Touch of Darkness
Handsome, powerful Rurik Wilder holds the power to transform himself into a fierce bird of prey-a gift that's caused death and destruction.
At last he's offered the chance to redeem himself. Only one woman stands in his way-a beautiful writer determined to wreak revenge on the assassins who murdered her family. Assassins, it's been rumored, who have powers no human should ever possess...
Christina Dodd Interviews Her Characters
Today we have with us Jasha and Rurik Wilder, the brothers featured in the first two books of the Darkness Chosen series by Christina Dodd (that's me.) I've asked them here to talk about the 1000-year-old deal with the devil and their family's part in it. So, which one of you men would like to start?
Rurik Wilder: Let Jasha start. He's the oldest in the family, and he loves to hear himself talk.
Jasha Wilder: That's because I'm the only one who's smart enough to walk and chew gum at the same.
Rurik Wilder: No, it's because you're pompous and boring.
Christina Dodd: All right, I'm glad we got that settled. Jasha?
Jasha Wilder: Our ancestor, Konstantine Varinski, roamed the Russian steppes, and he was nothing more than a gangster. He beat people up for fun and profit, burned villages, threw widows and children out in the snow to freeze, and ravished maidens. He made quite a reputation for himself, and the devil recognized a great opportunity. He came to Konstantine and offered a deal—Konstantine and all his descendents would have the power to change at will into an animal predator capable of tracking their enemies, and in exchange, the devil would get their souls.
Rurik Wilder: Konstantine agreed and killed his own mother to seal the deal.
CD: Great guy.
Rurik Wilder: (sarcastically) : Makes me proud to be his descendent. Trust me, there's no villainy the Varinskis haven't excelled at. Ever since the original Konstantine, they've been mercenaries willing to track and kill for a price. They've been a horrible legend, feared all over Russia. They used unwilling women and had only sons, never daughters. They never married, never fell in love.
CD: So what changed?
Jasha Wilder: My father met my mother.
Rurik Wilder: They are stupid in love with each other, and they've been married since the earth's crust cooled.
CD:That's how long my husband and I have been married! And we're stupid in love, too!
The Wilder Brothers:Congratulations! (High fives all around.)
Jasha Wilder: So my father and mother immigrated to the US, to Washington state, changed their last name to Wilder, and had us three boys one year after another.
CD: Three boys?
Rurik Wilder: We have a brother. Adrik... disappeared when he was seventeen.
CD: That's a sore subject.
The brothers nod solemnly.
Jasha Wilder: Ten years later, our sister was born.
CD: I thought the family didn't have girls.
Rurik Wilder: Never in a thousand years. Firebird is our miracle.
CD: You guys are big, buff men. You're saying you can change into an animal whenever you want? You can turn into an adorable bunny-rabbit or a fluffy little kitty-cat?
Jasha Wilder: Predators. We can only change into predators. When I decide I want to run with the pack, I turn into a wolf.
Rurik Wilder: And when I wish to soar through the skies, I become a hawk.
Jasha Wilder: Yes, but the pleasures of turning into a predator—the freedom, the sense of being better than normal people—deliver a man right into the hands of the devil. And since our mother had her vision, we have to be very, very careful not to fall prey to temptation because—don't laugh—the Wilders have been chosen to break the deal with the devil.
CD: Wait. Your mother had a vision? You've been chosen to break the deal with the devil?
Rurik Wilder: With the help of the women we love.
CD: Who are the women you love?
Jasha Wilder: You'll have to read the books to find out. My story's Scent of Darkness, and of course, the most interesting.
Rurik Wilder:(scornfully): Ha! The most interesting if you want to read about some guy who needs a flea bath and eats dog treats.
Jasha Wilder: (icily) : At least I don't snack on mice.
Rurik Wilder: (ignoring him) : My story is Touch of Darkness, and it's the second installment in the Darkness Chosen series.
Jasha Wilder: (winking at me) : We hope you'll be bold enough to take a walk on the wild side with us and share our romantic adventures.
Rurik Wilder: (his voice deepening as he leans forward to gaze deep into my eyes): If you are, I promise you won't regret it.
CD: (fanning herself with forgotten interview script) : So when do we leave?
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