Shona’s taking over my blog today to talk about the science behind myths and her great title Brightwater Blood.
So pull up a chair, relax and leave a comment to show your love.
Science Behind The Myth
Brightwater Blood is set in what I call my ‘Fendrake’ world. Fendrake is the name of the organisation that polices the non-humans, and the hero of this story works for them as a tracker. My Ellora’s Cave series is also set in this world although none of the characters work for the organisation (they’re sexy Vampire rock stars). All the stories can be read as standalone novellas.
When I built this world I knew I’d use it for a few different stories as there was a lot I could do with it. But I also wanted scientific, not magical, reasons for the different subspecies. Here’s a peek at how my non-humans came into existence:
Vampires: being a Vampire is genetic. There’s a change in the junk DNA that binds the etheric body close to the physical body, this results in the fast healing…but also in the need for food rich in etheric, like blood.
Weres: Weres are caused by mitochondrial disease and transmitted through the maternal line. However if someone is bitten they can be infected but most die. Different strains of the disease cause the different creatures.
Shaman: these are my witches. They draw their power from the earth and emotion (especially during sex). It’s a recessive blood line that requires both parents to be Shaman to have a Shaman baby. As a result the Shamanic Council keeps very detail family trees.
These are my main non-humans, and each condition keeps them from becoming too powerful and overrunning the world. But it also built in conflict between the different non-humans even if they have to occasionally work together and fall in love.
To survive, they’ll have to think outside the circle.
Were-lion Lachlan Garvey is closing in on the Brightwater women, the last of a Shamanic line that the Council wants eradicated for their murderous use of magic. One minute he’s in his animal form, examining a dead body in a patch of charred grass. The next, he wakes up human—naked, shot and lying in a circle of his own blood.
Dayna Brightwater is sure the man she’s bound with a blood spell is the one who just murdered her twin sister. Yet even if she did have the stomach for revenge killing, she doesn’t have the power. But what to do with him now? If she lets him go, he’ll kill her, too.
Trapped in the path of a deadly magical fire, Lachlan has to think fast—and talk faster—to convince the beautiful Shaman he’s innocent. As the roaring flames creep closer, Dayna must choose. Trust Lachlan and use magic to save them both…or flee. And live with the knowledge she caused his death, proving that no Brightwater is capable of love.
Warning: Contains a naked hero who’ll do anything to save his life…including saving hers.
Lachlan squinted against the sunlight slicing through his head. He was sprawled on the ground, and his thigh was throbbing and burning as if a metal picket was speared through the muscle. His gut tightened as he remembered—he’d been shot. He closed his eyes and let his cheek rest on the ground as he slid his hand to his thigh. His skin was warm and wet and sticky beneath his fingers. His hand stilled. He’d been shot as a lion, yet he was human now, which meant his body had shifted in an attempt to heal while he’d been out cold.
A shiver rippled down his spine. He hated shifting while unconscious. Had she watched? Where was the woman with the gun now? The Brightwater shamans weren’t known for their merciful nature, but for the moment he was still alive. Probably not good.
He forced his eyes open. The sun was past the zenith, so he’d been out for at least an hour, more like two. Either way it was longer than he liked to be unconscious while on a job. It was longer than he ever liked to be unconscious. His head ached, but his jaw still worked and nothing seemed broken. His biggest concern was the bullet wound. He swallowed and gathered his thoughts.
Assess the injury, shift and get the fuck out of here before he got shot again or worse. An enraged shaman could make dying look like a good idea. The gory details of some of the old Brightwater files skittered around the edge of his consciousness. How long could a person live while a tree grew through them? Judging from the grimace of agony on the victim’s face in the grainy black-and-white photo, too long.
His plan was simple, but the best he could come up with while blood oozed through his fingers. Generally he didn’t mind blood, unless it was his. Then it became a whole lot more worrying. He glanced down his body but couldn’t see the wound while he was lying on his stomach in the dead grass.
Despite the protest in his skull he eased himself up. The world spun twice before settling. Cautiously he lifted his hand, hoping movement hadn’t made the wound worse. Blood wept in time to the beating of his heart. Not a gush, but more than he’d have liked. His heart sped up as terror searched to break free. He sucked in a breath and shut it down, years of training and experience keeping him almost calm. He didn’t have time to panic.
He slid his hand around the part of his leg he couldn’t see, searching for an exit wound, but there wasn’t one. That meant the bullet was still in his leg. Not good. Shifting with a bullet still inside him was risky because as his muscles and bones reshaped the bullet would move, possibly doing more damage, and he’d already, unwittingly, done it once.
On the other hand he was five kilometers from his car, and he’d never make the distance as a man, however as a lion he’d have a chance. He glanced at the house. For all he knew the other sister was inside. He doubted she’d ring him an ambulance or let him place a call. Risking the shift and making a run for safety was looking like the best idea…assuming he didn’t lose too much blood and go into shock on the way there. How much blood had he lost already?
Lachlan licked his lips. He was thirsty and his heart was beating too fast. He was already showing signs of shock. He didn’t have time to debate. The longer he waited the more blood he would lose and the more likely it was the shaman would come back and finish what she’d started.
He drew up the heat that brought on the change. It shimmered up his spine in a flood of warmth, then stopped as if it hit a barrier. He closed his eyes and tried again. He hadn’t failed to shift at will since he was thirteen and just learning. Instead of letting the energy blossom naturally, he pulled hard, as if he could push through whatever was blocking the heat. His muscles shook and his head pounded where he’d been struck. Sweat beaded on his skin where fur should’ve formed. He gritted his teeth. The agony of trying to force a shift grated on every nerve and forced his breath to come in hard pants. He let the shifting heat go and hunched over, weakened from the exertion.
Really not good.
The panic he’d been keeping a rein on slipped its collar and started running around, yelling, “you’re going to die”, making it very hard for him to concentrate.
This was bad. There were only a few ways to prevent a were from shifting. Lachlan swallowed with his jaw clenched tight. He couldn’t walk far like this—if he could walk at all. Maybe he could make it to the woman’s car. He opened his eyes and twisted around, trying to see if it was still here, then paused, a frown creasing his brow.
Around him was a thin white rope, stained dark red. Blood.
He was willing to bet a year’s pay it was the blood of the last European lion in existence. His blood.