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Monday, July 5, 2010


Dear Secret Agent,

HOW TO SURVIVE ANCIENT SPELLS AND CRAZY KINGS is a 38,000 word middle grade contemporary fantasy.

Twelve-year-old Bianca freaks out when the chimney in her dad’s study explodes and transforms into an ancient Maya temple. And then the room turns into a jungle, one sofa at a time. Bianca and her brainy cousin, Melvin, set off to find their grandfather, Zeb, in the ancient city of Etza, where the people haven’t aged in 2,000 years. The cousins must learn to work together as they face loin-cloth wearing skeletons from the underworld, a backstabbing princess, and an ancient prophecy—one that says in three days the city will be destroyed. They’ll find Zeb and zip right out of there. No problem.

Except, Bianca starts to care for her new friends, and Zeb does not want to be rescued. The fact that a crazy king wants to serve Bianca up to the gods as an appetizer is just a minor technicality. But this ancient evil dude has finally met his match.

The ancient Maya culture is in the spotlight with the highly debated 2012 prophecy. I have completed extensive research, and the details are woven into the story. I belong to SCBWI and participate in critique groups. The completed manuscript is available upon request.

Thank you for your time and consideration.



Melvin and I sat face to face, the Checkers board between us. Ever since he
denied the fact I beat him last month, the board game had turned into a

“You’re move,” he said, eyes riveted to the board.

I’d been looking forward to this rematch all week, except I couldn’t concentrate. A heat wave had swept through my dad’s office. The kind of heat that sucks the breath right out of you. Sweat dripped down my back and soaked my shirt, like I was in a jungle or something. So much for my honeysuckle rose deodorant.

Melvin snapped his fingers in my face. “What’s wrong with you?”

Looking at Melvin was like peering into a mirror, if I were a boy. Same dark, twisty hair. Same dimples. Same green eyes. Except I wasn’t a nerd, or at least, I hoped not.

“Seriously. You’re dripping with sweat and it’s December,” he said. “You sick?”

“Nothing’s wrong.” Total lie. I stole a big ole necklace from my dad’s desk drawer. And I felt guilty. But I wasn’t about to tell Melvin. He probably wouldn’t steal a cookie. I moved my Checker piece.

He jumped three of mine. “Has your dad heard from Zeb?”

“No.” And that’s the reason I snooped in my dad’s desk in the first place. Our grandfather, Zeb, had been missing for two years. He was the one person who truly understood me, and my parents didn’t seem to care that he might be in trouble.