Such a Secret Place
Raids splatter across the news--Arcaian soldiers are stealing magic left and right, using it against the people they steal it from.
When sixteen-year-old Ambry Csille's brother gets taken in one of these raids, her utter fear and panic should be enough to invoke tears in any normal world. But for Ambry, tears are a thing of the past.
Because of a spell, people can no longer feel emotion; not enough to cry, and definitely not enough to defend themselves against the tyrannical soldiers stealing her people’s magic. A rare vial of enchanted tears chooses Ambry to reverse the spell, and soon she finds herself the target not only of the Arcaians, but of battle-scarred Talon Haraway, who wants the tears for his own reasons.
All Ambry wants is to rescue her brother, but when her tears get stolen, Ambry determines to work with Talon to get them back. Any day the Arcaians could drink her tears. Any day they’ll succeed at draining her people's magic completely, and all hope will be gone—not only for her brother, but for her world.
Cortney is a book nerd who studied literature at BYU-Idaho, a music nerd who plays clarinet in her local community orchestra, and a writing nerd who creates stories for young adults. She lives with her husband and three sons in a small Idaho farm town.
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“You’ve had enough, huh?” I spin on the spot and lunge a forward thrust at his stomach.
With a furtive jab, Talon blocks my advance, and I don’t miss the fact that he makes none in return. That doesn’t stop me. I’m too in-the-moment, brimming with adrenaline.
“It’ll be dark in a few hours,” he says, seeming fixed on blocking only. “We’ll go into the city to sleep.”
I laugh and make for his shoulder to get him in an arm lock. “Who needs sleep?”
Before I know what’s happening, my arm is restrained. I’m thrown into the air like a dirty rug and land on my back. Talon kneels across me, pinning my arms on either side of my head.
He studies me, panting. The rims of his eyes tighten and then relax.
“You especially need to rest so you don’t wear yourself out before tomorrow.”
I’m too caught up in his glance to realize he was taking me seriously. We just stare at each other for a long moment. My breath locks in my throat.
A day’s growth stubbles along his chin, and my palms itch to reach out, to feel it. Heat emanates from him in waves, making me dizzy.
I swallow, waiting for him to act—as I can’t really move. With my hands fettered in his, I’m completely open to him. He has to be feeling the same. This invisible lure between us. How else can he look at me with such softness in his eyes?
Too soon he releases his hold and allows me to sit up.