Category/Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 70k
My Main Character would prefer to live in:
All the worst things happen to Lorelei when the weather goes from cold to warm. In fact, it’s been kind of an omen. So she’ll keep to the cold weather, please and thank you. Better cold than dead.
When seventeen-year-old Lorelei Bell steps onto the stage, the entire world vanishes, leaving her, the music, and the boy behind the spotlight. Ever since Lorelei’s freshman theater audition, Erikan has made her heart do more than flutter. He’s been her whole world, even if he hasn’t noticed.
All that changes on the morning of Theaterfest, when the bus carrying her drama troupe careens through a railing and Lorelei risks her life to save those still trapped inside. Escaping seconds before the bus explodes, flying shrapnel slits Lorelei’s throat, severing her vocal chords, life in theater, and any chance she had to speak to Erikan.
Now the so-called “scarred, mute girl,” everything she once was—confident, brave, and strong—has been cut apart. But when she gets a text message from Erikan in the middle of class, she finds there are ways to communicate without words. Armed with texts, notes, and bashful smiles, Lorelei gets more than his attention—she gets his affection.
The relationship blossoms and Lorelei couldn’t be happier, even without her voice. Until her ex-bestie with a bitter grudge hatches a plan to steal the one bright spot in Lorelei’s life: Erikan. As Lorelei senses Erikan being lured away, she realizes she may have to let go of what’s defined her for so long in order to find herself.
SPEECHLESS is Glee meets The Little Mermaid, but instead of talking crabs, fins, and a sea witch, it has theater geeks, tragedy, and a real bitch.
First 250 words:
Breathing. In musical theater, how you breathe changes the quality of tone and length of time a note is held. Singing is all about deep, controlled inhales and slow, careful exhales.
I’ve spent the last four years practicing loads of breathing techniques—everything from pretending to blow up balloons, to chasing feathers around the room, keeping them airborne with every breath. In through the nose, out through the nose. Through a straw. Cyclical breathing. I’ve contorted my face into so many twisted shapes, there were times I was sure my lips might freeze into a perpetual pucker.
But none of these prepared me for what I was about to do. For the first time since we’ve been in drama class together, I was going to talk to Erikan. Like, have a real one-on-one conversation that didn’t revolve around lighting, blocking, or cues.
Breathe, Lorelei. Just breathe. In. Out. I gulped, every muscle in my body tense. Why was I so scared? He was just a guy. They were just words. I could do this. Heck, I’d flirted with guys—even faux made-out with guys—before…onstage.
But this wouldn’t be onstage. There wasn’t a script for what I was about to do. Today, talking to Erikan would be very real.
But it was my senior year. And it was Theaterfest. Today would be a day of no regrets.
A few feet away, Erikan was loading the bus, carefully placing each prop bin inside the trunk like it was a game of Tetris. My heart swelled watching his every movement.