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Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Blood Moon Dance - sneak peek

Blood Moon Dance is a short novella set in the WolfSong universe.  It follows the events in WolfSong, and concerns Amber and Jadah getting caught up in a little bit of murder and intrigue in a village on their way out of the Crescent. 

It should be up on Amazon over the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime, here's an excerpt to whet your appetite.

The usual caveats apply - things may change on the final edit, and strong language is definitely involved. The scene below is from the second chapter, where Amber gets to meet a family of werewolves. Tension and hi-jinks commence.

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“Welcome to my house, hawk,” Grandmother said. “Make yourself comfortable.”
Amber perched casually on the edge of a stool with her back against a wall. “You have a lovely home,” she said.
“Thank you. Although I regret that our hospitality has been somewhat lacking so far.”
“May I speak plainly?” Amber asked, and watched the woman’s eyes veil.
“You may.” The werewolf jerked her head at Kier, who stepped back out into the passage.
Amber leaned forward and folded her hands over the top of her knee. “I don’t harm children. I don’t kill unless it’s necessary, and I especially don’t kill people just because they’re afraid of me. But I’m guessing you knew that already.”
Grandmother said nothing.
“Are we doing with the tests?” Amber asked quietly. “You sent your lad to ask for aid, so you knew cursed well what I am. I’m not interested in a pissing match with an alpha.”
Grandmother blinked.
“So tell me, before we move onto other things, why you put a child with a bow that’s too big and heavy for her into your pantry, with her sire in a room I was about to walk through, and told her how big and bad and scary I am?” She felt her hair lift and stir and didn’t fight it. Some of the stories were true, and she was annoyed right now. Not truly angry, or there would have been blood on the floor right now, but she was hot and sweaty and tired, and she had no interest in proving herself here. She’d done her time on the battlefield.
Grandmother sighed. “There is a story that we heard, here on the edge of the Crescent. It tells of a hawk who slew her mate because he was infected with the wolf virus.” She watched Amber carefully. “Then there is a second story. It tells of a hawk who welcomed a wolf into her squad, and fought by his side when his own kind disowned him. And both these stories have been added to recently, and the bards have mentioned that the hawk now travels through the world.”
“The world is a great deal bigger than the Crescent,” Amber told her.  “And the average bard is so full of shit they squeak turning corners.”
The werewolf watched her with those half-closed eyes and waited. Amber sighed, and felt her hair subside.
“Why a spatula?” she asked.
“What?”
“Why a spatula? Sam was in a kitchen full of knives, heavy pots, and a bunch of other stuff. Why was he holding a spatula? Tell me, and I’ll tell you which version of the tale is true.”
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For a bit of background, although I've been working on the full-length follow-up to WolfSong, this little story was originally triggered by the anthology theme I was invited to submit to. (Check it out here on Indiegogo - we have funky videos and everything.) I ended up writing the first draft on my phone on the way to and from work (free word apps; gotta love 'em) and then of course, it ended up being way, waaaay too long. But I liked it, and it just kept going, so it's ended up hitting novella status instead of the 3K mark. I can live with that - and there are worse ways to spend the daily commute in London.