Mentor Name: Wade Albert White
Mentee Name: Timanda J. Wertz
Title: THE SPY OF LIRON
Word Count: 64,000
Twelve-year-old Leila is used to being underestimated. Nobody sees a kitchen slave who walks with a crutch as a threat. But when the Guardstone protecting her kingdom goes missing, she infiltrates the enemy commander’s camp as a serving girl. If she finds the stone she’ll claim a reward large enough to free her family. If she fails, her whole kingdom will be enslaved.
Lord Jarib could beat me just for being in his house. If he discovers the real reason I snuck in, he’ll do a lot more than that.
At the first glimpse of a shadow in the corridor I lunge through the nearest open door into a storage room filled with baskets and shelves. As I limp farther in to where the light disappears in a tangle of winter robes, it occurs to me trapping myself with no escape route might not be my best idea ever. I wiggle between the robes and shrink into the corner where the air is so still I hear nothing but my own heart pounding quick as a sunbird’s wings. Inhaling a breath choked with cedar and valerian, I try not to think about what will happen if I’m caught.
A scuffling from the door alerts me I’m not alone in here. The way whoever it is moves, as if the act of lifting a foot fully off the ground would use too much energy, tells me it’s an older slave. Sandals shuffle along the stone floor until he’s so close I could poke him with my crutch. If he gets any nearer he’ll hear my heart thrashing like a crocodile caught in a net. When the robes around me quiver, I flatten myself tighter against the wall.