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The Persephone Paradox

 
 
Zoe Cora Wakefield is a prodigy in all things disturbing, already going gray and losing her mind at 17. Sure, she can grow plants better than anyone, but that’s hardly a reason to live—not with her stepfather’s escalating abuse. She is ready to throw her life away, right over the edge of the school roof, until a hot Greek foreign exchange student saves her. But Galen turns out to be as dangerous as he is divine: half human, half angel, and wholly enslaved by the Fates. His job is to guide Zoe to her so-called destiny, but Zoe is sick of being told what to do. 
 
In a race through realms, they discover her spring goddess roots, the paradox of her existence, and the apocalyptic plans of the god who’s been after her all along. Zoe must overcome a lifetime of self-doubt to stand up for all of humanity. But will she be strong enough to sacrifice the demi-angel she loves to defeat the god she despises?
 
I am seeking representation for this unpublished young adult fantasy. Word count: 60,000.

 

 
 
First Page: 
 
“I can tell you’ve been clenching your teeth,” my dentist says, blinding me with her headlamp as she takes a closer look. It’s as if she’s mining for something worthwhile in my mouth. She obviously hasn't talked to my stepdad—there’s nothing worthwhile about me.
 
She continues her excavation while I grip the armrests, anticipating pain.

“How old are you now, Zoe?”
 
My response is lost in the suctioning of my spit, but the woman is fluent in phlegm.

“Seventeen? Hmm. I’ve never seen so much gum recession in someone so young before.” Dr. Fallon says this not with the sympathetic or scolding tone I’d expect, but with fascination. 

I’m a prodigy in all things disturbing.
 
At least my hair’s not receding, but that gives me no comfort. Grey strands weave through my long black hair, making me look like a witch. Wrinkles radiate from the corners of my eyes as if some sadistic crow stomped on my face. And now my gums are shriveling, too? What will I look like in ten years?

Then I realize it doesn’t matter. I doubt I’ll even be here.


 
Cover art: I purchased the temporary cover photo (female statue surrounded by greenery) at BigStockPhoto.com. 
 
 
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