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Dear Agent for a Day,
This is my first novel:
Sixteen-year-old Ellie Matthew’s nightly routine of sneaking out and clubbing is broken when her traveling salesman father returns home for good and sends her to a church-run abstinence program. There, she meets eighteen-year-old John Branson IV, who is charming, rich, handsome, and desperately trying to shed his hard-partying lifestyle. Together, they realize the shallowness of their past relationships and the loneliness of ignoring your true self in order to be popular. A young adult novel, CHASING CHASTITY is not a social agenda for religion and abstinence or against drugs and alcohol. These factors only provide the backdrop to the story. The core of the story is about two lonely high-school kids who finally find the love and acceptance that they crave. I have copied the first page of the first chapter of CHASING CHASTITY at the bottom of this query.
I have just begun to read your blog, but I am positive that I will forsake most of my responsibilities in order to thoroughly peruse the archives. As a novelist taking her first steps, I know that your posts will fill my head with the know-how to get my book published. Knock on wood.
Thank you for taking the time to consider my submission,
The day’s heat had simmered down and the night air ghosted over my skin like a sigh. Still, the soles of my feet began to sweat as I tiptoed, barefoot, out the backdoor. Outside, I slipped my feet, wet from the dew-dotted grass, into my heels. They were uncomfortably tight.
I was as unsteady on my feet as I had been the first time I went out. My ankles, weak as wet noodles, wobbled on the three-inch stilettos. The rubber tipped ends of my heels clicked against the sidewalk and the street lamps cast my shadow onto the street.
Even in quiet and well-lit suburbia, I was jumpy. Now that Joanna had moved out, I had no one to keep me company during the fifteen-minute walk to New Clark. A dog barked and my heart fluttered nervously. I crossed my arms tightly across my chest — a makeshift shield against any lurkers in the bushes.
My toenail polish was chipped. With every step, my red-speckled nails would come into view. They peeked out of the quarter-size hole cut into the ends of my shoes. The hard leather around the hole cut a pink groove into my big toe and a big, ugly blister was blooming.
I always came home after a night-out with blisters, but, for some reason, having someone there to complain with made the pain less present. When Joanna was around, we would draw up a bath and dip our achy feet into the warm water. Then we’d sit on the plastic edge of the tub, our heels discarded on the bathroom rug and our dresses hitched up to our thighs, and talk until our legs fell asleep.
A car glided past me, and a trailing breeze of exhaust and summer air lifted the edges of my dress. Loud music pounded the insides of the car and the passenger window was half-opened. A wrist, encircled by a charm bracelet, hung out the window and a fat roach burned between her fingers. Watching the car drive away, I wondered if I knew the owner of the smoke-tinged fingers and a part of me hoped that the car would stop and that whoever was inside would offer me a ride. The other part was scared of what I would do if the car did stop.
I was both relieved and disappointed when I finally saw its glowing taillights fade into the midnight mist. I had a driver’s license, but our garage door hadn’t been oiled in years. Whenever it opened or closed, it creaked and groaned so loudly that the house practically shook from its vibrations. My mother, heavy sleeper that she was, would have snored through it and my little sisters would have pretended not to hear it, as I had done for my older siblings. However, my father, back for good since mid-June, could hear the refrigerator door opening at three in the morning and would have certainly caught me before I even pulled out onto the driveway.
STATS: 4% request rate