Genre: YA fantasy
Word Count: 64,000
Sixteen-year-old Harper Page is the most closely-guarded secret of the Fellowship, the group that protects the world’s mythical creatures from discovery. (Except Bigfoot. That attention whore is a total lost cause.) Harper’s bloodline is so far on the down low, even she’s surprised to learn the truth. She’s half-human, half-muralet—a direct descendant of Mother Nature herself. The last descendant, actually. And her blood is the most magical thing this side of ever, increasing the powers of any creature who drinks it. Unfortunately, this means the power-hungry creeps who've made her an endangered species would really like to drain her of her performance-enhancing blood.
At least there's an upside: Seth, the mentor and protector who never lets her out of his sight. Which is fine by Harper, because, dear God, those dimples, and the way his dark eyes go all serious when he looks at her….Yeah, life in the Fellowship isn’t looking bad at all. But after groups of harpies and doppelgangers find ways to break through Seth's protection, Harper realizes even the Fellowship can't keep her safe anymore. If she can't get her magic up to speed and figure out who she can trust, she’ll end up dead and discarded like every muralet before her.
It’s the third day in a row Sam’s driven us home, and the third day the ducks have decided to cross the road just as we’re coming up on the last curve before our house. I’m certain they lie in wait until they see our car coming. Sam can’t stand it. He pulls the car to a stop and flops back in his seat with a huff as the ducks wobble past.
The wind picks up and a collection of leaves catches my eye, lifting and trailing through the air. I watch them dance, swirling through the overgrown weeds at the edge of the road and leaping across a fence. A lone tree rises from the field on the other side. The leaves spiral toward it and then dash upward. As I follow them, I catch sight of something else. The curve of the branches, the gathering of the leaves, the shadowing of the sunlight—
I grab Sam’s arm. “What is that?”
“That.” I point toward the tree.
He leans forward, following my finger. “It’s a tree.”
“No. Hang on. Let me find it again.” The car lurches forward. “Wait! Give me a second.”
He sighs and turns the wheel to the right, driving until the car sinks into the grass. I ignore the attitude. It’s not like I’m holding up traffic. Three cars travel this far down this old, one-lane road, and the other two belong to our parents.
I open the door and get out, stepping through the high weeds lining the side of the road.