My Hive Mind

Every writer has a community of people. These people are our soundboard, problem solvers, supporters, ego boosters, beta-readers, editors, and whatever we happen to need while we are working. They are usually fantastic. I want to introduce you to mine.

So, my Hive Mind is made up of people that I’ve met at different points in my life and they all are amazing on their own, or even as just friends. They are all different too, in different stages of life and that helps get different opinions and outlooks. It really helps. They all have their own lives as well but are amazingly supportive of me, as I am of them. Once, they convinced me to rewrite a whole story that I was almost done with, just to add two characters. They’re amazing.

First, is Loca. Loca and I have known each other since Boot Camp, way back in 2003. We’ve been amazing friends ever since. She isn’t a writer, but she is the ideal person to read what I’m writing and tell me if it’s good or not. She represents my target market, but she’s more than that. She’s been integral in several of my stories and the first time I started talking to the man who is now her husband, was about a gun for a story. She is quick to tell me if something is stupid, or doesn’t make sense, or isn’t true to the character so far. She’s also full of ideas when that happens. She has so many ideas on how to fix it. When I’m feeling bad about my writing, or down on myself, she’s quick to pick me up, not with flowery words or reassurances, but with just the right amount of sass and “girl don’t bullshit me” and it’s perfect.

Doom Panda, there isn’t much I can say about her that I haven’t already told her to her face. We became friends when another friend from Boot Camp introduced us. (They’re now engaged and I cannot wait for that wedding!!!) He’s still wondering if that was a good idea or not because Loca, Panda, and I have a habit of ganging up on him to tease him mercilessly. Panda has become my family. She tells it how it is. She listens to me complain and whine and tells me, “but Cookie, you’re amazing!” She may not be a writer, but she is another creative soul. I love our talks where we just throw random bits of creative nonsense at one another and see what sticks. Sometimes others cannot follow our conversations, but we know. We know what’s going on. She’s my editor friend, she points out grammatical errors and spelling inaccuracies. She tells me when things don’t make sense and she genuinely falls in love with the characters that I create. I can always count on her for good ideas when I’m stuck. Even if all they do is make me laugh. (Don’t forget my love, the Plaza, in June).

Next up is the infallible Pele. Pele is my writing friend. Pele is my writing partner. We are working on a series together, and you guys will get to hear all about them the beginning of next year. She’s the one that I go to with the technical side of writing. She’s the one I complain to when the words won’t flow because she gets it. She understands how that is, intimately. She also has a great understanding of how I work when I’m writing because we are writing something together. She’s helped me craft the world that Noctivagus is set in over the last decade. Together, we have created characters so intricate that they feel real. I will commonly tag her in things on Facebook with just initials of characters and she knows exactly why. The other day it was a post about Lisa Frank makeup. I didn’t even have to say more than her name and she knew exactly what I was thinking. She is amazing and I couldn’t do anything without my Parabati and best friend Pele.

The newest member of the team is my friend Stichi Lee. Stichi has probably the most important job. She listens to me prattle on and on until I work out a problem or until I have understood what I’m writing. She gets to hear the story in real time, and often she’s the one I read chapters to to make sure they sound good. She has her favorites and has already declared which ships she will die on. She is the target audience, just like Loca, without any of the time to read because she’s always so busy. Her other important role, she supplies me with new music almost constantly. She works nights so it isn’t uncommon to wake up in the morning with fifteen new songs with notes attached with which characters she thought of when she heard it. If I need a specific song to convey an emotion so I can write, she has my back. She is one of the few who have read Noctivagus in full. Before I submitted it to the editor. Not that everyone in the Hive Mind doesn’t also have access, she was just the only one with time to read it while she was quarantined, as she had nothing more than a head cold and couldn’t work from home like everyone else.

These four ladies make day to day writing so much easier. But they aren’t the only ones. There is also my brother, who helps me solve problems logistically thinking. He’s another writer with no time to write. And my very good friend Hookerabati, who actually (through a weird turn of events) gifted me the character of Reid from Noctivagus. She was the one who got me writing again after a dry spell that lasted years. She cares as much for these characters as I do. Sometimes she is more protective of them, and proud of how far they’ve come since their initial inception. My Dad, who comes by once a month just to have lunch and discuss our writing. He isn’t’ my target demographic, but he’s a wonderful storyteller. Lastly, my editor. She gives me life. She gives me hope that I didn’t write garbage and that everyone else is just lying to me (I know, I know, you aren’t). Her messages make me feel about ten feet tall and she is helping to smooth out the rough edges of Noctivagus so I can attempt to get it into reader’s hands. I would be lost without my Fairy Wife back in Cali, or my Wifey Wife here in Michigan, they give me ideas and are always there no matter what I need.

