Thanks to the heroic (and I mean Braveheart/David-and-Goliath/300-Spartans heroic) efforts of Team Kilt, 25th-seeded Zachary Moore beat his 8th-seeded rival in Round One of the YA Summer Crushin' Tournament
, in a huge upset!
Round Two will be
some time next week Monday, July 25 through Tuesday, July 26, and it's a perfect matchup. Zach's fellow foreign-accented, awesome-kisser rival is Etienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Should be a funny and friendly contest!
Anyway, I promised last week that for every round Zachary won, I would post a short teaser from Shine, and that each would take place at Ballyrock Castle. None will contain spoilers for those who've read Shade and Shift.
This first one takes place a few minutes after they arrive at their room, after Aura has flown across the Atlantic to meet Zachary in Ireland to celebrate their birthdays , witness the winter solstice at Newgrange, and hopefully solve the mystery of the Shift. And maybe do a few other things.
(Please note: this is a relatively rough version. It hasn't even been line edited, much less copyedited or proofread. So it's likely to improve a ton before the final version.)
Like the rest of the series, it's from Aura's (nervous, at this moment) point-of-view.
Our hands lay a few inches apart on the balcony’s cold stone railing, but the distance might as well have been a few miles. That’s how hard it would be to join them. Because of what lay beyond.
But I spread my fingers wider, and he did the same, until the tip of my right pinky and the tip of his left pinky almost brushed. Almost.
The thick Irish mist seemed to fill my lungs, drowning me in fear and anticipation. I wasn’t sure what would kill me faster—touching Zachary or not touching him.
“Are y’hungry?” he finally asked in a low voice.
“No,” I whispered, not looking up.
“Uh, yeah. No. I don’t know. Maybe.” I risked a glance at him. “What’s there to drink?”
“Water from the tap?” He gave a short, hoarse laugh. “I dunno why I’m acting like a waiter.”
I smiled, but looked away, down at the River Boyne, wishing it could lend me some of its silent silver serenity. “I don’t know, either.”
“I suppose, now that you’re in my part of the world, it feels like you’re my guest, and I want to make you, em...”
I summoned every scrap of courage and turned to face him full on. “You do. You always...” My voice trailed off, because I’d run out of breath.
"Aura." Zachary drew his top lip between his teeth, then spoke to the stone surface just beyond my feet. “I’ve tried to think of what I’d say and what I’d do right now. How I could make it everything you want.” With each quickening blink, his eyes shifted, never leaving the ground. “But then, I started to think it would never happen, that I’d never even see you again. And then every time I turned my mind to this moment, it went blank.” His lashes lifted to let his gaze meet mine. “I couldn’t imagine a future that would be so kind to us.”
My eyes burned with tears—of anger as much as sorrow or love. Whatever those bastards had done to him, the one thing I’d never forgive was the haunted look they’d put in his eyes.
“So I’m sorry,” he continued, “if I’m no’ quite the most, em, smooth person when it comes to these things. I never did sort out what to say and do, how to get from here—” He pointed to the space between our feet. “—to there.” He gestured behind him, toward the door, but at an angle. Toward the bed.
I took a shaky step forward, so that we almost touched. “You’re not the only one who can sort stuff out.”
Whaddya think? Be nice--it's my birthday.
Labels: SHADE series, SHINE teasers, teasers, YA Crush Tourney