Title: THE GEMINI CURSE
Category/Genre: YA Speculative Thriller
Word Count: 68,000
Is your main character hot or cold?
My main character is hot.
Alex is a hot mess. Her black-painted nails are chipped. Her hair hangs in her face. And she can’t get through a bike race without wanting to puke. So when a serial killer’s voice skitters into her mind like a thousand tap-dancing fire ants and threatens to kill her, Alex’s first reaction is to mumble incoherently and scratch at her head. But if she’s going to survive, she’s going to have to chill out long enough to clear her mind and outsmart a killer.
To save one, the other must die.
These are the first words sixteen-year-old, nationally-ranked cyclist, Alex Swanson hears when she starts reading minds, and the demonic-sounding voice that thinks them chills her to the bone.
Alex wants nothing more than to defend her national cycling championship, but the near constant onslaught of voices threatens to drive her insane. Her only solace is her identical twin sister Zoe. When Zoe is close, the voices go away. But for Zoe, blocking thoughts feels like getting bludgeoned in the head by a baseball bat.
As the twins search for a way to control the voices in Alex’s mind and stop Zoe’s pain, Alex once again hears the chilling voice. And this time she makes a terrifying discovery: the voice belongs to the Gemini Killer—a serial killer who targets twin girls, killing only one of the set. According to the killer’s thoughts, he’s targeting twins born into the Gemini Curse—a supernatural prophecy responsible for Alex’s ability. Triggered by envy, the curse pits twin against twin and demands one twin be sacrificed or both will die.
Stopping the killer won’t be enough. To save each other, the twins must break the curse.
THE GEMINI CURSE will appeal to fans of The Third Twin by CJ Omololu, The Killer in Me by Margot Harrison, and Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis.
First 250 words:
Forty-five minutes, twenty-three cyclists, and a heaping dose of self-doubt—that’s what stands between me and not becoming a giant freaking disappointment.
I tilt my face toward the sun, absorbing its warmth through the crisp fall air, and inhale the smell of pine and dirt and water. Riverside Park is one of my favorite venues for cycling. Over sixty-five miles of single-track through wooded rolling hills, a river, and beautiful grassy fields. Nothing beats biking here.
Except winning here.
Left foot clipped into my pedal—knee bouncing up and down—and right foot planted firmly on the grass, I sit on the top tube of my bike and wait behind the yellow caution tape that marks the boundary of the cyclo-cross course. My race begins in ten minutes. Which means in eleven minutes, I’ll be able to stop stressing about the race and just ride.
“You can do this,” I say.
“You CAN do this.” My sister Zoe rolls up next to me. Although, Zoe and I are identical twins, our styles are nothing alike. Her hair is our natural shade of blonde and hangs down her back in a braid. My hair is dyed black and shaved up the back with chin-length bangs that hide my face, when they’re not stuffed under my helmet. “Don’t let your head get in the way.” She palms the top of my red helmet as if trying to screw my head on straight.