I am truly blessed with the little community I have collected. There are so many more that aren’t mentioned that LOVE to hear about my writing. They are constant support, my sisters for example. The one has watched my stories grow from crap fanfiction drabbles that never made it out of the notebook to the work I’m doing now. The other, never has much time to read but supports me none the less. She brings me beautiful notebooks and peens that write so beautifully.

What kind of Hive have you put together? Who is your biggest help when you’re writing? Let me know, I want to hear about them!

Sorry for the Absence.

So, as I stated on my Instagram, I ran into a few obstacles the last couple of months and had to pull some of the irons out of the fire. My Amber Marie Writes platform was one of them. If you follow my personal blog at all, you already know some of this, but I’d like to tell you all about it anyway.

So, 2020 has been a rough year for everyone, I don’t want to minimize that at all. Back in March, I lost my dad after a long health battle. We knew it was coming, but that didn’t make it any easier. The day after he died, the entire state of Michigan shut down so it took months to be able to do anything. My brother and I made the best of a bad situation and did what we could during the pandemic. We kept our families safe and we grieved as best we could while we both continued to work. It eventually started to be easier to breathe and as we were able to get things done, it helped with at least part of the grieving process but it really threw us for a loop. Losing a parent is always hard, and the hoops we were required to jump through made it worse.

We started to get better, and we started to move on, but we still hadn’t had a funeral so we just kept going. Then things started to get bad again, the covid number started to go up again. We lost a Great Aunt who I was very close to in the beginning of October and that threw me for a loop. I was gone about a week and then the unthinkable happened. My mom, also fighting long term health problems, died. It was a shock and it derailed the steps I was taking to get back to do what I was doing and running this multi-platform platform. I spent most of the next couple of weeks consoling my sisters and trying to figure out how to breathe.

Did I mention that we had finally been given the go ahead to do my Dad’s funeral? So after seven months, we were going to finally get the closure on that. So, there was a lot going on emotionally and I went to bed emotionally and mentally drained. It didn’t help that there was a heaping pile of guilt on top of everything, because even though I’d lost two parents, my biological parents were still alive. That made me feel a little guilty, even though there was no guilt to be had. A week after my Mom died, my aunt died just as suddenly. That was three deaths in three weeks while also planning a funeral. Saying it was rough was an understatement.

The first weekend of November, I had my Dad’s funeral on Friday, and my Mom’s memorial on Saturday. Sunday, I tried to just exist. Then came the part where I tried to put the pieces back together and figure out how to live again. The days were getting shorter. The kids were home from school, we had to quarantine, because we came in contact with a family member with Covid. It was a lot to get used to. Eventually, thanks to my therapist and my family, I was able to find balance again.

Some days are still a struggle, but I went back to school, I sent my book off to my editor, and my kids from California will be here in about twelve days. There is Christmas to decorate for, and school work to do. Life, as they say, goes on. It’s certainly a different world than I started the year in, but I think I can figure it out. I think I can learn to live in this new reality, what choice do I have? So bear with me as we get back on track here, cause I promise, there is good stuff coming down the pipeline.

Goddess knows after a year like this, we deserve it. Stay safe everyone. Happy Holidays.

Character Profile – Rich Cunningham

Rich is Ryan’s bodyguard and friend. He is introduced the same time as Ryan in the story. At first he’s quiet and let’s Ryan and Penelope talk, but eventually he opens up some. I can’t the balance between being someones best friend and also having to have their back all the time because it’s your job. How do you manage that? Well, Rich has found the delicate balance. He is necessary to this story and was originally named after a friend. The name stayed, but the character himself has morphed into someone else, someone I didn’t expect to get to know like I have. He’s given himself several story lines, and things that are happening. I know more about his extended family than some of the other characters because as every good secondary character knows, the book is really about them.

Richard Everett Cunningham worked security for awhile before applying for a slightly different type of security work. His brother and himself ended up as bodyguards for Ryan for a couple days of events about five years before we meet them in the book. It ended up being Aiden Cunningham doing security for his brother Rich and his new best friend Ryan Meade. Ryan and Rich are close in age and they got along like a house on fire. Within six months of that weekend, Rich had been hired as Ryan’s personal bodyguard and they never looked back.

