Title: Throwaway Girl
Genre: YA Contemporary Mystery
Word Count: 75,000
My Main Character’s Most Stressful Relationship is:
Anna may be a star in the pool, but at home she’s worthless in her mother’s eyes, unless she’s washing her clothes or preparing her meals. Anna hates her role in the Patterson Hotel, her cynical name for the house she lives in— if sleeping in the attic and writing poetry is living. But a win at States’ would change her life. She’d only have four more months of her mother’s crap. Anna just needs to hold her breath, stay focused, and float under her mother’s radar. But then, she threatens to pull Anna from the swim team.
When seventeen-year-old star swimmer, Anna Patterson, dives into an ominous situation to help a homeless teen mother, her own tormented life twists into chaos. Suddenly, the State championship and her escape from ‘the mother from hell’ fade in importance as she’s plunged into the underworld of human organ traffickers and murder.
The girl’s baby is left at Anna’s doorstep and she’s got seventy-two hours to find her before he’s lost in the foster system. She seeks help from the one person she never wanted to see again: Jersey Jayde, a badass girl who labeled her Freak Girl, because of her extra finger. Jersey is a savvy veteran of life on the street and the only one Anna can turn to for help—unless you count the mysterious Blaze Worth, six feet of swoon in black leather, who rides a fire-breathing motorcycle and holds the key to Anna’s true identity.
She teams with both of them to find the girl and take down the killers. But though Anna is a champion in the pool, she’s a neophyte on the street. Drugged and abducted, she must use quick-thinking and athletic prowess to battle the leader of the organ traffickers to save her friends and herself. When the gun goes off, Anna swims faster than she’s ever swum before, because this time it’s not a competition and the prize isn’t a coveted scholarship. It’s the race for her life.
First 250 words:
Snowflakes fell cold and wet on Anna’s cheeks as she walked home from swim practice. Her boots crunched the brittle ice and though the cold bit her nose, she stopped to enjoy the white silence before the explosion of ultimatums waiting for her at home. That’s when she heard it— a baby’s cry.
She peered over the Laurel River Bridge.
A girl, cradling a baby in her tattered jacket, crouched against the stone pillars.
“Are you okay?” Anna yelled.
The girl looked up, but Anna couldn’t tell from her wide eyes if she was surprised or scared.
A lock of damp hair slipped from Anna’s hat as she eased down the snowy riverbank. “Do you need help?”
Face-to-face, the girl was a little younger than her, maybe fifteen.
A dented grill sat in a cleared circle on the beach and clothes-filled plastic bags lined the perimeter of a canvas tent pitched under the bridge.
Anna glanced around for something more substantial. “Your baby sounds hungry.” She rummaged to the bottom of her backpack. “Sorry. This is all I have.”
“Thank you. God bless.” The girl stared at Anna’s extra pinky as she chewed the energy bar.
Anna tugged the sleeve of her coat to hide her left hand. It ended an inch above her wrist. Time for a new one. Besides, they needed it more. “Here, keep your baby warm.”
“What’ll you do without it?”
“I don’t have far to go. I won’t freeze to death.” But the wind’s arctic bite already penetrated her sweater.