INCARNATION by Laura Davis Hays: Excerpt

Posted June 9, 2016 in Book Tour, Excerpts / 1 Comment



Kelsey Depuis, Santa Fe scientist, and Iriel, betrothed on Atlantis to a man she cannot love two young women bound by a single soul. In Kelsey s everyday world, three men shape her life: Myron Crouch, the boss of BioVenture Enterprises; Harrison Stillman, a brilliant colleague of hers there; and Stan Dresser, who twists her feelings with his kisses and lies. But gradually, growingly, Iriel is shaping her life too. Through dreams and visions, she draws Kelsey into the ancient realm where refusal to marry Gewil has driven her to daring flight with fantastic creatures across a strange and terrible land.

As Kelsey joins other BioVenture researchers testing a new organism on a remote Caribbean island, turmoil and violence darken her fate and Iriel s presence grows stronger. Worlds shift and merge, danger grows. Past and present, vengeance and love swirl together as the seas rise up, the seas that once swallowed Atlantis. Tested in life-or-death struggle, Kelsey must face an ordeal she can survive only through great courage and deep karmic understanding.


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Slurp gun
Kelsey felt the now familiar pleasure as the sea enveloped her. She
sank dreamily through the water watching the others. Henri was skinny in his wetsuit and had a look
of surprise on his face. George, struggling to clear his ears, pulled his regulator out of his
mouth and spit out the wad of gum. It floated serenely toward a parrotfish, which gave a nibble
and rejected it.

They drifted to the reef at about fifty feet. It was pristine and healthy and loaded with fish.
Kelsey spotted a juvenile squirrelfish feeding near George’s right shoulder and signaled him to
take it, but he spooked it, then went for the more common snapper. Too
big for the slurp gun, the fish darted back to the safety of its school.

George began to take shots at random, ignoring Kelsey. By luck he pulled in a pair of grunts then
lost them in the transfer to her container. She signaled that she’d like to try, but his jaw
muscles set and he pulled the gun closer to his chest.

The reef became shallower, and they watched a small ray flush out of the sandy bottom straight into
Wendell’s net. He must have set up the capture, because it was so smooth and easy. He gave the
thumbs up and rose to the boat, which was nearly overhead, and put the ray into one of the cages
while Shirley took his collection bag to empty.

George was creeping toward a rocky place at the edge of the reef, and as he disappeared over the
wall, Henri caught Kelsey’s eye. He was circling his finger, miming a somersault, so she smiled,
tucked her legs, and did one, then signaled him back. Henri pulled his legs up and pushed his arms,
but couldn’t spin. He looked like a little
pod thrashing backward in the water.

They were laughing now, streams of bubbles rushing up from their mouths.

Kelsey demonstrated and Henri tried again with the same result. She helped him tuck into a tight
ball, then she reached out and spun him. He caught the water with his arms and went over again.
Then they were doing slow motion back rolls, side-by-side.

Upside down, she spotted Wendell re-entering the water. He sank leisurely in their direction, his
descent elegant and practiced. The net floated above his head like fluttering hat ribbons. Inspired
by the graceful line of his long body, Kelsey arched out of her final spin. The movement took her
over the wall. George’s bubbles, rising from the depths, caught her eye, and the slurp gun resting
where he’d left it on a shelf of coral.

Suddenly, she heard the dolphin’s warning repeating in her mind. A swift kick propelled her to the
gun. She gave a second flick of her fins and was over the wall in time to see George tuck a small
vial back into his BCD. There in front of him, a small violet cloud hung suspended in the water.

George’s face registered her presence, and he gave what passed for a shrug of innocence. She
pointed the gun at him and he put his hands up. But, of course, the gun was useless as a weapon,
and both she and George realized it at the same time. He turned lazily toward her and she toward
the sample.

The purple cloud of one-celled life was still a tight blob, but the edges were dissipating. She
stuck the nozzle into the color, pulled the trigger, and slurped it all up.

Kelsey swam fast, making what she hoped was a wide circle and simultaneous slow ascent to the boat.
Her first impulse, to bolt to the surface, had been thwarted by the beeping of her dive computer

and Wendell’s frantic arm motions. George was behind her, not
gaining but steadily following. If he caught her, he was certainly capable of wrestling the gun
away. Behind him was Wendell. She’d seen him on the one backward glance she’d risked.

They were over open water now, sprinting into the blue. She had the gun tucked against her suit to
minimize its drag, so she had only her legs to propel her and those heavy fins. She was wide of the
boat, but if she turned too sharply, George could cut across and catch her, or if he was smart,
he’d go back to the boat and wait for her to come up. But he hadn’t thought of that.

Her thigh muscles burned and her breath wheezed through the apparatus. Then suddenly, she felt
herself metamorphose into a more powerful swimmer. One kick of her tail and she made the turn,
feeling the flood of relief as the boat came in sight. Shirley had followed their bubbles.

But her tail caught on something; it became once more a right flipper and a left and then an ankle,
and he’d caught that too. She bent at the hips, thrashing, ready for a fight. He let go and just
before she bolted again, she recognized Wendell in the foaming water. He was pointing at his air
gauge, then at hers, making a calming motion with his other hand. Thirty yards behind them,
George was making a slow emergency ascent. He was out of air.




About Laura Davis Hays

Laura Davis Hays is the award winning author of Incarnation, a metaphysical thriller set in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a remote Island off the coast of Belize, and the lost continent of Atlantis. She is also the author of the forthcoming fantasy series, The Atlantis Material, and a collection of linked stories set in Denmark, her ancestral homeland, in the early part of the 20th century.

Laura writes with a mind balanced between right and left-brain capabilities that leads to a combination of flights of fancy and complexity of structure in her work.

A graduate of Rice University, Laura lives in Santa Fe with her husband, Jim, and two cats, Rufus and Dexter.

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