There is always some sort of inspiration behind every character a writer creates. Sometimes it’s pictures we see, sometimes it’s someone we’ve met, someone we’ve seen, or someone we know well. Oftentimes, a writer ends up with little pieces of themselves in every character they create. It’s happened to me quite a few times, almost every single one of my main characters has a little bit of me. Some more than others, but they all have a piece. So today we’re going to talk about a few of my favorite characters and who they were based on.
Let’s start with Penelope Sawyer, the main character in the Bluebird Chronicles. She’s got a lot of me in her. In fact, the small island in Italy where she was stationed at the beginning of her time in the Navy, I was stationed there. They say to write what you know, so I do that. A lot. Penelope goes through losses similar to some that I have faced in the previous few years, though that particular plot point has been there since 2009, I never imagined that it would follow my life as closely as it did, and I don’t know how to feel about that. Penelope’s job, the business she’s trying so hard to create, that has nothing to do with me. That was inspired by my very first editor on Blood Song, Erika. I needed to do something different with what Penelope did for a living during one of the rewrites and I just kind of decided to honor Erika that way. She has no idea so I can’t wait for her to find out.
Then there’s Penelope’s best friend Bailey Stills-Parker. Bailey has parts of a lot of different people. Some of which I no longer have contact with. Bailey, however, remains an amalgamation of the best friends that I’ve had since I started this book. Her most recent incarnation has mostly parts of my best bish/cousin Steph. Callie and Nora are also the same kind of amalgamations of other friends as well. I love that I can look at them and know that I have immortalized them in some way, even if I’m the only one who ever knows exactly which parts belong to who.
Then there’s Micah Parker. Mike is the big brother I never had, but based on my little brother Damien. Mike’s boyfriend, based exclusively on my brother-in-law Jason, who passed a few years ago. I promised him I’d put him in my books somewhere, so Trey was my promise kept. The biggest difference between them, Trey is gay and my brother wasn’t.
There’s other things too. The house that Penelope’s parent’s live in? It’s based on the house I grew up in. Certain birthdays belong to people I know. My children, my nieces and nephews, my grandson, all of them have some piece of a character somewhere. Whether it’s a shared birthday, a shared middle name, or a similar look. I love my family, and I want them to know that when they read my books (when they’re old enough). I only have two adult children (one turned 18 this week!) the rest are between 13-17, with the next round of birthdays happening in February. It’s the little things that make creating as many characters as I have to, seem more real. I give them a detail from someone I know.
Reid isn’t actually based on anyone I know. Originally, in the VERY first version of Blood Song, he wasn’t even my character, and his name was Christian King. I was writing with a friend and our stories happened to cross over here and there. Her’s was focused on my main characters best friend. Or maybe it should be the other way around since she started writing first and it’s what inspired me to get my pen back to paper. Either way, there was crossover with the main characters. Well, eventually we realized the stories were going in two very different directions that weren’t going to mesh well for what we were doing so we split the stories and created new characters. I took mine back, she did the same. Only, Christian wouldn’t do anything for her. Nothing. Wouldn’t speak to her, she had so much trouble writing for him after months of me writing for him. So, when I moved to California, she gifted Christian to me to do with as I pleased and she replaced him with another character (who I actually love just as much). When I started changing names of characters for the original draft of THIS version, I wanted to honor his roots, so Christian King became Christian Reid Walker, Prince of Paris. Though, so not to confuse myself with who I was writing, I called him Reid. It worked and she absolutely loves everything he’s become.
There is a little of almost everyone I know in a character somewhere. Sometimes it’s just easier with the tertiary and smaller secondary characters to do that. Saves me time and energy trying to flush out a character. Or at least that’s what I tell myself, though I always seem to end up tweaking them just a little bit. My inspiration comes from everywhere. I have based characters on other fictional characters, like Tucker Clark in It Could Be Monsters is based on Dean Winchester, probably because that story started as a Supernatural Fanfic. I’ve done that before too, with several stories and I have since all the way back in my sophomore year when I started writing “the secret” that you guys will probably never read.
Well, that’s it for me today. See you all tomorrow for a book review! I know how much you like those. Hahaha. As always, drink your water, be safe, make good choices, and don’t eat yellow snow. Love ya!
[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.]
