Thursday, February 2, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway! Win an e-copy of PROMISING LIGHT!

Kate: Today I'd like to welcome Emily Ann Ward as part of the blog tour for her new novel Promising Light. Emily was featured previously in my Author Spotlight series and is also the author of the YA sci fi novel Finding Fiona. 

~NOTE: At the bottom of the post, you can enter to win a free ebook version of Promising Light! Scroll down to the end for details!!~

Emily: Hey, everyone! I’m happy to be on The Southern Scrawl as part of my blog tour for my fantasy novel, Promising Light. The story revolves around a young noble named Grace. She’s in a secret relationship with a man named Dar, and she goes through quite a bit in the story.

I was looking through Grace’s Google history. This girl looks up some strange things. . .

- How to tell if someone’s lying
- What is a shape changer?
- Shape changers from Shyra
- How to impress a prince
- How to escape a kidnapping
- Prophecies
- Curses
- Breaking a curse
- Avialie shape changers
- Are the Protectors evil?
- History of conflict between Avialies and Protectors
- Contraception
- Fertility potions
- Leaving behind a comfortable life
- Are the Avialie ancient texts real?
- How to avoid arrest warrants
- Shape changers impersonating your loved ones
- Tigers
- Communicating with tigers
- How to convince your family you weren’t kidnapped this time
- Directions to Kleisade
- Mumbar Jungle
- How to survive quicksand
- Love potions

Sounds like an interesting life, right? Here’s part of the first chapter:


