WHEN THE TIGER SMILES - YA
Dear Mystery Agent,
By the time sixteen-year-old Emma Riley realizes her life is in peril, she’s at the bottom of a canyon two thousand miles from home.
Like any self-respecting overachiever, Emma is thrilled when she’s invited to attend a small private school a few weeks into her junior year. She was recently dumped by her boyfriend (for her ex-best friend) and she’s ready for a change. The recruiter from Desert Mountain Academy is convinced of Emma’s aptitude, though he’s evasive about the exact qualities that make her a desirable candidate. He also fails to mention one pertinent detail about her new school: it’s a training facility for future intelligence operatives. Emma quickly suspects as much when classes include cryptography, document forgery, and serious instruction in martial arts. Despite the intimidating curriculum, she’s determined to make the most of her opportunity. Unfortunately, Emma renders herself unconscious with a tranquilizer gun on her first field trip—not the great start she was hoping for.
Her situation worsens when the students learn that a double agent has infiltrated the school. As it turns out, the girl Emma replaced didn’t die in a car accident—she was murdered. The administration quietly suspects Emma: she is the new transfer. Did she kill someone to secure her own position at the Academy? Emma discovers she’s under investigation after she catches her gorgeous and popular new boyfriend, Jack Cavanaugh, breaking into her room. She finds out that the academically-driven senior was assigned to spy on her and that he has found evidence implicating her as the double agent.
Emma is being framed, and she’s desperate to clear her name. It will take all of her courage and intellect to unmask the traitor who threatens the integrity of this elite CIA training program. The real double agent will stop at nothing to protect his or her identity—including an attempt on Emma’s life.
WHEN THE TIGER SMILES is a young adult suspense novel, complete at 85,000 words. The story is set near Phoenix, Arizona and takes place over the course of one semester. My own training in martial arts and outdoor survival lend authenticity to Emma’s experiences. My writings garnered first place in a scholarship contest and received honorable mention in the 2008 Writer’s Digest 77th Annual Writing Competition.
Thank you for your consideration.