Monday, 4 October 2010


Hello, hello, hello, dear readers!

Today I offer you another tiny teaser from Shadows on the Moon. Everyone seems so excited about this book that I've decided post snippets as often as I can - maybe every couple of months or so - given that the release isn't for another ten months. The snippets won't be in chronological order and they'll be short because I don't want to spoil anything. Turns out it's really HARD to find interesting exerpts that make sense on their own but don't give the plot away. Who knew?

Anywhere, follow the cut to find the teaser. Tell me what you think!

It was the wrong thing to do. I knew it, even as instinct moved me. My brain screamed at me to be still, but my legs reacted before I gave them leave, pushing me out from under the table and turning me to the door. I had no choice.
He would follow. I knew it. Terayama-san was a hunter, and from the moment he had seen me on the other side of that screen, I was his prey.
He would chase me.
He would catch me.
He would never stop until I was dead.
He was shouting, telling Mai to stay in the room. I cleared the doorway and was halfway down the corridor before he finished. The corridor was dark; the lamps had not yet been lit. My sock-clad feet made no sound on the tatami mats, but my long sleeves flapped with the movement of my arms, making a noise like the frantic beating of trapped birds wings.
The outer screen slammed shut behind me and footfalls thundered through the floor. It was like being in a dream, except that I was sweating, my heart jumping with fear. No nightmare had ever terrified me like this.
I rounded the corner and flung myself into an alcove, tucking my body into the gap between wall and a tall arrangement of spiny black branches and white flowers.
I reached for the threads of an illusion – a familiar one – of shadows and nothingness. Frantically I wrapped it around myself, weaving it so thickly that my own vision went dim and grey. It was clumsy, but I did not have time to pick it apart and begin again.
Terayama-san came into sight, his posture tense and ready, leaning forward as if in anticipation. He did not hold a weapon. Not yet. There at the corner, not a full arm's reach from me, he stopped. His eyes searched the corridor ahead, and then he turned back to look behind him.
“I know you're here. Come out.”
The gentle coaxing tone, the way his hands flexed and clenched, sent a sickening quiver through me. I bit down on my lip to hold in the whimper that wanted to escape.
“Little Suzu-chan, don't hide. Answer me. I don't want to get angry with you.”
He turned, his gaze tracking slowly over the twilight shadows of the corridor.
I had used this weaving a dozen times and no one had ever pierced it. No one. He could not find me, because I was not there to be found.
Why didn't he walk away?
Why did he stand there still?
People see what they wish to see.
Terayama-san knew me. He knew my smell, the sound of my breathing, the feel of my presence. He knew I must be somewhere in this corridor. People saw what they wished to see – and right now, Terayama-san wished to see me.
His gaze came back to the alcove. The little space where the shadows were ever so slightly too dense, and the flower arrangement was ever so slightly askew. The only place within sight where a small, frightened girl might be able to duck out of sight.


Nattasha said...

OOHHHH this is so class I so can't wait to read the book thanks for this :)

Zoë Marriott said...

You're very welcome. But now that I've posted this, LOADS of mistakes are jumping out at me - thank God I've still got the copyedit to go, and can hopefully fix most of them!

Nattasha said...

Aww lol good luck, still I think it's Awesome

Isabel said...

This is SO good, Zoe!!!
I feel like I know your characters already, and I've hardly even met them! I thought nothing could get better than Daughter of the Flames, but it seems it may turn out I was wrong. I am absolutely DIEING over here, and I am in the U.S.!! :( How am I going to survive the wait? Is there some way I can lay hands on this book before it comes out here, because this is killing me. Really.

Well, anyway, completely off topic, but right now I am thoroughly engrossed in a trilogy by Cinda Williams Chima called The Demon King. Have you read it? If not, I highly suggest it. I just got a copy of the second in the series called The Exiled Queen, and I am in heaven.
It might be something you enjoy.

Zoë Marriott said...

Thank you, Isabel. If you really want to get hold of it in July when it comes out in the UK you can always order the UK version through Amazon. I recently ordered the American versions of Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver books (they're so much prettier) and the postage costs weren't *too* bad. I know it's hard to wait, believe me. If it was up to me it would come out everywhere at the same time.

I think I've heard of those books - I read a really good review for The Exiled Queen somewhere. When I finish work on FrostFire I'll be looking for lots of good books to read, so I'll keep those in mind, thanks.

bfree15 said...

Another great snippet Zoe!
Ohhh I felt like I was a fly on the wall through out that scene. I could feel shivers crawl down my spine at the end as the tension reached it's climax and I watched Terayama-san turn towards the alcove again.
I literally cannot wait for this to be released. We have all been waiting to long for this book to come out, even before you had written it.

Zoë Marriott said...

Thanks. It's true - it really HAS been a long wait. I'll be putting a copy in the UK Blog Tour in the New Year, so any book bloggers will have a chance to get hold of it that way, and I'll be giving an ARC away after Christmas too. Other than that, all I can do to make the wait shorter is post these snippets. Sorry!

Cass (Words on Paper) said...

I really can't wait to read this one! I really love Japanese-themed/influenced stories/culture/music/etc, and so I'm really hoping that your novel encapsulates the essence of Japanese society. The teaser is brilliant. I'm loving all the little snippets you've been leaving us with along the way, Zoë. Your writing has a certain simple eloquence to it that makes the task of reading long passages on the computer not feel like work, or tedious. I can't wait to have a copy in my hands, as I'm sure I've expressed previously.

You could donate a copy to the Good Golly Miss Holly ARC tours so that the rest of the world can be blessed with your book (well, I'd enter, anyway...)

Zoë Marriott said...

I think that's a really good idea, Cass - now that I know the GGMH ARC tour exists! I'm going to be donating a copy of the book to the UK Blog Tour as well, so it seems only fair to give international bloggers a go too. But I won't be sending ARCS out to be read until the New Year, so I'm afraid you still have to wait for a little while...

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