Wild Rust

In the rust-filled Miranda valley, fourteen-year-old Bex Hardy and her friends are more concerned about the start of their divisions at Miranda Technical Division School in two weeks than the poisoned river running through their town and fuel rations from the war on the eastern horizon. One night, they stop to help a girl who’s been hurt in the woods, assuming it’s a good deed before they head back home, late for curfew again. But what started as a simple encounter turns more serious when they learn that the girl is a wanted fugitive from the war. With the militia hot on her trail and her story becoming more complicated by the hour, Bex and her friends have to decide whether to turn her in to the authorities for arson and murder, or follow her story of vengeance, conspiracy, and lost love until its end, risking their lives and their town along the way.

Genre: Alternate history western

Word Count: 82,000

Similar to: the kick-ass heroines of Legend by Marie Lu and Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman, the twist on the western in the Gold Seer Trilogy by Rae Carson, the sepia tones and faraway war in Royden Lepp’s Rust, and groups of kids who find secrets bigger than they imagined in Brian K. Vaughn’s Paper Girls and Stranger Things

Tentatively titled. Images for inspiration, credit for left illustration to Chris Riddell.