Mentee Name: Susan Crispell
Title: WISHES TO NOWHERE
Genre: Magical Realism
Word Count: 83,500
When Claire McCallie gets stranded in small-town Nowhere, NC, she meets a woman who bakes secrets into pies, a man who makes her want to stay, and a stranger who holds the key to her past. In Nowhere Claire must accept her own magical ability to make wishes come true, or risk losing her brother—whom she accidentally wished out of existence years before—and her happiness all over again.
Birthday parties made her nervous. Itchy. She didn’t mind the screaming kids, puddles of melted ice cream or even the clowns who twisted dogs out of skinny, colored balloons.
It was the birthday candles and subsequent wishes that did it.
Wishes tended to complicate life for Claire McCallie.
Too bad that excuse didn’t fly with four year olds. So there she sat, sideways in a plastic booth, next to a pile of discarded plates and crumpled, pizza-sauced napkins. One cup lay on its side leaking orange soda from the straw hole. The soda crept across the table toward her, millimeter by millimeter. She couldn’t find a clean napkin to mop it up with so she simply watched as it continued its slow attack.
“Cee!” the birthday girl, Violet, yelled from across the enclosed party room. “Cake! Cake!” Violet waved her twiggy arm in a circle, beckoning Claire over.
Claire scooted out of the booth but stayed a safe distance from the birthday girl and her unicorn-shaped cake with four candles protruding from its back. The ice cream cone horn was slathered in white icing and silver sprinkles. “I’m not hungry,” she said and avoided looking at her best friend—and Violet’s mom—Mary Beth Foster, who was no doubt rolling her eyes at Claire’s wariness.
Violet stared, mesmerized, as Mary Beth lit the candles and said, “Make a wish, baby.”