Firebrand progress

I’m waiting on the second set of proofs for Firebrand‘s print version at present: there were a couple of issues with the cover and some last-minute errors to fix with the text (thanks for catching those, Lucy and Cas!) so the first set of proofs couldn’t be approved. Still, that’s what proofs are for, and we’re still on track for a November 1st launch.

And here’s another excerpt, this one from Chapter 20:

The mist turns the genii-lights on the wider streets from points to globes of yellow brightness. Isabel and I discuss the evening’s musical programme, by which I mean that she tells me about it and I listen.

A sharp report interrupts us. It sounds like one of the coach-wheels cracking a stave. The coach sways about as if the horses’ harness has been cut, and draws to a sloppy halt.

“Good gracious!” says Isabel, almost pitching forward into my lap. “Are we at the Antick Gardens already?”

“I don’t think we can be,” I say cautiously. I feel a small prickle down my spine, and I don’t know whether it’s fear or excitement.

I lift the dirty curtain at the hackney’s small window. I peer out into the dark.

I can see two men in the otherwise empty street. One stands out boldly in the glare of the coach-lamp. His shadow spills back behind him half-way up the hill. He’s wearing a ridiculously theatrical cloak and a top hat, with wet-looking curls spilling out between.

The other is exactly placed in the well of shadow between two yellow genii-lights. He’s tall and burly, and wearing a battered cloth cap and a greatcoat. His right hand is half concealed under the edge of the coat, and I can see that it’s holding a pistol.

“It’s Bragaza Lockhart and Frederic Myrmidon,” I say in a fierce whisper to Isabel. “I don’t know whether Sydenham’s lurking somewhere nearby. Stay here.”

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