Title: The Order of Black Hollow Lane
Entry Nickname: The Order of Black
Word Count: 57,000
Genre: MG Mystery
Ginny’s mom is a world-renowned parenting expert with no parenting skills of her own. She doesn’t even give Ginny any warning before shipping her off to a boarding school right before her thirteenth birthday. If only Ginny’s dad was around to look after her, but he disappeared when she was three. She figures she’s heard the last of him.
Then the box arrives. It’s crammed with ornate medallions. There’s no return address, just a note that says, ‘These belonged to your father.’ Ginny thinks it’s just an old heirloom until she sees symbols from the box in an unexpected place: her new boarding school. She starts investigating and finds out her dad was a member of a mysterious student society: The Order of Black Hollow Lane.
At first it seems like nothing more than an old boys’ club, but then Ginny finds evidence that they had something to do with her dad’s disappearance. She’s desperate to learn more about what happened to him, but The Order won’t give up its secrets without a fight. Now Ginny has to decide if finding out what happened to her dad is worth the risk…even if it means risking her life.
First 250 Words:
There are certain things a mother doesn’t really need to know. Trivial things, like whether or not you clipped your toe nails this morning, or that you stepped in something sticky at the park. But the box in Ginny’s nightstand was not one of those things. Ginny knew it wasn’t. And that’s why her fingers twitched every time her mother came into her room.
“Are you ready, dear?” her mom asked as she opened the door. “The press will be here in a few—“ She put her hand to her chest and gasped.
Ginny held her breath. She had put the box away, right? If her mom saw it, if she found out….
Suddenly her mother’s eyes filled with tears.
“Oh Ginny,” she said with a smile, “that dress…you look just…just beautiful.”
Ginny breathed out and picked at the crunchy taffeta on the front of her dress. She had to put the box out of her mind. She needed to focus today.
“Don’t you just love these little pink polka dots?” her mom asked as she brushed Ginny’s hands away from the dress. “They’re all hand-sewn, that’s why they pop out so much!”
It looked like the dress had come down with the measles. The sleeves puffed out like pink toadstools, which would come in handy if Ginny ever needed a place to hide a cat.