The Anathergians Trilogy
Michelle C. Reilly
Genre: Sci-Fi Fantasy with Romance
Number of pages: 270 print
Word Count: 92k
Sworn to Protect the Very People Bent on Destroying Them
Auden, the king of the immortal Anathergian race, came to Earth five thousand years ago when he and his people escaped from their destroyed planet. His power is immense, but is threatened because he has yet to take a Lifemate.
With the blood of an Anathergian and a witch running through her veins, Leah is a force to be reckoned with. After leaving her foster family to learn how to master her new-found powers, Auden finds her. With him, she discovers her heritage, her strength, and her love.
An Anathergian is using variant strains of his DNA to turn humans into Anathergians. This enemy’s goal: use the Variants to take over the world and take Auden’s place as king. Auden and Leah’s goal: Stop the enemies and discover what connections Leah has with them.
Excerpt from Chapter 4:
He stood inside the entrance as the doors closed behind him. His gaze was drawn to a slim calf covered in black denim hanging over the arm of a wing back chair facing the desk. A black Converse shoe bounced up and down. Then a dark head with gray eyes peeked at him from around the edge of the chair. The girl’s near-black straight hair was cut at an angle where it touched the tip of her chin on one side of her heart shaped face and ended at mid ear on the other side.
He took a step forward, ready to reach for her. It was an instinctive reaction and one he had never done before. He held himself still.
His insides sang to the tune of another like him. Oh, yes, she is most definitely of Anathergian blood.
With reddened cheeks, she twisted away.
Marla reached her desk. Glancing from Auden to Leah, she gestured toward the girl. “Auden, please meet Leah.”
The girl gave a halfhearted wave at him from beyond the chair. Auden raised an eyebrow at Marla. The woman’s brow creased and she shook her head, her curls bobbing against her cheeks. “Leah, have manners, if you please.”
“I waved hello, didn’t I?” said a sulky voice from the seat.
Marla’s mouth went tight, and then she motioned for Auden to come forward. He approached the side of the desk to get a better view of the girl.
She was slight, but not too thin. Her long, shapely legs, emphasized by the tight jeans, seemed to go on for days. Her short-sleeved fitted black t-shirt had a drawing of a face with Xs for eyes. His gaze stopped at her pert breasts that stood from the shirt for a moment. When he realized where his stare had strayed, he brought his perusal higher. A pale, sateen neck gave way to a stubborn jaw line. Parted wine lips made his throat parched. Her straight nose was almost too big for her face, but it went well with her angled chin. A gunmetal glare shot sparks at him and she bounced her leg to an agitated tune. It was apparent she was not happy about her current situation. He could commiserate, but it didn’t mean he would give into her rancor.
Leah scrutinized the man who, according to Marla, had come to bring her to his people for training. He was someone Marla trusted and the training would help her grow. As if. Leah already had people to train her. Here, at Sanctuary. She didn’t need his people. And what could his people teach her she hadn’t already excelled at?
She tilted her head back and glared at him, giving him her best As if I care look. But, jeez, was he huge! Holy crap, he could probably take down a bull without using a horse or rope. His eyes were as dark as the deepest depths of the ocean and churned with as much life as those seas. She idly wondered what treasures were hidden there. When Leah studied his face, she thought of exotic Egyptian pharaohs. He wore a black, long-sleeved buttoned shirt made of a soft material that kissed his muscles like a lover. His jeans molded to his muscular thighs and extended over black boots.
His gaze gave her a once over so thorough she had to subdue the urge to squirm. Instead, she notched her chin higher. When he continued to scrutinize her, she said, “You can stop staring.”
Marla’s intake of breath sent a small pang of guilt through Leah’s chest, and she sent the woman a quick apologetic look. Glancing back at Auden, she noticed a slight lift at one corner of his mouth. She covered her own twitching smile and instead showed a sudden interest in the wood beams lining the ceiling.
“What have you told her?” His baritone timbre made Leah think of swimming in a serene lake with cool water surrounding her. It calmed her.
“I told her we have known each other for quite some time and I trust the training she will receive with you will be beyond reproach,” answered Marla.
Irritated, Leah let out a small harrumph. “I’m sitting right here. Please don’t talk about me as if I’m not right in front of you.”
“Oh,” he regarded her up and down, “do you wish to join the conversation?”
That’s it! After the morning she had, she wasn’t going to let this guy push her around. She stood, taking fast steps toward him. “Do I wish to join the conversation? You”—she pointed at him—“bet I do! Why am I going with you? What type of training can you give me”—she pointed a thumb at herself—“that I can’t learn here?” She gestured with her hands indicating the school. “What makes your people”—she poked her finger into his chest and became even more annoyed because he didn’t even flinch—“so much better than the people I have here?” She indicated the school again.
“Leah, this is unacceptable behavior,” interjected Marla, her voice high with angry disappointment.
