Disclaimer: I am a publicist for Spencer Hill Press and Erica is one of my authors. Originally, another blogger was supposed to post this on their blog; however, they had a family emergency, so I’m filling in for them. The interview portion of this post is credited to that blogger, since they came up with the questions, not me.
Hey everyone! I’m so excited to be a part of Erica Cameron’s Deleted Scene blog tour for her novel, Sing Sweet Nightingale (Out now)! I have an interview with Erica and a deleted scene – an alternate ending that includes kissing!! Plus, there’s an awesome giveaway! First, here’s some more information about Sing Sweet Nightingale:
Mariella Teagen hasn’t spoken a word in four years.
She pledged her voice to Orane, the man she loves—someone she only sees in her dreams. Each night, she escapes to Paradise, the world Orane created for her, and she sings for him. Mariella never believed she could stay in Paradise longer than a night, but two weeks before her eighteenth birthday, Orane hints that she may be able to stay forever.
Hudson Vincent made a pledge to never fight again.
Calease, the creature who created his dream world, swore that giving up violence would protect Hudson. But when his vow caused the death of his little brother, Hudson turned his grief on Calease and destroyed the dream world. The battle left him with new abilities and disturbing visions of a silent girl in grave danger—Mariella.
Now, Hudson is fighting to save Mariella’s life while she fights to give it away. And he must find a way to show her Orane’s true intentions before she is lost to Paradise forever.
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Now, here’s the interview with Erica!
Question: Why did this particular ending not make the cut to the finished copy?
Answer: It partially had to do with the timeline and how that needed to change. The end of the book needed to be shortened and in the original versions I gave them a full week after Mari woke up to adjust to life again. This time around they only have a day. Hudson is in shock and Mari is still trying to cope with her new way of interpreting the world around her. With the new timeline and the mental space they’re both in that day, this scene didn’t fit anymore.
Question: Things get pretty hot between Mari and Hudson in this scene, they definitely take things a lot farther than the norm for them. What was it like writing such a swoon worthy scene between the two of them?
Answer: Another reason why it was cut! My editors felt like the zero to sixty acceleration was a little too quick. I think that even if the timeline hadn’t shifted to end so soon after she wakes up out of the coma, we still would’ve changed this ending. Writing it was fun, though! If only because I finally got to write Hudson letting go of all his walls and guards and just enjoying a little moment one-hundred-percent. That beautifully broken baby deserves more moments like that. ;)
Question: Can we expect lots of swoons like this scene in Deadly Sweet Lies? Please please please say yes! *crosses fingers and toes*
Answer: Unfortunately not from Mari and Hudson! Deadly Sweet Lies introduces everyone to two new characters: Nadette Lawson and Julian Teagan. It picks up before the end of SSN and gives you a glimpse into a whole different side of both our world and Abivapna. There is kissing in Deadly, though! I can promise you that much. :D
Question: What’s been your favorite thing about this blog tour?
Answer: The coolest thing about a specialized tour like this is that the information is all new, the questions are all different, and I get to talk a lot more about behind-the-scenes information, the process of writing the book, and how much things have changed over the novel’s four-year creation. I also get to share a few scenes I still adore and a couple of bits of information that are still canon. This scene, for example, still happens as far as I’m concerned. It just happens about a week after Mari wakes up. Yesterday’s scene from the inside of Mariella’s coma definitely still happens. All of it. The shopping scene with Dana also doesn’t stray outside of the established canon lines, but it doesn’t actually happen like this anymore. In my head, Dana takes Mari shopping the week before her birthday and there’s a much happier version of this scene when they do that.
And now here’s the excerpt! Enjoy!
“But you know that already, Boy Scout.”
The smile is already spreading across my face, but when the words really click, my heart stalls. Did she just call me a boy scout?
Swallowing, I ask, “How’d you know I was a boy scout?”
It was only for a year. They not-so-politely asked me to leave when I couldn’t stop fighting with the other kids. Really, it was just these three guys with a habit of playing cruel pranks on the smaller kids. And I refused to let them get away with it.
