PW #130: MG Horror: SPOOKY JANE

Pitchwars Badge (Square MG)

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Kendra Young
Mentee Name: Heather Murphy Capps
Category: MG
Genre: Horror
Word Count: 44,000


The family rule is simple, never bring anything back from the dead. But when twelve-year-old Ivy breaks it by reviving a decayed flower, a malevolent family ghost with a grudge rises. Ivy must reverse her mistake before the ghost exacts revenge by killing Ivy and destroying the family that created her.


Ivy Jane waited alone in front of the hospice, troubled by the scent of unexpected lilacs. The small entrance garden, brittle from the August sun, should’ve been lifeless. Wrinkling her nose, she pushed aside dead leaves and glimpsed a lone blossom deep inside the tangled decay. Ivy blinked hard, but when she looked again it was still there.

She pushed in further, but pierced her finger on a branch, drawing a drop of bright red blood. She winced, yanking out her hand and sucking the wound until its iron tang melted away. As though she could erase its life, she tore out the flower.

“Dude. Why are you out here?”

Ivy smiled at the Q-tip shaped shadow of her favorite cousin, Hunter. He was taller now, but still all bony elbows and knees. She dropped the lilac and crushed it under her sandal before turning to face him.

“Waiting for you.” She went to hug him hello, but he pulled back.

“You smell.”

She snorted. “Thanks. Good to see you too.”

“Sorry. But when did you start wearing perfume?” He leaned in, sniffing.

“I didn’t.” She frowned, pulse thrumming, and twisted her foot, grinding the lilac deeper into the dirt.

“Whatever,” he said, kicking crumbling bricks off the garden wall. “You ready?”

She swallowed around needles in her throat. “No. You?”

Hunter picked at a hangnail. “Aunt Rebecca already planned Grandmother’s funeral.”

“But she’s not even …” Ivy’s right hand fingered imaginary piano keys on her thigh.


Author: Brenda Drake

New York Times bestselling author of Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers #1), Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers #2), Touching Fate (Fated Series #1), and Cursing Fate (Fated Series #2) available now, creator of #PitchWars, #PitchMadness, and #PitMad, fueled by coffee and Goldfish crackers (but not together), and represented by Peter Knapp with The Park Literary Group. @brendadrake

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  1. In the immortal words of Dean Winchester, “What’s dead should stay dead.” I like books where things don’t stay dead! Please send the manuscript and a query letter (MS Word preferred, PDF okay) to carlie @ with the subject line PITCH WARS REQUEST: Title of Work.

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  2. This definitely sound sup my alley! Please send the first 25 pages, query and synopsis to chquery[at]mcintoshandotis[dot]com and put “Pitch Wars request” in the subject line.


    Christa Heschke
    McIntosh & Otis, Inc.

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  3. Who wouldn’t love a story about the unintended consequences of bringing the dead back to life? I love Spooky Jane!

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    • 💕 Thank you, Chris!!!!

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