Multiple times, actually. But I’ll say it again: Ms. Kearsley is one of my favorite authors. Her books are filled with magic, interesting characters, delicious angst and lots of swoon-worthy romance. So it’s no surprise that her upcoming book, The Firebird, is one of my most anticipated books of the year. This is why when Sourcebooks asked if I wanted to be part of this mini-tour I didn’t hesitate to say yes.
We have an exclusive excerpt to whet everyone’s appetite and an awesome giveaway for those who have yet to read her books.
THE FIREBIRD By Susanna Kearsley
EXCERPT #2 (CHAPTER 5)
I shook my head. “I didn’t really think… I mean, it’s August, and it’s warmer down in London, and I didn’t…” I was babbling again. I stopped myself and started over, more coherently. “This trip was a last-minute thing. I didn’t plan ahead.”
Rob hid a smile. “A first for you, then.” Shrugging off his own dark blue windcheater, he held it for me. “Here, put this on.”
The coat was lined with thermal fleece that felt blanket-soft on my bare forearms, and when I stepped from the cheerful pub to the dark pavement outdoors I was grateful for both the coat’s warmth and the sheltering windbreak of Rob at my back. He didn’t crowd me, didn’t touch me, but I felt the force of his protection all the same.
Even though it was properly dark now—the cold wind roughening the water of the harbor so whatever light was coming from the fishing boats and those few windows on the black hill opposite reflected only briefly in a thousand scattered fragments that were swiftly doused in blackness—still the harbor was alive with people out to find their fun on Friday night. As Rob shepherded me past the Ship Hotel, a trio of men stumbled out of the door to the public bar, where they’d apparently been for a while from the look of them, and from the loudness of their voices, cursing cheerfully and often.
One man staggered into Rob and let loose with an expletive before he noticed who he’d just bumped into.
Rob said, “Heyah, Jimmy.”
The man, less belligerent, gave a nod. “Keen-Een.”
Rob looked at the man’s mates and said, “You’ll be helping him home, will you?”
“Aye,” said the nearest man, dragging his friend back. “We’re gaun hame the now.”
“See that you don’t wander off into Armatage Street,” he advised them. “I’ve been on a shout with the lifeboat the day, I’m fair jiggered, and getting called out to a housebreaking widnae improve my mood any.”
The nearest man stared at him hard for a moment, and then his mouth twisted into something approaching a grin. “All right, Keen-Een. We’re gaun hame, as I said.” And he herded his friends away, all of them walking unsteadily.
Watching them, I asked Rob, “Will they go home, do you think?”
“Oh, aye. It spoils their fun,” he told me, “when they ken I ken they’re at it.”
I imagined that the crime rate here in Eyemouth had gone down since Rob McMorran joined the force. Whereas I only “saw” things when I held an object, Rob’s own gifts were greater than that, as I’d learned in the short time I’d known him. He read people’s minds with astonishing ease.
I remembered that talent now, trying to keep my own thoughts in control as I asked, “Do you live very far from here?”
“Not far at all.” He nodded to a block of flats scarcely a stone’s throw away. “I’m just there, Chapel Quay, but it’s only a bedsit, and you’ll get no sleep with my snoring.”
His tone was normal, but I felt the line that he was drawing in between us, whether from his own desire to keep me at a distance, or to show me that he understood my coming back for help meant only that, and nothing more.
“I see. So then where…?”
“You’ll find more comfort out at the cottage.”
My mind filled with images, swirling, receding—the brightness and warmth of a low-ceilinged kitchen, the edge of a lace curtain brushing the white-painted sill of a deeply set window with one cracked glass pane, a succession of snapshots so rapid and fleeting I couldn’t catch all of them, blending to one strong impression of home.
Rob said, “I’ve rung my mother, let her know you’re coming. You can sleep in my old room.”
That seemed even more personal, somehow, than spending the night at his bedsit. “Won’t your mother mind having a guest to look after?”
“My mother? She’s probably baking something as we speak. She loves company.” Stopping at a navy blue Ford Focus in the car park, he opened the passenger door for me. “It’s my father you’ll want to be keeping an eye on. He’s aye had a liking for blonds.”
Read the first excerpt here.
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- Giveaway ends 01/24/13
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About the Book:
The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley
Compelled to know more, Nicola follows a young girl named Anna into the past who leads her on a quest through the glittering backdrops of the Jacobites and Russian courts, unearthing a tale of love, courage, and redemption.
Sourcebooks. June 4, 2013.