Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail Author:M. Gail Grant Genre:YA Fantasy
The enchanted secret of Lily Brooke was safe and sound, until Magdalena and her thirteen-year-old friends accidentally unleashed the revengeful demons of the past. How were they supposed to know that a friendly expedition in the woods on a stress-free Saturday morning would lead to the most intense and scary moments of their lives? So many mysterious happenings have occurred ever since they found that crooked trail leading to the sacrificial cave, and hidden monstrosity of a treehouse. With the chanting voices and shrill noises that only Magdalena could hear, the friends decide there is something sinister living amongst them. Time is of the essence to save Lily Brooke and their childhood club, the Mystical Alliance of Lily Brooke, knows it is up to them to capture the demons hiding in their community and set the town free. Witches, wizards, and some black magic may just be what it takes for Magdalena and her best friends to save the day.
“Oh, Hubert! Glad you are here. I didn’t think we were going to be able to see you tonight since we decided last minute to meet here and compare notes on tonight’s meeting. How did you find out about our meeting?” inquired Gabriel.
Before Hubert could respond, Cody broke out in a screech so loud everyone grabbed their ears in reflex. The other MALB members dropped to the ground in fear and everyone began scanning the area to determine what was wrong. Cody was standing about seven feet from the tire swing, looking straight at the body of the oak tree in which the swing was hanging.
“Cody! What is it? What is wrong? Are you okay?” screamed Magdalena while running over to his side.
Even in the pale moonlight she could see his face was ash white. He looked as though he had seen a ghost. He wasn’t moving and stood completely still. She almost wondered if he was even breathing.
Magdalena placed her hand on Cody’s shoulder and he slowly turned to face her. It wasn’t what Cody said that had her frightened, but the look he gave her said it all. Without uttering a word, Magdalena knew Cody had seen something that was a game changer. But, what in the world could he have seen, here in the middle of the woods, in the middle of virtually nowhere, in the wee hours of the morning, had her completely perplexed. Admittedly, she was also intrigued.
“Mags, I’m scared. Someone is playing tricks on us. Someone is haunting us. There is no other explanation,” panted Cody.
By this time the other four members of MALB had reached Cody’s side and heard the end of the conversation. Piper couldn’t hold it in any longer.
“Cody, we are ALL on edge tonight. Please, if you saw something, tell us now. We need to work as fast as we can.”
Cody took a deep breath and whispered as loudly as he could muster, “In the tree. Look at what is carved in the side of the tree. Over there, a few feet from the tire swing. You can’t miss it.”
With that, everyone turned around slowly and you could hear five big gasps as each MALB member looked at the tree. For a few moments, time seemed to completely stand still. Everyone’s brain was churning trying to grasp the meaning behind the words. There, lit up in the moonlight in the drizzly wee hours of the morning, were words carved into the side of the tree facing the old tire swing.
It read, “MALB will DIE.”
Magdalena could feel the panic well up within her very soul. She knew at that moment every single one of them had the same question. No one on the face of this earth besides the six of them knew MALB even existed, much less what they called themselves. Either one of them in the group was a traitor, or some supernatural being was after them, or worse, who knew?
Melinda Gail resides in Canton, Georgia with her three daughters, husband of over twenty years, and two adorable fur babies. Surrounded by the north Georgia mountains, the scenery provides for inspirational settings for her novels. Being raised in the south, she brings a little southern flair and tradition to her characters, all the while remembering the adventurous nature of middle grades to young adult age children. With a passion for the extraordinary and imagination, Melinda hopes you enter a world of fantasy as you see life through the eyes of the characters. Writing has always been her underlying passion in life. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, and a minor in Sociology, she felt understanding and studying human behavior on the individual and collective level, would apply to anything and everything chosen to do in life. Identified as being a strong writer for her age at the time, she attended a summer literary writer's camp around age twelve. She flourished and loved every moment of the experience and it has stayed with her throughout adulthood. The desire to write has always been an integral part of who Melinda is, and about eight months ago she decided it was time. Having always been an avid reader of topics from intense young adult fantasy and thrillers, to light hearted summer romances, she chose juvenile to young adult ages for her book. In middle school summers, she would stay up to the wee hours of the morning reading because she just couldn’t put the book down. This basic idea, not being able to put a book down, is the principal she built on while writing Magdalen Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail. It has moments of ease, moments of intensity, moments of humor, striving to offer some of her own personality in her writings. There is a time for sweetness, a time for seriousness, and always a time for kindness and life lessons. Her style isn’t made up. It is simply who she is, on paper.