Sunday, March 15, 2015

Birthday Book Release: Daughter of Glass

Yes, that's right, I have two reasons to celebrate today: my birthday, and my book release.

Birthday plans include a steak dinner, and chocolate cake with ice cream. I'm also going to sit on the dock and read a book in the sunshine, while wearing my first pair of shorts of the season. (Yes, it's disgustingly beautiful here in Florida. As usual.) I've already had breakfast in bed, taken a luxurious shower, and taken over the music in the living room. I'm a kind tyrant, though, unlike some teenagers I can name. :) I'm playing Hozier, which is, at the moment, the only music we can all agree with.

If I get really ambitious, I'll go read A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab. I love what I've read so far. I just hardly ever read for fun anymore, since I've been inundated with manuscripts as an acquisitions editor.

But what about my book? Imagine a young woman whose emotions are so powerful, they manifest as actual people only she can interact with. Is it madness, a powerful gift, or maybe even both?

One of the things I love about it is that the ebook version has beautiful interior illustrations. I'll post the links as soon as it goes live.

About Daughter of Glass:
Sasha Alexander has a powerful ability.

Either that, or she’s dangerously mad. She isn’t always sure which.

Her father shrouds her in isolation, convinced he’s protecting her from the same madness that took her mother. But the seven impossible guardians that only she can see insist she’s gifted. Her companions since her mother’s suicide a decade ago, they protect her from hurt, pain and fear.

They also keep her from feeling love.

Sasha doesn’t know how to react when Noah explodes through her defenses. This strange young man with the scarred hands suddenly makes her feel again. And she wants more. More of Noah, of his wakening touch. But the guardians don’t want to lose their decade-long hold, while her father despises Noah on sight.

Sasha risks exposing Noah to a world that would cheerfully see him dead.

But unless she can learn to control her own emotions, the biggest danger to them all may be Sasha herself.

And here's an excerpt:

I woke up with my head in Noah’s lap. He was slumped cross-legged on my bed. The morning sun filtered through the branches of the spreading oak tree just outside, and the air stirred the gauzy white curtains over my windows, casting gentle waves of light across the room. Noah lay motionless against my headboard, his eyelids twitching as if he were dreaming. I could see bruises darkening from red to purple along his cheekbone. He had at least one blackened eye, but since both were closed, I couldn’t tell for sure how bad it was. The barest hint of stubble darkened his jaw.

He had stayed. He’d stayed with me through the rest of the night. No one had ever done that before. Either they wanted something from me, or my father had paid them to look after me, but not him.

I held myself perfectly still. My head throbbed where I’d cracked it on the floor, but other than that, I felt fine. I always did, when Oblivion was with me. Noah just looked so peaceful, so innocent, cradling my head between his jeans-clad thighs that I didn’t want to disturb him. I wanted a chance to study this strange boy from the wrong part of town who’d done something for me no one else ever had but my guardians. He’d stood up for me.

It was a strange feeling… breathless and tingling and humbling.

He frowned a little in his sleep. I wanted to reach out and touch his face, so still and peaceful. I could feel his body heat through his jeans. Combined with the slightly rough, but pleasant touch of denim against my skin, I was content to just lay there and feel. I craved not just the physical sensation of touching him, but also the sweet ache I felt through my chest. My eyes were tight and warm, like there were tears behind them, and a slow heat made my lungs constrict as it traveled up and down my body in waves. I wanted to feel this way forever. I dared to rub my cheek against his thigh, and let out the smallest sigh at the sensation of pleasant abrasion.

The smell of cigarette smoke preceded Dez’s entrance into my room. He looked the same as always, with hair so dark it almost matched the black leather of his jacket. He had his glasses off this morning, allowing me to see eyes that were piercing in their intensity. Without his glasses, he looked softer, more intimate than he usually did. I was more than a little uneasy at his presence. They didn’t usually stick around, the guardians. They showed up, did their job, and moved on until next time. Dez raised both eyebrows and sucked deeply on his cigarette as if sensing my thoughts. Which, of course, he was. He lounged against my doorpost and regarded me thoughtfully.

“Feeling all right, posey?” Another deep drag. “You look a little worse for the wear.”

I stopped myself from probing the aching spot on my head or checking my hair for ratty tangles. Noah was sleeping so soundly, I didn’t want to move and spoil it, not with a guardian like Desire here. Not when I had questions.

“What are you still doing here?” I kept my voice low.

“I told you last night, darlin’.” When Desire moved, it was like watching a pool of ink spread without staining. He flowed toward the bed, circling it until he stood at the foot and regarded us with his steely gaze. “I told you things were different this time.” He tilted his head sideways, looking at Noah with interest. “This boy. He changes things, and we’re not entirely comfortable with it.”

“But why?” The last thing I wanted was confirmation of the rumors of how crazy I was. “How could a feeling like this possibly be dangerous, or wrong? Enough to bring two of you in one evening? What was that about?”

He dropped the cigarette and ground it out with his boot.

“We belong to you, darlin’. You’re the one who calls us, so you tell me why you drew two of us.” His grin was crooked and turned up at the corners, as if in mockery. “Although even after the night you had, you should be able to figure this one out on your own.”

I closed my eyes and concentrated on evening my breathing. Noah didn’t stir. I would not let him see me panicked and talking to myself, but I had to say it.

“I won’t let you stop me from feeling whatever this is. It can’t possibly be dangerous. So I’ll fight. I’ll fight all of you.” I ignored his amused snort. “And I won’t turn out like her.”

“Like your mother?” he asked, and I did open my eyes then. Dez had his back to me, staring at the oak tree. “She didn’t understand that we’re not something worth fighting, Sasha. She didn’t understand that we were just aspects of herself, of a gift she had to keep hidden. That disconnect is what destroyed her.”

“I’m not her,” I repeated for emphasis, but I sounded uncertain, like there was a question buried there. It sounded more like I was trying to convince myself.

“’Course you’re not,” Dez said.

“Who is ‘her’?” Noah asked at the exact same time. Damn, he was awake and he’d heard me talking to Dez… which meant he’d heard me talking to myself.

I followed deeply buried instincts drilled into me since my guardians had first started appearing, back when my mother died. Mostly, they consisted of pretending anything inconvenient or unpleasant didn’t exist. It worked a surprising amount of the time.

“Oh, you’re awake.” I smiled at him as brightly as I could. I feigned a stretch and tried to look foggy. All an act, of course. I felt great, except for the bump on my head. I always did, after a night of drinking with Oblivion, one of my favorite guardians. I never got hangovers when she was around.

Noah stared at me. I didn’t mind it. His eyes really were as intense as I remembered, and they were fixated on nothing but me. I felt myself flush with pleasure. Then I realized he was talking to me, and focused on his lips as Desire laughed in the background.

“Um, what?” I asked, sounding stupid even to myself. I hadn’t caught a thing Noah had just told me. He frowned and eased me off his lap. I missed the contact as soon as he went.