It's time for a pitch contest entry.
This one is Son of a Pitch, and can be found here:
Title: A BRIEF ILLNESS
Age and Genre: Contemporary YA
Word Count: 65,000
Seventeen-year-old Rory Brooks meticulously planned out her entire summer: days at the lake and endless nights at bonfires with her best friend. Her perfectly arranged plans are derailed when her mother ships her off to Alaska for three months with her emotionally distant father and his new start-up family. Her summer is then obliterated when her grandmother Harriet, the only person on her dad’s side of the family she actually knows, has a massive stroke.
Rory is thrown into the role of part time caregiver for her grandmother. Then, in one of her more lucid moments, Gran asks Rory to find someone named "Ace." The only problem is, nobody seems to have heard of him, or they aren't admitting to it. With little more to go on than a box of old romance novels, an obituary citing “a brief illness,” as cause of death, and a folder full of short stories— Rory realizes that she knows hardly anything about her declining grandmother. With summer coming to an end, and Gran’s health rapidly declining, Rory enlists the help of Dylan—the romantic boy next door—to find out just who “Ace” is and why his secrets are worth keeping.
A Brief Illness is contemporary YA, with crossover potential. It is my first novel and complete at 65,000 words. I wrote this after finding a similar obituary for a family member, but I knew that the truth involved a death that was anything but brief. I was inspired to write a story about generations affected by war—about a man who suffered from war, but not at war. A Brief Illness deals with love, forgiveness, family, and finding oneself.
First 250 Words:
Yes, it's sooo beautiful, and sooo scenic. The air is clean, and the vast expanse of green trees and blue skies are the exact things you see in magazines. Alaska has never been that to me though. For me, it's always been the place I have to go every summer.
I checked my phone. Just twenty more minutes in the flight.
“Oh, I love Alaska. The landscape is just so beautiful—unbeatable if you ask me. Did I mention I was coming here to see my sister?”
Poor sister. That meant she was going to have to deal with—what was her name again? Trudy? Cindy? Nancy! It was Nancy, wasn’t it? She’d been invading my space for the entire flight, and I barely knew her. I could only imagine the treatment her poor sister was going to get.
“You did,” I said, pulling my headphones free of the tray-table in front of me.
I’ve been successfully avoiding Alaska since my dad remarried a couple of years ago. If his third marriage was anything like his second (tumultuous, out of control), then I didn’t want to be anywhere near him when that bomb went off.
Where my dad is concerned, the bomb always goes off.
Nancy was thumbing through her phone, invading my seat while she pushed an iPhone screen toward me. On it, a picture of a grey tabby cat.