Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Writers Voice: THE TREASURE HUNT


Dear Mentors/Judges,

When sixteen-year-old Benjamin McGill is shipped off to Bay Haven, ME, to stay with his grandmother for the summer, it’s not a vacation—it’s a punishment. With nothing to do in this lazy tourist town but run errands for Gran and clean up after her evil cat, Ben’s thrilled when he receives a letter from a secret admirer with promises of a treasure hunt. 

Ben follows clues to a cafe where he befriends Mitch, a long-haired metal head, and Jennifer, a chain-smoking extrovert. When Jennifer learns about the treasure hunt, she invites Mitch and herself along. But Gran says they're devil-worshippers, which forces Ben to sneak behind her back to see them. Despite this, his summer picks up, like a heavy guitar solo in the middle of a power ballad.

But when Ben starts making metal playlists on Spotify and daydreaming about Mitch's long hair and stubbly jaw, he realizes he wants to be more than friends. Just one problem—Mitch is full of mixed messages, acting like he has a thing for Jennifer one moment, and letting his hand linger next to Ben's the next. 

Now Ben must decide if he should risk everything and tell Mitch how he feels, or play it safe and continue the games with his secret admirer.

THE TREASURE HUNT, a 69,000 word standalone, is a YA contemporary with a bisexual main character that may appeal to music fans, especially those interested in post-hardcore and metal. It's DASH & LILY'S BOOK OF DARES meets SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA. 

First 250:

“Daggers Speak Louder Than Words”

Skating was like flying. If my mother was criticizing my clothes or my step-father was questioning why I had so many pictures of “that skinny tattooed drummer” in my room, I could get on my skateboard and take off, leaving all that shit behind. Nothing could touch me when I was airborne. 

But when I was grounded (in more ways than one), stuck at home because my end of the year grades were less than stellar, music was the only thing that could keep me sane. Thank god my mother had no idea I owned an iPod shuffle, otherwise she would’ve taken it away during my sentencing last night.

After making sure my bedroom door was closed, I put a hand under my pillow and grabbed my iPod. I sprawled out on my bed and pressed play, turning the volume down so I’d be able to hear if someone was coming. “Stained Glass Eyes And Colorful Tears” by Pierce the Veil played first. 

Oh, god. A chill went through me, hearing Vic’s emotion-filled voice, and goosebumps traveled up my arms. My eyes watered, so I wiped them, eyeliner coloring my fingers. I rubbed the teary-makeup on my jeans, and then I replayed the song when it was over because I liked to torture myself, apparently. 

Ugh. This was not how I imagined I’d be spending my first day of summer vacation.  

Thanks for reading! Good luck, everyone! :)


  1. I very much like the story and would love to read more! Good Luck!

  2. Wow, I love the sound of this! The treasure hunt, the secret admirer, mised messages and music - best of luck!

  3. This sounds like one of those perfect summer beach read books :) good luck!

  4. I love the humor and the plot line. Best of luck :)

  5. I love everything about this. Title. Premise. Voice. This must find a publisher. Good luck, Melody!

  6. Melody!! This is def my type of book! I'm sure your MC also listens to Blessthefall, Of Mice and Men, I See Stars, the Color Morale, etc. just to name a few (long live metalcore and hardcore)
    Loved your query and 250! Good luck Melody!

    1. Thank you so much! There may be a few references to OM&M! :) Good luck to you, too!

  7. Ooh, a treasure hunt! This sounds like an interesting premise! I loved your query and first 250! Good luck in the competition!! :)

  8. Nice job here. Just the right pacing and tone. And it promises good taletelling.

  9. I really like this, Melody! There is a good voice here.

  10. Hello Melody, first I want to say WE WANT YOU ON TEAM COFFEEHOUSE! We love everything about this entry, the music, the crazy love triangle. You really hooked us with your query. The opening page is written well, but I paused, wondering if the story was starting in the correct place. So I'll want to review the first three chapters to see if there is a better place to start this. That is, if you're up for that. You can, obviously, reject my bid to have you on the team if you don't agree. I will add that I have a bi-sexual adoptive daughter and feel I can connect to this story and have some insight into your main character's world. Please, PLEASE, pick our team. (All other coaches need not apply - kidding - not really.)

    Also, I'll post Nikki's cute video in the next comment so you can see our excitement about your entry.

  11. Hello, Melody. We're so happy to have you on Team Coffeehouse! Could you please send your query, 1st three chapters, and a synopsis (if you have one) to brendadrakecontests(at)gmail(dot)com? When we receive your email, we'll send further instructions and add you to our Facebook group page. Thank you!

    1. Yay! I'm so happy to be chosen for Team Coffeehouse! :D