As I just finished getting the second edition print version together, I thought I’d share a snippet you haven’t read yet! Silver Hollow is currently up in the Read It & Reap program at Goodreads’ group: Shut UP & Read (LOL I still love that name) So far it hasn’t been these poor readers’ cups of tea, but that’s okay 🙂 As an author, we need to be able to face our weaknesses and successes with equal humility and thankfulness. And that was today’s proverb, on to the snippet!
This is why she took the rare opportunity to turn just before reaching the west wing. It was an easy feat to sneak down the familiar hall. She clutched the flimsy metal of her candlestick to keep her hands from shaking as she met the tapestry of dancing trolls. Not that she was afraid of the dark. It was only the strain of the day that made her hesitate to push the brittle fabric aside. She only hoped her uncle had already gone to bed.
Daring to breathe, Amie pushed the fabric aside and pressed against the door. After a pregnant silence the wood gave way with a harsh groan. Candlelight sputtered on its wick in the sudden draft. Amie stepped over the invisible threshold and crossed her fingers. If her laptop wasn’t in here she was going to have to have a very serious discussion with her beloved uncle.
Rather than meeting the warmth of a fire, the smell of perfectly warm dinner and Henry bent over some new curiosity, the hearth was bare and the empty darkness brooding. Shelves lined with Henry’s eclectic collections bristled with watching eyes and mysterious shadows. It was eerie enough that she rushed to light every wick she found with the flame in her hand.
Even with the shivering lights Amie could find nothing more advanced than an early twentieth century pocket watch. After shutting the seventh drawer of her disgruntled inspection, Amie collapsed in the high back wooden chair in front of the desk and swiveled. Each creak jarred her ears in an otherwise mute room and she glared at the shelves looming above her.
Her uncle’s refuge felt very different without him. Even though she had seen him yesterday, Amie was surprised to find she missed him very much. Often they would talk into the night here until her vision doubled and her mind swam with all the things he taught her. He had opened up a world to her that her father denied.
Realizing her mission had ended with nothing but more useless hopes, Amie stood, candlestick in hand and brought light to the dark shelves. While it drove back the darkness, it could not master it and the golden glow added to the mystery of these strange treasures.
One shelf began with books, titles of which Amie could not read. The next was filled with wooden carvings too realistic to be wood, so she half expected the gryphon to come to life, the mermaid to jump off her rock or the dragon spout scarlet fire. They seemed so real, Amie was afraid to touch one and let her overactive imagination take control again. What struck her most were the brilliant details etched into tiny, palm sized tapestries displayed behind them. Here was a different kind of magic, Amie decided. Each scene was ethereal and the fabric glowing like lovingly polished jewels.
She was instantly reminded of all the oddities that had surrounded her since her arrival. Amie knew she must be crazy or have been poisoned with hallucinogens by Underhill, to even contemplate believing in true magic. Yet she clung to the reality she knew with unwavering resolve because she could feel herself wavering, teetering over the edge of some great precipice.
And there was only one way to learn the truth behind this strange house and its residents. She had to learn how to believe. Nothing had stirred her passions to blind faith since her parents died. Aside from writing Amie was aware she lived nothing more than a half life.
Vestiges of adrenaline still pulsed through her veins, reminding her of the rush of flying into the air and the sensation of landing hard onto a half tamed horse. The tiny figurines and tapestries that looked inexplicably more than artificial, reminded her of the happiness the music awoke in her. All of this incited what she secretly always knew and the truth terrified her. She was different in the same way as Henry, Slaine, Cook or even Underhill.
It was a welcome distraction to find the wooden box half hidden behind the row of napkin sized weaving. Glad to be rid of her disturbing thoughts but not losing any of her new resolve, Amie slipped her fingers carefully over the figurines and lifted the box from its hiding place. Frowning at the rectangular cherry wood, she noticed the symbols carved into it before she noticed there was no key or hinges. The box was old and feather light in her hands, the wood warm to her touch. It seemed to brighten as she grasped its lid and pulled it away. Prepared for a struggle, Amie smiled when it came off easy. And her expression betrayed her hidden delight with what waited within.
Shutting the box again Amie glanced around and ignored the accusing eyes of the tiny figurines. Uncle Henry wouldn’t mind if she borrowed it would he? After all the man had the annoying habit of hiding her things, didn’t he?
Tucking the box to her chest she couldn’t escape her uncle’s refuge fast enough, blew out the candles quickly and raced to her room without looking back.
To read more of Silver Hollow, you can purchase a copy or read a sample