Teaser Tuesday: Blackbriar Cove

Welcome back, everyone! I feel like this summer has flown by. I can’t believe we’re almost in August. This year holds extra significance for me, because my little guy will be starting Pre-K in a few weeks. I’ve been a bit of an emotional wreck, not to mention a nervous mama with health and safety concerns. I know I’m not the only one. For my fellow first-time-in-school moms, I’m right there with you! Hopefully the schools’ precautions will be enough to take care of our babies.

Writing-wise, I took a step back most of this month (after some marathon sessions in June), to focus on the family. I’ve also played too much Dragon Age again (facepalm). But I’ve come to learn that it’s important to take mental breaks, even from the things you love. While I try to write a little every day when possible, sometimes the words flow faster when we let stories “stew” in our heads a bit.

I hope everyone enjoys today’s Blackbrair Cove Tuesday Teaser! We’re very much at the point where most every scene will reveal far too much of plot secrets. So I’ll need to switch over to other current WIPS and reworked books to keep things fresh. Meanwhile, thank you so much to everyone who has and continues to follow and support my writing. I’m on this journey still because of you, friends!

Today’s episode was brought to you by maaaaagic!

*major spoilers for silver hollow below*

Blackbriar Cove

Borderlands #2 Teaser

One of the first lessons she’d had with Grim, in the days when she was mistrustful about speaking through mirrors and all the other knowledge he was likely keeping from her, he told her something that literally rocked her world.

“Everything they’ve taught you is wrong.” 

Amie hadn’t believed him. 

“How could they be wrong? It worked, didn’t it?”

To which Grim had replied, “Your father showed you how he wielded his inner nixy, but Iudicael Wenderdowne was also a being wholly of the light. You, on the other hand, were born with the capacity and indeed, a memory, of darkness. Yet even Emrys couldn’t fully help you grasp the full capacity of your unlocked potential. At best, they relied on Nimue’s memories, and your instincts more than they would like to admit.” 

“You’re lying,” she’d growled, fists curling and wishing she could reach through that mirror. 

Grim had only smiled. “Why would I lie, when you lie so prettily to yourself, dearie?”

She had quickly learned that while she might never be able to fully trust him, Rumplekin knew what he was talking about. In time, Amie couldn’t help resenting more and more her uncle’s and even Emrys’s shoddy handling of her bound self. They had seemed torn between keeping the inconvenient parts of herself hidden, and in Emrys’s case, pushing her to become someone she wasn’t anymore.

Grim approached nixy, or magic—“why must we bother with semantics”—in terms of balance, and in surprising ways. 

“Think of it as the law of the conservation of energy, Amie,” he’d once said. “As a Gatekeeper and Queen of the Seelie, you pull energy from the sun and moon to sustain your power and give that power back to the land. You are a conduit, without which the magic in the land would die.”

That conversation, alone with him on her side in a dusky room in the West Wing, had been Amie’s first true enlightenment since coming to Silver Hollow. Greater than recovering memories of a past life she struggled to keep in the past, was the discovery that mortal science was just as relevant. That yes, magic was real, but so was science. And what was science, if not a sort of magic? And why, if this was true, did Grim speak like a magician one moment and a muggle the next? 

Their first lesson in Blackbriar Cove took place beneath the misty clouds within a tiny clearing masked by a thick copse of trees slightly up the mountainside which overlooked Murchad’s sanctuary. High enough that the air was faintly chilled, and Amie struggled to draw in a full breath. Everything about this land felt strange to her senses. Strange, when she supposedly was reborn on this side of the Veil. 

Amie had already dressed in a pair of sturdy pants, boots, shirt, and vest for the day. But she didn’t realize how many layers Grim wore until he began slowly removing, first his outer coat, followed by his waistcoat, then his cravat. He spoke with his back to her as he set each item aside over a nearby rock. “Before we begin anything, I need you to tell me exactly how you’ve been feeling since we passed through the gate.”

Amie glanced over to find Arthur with his elbows resting against his knees, watching them with genuine curiosity, and—amusement?

“Amie?” Grim prompted, to which she shook herself slightly and answered. 

“I…” she wrung her hands, and with not a little desperation, realized how off she was to fall back on old telling habits. She met Grim’s knowing gaze with reluctance. “It’s like I’m blind,” she nearly whispered. “I can’t push out my awareness, can barely feel the earth or draw upon shadows, let alone draw in the sun or moonlight. And yet…” She licked her lips, and tasted curiosity and dread alike.

“And yet?” Grim was stood right before her now, arms crossed over his chest so she could see the finely cut figure he hid beneath his layers. 

Amie closed her eyes. “I can smell things I couldn’t before. I can—almost taste emotions.” She shook her head and lifted her chin to meet his unreadable gaze. 

“There’s more.” 

Amie nodded. “Sometimes I feel this itch under my skin, like it’s… too small, or something. I don’t know, maybe it’s just my nixy unable to get out?”

Grim’s chuckle rippled through her like an ocean wave. “Oh, that truly is…interesting, wouldn’t you agree, Arthur?”

Amie whipped her head to find her grandfather sitting straight, eyes wide with wonder and something that made her skin crawl. “What is it?”

Arthur swallowed and replied, “Nimue had the ability to change her shape.”

Amie winced before noticing she’d dug her fingers into her neck. “Why can’t I remember…” She hated being vulnerable before others, especially after having lived under a human glamour. Again, Murchad’s words rose like a filthy plague in her conscience and she wondered what exactly had been done to her when she was still a child.

to be continued…

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Silver Hollow (Borderlands #1)

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