Mari glances at me, biting her lip. She didn’t mean to say that, or maybe forgot it was something we’ve never talked about. After a second, she sighs and lifts her hand to trace a scar I’d forgotten about hidden in my hair on the back of my head.
“You got this when those three kids in your troop pushed you off your bike in the woods. You hit your head on a rock. They thought they’d killed you. They lied and said you just fell and you never told anyone what happened.”
The head injury had made the entire day a little fuzzy. Not even I remember the accident very well, but she knew what happened and I have a feeling she could give me their names, too. The parents of those three assholes funded practically everything the troop did. Who was gonna take my side in that argument? I take a deep breath, my hands tightening on the wheel.
“No one would’ve believed me.”
“I believe you.”
Her hand slides down my neck, traces the line of my arm—lingering for a moment on the tattoo on my wrist—and then she twines her fingers through mine. I lift her hand to my lips and kiss the soft, unscarred skin before letting our hands rest on her thigh. Neither of us says anything for the rest of the drive, but it’s the kind of silence that speaks volumes.
When we finally end up back where we started, I look up at the craftsman style two-story, searching for signs of life. Mari was right, though. It doesn’t look like anyone noticed we left.
As we quietly head upstairs, I try to prepare myself to say goodnight, to let go of her hand and head into the guest bedroom alone. When we reach her bedroom door, Mariella glances up at me, her honey-brown eyes sparkling in the tiny bit of light filtering through the hall window. She opens the door and, still holding tight to my hand, pulls me in after her.
The door clicks shut behind us and I hold my breath, not sure what to do. I know what I want to do, but that doesn’t means she’s thinking the same thing.
But then her smile grows wider and she shifts closer, her hand releasing mine to slide up my arm. It’s enough of a sign for me. I wrap my arms around her tiny waist and lift her lips to mine. Her legs wrap around my waist and her fingers dig into my hair.
Mari’s touch sends electric shockwaves across my skin so strong the hairs on my arms stand on end. Her lips are as lush and full as I dreamt they would be and when she opens her mouth and lets me in, she tastes like strawberries.
With her legs wrapped tight around my waist, I’m free to run my hands from her knees, up her thighs, and slip my fingers under the hem of her shirt. When she does the same to me, sliding her hands down my back and under my shirt, she doesn’t stop there. She grabs the bottom of my shirt and rips it over my head.
The movement and the shock send me off balance and my knees buckle. We crash onto her bed. Her lips never leave mine, but her fingers make a game of exploring my chest, tracing the contour of each muscle until I know I’m about to turn to liquid in her hands. Groaning under her onslaught, I flip us over, pinning her hands over her head and plundering her mouth with mine. No thoughts exist outside of this moment. The rest of the world could have disappeared and I would never know or care as long as Mariella keeps kissing me.
“We have to—have to—stop,” Mari gasps.
My brain is so fogged with her scent, her touch, her everything that it take a second for the words to filter through. And even longer for my body to obey my commands. I roll over, my breath coming in shallow pants as I struggle to keep from reaching for her again.
“I’m not—” She swallows and takes a deep, shuddering breath. “I have things under control, but it’s harder when I’m awake. If I lose focus I might bring the house down around us.”
I blink and push myself up on my elbow so I can look down into her eyes. “You could do that?”
She bites her lip and glances at me without moving her head. “Yeah.”
Her face pales and she nods. “Really.”
I take her face in my hands and press my lips to hers, still stunned I have the right to do this. “That is so hot.”
Mari laughs, a short bark that’s so loud we both freeze to see if it woke anyone up. When she relaxes, I know the coast is clear. She smiles up at me and shakes her head.
“Exactly.” I kiss her again and again, determined to taste every inch of skin she’ll allow. “Only me.”
I trail kisses from her lips, along the line of her jaw, under her ear, and down the side of her neck. It is so incredibly tempting to slide the strap of her tanktop out of the way and keep going, but I know if I don’t stop myself now I won’t be able to. And I have a feeling we shouldn’t put her control to the test quite yet. Frank wouldn’t be very forgiving if we crumbled his carefully restored Craftsmen into rubble.
