TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT: The Lion Within
GENRE: YA Light Science Fiction
WORD COUNT: 85,000
When sixteen-year-old Renna Healy’s doctor-dad dragged her to Kenya two years ago for anger management training, she couldn’t imagine a worse punishment. But the practical therapy of living in extreme poverty has changed her and she’s confident she’s learned to control her temper, and is ready to return to the states. The bummer is leaving the village and her Irish boyfriend, Sean behind.
Not far into a goodbye-to-Africa-trek with her dad, a diseased lion, serving as host to a rare queen Thom beetle, attacks them, killing her dad and injuring Renna. She contracts a virus from the lion, which mutates her DNA, giving her increased senses, strength, and agility. With her new skills, the Kenyan tribe expects Renna to destroy the sick lion so that the Thom beetles will stop hatching and die before ravaging Africa. But without her dad there to help control her blind rage, which is worse than ever, the lion has the advantage in a fight.
Renna moves to Wisconsin to live with her uncle, and covertly prepare for battle. She’s determined to harness her inner beast so she can return to Africa and successfully exterminate the lion. What she doesn’t bargain for is being the new girl in the hardest place to keep a secret and control her anger—high school.
THE LION WITHIN is an 85,000 word, young adult light science fiction novel.
First 150 Words:
Insects skittered across the shower curtain. Renna ignored them and focused on the warm bucket of water running through the spout over her head. After two years in Kenya she had the timing down. Three minutes. Shampoo. Soap. Rinse. Fast.
She couldn’t remember how many days it had been since she’d thoroughly washed. The village was a dusty place and water was heavy to carry. She knew it was stupid to bathe before her last hiking date with her dad, but showering had benefits. Renna knew her boyfriend, Sean couldn’t resist running his fingers through her thick brown hair after she conditioned. Only one week, she thought, and I have to say goodbye to the first guy I’ve ever loved. She bit her lip to keep from crying, again.
A lime green beetle, about the length of her pointer finger, distracted Renna as it climbed to the middle of the shower curtain.