate her when we’re at the hospital.

Mijos!” The call comes from the door leading to the patients’ rooms. It’s Nana García. She’s a very short, thin woman who likes to keep her dark hair in a bun. Like, always. Every time I see her, she’s exactly the same—and I’ve seen her plenty of times over the last ten months.




SVS 8: All The Words I Didn’t Say – Young Adult Contemporary

  Posted by Amy Trueblood , 07 February 2018 · 173 views



Category/Genre: YA Contemporary

Word count: 71,000


Is your antagonist hot or cold?

We are riddles.

We work in shifty ways, enigmatic. Omnipresent yet sometimes absent, containable yet without substance to hold. We are duplicitous. We go incognito, disguising ourselves as bravery, as anger. We can make our host spit blazing hot nails of words, burning those who stand in her way. And we can freeze her clean through, her outer walls hardening to steely armor—and still, she burns, but with frostbite.

We’re the same and different—pride and fear. So much easier to name us than shake us.



Dear Agents:

United States senator’s daughter Angelica Chavez-Schuyler is hell-bent on two things: proving she’s the best high school debater in the country and protecting her empathetic-to-a-fault sister, Issy. Then Ang meets Alex, the only rival debater who’s ever been able match her wit and intellect. He muddies her focus, eats up her precious time, and argues his way right into her heart.

Making matters worse, Issy’s completely smitten with Alex, too.

When an anonymous but scandalous tweet—the kind that could damage her father’s presidential hopes—goes live, Ang is to blame. Issy, who wants to be the stronger sister for once, covers for Ang, claiming responsibility for the social media misfire. Knocked off balance by Issy’s sacrifice, Ang decides she will repay her debt by giving up the boy she might be in love with. Chin held high, Ang denies her affection for Alex, which gives Issy the space to act upon her interest.

Yet Ang isn’t able to logic away her true feelings. As she watches Issy and Alex’s ascent into cute coupledom, she finds herself living with a bruised heart. In an attempt to erase Alex from her mind, Ang studies harder and practices debate until she’s out of words. She even spite-dates Alex’s debate partner. Yet the more she runs from her emotions, the harder they chase. As the Regional Debate Tournament looms, the only thing standing between Ang and her destiny is Alex. With just one slot for Nationals available, it’s either him or her. Ang knows she must outdebate Alex and vanquish her traitorous feelings for him. If she fails, she loses her dream of Nationals—and risks breaking her fragile sister.

ALL THE WORDS I DIDN’T SAY is a loose retelling of sections of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton: The Musical” but with a re-imagined, modern-day Angelica Schuyler at the forefront. It will appeal to readers of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl with its emphasis on sisters and the dynamics of pride and vulnerability.


First 250 words:

I’m sneaking out of the house tonight. I shouldn’t. If anyone on this big dirty earth is supposed to be a Good Little Girl, it’s yours truly.

Yet even senators’ daughters get itchy for a good time. Maybe even especially senators’ daughters. Being vaulted into the role of Prominent U.S. Senator’s kid is kind of an extraordinary experience. Yet sometimes, I just want life to be ordinary.

Going to a Friday night house party with my sister strikes me as an Intensely Average thing for a seventeen-year-old to do. And I’ve never done it before.

Mom’s long asleep. Peggy—the youngest, brattiest Schuyler sister—is too. Dad isn’t even home; he’s working on a Health Care bill around the clock, sleeping at the office between meetings. As it turns out, it’s easy to get out of our house unnoticed. Put a little vegetable oil on our door hinges early in the day to prevent squeaking later on. Skip that fourth-to-the-last stair, the creaky one. Snag a Peanut Butter Power Ball out of my stash to throw to Rex, our enthusiastic mutt, which soothes his fragile doggie feelings and glues his mouth temporarily shut. Easy.

Rex is technically Issy’s dog. Yet sometimes she forgets to fill his water bowl or give him his Milk-Bone after a successful potty break. I take care of Rex almost as much as I take care of Issy.

Sometimes I forget she’s only a year younger than I am.

The party’s only a few blocks away, so we walk, despite the summer-remnant damp that hangs on long into the night.




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