Sep 15, 2010

YA query: A HEART-SHAPED HOLE (first revision)

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Annabelle's life hinges on one thing: her ability to deceive the people around her into believing she is perfectly happy. She's got everything she could ever want: rich parents who stay out of her way, a wild group of partygoing friends, and the world practically at her fingertips. At the center of it all is her highly sought-after boyfriend, Emmett. But Annabelle has a horrible secret: her smile is a lie.

Emmett physically and emotionally abuses Annabelle, slowly turning her into a twisted whirlwind of self-hatred and guilt. Her one pride is her ability to manipulate her peers into looking straight through the problems she hides. Stuck with a family too absorbed in their own petty problems, she has no one to turn to. That is, until she meets Brendon while hiding in the bathroom during a party.

Brendon is just as disillusioned as Annabelle. He becomes a shoulder for her to lean on, always eerily able to see right through her shallow charade of happiness. As Annabelle reclaims the person she once was, she begins to find self-worth, open her eyes to her boyfriend's faults, and come to terms with her reasons for staying with Emmett. But Annabelle has a past, and Brendon knows more about her situation than he lets on. These two factors become what may ultimately prevent Annabelle from ever feeling genuine happiness again.


Dear xxx,

Corwin James, a Scotland Yard officer investigating a series of murders, knows he's in over his head when the newspapers report him as dead.

Following instructions in a mysterious letter from his boss, Corwin and his teenage ward, Emil, take advantage of his current alibi to investigate the case. The only clues they have as to who the murderer is are notes left at the sites of the murders, all quoting Alice in Wonderland. Though both of them are desperate to catch the man who killed their loved ones, they soon discover that the murderer is not only as intelligent as both of the combined, but twice as devious. To get to the bottom of the case, Emil must face the demons of his horrific past and the two must go on a literal rabbit chase for answers. If they find the murderer, they’ll never be free of the nightmare.

If they fail to capture him, he lays his hands on his final intended victims: the royal family.

MAD AS A HATTER is a 50,000 word mystery with a supernatural twist set in Victorian London. Thank you for your time and consideration.