TITLE: The Cross Queen
GENRE: YA Fantasy
When Colista (17), a pillaging street rat, dethrones the current Fire Queen of Lavelle, she must survive attempts on her life, endless scrutiny of her virtue, and forbidden love. However, when she realizes she can wield all four elements, the remaining Elemental Queens and their secrets threaten the crown she fought for.
I run into the storm.
When the dreaded bell sounds throughout the valley, the villagers scatter from the marketplace, leaving their pushcarts, stalls, and errands behind. It is protocol in Lavelle to race for shelter when disaster is warned to hit.
I wish I could say I am brave - that I don’t run away because I’m a thrill seeker - a risk taker. But that’s not the case at all. I’m terrified. Every time a storm, a fire, a tidal wave or avalanche charges for our province, I fear it’s the last time I’ll see daylight. But I race into the marketplace whenever that bell sounds for one reason only: to survive.
I spy from behind a brick corridor, waiting for the marketplace to empty. The last few people gather up some belongings or wrangle their horses in a hurry to escape the escalating winds that kick up the sand and pebbles from the poorly-kept dirt roads. The few guards remaining tell the stragglers to leave everything and get moving. They check the abandoned vendor stalls and scan through the whipping canvas of the tents, which surely won’t be here in a few hours.
When one of the guard’s eyes peer my way, I duck back into the corridor. If they see me, they’ll hustle me away. Part of me wants them to see me - to usher me back to safety. But a bigger part of me is hungry and knows that Magda needs her medicine.