Skipping Midnight Book Tour
By author Laura Kenyon
Tour Date: November 7th, 2016
This excerpt comes from Dawn’s first chapter in Skipping Midnight and picks up twenty-four hours after Damsels in Distress left off. (Fair warning: It was difficult to choose an excerpt without spoiling things for anyone who hasn’t finished the previous books yet, so continue at your own risk!) Dawn, a.k.a. the “sleeping beauty” queen, is trying to put the pieces back together after rekindling an old pre-curse flame and losing her husband’s trust in the process.
At three a.m. in the kingdom of Regian, while most people were either asleep or slumped over a bottle, Dawn was hunched on the bathroom floor, scrubbing the toilet in her bathrobe.
She hadn’t intended to do it. She’d only intended to take a shower in the hopes that it would make her feel better, and that maybe Hunter would come home while she was in there. Maybe she’d see him lounging on the living room couch when she came out, wrapped in her towel. Or maybe—just maybe—he might hear the water, push back the curtain and join her, forgiving everything she’d done without saying a single word.
But then she saw a spot the cleaners had neglected. And instead of a husband and makeup sex, all Dawn had were deep red lines on her knees and six feet of Selladórean guilt on her mind.
“Everything I believed in has come crashing down,” Hunter had said, almost a full day earlier, while leaning limply over the crystalline evidence of her betrayal—love notes and fiber optic petals and part of a turquoise pendant that no longer fit its other half. “You’ve hurt me in a way I never thought possible. I’m going to need time.”
Time. The word played on a constant loop in her head, taking on a different meaning with each iteration. Did he need time to heal? Time to let her stew? Time to call his lawyers and initiate divorce proceedings?
Dawn pumped the sponge too hard and too fast in her fist, as if it was the bulb at the base of a blood pressure cuff and the waiting room was packed. Yellow soap bubbles fizzed out the cracks between her fingers, bubbled over her wedding ring, and slid into the suede cuffs on her sleeves. The soft pink fabric resisted for a moment but then embraced its dark side with a ravenous thirst, bleeding into a wild shade of red that would probably dry with permanent water spots.
It was amazing how quickly something so pristine and delicate could tarnish.
Not that she was ever pristine. Dawn had always excelled at hiding her misery behind obligatory smiles and lace appliqué. For years, life with Hunter had been all about ribbon-cuttings and press conferences and compulsory fornication. It had been about him correcting her poor use of the modern vernacular and gobbling up every piece of land he could find for his behemoth real estate empire. For years, Dawn’s only joys came in the form of snuggles with her children, drinks with her friends, and long, solitary walks in the moonlight while the rest of the kingdom slept.
Even now, she couldn’t completely regret her time with Davin (or Liam, as the rest of the world knew him) because it made her realize how much of the past she’d fabricated—how much of it she’d drowned with a golden but artificial light that left the present in shadow. She might have always longed for the notion of Davin Lima, even after Hunter turned his new leaf. Even after he revealed that his goal had never been to accrue all the money and power he could, but to build something he could use to reclaim Dawn’s homeland, to reclaim Selladóre from the government that stole it.
Dawn leaned back to survey the claw foot tub Hunter had installed as a wedding gift—a whopping ten days after they’d met. At the time, he thought it would be more welcoming to an eighteenth century teenager than his chrome shower with the tinted glass and double waterfall spouts. Dawn had told him that she appreciated the gesture, but still insisted on surrounding the tub with a thick lace curtain and opaque underlay nonetheless. Where she came from, a diamond ring was no excuse for advertising one’s flesh like a liquidation sale. She’d thought the curtain would let her keep some sense of privacy in her marriage to a complete stranger. Now, as she bent down to scrub beneath the rim, she realized she’d accomplished that just fine on her own.
Dawn’s hand froze as she heard something ping in the kitchen. She let the sponge go and stretched her ears. Hunter had been gone for a full twenty hours now, not including his thirty-second return after the kids’ bedtime, when he’d zipped in like a toy on a plastic track, grabbed his wallet and a fresh sports coat, and disappeared again. His only words, “don’t wait up,” would have been cliché if they were directed at anyone else. But considering his wife’s condition—that is, her inability to sleep after being comatose for three centuries—Dawn really couldn’t do anything but wait up.
