Friday, October 25, 2013


Genre: YA realistic
Word Count: 65,000

My Main Character's Greatest Fear:

Rani’s greatest fear is she’ll travel the course her parents mapped out for her. One that she doesn’t want, and her life will linger away, before she can realize her deepest desires and capabilities.


Please consider my 65,000-word realistic YA novel, UNDER THE BODHI TREE.

All Rani Sekhar wants is Nick. And the cute, friendly, soccer-loving boy wants her back. But her strict, traditional Indian parents will have none of it. When Rani is caught red-handed, her furious parents pack her off to India for the summer.

Heart-broken, bored, and pissed off, Rani asks questions about a mysterious former housemaid named Shoba, who’s buried in the family plot. They lead her to answers, but not to the ones she expected: Rani was adopted, Shoba is her real mother, and they belong to a group so shunned no one even talks about them, Dalits.

Formerly known as "untouchables," they’re treated like lepers, a class so scorned they’re considered nonexistent. But they do exist, and Rani is drawn into the intricate world of centuries-old caste system, where rapes, murders, and indignities against India’s underclass are common occurrences. She commits to providing hardworking Dalit women with proper skills, so they can get decent work and regain their honor and self-respect. In turn, Rani realizes her life’s purpose, and, eventually, reconnects with the boy who started her on her journey to self-fulfillment.

I am the author of A KILLING STRIKES HOME (Goldminds Publishing, LLC: January, 2013).

UNDER THE BODHI TREE, a realistic, multicultural YA novel with elements of romance that affirms “who you come from doesn’t determine who you become,” is complete and ready for review.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to your reply.

First 250 words:

It sucked to be different, to be the only Indian girl within a hundred-mile radius. Maybe, even a thousand.

Why did her parents have to settle in this godforsaken place? Why not California or the East Coast? Yes, Almond Joy thought living in this small town was hell. That was what her classmates called her. White on the inside, brown on the outside. The almonds? No one explained, but it probably stood for the shape of her eyes. They said it was an endearment.

Rani Sekhar didn’t think so.

Her last year served as a stepping stone to college, with no other purpose. While other kids looked forward to homecoming dances, proms, or senior trips, she was ready to leave it behind and move on to the real world.

Rani climbed out of her white V.W. Golf and slung her backpack over her shoulder. She followed the pavement to where Sophie leaned against the bronze statue of their school’s mascot, a nine-foot bucking bronco.

“How was your weekend?”

Sophie shrugged. “You?”

Endless. “Okay, I guess,” Rani said.

“Kip’s in AP Physics with you.”

School started two weeks before. “Yeah, I—”

 “Hey, look. There he is,” Sophie said.


“The new guy. Everyone was buzzing about him all weekend. No one transfers here. Ever.”

An extravaganza was to be expected. Because a national news magazine had listed their town of thirteen thousand as one of the best for retirement in the Midwest, mostly old people relocated to Franklin.

“Not interested,” Rani said.


  1. Love! SHRIEK!!! (Please send pages/pitch/synopsis to

  2. Would love to read this entire MS- it's exactly what I'm looking for. SCREAM!!!

    You can send the pages & query letter to

  3. SHRIEK! Love when a great story can also educate -- please send pages + query to clelia Thanks!

  4. Shriek! Very much up my alley! Please send pages to with the subject line 'Nightmare Query'

  5. Shriek! Please email queryroseanne at gmail with the subject line Nightmare Query. Thanks!

  6. I'm late to the game, but I'd love to take a look. Shriek! Please send a query, synopsis and first pages to: