And the YA Breakthrough Novel is….Spookygirl

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) participants take heart:, Penguin Group (USA) and CreateSpace just announced the winner of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in the young adult category and she is one of you!

Jill Baguchinsky wrote the first draft of her award-winning novel Spookygirl in 30 days as part of NaNoWriMo. Based on the excerpt available for the Kindle, it was a very well spent month. The first chapter, which is the extent of the sample, sets an intriguing tone, introducing a mischievous poltergeist, artistic young medium and totally prosaic funeral director parent.

Spookygirl is the tale of Violet Addison, who recently moved back in with her father. Boring. Until you realize they live above a funeral home and share their apartment with a tie-knotting poltergeist named Buster. Violet converses with the ghosts in the house and attempts to exert some control over Buster. Ghost obviously don’t scare her. What does scare her is the impending arrival of her sophomore year in high school and at a new school, too. Could things get any worse? Apparently they can, because not only must Violet confront the familiar rumors about her father’s involvement in her mother’s death, she must also face the evil forces inhabiting the girl’s locker room…and we’re not talking mean girls or the popular girl clique, either.

“This novel manages to sparkle with humor, while at the same time an eerie darkness lurks at its edges, lending great narrative tension,” wrote expert reviewer Jennifer Besser, Vice President and Publisher of G.P. Putnam’s Sons Book for Young Readers.

Publication (and a $15,000 advance) was part of the grand prize for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, so readers can look forward to getting their hands on the entire novel. Unfortunately,  readers will have to wait until the middle of August 2012 for the hardcover edition of Spookygirl to arrive although it can be pre-ordered now.

This year’s Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest drew the most submissions in the history of the contest. After several rounds of judging, the winners were selected by customers from a group of six finalists (three general fiction and three young adult fiction novels). The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest is an annual Contest co-sponsored by, Penguin Group (USA) and CreateSpace.

East of Denver by Gregory Hill took home the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in the general fiction category.

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