[Amber Side note: during this takeover, there are times when more than one person is talking. This is your handy guide to figure out who. Atlas [Amber] It won’t really let me change the font at all, so this is how we decided it looked. Anything that’s just bold, is probably questions, which are also technically from me. Also, this version of Atlas is from the end of Blood Song, Book 1 of The Bluebird Chronicles due out July 20, 2023. Thanks!]
Greetings and salutations, my name is Atlas Rivers and I am one of the two sages in Territory Three. I will be taking over today and answering some questions. I hope you enjoy. Have a wonderful day.
Full Name: Atlas Fox Rivers, though this was not the name I was given at birth, it has been the name I’ve used since my second life began.
Nickname(s)/Alias: I’m not sure I have any, besides my title, but that’s not really an alias.
DOB: April 6th
Zodiac Sign: Aries
Height: 5′ 11.5″
Eye Color: Brown
Hair color: It used to be a lovely dark brown, but I prefer the salt and pepper gray I go with now. It suits me.
Race: Eldritch Demon [What is that? Can you explain it?] An eldritch demon was born a human, either a Karhu or an Arkane, that is turned into a demon. It’s a complicated and long process that takes the better part of a century to complete. Though not everyone turned actually completes the process.
Location: Southern Illinois.
Profession (if any): Sage in Territory Three.
Family: While I count Reid, Asher, Eli, and Becks among my family, I do not have any true family left. They’ve been gone a long time.
These are the photos you asked me to provide. [Thank you. Would you mind telling us about them?] Of course not. #2 – My favorite food is a creamy prosciutto pasta. Last time I made it with peas, I don’t think I’ll do that again. Finley agreed they were not a good addition. #5 – This is the lock screen on my phone. Though I don’t know why that would be interesting. #11 – Though it may not seem like much, the most interesting thing I own is this pocket watch. It was given to me by Annabeth once upon a time. #14 – The last date I went on, we ate dumplings and had a wonderful time. #18 – My bad influence friend is Ivy Herrick, the other sage in this territory. She is always trying to get us into trouble when we go out. #24 – This is a photo I recently deleted. I was out in the woods with Asher and I was attempting to catch a picture of a bird but I was walking and I tripped, so the picture was blurry. I got a better picture right after so I deleted this one. #29 – The person I’d like to see everyday is Annabeth. I miss her dearly.
Answer these questions:
Name one weird thing you like.
Being barefoot. I’m not particularly fond of shoes.
Which do you prefer? City or Town?
Town. I like being around people, but I also like being in nature. Where we live now is a perfect compromise on that.
What has been the hardest thing for you to face or learn?
Losing my Twin Flame and learning to live without her.
Who is Annabeth?
Annabeth was my Twin Flame. Though I don’t particularly want to speak too much on her. [That’s fine. Thank you for sharing that much.]
Losing one of my “children”. I consider Asher, Reid, Eli, Becks, and the rest to be my family and I would hate to lose one of them for any reason.
Who is your favorite person that you have the misfortune to be around every day?
Misfortune, that’s funny. Probably Asher or Reid. I love watching them grow into better men.
Honestly, do you like your life?
I love my life. It took a long time to accept it, but I do love it.
Do you smile at strangers?
Yes. I believe in bringing joy to the world and a smile could make someone’s day.
I know that vampires can’t get drunk, can you?
Yes, but my tolerance is pretty high. It would take quite a bit to make me drunk. However, there are other interesting consequences of drinking too much. [Such as?] That my dear is a conversation for another day.
Do you lie to yourself?
Are you a lazy person?
No, I’m comfortable.
Who was your first love?
A spicy number named Avalon, though I cannot remember much about her besides her name anymore.
What makes you laugh?
The sarcastic assholes that I’m constantly surrounded by.
What did you do before you were the Sage?
What everyone else did prior, try to live my life I guess. I did work for the previous Sage for a bit and enjoyed it.
If you won the lottery, what would you do?
Take a vacation at home and buy some expensive scotch.
Are you selfish?
To an extent. But I think everyone is like that, depending on the situation. I do try to be as giving and as open as I can though.
What time do you wake up in the morning?
7:30. Or 9. Depends on the day.
What is the toughest part of being Sage?
Being fair. Not picking favorites. Being hard on those that serve under me, even when I don’t want to be.
What did you think the first time you met Bailey?
That she was soft and sweet and perfect for Asher. Also that she probably had no idea what she was getting herself into.
What’s one item you can’t leave home without?
I have a worry stone in my pocket at all times. It’s a small piece of Tiger’s Eye that I keep with me always. It’s quite a bit smaller than it used to be, but I love it. It was a gift from the Sage I used to work for.
What’s your favorite animal? And Color?
I like big cats. The lynx is my favorite. Reid would tell you my favorite color is Khaki Brown, though it’s actually turquoise, like the stone. I like the brightness of it.
