When psychic Laura Dearborn inherits Stonecross Hall in 1926, she has no idea she’s inheriting a love story too—one that she’s lived again and again. But as Alaric Storm III, the handsome owner of the mansion from sixty years earlier, starts to haunt her waking dreams, Laura discovers her heart’s true home has always been within Stonecross’s walls.
Tormented by memories of war, Alaric Storm III is used to spirits—just not ones from the future. Set on fire by Laura’s ghostly affections, Alaric is forced to choose: follow his heart and grasp Laura’s hand through time, or surrender to the call of duty and live without love.
As All Hallows’ Eve draws near, Alaric and Laura must find a way to hold on to each other forever—or risk repeating their tragic romance until the end of time.
“Kelly’s thoughtful debut novella sensitively evokes the horrors of war and the emotional difficulties facing veterans in peacetime, and the atmospheric descriptions of 1920s London and Victorian high society illuminate the temporal and social differences separating the lovers.” (Publishers Weekly )
“A lush Gothic romance nested within a time-traveling ghost story, Midnight in Your Arms is the very best kind of fairytale, an inventive tapestry of the nostalgic and the new that begs to be read into the early hours of the morning. A marvelous debut!” (Michael Boccacino, author of Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling)
Interview with Laura Dearborn and Alaric Storm III, Heroine and Hero of Midnight In Your Arms
Laura, what did you think of Alaric the first time you saw him?
I thought he was a ghost. A really sexy ghost. Mmmm. Either that, or a vagrant living in my house without permission. It was a toss-up, really.
Alaric, I’ll ask you the same question—what did you think of Laura the first time you saw her?
I entertained the notion that she was an escaped madwoman. She wasn’t wearing very many clothes, she had no hat, and her hair was cut very short. If she wasn’t a madwoman, than it was very likely she was a recently released cholera patient. But then I realized that she was far too sexy to be either mad or recently reprieved from death’s door. Naturally, I assumed she was a ghost. From the future. And guess what? I wasn’t far wrong.
Laura, what is your favourite way to celebrate Halloween?
For me, what with all of the tarot readings, palmistry, séances, and deciphering of tea leaves all day long, it’s like Halloween happens every day of the year. So on Halloween, I like to turn off the lights, kick off my shoes, and drink a bottle of wine, hoping the ghosts will knock on someone else’s door for once. Unless the ghost is Alaric. In which case, we find new and interesting ways to, uh….celebrate seasonal corporeality, if you know what I mean…
Yeah, I know what I mean. Say no more. Now Alaric, you were a soldier in the Crimean War. How has that affected your ability to love?
Until I met Laura, I didn’t know what love was. I usually blamed it on the war. But because she too knows what war is and how it hinders people’s ability to feel emotional connections, unlike most of the women of my time period, the war actually helped bring us together, both emotionally and physically. If you know what I mean.
Yes. I know what you mean. This next question is for both of you. If I was to share one moment the two of you shared together with our readers, which one would represent you best?
Alaric: I think you should share the scene when we are first about to be…corporeal together.
Laura: Yes, I agree. If you know what we mean.
Yeah. I really do know what you mean. Are you guys sure?
Alaric: We are
Laura: We hold nothing back from each other, so why should we keep anything from our readers?
Laura gazed about, taking in the rich furnishings and polished furniture. She has seen the room in a wholly different state—musty and filled with dust and rotted silk, the windowpanes broken and the plaster crumbled over everything. Now it was as lovely as a dream, all rose coloured satin and lovely little landscape paintings. A fire was laid in the grate, and Alaric, letting go of her hand without thinking, bent to light it.
Laura’s heart lurched—expecting no doubt to be torn back to her own time, like she had so many times before.
But no such thing happened. She didn’t so much as fluctuate. She was as real here as she was in 1926. Perhaps more so, she thought. Because he is here…That was it, wasn’t it? He was her anchor. If Laura could just hold on to him, she could stay. And perhaps, they could help each other go back and forth. Could they? She didn’t know. But it would be a grand adventure to try it out. Laura didn’t much care which time she landed in, as long as he was there with her. For now she was where she wanted to be—and when. She would hold onto him, and he would pin her in place like a butterfly behind glass.
She watched him as he oversaw the fire, lighting a spill to carry the flame to the sconces that housed fresh tapers. The warm light spilled across the room, dispelling the deepest shadows, unravelling the copper strands that streaked Alaric’s mane of hair. She hadn’t known many men who didn’t shear their hair nearly to the scalp in the back, though in her time they wore whips of longer hair in the front slicked back with brilliantine.
She found there was something so…primal about the sight of an impeccably dressed gentleman who wore his hair thick and long. It was as though he knew he was, deep down, little more than a barely civilized animal who might at any moment forget his manners.
Laura could only hope.
He rose from his knees, though she rather liked the sight of him there, and turned to look at her, his eyes full of fire that was no reflection. Heat flooded her at the sight of his slightly wilted shirt, the buttons gleaming in the candlelight, begging to be undone. His frock coat seemed to billow about him like the raiment of a king. He stood regarding her, his eyes sliding over her body. She wore a new blouse, such a thin, transparent thing—silk the same colour as her skin. It would tear so easily in his hands. She could tell he liked the way her breasts strained at the yoke, the collar unbuttoned far enough that if she bent over, she would expose nearly every inch of her bosom. She longed to take his hands and place them over the wild drum of her heartbeat. She wanted to wrap her legs around him and breathe every breath he took as if it was her own.
She could see by the way his eyes flickered over her, and how his hands moved restlessly at his sides that he felt the same. His chest rose and fell. His throat pulsed above the sedate collar with its dark cravat. He looked like the hero of a nineteenth century novel, tortured by passion and filled with pent-up longing for things he could never ask of a lady.
He wanted her. She could almost taste how much.
She was damned glad she wasn’t a lady.
“Alaric,” she said, in a low, husky voice hardly her own. “Don’t you think it’s time you undressed me?”
Want to get to know Morgan Kelly better? She can be found hanging out at one of her internet homes:
Morgan is offering one digital copy of Midnight in Your Arms to a random commenter. Giveaway ends November 3, 2012 at 11:59 PM EDT.