Genre: YA historical
Word Count: 90,000
Prohibition has turned Eve Medina’s rural hometown into a center of black-market wine trade and police corruption. So when Eve kills a wealthy man, she knows it won’t matter that she’s sixteen, or that she acted in self-defense. What will matter is that she’s poor, the daughter of a Mexican immigrant, and that she makes a living pretending to be a fortuneteller. If she gets caught, she’ll hang.
Jakob Gellert, a young Hungarian immigrant who works as a magician, knows about the murder, and keeping him quiet will cost Eve. His younger sister Lilika has disappeared, along with all state record that she ever existed, and Jakob wants to use Eve’s knowledge of the town’s politics, prejudices, and secrets to find her. Jakob’s reputation as an illusionist, equal parts skilled and dangerous, tells Eve he won’t hesitate to use what he knows against her if she doesn’t help him. If she does, however, his reputation as a fledgling criminal could draw police attention she needs to avoid.
When Eve discovers she and Jakob have similar tattoos, she decides they’re better as allies than enemies. But if they think they know the truth about the crocus on Jakob’s arm and the lily on Eve’s neck, they’re wrong. The history behind their shared tattoos could be the only way to find Lilika. It could also get them killed.
Eve knows the rumors. Some swear that the boy makes rosebushes vanish at night and reappear in the morning. Others say his talent is turning himself into a cat with eyes black as its fur. But Eve didn’t come for his tricks. She came to find out why he never leaves coins in the fountains.
She chooses an empty seat at the back of the great room. A few women look over their shoulders to shame her for being late. They don’t guess the truth, that Eve is not one of them, that she wears no earrings not because she forgot them but because she doesn’t own any.
Her dress, blue as a gas flame and weighted with beading, trails on the hardwood floor. The too-long hem might give her away, but with her hair swept off her shoulders, her lips painted to make them appear smaller, no one looks closely enough to notice. Too many girls visit the Banagher estate to keep track of each new one.
Even the guests whose fortunes she’s told in town don’t recognize her. Earlier, in Gloria’s bronze-framed mirror, Eve barely recognized herself, the evening gown and chignon a country apart from her everyday floral dresses and loose hair.
Banagher’s men stand the boy with his back to the fireplace. She guesses it is because they prefer not to see his face, the color of