Name: Jeanmarie Anaya
Genre: paranormal YA
Carly Reynolds discovers being a hero won’t automatically get her a gold star. Particularly when the person she must save is already dead.
First 250 words:
Carly knew something was off about the old man the minute she first saw him. She spotted him peeking out from behind one of the towering flower arrangements dotting the room. He twitched his head back and forth, like a rat nosing at a trash pail and hoping not to get caught.
She sized him up. Maybe he was a priest. She quickly nixed that idea—no collar. Besides, what kind of priest hid behind flowers instead of shaking hands? And he was nothing like the other mourners at the funeral, either. He didn’t kneel on the padded velvet footstool beneath Nonna’s casket to offer up a prayer. And he didn’t give anyone the requisite sad, pitiful smile Carly had grown accustomed to seeing in the last three days.
She kept one eye pinned on him as she stood behind her father, leaning against the wall, hoping not to be seen by her mother or Aunt Marjorie. Good grief, those two had been sobbing all evening. Marj had bits of Kleenex stuck to the end of her nose. No way was Carly getting within a six-foot radius of that pity party. She didn’t need to be reminded of the obvious.
Besides, watching the old geezer stroking the casket was by far the best entertainment she’d had all day and she needed something to take her mind off the fact that her grandmother was in that casket. If nothing else, she’d vowed not to lose her cool in public.