TITLE: Where All the Missing Pieces Go
GENRE: YA Fantasy
Needing a place to crash, down-and-out Jane finds refuge in a sorceress's castle. But when the sorceress asks her to paint the stars to earn her keep and pieces of Jane's soul are ripped away to create living, breathing star creatures, she flees. Now Jane must race to find her stars both before the sorceress, and before they return to the sky and her missing pieces are lost forever.
Waiting in front of Lord and Lady Crocket’s dining room, I could only think of one possible explanation for why I’d been summoned. They were kicking me out.
Mrs. Cowl had her hands clasped behind her back as she stood beside me staring at the doors. Sunlight flickered down through the glass ceiling, casting rainbows across her gray-streaked bun. She didn’t have to be here, waiting with me. I knew she had a million other head-housekeeper-duties she could be doing instead. So she probably knew.
I tilted my head back, wincing at the sunlight refracting across the roof. I’d lived here my whole life. This was my home.
The footman appeared from behind the door and held it open for me. “Her Ladyship will see you now.”
After one last glance at Mrs. Cowl, I stepped inside and squinted. Of all the airy rooms of the solarium, this had always been my favorite. Arching stained-glass windows lined the outside wall, their sun-warmed scenes drenching the parquet. Combined with the glass ceiling, it sometimes felt like I was standing inside a kaleidoscope.
They were all at the table. Lord Crocket read the paper, Lady Crocket swirled a biscotti in her coffee. Sari and Stella lit up as I approached.
Lady Crocket’s eyes snapped to me. Her expression reminded me of the one Sari made whenever Stella brought up politics at dinner. “Ah. Jane. Thank you so much for coming.” She cleared her throat. “Please, come sit. Would you like a biscuit?”