FALLING TO ASH – Snippet and Early Giveaway

Dame Kaz

Hey there, loyal readers and fellow writers! Long time, no post. I am a very bad Dame. In order to make up for my lack of recent blogging – and perhaps to lift my post-Olympics gloom – I decided to celebrate the fact that my next novel will be out in a little over a month! How cool is that? (You don’t need to answer. I already know it’s cool, because my mum told me it is. ;))

FALLING TO ASH is the first in a new series about teen vampire Marie ‘Moth’ O’Neal. She already has a (very) small following, thanks to the short story (of the same name) that was published way back in 2009. Since that time, I’ve gotten to know Moth a lot better, and have integrated some changes into her world and background. My publisher for this novel, Random House UK, are going to be re-releasing the short story – with some edits and tweaks to continuity, made by Yours Truly – shortly before FALLING TO ASH goes out into the world on 27th September, 2012. The novel, though, is a completely different full-length tale and should stand alone from the short ‘prequel’.

By the way, do stick around to the end of the post for an early giveaway…

Here’s the UK cover:

And you can see the final Australian cover in this photo (sent to me by the fabulous Adiba Oemar from RH Australia):

So far, the book will only be published in the UK and Australia/New Zealand, but of course you’ll be able to get your hands on a copy (presumably the UK edition) via The Book Depository if you’re elsewhere in the world. My UK publisher also holds the US rights (these things confuse me too, trust me…), so hopefully they’ll sell them on to a US publisher at some point in the future. *makes a wish*

Here’s what it’s about:

You can’t choose your family …living or dead.

Trapped between two very different worlds, newly made vampire Moth is struggling to find her place in either. Not only does she have to answer to her strict Irish-Catholic family, but her over-protective Maker, Theo, is intent on making her the star attraction in his powerful Boston vampire clan. Moth will have to pull off the double-act of the century to please both of them…

Adding to her problems is the dangerously attractive Jason Murdoch, a trainee vampire hunter who loves to play cat and mouse in his spare time (Jace = cat; Moth = mouse). But when the teenagers of Boston’s wealthiest families start to disappear, it forces Moth and Jace into an uneasy truce. Will they be able to solve the mystery behind the disappearances – before someone winds up undead?

Moth is probably my favourite character. I mean, out of the characters that I’ve created. I’m probably not supposed to say that, but I really can’t help it. I do think her voice is the one that comes most naturally to me. I like to think of FALLING TO ASH as a ‘vampire murder-mystery’, and I hope you’ll be interested in finding out the truth alongside Moth as she investigates.

Here’s a short snippet. Moth runs into Jason Murdoch in a basement/storage room at the hospital where the first victim’s body is being held… (Enjoy!)


Jace grabbed a crossbow from behind some tumbled crates. A wickedly sharp silver-tipped bolt was already locked and loaded and he pointed it at me. The stock rested firmly against his shoulder, one eye squinting as got me firmly in his sights. Literally.

The weapon was aimed directly at my heart.

I looked for the nearest exit or hidey-hole, anywhere I could gain some cover. I wasn’t sure how accurate a shot Jace was but I had a horrible feeling he’d be pretty good. His hands were certainly steady enough.

‘Don’t move,’ he said. ‘I won’t hesitate this time.’

‘Neither will I,’ I said, throwing Jason’s dagger directly at his head.

‘Holy fu—’ Jace hit the floor and the flying dagger missed him. Which is exactly the way I’d planned it (go, me!).

Because, of course, I hadn’t been aiming for him at all.

The annoyingly creepy light bulb shattered with a satisfying pop. Glass fell in a musical sprinkle, crunching under my boots as I ran toward the trapdoor.

Impressively, he had actually managed to keep hold of his crossbow and got trigger-happy from his position on the ground. But I was already miles away from where he was shooting. The crossbow bolt swooshed past my left shoulder and thunked into the wall close to the main door to the room.

‘I hope you’re going to collect that,’ I said. ‘We can’t have any hospital staff finding crossbow bolts around here. That would be totally suspicious.’

I’d reached the hatch but Jace was advancing on me again, having tossed aside the now empty weapon. Maybe he intended to finish me off with his bare hands, but I didn’t think he’d be stupid enough to believe he could take me in a fair fight. Even weakened from lack of blood, I was stronger than him.

I raised both hands in front of me. ‘Stop right there. Think, Murdoch. I’m not trying to hurt you – I only want you to leave me alone so I can get on with my work.’

His step faltered. ‘Work? What kind of work would someone like you have to do in a hospital?’

‘That’s none of your business.’

‘It wouldn’t have anything to do with the kid they have down in the basement, would it?’

I couldn’t help it. My mouth dropped open. ‘Um . . . you mean the kid who may have been attacked by a wild animal?’ What was the point of denying it?

Jace’s eyes flickered towards the closed door that would lead back into the hospital. ‘Yeah, that sounds like the one.’

‘I’m investigating.’

He actually started to laugh. The bastard. ‘Who do you think you are, Veronica Mars for the undead? I’ve got news for you: you’re not blonde enough.’

‘That’s OK, you’re blonde enough for both of us,’ I shot back. ‘Have you had highlights?’

