Title: VERA WITH A VENGEANCE
Entry Nickname: Delicious Vicious Cycles
Word count: 74K
Genre: YA Contemporary, Own Voices
17-year-old entrepreneur Vera Davis starts a business to sell revenge in VERA WITH A VENGEANCE, a 74,000-word young adult contemporary novel. Vera and I are both Jewish and sexual assault survivors.
When a car accident paralyzes Vera’s college basketball hotshot brother and kills her parents, she’s suddenly in charge of the medical bills, the mortgage, and her own anger and helplessness. Vera’s always been good at getting back at people who hurt her, but she can’t exactly get revenge on the curve in the road where her father lost control of the car.
Meager insurance payouts leave Vera desperate for money, so she starts a business: when the traditional justice system fails her clients, Vera wrecks wrongdoers’ careers and cars, relationships and reputations. She revels in taking down racists and sexual assaulters, but her crush–her brother’s best friend–thinks her style of vengeance is morally wrong.
Then, while helping a client get payback for a leaked nude picture, Vera finds new evidence about her family’s “accident.” Turns out there is someone for Vera to blame, but the perpetrator had her own very good reason to seek vengeance.
Now Vera must decide whether getting even is worth getting blood on her hands.
This creeper keeps staring at me with this little half smile, like he thinks I want his eyes undressing me. His face, all chin and cheekbones, reeks of always getting what he wants—women, money, free drinks in first class en route to Ibiza. I want to walk away, but his wife is shopping for an evening gown, and I need the commission to pay the energy bill.
I focus on her, and hold up a green dress to hide my body. “This would look great with your eyes.”
Her eyes are blue, but the green dress sells well, and if she buys it, I’ll hit the monthly quota for a higher commission percentage. I can only work so much after school, and I have to make the hours count.
She turns to Creeper. “What do you think?”
“I’d like to see more.” His eyes flicker down to my calves and back up to my chest. For all his wife can tell, he’s checking out the dress, but his gaze burns my skin.
I hold the dress higher to cover my breasts and look at my boss for rescue. He mouths work it. If I didn’t need this job so badly…I force myself to smile.
Creeper’s gold smartwatch buzzes, and he glances away from me. Those watches cost ten grand. Ten grand would keep the lights on and pay for three months of the mortgage. Ten grand could keep Levi and me from losing the house our parents raised us in.