For my regular readers: below is a contest entry, displaying my query and first 250 words of one of my novels.
Dear Writer’s Voice,
I would like to present my New Adult Contemporary Romance for your consideration. SILENCE is complete at 84,000 words
As a college senior, Carli Reynolds’ goals in life are simple: survive her classes, mask her hearing loss, and suppress her debilitating headaches. If she succeeds, no one will know her internal daily struggle. Goals one and two all but combust when “Hot New Deaf Guy,” Reed, introduces her to a world where hearing loss is not a disadvantage. He breaks her hotness scale as her world shifts off balance.
Carli’s disability has hung over her head her entire life, care of her perfectionist father. Through Reed’s hands, her invisible scars heal. He convinces her to learn ASL. For the first time in her life something comes naturally to her. With him she starts to feel whole.
Reed discovers her debilitating headaches when she’s stranded without her pain meds. Headaches he deems not normal. Carli continues to straddle the line between hearing and deaf. When Reed discovers she’s abusing her pain pills, she’ll have to decide once and for all to embrace her hearing loss and Reed—or shun them both.
Like Carli, I wear two hearing aids. I’ve been Hard of Hearing since birth and have a degree in Deaf Studies from Boston University, a location SILENCE is loosely based on.
Thank you for your time.
The minute the professor opened his mouth I knew it would be a long semester. The muffled sound struck a vein deep inside my skull, vibrating a nodule of tension destined to trigger one of my frequent headaches. I slid my hand up under my long brown hair, scratched my cheek as a decoy, and then ran my finger over the microphone of one hearing aid. Static rang loud and clear, confirming my suspicions. My hearing aids were fine.
The professor was the problem.
His booming voice ricocheted an accent off the walls of the small classroom. An accent I identified as…not from around here. Dr. Ashen’s thick, bushy mustache covered his top lip. He said something to the class and gestured to our textbook. Around me, students shifted, pages turned, pens moved.
I shifted too and flicked my pen against a random page of my thick book. Nerves battled with complete and utter boredom. Words spilled from his bottom lip and I couldn’t understand one fucking sound. Survival skill 101 of having a hearing loss: blend in. I’d grown skilled at blending, to the point where I had almost mastered the task of invisibility. No cloak required. Take that, Harry Potter.
I always, always, always heard my teachers. Until now.
Big Fuck Off Mustache + My Ears = Not Happening.
Mr. Scary Mustache glared my way. He tapped his textbook, and went right on speaking.
I couldn’t see his book, tapping it did not let me know what page we were on.