Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 54,000
My main character is most uncomfortable with:
The blazing beam of the sun while she and her other nine siblings are out picking food in their ten-acre garden every day of summer.
Seventeen-year-old Dani is one of ten, soon to be eleven kids, who films YouTube videos rife with homespun goodness on the family farm. Although the videos are made for earthy, crunchy mamas, Dani is a-okay with doing them—anything for the family. With Momma determined to keep popping out babies until they can land their own reality show, Dani's too busy chasing the little ones to ask questions.
It isn't until she meets fellow YouTuber and high school reporter Duncan that she examines her life and her place in the family. After being blamed for an accident involving a sibling, Dani rebels by making a YouTube video that protests her individuality.
When the video goes viral it attracts a TV producer who offers them Momma's long-sought after dream. But there's a catch—the family must follow a carefully written script. Dani has to choose whether to accept the role the TV execs have planned for her, or to forge her own path, except doing so may oust her from the crazy family she loves so much.
First 250 Words:
It always happened in public. When someone, most notably an older woman, spotted all ten of us together—looking like clones, with eerily similar straight brown hair and blue eyes.This woman, middle-aged, deep hollows carving out her cheekbones, asked the oh-so familiar question. "Is your family religious?"
No. We don't have an inkling of religion in us. That wasn't counting Aunt Daisy's needle pointed inspirational messages that hung skewed on our basement walls.
I stayed on script with my answer, because our lives were so carefully rehearsed, especially in public. "Yes, we're Catholic," I fibbed, caressing the silver filigree cross that was looped around my neck. I had to reposition it so the cross stayed put, front and center. It kept sliding off to the side, where it was hard to see.
With a look of impatience branded on his face, my older brother waved at me to join him inside the grocery store.
"I have to go," I said to the woman. "Wait up for me, David!" I called out, dilly-dallying next to her. I waited for her to ask me my name—or more information.
"David! What a holy, precious name," the woman exclaimed. She grabbed my hand and vigorously rocked it between hers. "Honey, if ya'll are ever in need, just let me know."
Removing her hand from mine, she dug around in her brown leather purse until she produced a thin, white card. "Here's my number and the church I work at. If ya'll ever need anything, you name it."