It's exactly one year to the day that I published my first book, Tegan's Blood.
To celebrate the occasion I'm giving away a signed paperback copy of my most recent novel, Painted Faces. All you have to do is comment or send your email address to email@example.com with the title "Painted Faces Giveaway". I'll pick the winner old school by writing down each entry on a scrap of paper, putting them in a bowl and selecting whichever one I grab first. I like to think this adds an element of fun, for me anyway, lol. I'd also like to say congrats to Yasmin, Patricia and Perry who won paperback copies on the Goodreads giveaway. I'll be posting those out as soon as I can.
Speaking of Painted Faces, it's currently selling pretty feckin' well on Amazon. Colour me surprised! The other day I saw it was at #189. I had a real, eh, what!? moment. The highest rank I'd ever gotten to before publishing Painted Faces was somewhere around the 1,000 mark, if I remember correctly, for Tegan's Return, which was a while back. I'm not trying to act all humble but I seriously never expected this book to take off. IT.IS.MENTAL.
I'm currently a busy bee writing Tegan's Magic. At the moment I'm thinking the publishing date will be March 7th, but that's not set in stone. It could be earlier depending on how quickly I can get things done. I want to give myself enough time to properly prepare for the release. If I've learned anything about publishing it's that the preparation is crucial. Anyhoo, to keep those of you Tegan fans tided over until the release, here's another short snippet. It was practically impossible to find one that didn't give away too many spoilers, so here you go (as yet to be edited btw) ...
I hurry to my window and stare down into the darkness of Finn's back garden. It takes a moment for my sleepy eyes to adjust and when they do I make out the familiar shapes of the vampires lugging jars into the shed. The exact same jars as the one Rita used to catch the mist she and Delilah found.
I pull on a long cardigan and make my way downstairs, interested to know what's going on. I can hear the not so melifluous orchestra of Finn and Ira's snoring, so I know they're both fast asleep in their rooms.
When I open the back door and step out into the garden all eyes dart to me. Vampire eyes are far more intense than those of a human, so even when you're not looking you can almost feel them on you, sliding across your skin. I pull my cardigan tight around me and walk over to them. Lucas, Dru and Will ignore me and resume stacking the jars in the shed. I meet Ethan's stare head on. He's just standing there watching me. I can still feel the heady lust for him, but it's not as strong as it had been since I've sweated so much of it out. It doesn't take as much energy to keep myself together now, thankfully.
“What's going on?” I ask, shivering in the chilly night air.
“We began our first watch of the city tonight,” Ethan answers, his voice as cold as the air around us. “We found nothing of Theodore, however we did find these things everywhere. Delilah said that she and the witch only saw one today. It seems that night is the time when they come out to...feed, if that's what you'd call it.”
I stare inside the shed at the stacks of jars. The dark mists contained within them move frantically, struggling against being captured. “There are so many,” I whisper, unable to fathom a way of getting rid of them all. Rita can't even figure out how to kill one.
“This is barely half of what's out there. Look at the news in the morning, I'm sure there'll be reports of fights and riots just like the other day. It's almost as though they're multiplying. The human population is fracturing. Things are only going to get worse.”
“What can we do?” My heart sinks as I think that this could be it for Tribane. The mists could just keep growing and growing, infecting more and more people until they all go so mad that they end up annihilating one another.
“Perhaps I'm the one who should be asking you that question,” says Ethan, glancing away into the darkness.
“What's that supposed to mean?”
His eyes cut back to me. “It means I'd like to know how exactly you managed to burn half of Eliza's face off with nothing but the palm of your hand. You're not all that I thought you were, there's magic in you.”
Ethan looks at me differently now. His hostility is still there, but it's like he's fascinated too.
I suck in a harsh breath. I'd almost allowed myself the luxury of thinking Ethan had forgotten about my performance at Whitfield's. “That was...that was something I don't quite understand yet.” I go quiet for a moment, not sure how to explain things to him. “Anything you see me do, anything magical that is, it comes out of nowhere. I'm not like Rita, I'm not really doing any of it with a conscious purpose. It just comes out of me like I'm possessed.”
“You're lying, I can sense your anxiety.” Ethan states, tilting his head.
“I'm not bloody lying. I'm anxious because you make me anxious. You're a vampire and not exactly my number one fan right now. Not to mention I'm standing in the dark in my nightie with no method of defending myself if you decide to let those fangs of yours get the better of you.”
Ethan laughs joylessly. “You know how old I am, Tegan. Long gone are the days when my fangs could get the better of me as you call it.”
He goes quiet for a moment, like he's thinking of doing something but not quite sure if he should. The next thing I know his eyes have morphed from dark blue to crimson, his fangs are out and he's advancing on me. He hisses and crowds me up against the wall of the house. Lucas, Dru and Will don't even give him a second glance.
My heartbeat goes haywire and I let out a high pitched yelp. In a fight or flight response my magic comes to life. My hands whip out at him, overflowing with burning sparks like a sink where somebody's left the tap running too long. He rears back out of range of the sparks and his fangs retract. His eyes go back to normal and a slow grin forms on his lips.
“So you weren't lying then. It seems you've got a nifty little defence mechanism there. When you feel threatened your magic comes out to keep you safe. Interesting.” He rubs at his chin ponderously.
“Are you shitting me? I feel like I'm about to have a heart attack because you went all Count Dracula on me as a fucked up lie detector test? You scared me half to death.”
“I needed to see if you were telling the truth. And please spare me the Dracula references, I find them at best tiring and at worst excruciatingly irritating.”
I scowl at him and at the same time feel like kissing his face off. Stupid lust potion. “I'm going back to bed.”
As I reach out to turn the handle on the back door and go inside, I feel Ethan's arms slip around my waist. He nuzzles his nose into the side of my neck. “One day soon I won't want you anymore, perhaps then I'll have the courage to walk away.”
Air gets trapped in my lungs, but just before I have the chance to question what he means I turn around and he's gone.
That's all for now!!