Sunday, 17 July 2011

FROSTFIRE TEASER #2

Hello, dear readers! Today I propose to tantalise you with a snippet of my fourth book, FrostFire, which is currently in edits with Wonder Editor (otherwise known as Mistress of Awesome, She Who Must be Obeyed, or sometimes just Annalie). As a quick reminder, FrostFire is a companion novel to Daughter of the Flames, set in Ruan but featuring a completely different cast of characters.

As always, any teasers posted here prior to the final proof-read are subject to changes both large and small, and may even end up on the cutting room floor. So enjoy it while you can. And tell me what you think!

*****

Luca strode ahead of me. By the time that I, carefully carrying my axe, had reached the tent, Luca had already lit two lamps inside and was rummaging in the chest at the foot of his bed. I laid my axe carefully on my pile of furs. When I turned, I saw that Luca had laid a drying cloth on the floor next to the low table, and had a brush in his hand. The brush had fine white bristles and the back of it was silver. Such an item had never been near my shaggy mess of hair before.
“This will get the dust out,” he promised. “Come sit on the cloth, and that way it won’t get all over the rugs.”
I smiled as I went to sit cross legged on the edge of the towel.
“What?”
“Nothing. Only...sometimes you can be a little...m-motherly.”
There was a long pause. I glanced over my shoulder at him. He was still by the bed, mouth hanging open.
“Motherly?” he repeated. I couldn’t tell from if his voice if he was angry or just shocked. I shrugged, taking a little petty satisfaction in having wrong-footed him for once.
“Sometimes. Can I have the brush now?”
“No,” he almost snapped, coming to kneel behind me. “You can’t see where the dust is.”
A tiny laugh escaped my lips. I put my hand over my mouth. After a second I heard him laugh too, if reluctantly.
“Any more jokes like that and I’ll make you go and dunk in the river again – and it’s cold at this time of night, believe me. Here, hold this.”
He shoved the brush at me over my shoulder, and as I fumbled to catch it I felt a quick series of tugs at my hair. My braid uncoiled from around my head, falling down my back with a puff of rock dust.
“How do you know how to do that?” I demanded.
“How do you think? My hair’s longer than yours. I pin it under my helm all the time. Give me the brush now, and no funny comments, please.”
He tugged the tie from the end of the braid. Feeling him comb gently through the long wriggles of hair with his fingers, I abruptly lost the urge to tease. My breath left me in a long, shuddering sigh. Goosepimples sprang up on my skin. Mortified, I pressed my lips together and prayed this would be over soon.
“Lean back,” he murmured, tilting my head. His fingertips brushed the curve of my ear. My teeth bit into my lip.
The brush made a soft shushing noise as he ran it through the thick, fluffy layers of my hair, parting it gently to get at all the dust. I felt myself slumping back further towards him – I couldn’t help it – and put out a hand to steady myself. My palm landed on his leg, stretched out beside me.
The firm, warm bulge of muscle above his knee tensed under my fingers. The brush paused in mid-stroke. I froze.

21 comments:

Ashley said...

AHHHH!!! OH MY GOODNESS! OH MY GOODNESS!! I WANT TO READ THIS NOW!! WHY MUST YOU TEASE ME SO?!?!?! I love you. Did you know that? No? Really... You missed that? Well.. Then... I do... Love you that is. I want this book like NOW!! LOVE! :D

Zoë Marriott said...

This time next year, honey! Thank you for your enthusiasm :)

whispering words said...

WOW zoe this sounds amazing! Thats such an OMG what happens next scene! Sigh ... a year is so far away, *looks longingly into the future* I Know you will make it worth the wait. Big fan of your books!

Zoë Marriott said...

Thank you, Whispering!

A.J. Mullarky said...

Hooray! Can't wait, it looks like it's going to be very good :)

Eafiu said...

I just grinned and giggled all way through. Are we allowed to hug them, because I just want to hug them! :D Can't wait!

By the way, I've read The Swan Kingdom, it arrived 2 weeks early to my surprise. I read it in one sitting -minus meals, I can't read when I'm eating... When I finish my Harry Potter marathon, I think I'm going to read it again. :D

Megha said...

SO. GREAT!

I totally can't WAIT for FF to be published. Your writing is so awesome.

Zoë Marriott said...

Thanks, Alex :)

Eafiu: Yes, you can hug them. And I'm really glad to hear that you liked TSK so much. I hope you enjoy it as much on the second read!

Megha: Heee! Thanks!

Megha said...

Zoe, Zoe, Zoe!

Lookie!

My wonderful friend Steph made a signature/banner for me and in each letter, there are my favourite authors. AND YOU'RE IN THE H!

Link: http://i876.photobucket.com/albums/ab329/StephGetsThePicture/xmeghax.png

Zoë Marriott said...

Megha, that is awesome sauce made with a side order of awesome. Lucky you!

Isabel said...

ARGGGGH. TEASE TEASE TEASE! After reading this my sister said, "You know what? When I grow up, I want to be a publisher. So I can read all these books before they get published and make SURE books like these get published, since there's so much crap out there." Hahaha!! Seriously, though, Zoe, this was SO INTENSE. I want to read MOARRRRR!!!!!!!! Dx

Zoë Marriott said...

But being teased is better than not even getting a whiff of the new book, right? Right? And your sister's comment made me laugh - I wish I'd thought of that! I could have become an editor!

Isabel said...

Zoe: Haha! I'm very glad you posted the teaser, but I wish I could read it right NOW! :-(

Phoenixgirl said...

Zo: Ooohh... the actions are perfectly ordinary, but I can feel the sensual tension all through it! I hope it stays.

Megha: Cool signature! Who are the authors in the other letters?

Raimy-rawr said...

why? why?! WHY?!
I want to read the rest now! you're just mean! :P

Zoë Marriott said...

Phoenix: I hope so too! It's a fave.

Raimy: I thought I was being NICE! Fine then - no more teasers. *Seals FF away*

Isabel said...

No. No! NOO! WHATTT?!?!?!?!

Zoe, we love you. PLEASE POST MORE TEASERS!!! *sobs*

Zoë Marriott said...

Isabel: LOL - calm down! I was only winding Raimy up. There will be more teasers, never fear.

Isabel said...

*sigh* Thank goodness! ;-)

cssbookluvver said...

This sounds awesome Zoe! I love the book trailer too.

Zoë Marriott said...

Thank you, Cssbookluvver!

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