Title: QUEEN OF THE NIGHT
Genre: YA Fantasy
Word Count: 70,000
My main character is most uncomfortable with:
When I was a kid I loved doing winter activities. I could sled, ice skate, or make snow angels until I couldn’t feel my fingers and Dad would insist I come inside. The beauty of a snowfall was something to look forward to, but last winter changed all that. Now snow reminds me I’ve lost my father. Sparks and ashes from the fire rained all around us, but grief clutched my heart with an icy hand. I can’t forget the pain on his face while he lay dying on a carpet of white. Or that I’m to blame.
Her skin is pale, not green, and she doesn’t believe in magic, let alone wearing pointy hats. Grieving eighteen-year-old Sarah never knew her mother, and now blames herself for her father’s recent death in a fire. Skeptical of allegations that he came from a magical land, she is lured into using his key-shaped pendant to travel to this place called Zyris.
A centuries old conflict exists there over who has the right to rule. Now the current king must face the long awaited rebel queen, purported to be a powerful magician descended from an immortal race. Unintentionally, Sarah finds herself at the heart of the coming war when she learns that her father’s ancestry makes her this expected queen. Her supporters are a group called the Night, who will be ruthless in their attempt to gain power. Still reeling from that revelation, she meets and falls for Prince Liam, heir to the current ruler of Zyris and enemy of the Night.
Convinced that she isn’t any better equipped to rule the Night than her father was, she hopes to return home rather than choose sides. But when the only portal to her world is destroyed and Sarah finds herself betrayed by Liam, she must play a game of wits with a dashing, merciless mentor in the art of magic. Her powers may enable her to create a link to her beloved father. They may also be used in a gruesome plan that would guarantee victory for the Night. Trapped between her own desire for survival and the needs of the people depending on her, Sarah must find the courage to resist becoming the evil queen or destroy her chance to bring peace to all of Zyris and her own restless heart.
After another fruitless day of searching Scottish records, I sank onto my hotel room’s luxurious four poster bed to call my aunt with an update.
“Hi, Sarah, did you find anything useful?”
“No. The University in Edinburgh verified Dad’s history degrees and that he applied there from Peebles, but the local government and the library didn’t have any information about him.” Like he didn’t exist before he went to college.
“Maybe he was from another town.”
Or maybe he hid his magic extremely well. I pressed the heel of my hand against my forehead, rubbing against the tension. I was not ready to start believing. “Why would he tell us he was from Peebles, then? The people here sound like Dad, anyway, just a slight Scottish brogue.” Did she hear the catch in my voice? “Tomorrow I’m going to the high school to try to talk with some of the oldest teachers. This town is small enough one of them should remember him.”
“Are they still in session this late in June?”
“Till next week.”
“Good, maybe you’ll get lucky. Are you doing okay?” A simple question, but Aunt Nora needed reassurance that this trip on top of my grief wasn’t overwhelming me.
I had a quick image of potatoes frying in a pan, and then suddenly I was back, choked by the smoke of my house in flames. My hand crept to my throat, and I swallowed, desperate to dispel the memory. Four months had passed, but the guilt remained.