Poison in the Blood by Robyn Bachar #Excerpt
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Hi Readers. We have the awesome Robyn Bachar here today. She's written you all a letter.
Would you marry a vampire?
Personally, I’m undecided. A vampire seems like a high-maintenance relationship to me, and “til death do us part” is a serious commitment when your honey is immortal. The heroine of my Bad Witch: The Emily Chronicles books didn’t start married to a vampire. Emily’s soul mate Michael was mortal when they fell in love and were married, but long before he said his vows to her he swore to serve the Order of St. Jerome as a chronicler. (A sort of vampire librarian tasked with keeping magician history. I have many magic librarians in my books.) So after a few years of wedded bliss and five adorable children, Emily is faced with the problem of what a wife should do with her time when her husband is busy being a bloodthirsty creature of the night.
The answer: fight crime!
Emily Black is a magnet for trouble. As a seer, she can sense energy, read auras, and occasionally receives prophetic visions, so this makes her ideal for solving murders. Or at least it does in my modern Bad Witch books (she helps out in my Bad Witch book Bewitched, Blooded and Bewildered, which was a 5-star Night Owl Reviews Top Pick). But in the straitlaced magician society of Victorian London in Poison in the Blood, a crime scene is no place for a wife and mother regardless of her unique abilities.
Emily is torn between using her seer magic to catch a killer stalking London’s magicians and obeying the wishes of her soul mate, who wants her safe at home. Though “safe” isn’t simple when you’re married to a newly-made vampire who can barely control his hunger.
Well, maybe being married to a vampire is a high-maintenance relationship, but it’s a lot of fun to write, and I hope you enjoy reading about it.
E-book: June 18, 2013 / Print: June 3, 2014
She is honey to his throat…but one sweet taste could part them forever…
Banished from home while her husband adjusts to life as an immortal, blood-drinking chronicler, Emily Black is homesick, heartsick and struggling under the constant sensory barrage of a city drenched in ancient magic. When an old friend asks for her aid in solving a string of murders, she welcomes the distraction, despite the danger.
Justine Dubois is grateful for a seer’s help, and more understanding than anyone of Emily’s plight. As a guardian, Justine commands respect; as a woman, her magic is considered inferior. Together, they are determined to prove their worth to London’s magicians, starting with solving these murders—with maybe a bit of matchmaking on the side.
Long before he met his soul mate, Michael Black made a commitment to join the Order of St. Jerome. He will live forever, forced to watch the woman he loves age and die. As Emily hunts the murderer, Michael struggles to protect her. But if he loses control of his hunger, the greatest threat to her safety could be Michael himself.
Warning: Contains tortured soul mates, scheming faeries, vampire debauchery, deadly parasols, illicit blood-drinker relations, and adorable plot moppets.
Readers can receive 30% off the ebook of Poison in the Blood from the Samhain Store by using the coupon code POISON14 at checkout. (Limited Time / Check With Publisher)
Normally stepping into a garden would soothe me, but we were still within London, where there was no comfort whatsoever. I looked up at the night sky and wished I were with Michael.
“You have the soul of an artist, Miss Rose. It is a rare gift.” Mr. Paris stroked my hand, and I tugged it free of his arm. I folded both hands before me primly and smiled.
“Again, that is very kind of you.”
“I consider myself a patron of the arts.”
“So you attend gatherings such as this often?” I asked.
“Of course. I am always on the lookout for new talent.”
“I see. Did you know Mrs. Harding?” I tried to examine his aura to determine his reaction, but his magic continued to be so overwhelming that my eyes watered. Mr. Paris must be unspeakably powerful, and I found myself both worried and intrigued. Perhaps he was a sorcerer? One who specialized in darkness?
“I did. Poor girl. What a terrible thing to have happened to her and her family… Tell me, are you working on a second collection of your work?” he asked, quickly changing the subject.
“I am, though I am afraid the subject matter is quite a bit darker.”
Mr. Paris smiled a predatory grin, and my pulse leapt with a thrill of fear. “I am not afraid of the dark, Miss Rose. Are you?”
He stepped closer, but I held my ground, studying him with a curious tilt to my head. “What are you?” I asked.
He blinked, startled. “I beg your pardon?”
“What sort of magic do you practice?” I clarified.
“Oh. I am a librarian, of course,” he replied, and I laughed, unable to help myself. “What’s so funny?”
“You are most certainly not a librarian. Do people truly believe that lie?”
The smile slid from Mr. Paris’s face as his expression hardened. He stepped forward and tried to grab my arm, but Miss Dubois was suddenly between us, a shining silver blur. With a snarl he turned and ran, and the guardian chased him out of the garden and into the street.
Uncertain of what to do, I followed. I stood hesitant at the garden gate, wondering which way they went. My vision shifted, and I followed Miss Dubois’s blazing footsteps. I paused next to a blur traced over the high brick wall of another garden. It was another magical doorway, rather like the one I had discovered near Mrs. Harding’s body outside the Undiscovered Country. Foolishly I raised my hand to touch it, despite knowing full well that doing so could trigger another vision, but a hand emerged from the brick wall and grabbed my wrist.
Overwhelmed with shock, I barely managed a strangled gasp as Mr. Paris stepped through the wall and glared down at me. “Who are you?” he demanded.
“You first.” My voice trembled, and Mr. Paris grinned. He tightened his grip and snapped several small bones in my wrist, and I screamed.
“Who are you?” he repeated.
Something bubbled up within me, a bright plume of prophetic magic that became my answer. “I am your end.” That time my voice did not tremble at all, but was filled with terrible certainty. I would cause Mr. Paris’s death, and I knew it with as much confidence as I knew the sun would rise in the morning.
Something in my gaze must have worried him, because he snarled. Scowling, he grabbed my forearm with both hands and twisted. The bone snapped like dry kindling, and I screamed again. Before he could torment me further Miss Dubois arrived and bashed him with a round silver shield. Mr. Paris vanished into thin air, and the guardian stood near me. One arm bore the shield, while in her other hand she held a sword. How cunning of her. I wanted a sword as well.
“Are you all right?” she asked.
My knees wobbled and began to buckle, but then two dark blurs streaked up to us, and I was suddenly swept from my feet and cradled close in Michael’s arms.
“Darling! What happened?” he asked.
“You caught me.” I blinked—however had he moved that fast? Simon sighed and shook his head at his student, and I sensed that Michael and I were both in for a scolding.
“Of course I did. I will always catch you. Are you all right?”
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Born and raised in Berwyn, Illinois, I love all things related to Chicago, from the Cubs to the pizza. When I began writing my urban fantasy series, it seemed only natural to combine my love of fantasy with my love of Chicago, and to tell stories of witches and vampires in the Chicagoland area.
As a gamer, I've spent many hours rolling dice, playing rock-paper-scissors, and slaying creatures in mmorpgs.