Note to our regular readers: I'm participating in The Writer's Voice Blogfest today with a pitch for my latest manuscript. We'll be back to regular blog content tomorrow!
For perpetual slacker Simon, graduating from high school just means his parents are going to make his life a living hell until he manages to get into a good college. When he finds a map his miner ancestor left to a hidden cache of gold, he figures getting out of dodge—and adding a little adventure to his monotonous life—might be a good idea. He hops a plane to the wilds of Montana, but it doesn’t take him long to realize he’s completely in over his head.
Savvy local Maggie takes pity on the city boy, but she has a secret past and a hidden agenda of her own. Finding the gold is her last chance to keep everything she loves, and she doesn’t care who gets hurt in the process.
As Simon and Maggie follow the clues left by his ancestor, what started out as a fun adventure quickly turns serious when they're stranded in the woods and word of the clues gets around to the wrong people. Simon and Maggie must outsmart a crazed mountain man, drug smugglers, and the wilderness itself to get to the gold first and get out of there alive. And when Simon starts falling for Maggie—not to mention Montana—he begins to think life after high school might not be so predictable after all.
MONTANA GOLD is a YA adventure/romance in the vein of a genderswapped Romancing the Stone. It's complete at 85,000 words. I make my living as a freelance copywriter and am a member of SCBWI.
First 250 Words
The day Simon found the first clue to his great-great-great-great uncle’s gold started out pretty crappy. In the morning, he graduated from high school. A class of three thousand, seven hundred forty-one pretty much guaranteed a comatose audience by the time they got to Wexler, Simon. After the ceremony, he stood on the lawn in front of the school with his mom, dad, and brother David like the other graduates and tried to pretend he wasn’t bored out of his mind.
Afterward, instead of giving Simon a break, maybe a little time to shower off the rented gown stink or chill at his computer, his parents had planned a graduation party. Simon's former classmates must have been more impressed by his Dartmouth-professor parents than he was, because there were over a hundred people at their house by four-thirty.
He escaped to the backyard after an hour and was sitting on the edge of the pool with his dress pants rolled up, shoes off, and feet in the water when his best friend Matt found him.
"This party blows chunks," Matt said, kicking off his shoes and flopping down beside Simon.
"I had nothing to do with it," Simon said. "I take no responsibility for its vomit-inducing properties."
"Definitely." A few hours of the best online game in the universe would go a long way toward erasing the suck of the day.
The porch door whacked open behind them.