WORD COUNT: 83,000
GENRE: YA Urban Fantasy
Eponine “Poni” Thorpe doesn’t care about high school, her parents’ crime sprees, or even the User abilities she was born with. All she cares about is her best friend Mark. He’s the only one who can keep the rot from her soul, the only reason she Uses magic at all.
Then Cassie Vandenberg moves to town and she’s all Mark sees. Poni can’t compete with Cassie or her California Barbie charm so she gives up trying to be the perfect girl for Mark and agrees to help her parents on a job—something she swore she would never do again. When the job turns out to be kidnapping Cassie, Poni knows she’s made a big mistake and has to fix it or she’ll lose the only person who’s ever cared for her.
Now Poni’s parents are out to get her for screwing with their plans. In order to keep herself and Mark safe, Poni must find the connection between her parents and Cassie Vandenberg. What she uncovers might be enough to take down her parents, Cassie, and even the User society she was born into. But going that far means lying, bribery, and pain. It means becoming that rotten version of herself she’s always tried to hide from Mark. Poni must decide whether saving Mark’s life is worth losing him for good.
FIRST 250 WORDS:
On my own, I bounce a ball of magic between my hands. The silvery sphere jumps up and down, back and forth, the only light in the room. I’m exhausted, my fingers feel tight, but I don’t want to go home.
The magic ball flickers, wavers, dims. I concentrate on it. Search every spare corner of my body for whatever energy I can find. I pour myself into it. My fingers tingle like they’ve been asleep. The ball suddenly brightens, gets so big I have to hold it with two hands while my eyes squint and burn. The power rushing through my body is a high no drug can ever give.
“Whoa. That’s quite the orb you’ve got going on there, Thorpe.”
The magic ball disappears, leaving me in the dark, leaving my body cold. There’s a snap and the lights in the gym come on. I squint against the brightness. Mark Parsons stands in the doorway, his arms braced on either side. Immediately my heart quickens. Stupid heart.
“Thought you went home,” I say, standing. With a groan, I stretch my aching muscles.
“I did, but then I realized I left my history textbook. I’ve gotta finish that paper on the Byzantine Empire.”
Making a face, I grab my backpack from the corner of the gym and head towards Mark. My runners make no sound on the rubber floor. “Wanna write mine while you’re at it?”
The corners of his mouth tip up. “My brain can only handle one.”