Sneak Preview: New Dawn

So, as you have probably realised by now, New Dawn didn’t launch yesterday. I’ve been told my front cover prop will arrive on Monday, so if that’s the case, I should be able to get the cover put together and the book up on Amazon for Wednesday. I’ll keep you posted!

For now, here’s a sneak preview of the first chapter of New Dawn, in which Cadence faces her worst enemy… a social function.

As soon as I walk through the door, Inspector Manning plies me with a glass of champagne, orders me to drink it, then swiftly replaces my empty glass with a full one.

“Are you trying to get me drunk?” I ask as the fizz settles in my stomach.

“I’m working on the principle that if you drink enough, you’ll forget to not enjoy yourself,” he says, smile wan.

“It’s going to take more than two glasses of champagne for that.”

Manning looks me up and down then, addressing my fashion choices with a critical eye. He nods .

“At least you’ve worn a dress,” he says. “Just try to remember to smile for the photographs.”

The thought of photographs has me tugging on the hem of my dress, wishing I’d worn tights, or better, trousers. Manning tsks at me, and I stop, standing upright and trying to look pleased to be in the room.

“You know, I think I’ve spoken to the Superintendent once in my almost five years of working here,” I say.

“Do you think many people here have done much more than that?” Manning says.

I scan the crowd before us. The police force in the city is large, spread wide, but I recognise a few familiar faces from our station. Dower is standing by the buffet table, chatting to James Whiley, both looking dapper in suits. There are others, dotted throughout the room, that I recognise. Some from nearby stations, some from jobs, some from training. I search for the one other Deportations Officer within the city limits – Patrick O’Neill, born in England to Irish parents, but affecting their brogue and mannerisms to make himself stand out among his English peers. A chronic show off, who probably only took the job for the glory. I can’t see him. I wonder if he died and I missed the announcement.

My stomach tightens around the champagne warmth when I spot another familiar face. Bookish features, glasses, hair styled in an old-fashioned way, his jacket tweed, his shoes polished to mirror shine. Daniel Charlesworth, head of New Dawn. Not far from him, Mayor Curwood talks to the Superintendent, clapping him on the shoulder with easy familiarity. Behind them, a little way off to the left, another familiar and unwelcome face lurks – Colin Ludgrove, head of New Dawn’s demon worshiping counterpart, New Dusk doxycycline online. He’s fascinatingly ordinary, and I wonder if the young woman he’s talking to knows who the doddery grandfather figure she’s being thoroughly charmed by actually is.

“Charlesworth and Ludgrove?”

Manning’s grimace is enough to tell me what he thinks of it. “Unfortunately the presence of powerful men is enough to make other powerful men feel they have the right to invite themselves. The Superintendent is a man who knows the value of political allegiance and mutual back scratching.”

“Thank God he’s retiring then,” I say.

“I doubt his replacement will be any better.”

‘No desire to climb the ladder yourself?’

Manning snorts. “I wonder how far I would have to climb before you start doing as you’re told.”

As a Deportations Officer, I fall outside of the otherwise hierarchal police ranks, which gives me liberties that other officers don’t have. But then, I still push my luck more often than not.

As I finish my second champagne, a third appears in my hand and Manning dismisses me to go and ‘mingle.’ My least favourite thing in the world, placing in front of even Shades and Daniel Charlesworth.

I head for Dower, who I am most comfortable with among the living, human members of the station. It probably says something very bad that I would take an afternoon spent with my thirteen foot tall, bloodthirsty Demon, Alf, over a retirement party.

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