The Writer’s Voice is a multi-blog contest hosted by Brenda Drake, Cupid, Monica B.W., and Krista Van Dolzer. For all the details about this contest, click here. Check out my entry below.
Seventeen-year-old Gypsy Taliya Bogdanov shouldn’t be able to summon the spirits with her tarot cards. It’s all supposed to be a show for the gaujos— the outsiders. But when word gets out about a secret reading Taliya did for a friend—a reading that led to a hidden chest of gold— the superstitious clan decides to look into all of her predictions. Even the ones she’s not so proud of. Like the reading she did for Besnik Corsi, her brother Luca’s playboy best friend (who she’s secretly in love with). According to tradition, Luca should be next in line to lead the clan, but the cards predicted Besnik and then death for both boys.
No longer willing to accept Luca outright, the clan demands a competition for the title. A competition Taliya must judge as the seer of the fortune.
Desperate to outdo each other, the boys push the boundaries of their novice Gypsy magic, and Luca accidentally unlocks a door to Otherworld— a terrible place believed only to exist in Gypsy folklore. A place where souls are split and trapped forever. Now, choosing between her brother and the boy she loves is the least of Taliya’s worries. She must find a way to retrieve Luca’s soul, and protect Besnik’s, before the rest of her foreboding predictions become reality. Unfortunately, for Taliya, changing the future is a whole lot harder than predicting it.
Complete at 112,00 words, DIVINATION is a stand-alone novel with series potential. It will appeal to readers of the Gemma Doyle Trilogy and Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Riches, love, and death. That’s all they cared to hear about. All anyone wanted from my tarot cards and me. No matter where our caravan traveled, the townspeople came in droves, traipsing through the wilderness to our shoddy camps, desperate to have their fortunes told. Like a swarm of angry bees, they’d buzz in and out our vardos, tossing fistfuls of pennies in our hats, hoping to learn the secrets of life, as they called them.
I called them falsehoods. Dirty, little lies. But, perhaps, I was too blunt.
“Tell me, Madam Taliya, why am I not rich?” they would ask me. Or: “How can I make her fall in love with me?” Or: “When and where will I die?”
Riches, love, and death. Always in that order.
But I wasn’t above making a dime, and I certainly wasn’t going to tell them the truth— that the cards were just a guideline, a prediction of events should their course not change. That wasn’t what the customers wanted to hear. Wasn’t what they were paying for. No one wanted to be told they were poor ‘cause they were a worthless drunk. Or that they would never find love ‘cause they had an insufferable personality— one they likely inherited from their equally insufferable mother. That implied a portion of the bad luck was their own doing, their own fault, and worse yet still, that they could change it.
Change. Such a filthy, rotten word. I learned never to mention it ‘cause change sounded hard. Change meant work.