Thank you for tuning in. I hope you’ve had as good a time as I have. Have a wonderful day. Goodbye.
[That’s all for this month’s character takeover. I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to leave questions in the comments and I’ll make sure Atlas answers them. Have a great day my friends. Be safe, make good choices, and don’t eat yellow snow. Happy New Year.]
Luca is one of the background/secondary characters in No Ordinary Love. He’s part of the band that Mason is in, Blue Sundays. He doesn’t appear too often in the story, except in times when the whole group is together.
Luca’s life was a simple one, he grew up the younger brother to Ashton, who is also in the band. He married Twyla about three years before the book starts, so they’re just out of that honeymoon period and are happy to simply be. Luca loves to spoil Twyla and their two dogs, Max and Ruby. After being on the road, or away from home for any length of tie, Luca prefers to stay in bed for the entirety of the first day. Twyla often stays with him. They read, they talk, they just spend that time getting to know the people they’ve become while he’s been away. He loves his job, he loves his life, but he loves his wife and family more. He would give up everything if it meant safety and security for himself and his wife, but Twyla would never ask him to, though she hates it when he’s gone, she’d never ask him to give up his dream.
Luca is calm and level headed ninety percent of the time, but he’s also hyper and scatter-brained and has a million ideas all the time. He writes a lot of the lyrics and music for what the band ends up recording. The other guys pitch in as well, but almost everything is written by Luca and Alec, at least the bare bones of it. Parker usually does a lot of the music. When they’re home, it’s not uncommon for Luca to be over at Alec’s while they spend time in the recording studio that Alec has, or at Luca’s, hanging out on the back porch watching the dogs play in the yard while they work. It’s an easy existence that makes Luca appreciate what he has, but he will never stop working for it either.
I’m working on No Ordinary Love again next month and with the current re-write that I’m doing, I’m hoping to include Luca and Ashton a little more than I had before. They’re good characters, important to the story, but they’re background important. They’re helping fuel the storyline from the outside and I’m excited to get to show that a little more now that I’ve switched it to first person and part of it is from Mason’s POV. Despite the little bit that I have on him, I absolutely love Luca, and he is an inspiration to me, with the little bit I know. I can’t wait to expand on that and I hope you guys will love him too.
Well that’s it for me today. I’ll see you guys tomorrow, but for now, as always, drink your water, be safe, make good choices, and don’t eat yellow snow.
This week on the Monday Character Preview we have Adas Bardhyl. Adas is the Alpha of the Amate Pack in Australia. He’s a minor secondary character from the Bluebird Chronicles and has connections to the main characters because he has been dating Reid’s sister Echo Kingston for the past ten years. Read on to learn more about this character.
Adas is the Alpha of his pack, and unlike the Aedion Pack in NYC, the Amate pack has no King of Queen. They left those titles behind twenty years ago or so, making Adas the senior ranking member of the pack. His second in command is his brother-in-law and one of the younger members of the pack, Cadmus Thane, is his third. It works out well as he ends up married to his psuedo-daughter Aria. Aria is Echo’s daughter and when he started dating Echo, he took on the roll of father figure to Aria and has enjoyed it immensely.
He and Echo met by chance in town one day at the grocery store while she was trying to figure out where to find some snack that Aria had asked for. Being a vampire, especially an old one, she doesn’t eat all that much, so she was having trouble. He offered his help and by the time they’d finished shopping, they had a date scheduled and the rest is history. Adas absolutely loves his life, and though Echo has told him repeatedly that she will not marry him, he asks her every couple of years anyway. He’s even been given a place as an honorary member of the Arkane Royal Family, though has turned down an official title until such time that Echo agrees to marry him, though she probably won’t ever do that. He’s content to spend his life with her as they are anyway.
Nothing about Adas or his pack is normal. He’s a werewolf in love with a vampire and raising a kitsune for a daughter. Their life is far from ordinary and he loves it that way. Though Echo won’t marry him, she has officially been given a role within the pack as his Luna, making her the highest ranking female in the pack, even though she isn’t a werewolf. Aria also will hold an official place within the pack once she and Cad are married. She’s already a junior member of the pack and Adas made it so without any care of what the rest of the pack thought about it. Though he did get some backlash from some pack members, everyone has now settled into it as though it is completely normal and are quite defensive about it if anyone should speak negatively about the oddity that is their pack.
In addition to his own homestead, Adas owns a couple of properties, the small community where the Elder members of the pack live is owned and maintained by the pack itself, and the younger members take care of the yards and any housekeeping or maintenance that needs to be done. There is also a Pack House for the younger single members of the Pack that have left home but aren’t quite wanting to be on their own. This is on the same property as his home with Echo, and there is even a small cottage near the back of the property that Aria and Cad have moved into.
