Can we skip to the good part?
YA’LL…As most of my local people know, I have been carrying the energy of “Lowkey Eff 2020” with me through this last year because it’s been a lot like a hangover after a particularly disastrous party.
But, I am calling it now, I have decided that those vibes are a little too… nice.
Welcome to the year in which I embrace the villain side of my personality.
Now, I am a Pisces sun with Leo and Scorpio coming in hot to round out my top three. I was always on that razor’s edge of villainy anyway. I am just running with it.
So I guess, friends, this is my red flag that this year the books are getting even more stabby.
And I am not sorry.
Feel free to imagine who you wish when you read the stories. I know I will.
book 2 on the way!
|Book 2, Heart of Shattered Glass is almost here!
Listen, I love this whole series. I know that might sound snotty and braggy, but who cares? We should all like the stories we choose to live in. That is especially true for writers who are committing themselves to live in those worlds and those character’s heads for a LONG time.
And in this, books 2, we are getting in deep into the threads of supporting characters and the many subplots and I think (if I did my job right) you’ll see where I’m going in the third book as far as Cinder and her relationship with King Tristan goes.
Well… I mean there is still a lot of surprises, but you’ll see where there is er… room for certain scenes to happen in book 3.
Side note: LORDY those scenes are– They’re–Um–Anyway, I am the only person who has read them so far, but I did ask my editor about them.
Me: So, would it be too much if…
Editor: Holy Hell! Nope. Not too much. That’s, um, good. Yeah. Good.
I hope you all agree with her when you get to read book 3.
Speaking of which…
the title for book 3
Heart of Midnight!
Book 3 will be coming this spring and I am super excited about this one.
I hope you all like it as much as I do, but before Books 3 comes out, Book 2 is soooo close to being here!
heart of shattered glass
|Here is just one of the links to the preorders, I will of course send you all the links on Thursday after the book goes live on January 11th.
But if you loved Heart of Cinders, and want to preorder Heart of Shattered Glass, here is one way to do it!
And now for the sneaky peeks of book 2!
heart of shattered glass
.Jacquetta and Gus ran from their rooms as I stepped inside, pulling up short on their way to me.
Jacquetta’s eyes filled with tears, and her shoulders slumped.
Gus covered her mouth with her hands, her face twisted into a wince that didn’t fall away.
“Hi,” I said, not sure what else there was to say.
“Oh, Cinder,” Jacquetta said, “I’ll get the bath ready, and we’ll get all that healed up.” She darted away, squeezing one of my hands on her way by.
“Who?” Gus asked, her voice low and humming with a contained rage that sounded large enough to rattle the world.
“It doesn’t matter,” I said, patting her hands where she gripped them together in front of her like she was strangling them with each other.
“Yes, it does, damn it. I want to know who did this, and why the fuck you let them,” she said, her voice was a low, ominous rumble but no less a demand than if she had shouted.
“How do you know I let them?”
“Because your knuckles aren’t damaged, and your clothes don’t show enough blood. No one died for doing this to you, so you had to let someone do this. And I want to know who.”
Gus was smarter than anyone gave her credit for. I knew that, and I still underestimated her all the time. None of that changed the facts.
“I can’t tell you,” I said.
“Stop it. Yes, you can. We know who you are. Don’t tell me I’m not allowed to know, and don’t tell me I’m not allowed to want them dead.”
There weren’t words left in me to explain, to try and make her understand. My brother taught me lessons. Pain was his tool for teaching. I accepted it a long time ago. This lesson—the most important he ever taught me as far as he was concerned—was not to defy him.
And no matter how much I would have wanted revenge on anyone who did the same to Gus or Jacquetta, this was different.
My friends and my brother weren’t going to kill each other over me. Not if I could help it.
“Don’t worry. Just a training accident.” My lie was paltry. Based on the way she crossed her arms over her chest, narrowed her eyes, and pressed her lips into a thin line, she didn’t believe me. But I didn’t have a better explanation, and I didn’t have the energy to come up with one.
I made my way into my bathroom, hunched over and trying to keep my upper body as still as possible.
