TITLE: The Magic Diary
GENRE: MG Fantasy
Emily walked up the cobblestone path and peered at the tall Scottish mansion. Ravencourt Manor was still as creepy as she remembered it: big and gloomy with a draft in every corner. Taking in the old, murky walls with their peeling plaster and dark-green honeysuckle, she shivered. The vine stretching from the ground to the turrets and windows on the first floor looked like a hand sucking the life out of the red brick. And maybe it did, for the house seemed dead as a cemetery with its iron-wrought gates, stone-mullioned sills and weeds raking out of every crevice.
"I wish Mum and Sammy were here, too," Emily whispered.
Dark clouds gathered in the distance. A black crow swooped over her head and perched on the cast iron roof. The scent of damp earth hung heavy in the chilly December air. She squeezed her father's hand when a crack of thunder made her jump.
"You know that's not possible." He opened the large wooden doors. "Now come along."
The shutters on the first floor buckled in the wind. With slow steps she entered the wide hallway and followed her father to the kitchen. Her brother Sammy had often joked that drafts were ghosts creeping slowly toward one. Emily knew it wasn't true because Grandma had called it nonsense. But now, standing in the large kitchen with a cold breeze blowing from beyond the closed door, the memory of Sammy's words made her legs all wobbly.