Publication date: August 25th 2020
Genres: LGBTQ+, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
A teen outcast must work together with new friends to keep her family and town safe from murderous Fae while also dealing with panic attacks, family issues, and a lesbian love triangle in C.M. McGuires’s kick-butt paranormal YA debut, Ironspark.
For the past nine years, ever since a bunch of those evil Tinkerbells abducted her mother, cursed her father, and forced her family into hiding, Bryn has devoted herself to learning everything she can about killing the Fae. Now it’s time to put those lessons to use.
Then the Court Fae finally show up, and Bryn realizes she can’t handle this on her own. Thankfully, three friends offer to help: Gwen, a kindhearted water witch; Dom, a new foster kid pulled into her world; and Jasika, a schoolmate with her own grudge against the Fae.
But trust is hard-won, and what little Bryn has gained is put to the test when she uncovers a book of Fae magic that belonged to her mother. With the Fae threat mounting every day, Bryn must choose between faith in her friends and power from a magic that could threaten her very humanity.
Little Arthur Barnett stared up at us, squirming in his bright blue footie pajamas. He was about as baby-like as it was possible to be. More baby-like, in fact, than most babies actually were. When they’d been born, Jake and Ash had been cute, too. Of course, they’d also had baby acne; that’s how we knew they were real.
Gooding reached in and pulled Arthur’s legs straight. One stretched out longer than the other. “I thought so,” Gooding murmured. “Bryn, look closer.”
Here was where I got paid the imaginary bucks. I gripped the side of the crib and let my shoulder relax, then my neck, then the muscles in my face—just like Gooding had taught me. The world narrowed down to just me and the creature in the crib. Soft, delicate baby skin turned hard and leathery. Nails sharpened. Sparse hair grew coarse and wiry. Its eyes darkened and sunk into its haunted face. The sight made my stomach churn. It was like a baby crypt keeper.
“Changeling,” I muttered. “With one hell of a glamour to hide that face.”
“A newborn, too, judging by its proportions,” Gooding sighed. “I’ll bet it doesn’t even speak yet. Which means we can’t just ask it to leave.”
“As if it would,” I snorted. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the horrible little face. I’d seen pictures of more attractive mummies.
“Patience and optimism are valuable tools,” Gooding chided.
I had to roll my eyes. “So are caution, paranoia, and an iron fire poker.”
Gooding gave me the peeved-priest look before smoothing his features into his teacher-priest look. “Well, it’s a living changeling, not a doll or a golem,” he summarized. “And it has a very good disguise. What does this tell us?”
I took a deep breath. “It was put here by a more powerful Fae. Probably from a court. Means we can get Arthur back.” Even as I said it, my heart skipped a beat. But there was nothing to worry about. We didn’t get the court Fae here. They worked through others and never stepped foot on American soil . . . right?
I am a storyteller at heart, and my poor mother was grateful when I started writing. It gave her ears a break. I write primarily science fiction and fantasy intended for the young adult and middle grade audience. Presently, I live in Texas with my two cats.
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