Monday, February 9, 2015


Genre:  Upper Middle Grade Mystery
Word Count:  45,000

My Main Character would prefer to live in:

Sun? Snow? When your life revolves around video games, it doesn’t matter what’s happening outside. I just want to be in my favorite spot on the family room couch, Wii remote in my hand, slaying orcs. Okay, I might care about the weather if snow got me a day off from school. But if you want me to pick where to live, it’d be whichever spot had the junior high with the fewest school days and least homework. 

But let’s get real.  I’m a kid. I don’t get to pick.


Dear Awesome Agent:

Jared lives for video games, so he’s pumped for a chance to design his own at summer camp. When star-teen programmer, Brent Kagon, shows up for camp too, Jared figures he’ll learn exactly what he needs to top the iTunes Apps chart.

But Brent is too busy finishing his latest killer app to waste time with “noob” programmers. Noob? Jared heads in early from lunch, determined to show his skill by making his app The Best. Game. Ever. But his plans crash when he finds Brent unconscious, slumped on his laptop. Brent’s game code is missing!

Chaos descends as the cops and media arrive, then levels up as accusations start flying.  Everyone’s freaking — Brent because the thief stole his best ideas, the camp director because Brent’s threatening to sue, and Jared because his name’s at the top of Brent’s suspect list.  Jared doesn’t mind that the plug’s been pulled on the big-headed programmer, but he gets ticked when his mystery-loving sister, Maxine, sticks her nose in the investigation. Maxine might bring home straight-A’s, but she’s clueless about games. While helping Brent makes his blood boil, there’s no way Jared can let his little sister beat him at solving this gaming mystery. 

Besides, Jared’s got to get his name off the suspect list before he’s hauled to Juvie.

MYSTERY AT GEEK CAMP is told from Jared and Maxine’s perspectives.  It forces ‘tween Hardy Boys work to work with Nancy Drew on a crime that will appeal to theMinecraft generation.

First 250 words:

You wouldn’t call me “gifted” unless awesome video game skill counted. According to Mom, it didn’t. But here I was at a camp for math and science nerds.

The bus had wound up a steep, narrow, pot-hole-filled road and stopped in front of a small building surrounded by trees.  Hartland Mountain Science Academy. The camp was run by this private school for smart kids. 

I followed the backpack in front of me off the bus and looked around, wondering where I was supposed to go.  Most campers headed toward counselors standing near the tree line. They’d be the ones who’d signed up for outdoorsy programs.

Standing by the walkway that led to the building was a smaller group, mostly guys.  My best friend, Aaron, and I would be with them. The gamers.

I walked over and was about to say “hi” to a chunky, red-headed guy when a sleek convertible rolled up next to us. It was the only car that pulled into camp.

A guy wearing dark, mirrored rock-star sunglasses got out of the passenger seat. He was a couple years older than me and had messy black hair that stuck out in every direction. He wore faded black jeans even though it was supposed to hit ninety degrees today and everyone else wore shorts. His face was set in a scowl. And he had the thinnest, most beautiful MacBook I’d ever seen tucked protectively under his arm.

Red elbowed me. “That’s Brent Kagon,” he whispered.


  1. This query sounds as fun as building a snow man! Please send the first 25 pages, synopsis and query to chquery (at) mcintoshandotis (dot) com. Please put Sun vs. Snow request in the subject line.

  2. Brrr. Ice cold mystery. Please send the first 5 chapters attached as a Word .doc along with the original query and a brief synopsis to Be sure to put "Cate: Sun Vs Snow Request" in the subject line. Thanks!

  3. This sounds as slick and fun as ice skating on a newly frozen lake! Please send the first fifty pages to, with Sun vs Snow in the subject line.