By Jennifer Silverwood
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.**
Prologue Part 1 (10 Years Ago)
It was raining. Everyone was wearing black and it was raining like a typical funeral scene from every movie ever. Amie had put on a yellow dress instead of the black one she had found in Mother’s closet. The bright color clashed with her pale skin, black hair and green eyes but no one would dare point out a fashion misstep today. Not to mention she didn’t feel very yellow today but it was—had been—her mother’s favorite color.
The rain made Amie shiver involuntarily and she gripped the familiar hands holding hers on either side to root her feet to the ground. The twins squeezed her hands back in unison. The girls often echoed each other’s actions, even though they were fraternal and looked nothing alike. They wore dresses of emerald and amethyst, their favorite colors. Not only were Faye and Jo the best friends she would ever have, but they were kick ace enough to help her make a statement.
The minister was from the church Melody Wentworth had liked to visit. Amie’s mother had been from the Smoky Mountains and was bred to be a good Christian woman. From her mother, Amie learned the basics, like how not to swear while swearing.
Father was from some nowhere town in northern England and never spoke of God. His lessons had been a different color of strange. Was it wrong she felt this relief, knowing the lessons were over, that she could join the real world and go to college with normal teenagers?
Amie wondered what he would have thought of this funeral. She wondered for the umpteenth time why she was so horrible to her parents the night a semi-truck smeared them onto the interstate. She wondered why she had insisted on going to the movies with the twins, instead of attending the uptown party with her parents. At the time, it had seemed like such a big deal.
As of last month, she was officially graduated and had been biding her time till college in the fall. Despite Father’s emphasis on networking and making adult connections, Amie knew it would have just been another in a string of boring bigwig parties. Had she been in the car with them that night, her casket would have been lying between theirs today.
“Drustan and Melody Wentworth were loving parents to their daughter, Jessamiene…” the minister droned on. Amie cringed at the use of her full name and bit her lower lip. The twins squeezed her hands again.
The Blackbriar’s had been her neighbors ever since her family moved from Memphis to Dallas in the eighth grade. Their parents had known each other forever and their fathers used to work together until a couple of years ago. That was when Amie’s folks started running with the “hyphenated-the-third” snooty crowd, rich people congratulating themselves on their pompous benevolence.
She wouldn’t cry in front of these people. None of them really knew her. All they knew was she was an eighteen-year-old orphan and only as kind as her parents raised her to be. She didn’t owe them anything. They were a sea of snooty faces with hyphenated names and “the third” tacked onto the end. They were legacy people, rich people her family had no business with, in her opinion.
Her fingers itched for her journal, to write the hateful words brewing in her mind, threatening to spill from her lips. These people were the reason her parents were dead.
“Amie, you want us to walk with you?” Faye whispered in her ear.
Amie glanced up at the taller of the twins and shook her head. “No, I got this.”
Faye looked at Jo over her head and nodded.
Father had the sort of British accent that made people automatically assume he was upper-class. He went with it, used it to attract more clients to whatever his company provided. Truth be told Amie didn’t know much about what her father, Drustan had done for a living, because like most things, he never said. So it wasn’t too surprising the day he announced his career change. She had given up asking him about work years ago. Now she would never know.
All the nameless faces were staring at her as Amie approached the closed caskets. She glared at her blurred reflection on the black surface, chin set to hold back tears. She dropped a white rose on each casket, then turned back to the crowd of onlookers.
Go ahead and think I’m heartless, she thought. None of you deserved them and you don’t deserve me either.
She forced herself to meet their eyes and dared the fakers to pity and mourn with her.
Something hot and electric zapped through her body as her gaze clashed with a man standing just outside the tent. He stood a head taller than everyone else, dark hair flattened to his head by the rain and black eyes enigmatic.
Thunder rumbled and cracked in the clouds overhead. A sudden cool wind kissed Amie’s neck. She rubbed her skin self-consciously. She caught her breath as people began to walk past her, breaking her line of sight and pushing the strange man from her mind. Many laid hands on her shoulders, whispering condolences before popping umbrellas to walk through the graveyard. Anger seared through her, hot and ripe at their false sympathies and the way they just walked away from it all, the way they could walk away.
Amie looked past the black-dressed drones for the odd stranger.
He hovered apart from the dwindling crowd amongst other graves. Now a faint smirk pulled his mouth up in one corner. Again, that quick zap of electricity tingled through her fingertips. She clenched her fists and pushed her way past the coats and umbrellas and their clammy hands. The stranger’s eyebrows shot up at her approach, eyes widening a fraction, though his smirk never left his lips as he withdrew something from his thick, brown duster coat.
Before she could utter a word, twin figures in brightly colored frocks darted in front of her. “There you are!” Jo said, her wide blue eyes red about the rims.
Faye placed a firm hand around Amie’s elbow and steered her back to her parent’s coffins. “Our parents grabbed us before we could rescue you from them.” She practically spat the word.
Amie almost smiled at the protective vehemence in Faye’s tone. She glanced back over her shoulder to find the stranger gone. He must have taken the opportunity to split.
“Good riddance,” she muttered under her breath and a lingering shudder shook her limbs one last time.
“You okay, Amie?” Jo asked from her other side, concern evident in the crease in her brow.
“I’m fine,” she lied. “Just ready to go home.”
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.
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June 2nd: Grand Finale
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)