Cover Reveal & Excerpt: Bright as the Eyes of You

I’m trying an experiment. More precisely, I’m experimenting on you.

You’re grateful, I know.

You’re probably wondering what that has to do with either a cover reveal or an excerpt.

Allow me to explain. Bright as the Eyes of You is one of my new WiPs (the other two being the 2nd Two Monarchies book and a Carmine & Fancy slightly-longer-short-story).

More importantly, I will be uploading a chapter of it to Wattpad every two weeks.

Theoretically, that is. If I get behind, hopefully it will go without saying that I’m trying to concentrate on the quality of the story (as opposed to simply me being lazy). Because I would never be so lazy. Really, though.

It will be both exciting and terrifying for me, as I’ve never posted a WiP piecemeal before; but I’ve got a good feeling about this one, and I’m interested in feedback.

Also, I really love the cover and I want to show it off.

So there.

Behold! The Beautiful & Wondrous Jenny-Cover that is Bright as the Eyes of You!

image

And below is the first 500-odd words of Bright as the Eyes of You, a quick preview before I upload the 1st chapter on Wattpad early next week.

Enjoy!

1

I See all Kinds of Sorrow

I don’t remember when I first started to Dream. I don’t know why I began to Dream, either, or even how the way I Dream is possible. It could have been because I was bored. Perhaps it was because I’m nosy. Yes, that’s far more likely. I was bored and nosy, and for the first fifteen years of my life I couldn’t walk, so what else was there to do but Dream?

I didn’t know I was spying on people. Not at first, at least. And when I did find out, I didn’t care: I couldn’t stop the Dreams, and it was pointless to be embarrassed by something I couldn’t help. The Dreams came by night or by day, intruding upon the real world until it was all but impossible to tell which was real and which the Dream. My nights were long, but my days were longer, and the Dreams were a welcome distraction from the beige ceiling and the window from which I could see only grey sky. In Scandia the sky is always grey and the ceiling always beige: there’s probably a moral in there somewhere.

You have questions. That’s all right. Ask away.

Oh, that’s a clever one: no one has asked me that before. Did the Dreams come first, or the paralysis? I don’t know for sure, but I can guess. I think the Dreams came first, tugging my soul away from my body, and I became so used to being away from my body that I never learnt how to use it or really live in it.

But it’s more than that. I’m left alone in my quarters most of the time, simply forgotten. People don’t see me. Servants sweep past me without bowing, and if I’m not very careful, I get left out in the garden when I take the air on my couch. I used to think it was because I was actually dead, and perhaps I wasn’t so far off. After all, what is a body without a soul, and why should a soulless body be seen?

 

The year that made me seventeen, my dreams of Eppa began a few weeks before I actually arrived in that country for my now annual visit. It wasn’t unusual for me to dream about Eppa, though I didn’t often dream about it when I wasn’t there. My dreams chiefly follow people rather than places, and I normally dream of the people I’m with. Unless it’s Jessamy, of course. I dream about Jessamy no matter where he is. That’s probably why the dreams began early, if it comes to that.

I was a perpetual nomad, flitting between Eppa and Scandia, and though my father made sure I spoke both Eppan and Scandian, my real home was Scandia. My home was small and light, one of a long line of seaside houses that faced the bare, open shore. I couldn’t see the water from my windows unless it was a day when I could walk, and those were few and far between. The rest of the time I spent on my chaise lounge, my view alternating between beige ceiling, empty sky beyond the frame of my window, and the dreams that visited me by day and night.

***

That’s it for now. Keep an eye out for my tweets and FB posts once the Wattpad chapter is out if you want to read more!

Normal Service Interrupted: Or, Holidays!

You’ve no doubt noticed that my post is late this week. You’ve almost certainly been hankering for the golden words and deliciously witty phraseology that are usually to be found on The WR(ite) Blog weekly. The light has gone out of your life, the glitter from the internet, the sparkle from your-

Okay, I’m probably laying it on just a bit too thick.

If you did happen to notice that my blog post was a little (okay, a LOT) late, the reason is as follows: I’M ON HOLIDAY! That’s right, I’m on holiday in the land of the Hobbit, aka, New Zealand. I have not thus far seen a hobbit (must remember to complain to management about that) but I have seen an awful lot of utterly gorgeous scenery that could have come from anywhere in Middle Earth. I don’t think I’ve ever fallen in love with a place as quickly as this. I would move here if I had the money. Heck, I’d probably move without it.

We’ve spent our first two days at the Heritage Hotel in Auckland: a lovely experience that has honestly thrown me a little. This is mainly because I’ve never stayed at a place with room service and concierge parking and a little man who offers politely but firmly to carry your baggage and does indeed carry your baggage for you because YOU ARE A GUEST, MA’AM. It’s delightful and rather terrifying. The room itself is quite lovely, too: large enough to be comfortable and elegant, and small enough not to lose ourselves in.

Ostensibly, this trip is because the Hubby and I have been married for eight years. It’s our anniversary today (which both of us remembered this year – hooray!) and aside from quarreling in the car and driving the poor SatNav lady burko, we’ve been doing an immense amount of driving. We were both very surprised to find that once we left Auckland (in fact, immediately upon leaving Auckland) we were in Middle Earth. I’m not even kidding. Rolling green hills, beautiful scrub land, country fences that you could see Samwise and Frodo clambering over in their quest for the ring. All equally wonderful and accessible. The problem was knowing when to turn around and head back, because we didn’t want to stop driving.

We’ve also done a fair bit of walking around Auckland, which has a thriving nightlife and some really very interesting drunks. The stores are all open to ridiculously late hours, so we never felt unsafe, and almost everything was well lit. There are roughly 50 places we could choose to eat tonight, all within a block or two radius of this hotel. In fact, the hotel even has it’s own restaurant. So where do you think we’re eating tonight? Give you three guesses (HINT: it’s room service).

Tomorrow we’ll head off toward Hobbiton (or at least the Northern half of it) for a tour, and from thence to Rotorua, where we’ll spend two days hiking and mud-bathing and driving out to explore the Taupo National Forest. I’m determined to end up with a hobbit sword. Okay, maybe all I can afford is a pint of something at the Green Dragon. BUT I’LL STILL BE IN HOBBITON, SO THERE.

So far, the only thing I haven’t done is write. I have not written a word of Blackfoot, my new WIP.

Shame on me. Shame on my goat. Shame on the corners of my house.

SIGH.

I guess I better get some words down before room service comes along with my scotch fillet. I’m thinking of trying a slightly different approach with this WIP (more planning, scary!) a la Patricia Wrede’s Post It Notes Method. Wish me luck!

And if you don’t hear from me so much on the Twitter and the Facebook, it’s not cos I don’t love you, it’s cos I love New Zealand more. Posts should be more or less regular as of next week, for those who really were pining (sorry, mum!).