Title: HIDE ME AWAY
Age Category: Young Adult
Genre: Diverse Thriller (Own Voices)
Word Count: 62,000
Pitch: When Indian-American teen Tanvi is framed for her classmate’s murder, she must prove her innocence and find the real killer: her cousin, Mimi. The problem: Mimi has been missing and presumed dead for five years.
First 250 Words of the Manuscript:
Ever since my cousin Mimi disappeared, Auntie and I followed a pattern. A routine. At three-fifteen sharp, I texted my standard message to her: School’s done. Smiley face. Home soon. It was second nature, as familiar as getting dressed or brushing my teeth. Or breathing.
After sending the text, I stuck the phone in my jeans pocket and joined the swarm of bodies in the school hallway. The stampede on Friday afternoons often reminded me of the crush at the temple we’d visited in India when I was six. I battled my way through a crowd and spotted my target down the hallway. Bright green eyes under tangled curls, and then the rest of Drake—tall and draped in a sweatshirt and jeans, and leaning against my locker.
Heat crept up my face, a common reaction around Drake. He hadn’t caught on yet, and I had to thank my dark brown skin for that. After flipping my hair to cover the telltale blush on my neck, I approached him.
He looked up from his phone. His gaze zeroed in on me and softened. An answering warmth tugged at my heart.
“I got your message,” he said. “So you’re not coming for the game?”
“Can’t. I have to stay home with Auntie.”
He lowered his eyes, but not before I caught the flash of disappointment in them. Crap. I hated letting my friends down, Drake especially, but it seemed like that was all I did lately.