Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Silver Hollow by Jennifer Silverwood - Spotlight/Excerpt

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Silver Hollow
(Borderlands Saga #1)
By Jennifer Silverwood
Urban Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 429 pages
May 31st 2018 by SilverWoodSketches

"I shouldn't have to tell you this isn't a fairy story..."

After her parents' car crash ten years before, Amie Wentworth trusts books more than people. She may be a writer, but she believes in reality over fiction. She ignores the unexplained mysteries surrounding her, never mind the dreams of a past life, or the fact she can fry technology with a touch. Not even a timely invitation from her long-lost uncle in England gives Amie incentive for anything other than ire.

Until she is stabbed in an alley and brought back to life by a handsome stranger. Soon Amie is dragged into the very sort of tale she is used to selling. To make matters worse, the man who saved her life keeps turning up and her would-be-murderer is still at large.

After crossing the Atlantic to her father’s homeland, she discovers a world beyond imagining. Silver Hollow is a place of ancient traditions and supernatural dangers, where everything is the opposite of what it seems and few escape sane. Faced with an impossible choice, Amie is forced to confront a deadly family legacy while remembering a life she soon wishes to forget.

**Previously published in 2012. This NEW EDITION has been FULLY REVISED AND EXPANDED. The original novel is now no longer available.**

About the Author

Jennifer Silverwood was raised deep in the heart of Texas and has been spinning yarns a mile high since childhood. In her spare time she reads and writes and tries to sustain her wanderlust, whether it’s the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania, the highlands of Ecuador or a road trip to the next town. Always on the lookout for her next adventure, in print or reality, she dreams of one day proving to the masses that everything really is better in Texas. She is the author of two series—Heaven's Edge and Wylder Tales—and the stand-alone titles Stay and Silver Hollow.

PRIZE PACK #1: 1 winner will receive new Silver Hollow swag, themed bookmarks, stickers, bookish themed tote, and B&N Illustrated Hardcover Editions of Grimm's Fairy Tales and The Story of King Arthur & His Knights (US only)
PRIZE PACK #2: 1 winner will receive signed swag (mainly Silver Hollow and Wylder Tales), ebooks of the Wylder Tales Collection, and a free voucher for Bound Beauty to be published later in 2018 (open internationally)
ENDS: June 6th

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Prologue Part 2 (10 Years Ago)

Their families were lucky enough to live close to the big city but have enough land to breathe. The twins lived in a ranch styled home on the other side of the fence separating their families’ properties, which connected to a barn in the back field. The Blackbriars owned and bred horses, their property an open field of swaying grasses. Amie’s land was thick with trees most people would cut away. Yet her father, Drustan insisted on keeping the land as-is. The only exception was the garden in the back where he and Amie grew flowers and vegetables together. Since anything techy tended to glitch and break down on them, the garden was a primary source of entertainment and comfort. The garden was where she went after the funeral.
She dug her hands in the dirt and stared at the yellow of her dress, hating the color more and more as the thunder rolled and she allowed herself to cry. She imagined the lightning falling from the sky, piercing her flesh and grounding her to the earth.
Part of her, the sick and twisted part, wished she had said yes when her parents asked her to come to the party, yes to an early death. Mother’s parents passed when Amie was a little girl. Father never mentioned his side of the family. She was alone in the world as far as she knew.
Yesterday, her Father’s lawyer informed Amie she was independently wealthy, thanks to her old man’s shares in the company. She should count her many blessings, like Mother always insisted. Instead she hugged the dirt to her chest and wished for things she didn’t have the power to change.
“There you are!” Faye announced the twins’ arrival. Amie clenched the packed soil in her palms and shuddered as she relaxed her fingers. “She’s soaked through, Joey,” Faye added.
Amie was thankful the rain disguised her tears. She didn’t argue with them when they took her by each elbow and led her to the house.
“You trying to drown out here in this storm, Wentworth?” Jo asked as they made their way through the back yard and up the wooden steps of the back porch. The stone and wood house could best be described as an English cottage and was half the size of the ranch house next door.
Faye opened the back door and familiar smells washed over her as they stepped inside. “There’s a pile of flowers and cards on the kitchen table over there,” Faye said, matter-of-fact. “We brought all the food to our place, since you’re staying with us.”
Amie pulled her arms away and folded them across her chest. “No.”
Faye stood in front of her, hands on her hips. “Excuse me?”
Jo squeezed between them. “Don’t push her, Faye.”
Amie passed notes on the fridge, purses and keys and paused in front of the kitchen table. Her fists were still full of dark soil and she itched to be back in her garden, but the flowers were some comfort.
Faye was on her heels. “Amie, I know today sucked…”
“Just today?”
Faye shifted. “Okay, we don’t expect you to miraculously bounce back. But we are not leaving you here in this house by yourself. Mom won’t let you either.”
“This is my home,” Amie replied. “It’s in my name now.” She stared at the letters and noticed a yellow envelope poking from the bottom of the stack. The paper looked old and much as she hated all the other condolences, something about this one screamed, Read me!
Jo stood between her and the table, filling her view. “We know it’s your home, but we aren’t leaving you by yourself.”
“Yeah,” Faye interjected, “even if that means we stay here tonight.”
Jo nodded encouragingly. “And tomorrow, we can go next door and you can talk to Mom and Dad about what we’re gonna do next.”
Faye sighed. “Like we’d abandon you, Wentworth? What kind of best friends do you take us for?”
Amie cracked a smile then and for a little while, she let them pretend tonight was just another sleepover while her parents were away.
The girls drank hot tea by the fireplace and talked about the fantasy story Amie had been writing for ages. She didn’t bring up the strange stranger at the funeral, or mention she wanted to bury herself in the earth of her garden and sleep forever. Instead, she pretended to be a normal teenager for a little while. They spoke of college plans, about the house they had been looking at renting together near campus and the gorgeous boys they would meet there.
After they crawled into Amie’s big queen-sized bed with chocolate and candy later, the twins cried. Amie was silent as the sisters recalled all the trips their families made together and how Drustan and Melody Wentworth were like parents to them. Amie held their hands as they lay on her bed and waited for them to fall asleep.
In the wee small hours of the morning, she crept back downstairs and to the flower strewn kitchen table. She held her breath as she pushed aside the other cards and pulled out the larger, yellowed parchment. She threw another log in the fire and simply stared at the name scrawled on the envelope.
Jessamiene Dameri Nimue Wenderdowne
No one knew her full name. Even the twins forgot she had two middle names, so the fact it was written front and center in bold calligraphy sent chills down her spine. Most disturbing of all was the fact they gave her a different, yet familiar last name other than her own. Familiar, because it was the name of the northern English village Drustan had been from. On the other side of the envelope was a seal that set her teeth on edge. Again, here was a symbol she recognized from her father’s mysterious past. She cut her finger on the envelope as she pried it open and pulled the parchment free. The letter was written in the same careful calligraphy as her name.

