Seventeen-year-old Amelia Dupree hasn’t seen the Woman in White, who haunts the woods surrounding her hometown of Asylum, Pennsylvania, since her brother died. Desperate for any connection to her brother, Amelia spends sleepless nights watching the forest for any sign of the ghost. But she seems to have disappeared—at least, until Charlie Blue moves in next door. Amelia can’t help liking him, even though she spent her childhood thinking his grandmother was a witch, and she definitely can’t ignore connection between his arrival in town and the Woman in White’s return.
When Amelia and Charlie make contact with a spirit claiming to be the Woman in White, they learn that she’s a prisoner, trapped between the worlds of the living and the dead. Amelia, devastated by the idea that her brother could be suffering a similar fate, turns to magic, and she and Charlie begin preparing a spell that will allow the Woman in White to pass over to the other side.
But then Amelia’s classmates start to turn up dead in the Susquehanna River. Rumors swirl as people start to connect the timing of Charlie’s arrival with the unexplained deaths. As they uncover the truth about Woman in White and her history in Asylum, Amelia and Charlie realize that their magic may have unleashed an unspeakable evil. One they have to stop before everything they love is destroyed.
A Magic Dark & Bright is an 84,000 word YA Gothic Romance and the first book of a planned two-part series. It will appeal to fans of the moody small-town atmosphere of April Tucholke’s Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, the family dynamics in the Amber House trilogy by Kelly Moore, Tucker, and Larkin Reed, and the mystery of Sarah Rees Brennan’s Unspoken.
A woman haunted the woods behind my house.
I used to watch her from my bedroom window. She glowed silver in the moonlight, a pale wraith in a white dress that curled around her ankles and twisted in an ancient wind that didn’t touch the pine trees around her.
My brother, Mark, used to tease me about my interest in her. Some days, he called her my obsession. On others, my overactive imagination. “Watch out, Amelia,” he’d say, throwing his hand against his chest, “She’ll lure you out into the woods and steal your soul.”
But that was before. I hadn’t seen her in six months, not since the night she watched Mark die.
I pressed my palm flat against the screen and waited, like I had almost every night since I’d come home from the hospital. Nothing stirred outside; the line of forest along the edge of our yard stood still, black branches stretched toward the sky. Not even a breeze fluttered the gauzy curtains around my windows. The woods were empty.
Everything was empty.
“Come on,” I whispered, like I could summon her with my words. The clock in the hallway chimed, its bells echoing through the silent house. Three in the morning. I sighed and turned from the window–if she hadn’t shown up by now, she wouldn’t show up at all. Sometimes, on nights like this, when the corners of my brain went fuzzy from exhaustion, I wondered if she disappeared because of me.