Middle Grade Historical Fantasy
Twelve-year-old tomboy Christine Miller doesn’t believe in ghosts, spooks, 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 white figure pointing at her in the dark of night? And who’s playing tom-toms in the coal mine? Not ghosts, that’s for sure.
She sets out to prove it and ends up in a chase with the local boys that leads her to Native American ruins. Inside the old granary, she finds a strange stick her new friend, Tate, swears was not there yesterday. When she picks it up, drumbeats pound through her, and she is set on the path of an ancient quest to save the Thunderbird, the last of a race of power beings, trapped inside the mountain. The stick is a warclub she must use to send the Thunderbird 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 of the guilt that’s haunted her more than any ghost ever could.
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.