Title: Thunderbird Dreams
Genre: Middle Grade Historical Fantasy
Word Count: 47,000
Twelve-year-old tomboy Christine Miller doesn’t believe in spooks, ghosts, or spirits. She can’t, ‘cause if she did, she’d have to worry about her Mom coming back to haunt her. Nope, no ghosts for her. So, what is that wailing white figure pointing at her in the middle of the night? And who is playing mysterious tom-toms in the coal mine? Not ghosts, that’s for sure.
She sets out to prove it, ending up in a chase with the local boys that leads her to Native American ruins. Inside the old granary, she finds a strange stick that her new friend, Tate, swears was not there yesterday. When she picks it up, drumbeats pound through her and her feet are set on the path of an ancient quest to save the Thunderbird trapped inside the mountain. The stick is a warclub, and she must use it to send him home.
Chris couldn’t save her mom from drowning, but she will save the last Thunderbird. Even if that means pretending to be a boy to get inside the mine, defying her dad when he finds out, and facing the mine boss in a race to get to the Thunderbird first. Chris wants to free the Thunderbird. The boss wants to trap the Thunderbird here forever by stealing his power. If the boss wins, he will destroy the lives of everyone she has come to care for. If Chris is to win, she will have to let go.
THUNDERBIRD DREAMS, complete at 47,000 words, is a middle grade historical fantasy. An author and an illustrator, I am at home in the kid lit world. My short story, SASSY SLIME SLIDER was purchased by Highlights Magazine. My black and white illustrations can be found inside New Moon Magazine and my colorful art on the cover. My digital style artwork was used in a series of Bible story cards for International Masters Publishers, and my digi-traditional art fills the pages of the picture books DADDY DID I EVER SAY? (10 to 2 Children’s Books, 2007), and CANDY CANES IN BETHLEHEM (Pauline Books and Media, May 2012). I am a member of SCBWI and participate in regular critiques with my wonderful crit buddies.
First 150 words:
Not that I’m afraid or anything, ‘cause I’m not, but when a high-pitched wail rises in the chilly night, I pull the quilt up to my eyeballs and scooch closer to my sisters. “Did you hear that?” I whisper.
“It’s a coyote, Christine. Go to sleep,” Bethany mutters. She rolls over and yanks the quilt away. Megan keeps on snoozing in the middle of us, hugging that dang stuffed bear of hers.
“That’s no coyote,” I mutter. We’ve been in this flea-bitten middle-of-nowhere mining town for almost a week now, I know the difference. I shiver and tug my corner of the quilt back. What I heard sounded like a ghost from one of old Jeb’s stories. But he’s far away now and that ghostly sound was nearby.
Another caterwaul, and I sit up. Twelve-year-olds do not believe in ghosts. I don’t. I can’t.