This is the beginning of my YA novel, Once Upon Nowhere, in which Tori’s life becomes even more complicated when her mother’s secretive past lands on their doorstop. Tori must battle the Master, the Witch, and the Finder of Lost Things, a humble thief with too much heart for his own good, in order to save her mother. And she just might find herself in the process.
Chapter One – Bump in the Night
Like most twelve-year-olds, Tori Lawson believed herself too old for lullabies and fairy tales, though, at that very moment, she thought of little else. The storm raged outside her window and pelted against the wood. She lost count the number of times thunderous claps had sent her scurrying across the hall to her mother’s room, only to linger at the door. Each time, a foreboding had washed over her, and she lumbered back to bed. There would be no comfort for her tonight, no matter how beautiful the melody.
The decaying farmhouse spluttered and groaned, as far away from slumber as Tori herself. Perhaps it, too, lamented a loss — one equal to her own — and cried out for solace. Tori had none to give.
“We’re going to love it here, sweetheart,” her mother had said. “Mark my words.” She had flashed that plastic smile, the one held in reserve for when she was about to throw her daughter’s life into turmoil . . .