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WILLOW BORN (YA Paranormal Fantasy)

Title:

Willow Born

Author:

Shanna Mills

Genre:

YA Paranormal Fantasy

Word Count:

77,000 words

Query:

Almost fifty years to the day, witch hunters came to Carolina and devoured the Willows, a powerfully gifted clandestine coven. Sixteen-year-old Collette, a powerful empath, was unwittingly one of them. A part of a long line of witches that stretches back as far as the slave auctions of Charleston, she was especially gifted.

Decades after a murderous campaign kills her mother and nearly wipes out the clan, a series of strange kidnappings prompts a member of her secret coven to make a plea for help and Collette is chosen to answer the call. But things have changed in the years since her mother spirited her away to save her life. Angels have come out of the divine closet and everyone is on the lookout for the supernatural.

Snatched from the Void, a sliver of time that has kept her perpetually sixteen, she is resurrected and must choose between a second chance at a normal life and following the warrior path of the Willows. Soon, understanding her legacy isn’t her only problem as she struggles to keep the boy who could blow her cover at arm’s length and her sanity as family secrets come to light in the midst of a serial killer.

In the end it all comes down to destiny, death and the grey places between good and evil. But then again, when you’re Willow Born death can be just the beginning.

WILLOW BORN is a 77,000 word stand alone Paranormal Fantasy with series potential that will delight anyone who has a soft spot for YA with a unique voice and a heroine that saves herself (and the guy) in the end. Fans of Natalie C. Parker’s Beware the Wild and Cassandre Clare’s City of Bones will be delighted with the book’s mix of supernatural drama, romance and Southern fantasy.

My main occupation is as a high school librarian in Atlanta, Georgia and I set all of my novels deeply in biscuit-and-sweet-tea country.

First 300 words:

PART ONE – I’m Beginning to See The Light
Lake Murray, South Carolina One Summer Night
The imp prowls anxiously behind the ancient Willow tree, his muscles rippling under his too-tight feline skin. He knows the old witch isn’t as skilled as he needs her to be, but the pickings these days are slim. She’s the best of what’s left.
Warm breeze scatters scorched sections of the day’s newspaper, creating tiny cyclones around the bonfire. A photograph of a young girl with thin dreadlocks floats on dusty air before lighting and turning to ash.
Miss Collins picks up her bottle of hooch. She drinks quickly, spitting the rest into the flames. The cat who is anything but a cat chases the darkness to keep hidden, shielding his emerald eyes from the flares.
“They call them ‘Dolls’, Lord! ‘Dolls’! It is the coven who hears their cries.” The old witch wails into the darkness as starlight dribbles like sweat through the boughs of the tree.
Herb perfumed smoke rises thickly to the heavens. This is what he’s been waiting over half a century for. This night. This spell.
“Lord, fourteen precious girls have gone missing, then dead. My task is great, but your mercy is greater. I come to you a daughter of Odion, the first of our kind!”
At this she pulls the tree-shaped dagger from her waistband. Without taking her eyes from the sky she slices open her palm and flings the first drops of blood into the flames. Glittering blue flares erupt where blood meets ash.
“Yes!” he hisses to himself as the fire stills and ceases to flicker, freezing as time slows and the wall between heaven and earth burns away. She recites the names of her mother, and her mother’s mother, and her mother’s mother going back nearly 300 years to the first Willow born witch, Odion.

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