Works in Progress, Week Twelve, Blood Bound and Bones of Earth.

Blood Bound
Flesh and Blood, Book 1

59930 / 95000 (63.08%)

***

Bones of Earth
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 3

37896 / 95000 (39.89%)

Good writing week all around, even if I did have some writing in reverse with Blood Bound.  (I cut something along the lines of four hundred words from chapter one, after running it through the Erotica Readers and Writers Association crit group. They’ve never steered me wrong, and I love them for it.)

Bones of Earth took off this week —  over seven thousand words written, and a major reveal that I’d been waiting to include. So anything from this point on in the story will be a spoiler… which means no more excerpts unless I have something short that won’t spoil anything.

So, remember how I said last week that once I finished Blood Bound, I wasn’t going to work on anything else other than Heir to the Firstborn until it was done? Yeah, I kinda forgot that I committed to a shared world project, and my synopsis is due by March, with the book due by December. I will be writing up that synopsis once I finish Blood Bound.  Working title on this one is John Zebedee and the Elf-King’s Son, and it’s going to be a new thing for me — a Wild West Paranormal.

Other irons in the fire — anyone else remember Web-rings? I’m participating in something very similar this week through the Romance Writer’s Weekly. On Tuesday, we’ll be writing all about how we use music in our writing, and to help us write. So when that post goes up, check out the other authors in the loop (if it works the way it’s supposed to, eventually, you’ll end up back here!)

So, excerpt time. A longer one from Blood Bound, to make up for the lack of one from Bones of Earth.   And this is me having a little fun — Daniel is having breakfast with Clara, who is a bond-slave to another vampire. What they’re having for breakfast is one of my favorite breakfasts from Proper and Wild, the little place in Winter Park, Florida, that Clara mentions. Yes, the black rice grits are that good. No, they won’t give me the recipe.


“What is that?” he asked as he entered the kitchen. “It smells wonderful.”

“Tempeh bacon, and it is,” Clara answered. “Hiro said you were vegetarian, but not what kind, so I went for vegan options. Chickpea scramble, tempeh bacon, black rice grits—”

“You’re Southern, aren’t you?” Daniel interrupted.

“Winter Park, Florida,” she answered with a grin. “And toast. Oh, and coffee.” Daniel sat down at the table and watched as she loaded a plate and handed it to him.

“For the record, I eat eggs and some dairy,” Daniel answered. He scooped up some of the black rice grits, which were purple. He took a bite, then he looked down at them. “And these. I will eat these. What’s in this?”

“I have no idea,” Clara admitted. “There’s a little place at home that makes them, and they won’t share the recipe. So my mother buys it by the quart and freezes it to ship to me. Grig likes the smell of it, but I can’t eat it too often, because of how rich it is. So I have a couple of quarts in the freezer at home.”

Daniel smiled and took another bite. “Thank you, for sharing. It’s wonderful.”

“Try the bacon,” Clara said as she filled a plate for herself.

Daniel did, and it was almost as good as the grits. Clara asked him questions while they ate, about his yoga practice and tending bar. When he told her that he’d been a performer at The Blood Bank before he started tending bar there, she laughed.

“That’s where I know you from!” she said. “I knew you were familiar. But… ah… wow, I’ve never actually said this before, but—”

“You didn’t recognize me with my clothes on?” Daniel finished, and she burst into giggles.

“Yes!” she agreed. “The night Grig and I were there, you were wearing… well, not a heck of a lot. Bike shorts, I think. Really little ones. And there was a gorgeous girl who tied you to the pole.”

“Her name is Daphne,” Daniel said. “I can introduce you, but she’s married.”

Clara wrinkled her nose. “Figures. Just my luck.” She laughed and refilled her coffee. “More grits?” she asked.

Daniel shook his head. “I’m stuffed, thanks. But more coffee would be good.” He let her fill his cup again, and took a sip. “So what’s it like, being a bond?”

She looked thoughtful. “I… may be biased. My family have basically been retainers for Grigori for five generations. Grigori seems to have a preferences for bonds from the Trella bloodine. So we kids grew up knowing that when my great-uncle stepped down or passed away, it would be one of us.” She shrugged. “Us being me, my sister, my brothers, and all of my cousins.”

“Big family?” Daniel asked.

“Huge,” Clara answered with a laugh. “Mom was one of six, Dad was one of nine, and I don’t think any of them can spell zero population growth. Family gatherings take all weekend. I’ve been with Grig six years now, and I’ve loved every minute of it. It’s hard work, but that’s mostly because vampires are stubborn breed, and sometimes you have to force them to take care of themselves.” She pointed at Daniel. “Hiro’s perfectly awful at it. He starves himself. I’m constantly shocked he doesn’t go blood mad.”

“What?” Daniel asked. “Clara, I’m on the outside looking in. There’s a lot I don’t know, and a lot that I’ve heard but don’t know if it’s true. Start at the beginning. I’m signing the contract. What does that mean?”

Clara nodded. “You have no training at all?” she asked.

“None. I didn’t finish college, and I couldn’t afford the prep school.”

“Oh, I see. You’re starting from the ground up. Okay. No wonder Hiro asked me to talk to you. To begin with, a vampire can live on poured blood for three to four days. After that, they have to drink living blood. They never take too much — usually it’s less than if you’re donating blood. But it’s every three days, usually. Any longer, and their judgment starts to go. Longer than five days, and they go wild. Which is why they have bond-slaves. Oh, and how they take living blood is a little different for each vampire. It depends on their preferences.” She paused to sip her coffee. “Vampires are apex predators. More so than humans are. So they need the hunt—”

“I know this part,” Daniel said. “It’s why they’re all into bondage, and I have a job.”

“It’s why most of them are into bondage,” Clara corrected. “For the illusion of captured prey. But for some, they’re more interested in the chase.” She grinned. “I think Grig picked me because I ran varsity track in college. Now, Hiro isn’t interested in the chase. He wants the fight. He wants the captured prey. He’s inventive, too. And considerate to a fault. You’re going to love him. He will drive you nuts, though. If there’s a religious site anywhere within walking distance, he wants to see it. I have no idea why, but he’s something of a spiritual tourist.”


And that’s where I’ll leave you. See you on Tuesday with my playlists!

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