Pitch Madness: SJ8 – CAUGHT IN THE SHADOW OF A LIE

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Word Count: 67,000

Pitch: Seventeen-year-old, Juliana, dreams of a national mountain bike championship, but her life becomes more dangerous than the downhills she craves, when she falls for an heiress, who hides deadly deceit behind her beauty and lies.

Excerpt: The violet-gray of twilight enveloped the road as Jules flicked her fingers, pushing a higher gear to increase her sprint. Focused on winning tomorrow’s New York Mountain Bike championship, nothing could break her concentration. With head down and feet pounding the pedals, she rounded the bend—a quick downhill shot to town.

Not many seventeen-year-old girls were as dedicated to the sport. She needed to win that race for her dad, and to prove to herself she was an exceptional cyclist, not just using one passion to hide another. In her small town, biking was the easier choice.

Jules glanced up. The valley lights below caught her attention, but her head wrenched back at a shadow in the road. Too late! A muffled thud stopped the front wheel, flipping the rear of the bike in the air—and Jules over the handlebars.

Asphalt and pine trees blurred. She slammed into the pavement. Peeling herself off the blacktop, pain ripped across her shoulder. Blood flowed from her forearm, where gravel shredded her skin. “Shit!”

She pulled off her helmet and ran scraped fingers through her hair, so wet and dark it didn’t look blonde anymore. Jaw clenched, she shuffled back to the twisted heap of metal straddled across the obscure object.

“What the hell is that?”

Jules lifted her mangled bike and a limp hand fell out of the jumbled mess, palm up on the road. She jerked back and switched on her helmet light.

“Oh… my… God!”

It was a body.

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