Jacquetta was already bustling around, dumping fragrant flowers and powders into the steaming bath as it filled with water.
The heat wafting off it floated through the room, and made my taught, swollen skin relax a fraction.
Dropping my cloak was the easiest part of getting undressed. Even shrugging my shoulders back to do that flared the bruises on my stomach and I sucked in a breath.
“Let me help,” Gus said, touching my arm, her voice and her face returning to softness and care from the flames of before.
I nodded and let her unstrap my spikes, setting them aside with more ease in her movements than I would have expected with her and weapons. But she was the same person who attacked a giant bird with Jacquetta and the help of a short sword she didn’t actually know how to wield. Her ability to handle my spikes just to set them aside shouldn’t have been a surprise.
She pulled my shirt off over my head while I held my breath and tried not to yell.
The worst, though, was not running from the room, no matter the pain, when she and Jacquetta saw my body after she exposed it to the light.
All across my abdomen and my lower back, lurid black and purple bruises bloomed on lumpy, swollen skin.
My face, with one side of it so swollen I still couldn’t see out of the eye, and purple and red bruises spidering out from the lump until they turned into sickly yellow and green splotches, was the most obvious of my injuries. But it wasn’t the worst.
Ash might have been shit with a sword, but no one threw a better punch that could do more damage.
“Cinder,” Gus said, her teeth gritted and clutching the shirt in her arms as if holding it tight enough would undo what was done.
“Oh, no,” Jacquetta said, biting a quivering lip to stop the shaking words. She darted back to the containers splayed open on the counter and grabbed wildly at all manner of things stored there.
Gus nodded, looking at Jacquetta, and helped me out of my boots and pants, a process that took long enough for the bath to need to be shut off before it overfilled.
Finally, I hunched naked before them, every piece of my body, the scarred, the battered, the bleeding, and divine on display whether I wanted them to be or not. And whether they wanted to witness it or not.
Sitting on the edge of the tub was the only way I could swing my legs over, one by one, to get in. Even in that, Gus and Jacquetta helped, bracing me so my core muscles didn’t have to, and lifting my legs so my body didn’t have to do that work, either.
Once I was submerged, the heat of the water and the stinging of the things Jacquetta added to it allowed some of the torn and damaged tissue to relax fully for the first time since Ash hit me.
“Cinder,” Jacquetta said, looking at me as if my face caused her pain, “I think you need to put your eye in the water, too.”
I nodded. That made sense.
“And keep it there for as long as you can stand to,” Gus said, fury still thick in her voice so that it sounded like she wanted me to drown, when I knew what she meant.
And, in theory, it made sense, although how she expected me to hold my breath long enough for it to work as well as it always did on my body, I couldn’t guess.
But the second I put my face to the water, the stinging it usually caused turned into a sharp burn.
I snapped my head back, spraying water all over the room, and screamed while I clutched at my eye.
“You must have done it wrong!”
“Cinder,” Tristan yelled, slamming through the shut bathroom door.
Gus flung a bath sheet into the water and herself over me, in some attempt to cover me, but I couldn’t stop screaming and writhing as barbs of pain lashed themselves through my brain, digging in.
“Go get my mother,” Jacquetta yelled, letting go of me to shove at him.
“How did she get so hurt?” He held Jacquetta by her upper arms, keeping her from pushing him out the door.
“You need to get my mother. She can help her eye.” Jacquetta’s voice was like a whip, lashing out at anything that moved.
Every word they said reverberated through the taught cords of agony in my head, making me flail worse, splashing water everywhere.
“General, get Madam Velentin,” Tristan yelled out the door before setting Jacquetta aside like she was a doll, and kneeling beside the head of the tub where I turned and wailed, my vision in my good eye blurring.
“Cinder, please,” he said, putting his hand to the side of my head, with even more heat emanating from it than before. “Please get better.”
My world went dark.
I hope you like the sneak peek and that to doesn’t give away much of the first book if you haven’t read it yet.
Happy New Year to all of you, I’m thankful for you all.
As always, happy reading!– Everly