Jace narrowed his eyes. ‘If you think I’m letting you go, you’re dumber than you look.’

I glared back. ‘If you think you can stop me, this time I’ll break both your legs.’

Stalemate. We watched each other in the gloom. I had no problem seeing the anger and confusion etched into his face, but I wondered if the only thing he could see of me was my eyes. If I closed them, would I disappear into the shadows?

He ran a hand through the close-cropped spikes of his hair. ‘So.’


‘Now what?’

I shrugged. ‘If you can’t bear to let me out of your sight, why don’t you come with me?’ Hello, was I completely brain-dead? What did I have to say that for?

His mouth lifted at one corner, but it wasn’t exactly what I’d call a smile.

‘I think I will.’


If you’d like to win a copy of the book before the publication date (I can’t guarantee quite how early it’ll be, as it depends when I get my author copies), leave a comment telling me which cover you prefer – UK or Australian. I will definitely be doing more giveaways when FALLING TO ASH is actually published, so do remember to check out my blog posts here and elsewhere towards the end of September.

For THIS giveaway you’ll get whichever edition you prefer. The closing date for entries is: end of the day next Monday, August 27th.

**ETA: Yes, you can enter wherever in the world you live. Should have said that before, sorry!**

**ETA2: I now have some Australian cover flats to give away to a few runners up. They are very pretty!**


  1. Readsalot81 says

    I like the UK cover as well and I’ll cross my fingers that you can get this sold to a US publisher. I’d love to read it! 😀

  2. says

    I think I like the UK version better, but they are both amazing.

    Congrats!!!! I remember you talking about how much you loved Moth way back when. I enjoyed the short story and I’m sure I’ll enjoy this one too.


  3. Debbie W says

    If I’m lucky enough to win, I’d like the Australian copy. If I’m not lucky enough, I hope you’ll get it published in the US.

    When will The Lost Boy be available? Absolutely LOVE that cover!

    • says

      Hi Debbie,
      The Lost Boy will be available completely free on my website within the next few days. I keep meaning to get to it, but then writing takes over and has to come first! :)
      But now that you’ve nudged me (thanks for that), I’ll try to do it by the end of the week.

  4. Emma Greer says

    I agree with Tez Miller, I also am in Australia but prefer the UK cover. Regardless, I will still purchase it when I can.

  5. Joanne says

    Would love either one you could get to the US. Looks like an interesting story, I would buy it if I could…

  6. Lozza says

    I’ve been looking forward to this since we first met Moth in 2009 and was so sad tO see that she didn’t yet have her own full-length story. I love the UK cover!

  7. Kristina L. says

    I’m also part of the crowd that prefers the UK cover, mostly because it isn’t quite like the eleventy-billion other covers out there with a photoshopped model on them. The UK cover has this lovely illustrated feel to it, which captures your attention. Either way, lovely covers and the book sounds like a lot of fun to read!

  8. says

    To be honest, I really love both covers! They’re pretty. Although, I have to say that the girl in the AU cover looks more mature than the one in the UK. But I prefer the UK cover because it’s more colorful and dramatic! :) Thanks for the giveaway, Kaz! And for making this open internationally! <3

  9. says

    I would love to win a copy of the UK Edition please, even though the Australian cover is absolutely gorgeous, and by the way, I can’t wait until The Stone Demon come’s out so I can add it to my Iron Witch Trilogy.
    Thank you :)

    • says

      Hi Salima – good to hear you’re looking forward to The Stone Demon! I’m afraid you’ll have to wait until the beginning of April next year, but I promise it will be worth the wait… 😉

  10. Jessica S. says

    I definitely like the Aussie cover best! It sounds awesome! I love a good vampire book–be it adult or YA!

  11. Michelle C. says

    I slightly prefer the Australian cover, but they’re both really nice. I like that they both have moths on them.

  12. says

    Thanks for all the lovely comments so far. I’ve responded to a couple that had questions, but do keep ’em coming. I’ll check-in daily – it’s interesting to see which cover people like best and why. :)


  13. Margay says

    They’re both really interesting, but I love the UK cover. It’s more dramatic and vibrant and really catches the eye.

  14. Athena W says

    I have been a fan of Moth ever since the first story came out and I have been waiting for Moth ever since. Loved the second Moth short btw and I seem to prefer the Australian cover. Not sure why

    • says

      Hi Athena – I’m still fond of the second short story, too. I don’t mention it much because I’ve been thinking about whether I could edit it a bit (it is VERY long, more like a novella!) and re-release it as an eStory. Some things would need to change to fit with a few changes in continuity, too.

      We’ll see. :)


  15. Serena says

    Both covers are so beautiful! I love them both and won’t ever be able to decide! (That’s a lie, actually, if I am lucky enough to win I’d have to go with the UK cover, only because it was the one I saw first on your blog and the one I associate with the book.
    I love the sound of the book even better though! Can’t wait for it to come out. Hopeully it won’t take to long in Canada. 😀

  16. Amelia13 says

    I love the UK cover! And it sounds like something I’d write and read. I’ll have to put it on my wish list so I won’t forget about it. Too many things going on in my life and things sometimes get forgotten.

