Age and Genre: YA Speculative Fiction
Word Count: 53,000
Sixteen-year-old skeptical, Nathaniel, doesn’t want to believe the haunted tales told about his hometown of Shadowlyn. Believing the myths and fables about Lilith stealing your soul are nothing but juvenile stories, until his best friend, Claire, has her soul stolen by Lilith the night before Halloween. While the townspeople remain clueless, Nathaniel takes it upon himself to find Claire and bring her back to the world of the living despite his parent’s warnings. But Lilith has other plans for her—ones that include Claire taking her place as the Ruler of Lost Souls while she enjoys a life that was once taken away from her.
If he can’t find a way to bring Claire back before the last stroke of the clock on Day of the Dead, she will remain stuck in the land where those who can’t move on reside. Worse, the only way for her to come back is for her to either kiss Lilith, or a new innocent soul, condemning them to death like she had to endure.
First 250 Words:
The smell of death hangs in the air.
Almost like a cemetery filled with decaying bodies all around.
The atmosphere is stale, the unpleasant stench is nothing new. In the town of Shadowlyn, you become accustom to it. It is, after all, known as the town of Death.
Scrunching my nose at the odor, I continue to wait for my best friend, Claire, outside my house. From the corner of my eye, I can see my mom throwing holy water on the house and saying a prayer under her breath.
“Mom, is all this really necessary?”
She finishes her prayer and turns to me. “Of course it is. Tomorrow is Halloween, and you know what that means. The dead are walking among us, Nathaniel. And you know who will be out and about tonight.”
I roll my eyes at her belief in the silly myths that surround this town. “Mom, Lilith is not going to be out tonight. The idea of a young woman going around and stealing souls through kisses is ridiculous.”
“We do not speak her name. You know this.”
“You’re being silly.” I smile, ready to test her patience. Before I can say anything else that might freak her out, I see Claire in the distance. Her long dark hair bounces with each step she takes.
“Gotta go mom,” I say stepping towards the gate.
She tugs on my hood, pulling me back to her.