Sunday, September 30, 2012


MG Mystery


Twelve-year-old Maggie McCoy wants to be brave and spontaneous. But she's not. Especially when it comes to school bullies and flying by the seat of her pants. So when she and her fearless cousin Jake stumble upon century-old clues leading to gold coins hidden by Butch Cassidy—farm boy turned infamous bank robber of the Wild West—she crumples her "to-do" list to prove she really can be daring and impulsive.

And at first, searching for gold with Jake and their quirky Grandpa Jim in his beat-up Winnebago is the grand adventure she's always wanted. But Maggie's newfound courage falters when she learns they must outsmart and outrun a dangerous thief who is also after the treasure.

The race is on. But just as Maggie and Jake think they've solved the mystery, Jake is captured and all the "to-do" lists in the world won't save him. Only Maggie can, if she can find the courage.  

RACE TO BUTCH CASSIDY'S GOLD is a middle grade mystery in which Maggie's present-day adventures parallel Butch Cassidy's past until mystery and history collide. This book stands alone, but can open the door for a series that exposes readers to fast-paced adventures across the fifty states.

First 150 Words:

Twelve seconds until summer vacation. Maggie’s eyes locked on the jerking hand of the classroom clock that counted down the last seconds of sixth grade. Someone in the back of the room began chanting, “Ten, nine, eight—”
Everyone else joined in, “Seven, six—”
Almost time! Maggie thought, sitting at the edge of her seat.
“Five, four—”
Just a few more seconds.
RRRRINGGGG!! The class erupted into cheers.
Maggie jumped out of her seat, slung her pink backpack over her shoulder, and slipped out the classroom door. As she ran down the school’s rickety old steps, she pulled the “to-do” list she had carefully prepared the night before out of her back pocket.
Five minutes. That’s how long she’d given herself to make it to Slotz Convenience Store. She studied the large crowd in front of her and took a deep breath. She examined her bright green digital watch, pushed the start button, and took off running.


  1. I love this concept. The first 150 build up the anticipation to something big with the countdown. Her to do list and watch are so adorable! I love MC's that have some quirk to them. And the idea of her adventures mirroring Butch Cassidy's is also a great one! My only suggestion would be to change "flying by the seat of her pants" to something more solid like spontaneous adventures. Other than that, solid query! Great job!

  2. I'm leaving comments and then coming back with my votes.

    A quirky Grandpa and a beat-up Winnebago suggests loads of fun and humor. I like the way you paint Maggie's character. It's very sympathetic that she wants to be brave and spontaneous.

    I felt you were a little vague on the villain of the piece. Could you be more specific than 'dangerous' thief? Maybe give details on how he is dangerous.

    I thought your countdown in the First 150 did a good job evoking emotion. I can feel that excitement. My only suggestion here would be to make her commitment to the list very apparent by the care she takes of it. Also maybe the list is decorated and color coded like she spent time/obsessed on it.


    I LOVE this. I love the mystery aspect. The first 150 words are so cute. Reading adventures like this when I was younger were some of my favorite books. I wouldn’t change a thing.

  4. I love the mystery and adventure in this. I love her. She has spunk and I could only imagine what kind of mess she's going to get herself into and how her lists are not going to help. =)

    You got my vote!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. You've got my vote!

    This is one I'd like to read. Good luck!

  7. Woo-Hoo!! I'm so happy for you and wish you best of luck, with lots of sugar on top, next week:)


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