Genre: YA Gothic w/elements of Magical Realism
Word count: 88,000
The MacBride family curse decrees that Opal’s albinism and magical living hair will prevent her from finding true love. Or so she was always told by her grandmother.
In a cruel twist of fate, Opal’s aberrations are the lustful obsession of her uncle. When she is forced to live with him and his wife at a Maine lighthouse, she seeks refuge at the cemetery where her recently deceased grandmother is buried. Opal’s spectral appearance attracts a host of lost souls at the graveyard. Among her new friends are the ghost Riff Evans, and his living brother Dylan. Soon she becomes caught in a love triangle with Riff and Dylan, which makes her question nearly everything she was told about love, the MacBride curse, and herself.
Though her uncle’s depraved game of cat and mouse distracts Opal, not even Frost Island’s perpetual fog can obscure his master plan. As he plots to keep her his prisoner in the lighthouse, she charts a course to break the curse and create the fairy tale ending she desperately wants. But first Opal must decide if her future happiness lies in this world, or the next.
TENDRIL is a contemporary YA novel with elements of magical realism, complete at 88,000 words. Traces of Welsh legends and Rapunzel are woven throughout.
First 150 Words:
Our arrival at the lighthouse had been heralded by sporadic blasts of the foghorn. The mist enveloping us was thick with the smell of sea creatures, both living and dead.
Ned, Laura and I entered the lightkeeper’s cottage and he lumbered up the narrow staircase ahead of us, carrying my suitcase. Laura began to unpack, setting my folded clothes on the narrow white bed.
“Darling, shouldn’t you start making dinner?” Ned asked.
“Yes, of course.” Laura scurried away, leaving me alone with my uncle.
Ned moved towards me. I grabbed an armful of sweaters and held them to my chest, as if their soft wool had the protective properties of an armored breastplate.
“When is the funeral?” The words scraped past the lump in my throat.
“Tomorrow, at ten thirty. Just a private service with the two of us, and your Aunt Laura. My friend ReverendWilkinson will officiate.