Hello, and happy Thursday, dear muffins! It's nearly Friday, so hang in there - we can make it together.
Today I bring you a link to the lovely Writing From the Tub website where I did my guest post as part of the UKYAX Blog Tour. Here's the schedule in case you wanted to catch up with all the posts and follow them in the future:
My post on Carly's blog is chock-full of recommendations for amazing books written by UKYA authors, so check it out if your TBR pile is looking a little low or you're taking part in the UKYA Challenge this year. You won't regret it!
In other news, this week I'm reaching the end of my first edit (with my editor) on Barefoot on the Wind (otherwise known as #BaBBook) and am still just loving this book so, so much. I want to wrap it in snuggly hugs forever because it's the Beauty and the Beast retelling I always wanted. I'm just really hoping that everyone else likes it as much as I do! I have some news relating to this book that I'm not allowed to share yet, which is also pretty exciting (not that exciting - lower your expectations, no film deals are in the offing) but I'll tell you about it as soon as I can.
To tide you over, there's a snippet from the current version of the ms under the cut - subject to change as always!
Deeper into the woods and the shadows I went, with the trees closing in around me and their branches interlocking over my head until even my night vision almost failed, and I walked face-first into low boughs, and thin, whippy twigs that lashed my skin. The mountainside began to feel like a great, alien intelligence, unloving and unknowable, seeking to slow me or even turn me back. Yet through it all the soft whispering voices of my friends the trees called me on:
Turn now. Turn.
My steps came slower and heavier, tiredness causing me to trip and falter. I had no idea where I was on the mountain anymore, or of the way back, if there was one. I knew I must have been walking a long time, hours and hours, though there was no burning candle nor sight of the circling stars to tell me how long. If I had entered the forest on a normal morning and simply walked straight, I was sure I would have encountered the wall of strange dark pines by now. A dreadful suspicion that the trees – whether well-meaning or malicious – were sending me deliberately in circles, caused my stomach to turn over.
“Is this the right way?” The words were panted more than spoken as I stopped to lean wearily against a young larch, wiping my forearm across my face. I licked my lips and found them dry and beginning to crack. I tasted my own sweat on them, and the metallic tang of blood too.
Look up, the trees replied.
Look ahead. Look behind.
I lifted my gaze from my feet, where it had fixed naturally after the second or third time my toe caught in a root and almost sent me sprawling, and glanced over my shoulder. Very little of whatever weak starlight gleamed above penetrated these shadows, and I had to squint, blinking rapidly, to make out my surroundings. The trees had called me upward, and I had been aware that I was climbing for a while without really thinking about it. Now I realised that I stood at the top of a ridge, and – with a shock that brought me fully awake, set blood to tingling and heart pattering – that I could see the distinct, foreboding line of closely growing evergreens at the bottom of that slope... several hundred yards behind me.
I had passed into the dark wood without even knowing it.
Slowly I turned to look at the forest ahead. Was it my imagination that the trees were wider, taller – that their twisted trunks and low-hanging boughs seemed more shadowy still than the ones I had left behind? I could not see what lay beyond them. I could barely see a thing.
A great, rolling rush of wind moved through the wood, and the trees – the trees of the dark wood! – spoke to me again: There is a monster in the forest.
What do you think, Dear Readers? Let me know in the comments!