Monday, July 21, 2014

IWTN Entry 13: Book of Adam, YA Urban Fantasy

Title: The Book of Adam
Word count: 95,000
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy


Adam Shelley’s folks peddle hoodoo spells for a living, so crazy house rules like ‘never ditch your evil spirit-repelling mojo-bag,’ come with the territory. At sixteen though, he’s more worried about the bag, which smells like whiskey and stinky feet, driving away his girlfriend than evil.

When a classmate’s ridicule pushes Adam past his breaking point, he throws a punch and accidentally squishes his mojo-bag. Mama’s gonna kill him, but for one night maybe he can make out with his girlfriend sans mojo-stench. He never imagines his tiny misstep will make him dinner for a gang of rogue Immortals. Pale, clawed, and fanged—the Immortals spill his guts over the oaks like Spanish moss. As he’s dying, Adam’s mama, a disgraced alchemist, makes him an Immortal using her secret Philosopher’s Stone.

Now Adam’s forced to live by a new crazy rule. Obey the Immortal Council’s iron will or go to Hell. His first command: surrender Mama’s stone by the Spring Equinox (a measly 148 days).

Adam would, gladly … except the stone and his mama have both been missing since Adam’s rebirth. Setting out to find the stone that might save his afterlife, his first lead ends with a crackpot chem teacher slicing him open. Turns out Mama didn’t heal Adam with her stone, she stuck it inside him to keep it from the Immortals who killed him. Since the stone’s the only thing keeping him alive, Adam hopes capturing the rogues will appease the Council. And revenge? That’s an added bonus.

First 250:

The only thing reeking worse than my mojo-bag was the team on the field, and that was saying something considering our rusted scrap-heap of a football stadium sat in the middle of a salt marsh. Some called it ‘character,’ but Mama always said about Caledonia: she hadn’t seen so many half-collapsed and boarded up buildings since she’d fled Tehran in ‘79.

I wrestled my pecan-sized mojo-bag from my pocket and crinkled my nose. High John the Conqueror root, graveyard dirt, and powdered sulfur all wrapped up in a red flannel package and charged in whiskey… Nana said it was like bug spray against evil spirits—but it really warded off anyone with a nose.

The bleachers groaned as I stretched against the railing and debated letting my mojo-‘ball-and-chain’ slip through my fingers. At the last second, my younger brother, Nathan, reeled me back and snatched the charm away.

“Adam! You can’t do that.”

I frowned. “How am I supposed to keep my girlfriend if I smell like armpit and alcohol?”

“You know it’s for protection.” He scratched his right arm the way he always did when overworking his geek brain cells.

Red lines ran like plant roots from Nate’s palm to his chest—a lasting memento from the time he’d been struck by lightning. And while I knew he hadn’t been totally deep fried, he insisted that without Nana’s prompt ‘raising of Lazarus act,’ I’d be an only child. ‘The scratch’ was also his way of guilting me into being a good little soldier.


  1. I'd like to see the first five chapters, please. Email it to, and please put in the subject that it's from this contest.

  2. This sounds fun! Please send the first 50 (or up to the closest logical breaking point) to me at