While he takes his job very seriously, he takes more pride in being Ryan’s friend. When Ryan built his house, he added a room in the basement with it’s own entrance for Rich since he lives on the other side of London and a little out of town. It makes it easier sometimes and Rich appreciates that he can come and go as he pleases. He worked hard to find that line between work and friendship, and enjoys the delicate balance that it requires. According to the company, Rich is very good at his job. According to Ryan, he’s a sarcastic little shit and he isn’t sure why they’re friends, at least that’s the yearly review he gives Rich. The copy that goes to the company is always very professional and praiseworthy. It’s made very clear that Ryan won’t work with anyone else, except in an emergency.

Rich is the younger brother, and as such loves to play tricks on his brother. Ryan helps, as he is the eldest in his family and has no brothers of his own. At first everyone thought Rich was the bad influence, but it became clear after a short time that they were just two peas in a pod and Ryan had just as many bad ideas as Rich did. While it’s gotten them in professional trouble a couple of times, nothing too bad has ever happened and they are thankful for that.

When Rich meets Penelope, he likes that she keeps Ryan on his toes. She gives as good as she gets and is sarcastic as hell. The more they talk, the more Rich wants to get involved in the conversation and you notice the subtle shift from bodyguard to best friend in the amount of harassment and potentially embarrassing facts that he shares just to make her laugh. He has her phone number before Ryan does, and before she’s even through customs in London, Rich has found her Facebook and sent her a friend request. For a moment, Ryan actually offers to bow out so Rich and Penelope can have a shot with one another, but it’s made clear to him that they are just friends.

They do stay friends and still talk, both through his girlfriend Nora and on their own. When Ryan and Penelope reconnect, they talk more and it’s not quite as strained as it was before. Rich values his friendship with Penelope and is glad that Ryan never asks him to stop talking to her. Throughout the series their friendship becomes one of mutual appreciation and respect. Over time he even gets close to Asher and despite Ryan’s aversion to him, Reid.

I hope you all enjoyed this look at Rich. He’s a great guy and he deserves the good things in life. His friendship with Ryan is one built on respect and appreciation. It’s wonderful and even though his loyalty will always be with Ryan, he never feels like he’s cheating on a friend by befriending Penelope, or Reid even, and even better, Ryan never makes him feel that way either. Rich is one of the unsung characters in this story, and at times his role gets downplayed, but he is a big part of their group dynamic. He provides a comedic lightness to Reid and Ryan’s controversial relationship, but keeps everyone grounded and safe. He is logical and never presumptuous. Hope you liked him.

As always, be awesome to each other and yourself!

Character Profile – Callie Gracen

Callie is one of Penelope’s best friends. She makes up the third part of the Penelope, Bailey and Callie triangle of friendship. Callie and Penelope have been through a lot and no matter how far apart they are physically, they could’t imagine their lives without each other in it. I really hope you enjoy this little spitfire who keeps everyone on their toes.

Callie Jo Gracen met Penelope in Bootcamp. They got lucky enough to go through boot, and school together, then get stationed in the same place afterward. When Penelope got out of the Navy after her four years were up, Callie stayed in. She intended to make a career of it. At one point she was going to get out, but then her fiance was killed in action. She re-enlisted after that and hasn’t turned back on it now. She’s not sure she ever will. It was a constant when her whole life turned upside down. It was easier to go through the motions and not feel the things she really didn’t want to. It helped her not stay stuck in her grief.

Penelope introduced her to Bailey as soon as she could and the three of them got along well. After that it was the three of them against the world. Despite everything, Callie gets along well with Ryan, she makes friends quickly with Nora after she’s added to the girls group chat, loves how happy Asher makes Bailey and hits on Reid enough to make everyone uncomfortable.

She isn’t involved too much in the first book, but she does play a major role later in the story. I can’t wait for you guys to really get to know her. It’s an amazing story of love and loss for her and the ability to get back up and live again after unspeakable tragedy. She’s a great friend and never asks for more than they can give. In turn, her friends are always there to support her and cheer her on.

I hope you guys liked the little bit of Callie you get to see. There is so much more happening for her that I just can’t tell you guys about yet, but I can’t wait for you guys to meet her. Like Rich, she’s a secondary character that thinks the story is about them, and it makes her that much better. Especially after her and Nora meet in person and somehow become partners in crime. I love her. She’s survived every re-write and re-edit and I’m so glad that i never got rid of her because she is so important.

That’s all for today, now i’m off the the lovely place of work. If you haven’t hit up the instagram yet, go do so. As always, be awesome!

