YA fantasy, full of horses, magical crystals, and mystery on the icy island of Elsmier.
After she steals a prized stallion, Layli, an orphan with striking blue eyes, trades the confines of her life as a kitchen girl for the mystery of the mountains. It’s high summer on Elsmier, an island ruled by the restrictive hand of The Union. When Layli finds the Chintamani, a crystal lost to the cobwebs of myth, her perception of reality shifts, and she can suddenly hear the voices of animals. But Layli has no time to master this new power before she gets tangled in a mission to save the pristine waters of Elsmier.
Members of the Alliance panic when they realize the Chintamani is real and the remaining fragments are located under a precarious glacier. Layli is the only one who can stop the Union from disturbing the ancient ice and unleashing toxic sludge into Elsmier’s water supply.
Now, Layli must navigate a dangerous trail to the city of Alterra where she is intercepted by a glamorous family with hopes of taking the crystal for themselves. From rugged mountains to a luxurious lakeside villa, Layli must tap into the power of the Chintamani to escape and stop the Union from stealing the crystal.
The novel is written as a stand-alone but could be followed by a sequel. I believe it will appeal to fans of Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races) or Isabel Ibañez (Woven in Moonlight). It has a market with equestrian enthusiasts like followers of the YouTube channel ‘This Esme’. I live in the mountains of Montana and work for a non-profit initiative at Arizona State University where I completed a master’s in sustainability science.