One of the ways that the Arkane world differs from our world, is the main method of travel. Everyone in the Arkane world, Elentori and Arkane alike, are able to Geo-Drift. Geo-drifting isn’t a new concept, it’s just a new name for teleportation. Using a system of naturally occurring portals, the members of the Arkane world can seamlessly and quickly travel from any place on the planet and appear seconds later in another part of the world.
It takes a lot of training to learn how to properly use the portals, you cannot go somewhere that you cannot picture clearly, and doing so usually ends badly. Though not difficult to master once you’re taught, it usually takes a few tries with a guide before you’re able to get it right. They can take the form of naturally occurring circles in the woods, tunnels, some doorways, pools of water, alley’s are popular spots in larger cities. Any sort of liminal space can house a portal. Learning how to identify one is sometimes the hardest part. A Karhu can walk right through and never know, but a member of the Arkane world will always know.
It isn’t uncommon for Elentori (human passing mythological races; example: vampires, shifters, selfies, sirens, etc.) or Arkane (humans born with the ability to manipulate one of the six naturally occurring elements) to end up married to a Karhu (regular person), so there are ways to drift without being born into one of these two circles. There are several characters that I have written who Drift by means of a “Drift Ring”. These rings are specially designed by the Arkane peoples and contain at least one representative of each element. Common substances include, a gemstone of some kind, meteorite, opal, metal, and antler or bone. Abalone shells are also common.
Each element must be involved in some way in the construction of the ring, and then the finished product is spelled to ensure its usefulness. These Drift Rings can only be given out by the crone of whatever territory you happen to live in. The entire application process isn’t difficult, though it does take a lot of time, except in a few rare cases. Usually a couple will apply for their rings before departing for their honeymoon and often they are ready when they get back.
No one is quite certain when the portals started appearing, but the best information says somewhere around the sixth century. According to legend, until the seventeenth century, some portals led to other dimensions, though that is no longer possible, and there are not many left who know why. If there are, they usually refuse to speak on it, as it has been so long ago that their memories cannot be trusted.
I sort of wish that I could Drift, or that this was a real form of travel. I have friends in all corners of the United States and it would be great to be able to visit them as quick as nothing. It would be a lot cheaper and I wouldn’t miss so much of my California kids lives.
Well, that’s it for today. You guys have a great one and I’ll talk to you later. As always, behave.
This was another Book of Faces rec. I swear they target me so well, and I can’t even be mad anymore. Most of my ads are about books and coffee. It’s like they’ve finally figured me out. So I downloaded this book, the first in a six book series, on Kindle and I guess I should have paid more attention because this book was sooo good that as soon as I was done, I went looking for the next one, only to discover that she’d put only the first book on Kindle Unlimited, the rest were only available in physical copies and audiobook. You bet your ass I ordered that second book.
When searching for the cover for this book for the review, I found out I’m a little late to the party, I mean there’s six books in the series, I’m not surprised, but hey, there used to be different covers for this series, the old cover looked like this.
I honestly can’t tell you which one I prefer. So here’s what I understand about this series. There are two books per character. This one, and the next in the series, Cheeky King, are about Prince Sebastian. It’s a really good story. Which, after reading the Amazon reviews, I was worried I wouldn’t like the writing style. Then again, most of the reviews are people mad because it’s a “story ripped in half” like yeah…. it says Book One on the front of it, on both covers. That usually indicates to me that it’s part of a series, otherwise why include it? Others were mad that it ended on a cliffhanger and felt they should have been warned. I personally hate it if I’m warned of a cliffhanger. Don’t tell me that. Cliffhangers are powerful tools. Kind of like putting the first book on KU and then making me buy the rest. I’m gonna do it, but that was smart from the author perspective.
So, with those mixed reviews on Amazon, and knowing it’s a cliffhanger, and part of a series, here’s what I think.
Penny is a Royal Guard, just like the rest of her family, but it’s not where he passion lies. Her passion is in art. As a Royal Guard, she’s too clumsy, and she doesn’t have a very good opinion of herself. Prince Sebastian, the heir, has been “missing” for six months. No one is quite sure where he really is because he’s employed body doubles, who look enough like him to fool people, to travel the globe and keep up the drinking and womanizing that his reputation expects, only he isn’t going to do those things. He’s looking for his long lost brother. A brother he didn’t even know he had.
