Aspiring biologist framed for murder-by-magic
Currently focused on YA high fantasy with strong nature/biology themes.
Stay-at-home mom of two kids under 4, looking to connect with other moms of youngsters.
Fast pacing, strong emotions. Rich worldbuilding in fantasies or sci-fi. Romance sub-plots a must or I’ll start shipping your characters for you. Badasses, especially badass women; fight scenes and chases. Gentle, compassionate guys. Wit and banter.
Favourite authors include Leigh Bardugo, Susan Dennard, Kiersten White, Ryan Graudin, Ashley Poston, Francesca Zappia
Favourite books and series not by the above authors include THE SCORPIO RACES; CINDER; GRACELING; GRAVE MERCY; WHITE CAT; Robin McKinley’s SUNSHINE; FANGIRL; A COURT OF MIST AND FURY; THE CONSPIRACY OF US
Getting a bit tired of fantasy (and to a lesser extent sci-fi) involving royalty, world wars, or royalty involved in world wars. Also Chosen One narratives. Also fairies/fae and evil aliens (I like friendly aliens, though!). But for all of the above I can be grabbed by the right story! I’m not the best CP for most contemporary or heavily character-driven stories. No horror (I get nightmares!) or literary (I get bored) or verse (my brain hurts).
Eighteen-year-old Maeve Auldryn’s parents want her to follow the family tradition and get a prestigious job in magic. But Maeve just can’t. Sure, she’s talented, like the rest of her family, but it doesn’t make her heart sing the way nature does. She’d rather spend her days learning about nimble cliff dragons or bioluminescent firenewts. When the International Science Fair comes to town she secretly enters her own project, hoping to catch the eye of a visiting professor; with a scholarship, she won’t need her parents’ approval.
There she meets Itai, a friendly – and let’s be honest, cute – biology student who invites her to opening night. But the keynote has barely started when a huge explosion rocks the hall, killing the speaker. No smoke, no smell – it had to have been magical. Someone recognizes her and suddenly the frightened crowd is pointing fingers: hardly anyone has enough magic to make that blast… but the Auldryns do.
When armored tactical teams arrive to arrest her, Maeve panics. She’s not a murderer! She can’t go to jail! Even if she’s acquitted, she’d lose her chance at a scholarship. Rationality leaves her and she convinces Itai to escape on a stolen dragon. The police just need time to look at the evidence.
But the evidence all points to her. She’s been framed.
Overnight, she and Itai – guilty by association – become the targets of an international person-hunt. Her powerful parents might be able to get her off grand theft dragon with money and a good lawyer, but they can’t buy her out of murder. With her the sole declared suspect, Maeve can only see one way out: find the evidence to clear her own name. If she has any hope of seeing that scholarship (not to mention freedom) she’ll need to use all of her scientific and magical skills to find the real killer before the police find her.
Maeve paused at the bottom of the great stone stairs, gathering her courage. The Dundurn conference hall rose before her, its polished rosestone walls brightly reflecting the afternoon sun. A portico arched over the heavy wooden doors, decorated with a magician-sculpted relief showing blossoms of Rishka’s Promise. Beneath it, a banner tied to the outside columns fluttered in the warm autumn breeze.
She hugged her papercase a little closer as she read the words: INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE FAIR. She’d been fourteen last time the Fair had come to Carddwyn and a lot had changed in four years, but her insides still squirmed with that same mixture of excitement and fear. Just like last time, she was here without her parents’ knowledge. She hoped to avoid getting caught this time.
She glanced over her shoulder at the courtyard. People bustled back and forth, the space busier than usual with all the fair-goers. A food cart parked by the fountain in the middle seemed to be serving spiced seidhir; the smell mingled with the salty sea air swirling up from the harbor. Conversation and laughter mixed with the rattle of cart wheels over cobblestones and the clopping hoofbeats of the heavy woolen rannoch that pulled them. She watched one make its way toward the market distantly visible down the street. Her mom and sister might already be there, browsing the visiting vendors in advance of meeting Maeve for lunch in a bell’s time. She couldn’t risk being late, couldn’t risk them guessing where she was.
She turned back to the hall and, with a deep breath, started climbing the steps. People hurried past her on the stairs, some going in and others headed out. No one paid her any attention. Thank Rishka for that. Last thing she needed was word getting back to her parents. She cast her eyes up at the portico’s relief again. The flowers were there because they were Carddwyn’s national emblem, but in this moment they felt like a blessing from the goddess. You’re in the right place. It will be okay.
STORMWING is my ninth manuscript. I’m currently brainstorming/outlining another book set in the same world and plan to dabble in this world for a little while/few projects at least.
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