Monday, September 24, 2012

Agent Pitch Finalist #21 - Lovesense

YA Magical Realism
59,000 words


Seventeen-year-old Rae has spent her whole life with the ability to smell when a relationship will sour by looking at a photograph of the couple (rotting fish, anyone?). She uses her “lovesense” to run an anonymous love-guru business at school. But after years of smelling more stinky socks than roses, Rae is ready to give up on love altogether. Until, that is, she finds an old picture in her attic that smells of apricots and honey. Even better? She's in the photo.

Rae seeks the identity of her mysterious playmate with the dedication she usually reserves for the 100-meter hurdles, but as the semester progresses, all she finds is trouble. She’s falling for her goofy teammate, Sam—even though he’s already been crossed off her list of possibilities. And, with just weeks until the city-county track championships, her love-guru business is exposed. She is forced to convince all her friends (and the administration) that she isn't a psycho gypsy freak—or, worse, that she hasn't been taking advantage of them for years.

Suspended from school, banned from the track championships, and alienated from her classmates, Rae has one last opportunity to set things right before her chance at finding the boy in the photo rots like stink on cheese.

First 150 Words:

No more reading relationships at work, I remind myself as I tap my cross-trainers in time with the photo processor’s whir, whir, flip. It spews three hundred prints of Mary Brighten and her fiancĂ© but I’m not looking, especially after last week’s debacle with Mom’s friend Barb. Trust me, being the first to know that your mom’s best friend’s husband is leaving her for their pool boy sucks the big one.

Craning my neck I see the “Alfred’s has the Answer” digital clock: forty-seven minutes ‘til the bride waltzes in. The whir is louder than our cheesy elevator music, and my nose, even though I’m telling it no, is taking in bigger and bigger breaths. I pop another Altoid into my already crammed mouth. I don’t want to know! Think about Barb. But I’m like a crack addict needing my next hit. And there isn’t an addiction recovery program to save me.