The Importance of Being Emily Release Day Party!
Today is the release day for The Importance of Being Emily. I can’t believe it’s already here! She’s even gotten her first fabulous review (you can read it here from Long and Short Reviews). I’m very excited.
As part of the release day celebration I’ll be giving away a PDF copy of Emily. All you have to do is leave a comment here with your email and an answer to this question: Would you marry a vampire? Why or why not?
Poor Emily is faced with that very dilemma when she learns that her soul mate is Michael Black, a man who has been in training for immortality for as long as she’s known him. As a seer she’s never been considered good marriage material, but Michael’s even worse. He has no family, no money to speak of, and he’ll be dead within a year–possibly even completely dead, because there’s no guarantee he will survive the ritual to become a vampire. What’s a girl to do?
Previously I’ve posted excerpts about Emily’s introduction to the murder victim and her first meeting with Michael’s mentor, Simon St. Jerome. Today I want to share a scene that happens in between those two, a moment in the manor’s garden where Emily has escaped for a breath of fresh air. She’s trying to sort things out rationally, and Michael is trying to complicate them.
Shivering, I rubbed my arms above the tops of my gloves. Without a word Mr. Black removed his coat and draped it over my shoulders. It was warm, but it also carried a strong impression of him—his thirst for knowledge, his dedication to his studies and his loyalty to his mentor. The corners of my mouth twitched as I pictured him as a very tall Labrador dog. If only Mr. Farrell shared a few of Mr. Black’s honorable qualities.
“Thank you,” I said. He stood close to me, and I hesitated, torn between moving away and staying still to see what he intended.
“Simon would never do this,” he assured me.
“I believe you. Once I am able to prove that, we can focus on finding the true killer. With your tight schedule I’m sure you are anxious to return to your studies.” I winced, feeling guilty for my unkind words. It wasn’t his fault that his dreams for the future were so very different from mine. What could the higher powers be thinking by connecting us?
“I apologize for involving you in this.”
“Well it has certainly been revealing, but don’t be silly. I wanted to help you. Your mentor was not…acquainted with Miss Morgan, was he?”
“No, I don’t believe they ever met. Why?”
“That will be in his favor then. It appeared that she knew her…” I trailed off, searching for the right word, “…companion well.”
“Oh.” Mr. Black’s eyes widened at the implication.
“I shouldn’t have been so blithe earlier about being unconcerned about the subject matter of visions. But it was necessary to help vindicate your mentor.” I shrugged, and the hem of his coat rustled against the skirts of my gown. If I rejected Mr. Farrell, it was likely that the vision was the closest I would get to experiencing that sort of passion. Unbidden, my mind whispered that when Mr. Black became a chronicler, he could bite me, and I could feel the same lustful pleasure for myself…
I shook the thought away and hastily removed his coat. “We should go back inside,” I said as I returned it to him.
Michael shrugged the coat back on. “Wait. I want to discuss what you mentioned earlier.”
“There is nothing to discuss. In a few months you will be a chronicler, and I will still be a matchmaker. Our paths are star-crossed.” This time I held tight to my control, afraid of falling apart again, and I turned to walk back to the manor. He caught my hand and pulled me to him, wrapping his arms around me. I gasped and shook my head.
“Please, don’t do this,” I whispered.
His lips hovered above mine. “Don’t you want to know?”
Yes. Every fiber of my seer’s body wanted to know more. Why were we meant for each other? How could we possibly make this work? What would it be like to share his life? To finally know the happiness that I found so often for others? “But you are spoken for,” I blurted.
He frowned. “By whom?”
Michael laughed. “The Order is not a jealous wife. There are no rules prohibiting relationships, or even marriage.”
“No? What sort of marriage could we have? Should I offer you a vein instead of bringing you tea, until I fade away while you remain unaging? Immortal?”
“But we would be together.”
I sighed, thinking of my family’s definition of togetherness—in general it involved them poring over an old, moldering text while I looked on in irritation. It was not what I wanted in a marriage, though I supposed at my age I could not afford to be particular. In December I would be twenty-seven years old, an age my sister Sarah assured me was positively ancient. “But I am spoken for.”
Mr. Black frowned. “You’ve accepted Farrell’s proposal?”
“No. Not yet, but I should.” Shaking my head once more, I began to pull away, but he stopped me with a kiss. At first it was little more than a stalling tactic, a light brush of the lips meant to distract me from escaping, but then he drew me tight against him. Michael’s hand slid up my back and cradled my head, his thumb caressing the line of my jaw. He kissed me again, and my hands clutched the lapels of his coat for balance.
I must confess, I had been kissed before, though that was many years ago. Most of the appeal of that kiss had been in sneaking away from the Yule celebration and doing something forbidden, but this…was amazing. Everything that I expected a kiss should be—warm, soft and completely intoxicating. Closing my eyes, I abandoned myself to the experience, and he seemed happy to lead as I slid my arms around his neck. In the back of my thoughts a voice of reason lectured the need for caution. Being close to him had already triggered a flurry of visions, and I should be wary of more of them. A strong vision could incapacitate me for hours, possibly even days if it was very traumatic.
Like a fool, I ignored it, even when I began hearing his thoughts. My senses brushed against his as easily as our lips did. I caught a flash of a memory of the two of us sharing a quiet moment together at a previous gathering, and the impression of how much he enjoyed speaking with me. Mr. Black thought I was beautiful, and he had wanted to kiss me for a very long time.
Leave a comment for a chance to win! And don’t forget to give your email (or I can’t send it to you) and answer the question, because much like Emily, I’m nosy. I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday. And for those of you who don’t win a free copy, you can always buy one from Samhain, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.