Well, that’s about everything about Adas that I can tell you for now. Like I mentioned at the beginning, he’s a minor secondary character so I don’t know that much. I know more about the pack dynamics which I will be discussing one Friday coming up soon and it will be more clear then I think. Well, enjoy your Monday everyone. As always, drink your water, make good choices and don’t eat yellow snow my loves. Until tomorrow!
[Amber Side note: during this takeover, there are times when more than one person is talking. This is your handy guide to figure out who. Reid Asher[Amber] It won’t really let me change the font at all, so this is how we decided it looked. Anything that’s just bold, is probably questions, which are also technically from me. Also, this version of Reid is from the end of Blood Song, Book 1 of The Bluebird Chronicles due out July 20, 2023. Thanks!]
Hello. My name is Reid and I guess I’m taking over today. I’m not exactly sure what that means, but Amber let me have full reign, with some guidelines. First, I have some questions I have to answer, then I had to provide her with some pictures, and apparently there’s a brief one-shot at the bottom of all of this about me and the first time I met the Territory Four Crone, Freesia Wolfendale. First, let’s get some basics out of the way shall we?
Full Name: Christian Reid Walker
Nickname(s)/Alias: Reid, I guess. Prince of Paris, Papa, and, my favorite, Crow.
DOB: October 28th. [What year Reid?] Depends, when I was born as a human? Or when I was turned into a vampire? [Both I guess] Fine. October 28, 1876 was the day I was born to my Ma and Da in Galway. I was turned into a vampire on July 22, 1896 in Paris. My maker is Akina Rue, the sage in Territory Two of the European Arkane Alliance. I hate her. There, happy? [Yes. Thank you.] *rolls eyes and mumbles under breath* …creators…
Sexuality: Mostly straight. I’m old. I’ve experimented. Didn’t hate it. Deal.
Zodiac Sign: Scorpio
Eye Color: Blue
Hair color: Like a dark auburn? It looks brown most of the time unless I’m in the sun. And yes. I have a few freckles. On my face. On my arms. They’re there. Do not attempt to play connect the dots or I’ll introduce you to the lovely daggers I got as a birthday gift.
Location: Territory Three of the North American Arkane Alliance. [Specifically Reid…] Southern Illinois. Are you happy? I thought I was taking over, go away.
Profession (if any): Executioner for Territory Three; Working for Sage Rivers
Family: Daughter, Emma Walker (20); Sister (through my maker), Echo Kingston (339); Niece, Aria Kingston (21); Grand-mère (don’t ask); and I guess Akina qualifies as she is my maker but I’d rather not count her.
I guess I should explain these pictures right? [Yes.] Fine. #1 – My favorite picture is of Penelope laughing. Do I really need to explain why? #10 – My dream vacation – the beach again with Penelope. I’d like to do it right this time though. #11 – Coolest thing I own is a vintage Indian Motorcycle. I restored it myself and am quite proud of it. I don’t ride it much though, the parts are hard to come by. #16 – My next adventure would be children. I want more of them. I don’t have plans for that currently, but that’s the next adventure I’d like to be on. Fatherhood where I’m not running and hiding is probably different. I want to experience that. #17 – My best friend is Asher Jameson. Of course it is. There are others as well, like Annistyn, Shiloh, Becks, but Asher is the one I’m closest to. Despite his annoying personality. 🙂 #27 – My Grandmother is the person I miss. She died before I went to Paris. I was her favorite. #29 – The person I’d like to see everyday is Penelope. I thought maybe Emma too, but my daughter wants her space and that’s fine. I think. I don’t like it but I can’t do much about it either.
Answer these questions:
What is one thing you regret doing?
Not checking on my family sooner.
What celebrity do you want to be best friends with?
I’m not sure, but it isn’t Pretty Boy Noah Meade. Hate him almost as much as Akina.
What strange habit do you have?
I don’t know, ask Asher. He pretends he doesn’t give a fuck, but we all know he does. He also likes to play the martyr. Fuck off Ash. Love you too Reid.
When did you and Asher become friends?
Too long ago. I need new friends now. Fine. The 1950’s. I killed his maker as they were passing through the EUAA. Ash hadn’t done anything wrong, so I took him back to Paris with me. He was a fairly new vampire and he needed a mentor. I introduced him to Shiloh when Akina sent him away six months later. Yeah, when she figured out she couldn’t manipulate me like she could you. Yeah, yeah. Shut up.
What makes you feel better?
A good bottle of bourbon. He takes baths. Go the fuck away Asher or I will put Nair in your shampoo again.
Did you have a mentor?
Sort of. I was trained by my maker, but Shiloh would qualify as my mentor if pressed.
What’s your relationship status?
It’s fucking complicated is what it is.
Thoughts on love at first sight?
A year ago, it didn’t exist and was made up nonsense from fairy tales. Despite knowing multiple people with Twin Flames….. I swear to the gods Asher, if you do not get the fuck out of here…. Going [and now?] Now I believe in instant connections. Love comes later.
Do you have a Twin Flame?
