Excerpt & Giveaway: Stay by Jennifer Silverwood

Posted April 13, 2013 by Melissa in Giveaway | 5 Comments





Title:  Stay
Author:  Jennifer Silverwood

Reading Level: New Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: February 13th 2013
Find the book: GOODREADS | AMAZON
Sometimes, love isn’t as magical as people expect it to be…
Rona believes love is nothing more than a myth, a tale for little girls. As the oldest daughter, she knows duty and family honor as well as the difference between salt and cinnamon.
Until the immortal ruler of the seas appears from thin air and she is swept into a dark and dangerous affair. What was formerly myth soon becomes part of the everyday. And Rona believes when Seid tells her they will be together forever.
But forever is a long time and after she betrays him, what was supposed to be an eternity in paradise becomes an eternity in hell. Now she is cursed, unable to feel human emotions except through the couples she is led to save.
Two thousand years is an awfully long time to live alone. And the business of love saving isn’t what it used to be. By the twenty-first century, love has become an illusion as grandiose as magic and Rona’s ready to give up. Until the night she is seen by a human. Deep in the underbelly of the city that never sleeps, she recognizes him instantly. He may dress differently and have gained a few new scars, but she would recognize the face of her former lover in any lifetime.
Trouble is, he seems to have no memory of her and he and his ex-girlfriend are the ones whose true love she’s meant to save.
But when he starts to fall for her, she is forced to learn what it means to be human all over again.
Past and present come full circle in this tale of love, forgiveness and woe.
 
PROLOGUE

She walks amid the
soft gray mist, the fog that rises up from the dew-softened earth. Her lover’s
arms wrap round her, draw her to his broad chest, and she clings to him in
return. And as always, I watch them from afar, from the lone north shore from
behind the docks, listening to the creak of the wooden ship at my back and
gentle lapping of waves caressing its hull. Overhead, seagulls cry as the sun
begins to slip into its sea bed, casting a glow over the waters until they look
to be on fire. 

His lips caress
hers and they walk together along the sands, towards the cottage stilted upon
the rocks.

Relief floods me,
completes me as I share in their satisfaction. The luminous cord, invisible to
their eyes but ever present to mine, has repaired itself. At last he has given
into his feelings for her and put aside his pride. This time took me longer
than expected, but this moment makes everything I have done worth it.

Or so I tell
myself. I try to ignore the stab of bitter jealousy in my heart. I feel this
every time I succeed, whether I want to or not, because their love burns me. As
always I watch, cursed to never feel such emotion again by the very man I
loved. 

I slip into the
waters easily, my skin ready to burst with its newfound freedom and the ecstasy
of the cool sea as I watch them from the drifting surface. The curse still lies
heavily upon me and with it I am incapable of ignoring their feelings for one
another. Even from here I see the brilliance of the invisible golden thread
tying them together, glowing like the morning sun. When they listened to their
doubts and fears, the thread was weak, likely to snap any second. But now it is
twisted and tied so tightly I can’t tell where one ends and the other begins.
They are one now, as they were meant to be.

From my vantage
point on the waterfront I watch them hold one another upon the front porch of
their cottage home. Always watching and wondering, I want to ask the unseen
power that governs us whether their love is true. So long it has been since I
last tasted the ecstasy of true love that I can scarcely remember now. Is it
only an apparition, as I have witnessed so often through the ages? A midnight
flight of passion, treasured words, looks, touch—all is meaningless to me
now. 

But once you were like her, young, hopeful. Until the
dream was shattered, that is.

We will know soon
enough. The cord binding them may be tight, but the true test is coming. Trials
never fail to come, by mine or some divine hand. Already I can feel its forces
stirring far in the ocean behind me, pushing the waves in rougher breaks along
the shore.

Oblivious, they
smile and joke upon their whitewashed porch, watching as the sun rises with
pink and purple and golden brilliance. At first they do not see the harsh
clouds gathering overhead, nor the high mountainous waves gathering in the far
distance. But I do, as I know the being responsible for those waves and
this test.

I have often
wondered if my curse truly is nothing more than a mockery of my love for him. I
give of myself to protect these lovers, but in the end nature will be the one
to trigger my curse. Will the magic inside of me rise up to save them? Or will
it sweep them away to a tragic, albeit romantic death?

In the beginning I
did not hesitate to shake my fists at those clouds. The creator isn’t
responsible for this. It is him, the being who has been given certain
powers and, in my experience, done nothing but abuse them. I loved him deeply
once for his darkness and strength, his power that can rival the most violent
of hurricanes. He told me we would live forever. He promised me the sea, his
world, all to do our bidding.

The glory of dawn
fades around us but the couple only has eyes for each other. So they don’t see
the colors drain from the skies and the waters and seep beneath my skin
instead. Sunlight fills my bones and my soul, until I am bursting with new
light, so my eyes reflect the glory of the skies. The waters are gentle around
me, even as the winds begin to pull them in harsh circles, drawing them
tighter, higher. 