Auden, who hadn’t moved a muscle during Leah’s tirade, spoke to Marla. “It’s fine, Marla. I can handle this.”
“Handle? Handle? Seriously?” Leah sputtered. “Do you think you’re just going to ʻhandle’ me?” She made quotation marks with her fingers.
“Right, then, I’ll leave you to it,” Marla said to Auden and headed toward the double doors.
Book Blog from Michelle C. Reilly,
author of VARIANTS, The Anathergians Trilogy, Book One:
The inspiration for VARIANTS, The Anathergians Trilogy, Book One, came to me in 2004. The first scene I saw was from the infamous Chapter 10—where Leah experiences V’nurch (or the transition into becoming a full Anathergian and becomes immortal). You see, when an Anathergian goes through V’nurch, they experience an overpowering need—no, a requirement—for dominant and mind blowing sex. When I saw the scene unfold in my mind, I knew I had to share it with the world.
When their planet was destroyed over five thousand years ago, the Anathergians came to Earth to take refuge. They were led by their immortal king, Auden. As the king, Auden is completely dedicated to protecting his people. When he came to Earth, he swore to also protect humans from harm. He’s a very dedicated and deep man. Fun and games are not something he partakes in, if ever. Auden has too many things to do.
In fact, I asked if he’d like to join me so I could take a few comments from him for this blog, but he merely scoffed at me. “As if, Ms. Reilly. You know full well I have no time for interviews.” He turned his angled features away from me and summarily dismissed me.
Leah had hopes and dreams when she was young, but her foster father crushed them beneath his boot, just like an old stale cigarette. She, instead, learned to focus on her studies and her brother, Ceadan. These were the two constants in her life she knew she could count on. When she finds out she’s a witch, well, the joke was certainly on her. Later, when she finds out she’s not only a witch, but her father was an Anathergian, she really doesn’t know what to believe anymore. So, she reverts to the two things she excels at: her studies and her love for her brother.
Never—not even for one moment—could she believe that she would become Lifemates with a man like Auden. He’s a king, for Christ’s sake. Sure, he’s gorgeous, built, strong—the ultimate Alpha. But, become his Lifemate? Not in a million years.
So, when she’s stuck with him, she doesn’t know how to react. She can’t revert to her old ways because there’s no getting out of this situation.
When I asked her what she planned to do, she turned the question around on me. “What would you do if you had one of the hottest guys ever shackled to you for the rest of your immortal existence?”
She gave me a knowing smile.
Auden, however, isn’t so sure. He’s attracted to her, but he expected something… more. What that was, he wasn’t quite sure. It was like grasping at a rainbow—it’s real, you see it, but can you hold it? Is it even real? And Auden doesn’t deal in rainbows. He likes cold, hard steel.
When he finally accepts her, built up tension leaves him after being on the brink of madness for hundreds of years. She is the balm to his soul. She is his other half and has made him whole.
Too bad it doesn’t last for long.
I knew VARIANTS wasn’t pretty. I knew it was dark. I knew readers were going to walk away from it and possibly be angry. But, VARIANTS is the first in a Trilogy, so there is always that silver lining within the thunderstorm clouds covering that horizon. You may just need to search for it. Or, of course, find out what happens when book two, WITCHES, comes out. It will be soon!
Michelle C. Reilly is a single mom of two wonderful boys. She spent ten years in the U.S. Navy as a Hospital Corpsman Preventive Medicine Technician, which meant she was actually attached to or stationed with the U.S. Marine Corps. She has a Masters in Science in Public Health, but she is generally an IT geek and a geek of many other things as well. She currently resides in Las Vegas, NV, with her two cats, Meowdy and Moose, and her dog, Katie aka “The Old Lady.”
Make sure to visit her website www.michellecreilly.com for more information about her and her upcoming books.
Feel free to visit, ask her questions, and hang out with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/michellecorareilly
And if you’re a tweet-a-holic (or even if you’re not), follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MichelleCReilly
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What did Sister Sinister think of the book?
I gave it 4 stars!
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"Variants" is an enjoyable sci-fi urban fantasy with splashes of romance to round it out. It is another take on the vampire mythos, with the race of beings known as the Anathergians - an alien species that colonized Earth some 5,000 years ago. Greatly powerful and near immortal, it is crucial to their well-being to find their lifemate, and the King of the Anathergians has yet to find his. And he is beginning to suffer for it.
Auden has discovered that one of his kind is selling Anathergian DNA to unscrupulous humans, who are integrating it into human bodies, creating powerful, fanged people with an apparent thirst for violence.
Leah is a witch and, it seems, so much more. If only she'd had someone there to tell her that before the day she burned her foster father's hands and fled straight into the arms of a flock of hat wearing nanny witches! And after 4 years of training, she's about to have her world turned on its head one more time.