Title: THE SECRET OF ELIJAH
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Sixteen year old Leah Sullivan shares a secret with her mother, a secret that her father must never know: her baby brother was conceived by hoodoo conjuring. Baby Elijah is perfect -except for a strange birthmark of three half moons on his left shoulder.
Only a few days after his birth, the newborn’s crib is found empty --Elijah has been taken! Determined to solve the mystery of his disappearance, Leah seeks out the conjurer Kali Despierre, only to discover that Kali is gone. She is the one who has kidnapped Elijah. Kali believes that Elijah is the legendary Voudou King, whose conjuring has been predicted and who would be identified at birth by half moon markings on his body. Kali is taking Elijah to New Orleans with plans to use Elijah as her way to claim Marie Laveau’s position as the Queen of Voudou.
Leah follows Kali through the war-devastated South toward New Orleans. She is accompanied by a mysterious man-ghost, who has mysteriously appeared and serves as Leah’s protective guardian angel. Also helping her is a young Civil War veteran she meets, Marcus Simonton, with whom she falls in love.
Arriving in New Orleans, Leah finds an ally in Marie Laveau, who is fighting Kali’s claim to her position. With potions provided by Marie and assistance from the man-ghost and Marcus, Leah sets a successful trap to overpower Kali. She rescues Elijah and in doing so, discovers even more secrets about Elijah’s real destiny.
THE SECRET OF ELIJAH is a historical YA novel (70,000 word count). The tone and voice may remind readers of historical fiction by Avi or Ann Rinaldi. I teach literature and composition in a junior college. While earning my MFA in Creative Writing, my mentors included Susan Campbell Bartoletti and Joyce McDonald. I am active in SCBWI and The Atlanta Writers Club, who awarded me 3rd place in the YA fiction category for my novel in verse Benevolence. Thank you for considering THE SECRET OF ELIJAH. I look forward to hearing from you.