Welcome to the latest New Silver Hollow teaser! A few updates on this New 2017 Edition.
If you read my previous post, you saw how real life issues forced me to reconsider my writerly plans. While you can and should still look for this new edition, the release dates are being pushed back to this fall. I’ll figure out an actual date soon, I hope. While I’d love to be superauthor and supermom at once, alas, I can only focus on one project at a time.
I want to do this new edition justice, since I’m completely revamping scenes + dialogue. It’s a lot of work since my first edition was such a jumbled mess! (kudos to all of you who saw the heart of this story & loved it with me!)
However, much as I would like to lament on my obvious inexperience with my first novel, it was my first novel. And any author will tell you, besides the geniuses out there, your first book won’t be your best. Suffice to say, I’m very honored to be able to bring you a better polished product this year! And, introduce this as a new ongoing series rather than the stand-alone it originally was. But more on that later 😉 For now, enjoy the teaser!
Amie sat upright with a gasp in her bed, drenched by a cold sweat. With trembling fingers she pulled the necklace from the neck of her gown. A firm hand wrapped around her exposed shoulder and pressed her back against the pillows. On instinct, she gripped the offending wrist and felt the growing pressure building in her chest, coursing through her limbs. She was ready.
To do what?
“Settle your nixy, Nim. You’re safe.” Emrys settled on the edge of her bed and her fire cooled.
“You came back.” Amie sank against the pillows and glanced from the canopy back to the scrunch of his eyebrows, the abysmal black of his gaze, now fixed on her chest. This time heat flushed to the surface of her skin for a more embarrassing reason. She fingered her nightgown, then stilled over the family crest.
Oh, so he wasn’t staring at your knockers after all. How…disappointing.
Amie frowned at her inner monologue. “Shut up.”
A slant of Emrys’ brow and twitch of his lips before he settled that unnerving gaze back to hers. “Pardon?”
“Never mind,” she grumbled and took in their surroundings with growing dread. “What are you doing here?”
“Well, I live here!” He blanched, pulled back with a mock hand on his chest. He smiled when she pushed his hand from her shoulder with a grunt.
“You know I meant my room.”
“Ah, yes, you did a fine job blocking out the hired help, I admit. But you should have known by now I can break through any lock.” He wagged his brows at her and toyed with a stray ribbon from her nightdress.
Amie slapped his hand, then crossed her arms, masking her father’s necklace. “Oh really? With what? A plastic card?”
“Plastic card? What kind of new-age simpleton do you take me for?” His horrified expression was enough to pull an amused snort from Amie and soften her ire. His lips twitched again, drawing her attention to them again, curse the man. Leaning forward, Emrys wrapped her ribbon around his middle finger and added, “Magic laser, remember?”
Her laughter came so unexpectedly, so suddenly, startling them both. Emrys chuckled and the coaxing of happiness in his face was beautiful. As their mirth settled over the room, drawing light from the dying fire, the hopelessness leftover from her dream faded. Replaced now by this strange other which only Emrys seemed able to spark within her. The heat she drew from before was still there, along with the flutterflies hopping in her belly, melted by laughter and his smile. Amie could admit to herself then, she had been a fool to consider his face unremarkable before.
His voice broke the warm quite of the room. “I am not used to—worrying—about anyone, but ever since I found you I’ve been carked.” His smile twisted as his amusement and tone turned strange. “Good thing I broke in, because you were suffering a fever when I found you.”
Amie sat forward, careless of her necklace or the dip of her gown. The glass vials on her nightstand remained in the same mysterious cluster.
“I don’t use potions,” he ground out with a light tug of yellow ribbon.
Another, less steady laugh escaped beneath her reply. “I hope you didn’t try your laser on me.”
Pursing his lips, he pretended to consider and nodded. “Thought did occur to me, though I worried over the side effects.” He studied her hand, turning her palm up to trace delicate lines. “I didn’t need magic to heal you the last time, either.”
A nearly inaudible gasp drew the distance between them closer as Emrys lifted her palm to his mouth. Another less innocent sound passed her parted lips, breath heaving with the sudden bold intimacy of his touch. That look was back in his eyes now, the one she became acquainted with during their trek through the forest. A question and an answer were on the tip of her mind, teetering from behind some fog she couldn’t part. Gold and silver and cerulean sparked from the black of his iris and she could almost smell the invisible smoke rising from his shoulders.
“After everything I’ve been through, I think I’m ready to start believing in magic,” she whispered.
He lowered her hand with a smile, the colors consumed once more by deepest black and he was merely a man. Or maybe, she thought, maybe he was something more in the way she might be more.
“You will need that belief when we begin our lessons tomorrow.” A hint of daring, teasing was back, to her relief. He stood to leave. “Now you seem fully recovered, I should let you sleep. You’ll need it,” he added with a wink.
“Wait,” the word barreled past her thin filter. Amie tightened her grip on his hand before he could let go, pulling him back. Swallowing past the lump in her throat, her voice came raspy and thick. “Stay with me?”
Emrys froze, every muscle tensing beneath that bloody trench he was so fond of wearing. “That’s not a good idea.”
Amie almost imagined his heart skipped a beat, and tried to ease the desperation from her voice. “You’re right. It’s just—these dreams have been kind of—different since I came here.” He blinked and she forced herself to continue, cursing her big fat mouth with every word. “After talking to Henry, I thought I needed to be alone a while. But I feel better having you around.”
“Oh?” One of his thick brows arched, stark over his pale face with a tell-tale twitch of his lips urging her on.
“I swear I’ll murder you in your sleep if you tell anyone I said that.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it.” This time his words sounded thick and full of that something that burned through his eyes.
“So, y-you’ll stay with me?” she stuttered.
“Can’t risk you lapsing back into a fever dream, can we?” The severity in his tone was belied by the way he squeezed her hand, the blinding quality of his smile.
Are you a teenager, Wentworth, really?
A string of curses danced in her head while Emrys practically bounded across the room.
“Just a minute. Should properly lock your door this time.”
She ducked her head and pulled back her bedsheets, smoothing the coverlet to sooth her frayed nerves while muttering, “Breathe.”
Emrys blew out the candle on her nightstand, then shrugged off his duster. A profile of broad shoulders and strong arms were covered by a dark shirt. She was somewhat surprised to find the modern sleeves underneath the velvet lined vest he shrugged off next. His weight dipped the right side of the bed as he pulled first one heavy boot and then the other off. After, he gripped the edge of the mattress and hung his head.
Logs crackled in the hearth accompanying the ticking clock hands and Amie’s heartbeat roaring in her ears. Underneath she could hear him, bated breath and foreign words whispered like a prayer from his lips.
Drawing the sheet up to her neck, Amie focused on the crux of her canopy and traced the moon, swallowed by the sun. Her body rocked as Emrys settled in, pulling the covers over his long frame and then turning on his side. She kept her breathing even and tried not to think hard on the fact she hadn’t shared her bed with anyone in ten years. That she trusted Emrys this much would have frightened her once upon a time.
“T’would do us best to stay apart. If they haven’t told you this, you should know they will and be right to warn you off. But you can’t hide away from the world, any more than I can leave you be,” he confessed in the golden shadowlight.
She turned her head and didn’t care if her voice shook a little. “I don’t want you to leave me alone.”
Emrys found her hand and laced their fingers with a promising smile. “You’ll regret wishing that after you see what I have planned tomorrow.”
to be continued…