Manuscript Status: Finished
Mentor Name: Shannon M. Parker/Kathryn Purdie/Janet Taylor
Mentee Name: Jennifer Laird
Title: HOUSE OF SMOULDERING TEARS
Category: Young Adult
Word Count: 85,000
When the King of Thieves commissions his ill apprentice, seventeen-year-old Adonia, to steal from enchanter royalty, the robbed prince demands retribution. Imprisoned in a fiery kingdom, Adonia must resolve the vendetta her crime rekindles between two deadly magical families…before a curse burns her to ash.
This wretched cough will end me if my master doesn’t strangle me first.
I clear my throat and glance at the bronze clock hanging on the wall – hell have mercy. My meeting with him started ten minutes ago. Cesario, King of Thieves, might forgive me for this slip. Or I’ll get a fresh black eye.
My heart beating to a wild rhythm, I shuffle along the lantern-lit corridors of the Thieves’ Guild. Other thieves slither past me, but keep close to the opposing wall. I smile and cover my mouth even as my lungs tighten in my chest. We’re self-employed. There’s no time for sickness.
After a few more steps, I slump against the chamber door and peel my damp hair away from my neck. Cesario doesn’t like windows – too easy for his enemies to slip inside, so he says. Never mind that it’s summer and sweat clings to every inch of me.
I wipe my upper lip and stalk towards Cesario’s office. An office…as if he does anything but brood and chuck paper around in dramatic candlelight. Thieves are wraiths. We dart along alcoves and creep inside manors, leaving not so much as a boot print behind. Paperwork incriminates. It draws attention.
Why remind anyone we exist?
I swallow a few times, soothing the dry tickle in my throat. A thief shouldn’t have a cough loud enough to rouse the whole town. It’s a miracle I still have a bed in this Guild.
Unless I don’t, and that’s why I’ve been summoned.