Blog Tour: A Tangle of Magicks Extract and Giveaway!

A Tan­gle of Mag­icks Blog Tour

 As part of the blog tour, I have a spe­cial extract to share with you guys, taken from Stephanie’s new Kat book!

As you might know, I’ve really enjoyed read­ing these and my reviews of the first book and A Tan­gle of Mag­icks can be found here and here.

There is also have a copy of A Tan­gle of Mag­icks up for grabs — so make sure you check out the give­away form at the bottom!

“Oh, Kat,” Ange­line said, and my back stiff­ened. I hated it when she used that tone of voice. It meant: You are too young to under­stand any­thing, but I know it all. “Don’t you under­stand Step­mama by now? She would never allow us to be seen arriv­ing in Bath in a mere pub­lic stage­coach. That would hardly suit her pur­poses. No, I expect that at this very moment she is hir­ing a beau­ti­ful pri­vate car­riage, so that we can sail into Bath in the height of style, impress­ing every­one who sees us with the illu­sion of our mag­nif­i­cence. Because as we all know…” Her lips twisted. “The only thing that mat­ters in life is what Soci­ety thinks of us.”

“Bravo,” said a deep, unfa­mil­iar voice, only a few feet away. “Mag­nif­i­cent indeed, ma’am, if I may be allowed to say so.”

I spun round.

A gen­tle­man stood just inside the tap­room, wear­ing a great­coat with so many envelop­ing capes, his bulked-out shoul­ders filled the entire door­way. He raised his gloved hands to clap mock­ingly. “A remark­able per­for­mance,” he said to Ange­line. “May I ask when you will be repeat­ing it on the pub­lic stage?”

I knew enough about Soci­ety to know what an insult he had just paid her. “She is not an actress,” I said, and glared at him.

“Indeed?” He smiled. It was not a pleas­ant smile, though his face was attrac­tive enough. “But with such affect­ing talents—”

“You are imper­ti­nent, sir,” said Angeline.

“On the con­trary, ma’am, I am in awe.” He stepped for­ward, his great­coat swish­ing about his knee-high boots, and reached for her hand. “Beauty matched with style and wit – an irre­sistible com­bi­na­tion. I can­not allow you to remain unpro­tected in so pub­lic a situation.”

Ange­line pulled her hand out of his grip. “I am nei­ther unpro­tected nor unescorted.”

“No?” He looked around point­edly. “And yet…”

“Our brother is escort­ing us,” I said. “He’ll be back in only a moment.”

“How for­tu­nate for him.” The gentleman’s smile deep­ened in a way I liked even less. “Then I will only stay and lend my escort until this mys­te­ri­ous brother of yours chooses to make his appearance.”

There wasn’t a mys­te­ri­ous bone in Charles’s body… but, not for the first time, I cursed his hope­less­ness. If he had been lured into a card game, he might not remem­ber us for hours. From the look on Angeline’s face, she was send­ing silent curses in our brother’s direc­tion, too.

“Truly, sir,” she said through grit­ted teeth, “you need not trou­ble yourself.”

“Oh, I assure you, it is no trou­ble. But I haven’t yet intro­duced myself, have I?” He swept a bow, remov­ing his beaver hat and reveal­ing black curls so glossy, he must have doused them in hair oil. “Scar­wood – Vis­count Scar­wood – at your ser­vice. And most delighted to be so,” he added, look­ing straight into Angeline’s eyes.

Angeline’s lips only tight­ened. I clenched my hands into fists and wished that Ange­line could knock him over with magic as eas­ily as she’d dealt with the intox­i­cated ruf­fian out­side. But this was a gen­tle­man of means, an aris­to­crat, sober enough to recog­nise witch­craft when he saw it, and we were inside the inn now, in easy view of the tap­room. It was far too pub­lic a sit­u­a­tion for any use of magic, or of fisticuffs. Either tac­tic would ruin both our rep­u­ta­tions. Even Vis­count Scarwood’s own report, if he told any­one else what we had done – no mat­ter how ungentle­manly his own behav­iour – would be enough to ruin us in Soci­ety. But with­out magic or fisticuffs on our side, we were as help­less against him as any pair of tediously proper young ladies.

I should have been able to do so much more. If I had only received my train­ing… I remem­bered Mr Gregson’s words in the Golden Hall. With the train­ing of a real Guardian, I could have con­trolled my power and used it inde­pen­dently, not only in reac­tion to other people’s magic. Since Guardians didn’t need to cast spo­ken spells, I might even have been able to use my pow­ers to pro­tect us both from insult with­out any­one around us even guess­ing that magic had been involved.

If only I hadn’t made that dread­ful, stu­pid mis­take – if I had only kept con­trol of my damnable temper…

Vis­count Scar­wood started talk­ing again, and for a moment, I was actu­ally glad to have a dis­trac­tion from my thoughts. Then I heard what he was say­ing to Angeline.

“Come now. Any young lady brave enough to stand in a pub­lic inn with­out any vis­i­ble escort – and to speak so slight­ingly of Soci­ety – can hardly expect to stand upon con­ven­tion and wait for proper intro­duc­tions. You may as well tell me your name your­self, rather than requir­ing me to hunt it down. I will find it out, you know, in the end – and you wouldn’t like me to be irri­tated by the trou­ble you’ve forced upon me.”

“I have no inter­est in forc­ing you to do any­thing,” Ange­line said, “except to leave us in peace.”

“Ah, but I’m afraid that isn’t pos­si­ble. You’ve caught my inter­est, you see.”

“Not inten­tion­ally, I assure you.”

“Nonethe­less.” He leaned for­ward and braced one big hand against the wall beside her head. Ange­line stiff­ened and began to slide away. He trapped her with his other hand, clos­ing her in with scan­dalous inti­macy. “It is far too late now to retreat,” he breathed, so qui­etly I could barely hear the words.

Then he leaned for­ward to kiss her.

Ange­line twisted her head away. “Release me!”

I grabbed his arm. “Let her go!”

He looked down at me and laughed. “A brave pro­tec­tress indeed,” he said. “And yet—”

A wholly unex­pected voice spoke behind him. “I say,” said Charles. He was hold­ing a half-empty mug of beer and frown­ing at us. “Is – that is, is every­thing per­fectly all right here?”

“Aha.” Scar­wood leaned back, shak­ing my hand off his arm as eas­ily as he might shake off a fly. “The famous brother, I take it.”

“Indeed,” said Ange­line. Her face was flushed. She glared at him, her chin held high. “You may take your leave, sir, at once.”

“As Beauty com­mands,” he said, and bowed mock­ingly. “But I shall only say au revoir, rather than farewell. You see, I am on my way to Bath as well. I am cer­tain – I am entirely cer­tain – that we shall see each other there. And when we do meet again, I shall know your name.”

He strolled down the pas­sage­way and out of the front door at an unhur­ried pace.

As soon as the door closed behind him, Ange­line turned on Charles. “Could you pos­si­bly have taken any longer?” 

A Tan­gle of Mag­icks is out now.

To win a copy of Stephanie Bur­gis’ A Tan­gle of Mag­icks, sim­ply fill out and enter the form below.

This is a UK only competition

One entry per per­son please

Give­away runs from Sun­day 7th — Fri­day 12th

Good luck!


One Response

  1. michelle s

    August 7, 2011 at 10:19 am · Reply

    Thanks for the give­away, i am really intrigued with this book and I really like the cover 😀

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