Friday 11 December 2015

Bonus Deleted Scene from Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman

When you’re reading a book, do you ever find yourself wondering about the scenes or characters who got cut from the final version? I love reading deleted scenes and finding out why they didn’t make it into the book—it’s like opening a door into the main character’s life that had been previously closed. That’s why I decided to share with you a section that I ended up cutting from Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke.

Since the book’s prequel, Prisoner of Night and Fog, has been adopted into a number of middle and high school curriculums in the U.S., my American editor and I had several conversations about keeping the romance between Gretchen and Daniel sizzling without crossing the boundary line into “adult” territory. Ultimately, this entire steamy scene got scrapped, but here’s my favorite part:

She drew back and looked at him. In the dimness of the bedroom, his face seemed grave. But beautifully familiar, each part of him that she memorized long ago: the glimmers of gold in his brown eyes, the sharp sweep of his jaw, the curve of his mouth. She laid her hand on his cheek, so she could feel the heat of his skin.

“Daniel,” she whispered, “you’re the miracle of my life.”

He smiled then, such a free, easy smile that she felt her heart expanding in her chest until she thought her ribs would break. When he pressed his lips to hers, the room seemed to fall away, and the police wagons rumbling over the cobblestones; the swastika banners snapping in the breeze; the prostitutes snorting cocaine; the thunder of Hitler’s voice in the Sportpalast; the tinkle of glass as SA men smashed shop windows. I don’t want to forget anything, she’d thought when the prostitutes had offered her the white power, and as she twined her arms around Daniel’s neck, she knew she had been right. She didn’t want to forget anything, the beautiful and the blessed, the painful and the pitiless, none of it, because each moment had molded her into the person she was now and had brought her to this place with her lips on Daniel’s in a kiss that seemed to go on and on.

Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke is out now.

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