Age Category: Young Adult
Word Count: 71,000
Pitch: An arranged marriage becomes a life or death battle of wits when seventeen-year-old Jun turns out to be the key to her fiancé’s fortune and is kidnapped by a deranged pirate lord.
First 250 Word of Manuscript:
If Juniper Singh had known she was going to spend the afternoon on a boat, she would have worn a dress less susceptible to wind. Or, if she had really thought about it, she would have skipped the dress altogether and gone with a structured suit. In navy, perhaps. That way there would be no misconstruing today’s little get-together as anything but business.
She clutched her long skirt to keep it from blowing upward as she followed her parents on board, her wedged sandals tapping loudly against the metal ramp. The sun was sharp and hot, reflecting off seemingly every drop of water in the harbor, and Jun briefly thought about using the brightness as an excuse to fake a headache.
No. Amateur move. She could do better.
Their host, Haman, gestured to the vessel with a dramatic wave of his arm, like a child trapped in a forty-year-old’s body presenting an art project to his mother. “What do you think of her?” he asked, raising his sunglasses to get a better look at his guests, although his gaze settled longest on Jun.
Jun fished stray hair out of her mouth, desperately wishing for a hair tie. Or a noose.
“Pointless,” she wanted to say, but instead went with, “Is a boat like this really necessary?” which was the same thing, really, but at least she’d made sure her voice sounded in lady-like good humor. Despite the effort, her mother pinched her arm to make her shut up.