Genre: YA western fantasy
Word count: 75,000
The town of Lonesome Falls has lost its legend, and seventeen-year-old Lyddie Belle Jones is determined to get him back.
Thirty years ago, Boone Tucker showed up out of the desert, an orphaned seven-year-old boy with more than the usual amount of human abilities. He dug up the mountain that shaded Lonesome Falls, planted the forest that fed it, and sprung the river that watered it. He even drove Solomon Slade and his band of outlaws out of town—and then he disappeared.
It’s been twenty years since anyone’s seen Boone Tucker. But all the good he did is beginning to unravel. The people of Lonesome Falls grow desperate as the river dries up, the forest dies, and the mountain starts to rumble. To make things even worse, Solomon Slade has somehow found his way back, and he’s taken Lyddie’s mother hostage.
Lyddie knows the only person who can save them is Boone. When her father goes missing while on a quest to save the town, Lyddie decides to find their lost legend, bring him back, and make him fix it all. But the biggest flaw in her plan, one that might destroy her town—and her heart —is something she’d never considered: Boone Tucker wants nothing to do with Lonesome Falls. Without Boone, Lonesome Falls, and everyone in it, will die.
They said if you fell, it took seven breaths to go from the top of Lonesome Falls to the tumble of boulders at the bottom. But I figured most people who went this way only used one.
The wind whipped my skirts around my legs, plastering them together. I leaned into it just to stay upright, though I kind of wished it would blow me away altogether. What waited at my back wasn’t any better than what waited in front.
“Go on,” Slade said, waving his pistol at me.
I teetered closer to the edge. Behind me, a thick cut in the rock ran deep into the heart of the mountain. The Lonesome River was dry now, but I wondered, if the water still ran from that cut, if I would have had a chance. If the pool at the bottom would have broken my fall.
I was about six feet from the drop. The symbolism wasn’t lost on me. Mrs. Haversham, our school teacher, would have given a lecture about graves and death and the circle of life if this were one of the novels we were studying. But this was very, very real. As real as the rock beneath my bare feet, the wind biting at my face, the roar of the empty space where the water used to flow.
Three steps, six feet, seven breaths.
You’ll have to forgive a girl for getting a tad philosophical in a situation like this.