Alchemy by Sheena Boekweg, Melanie Crouse, and Sabrina West
"Do you want me to be dangerous?" he asked, his voice husky and low.
I gulped, and for a moment I was incapable of speech. But he was quiet, waiting. "No. I don't."
"Then I'm not dangerous at all," he murmured. His gaze moved from my eyes to my mouth. "You've never been safer than you are at this moment." I shivered as his breath tickled my skin. Our lips were mere millimeters apart when the sky shattered in a kaleidoscope of colored light.
We didn’t know how much we had to lose until we were infected with magic. Sam was in love, Juliette was the main caretaker for her siblings, and Ana and her dad planned the best parties in New York. But we lost it all when we were shipped to Chebeague, an exclusive school for newly infected mages.
Everyone knows about the mages, those who survive the infection and end up with magical abilities. We’ve seen the power of magic, the high-paying jobs, and the world fame. But we never saw the cost. We didn’t know we’d be forced to give up everything: sanity, family, even the right to talk on the phone.
We didn’t know mage was just another word for prisoner.
How we came to write Alchemy:
Once upon a time, there were some aspiring authors who wrote on a blog called The Prosers. (theprosers.blogspot.com) One day, Sabrina wrote a blog post about a book called Sorcery and Cecilia. Sabrina explained that:
"The authors wrote the book entirely by sending letters to each other from the point of view of their characters. The picked a setting ahead of time… and then were not allowed to discuss plot at all, just let it develop naturally. And yes, it has to be real letters, or else it's not quite so fun to get the story in the mail."
Sheena was delighted with the idea, and asked if anyone wanted to try it with her. Both Sabrina and Melanie volunteered, and there we hit our first snag. How on earth does one write a cohesive story via letters sent between three people?
So we got together for a facebook chat where we brainstormed solutions. It took a few weeks, and false starts, but eventually Melanie mentioned a real boarding school for rich, troubled teenagers where they were required to write journal entries to their therapists in exchange for privileges, and everything took off from there.
There are three main characters: Sam, a former baseball player who uses girls as a kind of medicine, Juliette, whose past has made her react to the world with clenched fists, and Ana, who is so normal that there is no way she’ll ever be able to fit in at this school for freaks.
Imagine a cross between Harry Potter, Ender’s Game, and Gossip Girl. Sam, Juliette and Ana have just been sent to a magical school, and have been told they will never see their families again. One of the biggest things that makes our book different from the usual paranormal romance, is that magic isn't a secret. Once they have survived infection with a magical virus, and managed to retain their sanity, they will be used by the government as a weapon, similar to nuclear armament. Mages aren’t allowed back into polite society. They are too unstable, and definitely too dangerous. But Juliette, Ana, and Sam are still teens, and none of that is half as important as their friendships and crushes.
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