Word Count: 72,000
Genre: YA thriller with sci-fi elements
Something went very wrong with seventeen-year-old Nessa's memory removal procedure. Ever since that trip to the shady neuroscience lab, she can't stop stealing everything in sight. And she's pretty sure she hallucinated a creepy old woman wearing a bunny mask in her bedroom.
Demanding answers, Nessa's parents take her back to the lab, where an assistant named Amir pulls her aside. He confesses that he accidentally gave Nessa the wrong memory to cover up her old one. The new memory contains encrypted information, and the client who was supposed to get it just turned up dead. Amir says the lab director is planning to scrape Nessa's brain clean to hide their mistake.
When Nessa confronts the director, he denies everything. Her parents believe him, but she doesn't. She runs away with Amir, who promises he can hypnotize her so they can figure out what's hidden in her mind and expose the lab. But the details are buried deep, and every time Nessa gets close, pieces of the memory she thought she had erased -- screeching tires and a boy's head smashing her windshield -- start coming back. She can't face it.
But she needs to face it, because that old lady in Nessa's bedroom wasn't a hallucination. She knows exactly what's in Nessa's brain and she's willing to kill again to get it.
First 250 words:
I climb into the driver's seat and tug off the wig that's been torturing my scalp for the last three hours. If hair could breathe, mine would be gasping in relief right now.
"Better put these on, Nessa." My cousin Beth picks up my jeans from her seat.
She has a point: I probably shouldn't be driving Grammy’s car wearing a corset and thigh-high stockings. I pull the banana out of the front of my spangly black underwear and throw it in Beth's lap. With a horrified squeak, she tosses it onto the floor.
"What time is it?" I say.
"Almost three," she says. "I don't know what the law is in Florida, but you're probably not supposed to be driving this late. Should we call a cab?"
My knees thump the steering wheel as I kick my heels off and squirm into the jeans. "We're incognito in this old lady car. It'll be fine."
With a nervous sigh, Beth hands me my t-shirt. She played it safe dressing up as Janet for the Rocky Horror Picture Show tonight, in a plain white dress and cardigan. She didn't even need to hide her outfit when we left the house. I, however, required a full costume change in the movie theater parking lot before we went in. And for a few precious hours, I wasn't Nessa Shea, boring Junior class treasurer and crew team captain. I was Dr. Frank N Furter, the deranged cross-dressing alien and red-lipstick aficionado from Transsexual, Transylvania.
Word count: 76K
Genre: YA Science Fiction
At sixteen, Cadi is one of the youngest people at LabDor, or anywhere for that matter.
With mankind’s birthrate fallen to zero, Cadi’s been prepped to do her duty her whole life - been poked and prodded by the Lab Coats for as long as she can remember - all so she can marry her genetically assigned partner.
Whether she wants to or not.
No one has ever escaped LabDor. But she refuses to give up her innocence and freedom to an experiment she knows isn’t working…even if it means mankind will fade into extinction.
Cadi manages to escape, but with an aggravating tagalong – Jack Dearborn, her husband-to-be.
Pursued relentlessly by LabDor’s leader, Director Gibson, the pair set out for Old Vegas, the home of an underground group who fled the experiment when it began.
Along the way, Cadi realizes Jack has feelings for her…and they might just be mutual. But falling for Jack means LabDor was right all along in assigning them. And that’s not validation she’s willing to give.
When they discover the real reason Director Gibson wants them back so badly, Cadi seriously doubts whether the rebels of Old Vegas will allow them to join. And whether the entire experiment is a sham after all.
First 250 words:
I’ve met my parents exactly sixteen times in my life. Well, almost sixteen. Today will be awkward meeting number sixteen, since it’s my birthday and that’s the only time they’re allowed to visit us here at the LabraDormitory.
I press my back against the wall as the other students stream by, trying my best to blend in but be noticed at the same time. Not exactly easy. I scan the crowd looking for the two people that will stand out like yellow scrubbing gloves in a sea of white surgical ones. I hope they see me before anyone else notices me standing here and stops to remind me of what a special day it is.
Acknowledging my birthday is the very last thing I want to do. Today is supposed to be my day after all.
Too bad it belongs to everyone else.
I see his brown and grey streaked hair looming over the sea of kids at the other end of the hall. “Hey, Paul!” I call, waving my hand to catch his attention. He sees me right away and smiles warmly as he makes his way over. I force myself to return his smile as he approaches. He means well, I remind myself sternly. None of this is his fault. Not really.
“Hi, Paul,” I say with the best smile I can muster as he joins me. “Where’s Nora?” I ask, and it’s his turn to try and hide a grimace. They both hate when I call them by their first names.