Works in Progress, Week Eight: Blood Bound and Bones of Earth

Blood Bound
Flesh and Blood, Book 1

37681 / 95000 (39.66%)


Bones of Earth
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 3

23620 / 95000 (24.86%)

Busy week behind me, busier week ahead of me. Busiest week next week, ending with Necronomicon.  I’ll have a table in the dealers room, so if I’m not on a panel, that’s where you’ll find me.  (Please come find me — ALL of the print books that I ordered have come in all at once! I have TOO MANY BOOKS!!!)

I do have to say that I really like the quality from Draft2Digital’s new print service.  The covers are crisp and shiny (okay, I’m not so fond of the shiny — I like a matte cover). But the quality is VERY good. I’ll have copies of both Heir to the Firstborn books at the table, from both printers, so you can come check them out.

Why was last week a busy week? Well, partly because of life jumping around and yelling “Pay attention to ME!” and partly because inspiration struck and I had THREE writing projects going last week.

I don’t recommend that.

I really don’t recommend pulling together a four thousand word short story in two days, hitting SEND at 11PM on the night the submissions period closes, and realizing the next day that you misread the call. That’s a doozy of a mistake — the editor did like the story, but it was not what she wanted for that anthology. Which, yeah, I understand that. Total brain flail on my part.  So I have this story that doesn’t have a home. I’m shopping it around, and if it doesn’t go anywhere, I’ll publish it myself. Watch this space!

I’m trying to focus more on Bones of Earth, even though Blood Bound is still being a lot more fun. Last week, I asked the question about if a vampire feeds on someone other than his bond, is he cheating? I posed this question in the forums of the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter of the RWA.  Several votes for “No, he’s not cheating, he’s having lunch,” one vote for “He’s totally cheating,” and, surprisingly, one vote for “It’s abuse!” Now, considering that in a later book, I’m going to be exploring an abusive vampire bond relationship, that one was interesting.

I also ended up post the first ten chapters in our private crit group because people wanted to know more about the worldbuilding. No feedback yet, but it hasn’t even been a week yet.

Here’s the scene where Hiro wrestles with the idea, asking an older and trusted vampire for advice:

“Then you must call me Hiro.” Hiro glanced toward him. “You have had many bonds, I assume?”

“Yes,” Marcus answered. “As old as I am? Too many. None at the moment, I’m afraid. My sweet Benjamin had the markers, and we were both hopeful, but he didn’t turn.”

“I’m sorry,” Hiro said. “You were together a long time?”

“Fifty-three years. You have questions about bonding?” Marcus asked.

“I have never had a bond—”

“As young as you are? I’m not surprised. You’re only just come of age, haven’t you? I seem to remember granting a waiver to allow you to becoming a full Justiciar long before your majority.”

Hiro smiled. “And for that, I do thank you.” He merged onto the FDR, seeing Grigori’s Land Rover ahead of them. He nodded. “I know I do not know all the intricacies of relations with humans. But I am… concerned. I took living blood from Clara tonight.”

“She’s a delightful bond,” Marcus said. “Is there an issue?”

“Not with Clara, no. Never with Clara.” Hiro hesitated for a moment. “Do humans consider taking living blood from another to be adulterous?”

“Oh, I see. You’re asking if you’ve cheated on your Daniel by feeding from Clara. Because, I presume, she took pleasure from the act?”

“Yes, that is what I am asking,” Hiro said. “My Daniel… he’s been badly used. Has Grigori told you?”

“About the problem with Anton LaSalle’s bond? Yes. He’s also assured me that he’s handling it,” Marcus said. “I can understand why Daniel is skittish.”

“That is the word he used,” Hiro said. “It was not just Jethro Cantrell who hurt him. To quote him, Jess was not the first. He was the latest. And, as far as I am concerned, he was the last. No one will ever hurt my Daniel again.” He looked at Marcus, saw the king nodding. “He trusted me enough to bring me to his home. To his bed. When I left him today, he asked me to be safe, and to come back to him, because we had paperwork to do. I do not want to hurt him. And I had not considered before tonight that taking living blood from another might do just that.”

Marcus hummed softly, melodically. Hiro recognized the melody as something he’d heard on the radio, something with a wonderful piano bridge. He followed Grigori’s car off the FDR and onto a bridge, and they crossed into the Bronx.

“We only have a few minutes before we get there,” Marcus said. “So let me tell you what I think. I also had not considered that someone might be hurt by the… side-effects of taking living blood from another. To us, it is… a meal. But I can see why a human would be disturbed by it. Does he know how a vampire’s bite affects humans?”

“I do not know,” Hiro admitted. “He did know I would be feeding today. I told him as much. And… he offered.”

“You refused him?” Marcus asked. “Why?”

“Because he is not yet ready. He is still very wary.” Hiro frowned. “He used the phrase once bitten. Is there more to that?”

“Once bitten, twice shy,” Marcus answered. “Your restraint is commendable. I do not think there are many who would be able to turn down a throat offered willingly, from someone to whom they were going to bond. And especially not after not having fed for four days. So, I think that your first question to ask him when you see him next should be if he knows how humans react to our bite. If he does not, then explain it to him. Has he met Clara?”

“Briefly, yes.”

“He should speak with her as well. And any other bonded pairs you may trust with his welfare.” Marcus sighed. “I wish he could have sat down with Benjamin.”

Hiro licked his lip, then asked, “May I bring him to you?”

“I would be delighted, Hiro. We will talk more on this later. For now, we’re almost there, and we need to focus.”

What do you think?

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