Dear Ms. Shea,
Since you mentioned that you’re looking for heartfelt,
emotional, realistic, dramatic, family-related, character-driven stories, I thought
you might be interested in THE BOYFRIEND PLAGUE.
Things at home are rough for fifteen-year-old Livvie Quinn.
Jules, her beloved older sister is sick again after being cancer free for
almost ten years. Her mom becomes more frantic and unapproachable every day. School
isn’t much better. Just when she needs them most, her closest friends get
boyfriends and have little time for Livvie--except to set her up on a series of
disastrous blind dates.
Livvie seeks refuge in the art room and finds Bianca, the
school ‘freak’. Free-spirited and confident, Bianca is everything Livvie isn’t.
Shaken by her mom’s desperation, her sister’s deteriorating condition, and
abandoned by her friends, Livvie finds comfort and an attraction she never felt
before with Bianca.
When their relationship is discovered, Livvie and Bianca
become victims of persecution and bullying. School authorities won’t help and even
forbid the pair to attend the Winter Formal as a couple. If Livvie defies them
and goes, she risks expulsion and further ridicule from her classmates. At
home, her mother’s behavior escalates to new levels of crazy and Jules is
begging for help to end the pain once and for all.
While searching for the strength to make her life her own,
Livvie must decide how far she’s willing to go for the people she loves.
THE BOYFRIEND PLAGUE is an 84000 word contemporary YA novel
that should appeal to readers who enjoyed Cris Beam’s I Am J and Cheryl Rainfields’s
My short stories have appeared in Halfway Down The Stairs, A
Fly in Amber, Daily Flash Anthology, The Barrier Islands Review, Death Rattle,
Drastic Measures, Rapunzel’s Daughters and Cutlass and Musket--Tales of
Piratical Skullduggery among others.
Per your submission requirements, you will find the first
page of the manuscript below. I would be delighted to send you further sample chapters
at your request. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to
hearing from you soon.
THE BOYFRIEND PLAGUE
I squirmed on the wooden bench, trying to avoid getting
poked by loose splinters. The room was too small and the irregular buzzing that
crept over the lopsided swinging doors set my teeth on edge. Each burst sent a
cloud of rusty orange scattering through my skull.
“Is this okay, Livvie?” Mel leaned over and pressed a slip
of paper onto my knee.
I studied it for a moment, still trying to shake off the
burning color my synesthesia had painted the world. “Yeah. It’s perfect.” I grinned
at her, but my lips trembled so much I’m sure it was more a grimace.
“What about yours?” Mel turned to Hannah who had her paper
crumpled in her fist.
She smoothed it out against the taut fabric of her jeans. “It’s
good. I don’t think Mom could tell she hadn’t signed it.”
Mel sighed and glanced down at her own scrap of paper. “At
least they’re all different. And how close are they going to look?”
Hannah’s eyes roved the enclosed space, photographs curling
on every wall. “It’s a business right? They want to make money. I bet they just
ask for these things ‘cos they have to.”
“You’re probably right.” Mel stood up and folded her
permission slip back into her pocket. “I wish they’d hurry up.”
“Me too.” I shifted again, my butt numbing against the hard
surface. Coming here had seemed a good idea, but now, after almost half an hour
on the wrong side of the doors, the stinging scent of rubbing alcohol drifting
across us, I wasn’t so sure.