For the last few years, seventeen-year-old Andrew Prior has had moments where the world seems off, where he feels out of place—like the opposite of déjà vu. He doesn’t think much of it. Until he meets Madison Lawley.
He falls a little too hard for Madison over spring break. The two spend every day together until he has to go back to his fancy-schmancy music school. Then the world goes wrong again. And Madison disappears.
No one will help Andrew find her. His friends think he’s crazy. They don’t remember the girl at all. Even her school doesn’t list her in their register.
His search leads him to Dr. Danielle Rossiter. Her theory: Andrew, like her, is a victim of the switch—a force that pulls people back and forth between alternate but very similar dimensions. He’s been trading places with another Andrew. The main difference between their worlds: there’s only one Madison.
Andrew’s caught in a bizarre love triangle, competing with himself. He must find a way to stay with Madison before the other Andrew figures it out first.
SEMITONE is a YA romance with science fiction elements. It’s ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS meets THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE and is complete at 84,000 words.
Thank you for your consideration.
First 500 words:
My first thought: I shouldn’t be here.
The train station was smaller than I expected. Two short rows of benches, a tile floor half-covered in dust. Rusted metal. Graffiti. I shifted my weight, finally letting Lacey’s suitcase drop. The clatter echoed down the single platform, and all I could think was how appropriately pathetic the scenery was.
Because she was breaking up with me.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “I thought I’d be okay with the long-distance thing. But I’m not.”
My second thought: This is not happening.
My hands grew clammy and heavy, and suddenly felt very empty. You’d think I would have been used to the routine. But no.
It was also my third: This is not happening.
“Andrew? Say something.”
I took a breath. “You didn’t even try.”
“That’s not fair.” She reached for her duffel bag, clutching it against her side. “You’ve been gone so long. You have no idea what it’s like to go to parties alone. And now that I’ll be out of town for most of the summer anyway . . .” She swallowed and looked down at her feet. “I really don’t think it’s right to expect you to sit around and wait for me—”
I would wait. She knew that. I had only told her a thousand times. During late night calls that broke the rules. In texts and emails I sent during class. In the too-short dates over Christmas vacation. I had planned an entire summer of waiting. Alone. While she had her fun in San Francisco.
“—you know what I mean?”
An elderly lady sat on the first bench behind Lacey. She stared at me, eyes a little watery. I could almost make out the words, “poor dear,” on her lips as she patted her purse.
Lacey cleared her throat. “Did you hear me?”
We had been going strong for a whole month this round. I guess the third time’s not such a charm after all.
“Yeah. I heard you,” I said. “But I don’t get it, Lace. I mean—”
“It’s what we need right now.” Lacey had this hair that was super straight, blonde nearing on white. She twirled a strand in her fingers. It caught the light like spun glass. “And I really do hope we can be friends. As cliché as that sounds. I can’t imagine not being friends with you. Even if we’re not together together, we still belong together.” She turned her head for a second, wiping her eye.
“Don’t do this,” I said.
Her nose was red. She forced a smile. “I’ll always love you, Andrew Prior.”
“Just not enough to actually mean it,” I mumbled. “I guess I’ll leave then.”
“I’ll send you a postcard.”
“Great.” I turned toward the open door and trained my eyes on the parking lot outside. I wouldn’t break down this time. No punching walls. No sulking for days.
But oh, how I wanted to.