Monday, October 8, 2012

Small Press Finalist #1 - Race to Butch Cassidy's Gold

MG Mystery


Twelve-year-old Maggie McCoy wants to be brave and spontaneous. But she's not. Especially when it comes to school bullies and flying by the seat of her pants. So when she and her fearless cousin Jake stumble upon century-old clues leading to gold coins hidden by Butch Cassidy—farm boy turned infamous bank robber of the Wild West—she crumples her "to-do" list to prove she really can be daring and impulsive.

And at first, searching for gold with Jake and their quirky Grandpa Jim in his beat-up Winnebago is the grand adventure she's always wanted. But Maggie's newfound courage falters when she learns they must outsmart and outrun a dangerous thief who is also after the treasure.

The race is on. But just as Maggie and Jake think they've solved the mystery, Jake is captured and all the "to-do" lists in the world won't save him. Only Maggie can, if she can find the courage.  

RACE TO BUTCH CASSIDY'S GOLD is a middle grade mystery in which Maggie's present-day adventures parallel Butch Cassidy's past until mystery and history collide. This book stands alone, but can open the door for a series that exposes readers to fast-paced adventures across the fifty states.

First 150 Words:

Twelve seconds until summer vacation. Maggie’s eyes locked on the jerking hand of the classroom clock that counted down the last seconds of sixth grade. Someone in the back of the room began chanting, “Ten, nine, eight—”

Everyone else joined in, “Seven, six—”

Almost time! Maggie thought, sitting at the edge of her seat.

“Five, four—”

Just a few more seconds.




RRRRINGGGG!! The class erupted into cheers.

Maggie jumped out of her seat, slung her pink backpack over her shoulder, and slipped out the classroom door. As she ran down the school’s rickety old steps, she pulled the “to-do” list she had carefully prepared the night before out of her back pocket.

Five minutes. That’s how long she’d given herself to make it to Slotz Convenience Store. She studied the large crowd in front of her and took a deep breath. She examined her bright green digital watch, pushed the start button, and took off running.


Jessa Russo said...

I love this query, and I LOVE the premise. It sounds fantastic and definitely something I'd want to see in my 9yo daughter's hands! You've done a great job, and I have no critique for you.

Unfortunately, Curiosity Quills doesn't take on MG - yet. Good luck in the contest!

Unknown said...

Aww. This is the second time I've seen your query. I love it just as much this time as last. Now that I've seen the first 150 of your ms, my only edit is this:

Maggie’s eyes locked on the jerking hand of the classroom clock that counted down the last seconds of sixth grade.

A) Jerking hand made my mind hurt. Just be clear: second hand.

B) clock that - I know you're trying to avoid too many -ings in one sentence, but just say "clock counting"

C) Maggie's eyes didn't lock, her gaze did.

C) This sentence borders on wordy. If I were to rewrite, this is what I'd say: Maggie stared at the clock, counting down the last seconds of sixth grade. (Now Maggie is counting)

abuckley23 said...

I have to agree with Jessa on this in that I have no edits. I also saw this query on the previous pitch contest and still think it's a great concept!