The Addams Family meets The Westing Game in this exhilarating mystery about a modern magical dynasty trapped in the ruins of their once-grand, now-crumbling ancestral home.
Twelve-year-old Garnet regrets that she doesn’t know her family. Her mother has done her best to keep it that way, living far from the rest of the magical Carrefour clan and their dark, dangerous mansion known as Crossroad House.
But when Garnet finally gets summoned to the estate, it isn’t quite what she hoped for. Her relatives are strange and quarrelsome, each room in Crossroad House is more dilapidated than the last, and she can’t keep straight which dusty hallways and cobwebbed corners are forbidden.
Then Garnet learns the family secret: their dying patriarch fights to retain his life by stealing power from others. Every accident that isn’t an accident, every unexpected illness and unexplained disappearance grants Jasper Carrefour a little more time. While the Carrefours squabbles over who will inherit his role when (if) he dies, Garnet encounters evidence of an even deeper curse. Was she brought to Crossroad House as part of the curse . . . or is she meant to break it?
Title: The Carrefour Curse
Author: Dianne K. Salerni
Publication Date: January 31, 2023
Publisher: Holiday House
Genres: Middle Grade, Mystery, Fantasy
Color: blue- green, sometimes mottled
Magical properties: promotes physical and emotional healing, good health, good fortune, and good travels
To recharge: place in direct sunlight
You’d think spitting up frogs would be a lot like the worst stomach flu you’ve ever had, but it’s surprisingly different. A knot travels slowly up your esophagus and into the back of your throat. It hops onto your tongue, and then ptooey, you spit out the frog.
A quiet but disgusting bit of magic.
The frogs, each less than an inch long, haven’t yet filled up the basin in my lap, but if I don’t get rid of them soon, they’ll be hopping around the car. “You have to pull over, Mom.”
My mother wrenches her eyes off the road long enough to shoot me a wild- eyed glance. She’s taking this harder than I am, which seems strange, but I think it’s better if somebody remains calm. “Just throw them out the window, Garnet.”
“I can’t do that!”
“Why not? It’s not like they’re—” Mom doesn’t finish the sentence. She can’t tell me the frogs aren’t real. Hallucinations don’t leave a trail of slime on your tongue.
Which makes me wonder— where are they coming from? Are they magically popping into existence in my stomach? Or are they being frognapped from some peaceful pond and subjected to a situation that is probably as unpleasant for them as it is for me? Either way, I won’t throw them out the window of a moving car. “Mo-o-om!”
“Okay, okay!” She puts her blinkers on and pulls onto the side of the road. “Hurry up. The faster we get where we’re going, the sooner this will stop.” Even now, she avoids saying the name of our destination.
I pop the handle to open my door and tip the frogs onto the shoulder of the road. Go free, little guys. I’ve barely closed the door when Mom peels onto the road again and stomps on the gas. “Use the bracelets I gave you,” she says between clenched teeth. “Call upon the power of the stones to control the phenomenon and slow it down.”
“I’m trying!” But the bracelets aren’t helping.
Dianne K. Salerni has written many books for children, including Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selections Eleanor, Alice, and the Roosevelt Ghosts and Jadie in Five Dimensions. After teaching elementary school for twenty-five years, Dianne now spends her time hanging around creepy cemeteries and climbing 2,000-year-old pyramids for book research. Visit her online at DianneSalerni.com.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE CARREFOUR CURSE, US Only.
Ends May 2nd, midnight EST.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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