Title: THE BLOOD BARRIER
Age and Genre: YA FANTASY
Word Count: 80,000
In the future, children with inherent abilities—dubbed the Taken—are stolen or sold at birth for their powers.
Sixteen-year-old Haley’s one of the Taken. As a blood-blender, she enters a person’s bloodstream to heal or kill. Raised in a compound and secluded from the outside world, she’s become the Front’s top killer-in-training. In a last ditch effort to cling to her sanity, she manages to escape. Problem is, freedom from the compound can’t wipe out sixteen years of voices in her head telling her to kill. And now that she’s alone, she isn’t sure what voices are real and which are make-believe—not a good look for someone seeking asylum.
Luckily, with the help of an epileptic time-traveler, KC, and his emotion-shifting best friend, Charles, she may find a way to escape permanently.
Give or take a few problems. She’s falling for Charles, who happens to be KC’s crush. Not to mention the fact that KC might be her brother. With the Front hot on their trail, Haley must harness her powers to keep her new friends safe. Otherwise, she might accidentally kill them. Piece of cake. Unless, of course, everyone she’s come to love happens to be the biggest delusion of all.
First 250 Words:
Heat, intense but not unpleasant, hits my face as flames flicker along the wooden floor of my bedroom. Steadily, each beautiful, shiny-smooth plank evolves into a charred and ashy mess. The more I concentrate on the flames, the more Mama’s voice slips from my mind. I revel in peaceful emptiness.
Afraid of the dark, Mama? Are you kidding? Night is when we unzip the eyes of day and let our true skin free. Afraid? No, I live for the dark. When this room’s roasted, you’ll see I can destroy.
“Just you wait.”
Right there, intertwined in orange and blue, the shape of a boy shines brightly. It’s as if he’s motioning for me to proceed with caution, but that’s impossible. Hypnotized, I try to make out his features. It’s no use; I don’t recognize him at all. As intriguing as the image is, I break my gaze.
If I don’t act fast, this will end up like all my other failed attempts.
Not exactly what I had in mind when I planned my latest escape earlier today, but for some reason, it fills me with a sense of calm instead of panic. A solid resolve sits in the pit of my stomach, right where fear normally reigns.
Mama’s voice tries to creep into my head again. Little tendrils of hate-filled admonitions wrap around my brain. They pound my synapses until my mind’s full of her once more.