Mentee NameTitle of ManuscriptMentor NameAge CategoryGenre(s)Total word count (approx.)
Ann DayleviewA Curse of Light and DarknessClair Winn and Nicole BrakeYAFantasy99000

Most princesses receive jewels or flowers for their seventeenth birthdays. Anjeli’s betrothed sends her a severed head.

Anjeli swears revenge when her best friend is murdered by the man her family is forcing her to marry. Marriage will be a death sentence unless she can best him in building an empire. Wielding volatile light and shadow magic controlled by her moods, she crafts a plot to take his kingdom—and his life. They both set their sights on a corrupt neighboring kingdom that could either give Anjeli the resources to conquer her betrothed’s land or increase his hold over her.

Alec scrapes out a living as a prostitute after banishment from Anjeli’s betrothed’s court. If not for Anjeli’s promises of revenge, the shame of his new life would crush him. But to reclaim his title, his wealth, and his dignity, Alec must overcome his self-loathing and become the general Anjeli needs.

While spying on the merchant kingdom, Anjeli comes face to face with her first love, whom she thought her betrothed murdered. As old feelings resurface, they threaten her efforts to unite the kingdom’s gangs, poison the monetary system, and corrupt the nobility. If she fails, she risks marriage to a man she wishes dead, the lives of those she cares about, and a depression that will cause her shadow magic to rip her apart.

A CURSE OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS speaks to fans of the heist-style storyline of SIX OF CROWS and the mental health issues in THE STORM CROW, and it is #ownvoices for bipolar disorder and PTSD. This multi-POV, young adult high fantasy is set in a world that blends the cultures of Central America and the Caribbean⁠—the cultures that make up my family—and is complete at 99k words. Claire Eddy at Tor and Molly Cusick at Sourcebooks have requested to see the manuscript, pending agent representation.

I am one third writer, one third marketing nerd, and one third cupcake queen with degrees in Journalism and Spanish. I have experience in book marketing for several authors including a nonfiction NYT Bestseller. 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Ann Dayleview


What kind of sick, deranged, son of a river rat sent a severed head as a birthday gift? 

Anjeli’s knuckles whitened around the curved teeth of her jaguar skull mask. The head’s blank eyes stared up at her like the fish the rivermen sold in Dock Market. The Aurian word for “spy” was scabbing over, branded into his forehead—a warning.

She pressed her lips together, suppressing a shudder. “Who found him?” 

Mickiel glanced down, tawny skin hidden behind the jaw of his bear skull mask. Beside him, Valeria rubbed her shoulders—her round face hidden by the beak of an eagle. The masks marked them as leaders of the Shadow Guard, the most feared gang in all Salrio.

“I did. The box was behind the barracks.” Valeria jerked her gaze back to the head. “How will we tell his family?”

“Best to let them believe he went missing. They’ll ask too many questions.” Micky placed a hand on Anjeli’s shoulder. “It’s not your fault. He knew what he was signing up for.”

Anjeli sucked in a breath. It killed her to lose people, but she couldn’t relinquish her freedom…her revenge…her future. The rust from the abandoned coffee roasters mingled in the air, tasting of blood. 

Had Luce looked like this when Hadrian finished with him? 

Shifting shadows twisted away from old crates, creeping along the ground, hungrily seeking her misery. Her parents were mad—no kingdom was worth a marriage to a sadist. 

She shook Micky off. “I know. I just hate how he caught me off guard.” If she’d been there, she could’ve cloaked herself in shadows so Hadrian would’ve never seen her…not until her light magic resurfaced.

“We’ll need to bury him.” 

“And the others?” Valeria’s voice wavered. 

“I’ll tell them.” Anjeli cringed but raised her chin. “It’ll remind them of the consequences of failure.” It’d remind her, too.

Micky and Valeria exchanged looks.


“I’ll break the news gently. I do know how to be soft.” 

Micky looked doubtful but hefted the box onto one shoulder. “We should go.” 

“One hour. Don’t be late.” Valeria pointed from Micky to Anjeli.

Anjeli nodded. “Make sure you travel separately, and watch your backs. Whoever dropped him off might still be nearby.” 

“We know,” Micky said. 

He slipped out of the warehouse into the maze of alleyways in Old City, the half of Lenca where sinners and those who couldn’t afford salvation skulked the streets. Valeria saluted and ducked out the back.

Once alone, Anjeli let out a breath. Her vision swam, the spy’s milky white gaze turned gray as his skin paled and features twisted into those of Luce. Her best friend, Hadrian’s brother. He was gone, too, killed in Hadrian’s jealous fury for the hint that she might prefer Luce. 

Perhaps that was her fault, too. 

Shadows wafted over her like fine silks. Anjeli gasped and summoned a happier thought to push them back.