May 11, 2013

The Forgotten Ones Blog Tour: Excerpt & Giveaway

The Forgotten Ones (The Danaan Trilogy #1)
Author: Laura Howard
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: April 30, 2013


Allison O'Malley's plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she's been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison's mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.

Chapter 1

I rounded the corner of our farmers’ porch, and caught a glimpse of my mother staring out the den window. She held her violin loosely under her chin and the bow dangled from her fingertips.
Her jaw was slack. Her eyes locked on something in the trees beyond me. I froze. I knew that
haunted expression.
I swallowed hard as her eyes shifted to me. The violin fell from her chin and I could see the
trembling in her bottom lip.
I should have been used to her reaction when she saw me during an episode.
But I wasn’t.
I flew into the house as fast as my feet would carry me. The screen door crashed behind me as I came to a halt outside the den. My mother clutched fistfuls of her blonde hair, garbled words spilling from her lips.
“I have to. I have to go out there,” she said. “He’s waiting for me.”
The lights were off and the only other sound was the hum of the ceiling fan. I squeezed the door jamb as I watched my grandmother approach her. She placed her hands on my mother’s shoulders. On contact, my mother’s body stopped quaking. Gram crooned, rocking her back and forth as she pulled her into her arms and led her away from the window.
My stomach tightened, and I backed away to leave them alone.
My mother had just started to calm down when the floor under me creaked. She jerked her head in my direction. Her eyes widened when she saw me and she began shaking again. Breaking away from my grandmother, she stumbled back toward the window.
She raked her fingers down her face and hair as she moaned, “Liam.” Tears streamed down her cheeks, causing thick strands of hair to stick to her face.
I entered the room slowly, desperate not to step on another squeaky floorboard. Her green eyes burned into mine, but I would not look away. No matter how many times she fought my attempts to soothe her, I had to keep trying.
I reached for her shoulders.
She flinched. I knew she recognized me. I’d never met my father, but under my mattress I hid the only scrap I could find with his image. The picture, a strip of them really, was taken before I was born in a photo booth in Ireland. My gut told me that when she was like this, she saw my father in me.
She resumed writhing and clawing at my hands. Gurgling sounds came from somewhere deep in her throat, but I knew she was still saying my father's name.
I placed my hands gently over hers, my gaze steady, as though approaching a wounded animal. I took deep, soothing breaths the way Gram had shown me.
I could feel the weight of Gram's stare, watching for my mother’s reaction. I had to prove that I could do this. To Gram and to myself.
“Shh, you’re okay,” I repeated over and over, until her breathing became even, more normal.
“You’re okay.”
It felt like hours, but at last the tension in her fingers loosened as she stopped trying to resist me.
My grandmother walked slowly out of the room. I continued to make shushing sounds until the panic in my mother's eyes faded.
I exhaled and led her to sit on the couch. The same woman who had just been in the throes of a schizophrenic episode was now completely unresponsive.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Gram standing just outside the doorway. I released my mother's hands and got up to follow Gram down the hallway to the kitchen. She smelled like oranges and cloves – familiar and comforting.
I opened the refrigerator to find a bottle of water and slouched down at the kitchen table.
I tried to smile as I unscrewed the cap of my water bottle. Inside I was struggling with the
gratification of being able to bring my mother down from her episode versus the pang of guilt for being the one who caused her condition in the first place. Before I was born, she’d been a bright, happy college student. I blamed myself for her spiral into schizophrenia, whether it was rational or not.
My parents met during my mother’s final year of college. She had traveled to Ireland for her last semester to study music at Trinity College in Dublin. She came back heartbroken and pregnant.
She’d never been the same since.
“Have you eaten, honey?” Gram asked, nailing me in place with her eyes.
I flipped the bottle cap in my fingers. “No, but I'm fine.”
“Oh, no you don't. We had a nice steak for supper, cooked just the way you like. You'll have
some, won't you?”
I had to laugh, because with Gram there was no choice. I sat down at the table while she whirled around the kitchen. In minutes I had a steak dinner complete with steaming mashed potatoes and green beans in front of me.
“You spoil me, you know,” I said between bites. “I'm never going to be able to take care of
myself if you keep this up.”
Gram smiled at me. “You'll have plenty of time to take care of yourself. Let me spoil you while I still can.”
I swallowed down the guilt, knowing she didn't see raising me for the past almost twenty-two
years as a burden. But I couldn't help the feeling.
As I ate, my mother walked into the kitchen. She sat down at the table quietly without looking at either of us.
“Hi, Mom.” I spoke as softly as I could, so I didn't alarm her.
“Hello.” She spoke in barely more than a whisper, chewing on her fingernail and staring absently out the window. Even with her hair framing her face in knots, my mother looked lovely. Her eyes were sage green and her skin was flawless. She was forty-three, but didn't look a day over thirty.
“That was a beautiful tune you played earlier, Beth.” Gram said as she took my mother's hands in her own. “I could practically smell the breeze blowing in off the Irish sea.”
“Mm hmm,” my mother answered, mostly detached, but a tiny smile lifted the corner of her
My cell phone buzzed in my pocket. I opened it to find a message from my cousin, Nicole.
I need ice cream tonight
I laughed as I put my phone back into my pocket. I’d worked all afternoon at my grandfather’s hardware store. But it was Friday night – I should’ve known I wouldn’t be able to just relax with a good book. Nicole was twenty, one year younger than me, and we were as close as sisters. But our ideas of a perfect Friday night were very different.
I glanced out the window to Nicole’s driveway. When I’d gotten home, it had been full of the
cars of her friends. I was grateful to only see her little Jetta. Hanging out with Nicole I could
Her friends were a different story. Especially when that included Ethan Magliaro.

Laura Howard lives in New Hampshire with her husband and four children. Her obsession with books began at the age of 6 when she got her first library card. Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and other girly novels were routinely devoured in single sittings. Books took a backseat to diapers when she had her first child. It wasn’t until the release of a little novel called Twilight, 8 years later, that she rediscovered her love of fiction. Soon after, her own characters began to make themselves known. The Forgotten Ones is her first published novel.

Official Links: | @laurahoward78

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  1. That was a heavy beginning and I can already feel that sense of grief and loss and gaah!! That was such an emotionally intense chapter, can't wait to see how the rest of the book will turn out to be, thank you for sharing!!

    Alicia @ Summer Next Top Story

  2. Ooh this sounds really good, very emotional. Thanks for the post!