By Jennifer Silverwood
Published November 9th 2012
Amie Wentworth writes paranormal romances, not because she is looking for a degree in ectoplasm, but because she's got bills to pay. Ever since her parents' car crash, she has been led a reclusive life and trusted books more than people. Not even a letter from her long-lost uncle, begging her to visit, gives Amie incentive for anything other than ire - until she is stabbed in an alley and brought back to life by a mysterious stranger.
After crossing the Atlantic to her father's homeland, Amie is dragged into the very sort of tale she is used to selling. Silver Hollow is a place of ancient traditions and supernatural dangers, where everything is the opposite of what it seems and few escape sane.
To make matters worse, the man who saved her life keeps turning up and her would-be-murderer is still at large.
But when she comes face to face with the ugly truth, will she too be sucked into her father's madness? Or will she discover that madness is just another name for honesty?
The hour before dawn found Amie pulling her car round the back alley. Through the gloom and decades-buried waste behind Pat's Delights was a narrow strip leading to the back staircase leading up to her flat.
The stranger's face came unbidden to her as she gathered her things and moved her weary legs. Black eyes set deeply in a shadow-drenched face haunted her, eyes which seemed to accuse and praise, sift and wonder. Now that she knew, she realized she must have seen him before today, maybe even in the past she had tried to forget.
The faded yellowing parchment marked with heavy black ink, with words too absurd to be true, flashed in her mind. Clutching the key hidden in her jeans pockets while digging through her purse for her keys, she remembered Uncle Henry's letter. Mulling over the words, she once again recalled how angry she had been ten years ago after reading his first note. So what the cops were uncertain how the accident had happened. So what her father had known some powerful people. Amie had been primped and pushed into the upper-class social sphere through her teens and knew how to handle that sort. She could take care of herself just like she always had. She would tear up the letters and the tickets tonight. The twins and James were her family now.
As she placed her shoe upon the first rickety metal stop, two thick and powerful hands grabbed her in the same moment.
It happened so quickly she forgot to scream. Dropping her purse she struggled, kicked and bucked against the crazy person lifting her and pulling her deeper into the shadows of the alley. And the harder she struggled the tighter his choking embrace became against her chest.
She thought at last to cry out, only to feel her face being smashed against a brick wall. She gasped as the figure suddenly pushed her aside, out of his embrace. Amie stumbled back and nearly tripping over a metal pipe. She righted herself only to come face-to-face with the black-masked figure. His brilliant blue eyes blazed into hers, now filled with unmistakable purpose. Too late she realized his intentions as a sickeningly cool object was plunged into her chest and pulled quickly out again.
Her vision swam, then blurred as she slumped against the trash-littered concrete. Her mind began to fade into an ever-deepening sleep though her eyes watched on. The black-garbed man was fighting someone else. Unmasked, this guy was taller, broader in the shoulders than her murderer and wrought by fury.
Pain... she had not known the meaning of the word before now and even this too was fading into the deep sleep. The further she fell the less sense the scene before her made. Her mind didn't believe that the tall man had really tossed her attacker five feet into the air over his shoulder and into the brick, or a strange light and energy crackled in the suddenly luminous alley.
She was too afraid to hope when a pair of warm hands cradled her in a firm embrace. He pulled her from the muck and fixed his dark eyes on her. Obsidian-cut eyes, familiar eyes, pierced through her gaze and reached deeper. His face, once so indiscernible it could be called plain, was now twisted as though in agony. Even though she was slipping, falling into a calm quiet darkness, he refused to let her go. His hand moved from her neck to her cheek with faintest touch. He pushed past and clasped hold of something tearing deep inside of her then. The black of his irises gave way to a strange mix of blue and green flecks gleaming in their depths. She saw...
Fields of brilliant emerald grass and a sun filled with more colors than she knew to name.
Darkness and a dirty cell, where heavy fists punctuated his pain.
Time beyond counting became a lifetime lost.
A green-eyed dark-haired beauty bathed in sunlight stretched out her hand to him.
Someone was screaming. Amie frowned as the woman's cries grew louder. Pain spiked up in her chest as her lungs constricted and her heart was ripped apart then reformed. The woman's screams died when she took a breath and realized the voice was hers.
And then she was lying within the narrow strip between two brick buildings, alone.
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 Carpthian Mountains in Transylvania, the highlands of Ecuador or a road trip to the next town.
After attending three different universities without managing to square a degree, she decided to the next logical thing; become a writer. 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 the Heaven's Edge sereis and Silver Hollow.
For more on Silver Hollow and Jennifer Silverwood:
Twitter ~ @JennSilverwood