King Cassius assigns Penelope a special job, to go undercover, pose as Sebastian’s neighbor and convince him to come home before his birthday in six weeks. Penelope initially turns down the job, thinking she’s not the best one for it. After talking to her best friend, Ariel, and an argument with her boyfriend, she decides to take the assignment after all, if for no other reason than a change in scenery. The plan is simple, her and Ariel form a two man team to watch the Prince, keep him safe, and Penelope has to convince him to come home, all without him realizing who she is. She goes by the name Len, something her parents used to call her when she was young, and moves in next door.
It’s a romance, so hijinks ensue and there’s a lot of ups and downs. They’re both trying to resist the romance of it all for their own reasons. Sebastian is trying to track down his brother and convince him to come back to the Winston Isles. Penelope is a Royal Guard, even though she breaks up with her boyfriend (for a scandalous reason i might add!), she can’t let herself get close to the Prince for obvious reasons. It was good. Really good. I highly recommend, but do yourself a favor, order the second book before you start the first otherwise you’ll be stuck in limbo while you wait for it!
Book Club for Complicated House Plants
Did you think think the first sentence of the book was effective? Oh yeah. It sets us up perfectly. In one sentence, we understand a little bit about the relationship she has with her parents, and how other people see her. It sets us up to understand her low self-confidence.
How do you feel about the books pacing? The pacing was good. I felt like it went at the speed it was supposed to go at.
Did you feel the narrator of this book was reliable? I really liked the dual POV. I think that Sebastian and Penelope were able to give us the reality as they saw it, and that was helpful so that the reader understood what was going on.
Was there a moment when you disagreed with the protagonist’s decisions? Yes. It’s toward the end of the book, and they both decide they have to tell each other the truth. But they keep letting themselves put it off. They should have had the difficult conversation, even if they didn’t want to.
Did you guess the ending of the book? I did not see that coming. If you guessed it, you’re a wizard, because I didn’t see it coming at all.
Did you race to the end or was it more of a slow burn? I’m not gonna lie. I raced there. It was so good I didn’t want to put it down. I kept wanting to know what happened next.
Which character did you like best? If I’m being completely honest, as much as I loved the two main characters, Sebastian more than Penelope but only a little bit, my favorite character was Ariel. She’s such a great friend. She’s always got Penelope’s back. She’s amazing in her own right as well and that makes me super happy.
Are there any characters you’d like to deliver a lecture to? Yes. Penelope’s brother Michael and his best friend Robert. They need a very stern talking too, starting with HOW DARE YOU! on so many counts.
Did you like the “heat” level of the book? Please excuse me while I pull out a fan because damn. It was good. I liked it, and it didn’t feel forced or put in for shock value or anything else. It was good for the story. Especially given what the characters were feeling.
Was the couple’s connection believable? Yes. On a number of levels. It’s cute that they both remember one another from childhood, even if it’s vaguely. Then to have the relationship they do later on in the book. I love that they start as friends, they encourage each other in their passions, it’s simple. Easy. Without the other titles hanging over their heads. I hope that they remember that after their secrets are revealed.
Well, that’s all I’ve got this time around folks. Trust me, after I get the second book, I’ll let you know how that one was too. I can’t wait. I’m sure this is a series that I will read every book for. I hope you enjoyed this review. Tune in next week for another. Have a fantastic day my dears!
This is another one of those books that I saw on the book of faces and just had to read. Normally, I don’t read anything in the middle of a series if I know it’s the middle of a series, but this one I made an exception for. I got drawn in by the little boy turning into a lion, climbing a tree, and getting stuck and the poor mom freaking out. So, I sought out the third book in the Fire and Rescue Shifter’s series by Zoe Chant and I’m so glad that I did. It was awesome.
Griff MacCormick is a Scottish shifter who can’t shift. He decides to check out the “prank call” his coworker thinks is just kids messing around. Griff knows better. He had been part of Team Alpha, a fire and rescue squad made entirely of shifters, until something happened to his leg and he couldn’t do it anymore. He can still hear other shifters in his head, and see them, but he can’t shift himself, which is a disappointment.