My heart aches for the loss you now bear. No one deserves to lose their family so young, especially in so savage a manner. I, too, have borne similar loss and now share in your pain.
I have no doubt my brother has shared little with you of our ancestral home, or the legacy you share, dearest Jessamiene. Drustan held little love for our world and its responsibilities.”
Amie paused and read over the words a second time. “Brother?”
My deepest regret in learning of his passing, is that I never had the chance to tell him how important he was to me, or how he will always be my brother both in blood and heart. Now that he is gone, I find myself wishing to know you, my only niece, perhaps so we may find comfort together. I also wish to impart the truth of our legacy, should you choose to accept it. I wish to give you the answers your father was unwilling to.
I know the sacrifice you will make to come to England, and I do not lightly view the circumstances you find yourself in. At present, my own circumstances are difficult at best. It cost more than I can say to be certain this parchment met your hands. I pray you guard it, dear one, but follow my instructions and all will be revealed.
Uncle Henry”
Amie lowered the letter and stared into the flames. She listened to the ticking of the grandfather clock in the hall and looked over the same style of antiquated penmanship Father forced her to practice every day. Most things Father had taught her seemed glaringly outdated. Now, judging by the heavy ink, the broken seal and parchment, she could see why. Was Wenderdowne more than a setting for the fairy tales Father told her as a girl, after all?
Only a few hours ago, Amie believed she was alone in the world. Now she had an uncle asking her to come and live with him in England.
“How Brontë of him.” Her voice sounded hollow and too loud. She looked at her home and for the first time understood why the twins wanted her to come over. This place wasn’t her home anymore, it was a mausoleum of memories. She fought the sudden urge to rush back upstairs and crawl into bed between her best friends. At the same moment, bitterness she didn’t recognize arose inside her.
Why wasn’t Uncle Henry at the funeral and why did he wait until Father was dead to extend the olive branch? She folded the letter up again and stashed it beside the plane and train ticket waiting inside the envelope. Crumpling the envelope in her hand, she held it over the fire and commanded herself to throw the bloody olive branch where it belonged. If Father didn’t want to have anything to do with his home, then neither did she. But something in the letter kept her from watching it burn to ashes, a phrase Henry used to describe their deaths.
“savage manner…”
She smoothed the wrinkled parchment against the hearthstones. She found her favorite Brontë novel, Jane Eyre, on the coffee table where she last left it and hid the envelope inside.
The next morning, Amie packed her bags and went to stay next door. She never spent another night in her parent’s cottage and wouldn’t look at Uncle Henry’s letter for ten years, the day she would die.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mindy, thank you so much for sharing the Silver Hollow love today, on your lovely blog :D