TITLE: Keepers of the Flame
GENRE: YA Political Thriller
High school graduation.
An event synonymous with death in some circles. For the sun-bleached prom queen and muscley jock, Pomp and Circumstance was a funeral march, counting down the last precious seconds of their best four years.
Unless you graduated from Kingston Academy.
At Kingston, the prom queen, with her long blonde ringlets and big blue eyes would probably go on to command NATO. And the jock? He, along with his package of synthetically grown muscles, was on the fast track to becoming President of the United States. In a school notorious for educating the offspring of government officials, prominent businessmen and classy celebrities, Essie Hall was neither the most famous student, nor the only one to graduate early.
Essie was, however, salutatorian.
Which is how she found herself sitting in a chair. On a stage. Clutching note cards. In front of thousands of watchful eyes.
She tried wiping her sweaty hands on her grad gown, but the silky blue material refused to absorb. Chalking it up to failure, Essie surveyed the rows and rows of proud mommies and daddies, identical in black suits, skirts and sunglasses.
Except for one.
In her favorite burnt orange tank and bohemian skirt, Liora Hall jumped up and down, waving an enormous hand-painted banner.
CONGRATULATIONS, VANESSA and ETHAN!
Essie’s face blossomed with color. Mom! She groaned. In the face of near certain death-by-public speaking, she would have appreciated a mom who could conform to certain standard social norms. Like wearing black, for example.