A snippet from the first chapter of my WIP:

Tess runs off again, skidding to a stop before a plot of white rosebushes. Their petals are brown and crumbling, tired heads bowing toward the ground.

“Everything’s dying,” she complains.

I realize what she intends a scant second before she acts.

“Tess!” I shriek, decorum forgotten.

I’m too late.

Tess is an advanced caster for her age—for any age, really. The deadheads spring up, whole and white and luscious. The oaks thrive with heavy, swaying green boughs. Magnificent peonies and lilies sway toward the sun, glorying in their resurrection.

“Theresa Elizabeth Cahill,” I hiss. “You put that back.”

She pouts at me. “It’s prettier this way!”

“And what will the gardeners think, half the garden springing back to life overnight?”

“I’ll fix the rest, too!"

“Tess.” My tone doesn’t brook any argument.

“I don’t see why anyone should mind. What good is all this, anyway, if we can’t use it to make things more beautiful?”

As far as I can tell, “all this” is good for precious little. All it does is put us in near-constant danger of discovery by the Brotherhood or one of their snooping, meddlesome informants.

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