Agent Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency and YA author Monica Bustamante Wagner will be this week's judges.
So bring on your red pens! Even if you're not participating in the blogfest, I hope you'll take a moment to leave a comment, because I deeply value your feedback.
Name: Michelle Fayard
Title: The Underground Gift
Genre: Historical YA
Reeca lifted her head from a hard straw pillow. A greasy quilt trapped her legs. With a trembling hand she touched blood and broken skin on her head, her breasts. She winced.
Snatches of rough voices and singing pushed through the smoky air. The rhythmic slap and scrape of metal grew louder then stopped. A blade of light cut the gloom as someone slowly opened a heavy iron door.
"You didn't really mean to leave me now, did you, Reeca?"
Reeca pressed back against the cold stones. Suddenly she remembered the papers. And Josepha. And how badly she had failed.
"Dear God," she whispered, "where am I?"
Chapter 1—December 1860
Josepha eased the brush through her mistress' auburn hair. A draft threw light from the fireplace against the walls and into the corners. The woman's sigh joined the shadows.
"You have healing hands. I wish they could ease my worried heart."
Josepha slid the brush closer until it reached the older woman's temples. Her mistress turned to face her.
"Josepha. My husband is sending you away."
The brush clattered to the floor.
"It's to pay off a gambling debt. Benjamin Michaelson agreed to own you instead of clinking more coins in his pocket."