Saturday Snippet, just because editing is a tyrant

Raphael simplified designI’ve been working on Raphael’s edits like there’s no tomorrow and promptly forgotten all about Friday Snippets and other promises I made. But, here I am, the next day, with a brand new snippet, and the simplified version of the cover I posted last week.

From Raphael:

Slowly getting up, Raphael stretched his arms and looked around, only to spot the colossal frame of the Controller. “Great Wolf—”

The demon had his back to him, talking on a cell phone. Of all the places the man could be stalking in Rome, he had to be walking around Quartiere Coppedè.

“Happy sweet sixteen to me.” Raphael was sure there was a cosmic joke somewhere to be found, but was too hard-pressed to appreciate the humor in his current predicament.

Forcing himself to slow his pace, he stepped away from the fountain and reached the side of the Fairy House, now in the shadow. His heart throbbed in his throat as he cleared the corner and kept walking toward the bridged archway delimiting the neighborhood. A red bus slowed down and stopped at the curb on Tagliamento Street. With a leisure jog, he passed the arch and reached the bus stop, then hopped on the running board as soon as the bus exit doors opened.

Passengers stepping out complained, but Raphael pushed through the crowd until he was safely ensconced in the middle of the cabin, sandwiched between the afternoon commuters. He dared one peep out of the large window and saw the Controller staring at him. The man shook his head with a pronounced grimace on his face. As the bus lurched forward, Raphael waved at the demon. “See ya.”

Then a sweet scent he had never forgotten hit his nostrils and he turned, his heart beating as fast as his wolf’ as he faced a familiar pair of green eyes. A feeling of belonging descended upon him like a warm blanket.

“Hi,” the girl of his dreams said.

Two years had passed since the night of the botched robbery, but he thought of her every day. “You’re my mate and I’m in love with you,” he hurried to say, in case she would disappear again. It had been love at first scent for him, and he had known the truth since then that he would never love anyone else in his life. His wolf pranced around to be acknowledged.

Her eyebrows shot up and her lips curved in an amused smile revealing dimples on her cheeks. “It’s nice to see you.”

“You’re so beautiful,” he whispered. His wolf demanded he nuzzled her throat, and Raphael’s breath hitched at the image.

At the same time, the girl’s eyes lit and widened, casting a spell on Raphael who couldn’t see anything else but her.

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Saturday Snippet, just because editing is a tyrant

Resurrecting the Friday Snippet

Raphael Book  Final design

I can’t remember when I posted a Friday snippet last, but it’s about time to start doing it again. Yesterday, I finished writing Raphael, the first title in The Immortal Youth series (which I’ve been posting chapter by chapter on WriteOn), and I feel in a celebratory mood because it was quite the gestation. I also finished working on the cover and I want to show it off along the snippet.

From Raphael:

Prologue

Rome, 2011

Raphael zigzagged in and out of the back alley he entered to lose the enforcer. The sucker had been on Raphael’s tail for a while, and so far, he had managed to escape the long hand of the law. Running at full speed, he glanced right and left looking for a secluded spot he could hide and take a breather. A soft glow illuminated the ancient cobblestones paving the street, and dew covered the ground, which made his frantic jog a loud affair where stealth was required. His trainer soles squeaked and squealed every time he changed direction. The annoying noise reminded him of that one time he played basketball with some mortal kids. Lanky as only tall genes and neglect can assure, and turned fourteen a few weeks earlier, Raphael proved to be a natural. At the recent memory, a smile tugged at his lips, but booted steps echoed from the right and he dove left under a marble arch.

As an architecture enthusiast, he liked the Ghetto neighborhood, but it wasn’t built for midnight cops and robbers games. Too many dead ends, like the brick wall covered in ivy he found himself facing after his last turn. His wolf growled in displeasure.

“I don’t like it either.” He steadied himself against what remained of a Roman column turned pedestal. The fat, black and white cat resting on top of the ruin raised a paw and licked it, as if taunting Raphael’s wolf, who growled louder. “Would you behave?” For once, he hoped it were full moon to be able to turn and run away using his wolf’s speed…

Resurrecting the Friday Snippet

Clare Davidson’s Shrouded Soul is out!

