Title: WITCH STONE
Genre: Upper Middle Grade
Word Count: 54,000
Fourteen-year-old Rossi was born with a single witch stone, which makes her almost a witch. Real witches have two stones. One to draw power. The other to disperse it. Without a second stone, Rossi’s is nothing more than pretty decoration and a reminder that she doesn’t fit in. Not with her coven. Nor in her town.
Then, one night, when the lightning strikes, a breakaway bolt charges straight for Rossi. She’s changed. Her eyesight is sharper, her hearing clearer, but still she’s unable to work a spell. Rossi assumes that the strike was a freak of nature, just like she is, until a host of strangers make their way to Rossi’s isolated county. They all claim to be her friend and help her learn the meaning of being a one stone witch. However, not all of them are telling the truth.
Rossi has to decide who to trust and whether she has any true craft inside of her before her witch stone is stolen.
Lightning struck the dirt close to where Rossi sat, her fingers jammed in her ears. She jumped with every crackle of energy, but didn't dare open her eyes. Rossi hated harvesting lightning. It was loud, hot and smelled like roasted cat. Plus, her short brown hair always stood on end for several days afterward, frizzed beyond any hope from the mix of electricity and drenching rain that would follow. Why did they have to be lightning witches? If only the element from which they drew their power was a gentle babbling brook, she would have been much more at ease. But no, they had to inherit the one element that could sizzle the skin right off her back.
“Mom, that was too close. Stop flinging it at me.” Rossi glanced at her mother perched on the edge of Nowan cliff, arms outstretched like she was welcoming an old friend. Her white gown whipped around her legs in the storm winds. She always dressed in her finest for the lightning ritual while Rossi threw a jacket over her mud spattered pants and her favorite worn shirt that was missing two buttons.
“You could use a charge or two. You've been rather pale lately.” Mom lowered her arms and another bolt streaked through the night sky straight for the emeralds embedded in her palms. “Come here and try. You give up too easy.”
“No!” Rossi opened her hands. A brilliant diamond sparkled in her left palm. Her right hand, empty.