Genre: MG Contemporary Fantasy
Word Count: 69K
Twelve-year-old Lark Bleecker has always been drawn to her family’s hometown of Warnsveld, New York-- mainly because her parents were so determined to keep her away from it. Now that her grandmother and aunt have died, her parents seem only too happy to be back, but Lark’s beginning to think they had it right the first time.
She wants some answers.
What did Aunt Bette do that made Lark’s parents flee their home? Who is Tavish, the strange, shoeless boy who peers in Lark's window at night, and hangs around with shoplifters during the day? Why is Lark having visions of a girl from Warnsveld's distant past-- and how is it connected to Aunt Bette’s madness?
Searching for the truth, Lark runs afoul of a band of storybook tricksters and folkloric figures who followed her Dutch ancestors to Warnsveld in the seventeenth century, and interferes with a way of life they've kept secret ever since. Defending herself and her friends against this rising threat will force Lark to question even the little she thought she knew, and to redefine 'family' forever.
“It’s a bad country where no one finds gain.” Of all the proverbs Lark heard owl-eyed Spiegel utter later, that was the one that rang true. No matter how many things went wrong, some things went right-- that was what she thought it meant.
She could live with that, because for her the right things turned out to be important things. But they did have a habit of happening in batches. She’d been in Warnsveld a week and not met anyone, and then in the same twenty-four hours there was one boy on the stoop, and another at her second-story window. But the boy on the stoop came first.
“Your pod is open,” he said, when she opened the door.
“What?” asked Lark, who couldn’t hear him over the din of her mother’s world music station. She stepped out and pulled the door shut behind her.
“I said, your storage pod is open. Out back.”
Lark clapped a hand to her forehead. “Thanks. My mom would kill me if she saw. Half our stuff is still in there.”
“I figured. My dad was going to call, but I headed him off,” said the boy.
“Hey, who knows,” Lark joked, “maybe no one would have heard the phone ring.” She held the door open so he could feel the pulse of the drums, bass and wild skirling instruments. Was her mother singing? Horrors.
The boy stifled a smirk.