Here's a snippet from the first chapter of "The Pack: The Crow and The Curse." It's the second book in my series about the adventures of Harmony, Olivia, Zac, Renny and Tosh. They'll still be facing mysteries, magic and monsters while they navigate one of the most perilous places of all: middle school.
"The Crow" introduces a new character: Xochitl Moreno - Xochi. Harmony's a bit jealous of the new girl, which is why Aunt Ramona decides Harmony should spend Halloween night "walking a mile in Xochi's shoes."
Of course, the danger of using magic to solve problems is that sometimes a spell can have some spectacularly unintended consequences. Even if it's cast by a grown-up who teaches Advanced Spellcrafting. Stay tuned. Here's your snippet. It's not the first page of "The Crow and The Curse," but it's a key section of the first chapter. Join the mailing list for updates on Book No. 2 in "The Pack" series.
PREVIEW: The Crow and the Curse
Staring back at her from the mirror was Xochi. Just behind Xochi’s shoulder – right where Harmony’s shoulder should have been – was Aunt Ramona. The mirror showed Xochi’s long black hair pinned up in braids, instead of Harmony’s red hair just touching her shoulders.
On top of the braids was a crown of roses. Beneath the braids was Xochi’s face, painted like one of those sugar skulls the Mexican markets sold this time of year. Not Harmony’s face, with its freckle-sprinkled nose.
Harmony tore her gaze away from the mirror and looked down at her hands. They weren’t hers. No sprinkling of freckles, no peeling metallic blue nail polish. Instead, smooth olive skin and neat, natural fingernails. As she stared, the strange hands started shaking.
“What did you do!” Harmony yelled, whirling around to face Aunt Ramona. But her voice didn’t quite yell. It sounded strange. Because it wasn’t Harmony’s. It was Xochi’s.
Aunt Ramona was looking at her patiently.
“How long do I have to be like this?” Harmony asked, panicked.
“As long as the spell lasts: Which is until you learn to have a little more empathy,” Aunt Ramona replied. “I think it will do you good to walk a few miles in Xochi’s shoes tonight.”
Then her aunt smiled, handed Harmony a stupid plastic pumpkin head with a black handle to use trick-or-treating, and sent her out the front door.
Harmony was still reeling from the change. Aunt Ramona thought this was a good way to teach empathy? Harmony huffed and snorted out loud. She had to get to Olivia’s house, quick. Then they’d figure out how to break the spell. They had to. Empathy, schmempathy. Harmony was NOT going to spend Halloween as Xochi.
(C) 2024, T.J. Hendrix. All rights reserved.