Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tuesday Teaser

To read the first in our tour stops of the Silver Hollow-verse, you can check out my Tumblr account here: http://jennsilverwood.tumblr.com/
Keep up through my Twitter account @JennSilverwood :)

For today's teaser, I'm pulling from Stay, my new paranormal romance novel. Hope you enjoy!

Mrs. Nguyen answered her door after the second knock when I arrived, moments later. I carried nothing with me but the purple dress and undergarments and heels. She was already dressed in a black silk dress, draped with a shimmering gold fabric. It hugged the curves she still possessed in spite of her old age. And her black and gray streaked hair was piled high on top of her head in weaves that reminded me vaguely of my mother.

Her red painted lips parted over her black stemmed cigarette and cherry scented smoke escaped with her words. “Sugar, you look terrible. Come on in. Why are you crying? It was Cain, wasn’t it? I swear if that son of a—”

“Mrs. Nguyen!” I interrupted, unwilling to hear anything against my love. “It is I who has wronged him,” I said as she shut the door and locked it behind us.

For a long moment she appraised me with narrowed eyes and puffs of smoke filling the space between us.
So I told her what she wanted to hear. “I hurt him. All I do is hurt him,” I ground out in the end and dug my nails into my palm.

Mrs. Nguyen waved the cloud of smoke away from her face and strode forward until I could see every one of her beautiful wrinkles. Then she said what I needed to hear. “Can I give you a piece of advice, sugar?”

I nodded my assent and she lifted one of my clenched palms with her free hand. With gentle pressure she relaxed my tense digits and patted my skin.

“First,” she said, “let’s fix that gorgeous face of yours.”

I waited impatiently as she sat me down on the seat before her many beauty products. After stubbing out her cigarette, she washed my face. Between hard looks and hidden smiles she applied black coal around the rims of my eyes. She almost spoke while curling my eyelashes with a sticky black substance.

Finally, while lining my lips did she say, “Sugar, it’s clear you ain’t had much time to be around these people you claim you’ve helped. My advice? Stop over thinking things. Listen to Cain. Help them, sure, but stop holding yourself back. You never know what could happen if you let it.”

She finished applying paste to my lips and began braiding my curls next. I watched our reflection in the mirror and smiled as her fingers combed through my hair. I smiled at the lines between her brows as she concentrated on creating perfection.

“You saw what happened to me yesterday morning. You know that I am not human. What you do not know is why I am no longer human. I may not be able to stay with him. If I choose to remain here I may die and the thought of leaving him…I—I don’t know if I can do this anymore,” I said between strained breathes.

Her black eyes snapped to mine instantly and to my surprise, she cackled. “Good! Glad you got that off your chest. Maybe now you won’t think so hard.”

I at last studied my own reflection and hardly recognized the painted and frightened looking woman in front of me.

“You need to go check on your boy as soon as I’m finished with you. You’re wearing that dress tonight, huh? It’s a good choice.”

I squeezed the soft fabric in my hands and frowned at the bunched smoky indigo pooling from them. “We’re going to rehearsal soon. Cain’s going to play his instrument tonight.”
Mrs. Nguyen’s hands froze above me and I lifted my gaze to find her staring at me in shock. “You, you convinced that poor boy to play?”

I gasped when she came from behind and grasped my hands in hers. My dress spilled over my bare legs. “Yes,” I hesitantly replied. I already knew Cain had not played in years. But judging from her look, this was more significant than I understood.

Her sudden smile brightened my dark mood. It was with a slap on my wrist that she said, “Good! I knew you were good for him! I knew you could do what she never could.”

I shook my head and pulled my hands out of her grasp. Clutching my dress in my hands, I then stood and walked away. Mrs. Nguyen only knew a piece of the truth. She had seen the almost human Orona, who was orphaned and alone in the world, a woman that Cain plucked off the streets and fell in love with. What she didn’t see was the goddess Cain barely knew, the foolish human girl who fell in love with the caretaker of the seas. She hadn’t seen me stand up against a hurricane or keep a cave from crushing two lovers to death. She hadn’t seen me throw myself over the ones who would have turned to ashes when the volcano erupted, or brought water to the dying in the desert.

“See you tonight, alien girl!” Mrs. Nguyen called after me with another cackle. 

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