One minute passed, then two, before she accepted that the pinging sound had probably been the refrigerator replacing the ice she’d taken for her vodka.
After their confrontation, all Dawn wanted to do was cry, scream, and guzzle vermouth until all the shame turned fuzzy and the fuzziness faded to black. She’d even considered swallowing seven boxes of sleeping pills—remnants of a night she wanted to forget—to see if they had any effect. She wondered, if she could just slip back into that coma, would Hunter forget all the horrible things she’d done? Would he kiss her back to life again and start over—if his kiss was even what broke her curse in the first place?
If it wasn’t for her children, she’d have nothing to lose in trying. But in addition to being a selfish, cheating wife, she was also responsible for two amazing little humans. She needed to keep it together to greet Morning when she came home from her sleepover, and to treat Day’s bloody elbows when he returned from his. She had to lie through an excruciating smile when they asked where Daddy was. She had to make sure they felt safe, secure, and loved. And she had to accept that if they didn’t feel this way, it was entirely her fault.
Another ping rang out. Louder this time. The front door clicked shut.
Dawn sprung off the floor immediately, her knees taking the grooves between the tiles with them. With that one sound, all of the questions she’d had seconds earlier—where had he been? who was he with? did he still love her?—scattered off screen.
Her feet came to an abrupt halt the moment she clapped eyes on him, but the rest of her body kept trying to lunge forward. “You’re back,” she chirped, arms still swinging.
Hunter was standing beside the fridge, catching cold, filtered water in a glass. She thought she might have seen his head nod about half an inch. It was a start.
The final chapter in the Amazon #1 bestselling Desperately Ever After series (women’s fiction fantasy, women’s fiction humor, and paranormal fantasy). Says New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Evanovich: “Laura Kenyon makes happily ever after desperately delicious!”
Buy the Book:
Buy the previous Books:
99-cent Kindle Countdown Sale on Desperately Ever After (Book One) from November 7-11.
99-cent Kindle Countdown Sale on Desperately Ever After (Book One) from November 7-11.
Pre-order a copy of Skipping Midnight between now and November 15, and you could win one of two enchanting prize packages inspired by the Desperately Ever After series!
Prize Pack 1
A signed paperback copy of all three novels in the series: Desperately Ever After (Book One), Damsels in Distress (Book Two), and Skipping Midnight (Book Three)
A snazzy memory box to ship it all in 😉
Prize Pack 2
This fantastic set of six wine charms, handcrafted by Etsy artist Sarah VandenBrink (specifically for this giveaway!) and representing each of the six main characters: Belle, Rapunzel, Dawn, Penelopea, Snow White, and Cinderella
To enter, please e-mail your proof of purchase (a screenshot will do) to laura (at) laurakenyon (dot) com by midnight November 15, 2016. Be sure to include your mailing address so you’re entered into the right contest(s). One winner will be selected via random drawing for each giveaway on November 16. Good luck!
Pre-order link: http://amzn.to/2dKeH5g
About the Author:
LAURA KENYON is an award-winning journalist and the author of three novels, Desperately Ever After, Damsels in Distress, and Skipping Midnight. Her stories and articles have appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, and online publications. The Boston College graduate does not live in a castle, but has been blessed with a heroic prince charming, two beautiful princesses, and a noble steed.
To learn more about Laura, visit her website at www.laurakenyon.com and sign up forexclusive updates. She also loves connecting with readers on her blog, Twitter, andFacebook. And for a peek at how she envisions Marestam, check out her Desperately Ever After board on Pinterest.
Visit all the Tour Hosts Participating:
Book Lover in Florida – Book Excerpt/Promo
Rae Reads – Guest Post/Promo
Hello…Chick Lit – Book Excerpt/Promo
These Words: A Blog – Guest Post
Blog on the Run – Guest Post
Authors & Readers Book Corner – Book Excerpt
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