Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Promising Light by Emily Ann Ward | Character Interview | Paranormal Fantasy

Grace began a secret courtship with Dar for the thrill of doing something against her father, the king’s general. She hadn’t planned on falling in love with him. When Dar suddenly leaves her, she searches for answers, reluctant to let him go.

Everyone seems determined to keep the truth from her—until she’s kidnapped by Dar’s family. They’re shape changers who claim she can break a curse set on them ten years ago by the Protectors, a group of noblemen determined to stifle magic in the name of safety.

Torn between two worlds, Grace isn’t sure who to trust. If the curse endures, Dar’s family could die out forever. But to help them, she’ll have to leave behind everything she knows.

Guest Post by Emily Ann Ward

Hey, everyone! I’m so pleased to be here to talk about my fantasy novel, Promising Light. This is actually the last day of my blog tour, so be sure to enter all the giveaways you can! The ebook giveaway here will be going on for a while, but the paperback and gift card giveaways end really soon! More information here ( or if you just can’t wait, scroll down to the end of this post.

Promising Light is about a young girl named Grace. When a family of shape changers tells her she can break the curse on their family, she realizes that to help them she must leave behind everything she loves. It has adventure, romance, magic, and more!

One of my main characters is Dar, a man Grace is having a secret relationship with. He breaks it off in the first chapter after a mysterious man warns Grace about Dar. He’s here for an interview today, set shortly before the beginning of the book.

Would you say your childhood was happy? Why or why not?

Dar: Yes, for the most part. I had a comfortable life since my father was quite wealthy as the governor of the state. My sisters and my cousins and I used to get into all kinds of good trouble. We dealt with prejudice, but it didn’t truly start to threaten our way of life until I was fourteen. Even then, we had good times with one another. I couldn’t have asked for a better childhood.

What are you passionate about these days?

Dar: Grace. I love meeting her, talking with her, writing her letters, sneaking around with her. It’d be nice to not have to sneak around, but I’ll do what I have to to keep her safe.

What do you do to unwind and relax?

Dar: I like to look at the stars late at night. Looking at the constellations and just breathing in cool night air slows my mind down. Something about the openness around me, the massive heavens above me. It reminds me that me and my problems are actually quite small.

What makes you happy?

Dar: My parents. Cherries. Grace. I’m a simple person, really.

If you could tell someone who didn’t know about shape changers one thing about your family, what would it be?

Dar: I wouldn’t tell them anything. Keeping quiet is safer for all of us, especially up against the Protectors.

Do your friends think you are an introvert or an extrovert? Why?

Dar: An introvert. I don’t usually go out of my way to attract attention or make friends. With my friends, I can be outgoing, but in general, I’m more reserved than friends of mine.

Where do you dream of traveling to and why?

Dar: I’ve been there once or twice, but I’d like to visit Jolen. It’s a country to the northwest of ours and about half of it is bordered by ocean. When I visited last, I was burying a very close friend of mine, so I didn’t particularly enjoy it. But it was beautiful and warm and I’d like to return sometime. It’d be nice to go with Grace.

If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?

Dar: I think Emily will answer that with an excerpt from this book. I can’t believe they wrote a book about us. Actually, perhaps I can. We went through a lot, and it’d be nice for people to know our story.

Chapter One

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 hidden.

“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 child.

“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 that.”

“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 already.”

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 surface.

“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.


{Emily here again}
If you like what you’ve read, you have a chance to win an ebook copy of Promising Light here at Laurie’s blog. Or can buy the book at these retailers:

Smashwords (read the first 20% here):

If you buy the book and send the receipt to emilyannward at yahoo dot com before midnight on February 16th, you’ll receive 5 entries to the giveaway for a $20 gift card for Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice!).

Check out the rest of the blog tour here: for author and character interviews, guest posts, giveaways, and more!

Or you can visit me on. . .

Don’t be shy, I love meeting readers :) Thanks, Laurie, for having me, and thank you for reading!

{Laurie here}Thanks so much for Emily for stopping here today. Promising Light is definitely high on my TBR and I am really looking forward to reading it soon!!  It's been great having you and and Dar visit!!


Andrea I said...

I enjoyed the character interview.


rasia said...

Great interview, and I liked the first chapter :-)Thank you for giving us the opportunity to win your book!!

Heather said...

Great Giveaway! I really liked the interview and chapter. said...

sounds like a good read

Doodle said...

Awesome interview. This sounds like such a good read!

Chaantii said...

Thanks :)

cheekychann said...

would love to read this.thanks shelly

Sarah Elizabeth said...

Adding this to my wishlist!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great read! And great character interview!! It really brings the book to an even more interesting level :)

Laurie said...

The Giveaway winner is Mary Gallo. Congrats!!