Mentor Name: Jessica Vitalis / Rebecca Wells
Mentee Name: Amanda Hill
Title: THE THREE RULES OF EVERYDAY MAGIC
Word Count: 35,000
Every night, Kate writes a letter to her father and stores it in a shoebox. But hope doesn’t belong in a shoebox. So Kate concocts a plan using her grandma’s rules for Everyday Magic. If it works, she’ll shake her dad out of his depression and bring him home. If not, he’ll be gone forever. THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z. meets LOVE, AUBREY.
Tomorrow’s my birthday.
Mom says not to get my hopes up about you coming. That you need a break from her and me and everything. But I don’t think you meant a break from birthdays. You’ll come to mine, right?
Grammy will be here. Maybe when you see her you’ll remember how much you love her, your sadness will burn up like morning fog, and you’ll come home. That’s what I’m hoping.
P.S. Please bring everything to make my ice cream cake. It’s not a real birthday without it.
P.P.S. It’s not a real birthday without you, either.
There’s something about birthday air that feels like ending and beginning, surprise and tradition, going away and coming home all at the same time. It blows through my screen and ruffles my hair with the smell of the almond orchard and the promise of a present, a visitor.
I press my forehead against the cool window. There’s only one car sitting in the gravel driveway, but it’s still early, and he’s never liked mornings much.
“Hey, birthday girl!” calls Mom. “Aren’t you ready yet?”
I close the blinds with a crash so the sun and heat can’t sneak their way inside. “Coming!”
When I run into the kitchen, Mom’s standing at the counter with pen and paper. She shoves a box of cereal my way. “Happy birthday. Load up on some sugar.”