But, he shows up at Hayley Parker’s house anyway after his shift, which is just after the call comes in, and gets her son Danny down out of the tree. Hayley is NOT a shifter, didn’t even know they were a thing! When Griff tells her that he’s happy she’s moved to the UK from California, since US based Shifters aren’t well protected but the Royal Family make certain that shifters in the UK have some protections. I think the best line I read in the early part of this book is about the Royal family itself, who apparently have been Dragon shifters since the War of the Roses. I loved that. It was an interesting bit of world building that I found humorous.
Griff helps Hayley with Danny. He helps Danny understand what’s happening to him, and how to shift back and forth. He isn’t sure what to do about the fact that Hayley is his mate but there’s something wrong with him, he cannot have her. It’s stressful for both of them. It’s a great book though, filled with lots of colorful characters. It was a thrill to read and I really want to read the rest of the series now. Maybe this winter I will.
Book Club for Complicated House Plants
Did you decide right away if you liked or disliked the book? Based on the little bit I had read in the preview on the book of faces, I knew I was going to like this. I was so right. From the very beginning it was amazing and everything I could have hoped for. It was sooo good.
What drew you in? It was the idea that there were shifters and no one knew about them. I’m a sucker for shifters and vampires and paranormal of any kind. I mean I write it so clearly I enjoy it, but I am a sucker for that kind of thing specifically. I loved the idea that someone who was falling apart, was willing to give of themselves to help someone else. I love that.
Who was your favorite character? John Doe. Hands down. He’s not even a main character but our introduction to him in this book, is him washing dishes while also cooking because he works with water. He hates the voice of the dishwasher and prefers to ask the water nicely for help. I love that. Keep in mind that I haven’t read the rest of the series, just this book, and I loved that that was my first glimpse of him. He’s a fantastic friend to Griff and I just love him okay?
Who was your least favorite character? Reiner Ljonsson. He could have had a happy relationship with his son, and I’m all for people coming back later to try to have something to do with their kids as long as it’s for the right reasons. His reasoning was flawed and I hated that. It wasn’t okay.
Could you relate to any of the character? Hayley was extremely relatable. As the mother of six kids, I can’t imagine what my reaction would be to finding out they could shift. And the way she tackles the whole new world that she’s exposed to, that’s goals right there. I loved it. She was awesome, strong, brave, and level headed. It gave me a sort of in to this world that I knew nothing about.
Did you have a favorite line or chapter? The first time John Doe meets Hayley, it’s kind of a tense situation as everyone from Team Alpha is there and something is wrong with Griff. Hayley is appropriately freaked out. Then John comes in the door, and he is freaking HUGE. He’s a sea dragon in human form. He’s not small. But he’s the epitome of teddy bear. This is what he says when he first encounters her.
He Sank gracefully to one knee in front of her, bowing his head. “My Lady. I am the Walker-Above-Wave, Knight-Poet of the First Water, Guardian of the Pearl Throne, Seeker of the Emperor-in-Absence, Firefighter of the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, and Griffin’s sworn Oath-Brother. If by my life or my death I can serve you, I will.”
John Doe, Firefighter Griffin by Zoe Chant.
I remember calling a friend and being like YOU HAVE TO HEAR THIS! If this was not the best character introduction I have ever heard, I don’t know what to tell you.
Did you think the couple in the book were a good match? I did. I love the “true mates/soulmates” trope. I use it in my own writing sometimes. And I love that. In addition to the one perfect mate thing, Griff and Hayley got along well. They wanted similar things and it was easy to see why they would be compatible. As a single mom, I loved that Griff took a shine to Danny immediately and wanted what was best for him, even if he didn’t like it personally.
What was the saddest part of the book? The fight for dominance between Reiner and Griffin. It was heart breaking because it put Griff into an impossible situation where he knew he would fail, but he had to do it. It hurt my heart so much.
If you could ask the author a question, what would it be? All of my questions would be John Doe based. How did she create him? How did she decide on his titles? He’s my favorite and this isn’t even his book.
How did you feel about the ending? The ending fit the book. I saw it coming, but anyone who knows anything about mythology probably would. It was predictable in the best possible way and I loved it! I wouldn’t trade it for something else. It was perfect for the story.
I gave this book five stars. It lived up to every single expectation that I had after reading the preview. It was amazing and I’m so glad that the book of faces recommended it.
