Hello, and welcome to The Year of the Snake Blog Hop. Many thanks to Wendy Russo for inviting me to play.
Today we say goodbye to the year of the dragon and hello to the year of the snake. So this hop is dedicated to excerpts of deception, delusion, opportunism, and perhaps simply snakes.
Here's my excerpt. Enjoy!
(Josie is the antagonist in Crimson Sunrise, and she has a plan that will launch herself in a new seat of power. She's not above using anyone to get what she wants, including her convenient for-now husband.)
Caleb crossed his arms over his chest. “You knew Dhelis’s mate
would drown. Why did you bother telling her you loved Dhelis?”
A thrill of power shot through Josie. She’d been right about his
being jealous. Men were so easy. A pull here. A tug there. I’m a
“Because,” she answered with exaggerated patience, “some Tueri
couples are telepathically linked. I don’t know if their match has
achieved that connection, but I wasn’t taking any chances. I didn’t
want her warning Dhelis—or Brogan for that matter. I wanted to
keep her off balance. Break her concentration through anger.”
There was no way Dhelis, Brogan, and Saari had already
achieved that kind of shared power, but Caleb didn’t know that.
“Dhelis’s blood type is a perfect match for me. If Saari hadn’t
come along when she did, I’d be bound to Dhelis and already
pregnant,” she answered, pouring sweet innocence into her words.
He all but growled with frustration. “I’m a perfect match for
your blood type, too. What do we need him for?”
“For starters,” she reminded him, “You’re only a half-breed—and
the Tueri half isn’t from a Stone Rider. For the abilities to be passed
on, I have to get pregnant by a Stone Rider.”
He glared at her.
She tightened her invisible hold. “This is only business, baby.
You know that. I’ve already explained this. Chimeras carry multiple
strands of DNA within their own, so we always reproduce Tueri
abilities. His mother was a chimera, like me, and his father was a
Stone Rider, like mine. That means a successful breeding between
our genetics will produce the highest Stone Riding abilities
possible. Dhelis is the best choice.”
“So?” he drawled.
“That’s the price for our immortality.”
Caleb’s expression changed as understanding dawned. “He
agreed to turn us? What were your terms?”
“Of course he did.” She ignored the second question and looked
up at him from under her lashes. “Do you think I’d be able to go
through this without you?”
“How do you know he won’t double cross us?”
Josie smiled. “Because he needs me. I’m his breeding queen. My
gift is passing on Tueri abilities through my progeny—and I heal
within hours of childbirth. So I can get pregnant again immediately
after giving birth. Once we combine the gene pool, vampires will
have an immunity, or affinity depending on the perspective, to
Tueri crystal. And the vampires will be able to give birth. They can
reproduce the same immunity.”
“Then he only needs you for the first child, not the rest,” he
“Not true. Genetics are a crapshoot. We’ve established the best
odds by using Dhelis’s genetics mixed with my own: that’s Chimera
and Stone Riding abilities on both sides back eons of generations.
But that’s not a guarantee. So, he’ll need us both.”
His mouth turned up in a feral smile.
She’d finally convinced him to play the game. Her nerve endings
Poor sod. He doesn’t realize I meant Dhelis when I said we’d
both be needed.
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