Thursday, January 1, 2015

Lark Rising's unused prologue (and a givewaway)

This is the prologue that I removed from LARK RISING long before it sold.  It's quite short, but those of you who've read the book will understand exactly, and those of you who haven't...  well, here's the fun part:  I am giving away a New Year's gift of a signed copy of LARK and this wonderfully vine-y ear cuff:

I will pick the winner on Twelfth Night (January 6th).

How to enter?  Follow me on Twitter.  (For those of you who already follow me, just retweet and I'll know you want to be included!)  I'll gather the names and (randomly of course!) select one.

Happy New Year!  May it be filled with wonderful things.

No explosion. No shattering of walls; no blinding light. No clash of sword and last gasp of strength. This was but a touch of wine to lips—

And the queen fell.

Screams began then, shuddering sounds of horror and despair.  A hall full of people now frantically swarming—noise and color muddling into a mass, converging to aid, to assist, to share the burden of tragedy—all of them… all but two.

He was frozen with shock, hardly breathing, eyes searching the empty place at the table. And she—she was there still, briefly.  The stranger he’d invited. No longer sitting as she had moments ago in sweet-faced pretense, but standing just back a little in the shadows where the candlelight ceased. She was smiling at him.  Strange—he’d thought her smile exquisite. Now it gleamed and widened in display of sickening emptiness and chasm-like depth.  Thief that she was, she melted into the dark, though the smile hung gaping black long after she disappeared, mocking his pathetic heartbreak, this terrible mistake.  And he stared, unable to move, to help, to stop the inevitable.  Even when the king returned to the hall with sober step and drawn face to say, “The amulets are taken. The Balance is disturbed.” Even when those remaining lifted tear-stained faces to murmur then in a single, hopeful chant, “The Guardians, the Guardians, the Guardians…” he could not move.

He had damned them all.