Zero to Hero: foundation for 2nd novel

Following is a very, very, VERY first Draft of what I’ll be sending to a publisher in an undefined number of months or years 🙂 Comments welcome, and please remember all content, including character names and plot lines, are mine. Thanks!


Sarah Hollie left home two weeks after college graduation. Her boyfriend-slash-best friend of 16 years, Adam Whitfield, had moved away 3 months earlier, and there was some life to be lived. There were boys to kiss, drinks to drink, fun to be had, away from anyone and everything she’d ever known.

900 miles and a world away, Sarah spent five years going this way and that, doing everything she wanted and nothing she didn’t. Never out of control, but never quite in control of the impulses that had plagued her since childhood. At home the impulses were always so easy to suppress; she had a safe home, a whole place to land if ever she felt things moving too fast. And she had Adam. Oh, how he loved her. He cared for her and watched over her and protected her. Even after they started sleeping together, Adam’s affection only grew. Sarah’s heart had started splitting, though. She wanted more. She wanted to know she could hack it away from Adam, away from her parents, away from her other best friend, Jake, who was also her brother. She had been a theatre baby with Adam, Jake, and Adam’s sister Kenzie, from the age of 15 until their last show Fall semester of Sarah and Adam’s senior year of college. But Sarah wanted a full life, and the small town, community theatre, marry your childhood sweetheart mentality caused a physical reaction within her. Adam’s sudden departure to California just before graduation provided Sarah the out she had wanted for months leading up to the moment Adam broke the news to her. Unfortunate for Adam, since it meant his parents were splitting and his family was being torn apart, but fortunate for Sarah because now she wasn’t the one to break Adam’s heart. Her relief was covered in guilt, since Adam had never done anything wrong, yet she wanted – as soon as possible – to sever her ties with him. Harsh, she knew. But the sense of wanderlust was so deeply rooted within her, and it was growing so rapidly, she thought she might spontaneously combust.

Five years after her own rapid departure, Sarah found herself slithered up against her theater office wall, clutching her two-way radio to her chest, breathing shallow, quick breaths. Her latest boyfriend – borderline abusive – had just left her life. For good this time. Zack and Natalie, her two closest friends in Charleston, watched him leave out Sarah’s office window, and when he was definitely gone – Sarah could hear his peeling out of the parking lot – Natalie slunk down to be with her friend.

The incident had sealed the deal: it was time for Sarah to go home. Her parents, Katherine and Jack, had requested Sarah return home for at least three months, preferably six, to help them clean, pack, and ultimately move; Sarah’s entire family was migrating to Charleston. Sarah had begrudgingly agreed to going home for that long. But Natalie’s intuition was never, ever wrong, and Natalie had been insisting to Sarah that her childhood home was calling her name for the next six months.

Sarah had no idea what she expected when she got home. But she knew she didn’t expect what she got:

–          A family on the verge of disaster.

–          A former best friend-turned-lover who wouldn’t leave her alone, yet didn’t seem the least bit romantically interested.

–          Intense irritation with Adam, for acting so whole, so unbroken because of his new-found faith.

–          And a set of feelings within herself that could only be described as a raging storm.

Ssrah had watched tragedy befall people around her for most of her life. She thought she could be one of the lucky ones, an encourager, an example for others that things would always work out. She assumed she was whole and put-together. Until her last relationship. And until she had returned home to an emotional disaster of a once-well family. And until she reunites with her childhood best friend who has all the reason in the world to be angry and bitter, yet he touts his relationship with Jesus and seems far more put-together than Sarah.

Sarah must confront the fact that true life is not lived in the shadows of a restless heart. And online status reading does not a true friend make. And sometimes brokenness doesn’t show itself until placed next to something whole.

Where does she put all the pieces? Who holds her heart? How will she respond to seeing her own brokenness up close and personal? Will she lean on Adam when he offers a safe place? Will she take his advice and turn to a Savior who has already fought all her battles? Where do Sarah and Adam land in all of this?

Three songs that have influenced Sarah’s story: (Lee Brice, Hard to Love) (Jana Kramer, Why Ya Wanna) (Sidewalk Prophets, Help Me Find It)

Some of those questions I don’t know the answer to, but I’m excited to find the answers as I continue working on Sarah Hollie’s story!

This post is for my dream reader of a publisher or agent, because ultimately, all I want to do is write stories, raise a kid, and bake cupcakes. In that order. 😉

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