THE DEVIL IN THE ROOT – A YA Southern Gothic
A boy cursed with wings, horns, and a tail discovers a twisted family secret in this lush Southern Gothic, perfect for readers of Beautiful Creatures and Beware the Wild.
Credit: Artist Terry Bell for this unbelievable drawing of George!
George Summerlin is human, even if he doesn’t look it. Born under a wicked family curse, he has the wings of a bat, the horns of a bull, and the tail of a lizard. While his peculiar features don’t stop him from dribbling a basketball, they are the reason Mama keeps him hidden away on their derelict seaside resort. She calls it protection.
George calls it prison.
After a botched escape attempt, pictures of George surface online and catch the eye of Grace, a girl who’s hell-bent on capturing the beast terrorizing her island. She sneaks through George’s window, convinced he’s it. Now he must prove his innocence in order to save his tail.
He offers Grace a deal: track down the real monster—a Boo Hag, which haunts the marshes—in exchange for freedom. His scaly butt is worth risking, at least until their search exposes a twisted secret about the Boo Hag, Mama, and the Summerlin Curse that not only puts Grace’s soul in the monster’s sights, but proves George is more of a beast than he realized.
Complete at 75,000 words THE DEVIL IN THE ROOT is a YA Southern Gothic that should appeal to readers of Beautiful Creatures and Beware the Wild.
It was a finalist for the 2016 Rosemary Award for Excellence in YA Fiction and in the 2015 WisRWA Fab Five contest.
Ashley’s writing is represented by Christa Heschke of McIntosh & Otis.