A Nest of Thorns


Lycora drifts off to sleep one night in her tower chamber and awakens a century later to snow falling through the crumbling roof over her bed. Stunned and grieving her lost world, she discovers her cousin also shares the curse. They set out together to learn how a hundred years passed while they slept and find themselves caught in a web of family secrets, betrayals, and dark magic. In order to free herself, Lycora must face the truth within and reclaim the destiny stolen from her.

Excerpt from Chapter Three:

My eyes flew open, and I blinked up at my aunt.  She stooped down so we could almost look at each other levelly.  Her hand found my hair, and she smoothed it back, her touch tingling over my scalp.

“What’s frightened you, Lycora?” she asked.

I gulped.  “The portrait.  Great-grandfather’s portrait—it moved, and he spoke to me.”  I confessed this because I wanted her to laugh and reassure me that it was just my imagination.  I wanted the comfort of adult superiority.

Instead, she said, “It’s not your imagination,” as if she’d heard my thought. 

“But I want it to be,” I answered, upset she hadn’t given me what I yearned for:  no, those shadows under your bed don’t hide monsters, there are no such creatures as dragons or ghouls, and that scratching at the window wasn’t a grinning skeleton but just a branch moving in the wind.

“Do you really want to reject your gift and be as blind as your father?” she demanded, her gaze burning into mine.

“My gift?”

“Your mother’s a fool and an ingrate,” she spat.  “After how I helped her get you, she dares forbid me to teach you anything.”

“Helped her get me?” I echoed.

“Pretty girl, only child of a barren marriage, do you know how you came about, what was sacrificed just so your mother could conceive you?” she had hissed, abruptly yanking on my hair so hard that tears sprang to my eyes.


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