TITLE: PAINTING THE ROSES DEAD
GENRE: YA Mystery
WORD COUNT: 50,000
It’s a world of laughter,
A world of tears.
It’s a world of hopes,
And a world of . . .
The night before seventeen-year-old Teegan Krane’s first day playing Alice in Wonderland at Disney World, she receives a mysterious invitation to a midnight scavenger hunt. Intrigued, she accepts. But the initiation rite turns from a dream to a nightmare when someone stalks her through the park, and another Alice is found poisoned the next morning.
As Teegan wonders whether she was the target, the police arrest a suspect: Teegan’s brother, the victim’s ex-boyfriend. But even after Miles’s arrest, the other Alices report shadows outside their apartments and threatening notes in their lockers. Talk about curiouser and curiouser.
When Teegan investigates behind-the-scenes (and under the streets) at the most magical place on earth, she discovers a world of jealousy and competitiveness blurring the line between fantasy and reality. And when all clues point to her roommate, Teegan knows it’s time to head down the rabbit hole for proof—or it’s off with all their heads.
FIRST 200 WORDS:
A dozen white roses, an entire set of playing cards, and now a bucket of red paint.
“Do you have any idea who sent you those?” Heidi pulls off her Alice in Wonderland wig and hands it to me.
I finger the long blonde strands and imagine what the hair will look like on top of my bob. Probably awesome. “Maybe my brother? He knows how excited I am to start playing Alice.”
I study the roses for the millionth time today. They were the first item, found in my locker when I arrived to shadow Heidi this morning, stem wrapped with a note saying Smell Me. Then the deck of cards, discovered when I went to retrieve my lunch, in a package labeled Play Me. The paint, however, is new, waiting at the make-up bench after Heidi’s shift. Use Me. Heidi and I can’t figure out what that means. What are we supposed to paint?
Following Alice-lore, we should paint the roses red, but it seems silly to ruin the beautiful white blossoms with sloppy brushstrokes of crimson.
Heidi squeezes my shoulder. “You’re going to be great tomorrow.”