Thursday, January 31, 2013

GIVEAWAY! Moonstone by Marilee Brothers

BLURB: A sickly mom. A crummy travel trailer. High school bullies and snarky drama queens. Bad guys with charming smiles. Allie has problems. And then there’s that whole thing about fulfilling a magical prophecy and saving the world from evil. Welcome to the funny, sad, sometimes scary world of fifteen year old Allie Emerson, who’s struggling to keep her act together (not to mention her mom’s) in the small town world of Peacock Fats, Washington. A zap from an electrical fence set off Allie’s weird psychic powers. The next thing she knows, she’s being visited by a hippy dippy guardian angel, and then her mysterious neighbor, the town “witch,” gives her an incredible moonstone pendant that has powers only a “Star Seeker’ is meant to command. “Who, me?” is Allie’s first reaction. But as sinister events begin to unfold, Allie realizes she’s got a destiny far bigger than she ever imagined. If she can just survive everyday life, in the meantime.

EXERPT: As I approached Kizzy’s house, I felt my heart beat a little faster. The house can barely be seen from the road. It’s hidden behind a humungous hedge that runs all the way around her property. The only way to get in is through the iron gate set in middle of the hedge. I never approached the gate straight on. I cut over to the hedge and sneaked up on it because of the eye. The gate had this spooky eye painted on it. Swear to God, no matter how hard I tried to avoid the eye, it watched me, its glaring black pupil tracking my every move. A falcon’s eye, Kizzy told me, a symbol used to ward off evil. In spite of what Cory says, Kizzy was not a witch. She was a Romany gypsy and apparently there’s a difference. Who knew? With an involuntary shiver, I averted my gaze, slipped through the gate and trotted down the walk toward the hulking two-story house. The porch with its overhanging roof wrapped all the way around both sides of the house. A veranda Kizzy called it. “Alfrieda, you’re here!” Kizzy stood at the top of the stairs and held out her arms. She was the only person who called me by my hideous real name. Thanks to Claude, Faye’s dad, I was given the name Alfrieda Carlotta Emerson. Faye ran away from home at seventeen. A year later, stuck in the hospital with a baby she didn’t want (me) and no visible means of support, she struck a deal with Claude. In exchange for paying the hospital bill, he got to name me after his beloved, long-dead mother, Alfrieda Carlotta Emerson the First. “Hey, Kizzy!” I slipped off my back pack and stepped into her embrace. She smelled of incense, lavender and Virginia Slims. Not that I’m a fashion expert but Kizzy always looked like she was dressed for a photo shoot in case a photographer from Vogue Magazine was hanging around Peacock Flats. Today, she wore a silk turquoise dress the same color as her eyes. Her long, dark braid, sprinkled with gray, was draped over one shoulder. Three silver bangle bracelets encircled each wrist. Silver hoops hung from her ears. She’d replaced the rune stone she usually wore around her neck with a pale blue gemstone in an ornate silver setting. The stone was the size of a large marble. A shimmer of light danced on its surface. Strangely, I felt a strong need to reach out, touch it, hold it in my hand and stroke its glistening surface. I clasped my hands together tightly to resist the urge. Kizzy studied my face then gently touched the mark in the middle of my forehead with a manicured fingernail. “Ah, I see the third eye has awakened. Come. Sit” She led me to the porch swing. Okay, sometimes Kizzy creeped me out. Wasn’t it bad enough I lived in a travel trailer and wore clothes from a thrift shop? I mean, nothing screams “loser” like a third eye popping out in the middle of your forehead. I rolled my eyes in disgust. “Should I start wearing bangs?” Kizzy’s tinkling laughter reassured me. “It’s not a real eye, Alfrieda. The third eye is located deep within the brain. It’s called the seat of the soul, the link between the physical and spiritual worlds. Tell me everything.”

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