   Grace loved the vineyard. It stretched over miles and miles, and she and Dar could disappear
for hours without anyone ever finding them. Today it was warm, the sun baking down on the
grapes, causing the fragrance to surround them.
   She lay on a blanket Dar had brought, staring up at the clouds. Dar was next to her, putting
flowers in her blonde hair. His olive-colored skin was dark from the summer sun, and his black
hair, in need of trimming, curled at his ears. The two of them were hidden in a remote corner of
the vineyard where grape vines touched the ground next to them.
   “If I move, will I ruin your masterpiece?” she asked.
   “Yes, you definitely will,” Dar said. “So don’t move.”
   “What are you doing to me?”
   “You look like a nymph.” Dar pulled his hands back and gazed intently at her. His dark eyes
traveled over her hair, her face, her breasts. “I wish I could freeze this moment in time and carry
it around with me.”
   Grace took his hand, raised it to her lips, and kissed it. “I really want to kiss you on the
mouth, but I’m not moving.”
   He smiled and bent down. He kissed her, entwining his fingers through hers. He moved
to lay on top of her. Waves of warmth that had nothing to do with the weather went through
Grace. She held on to his hands tightly as he brought them up over her head. She felt completely
exposed to him, physically and emotionally.
   He pulled away after a moment and kissed each of her cheeks.
   “Dar,” she whispered, “I don’t want to keep sneaking around.”
   His smile faded. He let go of one of her hands and ran his fingers along her jaw. “I know. I
don’t either.”
   “So?” she asked, raising her eyebrows.
   “Your father wouldn’t approve of me.”
   She huffed. “Do you even know why he doesn’t like your family?” She didn’t understand her
father’s hostility toward them, considering Dar’s father was a respected governor. Things like
wealth and status mattered to her father, who was the king’s general. Grace had only met Dar’s
parents a few times, and they seemed like good people who ruled Shyra well. His mother had
always been friendly to her at social events.
   Dar didn’t meet her eyes. “I have an idea.”
   “You do?”
   He kissed the line of her jaw softly, sending shivers down her spine. “I think so.”
   She wouldn’t be distracted. “Well, what is it?”
   “Shyra doesn’t have a very good reputation.”
   In court, Shyra was mostly spoken of as a poor state overrun with fake magicians and crime.
She’d only been there once and it seemed like a typical farming state, not much worse than the
seedy areas of Renaul. If someone as good as Dar came out of it, the place couldn’t be horrible.
   He kissed her neck, and she closed her eyes.
   “I don’t know,” she said, her voice shaky. “It seems like more than that.”
   “Maybe you should ask him.”
   She laughed. “He probably doesn’t even realize we know each other.”
   Dar raised his head, meeting her eyes. “You probably know me better than anyone.”
   She furrowed her brow. “I don’t know. . .” She trailed off as she ran her fingers through his
soft curls. “It seems like there’s a lot about you I don’t know.”
   “You know the important things,” he said, his voice quiet.
   She didn’t say anything for a moment. She wished that were the case, but she doubted it. It
hurt because she knew the opposite was true: Dar knew her better than anyone. He had some
competition with Jocelyn, her closest friend since childhood, but Grace felt like she’d always
hidden something from her, as well as from her parents and her brother. Not one specific thing or
an unseemly secret about herself, just something about her very nature, as though she may not be
good enough.
   She’d never had those fears with Dar. She’d given all of herself to him in the last six months,
even if it hadn’t been wise. Their relationship had started off playful, but she’d fallen for him
quickly. He knew everything about her, from the birthmark on her stomach to how she liked her
tea to her secrets, fears, and dreams. Yet Dar still had his secrets and a past that he tried to keep
   “What about what happened two years ago?” she asked.
   Dar’s face tightened. He lay down next to her, resting his head on her shoulder. He’d talked
about some kind of tragedy that happened two years ago in Shyra, but he’d never given her the
details. She never pushed him, but now she wanted to know.
   “My parents took in two girls when I was four,” he said. “They were like my sisters.”
Grace touched the back of his head, her eyes wide. She’d always thought Dar was an only
   “Two years ago. . .my family got into some trouble, and a lot of people were killed. One of
my sisters nearly died, and the other disappeared. I haven’t seen her since.”
   He’d lost so much. She feared saying anything in case he withdrew again. She ran her fingers
through his hair. His body moved softly against hers as he breathed in and out.
   “I want to see her again. I want to apologize for everything.”
   “What would you say?” she whispered.
  “‘Sierra, I’m sorry. I never should have let. . .’” Dar trailed off. He sat up suddenly, his back
to Grace.
   She sat up and felt flowers fall from her hair. She touched his shoulders, and he tensed.
   He got to his feet and kept his face averted from her. “I want that stuff to stay in the past,
Grace. I don’t want it to come between us.”
   She pursed her lips. Couldn’t he see that keeping things from her would come between them?
   After standing, she started to gather up the blanket. “Well, then, you shouldn’t say things like
   “Things like what?”
   “‘You know me better than anyone.’” His gaze lingered on her as she folded the blanket. She
looked at him, and he crossed the distance between them.
   “I wish I could tell you everything.” He put his hands on her shoulders. “But I know it’s
better for both of us if I don’t.”
   She stepped away and picked up the blanket. “We should go. We’ve been here for two hours
   Dar took the blanket from her, and she picked up her bag. Maybe she was being
unreasonable. She took his hand and leaned toward him. Why did he feel like he couldn’t tell her
things about him? She’d told him everything about her.
   They walked silently to the end of the vineyard where they came from, the opposite end of
Sir Henry’s manor. The grapes twisted around wires and poles on either side of them. Dar took a
few grapes and handed some to Grace. She played with them, running her fingers over the dusty
   “Do you talk to Lady Rebekah about your past?” she asked, her eyes on the ground.
   Dar laughed. “No. Rebekah and I don’t talk about anything deep at all. When I talk with her,
I think about you. When I kiss her, I think about you.”
   He thought about Grace, and yet he was courting someone else. Not her. She hated to think
of him kissing someone else, especially Rebekah Mortren. Flighty, shallow Rebekah.
   They reached the spot where they usually parted ways. “I’ll see you later?” Dar said.
   She nodded and glanced down at their hands. “Nothing in your past could change the way I
feel about you. I care about you. Not what’s happened to you.”
   He kissed her, holding her face in his hands. He pulled away and rested his forehead on
hers. “I know.”
   She stepped back. “Goodbye.” She turned and left. A few minutes later, she looked over her
shoulder, but he was gone. He did that often: just disappeared. She worried he’d do that to her
someday, just leave her behind without a thought.


You can read more of Grace’s story in Promising Light. Enter the ebook giveaway below, or
check out the paperback giveaway on Ritesh’s blog!

Click here for the entire blog tour schedule.

And don’t forget about the gift card giveaway: the more posts on the tour you visit and comment
on, the more entries you have to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (your choice!) gift

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Very nice! I love the google search history! And the excerpt has definitely piqued my interest. :)

  2. Cute Google search history. I liked the opening chapter. Good luck with the blog tour, Emily!

  3. Great blog and post. I look forward to reading this book. thank you for the give-away.

  4. Great post! By the way, I just awarded you the "kreativ blogger" award over at my blog - go check it out!

  5. I am really liking this excerpt and am looking forward to reading more of Promising Light. Thank you for sharing with us today. What ever you do don't check my googles LOL


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