Sage Ferryman’s life is as dry and dead as the summer of 1949. All she wants for her fourteenth birthday is to look like Elizabeth Taylor, be Levi Aubrey’s girlfriend, and have her mother come back from the dead. Instead, she gets a pomegranate tree, a sack of hoodooed horehound candies, and a strange visitor—a boy who offers her a silver coin from his mouth and asks for directions to Elisia.
Sage learns he is one of the Hollow Bones—the dead children who wander the mountains surrounding Sticks Creek Gap. They call Sage the Messenger’s Child and say she must lead them to Elisia, their resting place on the other side of Sibyl’s Hill. If she doesn’t, the snakes of the Poison-Skull clan will possess their bodies when the next blood moon appears.
Sage has no desire to save souls. Then the snakes attack Levi and he becomes one of the Hollow Bones. Sage can’t bear to see him suffer inside his dead body. She ventures into the mountains, determined to follow the creek and find Elisia. But what she discovers there will also expose the secret her father has kept for ten years concerning the night her mother drowned, and Sage must risk everything—even her own life—to save her father from the icy waters of Sticks Creek.
SNAKEBREAKER is a 50,800 word juvenile novel. I’d love to send you the first 750 words if you are interested. Thank you.
I'm not sure "juvenile novel" is a phrase I've ever seen used to describe category. Generally i's middle grade, or YA depending on the target audience.
Your first paragraph made this think this was going to be a funny cute novel. Then you brought in snakes (ewwwwwwww). Then the undead. The tone doesn't match what I was expecting so it's jarring.
You've also suddenly tacked on this thing about her dead ma, and drowning pa. Another shift that's jarring.
Figure out the focus of the plot: saving Levi from becoming a snake, and what will happen to HER if she doesn't.