Genre: YA Historical Fantasy
Word Count: 70,000
Sixteen-year-old Holly Kimura expects her annual visit to her grandmother in Japan to be just another summer of boredom and sushi, until she meets local boy Tamashi. When he saves Holly from thugs at the market where he works, she jumps at the chance to get closer to him, hoping to unearth the secrets behind his threadbare clothes and strange accent, and maybe steal a kiss or two. But nothing prepares her for what she discovers – Tamashi isn’t human.
He’s a Time Dragon - the last of an ancient breed of dragons created to watch over Japan. But after being betrayed by the woman he loved, he’s been trapped in the body of a seventeen-year-old human boy for the last five hundred years. Even worse, the wizard who captured him is close to unlocking Tamashi’s powers – and he intends to use them to rewrite time. If Tamashi and Holly can’t stop the wizard from completing his terrible vision for the past, he will erase their very existence from history. And that would seriously screw up the rest of Holly’s summer plans.
There was nothing quite like the smell of fish to set the mood for a first date.
Holly stood at the edge of the farmer’s market and wrinkled her nose. Usually the scent of yuzu and fresh chestnuts spiced the air, but today was Wednesday. Fish day.
Not exactly the day she would have chosen to meet up with her crush, but evidently guys either didn’t mind the smell or didn’t pay attention to that sort of thing. She hitched up her ponytail and started to weave past tables covered with ice and slimy octopus. Fish mouths gaped at her, full of razor sharp teeth, but it was nothing compared to the looks some of the stooped old vendors shot her. They gawked as she passed, their quick judgment of her easy to read in their drawn brows and cold eyes.
She was only half Japanese. An outsider. Though they were too polite to say anything, she knew what they were thinking. Hafu. Hapa. Half-breed. And now that she was back in Japan for another summer, she had to get used to the place all over again. It always felt so foreign, so alien to return, like stepping off a spinning merry-go-round and trying to stay upright. The older she got, the longer she took to regain her balance.
“Buy a kimono!” a vendor shouted at her in Japanese. Holly shook her head as she skirted around tables full of weird anime figurines and cheap lacquer boxes for the tourists.