It’s release day! We’re so exited to present The Last Stored by Sonia Poynter.
After the sudden death of her parents, making it through the day is a struggle for Amber Megan Peel. In the midst of her grief, an exquisite bird perches on her garden fence and shows her visions of a vivid landscape and a dark lord slouching upon a throne. She thinks the visions are tied to her sorrow. But when a boy flies through her kitchen window to tell her she’s the Last Stored, she wonders if she’s just lost her mind.
Cree of Din is tasked with one job: Bring Amber home. For seven years, Cree has trained as her protector and it is the ultimate responsibility. Failure means Amber’s certain death, and that’s not an option for Cree – especially since he’s falling in love with her.
The Returning has begun. Now all Amber and Cree have to do is enter Tali, a world of unimaginable splendor and equally unimaginable horror, and defeat Lorthis. If they can’t, not only will Tali plunge into darkness, but so will Earth.
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Cree climbs onto the railing and extends his hand to me. “Your choice, Amber, you can come or you can stay!” he yells over the roar of the water.
“This is nuts. You expect me to jump?”
“Nuts? No, merely the door.” He beams with anticipation. He seems fine. In fact, his eyes sparkle with the moon’s glow.
My heart skips. My choice. I had another choice. I grasp his hand and crawl onto the railing. My feet slip, and I waver. Cree steadies me with his hand. The water falls in torrents in front of me. Am I really about to do this?
“You can’t go back once you enter. Are you ready? You can do this.”
He looks into the raging waters, then back at me. His cloak swirls around him like Superman’s cape.
“Yes, I can do this!” My heartbeat bangs in my throat. I’m about to jump off of Lovers Leap with a boy I don’t know, along with two little old men who have vanished below my feet. This is crazy, but I’m supposed to do it. Part of me knew it every time my mother and father looked over this very railing. I’m at the door.
Cree squeezes my hand, nods, and we jump. He howls. The feeling of dropping over a roller coaster comes on fast. The water rushes by, cold and wet. I fall.
My chest tightens like I’ve had the wind knocked out of me. I choke and cough, spitting out water. I see darkness, and I feel Cree’s hand holding mine.
Then, a bright light shimmers and glows at my feet, reflecting upward. The sound of the water fades. My lungs fill with sweet air. The light expands, covering me. Wind swirls and holds me up. I no longer fall, but glide upward. A light from above warms my face, and the aroma of fragrant honey hangs on the air. We twist and turn, Cree’s cloak coils around him, my own clothing flapping in the wind.
I giggle loudly and squeal like a child.
Cree crinkles his face and laughs along. The wind continues pushing us through a tunnel. I lift my free hand and try to feel the mist forming around us; it scatters with my touch, only to form again when I retreat. We have increased our speed. Far above me, Dartlin and Fink’s feet come into focus, and they’re whooping with joy.
Then we stop.
We stand in a brick wading pool a few inches deep. Stone replaces the air, which moments before surrounded me. I take in a deep, fragrant breath.
Cree continues to hold my hand. He looks at our fingers still entwined and laughs. “You can let go.”
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Sonia Poynter grew up traipsing through the thick woods of Kentucky. The magic of the forest made her want to write. Currently, she lives in the sleepy community of Pittsboro, Indiana, with the love of her life and God has blessed them both with three amazing kids.