Query: Abby Singleton is a dandelion in a family of exotic flowers. Her older sister is a tennis star and her younger sister is an art prodigy. Abby's talent? Running her big mouth. Even Abby's parents are strangely perfect. Dad is a tax lawyer who escaped from a life in the projects and Abby's mother.well, Mom alternates her time between ripping souls out of the recently deceased and making the town's best cookies.
Despite the flawless exterior Abby's family is less than perfect. A curse placed upon them long ago turns them into Reapers (the Grim Reaper's clean up crew) on their sixteenth birthdays. Problem is, Abby doesn't have typical Reaper powers. Instead of taking souls she gives them back, raising people from the dead against Death's wishes.
Angered, the Big D sends Abby to Pennsylvania, where the high percentage of old people ensures her powers will have less impact on his bottom line. Foisted upon her aunt's dysfunctional family, Abby feels like even more of an outsider than she did in her own family. At home and at school Abby tries to fit in, but a reanimated frog and her sudden appearance at a fatal accident make her lab partner, über jock Austin Holt, suspicious. He further complicates Abby's life by trying to find out what she's hiding.
Abby wants nothing more than to return to her life of being invisible in her immediate family. All she has to do is survive the next year without pissing Death off even more or having her secret discovered by a nosy kid from school. Since Abby can't seem to keep her mouth shut, that's easier said than done.
BETWEEN HELL AND OHIO is a Young Adult novel complete at 61,000 words. The full manuscript is available upon request and should appeal to fans of Tonya Hurley and Maureen Johnson.
The red letters of the Quik Stop sign reflected onto the hood of the minivan. I scanned radio channels while my mom finished Reaping inside the mini mart, wondering what was taking her so long. She was usually in and out in minutes.
I turned around when my younger sister, Claire, kicked my seat again. I gave her my fiercest glare. "Dammit, Claire, knock it off."
"But I have to pee, Abby," Claire whined, and it took everything I had not to smack her. Claire's voice was an ice pick straight through my skull. I'd been having these weird headaches all week, and today's was the worst one yet.
"I can't," Claire moaned, sounding close to tears.
I sighed and gave in. "Come on, then."
I pushed open the door to the minimart. A door chime dinged somewhere in the back.
I scanned the store for the bathrooms. A handwritten sign proclaimed "Restrooms are for customers ONLY!" on a back wall by the soda coolers. I took a couple of steps before I looked down and put a hand on Claire's arm. Her nose scrunched up and I paused to lift her over the spreading pool of blood coming from the dead man lying in the chip aisle.
"Eww!" she exclaimed as I avoided the same puddle of blood. The metallic scent made my stomach sour and my headache pound in triple time. I attempted to blink away the pain as Claire tap danced in a circle, getting perilously close to the red mess.