Name: Kimberlee Turley
Tile & Genre: NOTE TO SELF—YA Fantasy
Pitch: When Gracie Heart finds threatening notes in her circus costume, she doesn’t realize she’s the one trying to warn herself: she’s next.
1st 250 words:
Gracie glared at the recommendation letter Mrs. Minchin had given her for a job at a chicken factory. Plucking feathers off dead chickens was a task unworthy of her rounded vowels and articulated consonants. Her English should have at least earned her a job in a seamstress’s shop. This job was Mrs. Minchin’s revenge for all those fights she’d started with the other children.
With her few possessions rattling around in her small cabin trunk, Gracie went to the front lobby to meet Mr. Minchin.
The shrewd headmaster escorted her to the large iron gates at the perimeter of the orphanage. She noted the smile which pulled at the corner of Mr. Minchin’s lips when she blew farewell kisses over her shoulder rather than acting sullen. Mr. Minchin could be blunt with his parting message and not need to worry he’d make her cry. After all, she wasn’t leaving her home, she was finally getting the chance to search for it.
“Here is your train ticket to Rochester . Once you arrive, you can ask for directions to the tenement.”
Gracie took the ticket and noted “paid” had been stamped on it in red ink. Mr. Minchin then pushed something cold and hard into her palm. “And this is from me and the missus.”
The silver coin gleamed in the light and she blinked with incredulity. After eight difficult years of putting up with her, he was giving her a gift? Perhaps he wasn’t the grumpy troll she’d thought him all along.