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Sunday, 1 March 2015  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

red 2

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy

Word Count: 60,000


Mona’s usually careful with magic. But when debt endangers the enchanted orchard—the source of her power—she must choose between losing the very thing that defines her and selling magic to the highest bidder.


The man sitting across from me on Dad’s faded, faux-leather couch wants a complete overhaul. New nose and chin, brown eyes to blue, different color hair. He also wants new fingerprints, which don’t come cheap.

“I always thought I’d look good as a blond.” The man runs a hand through his wispy, dark hair. “Can you do it, Genie?”

He has this weird way of jutting his chin forward like a chicken on the last word of his sentences, so Genie comes out pretty strong, which ticks me off. I hate being called that. My name is Mona, and I’m not a genie.

I’m about to bite his head off when Dad, who is perched on the arm of my chair, jumps in. “Of course she can, Buzz. But fingerprints’ll cost you extra.”

“What? I’m already paying you too much. She’s a kid.”

“I’m not a kid, I’m seventeen.” This guy is a real charmer.

“A kid who can change your life,” Dad says. He squeezes my knee and glowers underneath a pasted-on smile, telling me not to wreck it. He’s right, I shouldn’t be so defensive. But I’m tired and I have a science test in the morning.

Buzz purses his lips and glances back and forth between Dad and me. “How much extra?”

“Another ten percent,” Dad says, examining his fingernails.

Buzz balks, and they start arguing. Dad looks every part the suave salesman in his Italian silk tie. Buzz, however, has rumpled clothes and several days’ worth of stubble, and I wonder whether he even has the kind of money Dad’s talking about.


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