A bleary-eyed offering

Hello, friends. It’s been a ferocious week (long story, won’t bore you). Among other things, I’ve been making corrections to the typeset, copy-edited version of Rivals in the City, which will be published in the UK by Walker Books this June. (June! Hurray!)

There are 299 pages, of which this is the first:

Rivals in the City (UK edition), page 7

That’s a bit of a tease, isn’t it? In fairness, I should really give you a legible taste of the first few paragraphs. Here it is, and I’ll be back next week to talk about the editorial and revision process. I hope you enjoy it!


Chapter One

Saturday, 13 October, 1860
The streets of London

It was a miserable day for a walk: sleety, frigid, dark. Nevertheless, Mary Quinn and James Easton, Private Detectives, were out for a ramble about Bloomsbury, bundled against the penetrating drizzle, straining to distinguish people from lampposts in the dense fog that swamped the streets. Mary’s skirts were soaked to the knee and much heavier than when she’d first set out. Their boots were thick with mud.

Mary smiled up at James, squeezing his elbow a shade tighter. “Isn’t this delightful?”

He laughed. “Unalloyed bliss, apart from the rain, the wind, and the bitter cold. Can you still feel your fingertips?”

She wiggled them experimentally. “A little. Could you tilt the umbrella towards me, please? It’s dripping on my shoulder.” James complied and they paced on, past a sodden, shivering boy wielding a broomstick taller than he was. “Wait a moment, James.” But she needn’t have spoken. James was already turning back, pressing a coin into the crossing-sweeper’s unresisting palm. He murmured something and gave the child a gentle pat on the shoulder, urging him to movement.

Mary watched the boy stumble away, a slight figure swallowed by the dark smog. She shuddered. It was like a heavy-handed morality play, to which there could be only one conclusion.

James returned, offering his arm once more. “Where were we?”

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14 Responses to “A bleary-eyed offering”

  1. What a tease!! LOL. I am eagerly waiting for June.
    Good luck with correction. :)

  2. Rade says:

    Thank you for sharing this teaser with us! I am so excited to read this book. But I am really curious about something. Will Octavius Jones make an appearance in “Rivals in the city”? :-)

  3. MelodyJ says:

    Nice teaser. I’m looking forward to reading what comes next.

  4. Beth says:

    This is great! I can’t wait for it to be released in the US! When will that be?

  5. Ying says:

    Thank you, everyone! Rade, Octavius Jones didn’t make it into the book; I wanted to bring him back, but it would have made the plot too unwieldy. Beth, the US release date is February 2015 and the Candlewick cover will match all the others (photo of MQ on cover).

  6. Cass says:

    Aagh! I can’t wait. I can’t decide if I’m angry at you for only showing us a little piece or over the moon that you showed us a little piece. I think it’s the latter I can’t wait!!!.

  7. Perla says:

    Perfection! Want to know where they are in life & all the adventure in store!

  8. Nia says:

    Do have any idea if Candlewick will a hard cover box set of all four books in the future? That would great if was possible. It would be a great idea to impose( Hint, hint).

  9. Ying says:

    Thank you for your enthusiasm and patience, Cass and Perla! Cass, never fear: there will be more. I’m updating the website and will post a more satisfying excerpt in the next few weeks. And Nia, what a brilliant idea! I will absolutely mention that to my editor.

  10. pogo says:

    I’m really looking forward to Rivals in the City – will there be a simultaneous ebook release as well, for UK readers? The physical editions are beautiful but I’d love to have an ebook for travel (and June will see me on planes and trains quite a bit).

    And I’m sad to hear there will be no Octavius, though book 1 did fine without him and I’m more thrilled by the idea that Mary’s within striking distance of independence at last.

  11. sasa says:

    amazing, I’m very urged to read the book !!!!! 😀

  12. Ying says:

    Thank you, pogo and sasa! Pogo, I will ask about the ebook release date and get back to you.

  13. E.G.Randolph says:

    Thank you for the snippet, but this is torture. Oh, to see those words on paper and feel soft pages filled with more words to come…..

  14. Ying says:

    Hello, E.G.Randolph! That was a terribly parsimonious little snippet; I’ll be posting a more substantial taster in the next few weeks. Thank you for waiting so patiently for Rivals!

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