To open 2018 on a grand note, I’m honoured to be a part of the world-wide cover reveal for The Wendy, by Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown!
The Wendy is an historical-fantasy novel, set in late 18th century London and mixing up some well-loved children stories for a truly fantastical twist. Before I tell you what it’s about, why not just tease you a little?
By the year 1780, London was bursting at the seams. Almost a million people had been stuffed into every nook and cranny, and a good number of these had no idea where they had come from. Nestled in baskets and swaddled in rags, they had appeared overnight on the doorsteps of almshouses all over the city. Babies. Staring wide-eyed at mystified caretakers, demanding explanations.
But there were none to be had.
This was why Wendy Darling believed in magic. It was the only thing that made sense.
Opinions, however, were divided on the subject.
“Babies don’t come from magic. They come from mothers.”
Mortimer Black was seven and thought he knew everything. He was different from the other children because he had arrived with a note. The note gave his name, penned in a woman’s delicate hand, and he lorded it over the rest of them every chance he got. Mortimer knew he had a mother.
“Just because some babies come from mothers doesn’t mean they all do,” Wendy would argue. She was also seven, but she was very logical.
“Yes, they do all,” he would counter. “You’re just jealous ’cause you don’t have a real name.”
“You take that back! Wendy Darling is my real name!”
But she had her doubts.
Mrs. Healey, the caretaker, was fond of the name Wendy and thought her a darling child. Wendy, darling, fetch me the pitcher, please, she would say. Or, Wendy, darling, where has little Charlie run off to?
Wendy secretly thought Mortimer might have a point.
“You’re nobody,” he would tell her, laughing and poking her with a cruel finger. “You’re just a foundling!”
Fortunately, Wendy had an excellent right jab. That usually ended the matter, at least until she was ten. Ten was the year Wendy’s whole life ended before it had even begun.
But this is just the opening bit, when Wendy is still only 10 years old. For most of the book she’s a bit more mature, at 17 years old – so if you’re still reading and curious to know what’s in store for you…
THE WRONG KIND OF HERO.
“Girls can’t be in the navy! Girls take care of babies! You’re so stupid, you don’t know anything!”
London. 1783. Wendy Darling is an orphan, living in an overcrowded almshouse, ridiculed for believing in a future she can never have. More than anything in the world, she wants to be the captain of a ship. But that’s impossible. Isn’t it?
By 1789, she’s sixteen, old enough to be sold into service as a dressmaker or a servant. When she learns the Home Office is accepting a handful of women into its ranks, she jumps at the chance, joining the fight against the most formidable threat England has ever faced. Magic.
But the secret service isn’t exactly what she had hoped. Accompanied by a reimagined cast of the original Peter Pan, Wendy soon discovers that her dreams are as far away as ever, that choosing sides isn’t as simple as she thought, and that the only man who isn’t blinded by her gender… might be her nation’s greatest enemy.