To promote her multiple projects across several genres, particularly the release of Darkness CallsMarjorie M. Liu has created a scavenger hunt of sorts – for a letter that will make you possibly weepy. The first part appeared two weeks ago at Romantic Times, and the second part appeared at Tor.com.
We’re fortunate to host the third exclusive part of the letter, and the final installment will be online at Borders and BN.Com – links to come for the last part.
The letter is from her urban fantasy Hunter Kiss (Ace Books) series. You won’t be able to find it in any of the books – only online here there and everywhere. It’s from the desk of Grant Cooperon to his unborn daughter. Parts I and II are reproduced below, and part III premieres after that.
Should this entice you to buy Liu’s books, lucky for you, there’s plenty to choose from! There’s the Dark Wolverine series co-written with Daniel Way and the special NYX: No Way Home collection, both from Marvel, coming out in the next two weeks, followed by Darkness Calls on June 30 and The Fire King at the end of July.
In addition to the exclusive content, which is below the fold, you can win stuff, too. Woot! Marjorie will be choosing one person from the comments to this thread to receive an iTunes gift certificate. Plus, you can play along in the #DarknessCalls Twitter contest! Enter to win a DARKNESS CALLS themed prize (one per day from June 15-30th: music, signed book, tote, etc.) by tweeting #darknesscalls
And now: the letter from Grant Cooperon to his unborn daughter:
Wait, hold on. If you’re asking, “Who with the what now?” let me share the context Liu provided:
From the Hunter Kiss series:
Long ago there was a war between demons and a race of creatures that created, from human flesh, superhuman warriors who fought their battles, and who eventually imprisoned the demons inside a multi-dimensional prison that, after thousands of years, is finally weakening. Unfortunately, those warriors have all died out, except for one bloodline, which has been protected for thousands of years by five demons who live by day as tattoos, and who peel off their host’s body at night to form a lethal, yet childlike, army.
Passed down from mother to daughter, only the demons decide when the time is right to leave a host. When that happens, when the mother loses their protection, she is murdered by those she hunts. Usually in front of her daughter. Fathers are not talked about, ever. Fathers are never acknowledged. There is no family but mother and daughter—and the demons who protect them.
Maxine changes everything, in more ways that one. She’s fallen in love with a former priest whose secrets are almost as terrible as her own. Grant can alter the nature of a human—or demonic—soul with nothing but his voice, and he’s been using that gift to help others, to make the world a better place. Maxine and Grant are determined not to lose each other, no matter what—no matter who comes for them. But there’s a lot of uncertainty in their lives, and risk.
One day Maxine will have a daughter. Grant hopes—and believes—that he will be the father. And this is a letter to that unborn child, a way for him to be with his little girl. Just in case the worst happens. Just in case he never gets to meet her. He wants her to know she’s loved.
And now, it’s letter time:
To my darling daughter,
You do not know me. Maybe you never will. You do not exist yet, but you are coming. You are part of me already.
I am going to be your father.
Maybe that is presumptuous of me, but in this I can be bold. I have no alternative left but certainty. I love your mother. I will always love her. Not with blind eyes, but with truth.
Because I can see her soul.
A long story, another letter. Maybe you will have the same gift. Maybe it would be better if you did not. It can be a burden, knowing the truth about people. Always seeing the truth, and the darkness.
You learn about yourself when you see the darkness. You learn what you can tolerate and what you can forgive, and what you cannot. You learn how dark your own heart is when you see the darkness in others, and you learn how strong your light can be, when confronted with the endlessness of human suffering. Everyone, baby, feels alone. Everyone aches for kindness.
Your mother is kind, though she would deny it. She would be embarrassed. But she is kind, and against the odds, sweet—and she is filled with that rarest form of compassion, a sympathy for the suffering of others demonstrated only by saints, and the fearless.
Don’t mistake me: Your mother is not fearless. But she is brave. Never doubt it. Your mother cannot walk away. You understand, baby? Your mother, when she sees something wrong, cannot walk away. No matter what. No matter who stands in her path, no matter how much she might want to. Your mother’s heart is relentless.
So let me tell you about your mother, because no one else will, certainly not her. She will never say these things out loud. Not because she doesn’t love you—because she will love you, she does love you, she will fight for you and die for you, and be your friend past death. But she will not tell you about herself—her real self—because she will never believe that there is anything worth telling. Because she does not see herself as I see her. Your mother is too close to her own life, as we all are too close to ourselves, but her burden is unique—and she is blinded by it, and the hard choices she has had to make.
Your mother saved my life. She might tell you that, I suppose. She saved me from being murdered, but that’s a story for another time. What I want to tell you is that she saved me, in more ways than one.
I was so alone.
More alone than I realized. A man like me, a woman like your mother, must wear masks, tell lies. As will you.
But you cannot be with someone, hoping for love, and live that lie. Truth may not bind two hearts, baby, but it is one of the legs that love stands upon. Especially for people like us, where too much is at stake.
You don’t need to be told what’s at stake. You’ll know by the time you read this letter. We’ll have taught you, prepared you—sheltered you as best we can, when we can, for as long as we can. And maybe, by that time, things will have changed. Perhaps the stakes won’t be as high. Possibly, hopefully.
But no matter where you find yourself, make this a letter to your life: an ode, a reminder. Because there will be bad moments, times when you lose your mind, your sense of self to the world, to this existence beyond your skin. You will never suffer the raging quiet, but will always move inside your mind, down those labyrinths; and you will imagine yourself lost, sometimes.
Do not be lost. No matter what pressures come to bear upon you, they are not the end of you, and they are nothing in time. Even you are nothing in time, in the scope of time, but a footprint, a soul print, an opportunity given, for a moment, to be a burning light.
The rest of Grant’s letter will appear online next week – and remember if you leave a comment, you’re entered to win a gift card to iTunes from Marjorie M. Liu.