I found you through #MSWL and want to share my YA fantasy novel, MOONSTRUCK, complete at 74,000 words. Fans of Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo may enjoy the world building and looming darkness in MOONSTRUCK.
The gods have prophesized annihilation to Moriah’s sunless, seaside village.
Moriah has only one lunar cycle left until her village is destroyed. While her religion has always demanded sacrifice, she has never believed in torturing animals or shedding blood for a burnt offering. When a new interpretation of an ancient prophecy demands the Ultimate Sacrifice, her village’s High Priest, Mercury, chooses the boy she loves to die as an offering to the gods.
Moriah defies Mercury’s ruling and sets out on a quest to become the next Priestess, hoping to acquire sacred magic and defeat him. She is aided only by her best friend, as Mercury controls the villagers’ minds through a magical herb. As the village rallies around the approaching human sacrifice, Mercury moves up the day of the offering. Moriah realizes she must decipher the true meaning of sacrifice before she loses everyone and everything she’s ever loved.
I am a full-time proofreader, part-time copywriter, and all-the-time coffee drinker. My short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have been published in Strong Verse, Typehouse Literary Magazine and more. I was one of twelve authors selected by Nova Ren Suma to attend “A Week in Residency” at the Writing Barn in November.
Thank you for your consideration,
CHAPTER 1 – THE CALL
As I climb Mount Halex, I look out at my sparkling village and wish I could save it.
I’ve explored it all as a gatherer. From the glowing seaside shrubs to our thick forests enchanted with sacred light. I’ve swum in the crushing presence of the gods’ magic my entire life.
But I’ve never climbed this mountain, clinging to ropes that threaten to snap. I’ve never risked my life to gather the sacred zyca fruits.
All I can do is try to breathe through the suffocating cold, and remember what it feels like to be warm. My best friend climbs next to me, groaning with every pull upward. I imagine her hands are dry and cracked like mine. Our work gloves were too slick for climbing, and without them, my blood pools up around the rope and stains it. I’ll leave my mark on this mountain, one way or another.
I can’t hear much over the wind, but Larah’s breath is ragged. She seems so delicate here. Small frame, small arms, small hands. Not many know her true power. Her true ferocity.
But I do.
“We’re almost there,” I shout, hoping I’m right. The wind impossibly roars louder and any hope of conversation dies.
It’s a word that means less every day. I’ve always known about the Prophecy, but sometimes it doesn’t feel real. Still, I can hardly glance at the moon. I don’t want it to know how much I miss the sunlight—that yellow glow and warmth. During this season of Rymna, the sun never rises, and the moon reigns with majestic, taunting power.
Some say it knows our weaknesses. Some say we must sacrifice to the god of the moon to appease him. I’m not sure what I believe anymore.