Born and raised on the edge of Yellowstone National Park, Mary grew up in a landscape that simply begged for adventures real and imaginary. Being a dyslexic who could never spell it took her long time to realize that she could be a writer and the constant stream of stories in her head could become novels. Now Mary writes fantasy when she’s not making book trailers for a nonprofit independent press. You may often find her playing in the river or the ocean when she’s lucky enough to travel.
~ Debut Novel in the Querying Trenches ~
Dorris Nuddle is the only surviving daughter of the most successful farmlanded woman in the Inlands. It would have been an idyllic setting if the Inlanders themselves didn’t spoil it. Their boring and self-righteous, plus their unyielding belief that touching unbroken water causes insanity, makes Dorris wonder about her own yearning for the wild rain. Before water can be touched, it must go through a secret process that strips it of all vitality. Dorris hates this thick and bitter water. But she doesn’t ask questions, she catches enough of her mother’s ire as it is. Getting answers isn’t worth risking her secret escapes to the woods where she’s free from her mother’s disappointment and her father’s silence. When she finds a family from the Remnants, the supposedly superstitious and uncouth coastland, they teach her about gifts – innate magical abilities. She gains a true family and a new name, Rilki. Discovering her gift with water allows her to communicate with the unbroken water that her own people think is so dangerous. When three Inlanders are attacked in the woods and only two return, Rilki’s new friends reveal their search for a missing Remnant woman who’d come to investigate the water breaking.
To find the missing people and discover what the Inlanders are doing to the water, Rilki must learn to use her gift, break her culture’s strict rules, and somehow befriend the men who were attacked. It’s unfortunate she’s so practiced at avoiding her fellow Inlanders. In their search, Rilki and her friends discover an invisible net surrounding the Inlands that rips gifts away from anyone who touches it. They must discover how the net’s creator, the mysterious attacker, and the missing people are intertwined. But her actions bring Rilki up against a woman who’s been controlling the Inlands through blackmail and murder.
In the end, Rilki must face her entire community and prove the woman in control to be a killer, unbroken water to be harmless, and the Breaking Guild’s secrets to be deadly; or fall to the charges of live water induced insanity that would leave her imprisoned, her mother stripped of her ancestral land and her parents and farmers homeless.