Fall Fiction Fest, EYE OF THE UNSEEN, YA Paranormal

Title: EYE OF THE UNSEEN

Genre: YA Paranormal #DIS

Word Count: 85,000

How Did You Fall for Writing: I live for storytelling in all forms and found I enjoy the process of weaving words together for just the right emotional impact. I love writing stories about teens with unique challenges, who at the end of the day, have the same universal fears and struggles as everyone else. This story was important to me because I’ve taught several students with physical impairments, each with very different experiences, who need to be represented in books they read.

Query:

Sixteen-year-old Ember Bristow is used to the dark, but her dad is always there to light her way. When tormented spirits snatch him from their boat and carry him into the night, leaving Ember as the sole witness, the authorities are quick to brush aside her testimony and dismiss his sudden disappearance as a suicide.

After all, Ember has been blind since she was a baby.

With her brilliant and intuitive German Shepard by her side, Ember is far from the helpless girl the cops think she is, and she’s determined to rescue her dad at any cost. Investigating crime scenes, eluding the police, and coming face to face with enraged spirits, Ember relies on her resilience and unflappable nerves to keep searching. But the clues only start to come together once she encounters Reese, a stoic boy with almost as many secrets as guns, and Arianka, a whip-smart girl whose quick mouth often gets her into—and out of—trouble.

They soon discover they’re each tied in nightmarish ways to an underground shadow organization bent on controlling the spirits. If the trio doesn’t stop them before they elicit the secret to breaching the phantom realm from Ember’s father, the earth will be flooded with a spirit army and the world will go dark forever.

A fast-paced Veronica Mars meets Anna Dressed in Blood, EYE OF THE UNSEEN is a Young Adult paranormal complete at 85,000 words and told in three points of view. It’s a standalone novel with series potential.

I’m a member of SCBWI, a state representative for ALAN, and a past president of the Arizona English Teachers Association. I also worked with visually impaired teens at The Foundation for Blind Children and used their feedback to drive revisions to my story.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my work.

First 250 words:

A black German Shepherd should have blended into the Pacific twilight nicely, but of course Ellie chose the exact moment I was under the caution tape to let out a gigantic sneeze.

I crouched behind her, listening for the cop patrolling the crime scene. Nerves slithered like eels in my gut.

Great, just great.

It was ridiculous I’d been reduced to this, sneaking around the marina like a felon. Was it too much to ask to let me on board my father’s boat for a couple of minutes? If the police wouldn’t take his kidnapping seriously, the least they could do was let me look for clues. It hadn’t even been twenty-four hours, and already they had ruled his disappearance a suicide. It was the easy excuse keeping them from finding out who—or what—had really taken him. If only they believed what I saw on the boat yesterday.

But they didn’t. Not yet. Maybe not ever.

I’d have to save my father alone.

Footsteps creaked on the pier. I pulled Ellie behind the nearest boat, ducking beside the piling. The cop’s footsteps circled the area, drumming the beat as he whistled a faint partial tune. An evening storm rumbled in the distance; waves crashed briskly against the rocky shore. The stink of rotting fish guts wafted from underneath the tarp as we waited for him to pass. Ellie sniffed at it eagerly.

“No!” I hissed, holding her back.

The steps tapped closer.

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