Thursday, February 13, 2014

Blind Speed Dating #5 (MG)

Genre: MG Contemporary Fantasy
Word Count: 68,000


Thirteen-year-old January Stone wakes up in a new place each morning, making uncontrolled jumps across hundreds of miles in her sleep. Hungry for friends she can keep from one day to the next, she doesn’t realize that being hard to find is the only thing keeping her alive.

But when a man with pits of black mist for eyes begins hunting January, it draws the attention of the Dreamwalkers, a group of kids and teens who recognize her as one of their own. For January, finding friends at last is worth gaining enemies like the terrifying Fallen — once-human monsters who seek to devour Dreamwalkers’ souls. But clashing personalities and old grudges keep the Dreamwalkers from playing nice at the best of times — and tensions explode when they find evidence of a betrayer among them. 

January must keep her new friends from turning on each other long enough to unravel a mystery that has already claimed one Dreamwalker’s life — knowing that trusting the wrong person could be a fatal mistake. The secrets she discovers will force her to choose between sacrificing her friends or becoming a monster herself.

First 250:

On the day the Fallen found me, I woke to the smell of mildew.

It’s not my favorite odor. But when you never know where you’ll be when you wake up, you take all the clues you can get. A sound, a smell, or even the feeling of the air on your skin can warn you not to move — or to jump up and get out of there. Like the time I woke up to train tracks humming under my back, or to a bear snuffling my face.

This time, it was mildew — and a girl’s voice, close by. 

I opened my eyes, ready to do some fast talking if she’d seen me. But I was alone, as usual. I lay curled on the floor of a garden shed, between a barrel of cobwebby rakes and a rusted wheelbarrow. 

The girl’s trembling voice drifted in through the half-open window. She was trying out new swear words — hesitantly, but with gusto.

This could be awkward.

I stood, intending to peek outside. At my movement, wings exploded into a wild, breathy flutter. A bird knocked a flowerpot off a shelf, buzzed my head, and swooped out the window. I let out a strangled yip.

The cursing outside broke off. I held my breath, frozen.

The door flew open. Framed in it stood a girl with flyaway brown hair and freckles across her nose. She looked about thirteen — my age.

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