Okay - my first promised post about my novels!
Six Cousins -This is the first novel I ever finished. I started it in March 2008 out of a desperation to write an easier story than I’d attempted before. It would be about what I knew (advice I recommend at least for your first novel) and so would require little research; I could pour my very self into it and it would come out real and deep and personal. Female authors like Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austen, and L. M. Montgomery were my inspiration - they wrote about what they knew and few books have succeeded as well as theirs.
I finished it in 2011 and have been editing it, letting it sit, editing it, having others read it, and now the process is finally drawing to a close. I hope to self-publish it next year!
The protagonist, Marielle Austin, is 14 years old, small, blond, and blue-eyed. She’s home schooled and is passionate about the Lord, the past, and literature. She’s dreamy and poetic, perhaps too much so; but she’s also endearingly sweet, quiet, shy, with just enough pluckiness to surprise acquaintances if they knew of it. She lives with her parents and two younger brothers, Garrison and Benjamin, way out in the beautiful Texas hill country.
It’s spring, 2008, and her family and her dad’s parents, who live two miles away, are hosting a week-long family reunion. All of Dad’s siblings and their families will be there, including Marielle’s two best friends and cousins, Emma and Caroline Yardley, and her three other girl cousins, Abby, Kailey, and Reanna, who hale all the way from Wisconsin. Marielle doesn’t know them so well so she’s worried about how they’ll connect.
The first day, Sunday, their grandfather, Will Austin, presents them with an exciting plan: he has three projects for them to complete by the end of the week, and if they succeed, he and their parents will have a prize for them, more wonderful than they can imagine. But not only do they need to get the projects done: they need to accomplish them with love and teamwork.
Each project is unique and calls for all of the girls’ input, but Abby, Kailey, and Reanna are not willing workers. Problems surface right away because of their bad attitudes and bad work ethics. Marielle, Emma, and Caroline are at a loss - what can they do to push the projects through? And more importantly, what can they do about their cousins who won’t welcome their friendship? How can they show their love when it’s hard even to feel it? Will the mysterious prize slip away, and with it any chance of relationship?