Character Profile – Asher Jameson

Hello again! I’d like to introduce you to our second Vampire character, Asher. Asher is the friend everyone wants. He is the gentlemanly boyfriend we all wish we had. He is amazing and I’m so glad you get to meet him today. You’ve already met Bailey, and even though I created them, it is hard to think of one without the other. I briefly debated on just doing one long blog post with the two of them in it because I have a hard time with it. Then I decided against it because I wanted to do justice to Asher’s story. So, without further ado, please meet Asher.

Asher Dean Jameson was born in September, 1931. He was poor and grew up with strong morals thanks to his parents. When he was turned into a Vampire in 1952, it was with full knowledge of what that would mean for him, but after losing his entire family, he didn’t care about living without them anymore. At least this way he could be of service. Unlike Reid, he is actively trying to do the things he needs to to climb the ranks of Vampire and Elentori hierarchy. He wants to be the best he can be, and he’s good at his job.

Asher met Reid shortly after he was turned. Reid was one of the people sent to kill Asher’s maker for crimes unspecified. He hit it off with Asher and took the young vampire back to Paris with him for a few years. After which Asher made his way back to the US. When Reid left Akina, he sought out Asher to help him hide out. Asher is one of the few people on the planet that Reid considers family and as such, would do anything to protect him. The feeling is mutual. Asher would do anything for his family at Vampire House, but Reid especially. He’s the one that introduced Reid to Atlas and got him the job with them once Emma was grown. They’ve spent most of the last decade acting like typical twenty-somethings, and enjoying themselves.

Asher has a fascination with cars. He tends to spend his free time fixing them up and then donating them for charity auctions. He’s going back to college for a couple of reasons, it helps maintain the blending in, and he is learning something new about cars that he doesn’t know. With the advances in technology and the computers that now run almost every part of a car, he wants to know how to do that. It wasn’t a class when he was last in school. That’s where he meets Bailey.

Bailey was like no one Asher had ever met before. His attraction to her was unmistakable and more than a little overwhelming. After explaining it to his brother Eli, he learned about the concept of Twin Flames. It was then he learned that Bailey was his. Even so, he wanted to do things the right way. He woos her, romances her, respects her parents and more than that respects Bailey and everything she wants to achieve.

He meets Penelope and Ryan and forms and instant connection with Ryan. They become unlikely friends and despite the drama surrounding their mutual friends, they never lose touch. Asher goes to visit Ryan quite a bit and they stay quite close. He gets along with Penelope as well, and because of how important she is to Bailey, he feels the immediate need to protect her from anything that may harm her. He supports her like he would his sister Becks and Penelope, in turn, doesn’t give him too much trouble about dating her best friend.

Asher is one of my favorite people to write. His relationship with Bailey is my favorite thing about this story, in all honesty. I want what they have. I can’t wait for the next book so that you guys get to see what is next for them.

That’s all for today. As always guys, Be Awesome!

Character Profile – Bailey Stills-Parker

Bailey is probably the most important secondary character. She is Penelope’s best friend in the entire world. They trust each other implicitly, and would do anything for each other. Having been raised together the way Mike and Cohen were, they are more like sisters who would love to do anything together. Penelope even has her own room at Bailey’s house! Bailey is the one that keeps Penelope from being too down on herself and sits with her when the grief gets to be too much.

Bailey Ann Stills-Parker was four when her parents were killed in a car accident. She was 4 when she moved states to live with an aunt, uncle, and cousin she only saw on holidays. It was Penelope who drew her out of her shell and made her feel welcome. It was Mike and Cohen who proved they would protect her from anything, even the monsters in her nightmares. She was five when she was officially adopted and became a Parker.

Bailey is a strong woman who knows exactly what she wants and while she is willing to compromise on certain aspects of her life, she will never compromise being treated with the respect she deserves. She finished college and started working at her Dad’s law firm. Once there she decided to go back to school to be a paralegal, and with the support of her family, she went back to school. She met Asher Jameson in one of her classes and was swept up in a fairy tale romance that she goes into with eyes open. She is fiercely protective of her friends and would do anything to make them happy. She is kind and sweet, but with an edge of steel. It’s usually Penelope who will get defensive and up in your face, but it’s Bailey’s wrath you should fear. Her’s is silent, and decisive. She hates injustice in all forms, and tries to actively fight it with every tool she has in her arsenal.

