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Monday, May 3, 2010


Dear Secret Agent,

I am seeking representation for my contemporary young adult novel, BENCHES.

Since his release from juvenile hall, seventeen-year-old DANNY CUMMINGS is determined to make every rumor about him true.  Spending his nights drinking, collecting gambling debt for his criminal Uncle and waking up with nameless girls, Danny is convinced he is on a one-way track to hell and he is in control of the train.  But when LAUREN MCINTOSH lands in the middle of his distructive activities, he realizes he must derail his reckless ways to save her from his sister's fate and the reason he got into so much trouble in the first place.

Fifteen-year-old Lauren McIntosh can’t see reality passed the fairy-tale her parents have created for her, even when it’s revealed that after twenty years of marriage, her washed-up football star father and ex-head cheerleader mother hate each other.  Marred by rumors of arson and adultery, Lauren and her parents escape to California to repair their family and start over again.  Even as they continue to fall apart, Lauren desperately seeks her happy ending.  Even though she fights against it, Lauren slowly develops feelings for Danny, but she’s not going to let that ruin  her fairy tail ending with her own football jock.

Benches is complete at 73,000 words and varies between the first person point of views of less than honorable Danny and squeaky-clean Lauren. 


One more shot of vodka.  That’s all it’ll take to do what I need to do, what is expected of me.  That’s all.  Just one.  Lifting the glass, I swig it down, avoiding breathing the fire through my nose. I replace my favorite shooter to its permanent home on the box that serves as a makeshift nightstand and glance past the nameless blonde next to me to the clock on the wall.  2:01 A.M.  I can’t remember how she got here, and I don’t know how she’s getting home.  I can’t care about that now.  I can’t care about anything right now.  I’m just waiting for the vodka to do its job.

  “Hey.”  I nudge her lifeless body.  If it weren’t for her faint breathing, I’d think she was dead.  That’s the last thing I need right now.  “You’ve got to go.”  Nothing.  She doesn’t move.

“Hey!”  I push a little harder on her side. When she finally rolls over, I recognize her, a cheerleader I go to school with—Melinda, I think.  Can’t say I ever thought I’d wake up with her, but I will say it won’t happen again.  “Time to go, Princess.”   Her arms stretch over her head as I get up and pull on yesterday’s pants and t-shirt.

“You got a ride?”  I ask reaching in my wallet for cab money.   I refuse to take her home and there’s no way she’s staying here.  Her eyes glaze over as she’s either trying to wake up or