Dear Ms. Rappaport,
Because you recently stated on your blog that you're interested in urban fantasy which is not vampire/shifter-oriented, I'd like to offer my novel RITES OF CLAY for your consideration. RITES OF CLAY is an 85,000 word urban fantasy drawing heavily on Mesopotamian history and mythology. It placed first in the Paranormal category of the 2007 Golden Gateway contest and has been requested by Ms. Hwang at Berkley.
Nintila has a secret: she's got the heart of a war god woven into her soul.
She also has a problem: someone is trying to set Him free. If she can't find a stolen cuneiform tablet before its new owners decipher the spell it holds, the bloodthirsty war god Nergal will turn the world into his own personal battlefield.
Nintila's boyfriend, Jase, is no help. Jase doesn't believe in war gods or hellhounds or four-thousand-year-old spells.
Her immortal ex-lover Anashte, on the other hand, is all too helpful. Formerly a warrior in Nergal's army, Anashte led Nintila astray once before. If she trusts him now, will he betray her again?
I am currently an RWA member, and in the past, have participated in the Online Writing Workshop for Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Below you will find the first 250 words of RITES OF CLAY. Thank you for your time and attention. I look forward to hearing from you.
(writing as Daria Drake)
A person who has nothing cannot let go of anything.
Love and war. Passion and pain. Sex and death.
In my first life, I was a priestess of Inanna, one of the world's original goddesses of love and war. I should know better than anyone that you can’t have one without the other.
I snuggled closer to Jase and inhaled until my lungs went taut—salt and musk, the faint spiciness of cedar soap, human scents to soften the dry, overpurified air whispering through my apartment. I let myself relax, lying as still as I could manage. Sex was one of the few things that soothed the perpetual ache of the keshda behind my navel, and I didn't want to wake it again.
After four thousand years, you'd think I'd be used to carrying around that sizzling knot of stolen power.
"Beautiful," Jase murmured, kissing my elbow. "I missed you."
"Mmm." I frowned and made a show of chewing on my lower lip, as if I was thinking hard. "What's your name again?"
"It’s that word you were screaming a minute ago."
"Right." I grinned. "How was Bhopal, Faster?"
That bit of wickedness earned me a kiss so deep and slow I thought I might melt into a puddle and drown in myself.
"Brought you something." He vaulted out of bed and the sheets followed him. The drag of damp cotton over my swollen nipples sent echoes of pleasure reverberating through me.
I propped myself up on my elbows, watching him rummage in his suitcase. Naked as a Greek statue, the contours of his tall, tightly-muscled body were more exquisite than anything Praxiteles had ever sculpted. Jase was smart. He was rich. And he was the most fun I'd had in bed since the Renaissance.
I had no idea why I wasn't in love with him.