  17. donnas says

    They both look great. But I prefer the UK cover, It just looks more eye catching and active to me. Draws the eye and starts pulling you in

  18. Ligia Bellini says

    Ohh wow! I loved both covers, but i guess the Australian looks better! *-*
    Congrats and tks for the give away!! ^^

  19. says

    I can’t decide which cover I like more…okay, no, I went and had another look. The UK one, just – there’s something more magical and dark and whimsical about it, which works perfectly with Moth looking just a little bit more innocent, just a little bit younger. Genius contrast, that’s a cover that’ll make people pick the book up.

    I loved that extract – I enjoyed it at Foyle’s (I’m the pink-scarfed Maggie fangirl!) when you actually read it, and it was just as fun to read it myself. Definitely a book I’m looking forward to.


  20. says

    I’ve been waiting for this book so long I hadn’t realized how soon it’s actually out now o.O
    Love the excerpt! Moth’s voice is immediately recognizable from the anthology stories ^^
    Both covers are gorgeous and it’s really hard to choose, but I think I like the AUS one a tad better, so if I won I’d pick that one. Thank you so much for the giveaway! I’d love to get the chance to read&review it early :)

    • says

      Carmen, I’m glad I can still write in her voice! It was a long time between the stories and this novel, and there are a few changes but… yeah. She’s mostly the same Moth. :)


  21. says

    You mean if I don’t win one I might not get one, since I live in the US? *trembling lips*
    (**Completely ignoring the Book Depository note on purpose ;)**)

    I think I like the UK cover better, but they’re both gorgeous and I really don’t know if I could choose between the two.

  22. says

    I can’t say how thrilled I am that Moth will finally have her own book. And in a month! Yipes :)

    Love the teaser and both covers blow me away, but the UK cover is so Moth to me.

    Congrats on the soon-to-release new series, Karen! Can’t wait to see where you’ll take us next :)

  23. Kim m says

    I love the Australian cover, I don’t know why, it just stands out to me, it’s a book that I would pick up from the bookshop and buy. I have never understood why they seem to have different covers for different countries?

    • says

      It confuses me too, sometimes! I think mostly it’s to do with the contrast between the market/readership. Different readerships in different countries are said to respond to different types of cover design.


  24. Shanna says

    Oh… this is the first I’ve read about/from Moth and I can see why she’s your favourite. So smart, witty, sarcastic even… hmm. I think I’ll love this book very much. Don’t enter me in the giveaway though, since I’m going to buy it the day it releases (or the next) considering the fact I’ll be in London anyway. So, make someone else happy! :-)

    Good luck with this book, Kaz. I’m crossing my fingers. I love this snippet, hopefully the rest of it will be just as good1

  25. Jess says

    Congratulation on the new book! I like both covers. The artwork is stunning on them. I think that the Australian would stand out more in my library at home.

  26. Amanda T. says

    I live in the US and love Moth! I hope we get it soon. I would like either the UK OR the Austrailian giveaway.

  27. Valerie says

    I absolutely love Moth! She is my favorite type of character: snarky, spunky, cool, and capable of taking care of herself. I’ve re-read the short stories so many times because I can’t find many other books that have characters like her. I’ve been keeping track of when a full-length book was coming out, and I can’t believe that it’s so soon! I hope it can be published in the US soon, but either way, I will be reading this soon after it comes out.

    I can’t choose which cover I like more. I like the colors and aesthetic design of the UK version, but I like the sparseness and the girl on the AU cover. It’s so hard to choose just one…. I guess I have to say I like the UK cover better……but both are great.

    • says

      Wow… that’s such a nice thing to say, Valerie, thank you VERY much. I am honestly so happy to hear you love Moth. She is all of those things: I appreciate you seeing how capable she is. She tries so hard – I think I love that the most about her. :)


  28. Yun-A says

    Dang it! Falling to Ash isn’t coming out in the US? I’ve been waiting for this for over a year.

    Anyway, I prefer the UK cover. Don’t know why, but I tend to prefer the UK and US covers to the Australian.

    Here’s hoping that it’s released in the US.

    • says

      I am hoping, too! I’m pretty optimistic that it’ll happen eventually, but it really depends on whether the US YA market wants a vampire book right now. Maybe a bit later. :)


  29. Irene says

    Ooh, they’re both so pretty! I can’t pick.
    Maybe the Australian one, because living in the UK, it would be difficult to get my hands on it… :)

  30. Malvina Beatrice says

    I’m 50/50 on both covers, I like the fonts and graphics for the UK version but I like the picture of the girl on the Aussie version.

  31. Nicole H. says

    So cool! :) Love to win…well, anything. XD I like both covers, to be honest. The graphics more on the UK version, but the model more on the Australian; just goes to show you that there’s a little bit of awesome in everything!

  32. Lora says

    I really like both covers! This looks to be an interesting series as well and I’m hoping it can get published in the US soon!

  33. Lindsay Blietz says

    Have loved this story from 2009 and have googled alot trying to remember when it comes out…bummed it’s not in the US yet…would love to have the UK copy! THANKS!!!


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