Title: THE FOUNDING OF JOSIAH TURN
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fantasy
Word Count: 70,000
Seventeen-year-old Josiah Turn has many regrets. His biggest: failing to die along with the only folk he’s ever known. Josiah belonged to a family, a community, a mountain. In the snap of an instant freeze, only Josiah and the mountain remain.
Now, he knows he’s in Appalachia, in the United States of America, in the year of his Lord 1888. What he doesn’t know fills the world’s libraries, but he holds no earthly notion. He doesn’t know the town founders shared all things in common, that they’d been brutal experiments to the Confederates, or that the military coming to town had always meant new and deadly trials. He’ll not suffer the thought his dad knew a thing or two he doesn’t. And Josiah’s not ready to learn the truth about the freeze or his new strength over the earth.
Leaving the mountaintop to find more than survival, Josiah seeks a truth to call his own. He stumbles through chances to learn and love, whilst picking up fresh regrets like killing a man, being a fugitive, and having black skin in a white world. Josiah believes in the peace he finds in France, complete with a mentor who helps him explore and control the powers he sought in vain to avoid.
His mentor’s confession of conspiracy against him pushes Josiah toward revenge, regret, and a knowledge he fears. Josiah can’t promise he won’t lament going home and hates to think of being a piece in anybody’s game ever again. He has not a soul to protect, save for the whole world who openly scorn or exploit him. Staring into that troubled world with no protector but himself, Josiah must decide to check out completely or become an unwanted hero.
The last thing I hear before I stir in the morning is my sister's voice.
"Up, up! Y'all need a bite before you go out into the world today," Sharon says cheerful as a lark.
She fixes breakfast for us, but Dad's been gone a couple hours already. He's not had a morning meal here since Mama died.
"Why you so bleary?" Tabitha asks me. I swing her in a circle, and Sharon thwacks me with her wooden spoon for threatening the table.
"Why are you so cheery?" I ask Tabitha. She kisses my cheek. Mama used to say the rhyme with me on waking; I started it with Tabitha before she could even talk.
"I'm cheery 'cause I'm five years if a day. I get schooling today!" She smiles like a skunk eating molasses in a snowstorm.
James, Naomi, and Thaddeus tromp in. The boys carry armfuls of wood for Sharon's fire. I scoop Naomi up to the table.
"You oughta stay in from the cold. Let your brothers carry firewood," I say.
"I would, if you'd wake of a morning!" She teases me at every turn.
"You just watch it, now, or I'll make a pack for you to carry the wood on your back, girl." She claps her hands.
Half the table's shoveling down porridge. I stoke the fire as the others get around for school. Sharon comes up whispering at me in a fuss, "Bad enough she lost her legs.