Genre: YA Fantasy (steampunk fairytale)
Word Count: 77,000
Pitch: Tricked into painting the stars, Jane had her voice, vision, and memories stolen by Etoile Nymphs. Now she must find them before they return to the sky forever with all her missing pieces.
Waiting in front of Lord and Lady Crocket’s dining room, I could only think of one possible explanation for why I’d been summoned. They were kicking me out.
Mrs. Cowl had her hands clasped behind her back as she stood beside me staring at the doors. Sunlight flickered down through the glass ceiling, casting a rainbow across her gray-streaked bun. She didn’t have to be here, waiting with me. I knew she had a million other head-housekeeper-duties she could be doing instead. So she probably knew.
I tilted my head back, wincing at the sunlight refracting across the roof. I’d lived here my whole life. This was my home.
The footman appeared from behind the door and held it open for me. “Her Ladyship will see you now.”
After one last glance at Mrs. Cowl, I stepped inside and squinted. Of all the airy rooms of the solarium, this had always been my favorite. Arching stained-glass windows lined the outside wall, their sun-warmed scenes drenching the parquet. Combined with the glass ceiling, it sometimes felt like I was standing inside a kaleidoscope.
They were all at the table. Lord Crocket was reading the paper, Lady Crocket was swirling a biscotti in her coffee. Only Sari and Stella looked up as I approached.
“The city’s petition to ban Magicals was denied,” Lord Crocket said, shaking out his paper and turning the page.
Lady Crocket hummed. “Well I suppose that’s what happens when your Emperor is married to one.”
“Apparently, Her Imperial Majesty has decided to host some sort of peace rally instead.”
MURDER MOST FOUL
Mr. Boddy is sprawled on the stairs, a perfect circular hole, the size of a grape, in his back. Gripped in his hand is an invoice, listing the price for river rocks, koi fish, lilies, and the installation of a grotto.