I do. [you wanna elaborate on that?] No.
Do you consider yourself to be a good person?
Yes I do. Most of the time. More Chaotic Good if I’m being completely honest.
What’s the coolest moment in history that you’ve been alive for?
The big Vampire Reveal back in 1903. I’d apologize again but it seems to have worked out in our favor if I’m being completely honest. [How did that happen anyway?] That is a story for another day.
Have you ever gotten high?
There are ways for vampires to get high. Arkane drugs are potent sometimes. So yes, I have been. But not since I left Paris.
What is your favorite childhood memory?
One summer day, my ma took me, Cian, Muirne, and Meealla all down to the creek to play. She was supposed to be doing the wash, but she ended up splashing in the water with us and helping us find different creepy crawlies. Cian and I were 8 I think. It was a good day.
Are you scared of heights?
I am not afraid of anything. Liar If you don’t go away I will tell Bailey about that one time in Germany…. Actually leaving now…bye
What Vampire Rank are you?
Everyone assumes I’m an Astrum who’s never applied to be a Dominum, but I’ve been a Dominum level for longer than I should have been.
Why do they call you the Prince of Paris?
It just kind of stuck. I’m the last of the Princes in the Arkane Royal Family, and for just over a century I was based in Paris. No matter where I go in life, Paris will always be my city.
Do you remember your dreams?
No. I’m not even really sure that I do dream.
What is your most used swear word?
Some version of Damn or Fuck. Especially in reference to Asher.
What’s the first app you check when you wake up?
Weather. I don’t always feel the temperature like a human would, so I need to know how to dress to blend in.
What is the coolest piece of technology you’ve come across?
A tablet or smartphone. It amazes me the things you can carry in your pocket these days.
What’s the strangest thing you believed as a child?
Cian once convinced me that I was a changeling child that my parents kept. Believed it for almost two years. Was too afraid to ask my ma. I got in trouble at church one sunday and was convinced they were going to send me away. Da was not happy with Cian, I’m not sure what happened in the shed that afternoon, but Cian wouldn’t look me in the eye for hours.
Describe yourself in one sentence.
Prince of Paris. [Reid…] No. that’s my answer. No more questions. [Fine. Say goodbye to the nice people and I’ll share the story of you and Flower.] Deal.
Well, it’s been fun, but I have to leave now. I’ll be back to annoy Asher when it’s his turn because turnabout is fair play. Enjoy the story of how I met Flower back in the 80’s when she first became the Territory Four Crone. I was in New York City at the time, because I had done something to irritate Akina. It was a turning point for me. She helped me see that maybe there was another way, that I didn’t have to be exactly what Akina wanted me to be, that I could be more. When I fled with Emma, she was the first person I went to. I can never repay her. So now, thirty-four years later, when she asks me for things, I always do everything I can to help her.
Enjoy the story. I’d say it’s been a pleasure, but at best it wasn’t horrible. Sorry, I’m kind of a solitary vampire and I prefer to be in my garage or reading in my room. Good day.
An Excerpt from the (so far unpublished) Flower Novella
Prince Reid Walker drained the last of the blood from the bottle he was currently drinking, and tossed it into the backseat of the Jeep. His supply was getting low and he’d have to remember to pick up more if he could find some in Coldwynne. If he couldn’t, well he’d just have to Drift home while Freesia was in meetings. He glanced next to him to find the woman in question sleeping peacefully as he drove through the night. He still didn’t understand why she insisted that they drive between the smaller Arkane cities instead of drifting, but he wasn’t one to question the assignment he’d been given.
Freesia Wolfendale was the youngest crone in Territory Four history, having been awarded the title at just thirty-one. She still had small children at home, but here she was gladly accepting one of the most notable titles in the Arkane world. Reid was no idiot, he’d done some research when he’d been assigned the job by Damon Dethantos, one of the territory sage’s. The one he’d been assigned to after his latest exploit in France had angered his maker. He couldn’t wait to be done with this and hopefully beg Akina’s forgiveness and get to go home. He missed Paris and his privileged existence.
It wasn’t that Freesia hadn’t become delightful company, it was just that she was starting to poke holes in the role he played and he wasn’t sure he liked the churning feeling in his stomach that it often caused. He shook his head and concentrated on the road. Driving through the backcountry in Canada wasn’t something one should lose focus on.
They arrived in Coldwynne about an hour after the sun came up and he was more than ready for a warm bed and a chance to rest. They’d left after she’d had dinner the night before with some dignitary or other, they were all starting to run together in his mind. These small minded Arkane, some of them didn’t seem to see the vision Freesia held for the future, and he was annoyed, even if he didn’t personally see it. He hoped that the two day visit with Galvan Asherock would prove more fruitful for her. It made her better company at the very least. After this it was off to Newfoundland to visit the other Territory Four Sage and the last school on the trip.
