Title: A SONG FOR SARAH MCPHEE
Category/Genre: Adult Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Word Count: 83,000
My Main Character would use sun or snow to battle their biggest obstacle:
Snow. If the weather weren’t great in England perhaps more people would spend their time reading (this includes issues of Sixteen Magazine). People would opt to ride the tube instead of walk, and who doesn’t love some good reading material on public transportation? Further, since the country is not used to, nor equipped to handle, snow, a storm would surely keep people indoors.
Dear Miss/Mr. Agent,
When music lover and Bostonian Sarah McPhee transfers to the London offices of Sixteen Magazine, she expects the number of miles between herself and her old life to be enough to repair her crushed heart.
It’s been a slow process getting over her ex, who left her with no explanation and an abundance of self-doubt. Having always understood her life in terms of music – her childhood shaped by her father’s passion for sixties rock bands, and her adolescence influenced by Madonna and her older brother’s grunge obsession – she finds this stretch of time to be eerily silent. Convinced that a fresh start is what she needs, Sarah plants herself in a new city, where she immediately struggles with the ups and downs of starting over.
Tasked with saving the magazine from declining sales and subscriptions, Sarah quickly meets a range of new acquaintances. From getting lost (which she expected to happen) to being taught how to drive on the left side of the road (which she didn’t), Sarah learns, thanks to impromptu afternoon cocktails, an adventure through Hampstead Heath, and listening to old mix tapes, about getting over heartbreak and trusting her decisions. Discovering what makes her happy, however, may not be enough to keep her in one of the most exciting cities in the world. When job responsibilities escalate, and friendships are tested against new love interests, Sarah must realize what (and who) truly makes her heart sing before her work sponsorship ends and she is sent back home to a life she no longer desires.
First 250 words:
The airport shuttle rocks back and forth, and the teenager standing next to me with Muse pounding from his headphones keeps pressing into my shoulder without any notice. I want to nudge him, tell him to pay attention, but I don’t. Instead I stare up front to keep tabs on my gigantic suitcase stuffed on the luggage rack and mentally review its contents to make sure I didn’t forget anything.
My thumb rubs over my finger where I thought a ring would be by now. The skin is bare and dry and un-gloved even though it’s March. I didn’t even pack gloves, because it never gets that cold in London, right? Perhaps I should have thrown a pair into my bag just in case. Crap. What else should I have brought that I didn’t?
I have the essentials: my passport, Certificate of Sponsorship, and laptop with all my music, accessible in my carry-on, a backpack I’ve had since college. I tighten my hand over one of the shoulder straps, and suddenly I feel like a student, off for a semester abroad, or to an exotic location for Spring Break. I’ve actually never been out of the country, even lived more than twenty miles from where I grew up. I don’t have an aversion to travel. I just haven’t had a reason to go, or, more accurately, I’ve always had a reason to stay.
I close my eyes and take a few deep breaths.