Fun fact: tomorrow is my birthday! In honor of this occasion, I have gifts to dole out!
First, my newsletter subscribers will be receiving the unedited first chapter of The Cogsmith’s Daughter!
For the record, by “unedited” I mean that I have revised it once, but it has not been to a professional editor (or even beta readers) yet. My email peeps will literally be the only people to see it beyond me and my alpha reader!
(Psst – don’t worry. If you haven’t subscribed yet, I got your back. Just click here.)
Now who would I be to neglect the rest of you, just because you are perfectly satisfied with my blog alone? Because I appreciate you all and your unending support for my indie author journey, here is a quick teaser from the beginning of Chapter One of The Cogsmith’s Daughter. Enjoy!
Aya Cogsmith awoke the same way she did every morning, to the croaking of the mechanical frog next to her bed. Reaching across the pile of blankets and pillows she used for bedding, Aya grabbed the frog between her frog and forefinger. If she didn’t pick him up first thing, he would hop all the way across her little room in five leaps and run into the wall. Aya didn’t have the money to fix him again.
She rubbed the frog’s smooth metal belly with her free hand, keeping her fingers clear of his still-jerking legs. Raising the frog up, she peered through his side to examine his center cog, ensuring its nine golden teeth were connecting properly with the other gears. She listened to his croaks carefully, counting the seconds between them and trying to gauge the volume.
“You’re sounding older every morning, Charlie.”
Aya turned the winder on his back to the left, and Charlie’s legs slowed their jerking. He let out one final croak before going still. Aya placed Charlie back on the floor next to her bedding and watched him as if he may move again. She remembered when she was a little girl—how she would leap out of bed first thing and hop along the floor behind Charlie. When she caught up to him, she would grab him with both hands and frog-leap back into her bed. There, she’d either let Charlie hop along the blanket until he got caught in the pillows, or she’d place him under the covers, holding them up high over him like a tent, and let him hop around in his “froggy cave.”
After a few minutes of this, Aya’s father would peek his head in through the door and tell her to let poor Charlie get some rest. She would sigh, until her father mentioned whatever warm breakfast he had prepared, at which point she would unwind Charlie and place him back on the floor next to her bed.
Aya yawned and patted Charlie’s head with her forefinger.
“At least I’ve still got you, buddy.”
Charlie didn’t move, which she took as a sign that he wouldn’t leave.
Aya stretched her arms out wide, wincing slightly at a twinge in her lower back. Even after ten years, her body refused to adjust to sleeping on the floor with only a few pillows for cushion. She got up and took a few steps to her window, relishing the feel of the warm morning wind on her face. The window was about the size of her face, and it had been installed when the previous owner put his fist through the wall during a fight. Aya had tried to give it some dignity by covering it with scraps of red fabric from her favorite skirt. Some carpenter or other had ripped it one night at work, and she couldn’t bear to let the silk go to waste. But, at least if the skirt hadn’t brought her any dignity in its life, maybe it could bring her misshapen window sophistication in its death.
Copyright © 2015 by Kate M. Colby. All Rights Reserved.