Monday, October 8, 2012

Small Press Finalist #4 - The Desiree

The Desiree
YA Romance with a sci-fi twist


Sixteen-year-old Stevie Ryan has her hopes set on making the U.S. Winter Olympic snowboarding team. When her Achilles tendon tears during a competition, her dreams are crushed. Now she’s stuck spending the summer in a leg brace in Chicago. Frustrated and away from her life and friends, Stevie learns to make do in the neighborhood and stumbles onto a vintage cinema called The Desiree.

There she meets the owner’s eccentric (which is a euphemism for agoraphobic insomniac) grandson, Knox Trotter, and he’s way different than the local boys back home. Knox’s oddities are what allure her—with his quirky film lines and love of vintage fashion. Besides running the theatre himself one day, Knox wants one thing: to learn the truth of what happened in the theatre on the night he was born, when his parents disappeared. The answers seem to be tied to the theatre, but The Desiree is barely hanging on financially. If it closes down, Knox may never achieve his goal. If there’s one thing Stevie understands, it’s the pain of unreached goals. The closer she gets to Knox, the more his mission becomes her own, but they have to hurry, before The Desiree shuts its doors forever. If that happens, not only will Stevie lose the guy she’s falling for, but the secrets the theatre holds will remain a mystery forever—secrets that will have Stevie questioning everything she ever knew about the universe.


Straddled behind the driver, Stevie Ryan gripped the snowmobile’s side handles as they cruised up the mountainside, her face turned toward the morning sun. Fresh powder from last night’s snowfall shimmered on the surrounding peaks. The sky was cloudless. Conditions were crucial, and so far, everything about today was ideal. Stevie shifted in her seat, antsy with adrenaline, ready to carve the snow-packed surface of the half-pipe and claim another title. Closing her eyes, she inhaled evergreen air so deeply that her nostrils tingled. Find your place, find your Zen. She refocused on the horizon and tucked her earbuds under her snowcap, cranking her favorite Coldplay song until the music swelled in her ears. God, I love it here.

As the half-pipe came into view, the muscles in Stevie’s legs flexed. Today would make it all worth it—all the sweets she’d given up, and partying with friends; all those weekends she’d risen at daybreak while every other sixteen year old in America was sleeping in.


Jessa Russo said...

Since I requested this from YALITCHAT, you know I am already interested. ;-)


Please send your query in the body of the email, and the entire manuscript attached in a Word document to jessa [at] curiosityquills [dot] com.

Unknown said...

Yay, Jessa, for requesting this one! Okay, so the second paragraph is your query is a little long. I like the voice though.

Unknown said...

We would be interested in seeing the first three chapters of this one! Please send your query and the first three chapters in word format to

abuckley23 said...

The YA side (the dark side :) of CQ Press has already requested this one so I'll simply say it sounds interesting but the 2nd paragraph is a little long and I don't see any reference to it being a sci-fi in the actual query.