In honor of my blog tour starting next week and the oncoming holiday season, here’s an excerpt from BLOOD IS THICKER.
Rolf, Valeriah, and Kamara are dragons who happen to be in Southern California shortly before Christmas. Rolf and Valeriah have been here before, but not together at this time of year. Now, they’re mates and they have a very serious errand in our world. Kamara is Rolf’s baby sister on her first visit. Of course, for purposes of getting along among humans, they all look human.
Rolf noticed the decorations on the light standards first. He started whistling “Joy to the World.”
Vallie took one look and groaned. “Christmas. Perfect. Busiest shopping time of the year.”
“Well, we left here six months ago and it was June, then,” Rolf said.
“I know. It’s just easy to lose track of the dates over here when you spend a lot of time in Chimeria.”
“What’s Christmas?” Kamara asked from the back seat.
Vallie twisted around to answer her. “A big holiday in the main religion over here. They all go out and buy each other gifts they can’t afford and don’t need.”
Rolf laughed. “Scrooge! Christmas can be fun. Singing. Parties. Decorations.”
“Dragging a dead tree into the house,” Vallie answered.
“The piney smell of the forest drifting through the house.”
Vallie made a rude noise.
Vallie made a face. “Yuck.”
“Hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps, then.” As the look on Vallie’s face changed, Rolf continued, pressing his advantage. “Peppermint bark, candy canes, fudge, Christmas cookies.”
“Well . . .” Vallie said. “Some of it may be okay.”
“Haven’t you ever had a good time at Christmas over here?” Rolf asked.
She shrugged. “No. I’ve never been on this side for pleasure, only as a bodyguard for Zobran or Tirella or one of the other Council members. All the crowds and chaos of the holidays only made my job harder.”
“We’ll have to see if we can’t fix that,” Rolf said. “Show you how much fun it can be.”