Welcome and pleased to meet you.  My name is Mariela Ochoa and I am a novelist aspiring to become a NYT Best Seller.  Please feel free to click around and read some of my work.  I am working on my first Y.A. fantasy novel and I will share excerpts from time to time.  It will be titled Onyx.  

What is your novel about, Mariela?

I’m glad you asked.  It is a young adult fantasy novel centered around the idiosyncrasies of social societies.  I used the word idiosyncrasy because some of our norms are, at times, inhumane or not logical.

Imagine a world where war is no longer between humans and gun power.  Instead, magic and the supernatural are the weapons of choice.  Then, what happens if these are overused and the become useless against evil?  What will it take to rid the world of evil?  Bullets and magic don’t work.  What do you have to sacrifice?  What will you sacrifice?  Will you?  As Helen Grant once wrote:  “Can Evil ever be destroyed, only postponed?”

This is going to be a 4 part series, The Onyx Chronicles, with Onyx as book one.

Synopsis for Onyx (Book 1 of The Onyx Chronicles):

One town, two secrets.

Enid is a city girl from Atlanta that unexpectedly winds up living in a small town in south western Virginia.  Enid had developed a plan to ensure her senior year was one to remember.  With the sudden move to Onyx, Virginia, her chances are slim to none.  She struggles with loneliness at her new school, but soon befriends Aleena, one of the schools “teen royalty”.  With her new friendship, Enid strives to pry her way into the school’s popular crowd.

On a triple-dog-dare during one night, she visits the Hangman’s Tree, a tree named after a brutal lynching that took place some years ago.  Afterwards, she begins to notice unusual happenings around town and pieces them together to discover   a clandestine cult that has been terrorizing the town for over a century.   Without warning, a dormant force is summoned and it consumes the town with a magic older than the earth and beyond potions or spells.   This magic will soon endanger everything  and anything that lives.   Becoming teen royalty is the least of Enid’s problems.  Enid begins the journey to put an end to the Obsidio and its magic.  But, she uncovers an even bigger danger that makes the Obsidio seem trivial…

Excerpt from Onyx:

PROLOGUE (updated 6/9/2013)

I wished I was anywhere else but here, yet here I was and I saw. A cold chill ran down my spine, a reminder that this was far from a dream, but I couldn’t pry my eyes away from him. His glazed eyeballs bulged out of their sockets. His face was twisted in a frozen grimace. A growl of thunder filled the air. The man hung and casted a grim shadow on a fine autumn day, like an angry splinter in a lady’s delicate finger – dark, sharp, and painful. The wind blew around him showering the ground with confetti of dry leaves as tree branches danced in the wind. His rigid and heavy body swayed lightly off beat.

I peeled my eyes away from him and take in our surroundings. The ground was adorned with small trenches proving he fought. My eyes followed the trail of blood wrapped around the tree trunk. The tree towered over me menacingly, glowering under the sunshine. Paying homage to its deforested brothers, the tree wore the dry human blood like an honor war badge strapped around its trunk, an eye for an eye and a tree for a life. I titled my head farther back to look for the impending storm. The sky was a pure autumn blue with not a cloud in sight. Still, I heard the rumble of thunder nearby.

I turned to my father. His profile was complacent with the slightest hint of a smirk. I hoped it was a trick of the sun. Thunder boomed and crashed, shaking the ground with all its might. I looked towards the sky again and it remained as clear as before. A dizzy spell overcame me – the crashing sounds, the quivering ground, the swaying body. I looked to my father for stability and he met my eyes. I saw his leer and eerily triumphant glimmer in his eyes. There was no denying it. The thunder and quakes became stronger. I clenched my fists a deafening scream clawed its way out of my throat. My father’s smirk fell and he slapped me quiet.

The dead man had been discovered at dawn hanging from the tree under the Mill Mountain Star. The 88.5 foot Mill Mountain Star sits atop of Mill Mountain and casts a whimsical glow every night, which is visible for a sixty mile radius. Tonight, I searched for the Star out of my window. It was nowhere to be seen and blended in with the mountains. The man was dead, the mountains were black, and I was never going to be the same.

I knew he was one victim of The Misterus.

In fourteen years, The Misterus would claim the next.