Name: Alexis Márquez
Genre: Adult Contemporary Magical Realism
Title: A Midnight Spell
Word Count: 70,000 words
35-word pitch: A three-hundred-year curse condemned Lizzie’s ancestor to wander the earth forevermore. Breaking the spell can cost Lizzie her life. Only true love’s first love can make the difference between evil and magic, life and death.
Lizzie stared at the water curling into small arches as the white boat distanced itself from the deserted dock. There went her ride back to civilization. If she had any second thoughts now was the time to scream to the top of her lungs and hope the skipper heard her. Instead, she stood there, reminding herself the water taxi would return for her in six weeks from today.
Determined to enjoy her time in Montgomery Island, the Carmichael’s private getaway near St. Barts, she turned into a circle, basking in the warm breeze enveloping her. Montgomery Island was thirty minutes away in all directions from the nearest neighboring isles, which meant minimal to no interruptions. She’d be able to explore it, learn more about her great-aunt Charlotte’s life here. Why did the love of her life, Giancarlo, abandon her if he loved her as much as everyone believed he had? Why was she forced to wander the earth forevermore?
Lizzie grabbed her suitcases and rolled them down the pier until she reached the cobblestone path. Manicured shrubs, blue iris and multi-colored tulips lined the walkway leading to the house. The iron table and chairs next to the pond would be the perfect place to relax in the afternoon. She pictured herself sipping a chilled glass of Riesling while watching the sunset.
A worn pathway came into view and Lizzie made a mental note to add it to her list of things to check out later. She didn’t recall her friend Rosalind mentioning anything about a secret path. Filing away the thoughts rushing through her head she continued her inspection coming to a full stop.
Her mouth dropped open at the neo-gothic three stories château standing before her. Anyone who wasn’t familiar with her family’s singular style would say it was an unusual architecture design for the Caribbean. Ivy clambered up a wall to the balconies on the second and third floors. The elaborate decorative twists, window pointed arches and the steeply sloping roof took her breath away. It was a shame her ancestors sold this jewel, and a miracle the structure stood as if it had been built a few decades ago.
Mesmerized by its subtle dark beauty, she resumed her progress and rolled her two cases the rest of the way to the front door. She had her work cut out, but if everything went as planned she’d have no trouble accomplishing what she’d come to do.
Her top priority for the next several weeks was locating the lost book of spells. It held the magic spell to set Charlotte’s soul free on the night of the three-hundred-year anniversary of her disappearance.
She twisted the pentagram ring on her finger. “I can do this.”
Startled by the man’s voice, Lizzie faced the door recalling she’d yet to ring the bell. Clear, observant gray eyes studied her, rendering her speechless for a moment. “Are you the housekeeper?”
The housekeeper? What the hell made her say that?