I’ve been on twitter all evening, biting my nails and trying to figure out which of the 10 queries is mine. Pretty sure it’s every adult fantasy that needs the most work.
I submitted Changes in the Wind for the 10 queries. I’m beginning to wish I had submitted something else now, but I’m certain I would feel the same way, no matter what I submitted.
Everything seems to be moving too fast right now, and it’s almost Nanowrimo, and I’m nowhere ready. I’m going to try, however.
I finished Shades of Spring, and it ends in a cliffhanger. The second book is going to be a joy to write, but I have a fat lot of editing to do before I can start thinking of writing any more.
I’m currently working on the sequel to Blue, and I love how the world and the characters are shaping up. Provided it stays as short as the first one, I’ll have it finished by December.
I’m still not able to figure out which of the 10 queries is mine. It could well be over, I may be losing sleep on twitter for nothing, but I can’t seem to tear myself away.
Here’s an excerpt from Changes in the Wind
The spell ended so suddenly, it nearly left Gavril disoriented. He was aware he was gaping, but he could not help it. The face was familiar, and yet there were subtle differences from the portraits. In every portrait he had seen, the emperor Zathrian had been smiling, his eyes warm, his features soft. The man who stood before him had harsh features, and eyes that were as cold as a winter night, though right now with a true smile in them, and a warmth there. They were a steely grey, unlike the brown the spell had turned them into. His hair was black and grew in waves from a widow’s peak.
“Your majesty,” he scrambled to stand and bow.
The emperor inclined his head. “Please. In here, I’m just another scholar.”
Gavril doubted that. The emperor’s eyes flickered to the desk and to the butterflies that danced on it. His expression changed for a moment, but it was gone so quickly Gavril wondered if he had imagined it.
“Do you have nature magic, Gavril?”
The question was innocuous, and yet Gavril felt something behind it. He wasn’t surprised the emperor knew his name, and he shook his head. At least he wasn’t lying about this one. He still had the feeling that there was something he was not seeing here.
“No, your majesty.”
“Zathrian,” the emperor said calmly as he stepped towards the desk and held out his hand. Gavril watched as the butterflies hopped on to his palm. The emperor turned to look at him, a small smile gracing his lips. “You do know my name, don’t you?”
“I… yes, of course, your.. I mean, Za.-Zathrian,”
Gavril hadn’t meant to stammer or stumble over the name, and he was aware of his face burning. The emperor didn’t seem upset though, nodding at him pleasantly.
“It is unusual for someone without nature magic to attract them as you seemed to have done.”
“Does that mean you have nature magic?” Gavril gestured towards the way the butterflies were positively swarming around Zathrian’s wrist.
Zathrian shrugged, “You could say that.”
“I thought it was some spell that kept them in the garden,” Gavril said. “And they must have come in because the window was open and it was warmer inside.”
Zathrian merely looked curious. “There’s no spell on the gardens as far as I know,” he leaned back against the desk, looking at him contemplatively. “You intrigue me, Gavril.”
Gavril felt something stir inside at the softly spoken words. Zathrian’s eyes were speculative, and his words matter of fact and it shouldn’t have had warning bells ringing in his head. He wasn’t feeling uncomfortable, though. Zathrian’s gaze was magnetic, and Gavril couldn’t keep his eyes away from his.
“Why?” he whispered. “I’m nobody,”
“I very much doubt that,” Zathrian hadn’t moved, and neither had Gavril, but it suddenly seemed to Gavril that they were too close. The room didn’t seem to have enough air to breathe and his heart was pounding within his chest.
“Zathrian,” Keres said from behind Gavril, causing him to whip around. He could breathe again, and he was surprised at how clammy his skin was now. She stood with her arms crossed across her chest, a frown on her face and sounding a bit acerbic. “Is there a reason you’re here, scaring my scholars?”
Gavril couldn’t believe someone would actually talk to the emperor like this, but Zathrian didn’t seem offended.
“Ah, Keres,” Zathrian smiled, though it didn’t reach his eyes, which held wariness. “As charming as ever, I see.” Gavril half turned to see him straighten away from the desk and move towards the door, pausing when he reached Gavril’s side. “Am I scaring you, Gavril?”
Keres huffed in annoyance, but Gavril’s gaze was caught in the steel trap of the emperor’s eyes, and he again felt that strange sense of breathlessness.
“No, your majesty,” he said, reluctant to call the man by name now that they had an audience.
A smile rose to the eyes, and the lips, as if Zathrian could tell why he had reverted to formality. He looked at Keres.
“See, Keres? Your scholar isn’t scared of me.”
Keres said nothing, just lifted an eyebrow and Zathrian laughed.
“Oh, don’t worry, I’m going.” He smiled at Gavril again, holding out his hand. “It’s been a pleasure meeting you, Gavril.”
Gavril took the outstretched arm without thinking.
“It’s been my honour, your majesty.”