Reid woke sometime in the early afternoon, feeling groggy and a little disoriented. He got up, showered and went to find Freesia. They’d both been given rooms in Asherock’s home and Reid had wasted no time getting some rest. He wandered down the stairs, subtly listening for the sound of Freesia’s voice. He didn’t hear her at all on his way out to the Jeep for a bottle of blood, which he’d kept there. While he downed his first bottle, he looked around the area a little better. It was beautiful here, and he would have liked a couple of days to just relax and enjoy it, maybe have Annistyn up to visit, he hadn’t seen her in a few months. Tossing the empty bottle with the others, he grabbed a second and went in search of his charge.
Freesia Wolfendale had been surprised to find out that her name had been in the running for crone when the latter had decided to vacate. She’d met him a number of times and thought he was interesting enough, but stuck in the past. He’d been crone for almost forty years. So when she’d been called to appear before the council, she’d been taken aback to find she’d been his choice. She’d done as best she could with the council and then waited to hear back, thinking they would never pick her. Once they had, she’d immediately dived into a plan to get Territory Four moving into the future. The new century was on the horizon and she wanted them to be ready. The first part of this plan was to go out and meet with as many people as possible. That included the sages, of course, but also included the lords, ladies, and those running the smaller communities. Helping the Arkane keep quiet in cities full of Karhu. To visit the schools, to ensure their children were receiving the best education. She wanted to know what she could do to help achieve the smaller goals these places had.
She hadn’t been overjoyed at the appointment of a bodyguard and chaperone in the form of Reid Walker, vampire and the Prince of Paris. How was she supposed to get to know the territory she represented for what it truly was if she had a member of the Arkane Royal Family following her around? She’d been pleasantly surprised to find him not as stuffy or arrogant as she thought he’d be. Though he did have some very backward thinking about some things. She hoped she could get him to think for himself a little more, if nothing else. They’d been on this trip for two weeks and were almost done with the Canadian portion and only had a couple more stops before they toured the American side.
So far Freesia had found the leaders to be a frustrating mix of old school, and forward thinkers. She was hoping to inspire those that weren’t convinced of her vision to at least give it a try. She wasn’t sure she was successful yet. Reid seemed to think she was, then again, she wasn’t sure she could trust his opinion just yet. He still seemed very young in a lot of ways, especially for an eighty-eight year old vampire.
“Freesia, I have to tell you, that although some of your plans seem like they will indeed help send us into the next century on the right foot, I’m not sure how you’re going to garner the support to do so.” Galvan Asherock told her, leaning forward in the chair he was sitting in on the dock near the water. Freesia was near him in a similar chair, looking out over the horizon. She wished Calkin and the children were here, they’d absolutely love this.
“Lord Asherock, while I’m sure that garnering support will sometimes be difficult, make no mistake, as crone it is well within my rights to enact change without the approval of any council.” She told him, lifting her drink to her lips, grateful that her voice had remained steady.
“Now, that isn’t necessarily true. There are many things that have to be approved by the council, and I know the members on this one. Many of them are going to argue that too much change too fast isn’t good for the Arkane or the Elentori.”
“I think you’ll find more people will agree than they won’t. I would like to work together and find ways that work for everyone. Karhu technology is changing rapidly, who knows where we will be in twenty years. We need to be prepared for that before it becomes a problem.”
“Now that is something we can agree on.” He said nodding and leaning back in his chair, seemingly content to dismiss the conversation for now. Freesia took a deep breath and let it out slowly. She hoped Reid would be awake soon, she desperately needed intelligent conversation. As if summoned, she heard his voice a few moments later.
“Everything okay, flower?” He asked, making his way down onto the dock, a half empty bottle of blood in his hand. Freesia had been disgusted at first, but very quickly had gotten used to this way of feeding for him. It’s what he seemed to prefer and had made it clear he wasn’t going to change that, and she agreed it was better than the alternative.
“I’m good, Reid. Did you get enough sleep?” She asked as he nodded to their host and took the seat closest to her.
“It was adequate. I’m headed into town for a supply run,” he shook his bottle back and forth a little so she’d know exactly what he meant. “Would you like to come along?”
“That would be nice. I’d like to get to know some of the people, see their daily life.” She said standing, leaving her half empty glass of beer on the small stand between where she and Lord Asherock sat. “Would you mind dearly if I took my leave?” She asked, looking at the man in question, old fashioned or not, it was rude to be disrespectful to her host. She may need his help one day and it wouldn’t do to make enemies only a few months into her run as crone.
“Go ahead.” Galvan told her with a wide grin. “I have some paperwork I need to attend to before the dinner tonight anyway. May I recommend lunch at Backlane, and a coffee at Jackie’s. They’re the most popular places in town and you would have a chance to really get to know the people here in Coldwynne there.” He offered. Freesia smiled before she turned and took the arm Reid had offered to help her up the hill.
