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

Blood Bound

10227 / 95000 (10.77%)
***

Bones of Earth
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 3

3179 / 95000 (3.35%)

Things are a little slow here — there have been lots of back to school related things that have kept me away from my desk. Here’s hoping things calm down a little so I can focus.

Blood Bound is moving quite well, for all that I keep having to stop and do the worldbuilding that I didn’t really get done over the summer. You’d think that with as long as this has been on the back burner, I’d have done some of it. Umm… nope!

Part of the problem, which isn’t REALLY a problem, is that Daniel, the main character, is a bartender at night, but during the day he teaches yoga and pole dancing. Now, I know from yoga. I’ve been doing yga for years. Pole dancing is entirely a new thing for me. So I’m watching lots of YouTube videos on male pole dancing. For research. Really.

With Bones of Earth, I have a good idea where things are going to go. It’s just sitting down and getting them there. Once I get into the swing of things again, we should be good. And in the meantime, I’ve finished my initial editing pass on Forged in Fire, and handed them off for another set of eyes. I’m still thinking that we’re looking at an October publication date and new books on the table at Necronomicon.

Since I can’t give an excerpt from Bones of Earth without spoilers for Forged in Fire, let’s meet Itami Hiro, our vampire love-interest from Blood Bound.

***

It was still early, so it wouldn’t be busy for hours yet. Especially since the performers didn’t start until eight. Right now, it was a couple of the regulars, mostly humans, who called out greetings and went to claim their usual spaces. Several of them called out drink orders, and Daniel was busy enough with them that, while he noticed the man take a seat at the bar, he didn’t really see him until Sarah had taken the drinks away. Then he turned with a smile, wiping his hands on a bar towel, and tried not to stare. He immediately recognized the man as a vampire — he’d gotten good at that over the years. But he’d never seen this man before. He’d remember those looks, and that hair — pure white, straight and hanging loose over the shoulders of his perfectly tailored suit. Definitely not a bleach job. He wore dark glasses, and Daniel wondered if it was an affectation, or medical. He was betting medical.

“Welcome to The Blood Bank,” Daniel said as he walked over. “First time?”

“You can tell?” The vampire took off his glasses, revealing not red irises as Daniel had expected, but pale purple. Daniel nodded.

“I’ve never seen you here before, and I’m always behind the bar. What can I get for you, sir?” He watched the man as he took a snifter from the warmer. He was Asian. Albino Asian vampire. Not familiar. From somewhere other than New York, Daniel decided. Who was he? And he was alone. Where was his bond-slave? “We’ve got lamb, veal, venison and ostrich on tap. The ostrich is new and small batch.”

“Ostrich?” The vampire sniffed. “Is there someone who drinks that?”

“Between you, me and the bar? I really doubt it,” Daniel said, and the vampire laughed. Daniel wiped his hand again on the bar towel, then held his hand out. “Daniel Remington.” The vampire took the offered hand and shook it, but didn’t offer his own name. “What can I get you, sir?” Daniel repeated.

The vampire looked at him for a moment, studying him. He was squinting slightly, and Daniel reached out and turned off the task light closest to him, cutting the glare off on that portion of the bar. The vampire looked surprised. Then he smiled.

“A drink,” he said. “Not blood.” He looked Daniel up and down, almost appraisingly. “Surprise me.”

“Surprise you,” Daniel repeated. “Okay.” He nodded, thinking. He was starting to suspect that he was talking with the new owner. Which meant he needed to impress. Flash. He grinned. “Sweet or savory?”

“Surprise me,” the vampire repeated. Daniel nodded.

“Sure. Give me a minute.” He turned, studied the bar for a moment, then decided and started picking things up. Vodka and coconut water, cranberry juice, blue curacao, and simple syrup. He could feel Trace watching him as he filled a rocks glass with ice, then filled the Boston shaker with ice, and measured his ingredients. He changed the proportions just a bit, just enough, and shook the drink up. Then he carried the glass and the shaker over to the vampire, set the glass down, then broke the shaker open and deftly poured the contents into the glass. The drink, which would normally be a pale blue, was instead a light shade of purple.

“There you go,” he said. “On the house. Welcome to The Blood Bank.”

“On the house?”

“First timers get welcomed in. And besides, it matches your eyes.” Daniel grinned and winked at the vampire, who looked stunned for a moment, then laughed out loud.

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