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PW #363: Young Adult Fantasy: SLEIGHT OF HEART

Thursday, 2 November 2017  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Colleen Oefelein (CM McCoy)

Mentee Name: Margie Fuston


Category: Young Adult

Genre: Fantasy

Word Count: 85,000 words


When foster kid Ava joins a troop of traveling magicians, she discovers they aren’t magicians at all but harvesters collecting the purest magic on Earth—applause. But Ava’s not their only apprentice, and if she wants to keep her newfound family, she’d better impress them with the show of her life…in a wicked, magic-fueled citadel with no trick blades or rubber bullets.


I dig my fork into the kitchen table, scratching another gouge. Nobody will ever notice. This table has been through more families than me.

But it feels like a rebellion, and it distracts me from Parker and Jacob on the other side, laughing about some prank their friend pulled at school today. Nobody bothers telling me the story.

I deepen my gouge.

Parker and Ava Perry. We share a last name. It should be me and him with everyone else on the outside. Jacob’s the bio-kid of the house. He doesn’t need Parker the way I do.

I smooth my finger over the gash, suddenly wishing I could magic it away. But that’s not how scars work. Instead, I drag my plate over it and grimace as Parker shovels a heap of lukewarm spaghetti in his mouth. He hangs his jaw open so the noodles drip down his chin and lets out a low death gurgle.

Jacob snorts, spraying flecks of milk almost to my plate.


I glare, but they’re too wrapped up in their zombie love fest to notice.

Jacob turns serious, widening his dark brown eyes. “Dude, I would totally put you down if you got bit.”

Parker nods. “Same.”

“I’m going to put you both down if you don’t shut up and eat,” I growl. I love a good zombie movie as much as the next girl but not at dinner.

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