I have completed my first manuscript! I started this novel in March of 2022, after spending over a decade writing academic research papers. The idea came to me when the story of Japan’s ‘killing stone’ broke in March 2022, purportedly releasing a 2,000-year-old demon named Tamamo-no-Mae.
The Stonecrafters is a 94,000 word dual-POV YA urban fantasy with a sci-fi twist. It won the 2023 Claymore Award for Best Juvenile/YA. This novel can stand alone or become a series. Two long-lost sisters reunite to investigate who is freeing demons from their stones. But when one sister displays demonic powers, they must grapple with the possibility that she may be the very thing they’ve dedicated their life to trapping.
Alaina lives a quiet life apprenticing in her foster father’s metaphysical shop in Indiana, where she crafts stones to trap demons. It’s perfect. Sure, there’s that pesky glitch of not remembering anything before age five, but who remembers their childhood? Then a stranger arrives, insisting she must save her sister Rubinia, who is dying from a rare demonic disease for which Alaina’s blood is the only cure. The problem is, Alaina doesn’t have a sister—or so she thinks.
Rubinia lives at Shades Academy, a secret school for training children to protect humanity from demonic threat. She rescues a kindergartener from a demon attack, with the help of her girlfriend’s joy spell. Disco lights are involved. The problem is, Rubinia gets infected—with joy, and with a deadly demonic illness. Her sister’s blood can save her, but Rubinia would never risk pulling Alaina out of hiding—even if it means her own death.
After a traumatic event triggers Alaina’s memories, she realizes someone is trying to kill her. Worse—her sister’s been keeping secrets. Alaina must decide: risk exposure and help Rubinia investigate, or return to pick up the pieces of her small town life. Thrown into a world of religious cults, genetic experiments, and demon sympathizers, the sisters soon learn that the secrets of their family run far deeper than either ever knew.
The Stonecrafters uses humor, demons, and an obscure ancient Greek religion to explore themes of identity and acceptance. It is full of plot twists that will keep the reader at the edge of their seat right until the end. My novel has the strong sister bond, mystery elements, and Greek worldbuilding of Sisters of Sword & Song by Rebecca Ross, coupled with the demonic sensibility and hints of romance found in Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalo.