The Blood of Renova
(Formerly named The Prophets of Camlaan in its first draft stage.)
Emma Jackman from small-town Palouse, Washington, almost 18, is about to receive the shock of her life. She grew up reading letters from her father, who died the day after her first birthday—letters that somehow predicted events for each year.
She’s kept the contents of these letters secret from everyone, but every day, she has more questions, especially about the tesseract birthmark on her palm and evidence that she can do magic.
Every time they Skype, she can tell her brother Luke has his own secrets. The final letter cracks her world wide open, at the same time isolating her even further from her mother. Emma embarks on a cross-world journey with her best friend, Bethany, to extract answers from Luke and finally confront her future.
Magic, prophecies, mythology, and treachery test both Emma and Luke as they learn to work in tandem with their powers.
But the biggest question of all is who lives… And who dies?
Excerpt: Tenth Birthdays
Brother and sister picked their way through the backyard until they came to their favorite stargazing spot right in the middle of the meadow. Luke spread out the outdoor blanket and then they laid down on their backs, staring up into the night sky as the stars began to come out.
Luke decided just to say it. “Mom’s giving you letters tomorrow for your birthday.”
“Letters from who?”
Emma propped herself up on her elbow to look at her brother, an inquisitive expression on her young face. Her straight black hair framed her face. “But Dad’s dead.”
Luke swallowed back the thick feeling in the back of his throat. “Yeah, he is. But he wrote us letters before he died. One for each of our birthdays until we’re eighteen.”
Emma narrowed her eyes. “So you’ve been getting them before me and didn’t say so?”
“It was supposed to be a secret, since you wouldn’t have gotten any until you turn ten, anyway. It was Mom’s idea. She didn’t think we’d understand until ten years old.”
“That’s stupid.” Emma laid back down.
“I guess. But you’re lucky.”
Luke took in a deep breath, a little jealous. “Because you’re getting nine letters tomorrow, and by the time you turn eighteen you’ll have gotten seventeen total. I only got three to start, and now I’ve only got two left to look forward to. Only eleven when you add them up.”
Emma didn’t answer her brother.
“These letters… They’re something else.” He thought about the ones he’d already gotten—the ones he’d memorized. “Dad knew things. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but they’re not gonna make sense at first.”
Emma seemed to digest this new information, storing it away for future use. “Luke, how did Dad die?”
The thick feeling returned to the back of his throat. He didn’t want to cry—not now, not on the night before Emma’s birthday. He would not cry. “I don’t know.”
“Haven’t you asked Mom?”
“Do you really think Mom wants to talk about it?”
“I guess not. I don’t remember Dad at all.”
Luke felt the first prick of tears in his eyes and the stars above him began to blur. He squeezed his eyelids shut and the tears slipped into his ears. “He was like fire when it dances on candles when the power’s out and you want to play with it until it burns you. All at once he was darkness and warmth and a blinding light, and when he laughed, it felt like the world would never end.” Luke paused to regain his composure. “Dad was weekend football games, school-night ice cream, and staying up until midnight to read to me. He showed me the stars. And when he died, Mom lost half of herself. I wish you remembered him.”