Working on this for my novel. I'm hoping to pitch it next month at a writing conference. The XXX are places I'd add some specific personalizing to the individual. Dear Ms. XXX, I was pleased to meet you at the Philadelphia Writer’s Conference. Thank you for sharing your insights in publishing particularly XXXXX. Per your request, I am sending you sample pages from THE GILLION, a story where the high fantasy and mystery of Dawn Cook’s First Truth meets the dark isolated world of Lois Lowry’s The Giver. Death rolls over a mind. Mint scorches the air. Flash of pain, a young boy’s dreams dwindle into nothingness. A teenage girl wakes up screaming from nightmares. Days later, the boy dies. Another night comes and the nightmares return. Despite being from the poorest region of her mountain, sixteen-year-old Aarya is unwavering in her desire to receive special training and become a jeweler. Unfortunately, she’s fighting against wealthier and, sometimes, magical teenagers. Still, she’s determined to succeed. However, her aspirations fall to the wayside when she begins dreaming of attacks on her village’s children. The dreams feel like memories gone bad: sled rides ending in screams, vibrant days fading into black and white, and the voice of a child begging for help. As the children in her town fall ill and begin dying, Aarya realizes the truth: her dreams are actually happening; a creature hunts the children of her village. Aarya worries her sickly sister is next. With parents unwilling to help, Aarya turns to her best friend Jasmine. Together with Aarya’s enemy-turned-ally George, they begin uncovering the secrets of the Gillion, a creature connected to one of Aarya’s past lives, and discover a dark power meant to be forgotten. With malice spreading, Aarya's friends find themselves in the midst of a losing fight and she must make the hardest decision of her life. Does she destroy the Gillion and save her village, leaving her friends to an uncertain fate? Or, does she join with the Gillion, save her friends, and hope she can control the creature's darkness and unending hunger? Complete at 60,000 words, this young adult dark fantasy novel explores socioeconomic challenges for hardworking youth, bias based on race and ability, a fantasy world influenced by both India and Europe, and the sweetness of first love between two young women.