As she held the lantern up over her head, she could see old carvings on the cave walls. She raised her hand to touch one of the walls and noticed a strong dampness in the stone. It was cold and damp to the touch. She wondered if there was a good bit of water behind the rock causing all the dampness. But, then again, as dark and hidden as the cave was in the coolest section of the woods they had so far discovered, it didn’t really surprise her.
Magdalena happened to notice a second lantern a few feet from where she was standing and asked Gabriel to grab the lantern and light it. Maybe with two lanterns, there would be enough light to get a better view of the cave drawings. Curiosity was in overdrive now. It was the same kind of curiosity that would leave her teachers scrambling crazy by the end of the school day. She continued to study the cave walls waiting on Gabriel. The carvings felt as though they had been etched very deeply into the rock.
Meanwhile, Hubert stood in the cave entrance chanting something over and over that sounded like, “Lord, help me, please. Get me out of here. I won’t eat everything ever again. I promise!”
Gabriel had just finished lighting the second lantern and walked over to stand right behind Magdalena. He stood looking over her shoulder as she was crunched down trying to get a better view of the drawings. She squinted her eyes as her brain was trying to process what she was looking at, and then it came to her. The drawings seemed to resemble some sort of sacrifice, which seemed so odd to her in this day and time. Did those things really exist back in the day? Especially in or near a small, quaint town like Lily Brooke. She had always assumed that sacrificial rituals were something that really only happened in scary mystery books or horror movies. Of course, these things didn’t happen in real life. Was this her mind trying to calm her nerves or the shock of what was in front of her own eyes causing denial?
Gabriel and Hubert must have realized what the drawings were resembling about the same time as Magdalena because as she turned around to speak, she was face to face with four very frightened eyeballs. Hubert had decided to move in closer to get a good look. Boy, he was really regretting it, at the moment. Scary woods, crooked paths, cold temperatures and breezes, shrill ringing noises, cave drawings resembling rituals, and mumbling ghostly voices. Hubert was now praying out loud.
“God, please, please take us home. Please let me never remember this place again. God, please make Magdalena decide to leave this place before we get eaten alive, or worse!”
About the Book
Title: 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.
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 Magdalena 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.
For author signed paperback and hardcover editions: http://www.MelindaGailBooks.com
~ R A F F L E C O P T E R ~
Melinda Gail is awarding one randomly chosen winner with a signed copy of Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail and a second winner will receive an ebook copy.