Title: THE DESIREE
Genre: YA Contemporary with a twist
Word Count: 60k
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 understood about the universe.
In the vein of K-Pax meets Benny and Joon, The Desiree is a romantic tale with a sci-fi twist. I’m a member of SCBWI and YALitChat.org. The full manuscript is available at your request.
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 taut 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. Her hard work was about to pay off. If the mountains and snow were her church, then snowboarding to her tunes was her religion. Her mom said it was because Inuit blood coursed through Stevie’s veins, and with it, a great respect for the snow. That, mixed with her dad’s sheer Irish stubbornness, gave her a competitor’s advantage, or so her parents liked to boast.