Even though Lottie is well-versed in the magic Art of Calligraphy, her mixed heritage killed her chances of joining the Calligrapher’s Guild of Charleston. Now she’s stuck working for a jerk in a calligraphic clockwork factory. But when a young boy steals a strange device from her, she finds herself not only chasing him, but chasing her self-respect too. Sometimes there’s freedom in sacrifice.
Based in Reconstruction Era Charleston, South Carolina, this is my first attempt at an alternate universe historical fantasy.
“As the floor manager, Lottie’d dealt with a lot of accidents, and calligraphy ones were the worst. She’d seen too many children dead from being stripped of their chi. Skin color didn’t matter–dark, light, brown, blue, white–they all died the same. They’d collapse on the floor like rag dolls, gray-faced and papery-skinned with frost around their mouths and nostrils.
As Lottie strode toward the girl, the other workers shuffled away, revealing a burly man with an anger-blotched face standing over the girl. The throbbing tendons in his neck disappeared into a thick beard, and his coal-black eyes glittered with eager rage.
Lottie froze; fear coiled inside her belly. Gavriil.”