I know the lovers
notice the change when I feel the sudden spike of their emotions prickling at
the back of my neck. Fear is in their hearts though he shelters her in his
embrace. And she is comforted, though in truth he is just as powerless as
she. And the dark clouds descend, closing the distance between the calm
and storm at an alarming rate. Rain pours over us and the waters churn and
swell. I can feel the sea’s anger, its great fury, and its need. 

I turn back,
towards the house by the sea. They have made no attempt to flee to safety, even
as the seas grow and the waves turn out a great roar. I can’t help but wonder
if it is all worth it. Perhaps they are better off dead? Will they not be
happier with their lives ending in the throes of true love, rather than
watching the love eventually fade and burn up to ashes? Life is so much crueler
than they understand.

Yet miraculously,
their cord only glimmers brighter with its own light. In this moment, I know
that their love will last. Their devotion will never fade.

Aching within my
heart and ignoring that old pang of sorrow that they have found what I must
ever forgo, I can feel the color amid the black and gray dawn pour into me,
shine through the calm waters about me and the rain. The power of the curse
sings above the winds, whispering my instructions, and I take the first stroke
towards the cottage. I am pulled towards them, hating that it is his song
that compels me to obey when I detest it.

“Cursed,” he
once cried in a fit of rage. His temper has always been as restless and
unpredictable as the sea itself. But his words had power behind them and I felt
the effects instantly. Too late to take it back.

Pain such as I once
could not dream of in my human youth and ecstasy such as none could fathom fill
my being as I swim towards them. With unnatural strength I push through the
wild waters parting easily against my sides, urging me faster.

Tears glisten in
her almond eyes. I can see them clearly now as they trickle down her cheek and
blend with the rain. His hand shelters her head, in spite of the fear in his
heart. He stands firm for her and defiantly for them both. 

The waves are
growing in strength and so I call upon the wind to push harder and faster. I
lift up my arms and am gathered up into the core of a high ocean wave, a high
wall of pure water and a force of nature within itself. Color and light
surrounds and fills me as I keep my arms outstretched towards them and welcome
the pain. Light shines from every pore of my skin, shimmering and changing,
inconstant as dawn until dusk.

I watch as their
eyes grow wide, disbelieving, as the wave guides me to hover just above the
whitewashed porch, mere inches before their faces. I prepare myself for the
pain I’m about to embrace and sigh when the air between us shimmers as though
lit with a thousand tiny stars. Time stands still in our tiny protected sphere,
while rushing madly outside of the captured air. 

My body trembles
with the effort to hold firm against the hurricane pounding against my back.
Despite the sting I do not stop. Instead I focus on their faces, the ones
I’ve been led by a higher power to save. Relief, terror and awe emanate from
their eyes as the ocean roars around us and shakes the tender foundations of
the wooden cottage built upon the rocks. As always I know they will live happily
ever after as I never could. 

I stand until I can
stand no more, until only the spray of harsh winds billows on. Only then am I
convinced they will be safe and allow the waters to carry me back down to the
rocks. They cave into one another as I limp back into the sea and allow myself
to fade from their sight.

Soon I am strong
enough to walk upon the shore once more and the colors I stole from the world
around me shine yet from my eyes, ingrained upon my skin. Eventually they
will fade, when I am pulled to my next mission, my next task.

As I walk away I
can still feel echoes of their love. One day they will answer, when others ask
how they survived, that they cannot remember what happened when the hurricane
came to take them. They’ll push the memory of me away until it is nothing more
than a vague dream. Perhaps it is best they remain ignorant of a hidden
world they can never see.

I know I will never
forget their faces, the ones I managed to save and those I failed. And as
always as I walk on alone I can already feel others in the distance. 

Cursed,” he
once said, striking his words upon me to satisfy his own fears. I will be with
him forever, he says, yet not in the way I wanted. 

Always I am doomed
to walk the earth and seas, to find love and protect it. The one joy I can
never feel again, I am cursed to preserve at all costs. Always to watch and
never be seen, never touch. Always I will remain unchanged until I am
freed. 

My name is Orona
and this is my tale.

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 by touring the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania, the highlands of Ecuador or taking a road trip to the next town. After attending three different universities without managing to square a degree, she decided to do 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 series and Silver Hollow.

To stay tuned, please have a gander at her website: www.jennifersilverwood.com

 5 e-copies of “STAY” by Jennifer Silverwood

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Check other books by Jennifer! (click on the image to go to Goodreads’ book page)

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5 responses to “Excerpt & Giveaway: Stay by Jennifer Silverwood

  1. So excited to back on your lovely and magical site, Melissa. 😀 It was a pleasant surprise for me to learn you were in the lineup for this book blast! Thanks for hosting me! and I hope all of y’all get the chance to dive into Stay. 🙂

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