Name: Sandra Panting

Twitter Handle: @sandypanting

YA or MG: YA

Genre: Paranormal romance

Title: For Better or Worse

Twitter Pitch (140 characters max): Shelby ends up in the Afterlife where she meets her ex-boyfriend. It’s a good thing they’re both dead or they’d probably kill each other.

1st 250 words of opening: I thought it was bad when I was struck down by a delivery van on my way to the Miss Sunflower pageant, but then I landed in the Afterlife. I didn’t see any blinding light. There weren’t any pearly gates. Just all these weird sinister voices, and then who shows up but Troy Jefferies.

Troy and I dated all through our sophomore year of high school. He was an honor student, well on his way to becoming captain of the basketball team, basically the guy every girl wanted with the added bonus of being majorly hot. I was a cheerleader with relatively decent grades, and everyone thought we were the perfect couple.

You would think that dating the perfect guy would be the ultimate goal, but dating Troy was just too perfect. He always said the right thing, he never forgot any dates, he never struggled with self-doubt. It was downright weird. I just couldn’t take any more perfection. I know that’s probably a strange reason to end things, but for someone who questioned everything about their existence being with someone who knew all the right answers all the time was just too much.

But back to this being dead business. Troy died during a campout with some of his buddies. He drowned while fishing. Translated he was drunk and fell into the lake. His friends were too drunk to save him. Troy isn’t my favorite person but even I think that’s a lousy way to go.

Synopsis (200 word max): Shelby Randall is struck down on her way to the Miss Sunflower pageant and meets up with ex-boyfriend, Troy Jefferies, in the Afterlife. Shelby had never much cared for rules, and she’s discovering that the Afterlife isn’t much better. And Troy doesn’t help matters. All the other ghosts love him, and she’s once again struggling to learn about things like acceptable haunting procedure, and the rules of the Temporary Haunt Program – ghosts filling in for other ghosts so they can take vacations or visit their relatives in Spokane.

Shelby had just wanted to win the Miss Sunflower pageant and now her future is gone and she’s stuck with Troy. Unfortunately the guy is even good at being dead. But when a typical haunting assignment goes awry when an evil ghost hunter shows up, Shelby and Troy go on the run. They have to protect themselves and their haunt because the ghost hunter will not only destroy them but everyone they care about.

Maybe there are worse things than being dead, or being struck with Troy for an eternity. But can Shelby and Troy evade capture long enough to discover if their relationship can survive the challenges of the Afterlife?

Feedback tips (any areas where you specifically want people to focus?): Dealing with a cast entirely made up of ghosts is a bit difficult as ghosts don’t experience things the same as humans. They don’t get hungry, tired, sick, etc. So trying to describe how they interact with one another and with their environment is a bit of a challenge. I hope to discover if my descriptions feel flat.