Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Bite of... Dark Child

This fortnight's "A Bite Of", features our wonderful Adina West and a snippet of her novel Dark Child.





Can you, in less than five words describe your book Dark Child?

Tarot, destiny, foreboding, Machiavellian…you did say less than five, right? But of course that means I have to leave out my brooding heroes, and magical runes, and lots of other fun stuff.

What inspired you to write it?

 Dark Child started as an experiment. After years of writing contemporary and historical romance, with little success, I wanted to try my hand at paranormal. I’d watched every vampire movie and TV series ever made, and evidently it had all been percolating away in the back of my mind.

I started by writing a single scene about a girl living in a building with a dangerous secret, a building she should have walked right past without seeing, like everyone else did. That scene grew into a full length novel. And that original scene, pretty much unchanged, is still in the final book, in Dark Child Episode 2.

Without further delay, here's the snippet!


Excerpt from Dark Child Episode 1
***

Kat turned her head to see what he was looking at, and saw another man – a very tall, very well-dressed man – filling the doorway.
And he was looking right at her.
Director Norris took a step in his direction, and faltered. “Sir, is . . . is something the matter? I understood you’d be waiting in the car.”
The man didn’t immediately acknowledge him.
Norris held out the sample shipper. “I have the sample right here.”
Finally, the man broke his unblinking focus on Kat, and glanced at Norris. “I’ll take over now.” He made a dismissive gesture with his hand, as if shooing away an annoying fly. “Take that to the car.”
“Yes, sir.” Director Norris scurried away down the corridor carrying the shipper.
Kat looked back up at the man in the doorway. “Country club material,” her grandmother would have said. A perfect match for the limousine outside. Even without his height, he was the sort of man who commanded instant attention, with all the confidence of bearing, the charisma, of one used to leading others. But who was he? And why had just seeing him been enough to make Director Norris jump to do his bidding – behaving more like a junior associate than the director of an entire research division?
“I am Ionescu,” the man said, somehow knowing to answer the question she hadn’t asked. His dark eyes glittered. “Director Norris reports to me.” He took a step towards them.
“Your name isn’t familiar, Mr Ionescu,” Paul said, looking baffled. “Do you work in our corporate head office?”
Ionescu turned to face him with an expression of mild surprise, as if he’d only just noticed him standing there. “Indeed,” he murmured. “Would you excuse us?”
Kat saw the strangest expression cross Paul’s face. Shock, then an odd blankness, then bewilderment. “Of course,” he said, and walked out of his own office without another word.
Kat swallowed, and felt a flutter of nerves as Ionescu again turned toward her with those darkly fascinating eyes.
“Ms Chanter,” Ionescu said, with a caressing smile. His voice was cultured, the vocal rhythm strangely soothing. If she’d thought otherwise when Paul had first mentioned it to her, the attention Ionescu was paying her showed that this part of the meeting was most definitely not an afterthought.
Then a sudden chill ran up her spine. Ionescu hadn’t been in the room when Paul had done the introductions.
So how do you know my name?
“I saw your photograph in the foyer,” Ionescu continued smoothly. “Last year’s employee of the year. Quite remarkable.”
Again, it was as if he’d anticipated her question and answered it before she could ask it.
“Oh,” she said, her anxiety dispelled. “Thank you.”
Ionescu crossed the room to stand in front of her, and she automatically held out her hand, expecting to shake with him.
“Meeting you is a most . . . unexpected pleasure,” Ionescu murmured. She caught a flash of dark eyes as he bent over her hand with a brief inclination of the head – a remnant of what perhaps would have been a gentlemanly bow in years gone past. It seemed perfectly in keeping with the rest of him, somehow.
“P-pleased to meet you,” Kat said in return, finding herself surprisingly tongue-tied.
Was that because of his old-fashioned courtliness? Or because he was still holding her hand? She had no idea of the etiquette on this. Most people she knew just shook hands and then let go. Should she . . . pull away?
Finally, he smiled and released her hand. Again, he made that half-bowing motion in her direction. “As I am sure Norris has communicated, we would be privileged to have an employee of your caliber join us.”
Kat smoothed her palms down the sides of her thighs. “The platelet study does sound very interesting, though I only know the little I’ve read about it in the research bulletin.”
“It certainly is . . . interesting.” Was there a glimmer of humour in his eyes? “And our research is cutting edge. Research subjects with blood matching this platelet profile are quite unique, with a fascinating list of correlating attributes.”
“What attributes do the subjects share?” Kat said. She couldn’t resist asking the question. Tread carefully, Kat, an inner voice warned.
“Certain dietary sensitivities and accelerated healing, among other things.” Ionescu’s mouth curled slowly into a smile. “I’m afraid I can’t disclose any more details in general discussion. The subjects in this study value their privacy, and we request all employees to sign a non-disclosure agreement when they join us.” He paused, and his eyes, thoughtful and assessing, briefly met hers. “Perhaps I should also mention that this position would attract a significant salary increase.”
“Oh!” Extra money would be nice, particularly if she had to pay for accommodation in a big city
“I hope I can count on you accepting our offer?” Ionescu’s voice was smooth as silk.
Kat blinked. It was a little too early to be asking for a commitment, surely? She wasn’t sure why he was being so pushy. “As I was saying to Director Norris when you arrived, I’ll need a few days to think it over. But I’m very grateful to be offered the opportunity.”
For the merest instant, Kat thought she saw discomfiture on Ionescu’s face, as if he’d actually expected her to agree immediately, to give her acceptance on the spot. But then that momentary lapse was cleanly erased, and his expression became benign once more, so she almost thought she’d imagined it.
“Of course.” Another charming smile. “Anything involving relocation requires some thought. But I hope you will not take too long to make your decision.”
Sounds awesome! Thanks for sharing Adina.
If you want to find out more about Adina West and her writing, check out the links below...


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