Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 56,000
My main character is most uncomfortable with:
The blazing beam of the sun while Dani and her other nine siblings are out picking veggies and fruit on their ten-acre farm.
Seventeen-year-old Dani is the second of ten, soon to be eleven kids, living the dream of homespun goodness on her family’s farm. Or at least that’s what her YouTube videos geared toward the organic-crazed earth mothers would have you believe. With Momma and Daddy determined to keep popping out babies until the family can land their own reality show, Dani's too busy chasing the little ones to figure out how she feels.
It isn't until she meets fellow YouTuber and high school reporter Duncan that she begins to question her “anything for the family” attitude. Wrapped up in their blossoming romance, her many familial obligations take a backseat. After being blamed for her baby sister almost drowning, Dani proclaims her individuality by whipping up a rebellious YouTube video.
When the video goes viral, suddenly there’s a TV producer offering them Momma's long-sought after dream. But with a catch—the family must follow a carefully written script and Dani’s cast as the villain. Dani must choose whether to accept the role the TV execs have planned for her, or to forge her own path. If she chooses the latter, it may oust her from the crazy family she loves so much and they’ll lose the farm.
First 250 Words:
It always happened in public. An older woman would spot 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 askew on our basement walls.
I stayed on script with my answer. We had to protect our YouTube image. If the woman asked, I’d supply her with the name of our channel. "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.
In front of the grocery store, my older brother, David, motioned for me to hurry up and join him. But I waited, seeing if this woman would offer anything. Most did.
I gave the woman an extra minute before saying, "I have to go." She was too busy gawking at my siblings.
"Wait!" She dug around in her banged-up 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. I'd love to have ya'll come in one Sunday as special guests."
“Thanks,” I said, smiling politely before excusing myself. As I ran into the grocery store, I bent the card with my forefinger, tempted to toss it in the trash. Don't do that. Momma will want it.