Pressing one more kiss to her lips, I drop to the mattress and pull Mariella against my side. She sighs and snuggles closer, tucking her head onto my shoulder, draping her arm over my chest, and wrapping her leg around mine. We lay there in silence for a while as I try to remember what rational thought is like. The patterns she’s tracing on my stomach don’t help. As soon as I think that, I feel her smile. She keeps going.
The smile doesn’t.
“I can see them all.”
Her fingers trace the welt left behind from a chain whip and she shudders. “All the people you fought. The people you saved.”
I hold my breath. The last thing I want is my horrific memories plaguing Mari. I take her hand in mine and draw her away from my scars, only to realize I can’t. There are so few patches of unmarred skin on my body I have no safe place to lead her.
“Don’t,” she whispers, gently pulling her hand out of mine and placing it on a rough patch of skin over my ribs. Road rash from my run in with the Bishop Kings four years ago.
Mariella pushes up until she’s looking down at me, her hair cascading off the side of the bed like a waterfall and her eyes so solemn and sad.
“It’s not over, you know. I don’t know what’s coming, but I can feel it. It’s like there storm clouds in the distance and fire in the air. What we did, it’s already changing things. You… you did what you came here to do. I’m safe. If you want to leave, I would—”
My heart starts beating so fast all I feel is a tremor running through my chest. I pull her down to the bed and press my lips to hers, shutting her up the fastest way I know how. Only when I’m sure she’ll listen do I let her come up for air.
“Listen to me you crazy, gorgeous, stubborn, girl,” I whisper, staring into her eyes. “I’ve helped take out two of them already. There’s nowhere on this planet for me to hide. All me leaving would be doing is hurting both of us, and I don’t want to do that. I love you. The only way I’m leaving is if you order me away.”
But would I go?
“Actually, never mind. I wouldn’t even leave then.” Not now that I know she loves me too.
She opens her mouth to argue, so I kiss her again. Even after I pull back, she still looks like she wants to try to convince me she’s right.
I put a finger over her lips and shake my head. “No, Mari. This time, you’re wrong. It’s something you’re gonna have to learn to live with.”
Slowly, the color comes back to her skin and her smile returns. She kisses the tip of my finger and reaches up to entwine her fingers with mine. “Are you sure?”
“Yes.” It’s not an answer that requires thought.
“It’s not going to be easy.”
I grin. “I have a feeling nothing with you ever will be.”
She grins right back, pink tinting her cheeks and her eyes lighting up. “I choose to take that as a compliment.”
I kiss her temple and her cheek and then her lips, lingering there the longest and pulling her back toward me. “You should.”
Mariella tucks herself against my side, sighing happily. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow or next week or nine months from now. For tonight, though, we have each other and that’s more than enough for me.
Now for the giveaway! We have three amazing prizes for three lucky people! This giveaway is US/CAN only. Prizes are as follows:
First-Place Prize: Signed copy of Sing Sweet Nightingale, bracelet, two book cover pendants
Second-Place Prize: Bracelet and two pendants
Third-Place Prize: Two pendants
To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:
About Erica Cameron:
After a lifelong obsession with books, Erica Cameron spent her college years getting credit for reading and learning how to make stories of her own. Erica graduated with a double major in psychology and creative writing from Florida State University and began pursuing a career as an author.
Erica is many things but most notably the following: writer, reader, editor, dance fan, choreographer, singer, lover of musical theater, movie obsessed, sucker for romance, ex-Florida resident, and quasi-recluse. She loves the beach but hates the heat, has equal passion for the art of Salvador Dali and Venetian Carnival masks, has a penchant for unique jewelry and sun/moon décor pieces, and a desire to travel the entire world on a cruise ship. Or a private yacht. You know, whatever works.
Her debut novel, Sing Sweet Nightingale, released March 2014 and it was the first volume of The Dream War Saga, a four-book young adult series.
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