My name is Duncan Lay and I'm the author of the Australian best-selling fantasy trilogies, The Dragon Sword Histories and the Empire Of Bones. I am now with Momentum Books (Pan Macmillan) and my new series, The Last Quarrel is out in eBook and print. Book 2, The Bloody Quarrel, is coming out in December 2015/Jan 2016 in eBook and will be in print later in 2016. Head over to my website, www.duncanlay.com for more!
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
DVD EXTRAS VI
Readers of my original series know that, often, there are
scenes and/or characters that are cut out of early drafts. Sometimes these are
removed because they are not working, sometimes because their sub-plot is
slowing down the action and sometimes because I need to get back under my
180,000 word limit!
Now, when you buy a DVD, you get to see extra scenes that
were left on the cutting room floor.
Here, you get the DVD extras from Bridge Of Swords. These
scenes may give you some extra insight into characters, or you may well judge
that it was a good thing I cut them out!
HUW PERSUADES RHIANNON TO FLEE CRIDIANTON
did not have long to wait. The sound of footsteps made him run to the door, so
he could see who was coming. To his relief - and also his anticipation - it was
Rhiannon. He checked she was alone and, before she could even get to the door,
he had thrown back the bolt and rushed out to meet her.
she stopped in her tracks. `What are you doing here? Is everything all right?’
it’s not,’ he grabbed her arm and hustled her into the room, kicking the door
shut and locking it.
is going on?’ she demanded.
don’t have much time. You need to come with me,’ Huw said carefully, urgently.
He had rehearsed this a couple of times, trying to anticipate any problem areas
and where she might ask questions.
held out the signet ring. `Do you recognise this?’
reached out an picked it up. `Father’s ring! What has happened?’ She could feel
her heart beating, like a frightened bird. She had walked back expecting to
have nothing more than a comforting bath and a fine supper for her evening -
now she had an clearly agitated Huw in her room and she knew him well enough to
see he was genuinely upset.
I am sorry, but your father is dead,’ Huw said carefully. `You have to be brave
now and listen to the rest of what I am going to say.’
No! How?’ Rhiannon felt the first tears pricking at her eyes.
came here because I am leaving for the north tonight and I hoped to say goodbye
to you. But when I got here, I heard an argument outside in the sitting room.
King Ward was here, with his guards, and your father. Ward was demanding you.’
Rhiannon felt as if she could not breathe properly. Her heart was pounding and
she did not know whether she was going to burst into tears at any moment. She
tried desperately to focus on what Huw was saying.
dancing has inflamed his brute passions. He means to take you, by force if
necessary. Just like he would with a country. He will force you to his bed. He
came here, wanting your father to help persuade you to submit to his lusts. But
your father refused, he vowed to protect you while there was life in his body.
There was a fight, I could not see what happened but, next thing I knew, he was
being carried away by the guards - and his ring rolled under the door. I do not
think he would take it off while he was alive …’
clutched the ring in tight, unable to stop the tears now.
wouldn’t ever take it off. They must have done something to him,’ she cried.
am so sorry,’ Huw eased an arm around her shoulders and patted her head gently.
`I wish I could make this easier for you. But we cannot let his sacrifice be in
vain. You must come with me now.’
tried to think, her head was just a whirl and she could not hold onto anything
beyond her father’s signet ring.
with you? Where?’
took a deep breath. `Well, you remember me saying that I am Velsh? We need to
go to the Vales …’
can‘t go there!’ she gasped.
have to! It is the only place that might be safe - if we go anywhere in
Forland, Ward will find us. And going to the southern countries is not going to
be safe either - he has his armies fighting down there. No, we need to go
north. None will suspect that - you are the only one who knows that I am
the Vales? There is nothing up there! There’s no towns or cities, nowhere for
me to perform - and Ward is sending men up there to raid and terrorise the
Velsh. I need to go somewhere better …’
is nowhere else!’ Huw snapped. `And by going there, we can stop what Ward is
doing. It is the only safe place for us - trust me…’
doesn’t make any sense!’ she cried.
know,’ Huw agreed. `It is madness. But we have both seen enough of Ward to know
none of this makes any sense! Why did Ward come here, why did my father fight
armed men - why were you here?’
was struggling to come to terms with what Huw was saying. Her life had always
been so ordered, so controlled. She had known what was going to happen, had
been told exactly what she had to do. Now her father, the one overwhelming
guiding light in her life, was gone. She felt like a ship being blown by the
wind, unable to steer or take control of its passage. And the thought of
leaving not just Crondon but Forland itself was just horrifying.
could see the conversation was heading down a dangerous route. Worse, this was
all taking too long. Her father could return at any moment - and that would
only be the start of his problems. He knew she was used to being told what to
do by her father - he had to tap into that
he snapped, and her head jerked up.
don’t have time for explanations, or even to cry properly. If we are to escape,
we have to do it now. Now, I am not your friend?’
are,’ she agreed.
only friend in this castle?’
my only friend anywhere,’ she admitted.
you have to trust me. We need to get out of here before Ward and his guards
return. They are probably looking for you even now. Time is slipping away. Take
did not want to. She wanted someone to slowly and carefully explain what was
going on. Even better, she wanted everything to go back the way it was. She had
been happy this morning. People applauded every performance she did, her father
said he was proud of her work, and she had Huw as a friend, to sneak out into
the city and enjoy a little freedom, the only freedom she had ever tasted. This
story of Huw’s, it did not quite sound right to her. She had the feeling there
was more to it than what he was saying. But, against that feeling, was the
cold, hard reality of her father’s signet ring in her hand. She had never seen
him take it off before. Something had to have happened for it to be here,
rather than on his finger.
We have to go now!’ Huw barked at her, and the habit of obedience was too
strong. People had always known what was best for her. Her father had always
known what was best for her but, if he was truly gone, the next person she looked
to - the only other person she really knew - was Huw.
she took his hand and followed him.
right. Come with me and we can get to safety,’ Huw promised.
did not know if that was true, he did not know if she would stay with him. Worse,
he was struggling to maintain the story he had made up - only long years of
practise on the stage was enabling him to keep his emotions hidden. He felt
terribly guilty for tricking her like this, and worried what would happen if
she ever found out the truth. But he was also excited by the thought of running
away with her, and the two of them being alone together tonight.
only dimly registered as he made her take a large bag stuffed full of clothes
and helped her exchange her soft dancing shoes for a pair of stout leather
travel shoes. But, in a way, it was also strangely comforting. What Huw had
told her was shocking in so many ways, not least because it threatened to force
her to think for herself, make her own decisions. She had no experience of
doing anything like that. Sinking back into blind obedience was far more
reassuring. Trying to unravel the riddle of what he was saying, trying to make
sense of it was a daunting prospect. Far easier just to do what he said, go
along with what was being arranged for her.