TITLE: Heart of Sparks
GENRE: YA Fantasy
A duty-driven princess hiding a forbidden magical gift must decide between the crown and her heart when she falls in love with the defiant, horse-training sister of the prince she's supposed to marry.
The door of my carriage clicked open, and a gust of hot summer air beckoned me to meet my future husband. I took as deep a breath as the bodice of my dress would allow and stepped down onto pale flagstones leading up to the gatehouse of a castle. As my shoes touched the ground, I silently scolded my heart. It ignored me, hammering in nervous double time against my ribs even though my life since the age of six had been a constant rehearsal for this moment.
Colorful banners hung from the battlements of the gatehouse, alternating the plum of my homeland with the deep blue of Mynaria. Behind the gatehouse the rest of the castle loomed, a massive structure crowned with square towers that jutted up into the blue sky overhead. Though the building was grand, and massive, it looked naked to me without the twisting spires that crowned the castle where I had grown up.
A line of horses adorned in full barding awaited me in front of the entryway, their polished armor glinting in the afternoon sun. Even from several paces back I could tell that their necks arched well above my head. A breeze fluttered the dark blue embroidered silk that hung from their reins. Though I’d read about the warhorses of Mynaria, such massive creatures were beyond my imagination. The carriage horses seemed diminutive by comparison, and they had frightened me badly enough when I’d first seen them at the foothills of the northern mountains I called home.