The Bug Collector’s Bucket List
Young Adult Contemporary
(completed, in revisions)
When their agoraphobic grandfather dies, K.J. and Becka are shocked to learn two things: 1.) He had a secret fortune—one which will fully fund their college tuition and then some, and 2.) They must complete his unfulfilled bucket list in order to get it.
K.J. would rather eat cockroach soup than spend a full minute with her snooty cousin, Becka. But since there’s money up for grabs (aka, a way out of trailer park hell), she’s game for Grandpa’s five tasks. First up: riding a mule into the Grand Canyon. How hard can it be?
Becka, on the other hand, has a full soccer scholarship to the University of Arkansas and no desire to travel anywhere with the oddball cousin she despises. She’s only completing Grandpa’s tasks for her mom, who’s saddled with hospital bills from the death of Becka’s brother four years ago.
Aside from a close encounter with a grizzly and a near-drowning incident at the Bull Sluice, the girls must also survive each other. But when a letter from Grandpa reveals the hidden truth behind their mothers’ long-time dispute and his real intent behind these trips, their collective world is rocked. If K.J. and Becka can’t learn to forgive their mothers’ mistakes and accept each other, differences and all, Grandpa’s ultimate wish—to mend his divided family—will have been buried inside that grasshopper green casket right along with him.
SEEKING SARA STERLING
Young Adult Contemporary
(completed, currently seeking representation)
When 18-year-old Sara Sterling’s long-time boyfriend gives her the boot one week shy of graduation, she’s just sorry she wasn’t the one to break it off first. Problem is, she doesn’t know who the hell she is outside the confines of a relationship. After a failed rebound fling, city girl Sara opts for the last thing anyone expects—she accepts her Uncle Dean’s invitation to work at his Colorado guest ranch for the summer.
Through endless hours of grooming horses and mucking stalls, she finds unexpected solace in the barn. Just as she’s settling in, however, she makes another hasty decision—bidding on an injured, slaughter-bound horse at a local auction. There’s something familiar in Treble’s soft, brown eyes; he’s as lost as she is. Sara hopes to give him a second chance at the ranch, but to her horror, Dean insists the horse is worthless and vows to sell him at the next monthly auction.
Sara’s repressed anger resurfaces; it appears no amount of progress will change Treble’s fate. But the parallel between saving an unwanted horse and finding her identity is not lost on her. If she’s learned anything this summer, it’s that she’s capable of more than she ever believed. She must put aside blame and take the reins of her life for good. After all, there’s not just one life, but two depending on it.
Young Adult Sci-Fi Romance
Seventeen-year-old Time Traveler, Jaden Roberts, isn’t one to break The Society’s rules. But when her best friend dares her to travel back 300 years, just before the apocalyptic gamma ray burst struck Earth, she goes only in hopes of finding tame horses—she’s long admired their wild counterparts from afar.
In the Oklahoma countryside, Jaden discovers two beautiful, friendly horses, and to her surprise, an even more beautiful Regular boy named Chance. Her one-time visit to the forbidden past turns into many more, and though she tries to fight it, she can’t help but fall for the kind-hearted boy with a tragic past and doomed future.
When The Society catches on to Jaden’s secret travels, she panics and goes back to Chance’s era once again. With the apocalyptic event now only days away, she can’t bear to leave him. What she’s not prepared for, however, is his disappearance just hours before the exploding star is set to strike. Nor does she expect the blinding lights to send her back to the future where The Society promptly strips her of her power to time travel. Now she must accept the consequences of her actions or fight back in order to discover the truth about time travel, the past she was never supposed to visit, and the blue-eyed boy she can’t seem to forget.
THE EVOLUTION OF EVIE
Upper Middle Grade Contemporary
Thirteen-year-old Evie Stankard has two goals: win a blue ribbon at the fall horse show and survive eighth grade. For a socially-awkward girl who’s also into 80’s music and science, one promises to be much easier than the other.
When Evie’s dad loses his job, she’s forced to do the unthinkable: lease out her beloved Thoroughbred, Titus, until they can get back on their feet. With nothing left to do but survive now, Evie figures she better attempt to make some friends. Her efforts pay off when she’s accepted into a misfit clique at lunch. And when her lab partner, a cancer survivor named Taylor, warms up to her, Evie thinks her luck is changing.
But having friends brings a new set of problems. After skipping class with her new pals, Evie finds herself both in detention and in trouble at home. Never mind that her crush on Taylor threatens to ruin things between them—especially after she blabs about his fake leg to keep the popular girls at bay. She tries to redeem herself by standing up to a bully who’s picking on another friend, but when this leads to a scuffle, she earns her second ticket to the principal’s office. It now appears family finances won’t be the only thing preventing her from getting Titus back. If Evie can’t convince her parents she’s still the same nice, responsible girl, semi-delinquent friends and all, she may very well have to face the fact that she’ll never see her horse again.