Dear Ms. Marini,
The day after her mother dies, shadows start stalking
sixteen-year-old Talitha Martin. To start over and be safe, she must hide her
biggest secret: that her body keeps turning into smoke.
Except secrets, like smoke, are impossible to contain. When emotional stress
causes Talitha to shift, it’s witnessed by her new neighbour Caspar. However,
instead of running away--or exposing her secret--Caspar is intrigued. His
stubborn friendship is unshakable even when the shadows attack Caspar and
Talitha. They’re saved not by her smoke, but by two beings forged from flame:
The Ascended came down to Earth to find the vessel--a reincarnated Ascended who
can help them in the war against the shadows. Since Talitha’s power enables her
to find and protect this human vessel, the Ascended promise to help her learn
to control it, but only if she agrees to help. When Caspar’s life is linked to
that of the vessel, she can’t back out of the agreement.
Now, Talitha must harness her powers fast or let the shadows win. Either way,
her dreams of a normal life just went up in smoke.
OF FIRE AND SHADOW is a YA Urban
Fantasy completed at 63,500 words.
Thank you for your time and
OF FIRE AND SHADOW
My mother died a week ago. Smoke inhalation, the coroner’s
The problem: there was no fire.
The cause: my freakish power. Not that I could admit it, unless I wanted to
become a science experiment, or thrown in jail.
I leaned against the rough brick wall of the lawyer’s office and nearly crossed
my arms, except something across the road caught my eye.
The shadows across the road were oddly darker than the midday sun warranted, as
if they had swallowed the very ground. Goosebumps prickled down my neck.
I stepped away from the wall, intrigued by the shadows.
Something, or someone, stood in the shadows across the street. I squinted,
trying to overcome the glare of sunlight off towering office buildings. The
figure swayed like branches caught in a breeze. My eyebrows furrowed as I
stepped into the gutter, ignoring the cars blurring past. The shadows writhed
and crept towards the buildings, the figure moving in their safety.
I spun and faced my grandma’s inquiring face. She’d finished inside the
lawyer’s office--finished with the aftermath of my failure. I swallowed hard
and glanced back at the shadowed trees and sidewalk. They were normal.
“Everything sorted?” I asked and shook my head to clear it. It wasn’t the first
time I’d seen the writhing shadows.
She squinted at me through her round glasses. “Yes.”
Grandma thought I was too young to know about all the legal affairs involved
with my guardianship. So a simple yes was the best I could’ve hoped for.