Monday, December 12, 2011

Ethan from Brightest Kind of Darkness by P. T. Michelle & Giveaway reminder

So excited to talk to Ethan from Brightest Kind of Darkness

"Hey Ethan, thanks for talking to me today at the Central Virginia Animal Shelter (CVAS)."

Ethan stands up from bathing a huge Lab/Rhodesian Ridgeback mixed breed. Shaking his dark hair out of his eyes, he acknowledges her with a brief nod. "Sally said you might come back to check things out." 

The dog suddenly shakes, sending suds everywhere. Quickly gripping the Lab's thick coat to keep him from shaking again, Ethan blows bubbles off his jaw, his expression shuttered. "You probably want to wait up front so you won't get soaked."

Valerie could tell he wanted her anywhere but there. She steps forward with a friendly smile. "No worries, I love dogs. Can I help you with them when we’re done talking?"

"You like dogs?" Ethan’s eyebrows shoot up, curious interest lighting his blue gaze. "If you really want to help..." he hands Valerie the sprayer while he holds the dog's collar. "Now's a good time. He's ready to be sprayed down."

Grasping the handle, Valerie steps close to the dog. "I have two little Dachshund’s. One was a stray and the other I sort of rescued. They are my favorite kind of dog. Do you have a favorite?" She notices that Ethan edges away from her hand when she almost bumped him while running the sprayer across the dog's neck.

Patting the Lab's back, Ethan locks eyes with the dog briefly, his reflecting understanding. "I like all kind of dogs. If my brother would let me bring one home, it would definitely be a rescue. There are so many who need good homes."

Valerie bends to spray the dog's undercoat, then straightens to run the water across his back. "Animals seem like a good choice for you, considering things. I know that my dogs are my stress relief. What is it about animals that help you?"

“A mutual understanding, I guess.” Ethan runs his hand across the dog’s spine, pushing the suds along his back. When the dog arches his back for more rubs, Ethan's lips tilt in a quick smile as he lets go of the dog’s collar to dig both hands into the animal’s fur and skin, giving him a good back massage. “I just get them, and I feel like they understand me in return. It’s like,” he pauses and glances at Valerie, “animals don’t see my flaws. All they see is that I know what they need and they appreciate me for it.” Shrugging, he looks away, mumbling, “People are a lot more complicated and much harder to deal with."

“People can definitely be more complicated," Valerie says as she turns off the sprayer, then sets it back on its holder. "Tell me, the first time you saw Nara...what did you think? Did you notice her? What was going through your mind?"

“Nara?” Ethan smiles broadly for the first time, his entire stance completely relaxing. “Yeah, I noticed her long before she almost slammed into me in the hall that day with the soccer ball.” Grabbing a towel, he begins to rub the dog down. “The first time I saw her, I remember wishing I wasn’t so screwed up. There was just something about her...” he pauses to meet Valerie’s gaze briefly. “She was...arresting.” Resuming the rubdown, he continues, “Then there were her intriguing routines. I wanted to know why she wrote on her hand, and why she pretended she was paying attention in class when it was obvious she didn’t need to. At least, it was obvious to me. She fascinated me. I wanted to get to know her, but I knew she’d never understand me.” A self-deprecating smirk. “ I didn’t even understand me.”

Valerie gives a knowing grin. "Now that you know her better, what’s your impression of Nara?"

Admiration and respect, along with affection swirl in Ethan’s gaze as he grips the damp towel. Straightening, he rubs the back of his hand against the beginnings of scruff on his jaw. “She’s a much deeper, stronger person than I ever imagined, with a kind heart and a compassionate soul. I’m still in awe that she's in my life…” he pauses and darkness shadows his eyes, his jaw hardening. “I don’t like that I’m not in her dreams.”

Valerie nods sympathetically. "But you do live in the present with her. Speaking of the 'here and now'...if you could take Nara on the perfect date, what would it be like?"

Eager anticipation flickers, washing away the turmoil in his eyes. “I’d like to take Nara on a trip. Maybe go on a hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Not like my brother’s 'eight mile hikes', but a leisurely one, so we could see the explosion of fall colors. We'd have a picnic by a waterfall, and then walk through the woods while leaves fall all around us. All I care about it spending time alone with her.”

"I'll bet Nara would love that. You both seem to help each other in many ways. I know that drawing is therapeutic for you. If you could draw anything you wanted, what would it be?"

Undeniable certainty settles on his face. "Nara. Anytime. Anywhere.”

His conviction makes Valerie smile. "Your past is a little hard to talk about but are there any happy memories? How about a first kiss?"

Ethan shoves a hand through his dark hair with a heavy sigh. “The stuff I’ve gone through has pretty much obliterated memories from my past. Though,” he begins as he lowers his hand to his side, “that day after I left Nara's house, I got this flash of a memory of a little girl kissing me on the cheek after she'd shown me how to play with a wooden dancing toy like the one Nara had in her room. I was about ten and she she was nine. That was a happy memory of a first kiss. The problem was...” he pauses, frowning, “it wasn't my memory.”

"Not your memory? Now you've got me intrigued," Valerie says, then spreads her hands wide. "How about wishes? If you could have one wish granted, no questions, what would it be?"

Ethan snorts. “You’re probably expecting my one wish to be that I didn’t have this 'curse of a power'.” A wry smile. “Before I met Nara, that would’ve been true. Not anymore. My ability helped save her. I’ll continue to suffer through it just to I know I’ll be able to help her again if she ever needs me. She means that much to me. So, I guess my wish would be …that I could always keep Nara safe, no matter what.”


M&M or skittles?    M&Ms with peanuts
Soda or coffee?    Soda
Steak or burger?   Burger
Green eyes or brown?    I always thought I was partial to dark green, but light green has suddenly become my favorite color.
Blonde or brunette?   Blonde
Dinner in or out?   Dinner out while surrounded by nature
Mountains or ocean?   No contest...mountains

This question is spoilery so if you want to read the question and answer, highlight the text.

"Can you explain the difference between dealing with your … um… gift before Nara and after?"

“Before Nara, dealing with my gift was like waking up on a bed of nails. Every. Day. After Nara, it was like waking up with a few splinters in my hand. Annoyingly ever-present, but I can almost forget about it when I'm with Nara.”

"Thanks for talking to me today, Ethan. Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?"

“Thanks for your help, Valerie. Maybe you should fill out an application to volunteer at CVAS,” Ethan says with a raised eyebrow. “As for what to tell the readers, I’m determined to figure out what’s going on with my tattoo. I hope you and your readers will stick around to find out too.”

"Now, let’s find some more puppies dogs to walk or bathe. HeeHee"

Ethan smirks. “There’s always a puppy in need of a walk or a bath.”

LOVE, LOVE Ethan.  He's such a tortured soul.  I really enjoyed this book.  Check out my review here.

The Giveaway for an eBook copy of this book is still going on - see below.  

Wondering what Ethan looks like? 
Check out P.T. Michelle's blog today!

I am not compensated for any of the links in this post.


  1. WOW! What a great post! I loved the conversation, Valerie I think you just totally made my evening with this wonderful post :) I'm so excited for this book! I've seen it around a lot and people seem to really love it! :D Can't wait to read it :)

  2. Love the post! Excited to read this book!! Thanks for having the giveaway!!

  3. Eeeek I love Ethan! Wonderful interview this was awesome! xD

    Xpresso Reads

  4. I'm not entering as I already own a copy, but I wanted to say this was a great interview and I loved how it was written. :) And I loved this book so freaking much.