As ever, my cover designers came up with something striking and I hope you all like it. For once I didn’t do a crappy sketch, I just told them what I wanted and this is the final result.
There’s some symbolism here and anyone that knows the Robin Hood legend will know how it ends so, since this is the final book in the series you can make up your own minds what the cover is saying. Let me know what you think please, I’d love to know your thoughts on how this compares to the other covers since it IS a little different…
There’s no point asking me questions about how it will all pan out, because I honestly do not know myself yet. I’m working hard on it and it should be finished by this summer but I have no idea what will happen as I work. Just as an example, I was writing a scene tonight and, totally out of the blue, a whole new plotline presented itself – it literally came out the mouth of Robin and has opened up an idea I’d never thought of before!
So if you want to know how it’s all going to end -don’t ask me!
You’ll just have to read the book when it comes out around July/August.
To whet your appetite here’s a little extract from the scene just before that one I was working on tonight. As ever, totally unedited, this is straight from the manuscript and you might recognise a couple of guys here…
Philip watched in surprise as the arrow tore past his face by quite some distance and, from the sound of it, buried itself deep in a tree trunk.
“The bastards are shooting at us,” he muttered, turning, one eyebrow raised, to look up at Eoin.
The giant’s eyes widened as another arrow sailed past them at an almost leisurely pace – clearly these villagers were no crack shots – then he lumbered forward, placing himself in front of Philip and using his bulk to shepherd his friend backwards, into the safety of the trees, like some great mother hen.
“The bastards,” Philip repeated, shocked at the organised resistance they’d met. This had never happened before when they’d visited a village and he cursed Robin Hood once again. The man was a thorn in his side that he’d need to remove sooner rather than later. “Attack them,” he ordered, waving his hand forward distractedly. “Show these peasants what happens when people stand up to us.”
His men needed no further encouragement.
The bald headman had retreated behind a building when the shooting had started. His furious voice could be heard castigating the man that had loosed the first, wayward arrow – both for starting a fight that might have been avoided and, more importantly, missing the target.
The arrows continued to slam into the trees though, and the outlaws waited, judging the best moment to charge, before, at last, half a dozen of them sprinted towards the village screaming unintelligible war cries.
Philip watched as an arrow – probably more by luck rather than any skill – hammered into one of his men, spinning the unfortunate backwards, howling in rage and pain and effectively out of the battle.
The other five of his followers made it to the village and were met by a similar number of locals, led by the headman with his war axe.
Fascinated now by the melee, Philip stared, rapt, as the big, bald man brought his weapon down on the head of an outlaw, then used his foot to brace himself as he tried to free the blade which had become trapped in the dead outlaw’s skull.
He wasn’t fast enough though, and an attacker hammered the blade of his sword into the headman’s torso. The blow was a powerful one and it sent the headman reeling backwards although the ill-fitting mail shirt he wore absorbed most of the force so no blood was drawn.
Philip’s eyes flickered on to the next of his men and he cursed inwardly as a villager, face scarlet and terrified, landed a lucky blow with his crude hammer, smashing the wolf’s head’s eye socket into a bloody mess.
His gaze moved on again and this time the view was more pleasing.
Mark’s toothless mate, Ivo, was competent – skilled even – with his sword, and he skewered one of the villagers before drawing the crimson blade free and moving to hack at the next in the defensive line.
Look out for the Blood of the Wolf pre-order on Amazon around June, and please keep the reviews for the other books coming, they really do help.