First of all, my apologies for not posting the winners of the Why Do You Do It? (i.e. why do you write or read) giveaway. As some of you know I’ve not been too well, and am only now beginning to play catch-up with my deadlines. And everything else! Thanks for your patience, and I’m really sorry to make you wait so long.
So, the two winners are:
Oh wow, those are brilliant reasons, some of which I’d never thought of before.
I guess I write because I have to–I have to write down these crazy things I think up, because otherwise I would go crazy. Like you said, I need to know what happens next, and I also want to create something as awesome as the stories I read. Writing is how I make sense of the world sometimes, and not doing it would result in me stumbling aimlessly and confusedly through the streets.
Well, okay, maybe not, but I wouldn’t be a very happy person if I didn’t write.
I read because I HAVE TO!! I can’t stop, I can’t not, I must! I am lost with out something, anything to read. I need to read. My eyes get oh so tired and heavy and I have to work at O’dark thirty in the morning and I tell myself.. “one more page, just one more page”
I’m glad that the random number generator picked out one writer and one reader, which seems only fair. Irene and Colleen, please email me directly (writerkaz AT gmail DOT com) and let me know your full name, mailing address, and whether you’d like me to send you a signed UK edition of The Iron Witch – or a signed copy of A Visitor’s Guide To Mystic Falls. I’d also like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who commented. I loved reading all of your responses, I really did.
At the moment I’m juggling a lot of work on different projects, and one of the big ones is a draft of The Stone Demon – the third and final book in The Iron Witch trilogy. When I say “a draft,” I mean something that actually has a beginning, middle and end that my editor can make sense of. It always feels strange to be working so far ahead of schedule, especially as Book Two (The Wood Queen) isn’t even out yet! However, I did sort of realise that The Wood Queen will be arriving in stores pretty soon. *collapses with nerves* It only feels like yesterday that my debut novel was released into the world, but already that was almost a year ago. Time – I mean, how fast it seems to move – can be a truly scary thing. Anyway, in honour of The Wood Queen being pubished in just under two months (eek!), here’s a non-spoilery snippet. I’ve been asked a few times lately for a glimpse of some romance, so I hope you enjoy it…
“I don’t want to talk, Xan,” she said, hearing her voice as though it came from somewhere very far away. “I’m sick of talking.”
As she said the words, she knew it was true. Talking at the trial. Talking to Navin. Talking to her aunt.
It was all just noise and she’d had enough.
“Okay.” There was no hesitation from him. “Whatever you need.”
Donna reached for Xan, conscious of how the flickering firelight caused her tattoos to glimmer and flash.
He pulled her into his arms and stroked her hair. He murmured nonsense in her ear and pressed her hard against the warmth of his body.
She waited for a moment, letting him offer much needed comfort and basking in the intense heat that poured off him, reminding her again that he was other. If he were fully human, there was no way he would be that warm—not unless he was running a fever.
She lifted her head, knowing exactly what she was doing. She wanted to forget. Her whole being cried out for oblivion, but she’d never been someone who turned to drinking or drugs. She’d been taught too much about self-control over the years, due to the need to control her strength. Super-human strength on alcohol wasn’t a pretty prospect.
Donna was sick of control. She wanted to let go—just this once—and be truly free.
So she kissed Xan, knowing that he wouldn’t kiss her unless she made the first move. Not at a time like this; not when she was clearly devastated, even though he didn’t understand why. He was too much of a good guy to take advantage of her pain and confusion. But luckily for her, she thought with a wicked grin that seemed to come from nowhere, he wasn’t too good.
There was no hesitation from him. Xan moved warm hands to her face, his long fingers trailing fire as he explored her mouth with his.
They had only really kissed once before. The night after they’d told each other their stories in Mildred’s café, they’d shared a real kiss just outside Ironbridge Common. It had been new and exciting and filled with promise. But this … this was so much more.
Donna felt something open in her chest, like a bud unfurling in the face of the sun. She felt herself slowly coming alive under Xan’s touch.
Then he pulled away, and Donna grumbled at the loss of his warmth. He held her at arm’s length, and she couldn’t help being pleased to see how much he was struggling to control his breathing.
And she could relate—the guy knew how to kiss. She tried not to think about all the other things he undoubtedly knew how to do, or all the other girls he might have done them with. He was way more experienced than she was, and she was worried that would show.
“Donna, wait, we shouldn’t—”
She cut him off by pulling free of his grip and placing the unmarked palms of her hands on either side of his face. “Shhh. I don’t want to talk. I already told you that.”
“Tell me what happened.”
She shook her head. “Kiss me again.”
Xan frowned, but she could tell he was torn. “I don’t want you to do something you’ll regret. You’re upset … ” His voice faded as she traced the fine lines of his cheekbones and stroked his caramel-colored hair back from his forehead.
“I’ll be more upset if you don’t shut up and kiss me.”
Donna could hardly believe what she was saying; it was like a different person was emerging from a dark cocoon. She’d been buttoned up so tight for so long, and it was incredibly liberating to be wild.
If only for one night.
The Wood Queen by Karen Mahoney