“I’m not sure I’m going to like that man.” She confided as they walked through the little village. So far it was quaint, but she hadn’t seen a lot of diversity here. Mostly water and wood Arkane. A few earth, but almost zero Elentori seemed to live in these parts.
Reid shook his head, but smiled. “Well, hopefully you can count on him as an ally, whether or not you like him.”
“He seems ambivalent. He wants to sound supportive but also to warn me that I will have a lot of trouble with the council.” Freesia scoffed. “As if they have to approve every decision. Major policy changes, yes, need to be run through the council, but not every decision.”
“Then don’t worry so much, flower, you’ll be fine.” She smiled up at him. He was so much taller than her. He was over six foot and Freesia was lucky if she made five five in heels. She liked that he’d started calling her flower, two days into the trip. When she’d asked about it, he’d just shrugged and smiled. She noticed he assigned nicknames to almost everyone though, especially if he seemed to like them.
“I’ll try. Now, let’s find this restaurant and see if we can find someone who can tell us where to get the supplies you need.” She smiled and took his arm again as they made their way further down the main drag.
The dinner was nice, and Reid felt himself melting into the background as much as possible so he could watch Freesia work the room. She may be young, but she had an aura that demanded the respect of not only her title, but of her other accomplishments as well. She seemed to know intrinsically when to be the devoted mother, when to be the steely crone, and when to be something in between. It was like watching his maker work, but with softer edges. His maker always seemed to have an agenda, but Freesia seemed to just genuinely be able to handle the pressures.
Everyone seemed to be waiting to see if she would rise to the challenge that being crone brought, or if she’d buckle under the pressure. Reid was starting to understand that this woman, whether they ever spoke again, was going to change the face of Territory Four, and he wouldn’t be surprised if the other territories didn’t follow suit. He’d listened to her speak, asked probing questions and really listened to the answers. If only others would do the same.
“You know flower, I thought you did a great job.” He told her later, when she’d stepped out onto the back deck for some air and a chance to clear her head.
“But do they believe I can do the things I promised?” She asked, glancing at him. He inhaled deeply off of the cigarette he was smoking and let the smoke out slowly from his lungs.
“Most of them want to believe you, all that’s left is for you to prove you mean the things you say.” He told her slowly as he did a quick scan of the minds still inside the house. She smiled up at him again.
“I honestly hope I can too. I don’t want to let them down.” She confided, leaning against the railing and looking out at the moonlight reflected on the water.
“Can I give you a piece of advice?” He asked carefully. He’d been quiet on the topic of leadership, but after their conversation earlier in the day, there was something he wanted to tell her.
“Sure.” She turned her attention to him as he joined her at the railing, his cigarette put out in the ashtray by where he’d been standing.
“You are the Crone of Territory Four. The youngest ever.” She nodded, but waited silently for him to continue. “When I want something to be done, I don’t pander and try to convince those I want to do it. I tell them it needs to be done, and then wait for my orders to be carried out. I outline the plan if need be, but I don’t let them question me. I am in charge.” He paused and looked at her. “Now obviously I listen to my maker, my sage, and my crone and of course my Grand-mère, but I don’t let others question it. You need to do that. Obviously our positions are slightly different.” Freesia chuckled and nodded her head. Reid couldn’t help the smile on his face. “But don’t let them feel like you have to convince them of anything. You’re their leader. So lead. Let them figure out how to do as you say.”
“Reid, that’s all well and good, but I need the council on my side.” She told him with a sigh.
“I know that you do. So answer their questions, but make sure you leave no doubt that these are things you will accomplish with or without them. You’re the crone. You can replace them as you see fit, remember? And that is a completely different council, is it not?”
“It is.” She said with a grin.
“Then they need to know they either get on your side, or you’ll find someone that will.”
“That is helpful. Now let me give you a piece of advice.” Reid raised an eyebrow and turned to face her, leaning his back on the rail and glancing at the party still happening inside. “You need to find someone that can question you. That can make you think about things in a slightly different way. That can do that, and hold you responsible without overstepping their place in your life.”
“Isn’t that why you’re married?” He asked with a grin.
“While Calkin is great for that in our personal life, I’m still searching for someone with a slightly different perspective that can keep me balanced for work. You need to find both I think.”
“Akina keeps me balanced.” He said confidently, though he couldn’t ignore the small kernel of doubt that was starting to bloom in his heart.
“Does she? Or does she punish you for not doing the things she wants you to do just like she tells you?” With that Freesia turned and walked back into the party.
Reid stood there thinking about what she said, and what she hadn’t. When this was all over, he thought he might go see his sister for a long weekend. See if she could shed some light on some of the feelings Freesia was bringing to light. He watched her mingle for a few more minutes before he shook his head. The woman was amazing, and every bit as commanding as he himself was, even without the crown.
[That’s all for this month’s character takeover. I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to leave questions in the comments and I’ll make sure Reid answers them. Have a great new year my loves. Be safe, make good choices, and don’t eat yellow snow. Happy New Year.]
