Sunday, 15 September 2013

Water - 19 October 2013

That's right. Water has an official release date! It will be available for sale from 19 October 2013. 

To celebrate, here is a sneak preview of Roxy's first chapter.

Out in the garden, it could almost have been two months ago. The weather was as unchanging as it ever was in the Helian Realm: sunshine, limited breeze and hot. The vegetation on either side of me was thick, green and covered in vibrant, exotic flowers. The scent of pollen was sweet and intoxicating in the air.

And I was alone.

Which was what I needed, but it wasn't what I wanted.

The memory of a low, accented voice was sharp in my mind. I could imagine him coming up behind me, asking me what I was doing and sitting down, uninvited, to chat. I could see him after his fight with Cinaer, fired up, magnetic... and shirtless. And in front of me, rescuing Melaina from the tree she had got herself stuck in.

He should have been here by now, a niggling voice in my head protested unhelpfully. It had been nearly four weeks and there had been no sign of Brae. He'd had more than enough time to get the others safely home and come back for me. But he hadn't. I was starting to think that maybe he never would.

I sat down on the warm, green grass and ran my fingers through my hair hopelessly. Ordinarily, I would have torched a nearby tree, letting calmness wash over me as I watched the flames flicker round the branches, slowly choking the life from them.

I scratched at my wrists, which were red raw from where I had attempted to pull off the gold manacles which subdues my powers. They were heavy, consisting of interwoven swirls, creating an effect that was almost like solid lace, spanning three inches up forearms from my wrists. Difficult to hide in a Realm where the climate didn't allow for sleeves, but they didn't look like anything other than an odd jewellery choice; gold cuffs were popular in Kalme, so if anyone asked, they could easily be explained as a gift from Cinaer.

They were tight though and chaffed my skin whenever they moved. Cinaer and my mother were only concerned with secrecy, however, not my comfort. Mother didn't want the family being shamed if news of my `indiscretion' got out; Cin knew that I was the best chance he had of sitting on the Helian throne, so he needed to keep me around. They both needed me kept under control.

For the hundredth time that day, I tried to make sparks flare in my hands. I didn't feel right without them. I wasn't me.

"I thought I might find you out here." My ears pricked at the noise, my head turned automatically. But it was the wrong voice. Just as familiar, but far more deadly. Cinaer.

"What do you want?" I growled. I was not in the mood for Cin's taunts.

"Now, now, Roxy. Play nice." To my disgust, he sat down beside me.

As if he had been reading my thoughts as he sauntered over, he continued: "You're not still moping around waiting for your Prince to come and save you, are you?  Because that would be incredibly tragic."

I forced myself to keep looking straight ahead. There was no point rising to the challenge, not while I still had his manacles on. The repeated burnings I had endured over the past few weeks had scorched that fact into my mind.

"He left you, Roxy, like I said he would. He wasn't really interested in you. He pretended to be, so that you would help him and his Air-Head friends to escape. He used you. And you let him. Now how weak does that make you, I wonder? It's a good thing I took your powers away - you didn't deserve them."

I lost it, forgetting my earlier patience, I punched him straight in the jaw. The unexpected blow sent him reeling, but he quickly made me regret it.

What do you think? I love the transformation Roxy undergoes in Water - loosing her powers makes a big difference to everything about her personality, as she no longer has a quick fix to ensure that everything goes her way.

If you are as excited about Water as I am, please share this post on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Email me a link and you may be one of two people to win an ARC of Water as thanks!