Manuscript Title: Smoke & Mirrors
Author: Christine Norris
Age group: (YA/NA) YA
Genre: Steampunk/Fairy Tale Retelling/Historical Fantasy
Word count: 99,000
250 word blurb:
It’s 1876 in Philadelphia. Benjamin Grimm, a stagehand at the Walnut Street theater and aspiring illusionist, knows the theater is very much like real life—people play their parts, hiding behind the illusion of their lives, never revealing their secrets.
When he reunites with his childhood friend Eleanor Banneker, he is delighted. But when she reveals that she has been under a spell for the past seven years, forced to live as a servant in her own home, he realizes how sinister some secrets can be.
When she asks him to help her, how can he refuse? Even if he doesn’t believe in ‘real magic’, he can’t abandon her.
Ellie has spent the long years since her mother’s death under the watchful eye of her stepmother. She has also been bewitched, hidden in plain sight from everyone who could help her, including her own father, who is under a spell of his own. When she sees Ben one evening, it seems he is immune to the magic that binds her, and her hope is rekindled along with their friendship.
But time is running short. If they do not find a way to break the spells before the clock chimes midnight on New Year’s Eve, then both Ellie and her father will be bound forever.