It’s that time again! It’s time for another character profile, this time it’s Nora. Nora, as you learned last week is dating Penelope’s cousin Rich Cunningham. They’ve been together almost a decade at this point, and while they eventually plan to get married, but they just haven’t done any planning for it yet. Nora is one of the people Penelope considers family at this point, even if for some reason her and Rich break up, she would stay Penelope’s friend.
Nora grew up in London with her parents. She took a job at a local pub after college and that’s where she met Rich. She and Rich got along so well that they started dating. It didn’t take long for them to move in together, or for her to settle into her life with him. Though they’ve been engaged several years, they have made no plans to get married yet. She prefers to stay home while Rich travels the world, and since they don’t really need the money, she’s content to continue working at the pub, which she loves. She’s now been made a manager there, and she loves it.
Nora met Penelope when she flew to Rome with Rich and Noah. They were going on vacation and Rich invited Penelope to join them if she could. She was able to get a few days away and it didn’t take long for Nora and Penelope to become friends. Nora came to visit her and Callie in La Maddalena a couple of months later, and the three of them get along like a house on fire.
When Penelope and Callie were transferred back to the US, Nora stayed friends with them, being added to the group chat and at one point coming out for a week without Rich, since he and Noah were busy. She was introduced to Bailey then and the friendship between them, that had started in the group chat already, blossomed into something real.
As much as Nora is friends with Penelope and Bailey, her best friend on the planet is actually Callie Gracen. For all of Callie’s sarcastic boldness, Nora is quiet and sweet…to most people. The two of them initially bonded in Italy with their love of the same drink. Which then grew into their love of the same books and movies. Despite the geographical distance between them, they are ride or die for one another.
Aside from Penelope, Bailey, and Callie, Nora does have other friends. She’s been engaged to Rich so long that she’s not sure they’ll ever actually get married and she’s okay with that. She isn’t in a rush to get to the alter, which is unlike most women her age. She’s confident in her relationship and she knows that they can survive anything. He is always there for her and never lets her down. She couldn’t hope for a better man.
Rich’s family has also been quite welcoming. She gets along well with his sister in law, Paisley Cunningham, and his brother, Aiden Cunningham. The girls hang out quite often, whether Rich is home or not. Nora likes that the Cunningham family has completely embraced her, since her own family is small and quite cold from time to time. Rich’s family is not, and she is always invited to every family event, with or without her fiancé.
Nora is one of my favorite tertiary characters. She’d be secondary, except she isn’t a large part of this story, though she is important to it. The friendship that she has with everyone draws everyone together. She helps keep the balance between the crazy life that Rich leads and the real world. It’s important for him to come home to her for that balance and love. I hope you enjoy this character as much as I do.
As for me, we’re done for now. Have a great day everyone! Don’t forget to be safe, drink your water, don’t eat yellow snow, and have amazing adventures!
Today’s Character profile is about a character that first shows up in this upcoming weekend’s Short Story Saturday. He’s going to be the counterpart to the main character of Ailee Creed. The two of them will go on an epic journey that you’ll get to read about but only here on the blog. So, without further ado, let’s meet Kestral Sherwood.
Kestral is a Gorlass, a descendant of long ago Dragon shifters. They can no longer shift but retain several characteristics of their previous Dragon ancestors. Kestral himself is the only son out of five children. He’s the youngest and his sisters live to make his life complicated. While his sisters all have jewel colored eyes, his are the same gold as his fathers. When threatened, his skin takes on a golden sheen that is strangely reminiscent of scales, and though his skin is impervious to fire, it is not impenetrable.
Kestral works with Wilder as a Diffuser. Since he is fireproof, it made sense to him that he could use his gifts to help people. He moved to Port Shadeau two years prior and despite his willingness to settle down, no one had yet caught his eye.
When he isn’t working, he loves to read books and drink coffee. His favorites are mystery and detective stories and he can spend hours on his days off doing nothing but sitting in his favorite chair and devouring books. When he has enough time to leave the city, he prefers to spend time in wide open spaces. He loves stargazing and watching the night sky while he sleeps next to a campfire.
Ten get to know you questions with Kestral Sherwood:
What makes you happy? A good cup of coffee and a good book on a rainy day.
What is your favorite flower? Sunflowers
Who was your childhood hero? My father. He was honest and unfailingly kind.
What would you do if you won the lottery? Buy a house out in the country and some land. Then build a room that was all windows and fill it with books and comfortable chairs to relax in when the rains come.
Are you a dog person or a cat person? Dog person more often than not. But I don’t mind cats.
What would you name your future child? Lawson Sherwood, after my father, if it was a boy. And Caroline Sherwood if it’s a girl. I’d be willing to compromise on the middle names, but the last names are fixed in my mind.
Something you hate that you used to love? Spinach. When I was a kid I’d eat it all the time, but now I can’t stand it.
