Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy
Word Count: 75,000
My Main Character’s Most Stressful Relationship is:
All Ros ever wanted is affection from her father. It brought
on an aching need, a need so great she can’t fill it on her own. She can’t
remember her mother; she’s hasn’t been around since birth. He’s all she has—him
and the painting on the wall that winks at her every birthday. Ros finds
comfort, and almost a sense of love when staring at the art piece for hours.
Maybe it’s because her dad’s never home, and when he is, he’s always too busy
to spend time with Ros unless they’re hugging in front of the winking
Ros Shifley might be hallucinating, but she’s not telling
Her art obsession doesn’t explain how her father got yanked
inside Munch’s painting, The Scream. Left parentless, she moves to Paris to
attend a private school she’s been enrolled in by a godfather she’s never met.
On a field trip to the Louvre, she seizes the opportunity to search the museum
for unsettling shifts inside other paintings.
When movement within the Mona Lisa catches her attention,
she locks eyes with a young man holding a photo belonging to her father. His
hand beckons for hers, and as she extends for his grasp, their fingers
interlace within the canvas. Amid the Louvre’s blaring alarms, she’s
transported inside the famous art piece.
Leo’s world, now Ros’s father’s, contains hidden portals
which lead Ros and Leo from one masterpiece to the next. But a shadowy figure
and a barrage of traps disguised in each painting stand in the way of reaching
Ros’s father. With each narrow escape, her doubts about Leo’s allegiance
surface, and her stomach turns into knots, uncertain if his affection is
another brushstroke of fantasy—or worse, that he’s a puppet, manipulated by her
foe to lead her astray and keep her from finding her father.
Once she uncovers her enemy’s identity, Ros must risk her
heart and life outside the masterpieces to defeat him. If she fails, she’ll be
cut off from Leo, becoming art herself, entombed like her father in a
nightmarish still life, forever.
First 250 words:
Ros couldn’t wait for the woman in the painting to wink and
break the stillness within. With sketchpad and pencil in hand, she threw
herself onto a leather chaise, narrowing her eyes at the gift given from her
father long ago—Pablo Picasso’s masterpiece, Dora Maar au Chat.
“Come on, wink already.” She bit the pencil. “Remember?
Birthday? I’m seventeen now?” The wink materialized every year on this day as
long as Ros could remember. No matter how many times she’d tried to tell her
father about the phenomenon, he refused to believe her. It would be enough if
he were the only one in the world who trusted her judgment.  If only.
“Is Dad home?” She yelled out.
“Do you have to ask?” A voice—Hope’s—echoed back. 
Rolling her eyes, she tightened her grip around the
sketchpad. Great, no dad, and the same old tone from Hope. Her maid never
understood her love for her father or her fascination with the painting. In
fact, Ros got the same reaction from the entire hired staff, who laughed
whenever she brought the wink up. Maybe nobody would understand—ever. The only
place she’d find solace were her doodles, in which she’d tried to recapture the
masterpiece winking.
Fixated on the painting, she held her breath. It didn’t
help. “Don’t ignore me now.” When nothing happened in the next seconds, she
threw her hands in the air and the pad and pencil went flying. “Fine, don’t
Rolling off the chaise, she stood up.
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