What do you mean it’s Wednesday already? Eek! That means it’s just one week until I launch The Butterfly Storm. So. much. to. do. But there’s always time for WIPpet Wednesday – that wonderful time of the week when fabulous writers from all over the globe come together to share what they’ve been busy working on. These past few days (maybe that should read weeks) have, one way or another, been pretty crazy so it will be lovely to grab a coffee today and take
15 minutes… 30 minutes out just to sit down and read some fantasy from Raewyn, a slice of The Inheritance from Elaine and more about Grumnlin from Kathi. Perhaps if we’re lucky there will be more bloodsucking from Kate and sugarplum fairy treats from Emily. Hopefully Alana, ReGi, Jessica, Krista and Eden will be joining in too along with a few new faces.
It’s actually hot and sunny in the UK at the moment – shock, horror – so really I should be posting a hot and sultry extract from The Butterfly Storm that’s set in Greece. Well, this extract is set in Greece but it takes place on New Year’s Eve when it’s actually snowing outside (trust me that does happen in northern Greece around Mt Olympus where the novel is set). You see this extract works as a stand alone piece plus it’s conveniently five paragraphs from chapter five for the 5th June. No WIPpet maths needed this week… All I think I need to tell you is that Lena is Alekos’ sister and Callia is her baby daughter. Oh, and just in case you don’t get it (which I’m pretty sure you will) kali xhronia means Happy New Year, or literally, good year! Which I hope it is for all of us.
Lena knocks her glass against mine. ‘To the New Year and more of this wine! I’d better check if Callia needs feeding, plus Mama will be wondering why I’m not serving drinks and being a good host to our guests. Alekos is far better at being sociable than me; he has a natural way with people, but what Mama wants…’ she raises an eyebrow and we both smile.
The band is playing by the time I emerge from the kitchen with a tray of glasses filled with mulled wine. A few guests, led by Despina, have already made a circle on the dance floor. The first time I’d been made to dance at Alekos’ cousin’s wedding, I’d surprised myself at how much I had enjoyed it. I was rubbish though, particularly at the fast dances, where my feet would get muddled and I’d crash into the person next to me.
My tray of wine is soon emptied and I stand at the edge of the dance floor and tap my foot to the music.
‘Sophie!’ Takis calls as he sidesteps past me. He puts his free arm across my shoulders and pulls me into the dance. My feet follow Takis’, stepping forward, forward, back and across, along with everyone else circling in time with the beat of the music. This is what I love about Greece, the spontaneity, the passion and zest for life. Alekos is on the opposite side of the circle sandwiched between Despina and Demetrius. His face is hot from dancing and his shirt buttons are undone halfway down his chest. He catches my eye and winks.
The dancing continues until nearly midnight when the band stops playing, although I barely notice with the amount of shouting, laughter and singing going on. Everyone holds hands. The TV above the bar is on. Alekos holds me, and a stranger’s sweaty hand grips my free one. We drown the Athens crowd out with our countdown: ‘Dheka, enea, okto, epta, eksi, pende, tesera, tria, dhio, ena! Kali xrhonia!’