TITLE: THE LUCK EXCHANGE
GENRE: MG Fantasy
Twelve-year-old Madalece desperately wants to fix her broken Luck to regain Mother's love, but when Mother starts working on a mysterious cure, Madalece must accept herself as is to right Mother’s gruesome wrongs.
When elves die by sword or sorrow,
Owls make certain they see tomorrow.
Their souls are planted and reborn.
With pasts erased, they do not mourn.
But compassion fades and hearts harden
As rumors take root and poison the Garden.
Earthworms of anxiety knotted in Madelece’s belly. She’d barely slept the night before, which meant sporadic Luck. And that wouldn’t go unnoticed by Mother.
Steadying her breath, Madelece climbed out of her canoe and pulled it onto the sand. She scanned the plain oak canoes anchored to the shore by Luck, until she spotted her mother’s.
She turned back to her canoe. “Madelece says, Stay.” Her voice was strong and sure. Reaching down, she gave the boat a small test push, and it scooted back into the water. Jinx! Thank the Owls no one was around to see her failure. She quickly grabbed the edge before it floated away.
Once she found the in-case-of-no-Luck rope she kept hidden under the seat, she tied it to a nearby tree, securing her canoe. She shivered and shook down her copper-colored hair over her shoulders—it was cooler in the Valley than where her papa lived on the fringe of the isle.
Madelece gathered her satchel and took a nervous sip of maple tea. The healers had to cure her sleeplessness. They just had to. Then she’d make Mother proud of her. But, it would mean staying with Papa during the Rite of Names ceremony, and Mother—the Mistress Gardener of the elven afterlife—would never agree to that.