So my mailbag is HUGE, absolutely BURSTING at the seams with people asking me what my three books are about that just sold to Scholastic Press. Okay, I'm exaggerating, but I get to because I'm still bruised from all the pinching, K?)
VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION : No, the three books are not a trilogy, they are all stand-alone novels, although the two Middle-Grade novels take place in the same setting and one of the characters is the same . . . the mysterious swamp traiteur. But I still have to WRITE that book, oh my! To have a book sold merely on the basis of a synopsis is still REALLY WILD to me.
I thought I would feel more pressure over this fact, but I'm just really excited because I love the idea and I think it's going to be a fun book to write. AND I just got the idea in September and whipped up a synopsis in a couple of brainstorming and writing sessions. I think all that synopsis writing and rewriting I did for my queries gave me an edge. See, nothing goes to waste, even if the learning curve is extremely painful. So keep writing those query synopses. One day you'll be glad you did!
The novel actually opens with a Recipe for a Healing Spell, but I'll save that for the published book - or maybe later . . . can't decide. Aren't I so mean?
Brief Synopsis of THE HEALING SPELL:
Deep in the Louisiana bayou country, Livie Moulaison’s mother arrives home from the hospital in a coma. Daddy is determined she will only get better surrounded by the people who love her best, but Livie is terrified of her mother’s lifeless condition and wracked by a guilty secret.
The household is turned upside down when Aunt Colleen comes to nurse Mamma, but Livie and her younger cousin Thibodeaux clash from the get-go. It drives her crazy how this annoying kid seems to know what her worst fears are - and plays on those fears to torment her.
Mostly, Livie is afraid she and her mother will never be able to heal their hurtful past if Mamma never wakes up again. Summoning her courage, Livie travels into the forbidden recesses of the swamp to seek out the mysterious traiteur, hoping that if she buys a healing spell, she can bring her mother back to life.
Ta Da! Here is the First Page:
"What in the world is J.B. thinking bringing Rosemary home from the hospital? What a foolish old coot!” Mrs. Guidry talked in one of those loud whispers, like someone who pretends they don’t want anyone to hear, but it carries across the room anyway. “If you ask me, there ain’t no way a man with a sixth grade education can care for someone with a coma.”
There was that word again. I plugged my ears wishing Mrs. Guidry would stop saying it. Mamma looked like she was dead, but she wasn’t really dead. More like stuck somewhere between life and death. As if her body didn’t know which direction in the road to choose.
“Just old, traditional Cajun, Charlotte,” Mrs. Martin answered, a pink flush creeping up her neck when she saw me listening. “It drove J.B. crazy having to leave the hospital when it was time for his shift at the oilrigs.”
Headlights swung into the gravel driveway and Daddy tooted the horn of his Chevy. The dark blue truck looked like a bruise in the dusk. Finally he was home. And this time he was bringing Mamma with him.
My chest got so tight felt like a gator squeezing my heart between his jaws. Drooling to eat my innards up and then spit me onto the muddy bayou banks, leaving my brand new Montgomery Wards red sneakers floating in the hyacinth. That happened to a little boy down the Bayou Teche last year. He was only three years old, and his mama cried her eyes out for more than a week straight.
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