Her relationship with Asher is something that she is protective of, and will do anything to make that relationship work. She falls hard for him, and even after he tells her that he’s a vampire, there is nothing she wouldn’t do for him. He makes her want to be the best version of herself, but knows that even if she is a mess and at her worst, he will be there. She loves his family, because he does and that is enough for her. She accepts them for the sometimes violent and crazy mess they are. She hates when Asher is away on a mission or job, but trusts that he will do what he has to do to come home to her. Which he always does, with presents.

Bailey has goals and dreams independent of those around her, and while she prides herself in being a good sister, friend, girlfriend, and daughter, she will never compromise those dreams for anyone else. She cares not for other people’s drama or feelings about each other. She is supportive of Ryan when Penelope tells her about him. She adores Penelope no matter what but she is that friend that will call her on her bull. She tells it like it is, and it isn’t always what you want to hear. She’s going to tell you the truth, just like her brother will, but also like him, she is going to have your back as well. No matter what, she will always be in the corner for those that are in hers.

Bailey is one of my favorite characters, and her and Asher’s story line is the constant in the series. Even though a couple of the books change perspective, Asher and Bailey are constant and help to serve to keep everyone around them grounded. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

As always, be awesome.

Character Profile – Micah Parker

Hey guys! So we’ve talked about all three of the main characters, but now I want to talk about some of the important secondary characters, starting with Mike. My favorite secondary characters are Bailey and Asher, but you’ll learn about them tomorrow and I can’t wait for you to meet them. Today, however, we are going to talk about Mike Parker. Mike is Bailey’s older brother, and by extension, Penelope’s as well. He is important to the story, and I’m so happy to introduce him (and his faceclaim) to you.

Micah Griffith Parker is the older brother of Penelope’s best friend Bailey. Mike, as he’s usually called, was best friends with Penelope’s older brother Cohen practically since birth. With their parents being friends, there wasn’t much time that they weren’t together growing up, at least until the Sawyer’s moved to Michigan when Cohen and Mike were in high school.

Mike has a few defining moments in his life that he is aware have shaped his current outlook on life. The first being Penelope’s birth. He got to share in the magic of being a big brother along with Cohen and even at the age of four, he knew what a big responsibility it was. He and Cohen would spend hours wanting to hold her, and feed her and play with her. When Penelope got more mobile, they got less interested. The second defining moment was the day his Aunt and Uncle died in a car accident. He was eight when his cousin Bailey came to live with them. She was four, and the same age as Penelope. For a couple of years, the four of them became inseparable. Mike was happy to finally have a little sister of his own. The next few defining moments all involved Cohen in some way as they grew up and went through school. Even after they moved away, they would regularly make the six hour drive to visit. Once Cohen and Mike were able to drive, the four of them would meet halfway and hang out almost once a month.

Mike and Cohen joined the Marine Corp together straight out of high school. They’d made the plan their senior year and when the time came, Cohen drove down so they could enlist together. They were lucky enough to be stationed together almost their whole careers. He got to watch his best friend fall in love. Helped him pick out an engagement ring. Then held him in his arms as he bled to death in a place too far from home.

Losing Cohen was extremely difficult on Mike and he didn’t re-enlist afterward. He did go back home and for a little bit of time he could barely get out of bed, let alone attempt to fulfill the dreams that he and Mike had once held. Eventually, thanks to support from his family and the VA, Mike got back up and started working again. He started working with a local construction company and learned as much as he could while he saved his money and made plans for he and Cohen’s dream of starting their own company.

After Cohen’s funeral, he can’t bring himself to look Penelope in the eye so the two of them lose contact. He even goes so far as to not attend the Thanksgiving party the two families regularly held. When Penelope comes to town, he leaves for any assorted reasons, anything he can do to avoid her. When Ryan brings Penelope to town as a surprise, Bailey convinces him to come to the party and surprises him with Penelope. The two reconnect and things get a little better between them.

After reconnecting with Penelope, and a conversation where he gets a lot of things off his chest, Mike feels like he can finally move forward with starting his own construction company. He’s bought a house and is doing well mentally. Things are starting to look up.

Mike is a wonderful guy, he is loyal to his inner circle, but cautious about his friends as well. Cohen was more like a brother and while he knows he’ll never have that kind of relationship with anyone again, but does like the camaraderie of the people he works with. He is a typical big brother to Bailey (and Penelope after they’ve reconnected) and generally likes Asher. There was a long conversation between the two of them early in Bailey and Asher’s relationship that no one knows the specifics of, but afterward Mike was generally accepting of Asher. While Mike doesn’t try to be the overbearing type, sometimes he can come across that way. Especially if he thinks something is wrong with one of his sisters.

