Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Blog Revamp is Done & New Excerpt!

Today I revamped Nicole Zoltack's blog using the template background she chose. I'm pleased with the outcome and just love the little fairy sitting on the books that I used for her signature and sidebar tabs. The main thing is Nicole is pleased too, and soon I'll be doing the same competition again to give others the chance to win a new look.

On another subject, I've been working to expand a vampire tale, continuing from the end where I thought I'd finished LOL. Funny how a book has so much more in it than you first thought. I suspect it will turn into a novel now, and an editor is interested in it, which is always a bonus! With this publishing company I can supply my own cover art, so I created a cover and hope it gets accepted along with the book. Whatcha think?

I love playing on Photoshop almost as much as I love writing, so it's a bonus when I get to make my own covers. Hopefully the book will be finished quite quickly once the kids are all back at school, but for now I'll leave you with an unedited excerpt. Enjoy!


The roaring thunder reminded Emily of a night not so long ago, when the waves crashed upon the rocks below the lighthouse, slapping the cliff edge and spewing into the sky. Hundreds of droplets hung suspended for a moment, tinted white by the shaft of light streaming from the windows, the pitch sky a vast background littered with a million tiny stars.

She stared out the window now at a similar scene, her stomach in knots. Lincoln was out there, battling the waves, trying to reach the stranded sailor who had radioed in seconds before his boat capsized. A swathe of illumination from the lighthouse beacon flashed across the angry sea, showing the hideous choppy waves and foamy spume ridges. Emily hated times like this, her nerves strung taut, ready to snap if news came that Lincoln hadn’t made it. And she would feel it if he didn’t.

She lifted her fingers to her mouth as a flash of lightning staggered across the horizon. The streak of light vanished, and she thought of a time when she’d have seen her image in the glass, a haunted woman, black hair wild, eyes wide in a white face pinched by terror. Another growl of thunder brought the sensation of goose bumps to her arms and she covered her ears, a tangible rumble humming through the floor and up into her body. Closing her eyes, she fought to combat her nerves, telling herself Lincoln would come home. Home to hold her in his arms and whisper everything was all right. Home to carry her to bed and make sweet love to her until the sun snuck its orange scalp over the horizon and chased the bad weather away. Chased away their need to feed.

Emily’s gums ached, her teeth elongating as her belly spasmed for a different reason. Hunger gripped her, the need for liquid sustenance strong, leaving her arms and legs weak. Lincoln had to return soon or she would be forced out into the storm—or worse, to feed from old Ray, the mortal who lived in the apartment below theirs. He would be sleeping, oblivious to the storm, oblivious to her creeping into his room to pierce his neck and suckle.

No. I mustn’t. Lincoln will come back. He will.

The hunger consumed her and another hunger joined the race. She longed for her lover and turned from the bedroom window, moving to the kitchen in an attempt to occupy her mind. Thoughts of Lincoln intruded. She saw him as she had that first night, when the harsh waves tossed her small boat into the rocks. He had peered down at her from the cliff top, the slash of the lighthouse beacon bringing him into stark relief before plunging him back into darkness. Then the moonbeams behind glowed, giving him a silver aura, the only indication he remained in place. He shouted, his voice whipped away by the spiteful wind, and she cried out, clinging to a large rock, soaked to the bone and so very cold.

He disappeared and Emily lowered her forehead to the rock, hot tears spilling. The sea bombarded her, high walls of black fluid smacking her body, goading her to release her hold. She clung on, hoping she would be saved. Something about the man on the cliff had called to her, and a slither of belonging had unwound in her belly, swirling with the hope. She gripped the rock tighter. The faint sound of an engine filtered through the swoosh and shush of the water and she’d turned to see a cone of light directed her way, the shaft bobbing with the boat’s movement. The vessel drew as close to the rock as it was able without damaging the hull, and in the calm between waves Emily let go of the rock and swam toward her savior, lifted out of the water by a strong grip on her wrist. She spluttered, resting on her side, the cruel wind slashing at her body, her teeth chattering. A blanket covered her, and she clutched it in fists beneath her chin, willing the cold and body-racking shakes to leave her be. The boat lifted then sped away, jolting over waves. She closed her eyes for just a moment and silently thanked whoever had saved her, sensing it had been the man on the cliff.

A short while later the boat came to a stop and she forced herself into a sitting position, narrowing her eyes against the light spilling from a halogen lamppost at the end of a pier. Footsteps tapped on the deck, and Emily turned to face her rescuer. He stood looking down at her, a frown marring his brow, his mouth downturned with worry.

“Are you all right?” he asked, moving closer, holding out his hand for her to take.

She grasped it, her fingers curling around his wrist, and he hauled her upright. Her hair stuck to her temples and a gust of cold wind snapped at her cheeks, bringing on a fresh bout of shivers. Nodding, Emily stared at him, her tongue stilled by his beauty. A woolen hat covered his head, black hair peeking from the ribbed hem, and eyes the color of heated coal regarded her intently. How did they glow like that?


Anny Cook said...

Love the signature thingy! Also excellent excerpt!

Natalie Dae said...

Thanks Anny!

Nina Pierce said...

Nat - Wow, I love your blog. I found you through Nicole who sent me your way. I love the way you have your books displayed. Mind sharing the secret?

Natalie Dae said...

Hi, Nina!

I create them on Photoshop as .png files. The only way to display them on Blogger without a white background behind them is to load them onto Photobucket and use the html code in a html box in the sidebar.

I can create you some "hardbacks" if you'd like to send me your covers. Send to: nataliedae AT googlemail DOT com


Nina Pierce said...

Natalie - What a generous offer. I did find someone who said the exact same thing about doing it in Photoshop and they made one for me. I'm thinking I may need to invest in Photoshop. I ended up with Corel and no idea what to do with it. LOL! Thanks again!

Natalie Dae said...

Excellent! Glad you got it done!