Title: The Perfect Tear
By: Connie LansbergReached Amazon’s Top 15 “Hot New Releases” beating out Divergent & Insurgent
Summary from Amazon.com:
Eleanor is a singer. Her songs keep nature in balance, but when they are stolen from her, a grey mist
descends and her world fails to thrive. This timid orphan is thrust into a course of action she never
asked for, nor envisioned. Set against a backdrop of abandonment, loss and betrayal, she must find
her way through strange and dangerous landscapes in her desperate search for the Perfect Tear, a
dark crystal which holds the future of her world. But, Eleanor is no savior. She is a simple girl with
strong instincts and she must learn to trust them. Just like the notes of song must connect to create a
melody, Eleanor must discover the connections needed to create the harmony required to truly save
Lerion forced his lips into a smile and nodded politely in an effort to feign interest in the creations
of his fellow novices. Their excited chatter and heightened energy pulsed the length of the room.
They seemed foolish to him, but he managed to conceal his disdain. Social transparency in hissociety was the norm, but hiding his feelings from the collective was something he excelled at. Itwas his secret talent. Today however, he struggled to maintain a pleasant countenance.
The novices were allowed to see their competition for only a few moments and Lerion extended his
glance the length of the narrow corridor again. He had to be certain he would win. Only the bestyoung designers were invited to enter the Creation Contest, and then, only once. Lerion knew this
was his only chance to achieve his dream, and he forced himself to scan the room once more. Hewas searching for any design that might pose a threat, but after another quick reconnaissance,nothing he saw gave him cause for concern. He took a quick, shuddering breath and lifted his chin.
Why had he been so nervous?
He felt his energy uncoil and his step became light. He’d worked for this opportunity almost fromthe day his two co-creators sung him into being – he deserved to win.
Lerion clenched his jaw. The arrogance of his desire was not lost on him. The Creation Contest wasmuch more than a matter of whose design was the most innovative or which novice showed themost initiative. The winning design had to uphold and even surpass the standards of creation set bythe Ancient Ones. It had to enhance the evolution of their society as a whole. Had he achieved that?
He stopped in front of a nine-dimensional hologram and pretended to be intrigued with the design,while he slyly studied its creator, a feminine-biased novice named Lalycri. The energy emanating from her shimmered against his outer layer and he involuntarily vibrated in response. Her eyes lit
up and he swallowed hard. Her animated smile caused her nose to crinkle and her energy swelled in
gentle waves. It undulated softly through him. He felt himself surrender to the pleasure of it andimmediately blocked its flow. He would not allow himself to respond. This was not the time toreveal his attraction to her, and he nodded curtly. He had to admit, he found Lalycri appealing and
she peaked his curiosity. On any other day, he might have encouraged her, but this kind of personal
chemistry often led to a desire to co-create and he was not about to break the rules. Not today,anyway.
Novices were forbidden to form creative partnerships of any kind. Only those having twelve
activated strands of DNA were allowed the privilege of co-creation. Lerion sighed. He had activated
only seven strands of the twelve that lay within each of his cells. More than all the other novices,
but still, not enough.
Determined to ignore her vibrant energy, Lerion gave Lalycri a small nod. He leaned in and studied
the extremely unusual construct while she beamed at him. He couldn’t work out what its purpose
must be, and he stiffened. It had never occurred to him Lalcyri might be competition. How had she
managed such a complicated design?
He made sure to keep his voice polite rather than accusatory. “I had no idea you’d been selected.”
Lalycri tilted her head and her smiled faltered. “Well, I was.”
Her tone had a sharp edge and he realized he had insulted her. “Certainly. I’m not surprised.”
“You sound surprised.” Lalycri’s voice was stern but the twinkle returned to her eyes. “I’m grateful
for the honor. It’s definitely the most daring design I’ve produced so far.” She lowered her lashes an
her mouth grew firm. “I would give anything to win. I long to pit myself against Tsera.”
Her words came fast and her voice had a ferocious quality that startled him. Lerion blinked and
looked sharply at her. They all wanted the honor of winning. However, it had not occurred to him
there might be others who desired to win as much as he did. Nobody could want this as much as he
did. His every cell informed him being Main Creator was his destiny, and the idea she could snatch
it from him was ludicrous.
He felt his vibration quicker, but Lalycri did not seem to notice the change in his demeanor. She
smiled brightly, as if she had not just made a startling admission, and began to prattle without taking a breath.