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The Hidden Crystal audio book narrated by the talented Ted Brooks has been released!
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Excerpt from Chapter One of The Hidden Crystal
Sweat ran down Sarac’s cheek as he raced down a narrow forest path, panicking as branches lashed his face. His boots crunched through virgin snow, now stained with drops of blood. He clutched his wounded chest and stopped suddenly, unsure of his surroundings. Nothing looked familiar.
Pale blue eyes stared out at the surroundings from a narrow face of sixteen seasons, framed by thin cheekbones. He ran a hand through his tousled blonde hair and shivered, pulling his coarse white robe tighter around him. This was supposed to be a training exercise, and he was wholly unprepared for the climate. He pressed himself against the trunk of a tree as the sound of his pursuers passed close by, trying to remain as still as possible while his ragged breathing sent puffs of fog into the cold air.
Four shadows appeared around a bend in the trail. A thin boy with straw-colored hair and a sour expression on his face stepped forward, followed closely by three other boys wearing white robes with a polished buckle of a golden sun. “Which way did Sarac go?” came Braden’s surly voice. “I should have killed him when I had the chance. If he makes it back to the Temple of Inscriptions to tell the Elders what happened…”
Sarac picked up a small rock and threw it hard against a tree on the other side of the trail. It made a loud cracking sound as it struck the trunk.
“This way!” Braden shouted, leading the boys away from Sarac’s hiding place.
Sarac breathed a sigh of relief and stumbled forward. Female voices drifted on the wind as Sarac’s feet snapped fallen branches. In a grassy clearing ahead, four girls were practicing their dancing. A chestnut-haired girl in a white dress caught his eye; her long, brown tresses flowed as her feet skimmed the ground. Sarac’s eyes widened as he watched, entranced as the girl spun and twirled, seeming to float across the meadow. She looked like an angel as the radiance of the sun cast a golden nimbus behind her, lighting up the edges of her dress. The way her body moves! Sarac felt faint. He looked down at the jagged tear in his soaked shirt and the underlying wound in his chest, and was startled to see how much blood he had lost. His vision wavered and he stumbled forward into the clearing. The girl’s heads spun towards him; three of the girls shrieked and fled the clearing. Sarac clutched the front of the remaining girl’s shawl as he fell forward, his bloodied fingers leaving red marks on her dress.
“What are you doing over here on this side of the river?” the girl asked, one hand on her hip. Her dark eyebrows lowered in concern, and she gasped as she saw Sarac’s bloodied chest. She quickly bent down over him, her hanging hair framing her face as she shook him gently.
Sarac moaned and stirred, slowly opening his eyes as he looked at her. “There was a—”
The girl placed a finger against Sarac’s lips and smoothed back his hair. “I’m a healer. Rest now, and let me see what I can do for your injuries,” she said, closing her eyes in intense concentration. White light flowed from her fingertips, snaking across Sarac’s body. Sarac gasped and arched his back; he squeezed his eyes tight, pain rippling through his body as his flesh mended and muscles knit. When the power faded, the only sign that Sarac had been injured was a lightening of the skin on his chest.