Title: FOUR BULLETS
Genre: YA mystery
Word Count: 64, 000
My main character is most uncomfortable with:
Lauren has lived her whole life in the Deep South, so heat and humidity are "no sweat." But even a few inches of snow would leave her underdressed, unable to drive, and with an unacceptable case of hat-head!
Dear Wonderful Sunny and Snowy Agents,
They say nothing interesting ever happens in Bell, Mississippi, but this summer, that’s all changed. Sixteen-year-old Lauren’s district attorney mother is prosecuting the biggest murder trial of her career, a case that’s fascinated the whole county. And Lauren’s lifelong crush, Bowie Weston, has finally noticed she’s alive. Too bad it’s for the wrong reasons-- he's the defendant's son.
Bowie is sure his mom isn’t guilty of shooting his father, but he can’t figure out why she lied about the details of that night. Maybe she had a good reason. Hell, he lied about it, too. Bowie’s devastated by the loss of his dad and determined to keep his mom out of prison. He believes Lauren may be the key, and he thinks he can convince her to help him—he has something she wants desperately, something her family needs.
Lauren wants to believe Bowie, and she wishes she could help him, but she knows better than to interfere. Her mom has already sacrificed so much for this case: sleep, her social standing, even re-election to the job she loves. She can’t lose the trial, too. And Lauren wonders, like everyone in town, how much Bowie knows about what happened the night his father died. And whether he was somehow involved.
If Lauren goes against her good-girl M.O. and risks helping Bowie, she might be able to prove his mother’s innocence and finally win his heart. But in the process, she could lose much more.
FOUR BULLETS combines the girl-sleuth element of Veronica Mars with the twisty suspense of stories like Jagged Edge and Presumed Innocent.
First 250 words:
I’d seen a couple of caskets lowered into the ground, but I’d never seen one raised out of it. Neither had most people, probably. Maybe that was why so many were out here. Plus, when you live in a po-dunk town like Bell, you’ll take just about anything and call it entertainment.
It was steamy already at eleven in the morning—June in Mississippi isn’t for wusses. Regardless, dozens of people had turned out at the Hickory Flats Baptist Cemetery to watch the exhumation. Folks were lined up at the chain link fence surrounding the square plot of land next to the old country church. Many of them I knew. Some I didn’t.
Only the official types were allowed inside the fence, but the rest of us still had a pretty good view of the heavy machinery at the grave site and of the six or so people who stood near it, looking down into the open pit, watching as the muddy vault was lifted.
Two workers stood to the side, leaning on shovels and wearing sweaty dark t-shirts and dirty jeans. It seemed wrong, somehow, for them to be dressed like that at this reverse funeral. The others at the gravesite wore deputy uniforms or dark pants and white dress shirts with ties. Only one of them wore a skirt-- my mom.
She hadn’t wanted me to be here today, but Jenny and Sophie had insisted. They’d walked over to my house and double-teamed me at the front door a half hour ago.