59. CALAMITY – Adult Romance
Mentee Name: Mary Ann Nicholson
Word Count: 78,000
Mallory usually has the luck of the Irish Potato Famine, but when a string of disasters culminates in a proposal from a dreamy millionaire, she thinks her fortune’s changed. Unfortunately, getting everything she’s always wanted might cost her the one thing money can’t buy — the friend who’s loved her all along.
I was ten when I picked up my aunt’s copy of Name Your Baby and discovered my name means “the unlucky one.” It explained so much about my life to date — the lost cat, the bad grades, the car accident. Later, I found out my family name, Pech, is the actual word for “bad luck” in German, and I desperately wanted to ask my parents why they named me Mallory. Unfortunately, they’d died years before.
When I met my best friend, Benji Chance, I joked that I should marry him for no other reason than to upgrade my last name.
He scoffed at my superstitions. “You make your own fortune, Mallory. Luck is nothing more than ignorance of all the factors.”
But for me, misfortune always had a way of getting the last laugh, all the factors be damned.
Open-minded to the possibility I could control my own destiny, I decided one mid-May morning to put Benji’s philosophy to the test, hoping to catch the eye of one unsuspecting suitor.
I called this experiment: Operation Eye Catch. In retrospect, that might’ve been my first mistake.
On the morning in question, the debonair Jean-Luc Chevalier, son of the CEO, was coming to NYC. Setting aside the slight obstacle that he lived in France, I focused on the bigger problem that he’d visited our office twelve times without noticing me. I manhandled my clown curls, popped in new filtered contacts, and confidently strode into work.
Maybe thirteen was my lucky number.