Wednesday, October 28, 2015

NoQS Minion 12: A COMPLEX SOLUTION, YA Suspense

Title: A Complex Solution
Genre: YA Suspense
Word Count: 79,000

My main character's most fearsome obsession is:

My main character's most fearsome obsession is running. She runs every day at dawn with her dog. She is a different person when she runs -- strong, confident, invincible; a far cry from her scared and insecure nature. As she pounds out a rhythmic pace, her legs, arms, heart and lungs all working in tandem, the depression and suicidal thoughts that plague her begin to fade.Running is salve for her tormented existence, even if sometimes, it's tough getting out the door.


Fifteen-year-old Amanda Thompson wishes she’d died in the car accident with her parents. That is, until she discovers their secret: hiding behind a school-teacher façade, they were actually a pair of mathematical Einsteins who’d solved a million-dollar proof. If she can find their papers, she can collect the prize. But she’s not the only one looking...
Grief-stricken following her parents’ death, Amanda moves in with her grandmother, and her so-called “normal” teenage depression goes from dismissive sulking to attempted suicide. Only when she receives a letter from the prestigious Clay Institute for Mathematics, requesting papers her parents left behind, does she see a reason for living. It seems their ordinary lives as math teachers concealed a clandestine world of mathematical genius. She’s shocked to learn they may have solved the legendary Riemann Hypothesis, a feat that would’ve earned them scientific acclaim and a million-dollar prize. But now the papers are lost and it’s up to Amanda to find them.

When her father’s friend and colleague comes to town, Amanda suspects he covets the proof for his own glory, and when she catches him stalking her, she’s sure. Now he’s threatening her grandmother, and Amanda’s terrified. If she can’t overcome her crippling grief and track down the lost proof, she may lose the only family she has left.

First 250 Words:

The dizziness in her head lingered. Her stomach was still uneasy. But at least Amanda could function this morning--for what it was worth. She pulled on the door handle with one hand and gripped Bailey’s leash in the other.

Her grandmother appeared at the top of the stairs. “Are you sure you’re going to be okay?” she asked.

“Yes, I’ll be fine,” she lied. She turned away before her grandmother could respond. Although no longer in the throes of a wicked migraine, Amanda couldn’t shake the nagging, taunting voices in her head which were far more troubling.

Should have been you, they whispered.

Her throat tight, she set off with Bailey for their morning run, a ritual they’d shared since he was a puppy. Even when she felt like the walking dead, she had to get in her run, had to get away from the voices. The September sun wove its brilliance through the leaves, enchanting the path to the beach. Falmouth, Massachusetts was gorgeous this time of year, a stunning palette of rich earth tones, set off by the azure sea. In Amanda’s world though, everything faded to black.

Even her bruises had lost their purple brilliance, taking instead a subdued shade of sickly-green. As she ran, she winced and glanced down at them, still visible after six weeks. Despair and loneliness welled up inside her. She wondered for the hundredth time why she’d been spared. Reaching into her pocket she curled her fingers around her penknife: her way out.


  1. Shriek. Please send with a synopsis to

  2. Shriek! Please send pitch + short bio + synopsis with attached pages to Thanks!

  3. Shivering! Please include query above and send to with #NoQS in the subject.