Mike is one of my favorite characters. Not for the same reasons as Reid or Penelope, or Ryan, but because he’s the guy who is always in your corner. He’s quick to tell you that you’re in the wrong, but he isn’t going to abandon you over it either. He is awesome and the kind of brother anyone would want. I am lucky enough to have this kind of brother, which is the only reason that I know how to portray a brother worth having.

I hope you guys like this little peak into Mike, and the other views into the characters. I’m thinking of making this a semi-regular thing. Not with this kind of frequency, but once a month or so introducing a new character from a story or something. I’m still thinking about it. These are fun to write so I might do it just for me.

Anyway, have a great day guys! Don’t forget to be generally awesome today!

Character Profile – Reid Walker

Reid is a special case. Reid has been around since the beginning of the ideas of this story, only he didn’t always belong to me. He’s had countless name changes but I keep coming back to this. Several characters have had name changes since the inception of this story, Ryan being the only exception. Reid’s name has changed, but it also hasn’t. I’m pretty sure originally he had the last name of King, but his name was Christian. That part never left, no matter what’s happened, his name will always be Christian, and I can’t imagine calling him anything else.

In the beginning, he actually was a character from another book by another writer friend of mine, we were attempting to collaborate, but our stories were going in two different directions, so we split our characters, took our own back and I lost him. I had every intention of creating someone to fill that void in my story, but before I could, my friend called and basically told me “You keep him, he won’t work with me anymore.” So with a laugh Christian became my character and she created someone new. We even made it legal when I moved away by putting it down on paper and framed it. It was my favorite going away present. He isn’t quite the same now as he was then, but there are characteristics that have carried over.

Christian Reid Walker, when we meet him, is nothing short of an asshole. At least that’s how he’s described by the people that know him. Penelope has a slightly different opinion of him and everyone thinks he’s being weird whenever she’s around because he doesn’t treat her like he does everyone else. Asher goes so far as to call him out on it in front of everyone. Reid gets understandably upset and walks away. When Penelope goes to check on him, he explains to her that he usually is what everyone claims he is, but goes on to explain why, sort of. The condensed version at least.

Reid has been a Vampire for 120 years. He should have long achieved the rank of Master, making himself available for a position of power within the Arkane society. Reid has no interest in those things like he once did. He likes living quietly and doing the tasks and jobs that Atlas assigns him. Atlas Rivers is the Sage in charge of their area, and his second in command is Eli Holden. The position of Second in Command should be Reid’s but he doesn’t want it.

His maker, Akina Rue, is the resident Sage in Paris, France and that was where he spent most of the first century after she turned him. He was being groomed to take over as the other Sage in her area, but he shunned everything twenty years before the story started and went on the run. He doesn’t speak to Akina any longer and has renounced anything that had to do with her, except his title and his sister Echo. Echo is the older child of Akina, and her and Reid are the only two of Akina’s children still living. They both feel the same about their Maker, so they get along well.

Reid’s soft spot and change of heart happened on a cold New Years Day when Akina asked him to do a job that he didn’t have the stomach for, something so terrible no one would want to complete it. Instead of killing the newborn Dhamphir, he took her and ran. Emma Walker is his daughter, as far as he is concerned. Even though he hadn’t met her before that night. He spent years on the run, only communicating with Asher and occasionally one or two of his other friends, just letting them know he was okay.

Now that Emma is fully grown and living on her own, he’s settled into an easy life working for Atlas. He spends his time doing work, and actively shunning most responsibility; he likes being a grunt. He doesn’t know how drastically meeting Penelope will change all of that. In the beginning he’s not really thrilled that her and Ryan are coming to the party at his house anyway.

He ends up alone with Penelope pretty early on and they get along well enough to argue about Football before they party starts. He can’t help but feel drawn to her, and as such has a deep dislike for Ryan. When Atlas assigns him to guard Penelope once she goes home, to keep her safe from the potential threat her and Ryan have walked into, he thinks it will be an easy job. Stay hidden, don’t let Penelope know he’s there, and keep her safe, what could go wrong?

Apparently a lot.

He gets further involved in Penelope’s life when they start hanging out and the Reid she gets to know, is playful and fun. He’s the one that only his closest friends know. She also gets to know the side of him that his daughter knows, the caring side, the part he doesn’t tell anyone else about. The last pieces of his humanity are in this part of him that he hides away. This is the Reid Penelope gets to know and trust.

