An orphan out to find the truth within a warped religion turns his poetry into prayer—a prayer that awakens a cursed girl hungry for revenge.
Centuries after a miracle vanquished Tresttato's monsters and turned the soldiers fighting them to stone, Milo lovingly tends to the statues of those who protected the city. Raised with devout templars and scholars, autistic temple ward Milo wants nothing more than to be accepted into their ranks. When his prayers admiring her heroic sacrifice accidentally free Gia from stone, she wakes with a fury to kill the man Milo owes his life to, Primo Sanct Ennio.
Gia claims that the immortal holy leader Milo lives to serve is the same man who betrayed her and transformed her into a statue--and what Milo always believed was a miracle was actually a curse that Gia will stop at nothing to break.
Even if she has to kill his followers to do it.
Even if she must kill the boy who woke her.
A da Vinci-esque teen girl inventor on a Dante-esque journey through hell to save her best friend.
Plain, poor, plus-size, and autistic, Alesta grew up trying to convince her kingdom that she’s too useful to be sacrificed like so many of their country’s poor to appease the infernal monster across the poison sea in hell.
When Alesta’s attempt to prove herself with inventions goes awry, her best friend and heir to the throne, Kyrian, takes the blame expecting leniency—and ends up tithed in her place.
To end the sacrifices forever, Alesta plans to kill the monster that killed her friend. She travels to the depths of hell only to find Kyrian, alive, but monstrously transformed.
There’s no escaping hell or their deeper feelings for one another, and the farther they go, the closer they come to uncovering a truth about the tithings that threatens to invoke the wrath of not only monsters but the gods as well.
For inquiries regarding school visits, interviews, events, or book blurbs, as well as reader mail, please email SchwartzWords@gmail.com
For foreign rights interest for PRAYER and TADS please email my publisher Page Street.
Light gore and body horror. Some bullying/sizeist body talk, and conflict with a parent over masking autism (internalized but ultimately rejected by the main characters). Societal/parental homophobia (with happy outcomes). Claustrophobic panic attacks. Implied suicidal ideation. Illness, loss, grief.
Kirkus loves Prayer!
“[Gives] readers emotional glimpses into inner conflicts over guilt and faith while shining a light on injustice and contemplating truth and the accuracy of historical narratives.
Perfectly balanced action, reflection, and intrigue; sure to offer wide appeal."
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
So many nice things being said about Prayer!
"Through a dynamic blend of action and magic, Schwartz conjures an alluring adventure that interrogates belief, faith, and perception."
🔥WE'RE GOING TO HELL🔥 Ecstatic to announce TO A DARKER SHORE from Page Street YA winter 2024! With autistic best friends to monsters to lovers, dissections of beauty standards and ableism, religious trauma, demi rep, and the biggest game of the floor is lava ever🔥
A discussion of fairy tales with young adult fantasy authors Margaret Rogerson, Emily Lloyd-Jones, Margaret Owen, Laura Pohl, Alexandra Overy, and me, moderated by Denise Phillips of Gathering Volumes Bookstore, brought to you by Romance Bookstore Day
I'm excited to announce my debut, a YA fantasy pitched as Strange the Dreamer meets Girl, Serpent, Thorn. After centuries trapped as a statue, plus-size Gia wants revenge, but if she's going to kill the immortal man who doomed her and usurped her sister, she needs to get her hands—and likely her blade—on the handsome autistic poet whose prayers woke her.
Leanne Schwartz is the author of the young adult fantasies A Prayer for Vengeance and To a Darker Shore. She has spent about her life at either the library or the local theater, where she has played Lady Macbeth, Lady Capulet, Clytemnestra, and Hera―perhaps one reason she writes such vengeful, murderous girls. When she’s not teaching English and poetry, she can be found baking pizzelle, directing scenes for the student Shakespeare festival, and singing along to showtunes. She lives in California with her family.
Leanne Schwartz is an autistic author, teacher, and bookworm. She grew up in Davis, California, reading piles of books and acting in local theater productions. In high school she cemented her status as a massive nerd, running a local theater company, attending the California State Summer School for the Arts for creative writing, and taking three literature classes senior year. She has played Lady Macbeth, Lady Capulet, Clytemnestra, and Hera—perhaps one reason she writes such vengeful, murderous girls. Leanne completed her English degree and master's in education at UC Davis. When she’s not teaching English and poetry, she can be found baking pizzelle, directing scenes for the student Shakespeare festival, and singing along to showtunes. She lives in San Diego with her family, and is the author of the young adult fantasies A Prayer for Vengeance and To a Darker Shore.