River Curse or maybe Osprey Circle or maybe Haunted Waters or most likely something else entirely. No matter what it’s called, the book is a dark middle grade fantasy, and I’m having fun breaking away from contemporary realism.  

More About It: 

The oldest sons of families on Osprey Circle, the cul de sac where middle school girls Brooke and Abby live, drown if they go in the river. Never one of the dozens of pools throughout their neighborhood. Never on a day trip to the beach. Always the river. It must be a curse--the girls are sure of it.  

There are no more boys for the river to claim until Brooke’s mom announces, not only is she getting married, but she’s pregnant! Brooke quickly convinces herself they’re wrong about the curse, the deaths are coincidences, or even if they’re right, her mom will have a girl. She focuses on maid of honor duties and wedding planning fun. But Abby knows it’s a boy. Another boy has told her—in dreams, in wind-whispered songs, in thousands of sloughed snake skins raining on the neighborhood and settling on the river. Her own dead brother, revealing the river’s story from his side of a watery grave. 

The girls must work together to end a long-held neighborhood grudge, so the land can finally heal, the Osprey will return, and the river will not take its next sacrifice. 

Excerpt: Chapter 1--JOnas

Monsters sleep beneath this river. 

Sink to the muddy bottom, sift through the detritus of leaves and bottle caps, fish bones, stray hooks, and tangles of wire line woven through the weeds and muck. Press deeper, beneath the river’s teeth, peel the layers of the seen into the unseen where it’s your soul and your fear that makes things known. This is where you’ll find me, wrapped in the chaotic tangle of their bodies, protected and captive.