When things go fully off the rails, he tries to revert back to the way he had been, but Penelope can see straight through his tough exterior and even though he tries, she calls him on it. Eventually they find a balance of sorts and things settle down. Her relationship with Ryan is an ever increasing thorn in his side however, and he doesn’t want to be that guy, but at the same time he kind of does.

Reid’s character development happens mostly through commentary from his friends, as they can see the shift Penelope doesn’t see. Penelope only sees him close himself off and knows something is wrong. She earns herself a protector and permanent bodyguard because of this as it hasn’t gone unnoticed that she is important to Ried. There are only a handful of people on the planet that are, and all but Penelope can handle themselves, so he makes it his mission to keep her safe.

Reid is one of my favorite characters to write for because he is so dynamic. He carries the pressure of his bloodline, because of who his maker is, and who her maker is. They’re the closest thing to royalty as the Vampire’s can get. It carries a lot of weight in the entirety of the Arkane community, something Penelope and her friends learn about first hand at one point. Right now, two of the books in the series are going to be from his perspective so that we get a real look at what is actually going on with him. There are snippets sprinkled through Noctivagus, but I can’t wait to work on the next book to really explore all of the things that make Reid the complex character that he is.

I hope you all enjoyed this little sneak peak into who Reid is. There is so much more I want to share about him, but they would be spoilers and I don’t want to do that. Instead, I will leave you with one of my favorite vision boards that I’ve ever made. And it has to do with Reid, so enjoy.

So that’s it. Remember to be awesome! See you later!

Character Profile – Ryan Meade

Hello again! We are going to talk about Ryan this time. While Penelope is the main character, Ryan would be classified as a secondary main character. Throughout the series, Ryan plays a very important role in Penelope’s life. It’s through him that her life changes to begin with, and he is instrumental to those changes. So, without further ado, let’s meet Ryan.

Ryan James Meade is the oldest child in a family of five, and stays as down to earth as possible given his current career, thanks to his Dad. He tries to stay very family oriented and not give in to the traps and pitfalls of his fame. When we meet him, he’s recently gotten out of a relationship with his ex girlfriend, and co-star Charlotte Townley. When he meets Penelope, she’s like a breath of fresh air for him. He is instantly attracted to her appearance but after talking to her, he finds he’s enamored with her personality as well. He thinks nothing of their differences in class or the fact that they come from very different worlds, just that she is someone he wants to continue to know.

His life makes it difficult to meet people who want to see the real him, so it’s nice that upon meeting Penelope, and subsequently her friends, that there is a large group of people that genuinely like him. He strikes up an unlikely friendship with Asher Jameson, and despite his initial hesitance due to him being a Vampire, finds that he becomes a good friend rather quickly and someone he wants to keep in his inner circle despite the relationship twists and turns that he and Penelope experience.

Despite knowing a lot of people, he finds he most cherishes his friendships with Rich Cunningham, and Asher most of all. They see him as a person and don’t care what his position in society or his money can do for them. They are more comfortable just hanging out, drinking beer, and playing video games in Rich’s small apartment than going out on the town and for that he is grateful.

Even though he and Penelope have trouble seeing eye to eye and go through a period where they don’t even speak, he never loses touch with some of their mutual friends and when he and Penelope start talking to one another again, it helps to ease the tension.

He becomes a confidant to Penelope and eventually the have the friendship they should have started with instead of jumping into a relationship. So when Penelope hits a low point and needs a friend, he’s glad that their relationship has grown enough for him to be able to keep her secrets and offer a reassuring shoulder to cry on with no expectations attached to it.

Ryan himself continues to grow in fame and as such, holds the people who keep him grounded closer. They help when everything else seems to be too big. He’s a genuinely nice guy and just wants to help people, so he does a lot of charity work in addition to everything else. He’s a good friend and a good brother to his younger two sisters, Lorelei and Ariella.

I hope you guys enjoyed learning a little more about Ryan today. He’s a great character and honestly, there is a lot throughout the series that happens for him. He does get a happy ending, just like almost everyone, but not always in the ways they expect. Ryan is a good friend and values the friendships he has because of what they contribute to enrich his life. For someone that can buy anything they want, it’s nice to have people that could care less if he worked at the grocery store down the street, and are more concerned with his sarcastic wit, and trivia about weird things. He’s ever the English gentleman and most of his friends love that.

Have a great day everyone! Again, if you haven’t already, head over to insta to get the latest on the giveaway! See you guys tomorrow with another Character Profile. Until then, be awesome!

