Query and First 250 Of Signal Against Noise for The Writer’s Voice

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Signal Against Noise


The only thing sixteen-year-old mutant-born Haley ever dreams of is the touch of her mother— that, and what it would feel like to melt down the compound she’s been raised in from birth. Add to the fact that Haley can retain first memories, and those consist of her mother’s screams; suffice it to say, Haley is slowly losing her mind. Especially when the voice in her head driving her to kill just happens to be her mom.

Haley’s an anomaly; as a blood-shifter she can heal or kill depending on her mood. When Haley finds a puppy who is also mutant-born everything changes. Coda shields her from the voices and keeps her urges in check.

Between the love and friendship she finds with her dog and meeting a strange time-traveling boy who swears he’s her brother Haley finally finds a purpose in her life. But when the boy suffers a near-fatal seizure and loses all memory of Haley, she becomes separated from Coda. Haley must learn to control her ever-evolving powers and the voices in her head before they take over completely or she’ll end up destroying the world she’s come to love.

SIGNAL AGAINST NOISE is a YA Urban Fantasy novel told from the viewpoints of Haley and KC. Complete at 80,000 words, it would appeal to fans of X-Men: First Class and The Mortal Instruments series. It stands alone but has series potential.

Thank you for your time. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely, Cassandra Newbould

First 250

Their first mistake was keeping me alive. Unfortunately for them, it wasn’t their last.

The thought runs through my head on repeat. I need to get out of here. Today! Now!

It’s a cadence that builds and ebbs like the tides of the sea. It’s starting to pull me out again. The last time I tried to escape the Front’s grasp they kept me locked and collared for three weeks. Three weeks without feeling. How do you escape the only life you’ve ever known? How can you stay in a life where you are not loved?

“Haley… Hey, Haley–where are you right now?” The sound of Ben’s voice soothes my soul.

My eyes try to focus as I inhale slowly. My nails are digging raw trenches into the palms of my clenched fists. Ben plops down hard on the bed beside me.

“You’re totally spacing out. Pretty soon we’ll need to leash you just to have a conversation.” The gentle pressure of his hand on my shoulder makes me jump.

“If you don’t watch it, Benni-boy, you’ll be conversing with my fist in a minute.”

“Man, you’re touchy today.”

I shrug in agreement. Stale air makes me crave the taste of a fresh breeze tickling my tongue. I want to hold the blue sky in my eyes, to get lost in the snow-white clouds; feel the multiple ice crystals converge against my skin until I fall to the ground, shattering on the humans below.

“I can’t take these walls anymore. They’re closing me in.”

48 thoughts on “Query and First 250 Of Signal Against Noise for The Writer’s Voice

    • ooo a fellow YAyYA got in? sweet! will head over to see yours, do you have a link? Thanks, I think YayYa really helped me tighten up my first a lot, yay for crit groups! 🙂


  1. You have created a tense mood in your opening. Well done. I would suggest a few things:

    My nails dig. (instead of the more passive ‘are digging’)

    An editor/agent suggested this to me. I have culled my ms for -ing words and switched to more active voice. It makes a great difference.

    Good luck, Cassandra!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I believe this will be very interesting story for young readers. It captures your attention and want to read more. Keep up the good work. Hope you do well in contest.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really hope this gets published soon. I’ve been reading tidbits here and there and this is my kind of book. You really are amazingly talented Cassandra!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hope you find this PitMad pitch useful in the competition. Please retweet all the good pitches you see. Good luck!!

    Sister & brother, Haley & KC must combine their mutant-powers to defeat the gov’t before they lose the war, or worse, each other #PitMad #YA


  5. Cassandra, I saw your tweet about wanting some help with your query. My biggest suggestion is that the lines about the boyfriend don’t bring much to the query. I’d take that part out. The real meat of your story is the relationship between brother and sister. You also don’t need the part about this being your first novel. Interesting premise! I love dual POV books!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. thanks Bronwyn, He is such an important part of the story though, even a few chapters are told from his viewpoint, and he and Haley’s friendship is a driving force throughout the whole story. I just know i’m not supposed to bring up a lot of names in a query so I left his out.


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