ShroudedSoulKindleCoverOne of my favorite authors, Clare Davidson has just published Shrouded Soul, the third title in her Hidden series. I have read and reviewed the first two, Reaper’s Rhythm and Broken Bargain, and I can’t wait to read the new chapter in this compelling and intelligent YA story. Clare has posted a snippet of Shrouded Soul on her blog to give you a taste of it. She has also graciously accepted to answer a question of mine regarding her writing.

Me: In your stories, you don’t shy away from topics that are somewhat controversial in YA literature, although they are an integral part in growing up, like sexuality, drug use, and depression. It is refreshing to read a story about teenagers who act like ones, not like the shallow, one-dimensional puppets society would like them to be. How do you keep up with a generation that seem to evolve at such a fast pace? Where do you get your inspiration for your characters?

Clare: When I started writing the Hidden series, I knew I didn’t want to shy away from topics that affect teenagers. Right from the start of Reaper’s Rhythm, the heroine, Kim, has to deal with grief, under-aged drinking, boys and bullying.

These are topics that often make adults uncomfortable. We don’t want to think about our children (not even teenagers) having to worry about them. We all like to think our children are perfect, that they’ll never be swayed to give into temptation and try something they shouldn’t, such as smoking or drinking. But if we shy away from these topics ourselves, too nervous to discuss them, where are teenagers going to get their education in these topics from?

School teachers? Yes, to a certain extent. In the UK, all pupils are given citizenship lessons, which include sex education, alcohol awareness and so on.

From their peers? Definitely. Whilst this can happen in a positive way, it can also happen in a negative way. I’m sure we all know how strong peer pressure can be. Most of us experience it on a daily basis, either in school, at work or within our friendship circles. Peer pressure is not age exclusive and depending on how firm we are within our own identities, it can be hard to resist.

Teenagers are going through a period of self-discovery. They are starting to explore who they are and what they want out of life. As a result, peer pressure can be all too easy to succumb to. The desire to fit in and be part of a group, rather than an individual is a compelling one.

Another place teenagers turn to is fiction, be it books, TV or films. They look for role models. Not perfect teenagers, but those who make mistakes and learn from them. They look for role models who are human, believable and whom they can relate to.

That’s what I wanted to achieve when I began writing Reaper’s Rhythm. I wanted Kim to be a multi-faceted character who makes mistakes. A girl who could be the reader’s best friend, peer, or daughter.

Kim is far from perfect. She makes mistakes. She does things she regrets. She unintentionally hurts others. But she learns and changes. She becomes a better, stronger person as the series progresses.

Will she be perfect by the end of the series? Of course not. None of us are and, to be honest, that’s what makes us beautiful individuals.

Shrouded Soul Blurb:

Keeping secrets. Telling lies. Kim is protecting everyone. Isn’t she?

Kim’s secrets are pushing Sophie away, whilst AJ’s fears are damaging their fledgling relationship. Kim tries to reassure him, but she knows he should be worried. He should be running. She keeps telling herself they can all have a normal life, free from the influence of the Baneem—but it’s the biggest lie of all.

The illusion Kim is clinging to is shattered when AJ vanishes. But he isn’t the only one put in danger by the information Kim is hiding. How can she defend everyone from enemies who keep growing stronger?

About the author:

Clare Davidson is a character driven fantasy writer, teacher and mother, from the UK. Clare was born in Northampton and lived in Malaysia for four and a half years as a child, before returning to the UK to settle in Leeds with her family. Whilst attending Lancaster University, Clare met her future husband. They now share their lives with their young daughter, their cats and Rukia the Finnish Lapphund.

Connect with Clare:

Website: http://www.claredavidson.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ClareMDavidson

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ClareMDavidson

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/ClareDavidson

Mailing List: http://eepurl.com/zpjGf

Clare Davidson’s Shrouded Soul is out!