I know I have been remiss in blogging (yet again), so I thought I'd share with you the opening of the project I've just started working on. It's called HONOR AMONG THIEVES and it is about two girls - Risa Nassar and Gianna Agnello - living in Venice in the 19th century, and stealing magical objects from elite Venetians and careless tourists, until one day they steal something very powerful from exactly the wrong person.
It starts out like this, and I hope you're intrigued!
They’d named her Il Ragno because they’d all assumed such feats of daring could only be accomplished by a grown man, not a wiry girl of seventeen years. But she did not object to the title; that very assumption that Venice’s greatest thief was a man only allowed her all the more freedom. No one would suspect the small, dark-skinned girl in her cloak of shadows, not when they were looking for someone else entirely.
No one suspected her that night either, when the mist from the sea muted the moonlight shining on the canals, when the city slept soundly in its crumbling glory. As quietly and quickly as the spider she’d been named for, the girl skittered over the roofs of the palazzi until she’d settled on the one she’d chosen.
Il Ragno climbed down the elaborate façade of the palazzo, her hands sure against the small niches and curled ornamentations. A smile pressed the corner of her mouth against the black mask fitted over her face when she saw the window swinging open, the curtain billowing in the salty sea breeze. This was going to be simpler even than she had anticipated.
She crept inside, her well-worn leather boots silent against the marble floors. The object she sought was meant to be displayed within easy reach, and there it was, settled on a table without even a bell jar to keep it safe. Don Fransisco must truly be a proud, foolish man indeed to display such a valuable scrying mirror for all the world to see.
For the fingers of Il Ragno to take.
She closed her fingers around her prize, when a sudden loud footfall caught her attention. A servant boy stood in the doorway, struggling to light a candle and still hold a knife pointed in her direction.
“Don’t move,” he stammered. “Stay where you are.”
But the girl smiled beneath her mask, and she bowed low to the boy, tucking the mirror safely inside her tunic as she did. And then she grasped the edge of her shadow-cloak, pulling it sharply up over her head.
And Il Ragno vanished into the night as silently as she’d come, leaving the boy to stare at the space where she’d been and the empty table that had once held his master’s mirror.