SONG OF THE STARSTONE is a 98,000-word YA fantasy with sequel potential. It offers the equestrian adventures of Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, and the animal friends and magical whimsy of Woven In Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez, with subtle climate change themes as in The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin.

The Union governs a world where water is rationed and fertile soil is expensive. Layli is an orphaned stable girl who yearns for a life beyond the confines of her employers’ remote guest ranch. While she mucks stalls and mends fences, the wealthy entertain themselves with show horses and lavish parties. But no matter who you are, everyone has to pay a birthtax.

When Union officials arrive at Layli’s door demanding papers she doesn’t have, she finally realizes why she’s been kept hidden for so long: her negligent caregivers never paid for her birthtax. Now she must face a mountain of debt or else surrender to life in a labor camp. 

Desperate to come up with a staggering sum, Layli steals a prized stallion and heads for a black market hidden deep in the woods. Along the way, she discovers a crystal that glimmers with the promise of prosperity, only to realize it has painted a new target on her back. She found the Solari, a rare stone worth a fortune to those who believe in its magical healing powers. Now she faces a pivotal choice: sell the precious crystal or bear the responsibility of protecting it. 

The decision gets more complicated when animals start talking to her. Not just speaking, but warning Layli of the ones who hunt the crystal. There are the Sarsas, a powerful mining family, eager to make the crystal the crown of their collection. A handsome boy named Tayo, who seeks to avenge the theft of his stolen stallion. And most dangerous of all, a Union Commissioner whose determination to dig until he finds the Solari could contaminate the remaining water supply. If Layli truly wants to be free, she must outsmart her pursuers and race against time not just to save the rivers from poison, but also to unlock the crystal’s full power to heal the wounds of the forest and create a new, more magical world.

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Work in progress -YA paranormal romance

The cobblestone streets and horseshoe archways of southern Spain taste like honey to Aurora’s soul. For one glorious semester, she has traded the LSAT study guide for long afternoons sketching in sunny courtyards. She isn’t even thinking about romance. Until she meets the handsome and crafty Lorenzo.

Their first date is magnetic. Their second is even more potent. On the third, Lorenzo invites her to see the historic house he inherited from his grandmother. There is something eerie about the half-renovated villa, but Aurora ignores her goosebumps and falls for the charming rooftop terrace, and for Lorenzo. Maybe she will rebel against her mother’s expectations of law school and stay in Spain forever with a Spanish husband by her side. But on the eve of their fourth date, Lorenzo disappears.

Desperate to understand why she’s been ghosted, Aurora turns to the paranormal. A psychic warns her that ancient magic is at work and she must find the antidote to a family curse to get Lorenzo back. If Aurora truly wants answers, she must decide if she is willing to leave the rational world behind and dabble in dark magic for a chance at true love.