TITLE: Curses Like Roses
AGE CATEGORY: Young Adult
WORD COUNT: 80,000
Lena, a girl whose touch causes insanity, must wake a sleeping princess and break her own curse before she’s caught and killed by the mages who rule the forest. Sleeping Beauty meets Rapunzel meets Rumpelstiltskin.
It wasn’t a true witching moon. That was what my father called it when the moon rose up orange and angry. Signs of blood and magic, he said, not that he would know. All the magic here was dried up, long since relegated to tales dusted off for tavern bards to sing. No, these days I called any moon a witching moon when I found myself staring out the window late into the night, hot and restless enough to fling wide the shutters and climb into the open air. It was just my luck that tonight, at least, there was somewhere to go.
In the morning blue smoke had risen from the north shore, a sight that set off jumps of excitement in my stomach, for in these parts it meant one thing: the Travelers had returned to Onwey. They were late this season, but no matter. They were here now, and that could mean only one thing else: a bonfire.
My impatience turned me disagreeable by the afternoon. An inconsequential spat between Father and me had turned rancid, bristling alternately with pointed words and frosty silence. He was so well ready to be rid of me that by the time I slammed my door on the tail end of a bicker—so hard it rattled—even that wasn’t enough to provoke more than a half-hearted “Lena!” from downstairs.
That was fine enough. At least he would be so fed up that he wouldn’t think to look for me until I was well and gone, if even then.