Friday, 31 July 2015


Woohoo, happy Friday muffins! You made it, and the week is so, so nearly over. Here are three pieces of good news to speed you onto the weekend:

1) Today's blogpost is a juicy, spoilerific deleted scene from THE NAME OF THE BLADE which has never been released before and is being hosted exclusively by the lovely Beth at The Reader's Corner. Run over there now and check it out! I promise it's worth it :) *Hint hint*

2) The FRAIL HUMAN HEART Blogtour will be continuing over the weekend, with two more juicy deleted scenes, one on Saturday and one on Sunday - and there are still more posts set for next week! I will carry on posting the links for you here so you need have no fear you'll miss anything.

3) For those of you who are fans of my movie live-snarking, here's some advance warning that I'll be watching and tweeting about X-Men: First Class today - Friday - at 9pm. The film is showing on Film Four, but if you have the DVD you can always pop that in and sync up. Everytime I spontaneously live-tweet a film people say 'I wish I'd known you'd be doing this!' so here I am, responding to popular demand.

In other stuff, I've had one new review on the Frail Human Heart page on Amazon, and a couple of others have popped up on the other books of the trilogy, which I appreciate very much. But the offer of a special secret prize related to the trilogy is still open, so if you're interested in that, now is a good time to nip over there and leave a review - an honest review! - so I can put your name on the list of people who will be in with a chance to win.

And now, a quick snippet for you from one of my two current WIPs.

I'm not actively working on either of these because I'm still waiting for my publisher to hint at me which - if either - they're likely to offer a contract for, and also because I'm expecting my #BaBBook (that's Barefoot on the Wind!) edits back any day now. I think most of you know about my Mulan retelling but I'm also working on another project, which I'm mostly describing as - Downton Abbey meets Outlander, by way of Rebecca. And this second book is the one I'm quoting from today (in completely rough, first draft, unpolished, subject-to-change form of course)!

Here goes:

The opaque, jagged black sea seethed beneath a delicately pink-flushed sky. Long vertical drifts of cloud, soft grey, were limned with the fiery glow of the rising sun. The headland was a mist shrouded blue-grey shape curving at what seemed like an impossible distance across the surging water, as it it were a half imagined faery land that might evaporate or sink down into the waves with the coming of dawn.

But as the orange ball of the sun continued its steady rise up through the ragged clouds, the whole character of the water began slowly to change, gradually smoothing and paling, until it resembled a long roll of gleaming silver silk, tinted with the warm colours of the sky, that I could have stepped out onto and walked across, and feel ripple, warm and flexible, under the bare soles of my feet. The forested cliffs firmed in my sight, swimming into reality, and the mist that hovered around them lit with gold. The unmistakable, jigsaw puzzle shapes of the ruined castle on the hill loomed up like giant sentinels, looking down sternly on the bay.

Something panged inside me, and I felt my mood shifting, brought down by a vague but strong sense of... what? Unease? A sort of wrongness, like waking from a dream that you were someone else, and for a moment still feeling that it must be real, even though your true memories and life were already forcing their way back in your awareness.

The shape of the ruins was wrong.

My eyes instinctively wanted to trace a different shape, a more symmetrical silhouette, placing turrets and ramparts against the streaked, glowing mists that no longer existed there, mentally rebuilding walls where the walls had clearly fallen down long ago. It was as if some part of me had expected to see the old castle as it had been before. Before the place had.... Before... Before I ever came here.

A chill shivered over the vulnerable skin of my neck and I wrapped my arms around myself, hugging my own chest tightly, digging my nails into the thick nubby wool of my jumper. It didn't help. For the first time I was aware of the cold breathing off the dense, lichen-pocked stone of the sea wall where I sat, seeping through the fabric of my jeans. Hopping down, I forced my eyes away from the inexplicably distressing ancient black ruin to look up at the town instead, spilling down the hillside above me. 

It was a pretty sight - everything was pink and gold, and I could already smell the tempting bready scents of someone baking carried on the mild spring breeze. Maybe it was even Belle - her shop couldn't be far away from here.

When the goosepimples stubbornly stayed, prickling on my skin, a couple of tugs on my hairband sent my hair tumbling down in wild, kinky curls around my shoulders. I shook my head and fluffed it with my fingers. The familiar warm tickle against my nape banished the anxious, alien feelings as much as the reassuring sight of the brightly painted houses hugging the curve of the bay and the buttery warm smell of freshly baked croissants.

Those croissants did smell awfully good, though...

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