Manuscript Status: Finished!
Mentor Name: Kara Seal
Mentee Name: Ashley Martin
Title: Follow Me
Category: Middle Grade
Word Count: 51,200
Deep inside the wood, cats can talk and white rabbits wear waistcoats. But when Alivia searches the forest for her missing mother, she finds the roots of her family tree tangled in secrets. Now she must fight for a crown she never wanted – or risk losing her mother forever.
The wind had turned cold.
The breeze reached through the darkness and raised goosebumps on Alivia’s skin. Teeth chattering, she tucked the covers under her brother’s chin and hugged her arms across her chest as she hurried past the open window. The thin white nightgown that swished around her ankles glowed against the darkness. Like a beam of moonlight.
Or a ghost.
She dove into the warm refuge of her own bed and pulled up the down-filled quilt, wiggling her toes nearer to her stolen bedwarmer. Alivia smiled with impertinent satisfaction. Aunt Lorina would be furious if she knew several of the potatoes buried in the ashes of the kitchen fireplace were now warming Alivia’s feet. But worse than that, if her aunt knew the window was open on such a cold night, she’d lock it up tighter than the glass-doored bookshelves downstairs in the library.
Alivia wrinkled her nose as the scent of half-baked potatoes drifted up from beneath the sheets. Since Aunt Lorina’s arrival they’d dined on potatoes at nearly every meal. Potato soup, potato mash, baked potatoes, fried potatoes, and every other form of potato-something that could be imagined. Alivia missed her mother’s cooking almost as much as she missed her touch, her smile…
It came then, preceded by a gust of wind that rippled the curtains and sent a chill up Alivia’s back, despite the down and potatoes. Like an echo of the wind, a familiar voice whispered.