What did you want to be as a kid? I’ve always wanted to be a Diffuser, so I guess I did that right.
What is the last thing you bought? [laughs] Groceries. I bought groceries, though they were minimal.
That’s the brief introduction to Kestral Sherwood. At least as much as you’ll get for now. Tune in this Saturday to actually meet him in the story. Let me know what you think so far. For now, I’m off to get some work done around the house. Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday friends!
This week I wanted to tell you guys all about Marlowe Lark.
Marlowe Lark is the manager at the bookstore, the Librarie, and makes friends with Ailee Creed on her first day. It doesn’t take long for the two of them to become good friends.
Marlowe married a Diffuser, or Arkane fire fighter, named Wilder Lark when she was twenty two. They were high school sweethearts and didn’t let anything stand in their way. They moved to Port Shadeau about five years prior to the start of this story because of Wilder being transferred there. She started working at the bookstore shortly after and about a year later, they bought the larger of the two studio apartments above the Librarie itself. While they have no children, Marlowe and Wilder live a full life.
Marlowe loves to travel, and when their schedules align, they tend to go somewhere new. It averages out to one vacation a month. Although sometimes they prefer to stay at home and never leave their bed.
Marlowe spends a lot of time on her own because of her husband’s work schedule. Since she doesn’t work weekends, she usually spends her time reading and drinking tea. She also likes to wander around Port Shadeau and Seattle trying to find things no one else has. She hikes sometimes out to remote locations so she can play a little with the air discipline that she can’t use as much inside the city. Normally, she will sit on rooftops in the summer with a book and let herself play with the wind around her.
She takes great pride in the way she runs the Librarie. She likes to do special themes every couple of weeks to try and bring people into the shop. Ailee, once she hears about the plan, does her best to create special drinks to match the theme as well.
I don’t know if there are going to be too many surprises with Marlowe. So far she seems like the steady, kind of crazy, force you’d want as a best friend. This week’s Short Story Saturday features heavily on Ailee and Marlowe’s budding friendship as they hang out after work one day. I can’t wait for you guys to read it!
Let me know what you guys think of Marlowe, I’m excited to hear your thoughts!
So, if you caught the last Short Story Saturday, you got to meet a brand new character by the name of Ailee Creed. There are a few characters in the cast of the stories that will take place in Port Shadeau. Today I will do my best to introduce you to the main character, Ailee and hopefully we can all find out something about her together.
When we first meet Ailee she’s hanging out in her apartment considering a list of things she wants to do. Having recently moved to Port Shadeau from another location in the Arkane world, she’s just starting this new life. She talks a little about her estranged boyfriend Gideon, and the death of her father, but she doesn’t elaborate on either one.
From what I know so far, because I’m making this up as I go, after her dad dies, she doesn’t much want to hang around in Cheaveaux so she plans to move. When she chooses Port Shadeau, she asks Gideon to come with her, and he declines. She doesn’t see this as too much of a deterrent as those in the Arkane world can travel via Geo Drifting.
Geo Drifting is an easy way to travel once you’ve been trained. Drift points, which can appear in any location and often take the form of a doorway. An arch in the woods made of twisted branches, or a doorway at the back of an alley that appears to lead into a building. it could be anything. Most often in Arkane cities, they appear in their natural form, an archway filled with a swatch of swirling purple color, most often tucked up against a wall somewhere.
Drift points are easy to maneuver as long as you have a clear idea of where you’re trying to go, anywhere in the world. Essentially they’re portals, but only Arkane can use them. If a Jejune (typical non-Arkane human) were to walk through one of these Drift locations, nothing would happen. They’d simply be on the other side of the archway or door. By using these, Ailee could walk through a Drift point in Port Shadeau, Washington and walk out in Paris, France. The entire trip taking no longer than a few seconds.
Although not completely important to the story of Ailee, it is important to the Arkane world. Due to the ease of travel, living in another state from Gideon doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. Once she moves, however, he goes radio silent and she’s having a hard time dealing with it.
Ailee finds work in a bookstore cafe, which she also lives above for now. The bookstore, called the Librarie, is managed by a young woman named Marlowe Lark. The two of them become fast friends, and she finds it refreshing to have someone to talk to after a couple of weeks of near radio silence. Ailee is excited about the opportunity to run the cafe alongside Marlowe. She is concerned about some of her employees, and their well-being but isn’t too worried. it seems like a wonderful challenge, and exciting opportunity.
I’m not sure yet what her larger motivations are, but I’m sure that by the end of March we will know. I created these characters as little more than outlines. The prompts for 2021 are set, and I have sketched out a basic outline between now and March. Whether the story will continue after that or not, we will have to see. I hope to add more depth to Ailee as a character in the future. At least more than a mid-20’s blonde woman who has just moved to a new city and likes photography and has a crappy boyfriend. The story is really taking shape and I’m excited to share it with you! Have a wonderful day guys!
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.
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.