Remember my New Year’s Resolution to do something daring? Well, this is me jumping in with both feet. I’ve entered a contest, The Writer’s Voice. The prize is working with a fantastic mentor and getting feedback to help polish up my work. Where is the bravery you ask? I have to post my query and first 250 words. For the world to see. For you to see. The thought brings panic. Stupid fear. I will now repeat my mantra: Creativity takes bravery. — Henry Matisse
For sixteen year-old Katherine Chapman, spotting the micro-expressions of darting eyes, facial tics, and rigid extremities when people lie comes as easy as finishing off a super-sized order of fries. For fear of being labeled a circus freak or ruining friendships, she tucks that fact safely away in her journal.
Hiding her ability isn’t a problem until Kat’s house is robbed and her journal is stolen. Pages of embarrassing moments and social suicides are nothing compared to what she’s written about the lies from her family and friends. When an entry detailing Kat’s awkward first kiss at fifteen wallpapers the school, she survives mortification with her best friends linked on either arm. They are blissfully unaware their pages detailing the worst nights they lied about are coming up.
Instead of waiting for more to be exposed, Kat takes on what the police chalked up to random break-ins. She’s determined to protect her friends even if it means questioning everyone she thought she trusted. The closer Kat gets to finding out who deceives her, the more revealing the pages become. If she doesn’t find the journal soon, no one’s lies will be safe. Including her own.
TRUTH BE TOLD is a 62,000-word contemporary young adult novel.
Nothing said friendship like a well-intentioned lie told straight to the face. Every time my best friend Shelby did it, her large upper teeth cut into her full lower lip and the corner of her right eye twitched. Her lies balanced between infuriating innocence and exhausting disappointment.
When I was twelve, a psychiatrist told me I had to write down the lies and how they made me feel to get them out of my system. She went into horrific detail about how if I kept my anger bottled up one day I would explode in a volcanic rage and probably kill everyone around me. Or the frustration would slowly poison any relationship until there was nothing left except a withered corpse. She didn’t have much bedside manner treating someone panicked about being a freak. Thankfully, my parents ditched the shrink. They also bought me a journal.
“Talk to him, Kat. I think he likes you,” Shelby said.
“Chris doesn’t mind being stuck with me. That’s far from liking,” I said.
“He just needs to get to know you better.”
Shelby’s brace-covered smile glimmered in the light cast from the ten-foot tall bonfire. Her deliberate blink waited for my expected rebuttal. If I explained Chris showed no more interest in me than the Top 40 charts, she’d counter with I was the coolest person she knew, which really wasn’t saying much for either of us.