Character Profile – Penelope Sawyer

So this week we are doing some character profiles on the different characters from Noctivagus. I can’t draw so I can’t create their exact looks so I did faceclaims instead. If you don’t know what a faceclaim is, let me explain. A faceclaim is when you take the face of a famous person or some real life person that looks similar to what you think your character looks like in your head. I wish I could draw because I can never find anything exactly, but my stick figures cry. So here is the faceclaim that I have for Penelope, and then I’ll tell you guys a little more about her.

Penelope Jane Sawyer is the main character for Noctivagus. We meet up with her just before her internship is set to start. She’s been studying interior design in school and all she has left is the internship before she graduates. She’s managed to snag one of the few paid internships available, which she is really excited about. It has an added bonus of a continuing mentoring program that comes with it, which will be good for her after she graduates. The program is highly coveted and she is proud to be the one who received it.

She goes on vacation, planning to spend a couple of days in London by herself, and then a few days in Florence, Italy with her friend Callie Gracen. Callie is active duty Navy and they met while Penelope was still on active duty as well and have remained very good friends even after Penelope got out. While at the airport in New York, Penelope gets bumped to first class unexpectedly, and decides to wait in the first class lounge. It’s there that she meets actor Ryan Meade. The two strike up a conversation and get to know each other through a game of twenty questions. They happen to be on the same flight and when Ryan’s friend and bodyguard, Rich Cunningham, asks Penelope to switch seats with him so he can finally have some peace a quiet, her and Ryan spend the trans-atlantic flight talking.

Once they make it to London, Penelope fully expects to never see him again, only for Ryan to ask her if he can tag along to the pub with her and Rich, since the price to switch their seats was a pint of something. The next couple of days in London are a whirlwind and Penelope almost cannot believe what is happening to her. Before she leaves to meet up with Callie, Ryan makes sure that she knows he’d like to keep talking to her.

Callie and Penelope have a lot of fun and enjoy catching up with one another while they are together. On the final day of their trip, they are both surprised by Ryan showing up to whisk Penelope off to LA instead of home like she’d planned. She attends Ryan’s newest movie premiere as his date before he surprises her further by taking her to visit her best friend Bailey Stills-Parker, who has been trying to convince Penelope to make the six hour drive down to her place in Illinois for an end of summer party. Penelope had previously refused and was looking forward to seeing her friend at Thanksgiving instead.

While Penelope is thrilled to finally meet Bailey’s new boyfriend, Asher Jameson, she isn’t as thrilled by the attention from Reid Walker, Asher’s self proclaimed brother. It isn’t until she figures out that Bailey is dating a vampire that everything starts to make sense. Instead of being afraid, like she knows she should be, she’s intrigued. The party helps Penelope reconnect with old friends, and brings new people into her life that she wouldn’t have ever met if she hadn’t. She didn’t know that her and Ryan had walked into a war, and when she finds out, she tries desperately to keep it from the people she loves.

Back home in Michigan, with Ryan gone back to work, and her internship started, she finds out just how much of an impact the last two weeks have really had on her life. With the sudden addition of Reid playing babysitter and watchdog, she isn’t sure her life can get more complicated than it has already become. She isn’t prepared for how much things will change, or how desperately she feels pulled to leave her home and go back to Illinois and the comfort of her friends. She doesn’t know what to do with the new feelings of loneliness in her apartment and life that weren’t there before she’d gotten on a plane.

Through the ups and downs that happen, Penelope tries to stay the same upbeat, optimistic person that everyone knows, but struggles with bouts of depression and the still semi-fresh grief of losing her brother. Especially when she has finally reunited with her brother’s best friend and pseudo older brother, Mike Parker. Between the start of the story, and the end of this one, she finds love and loses it. She accepts the new changes in her life, and her ever expanding knowledge of the Arkane world, that seems to operate quite successfully within our own.

So that’s all I can tell you about Penelope right now. This story is honestly about all of the things life can throw at you in a year and how she copes with them. It’s not gonna always be happy or sad, and throw some Arkane elements in there, a war, and Vampire politics that she really doesn’t understand, and it makes an already complicated life even more complicated.

Hope you guys enjoyed this little snippit into Penelope’s life. If you have any questions, feel free to ask away and I’d be happy to answer anything! If you haven’t already, make sure you get over to the insta and check out the contest to win exclusive Noctivagus merch! All you have to do is tell me your favorite book quote and follow the page to be entered! Talk to you guys later!