Title: Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail

Author: M. Gail Grant

Genre: YA Fantasy


The enchanted secret of Lily Brooke was safe and sound, until Magdalena and her thirteen-year-old friends accidentally unleashed the revengeful demons of the past. How were they supposed to know that a friendly expedition in the woods on a stress-free Saturday morning would lead to the most intense and scary moments of their lives? So many mysterious happenings have occurred ever since they found that crooked trail leading to the sacrificial cave, and hidden monstrosity of a treehouse. With the chanting voices and shrill noises that only Magdalena could hear, the friends decide there is something sinister living amongst them. Time is of the essence to save Lily Brooke and their childhood club, the Mystical Alliance of Lily Brooke, knows it is up to them to capture the demons hiding in their community and set the town free. Witches, wizards, and some black magic may just be what it takes for Magdalena and her best friends to save the day.


“I have a question,” responded Greta. “Why is it that only Magdalena could hear the voices? Does this mean she is a witch?”

At that, both Gabriel and Hubert jumped to their feet to defend their friend.

“How could you even say that, Greta?” screeched Hubert.

“I second that,” said Gabriel. You could see the anger in his red face.

“Guys, I don’t mean any disrespect. I have been friends with Magdalena for a really long time and I value our friendship. If she is a witch, I still love her. But, we have some awkward questions to ask, and until we start getting some answers, we won’t know how to proceed to protect the entire town of Lily Brooke.”

Greta knew she wasn’t making any friends with her questions but she also knew their future may depend upon those answers.

Magdalena, all a sudden, knew why she had always felt like she was missing something in her life. She now knew why she viewed things differently from others, why her brain worked differently, why she was always seeking a purpose in life. Maybe it was because she really was different. Could she be a witch? Was she a bad person? She had even more questions now than before.

Gabriel saw the pain in Magdalena’s face and he turned to hug his best friend. Magdalena accepted the warm felt hug and laid her head down on his shoulder. Before she could catch herself, the tears began to roll down her face. She didn’t know why her life felt upside down. In that moment, it came to her. If she were a witch, did that mean her mother was, too? Was Preacher Loring really a wizard? They both had heard the voices as well, as she had, and she even heard them admit it while she was spying in the church broom closet. No, none of this made any sense. It just couldn’t be.

Almost as though Piper had read her mind, he said, “Does this mean Mrs. Gottschalk and Preacher Loring are a witch and a wizard, too? Didn’t they both hear the voices?”

Gabriel had heard about as much as he could handle.

“Preacher Loring called a mandatory town hall meeting tonight and ordered Mrs. Gottschalk to tell the others. If we spy on that meeting tonight at midnight, we should at least get a few questions answered. One of the biggest questions we will have answered is who attended the meeting. That is even not to mention what will be discussed. We need to divide and conquer,” said Gabriel.

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About the Author:

Melinda Gail resides in Canton, Georgia with her three daughters, husband of over twenty years, and two adorable fur babies.  Surrounded by the north Georgia mountains, the scenery provides for inspirational settings for her novels. Being raised in the south, she brings a little southern flair and tradition to her characters, all the while remembering the adventurous nature of middle grades to young adult age children. With a passion for the extraordinary and imagination, Melinda hopes you enter a world of fantasy as you see life through the eyes of the characters.

Writing has always been her underlying passion in life. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, and a minor in Sociology, she felt understanding and studying human behavior on the individual and collective level, would apply to anything and everything chosen to do in life. Identified as being a strong writer for her age at the time, she attended a summer literary writer’s camp around age twelve. She flourished and loved every moment of the experience and it has stayed with her throughout adulthood.

The desire to write has always been an integral part of who Melinda is, and about eight months ago she decided it was time. Having always been an avid reader of topics from intense young adult fantasy and thrillers, to light hearted summer romances, she chose juvenile to young adult ages for her book. In middle school summers, she would stay up to the wee hours of the morning reading because she just couldn’t put the book down. This basic idea, not being able to put a book down, is the principal she built on while writing Magdalen Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail. It has moments of ease, moments of intensity, moments of humor, striving to offer some of her own personality in her writings. There is a time for sweetness, a time for seriousness, and always a time for kindness and life lessons. Her style isn’t made up. It is simply who she is, on paper.

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