I gave this four flames for the heat level. It wasn’t that the heat wasn’t there, it’s just that there wasn’t a lot of it. There are so many other things going on in this book that the steamy romance part got put on the back burner somewhat for the characters. They are dealing with a lot. Though the sexual tension between them is insane and when they do give in, it’s hawt! Very much so. But that’s why there’s only four flames. It was good though.
Well, that’s all for me this week folks. Check out the Fire and Rescue Shifter’s series. Trust me. It’s amazing. I have the next book on my list soon, it’s about John Doe after all, so you know I have to read it. 🙂
I have never been so angry to have read something on my Kindle app rather than in a physical book before. When I tell you that I wanted so badly to throw my phone when I got to the cliffhanger ending of this book….I yelled in frustration, making the baby in the apartment above me start crying. And all I could think was “same baby, same.”
This book was fantastic. Shattered Altar by Nicole Fox, I have never clicked on a sequel so fast in my life. Just when you think everything might be okay, boom! Nope. So, I’m going to recommend this book, and trust me, it’s gonna end up in time out. I highly recommend getting a physical copy of it just to be able to put it in book time out. I swear.
Shattered Altar is about a young woman, Olivia, who’s on her way home from New York to see her family for the holidays. Well, as in usual fashion, her flight gets delayed and she goes off in search of coffee. A stranger sits down next to her at the cafe in the airport and they get to talking. Dude is sexy and she starts thinking that it might not be so bad to live a little like her sister Mia urges her to do. Aleksandr, or Aleks as he prefers to be called, takes her to find good coffee in the airport since they’re on the same delayed flight. Though I wasn’t sure how 5 hours passed so quickly, the sexual tension between Olivia and Aleks was obvious. As soon as we got to his POV, I knew he couldn’t be trusted, he stated as much, but as the reader, I didn’t know why.
This book is filled with ups and downs and twists and turns and the frustration on both Aleks and Olivia’s parts that comes with falling for someone you shouldn’t. There’s forced marriage, blackmail, intrigue, missing persons who aren’t actually missing, and possibly an accidental pregnancy. It’s so good. You have to go read it.
Book Club for Complicated House Plants
What was your favorite part of the book? My favorite part of the book was the beginning and the meet-cute. It was so surreal and for a moment I thought we were edging into the way I had originally written the beginning of Blood Song, so it was a bit trippy for me. It changed quickly after that so there wasn’t any chance of it being anywhere close to the same story, but I was drawn right in. I also really enjoyed the scenes at the lake.
Did you race to the end or was it a slow burn? I read this book in just a couple of days. I could have finished it last night but I watched a couple episodes of a show with my kids instead. This book sucks you in and keeps you reading to find out what will happen next.
Would you want to read another book by this author? I have already downloaded the sequel and want to type this as quickly as possible so I can get back to it. Nicole Fox seems to have quite the backlist going and I want to devour them all. Especially if they are as good as this one.
How does the book title work in relation to the books contents? At first I was confused at how the title related to the story, but now that I’ve finished the book, it makes so much sense, and I already know how the second one will relate to the story I’m imagining. I cannot wait, I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet how much I want to read the sequel…and it’s not on the summer reading list you guys!
Who do you most want to read this book? Stephanie of course. She would love this. Otherwise, anyone who loves the mafia don trope, you will love this. If you’re afraid of the steamy or the spice, stay away, but if not, read this. Please. Add it to your summer reading list. I promise you won’t regret it.
Are there lingering questions from the book you’re still thinking about? So many. What will Aleks reaction be to finding out that Olivia is gone? What new challenges will Olivia face now that she’s been taken somewhere “Safe”? What is going to happen to the person that helped Olivia escape? Are Olivia’s suspicions confirmed? Will Aleks and Olivia admit their true feelings for one another? As you can see, I have a lot of questions.
Which characters did you like best? I absolutely love Olivia and Aleks. I love watching them try to fight what’s right in front of them for obvious and logical reasons. Too bad love doesn’t care about logic. I also really enjoyed Olivia’s sister Mia and Aleks best friend, Demyen. I think he’s the perfect foil for Aleks. He calls him on his bull and isn’t afraid of him, though he respects him not only as the Bratva Don he is, but as a friend and that is much more important in that line of work, one would think.
Did you like the heat level of this book? Dude yes. I loved it. My favorite part of it, nothing was forced or coerced. It was all done willingly. There was no fraud involved in the spicy scenes. The heat level was fabulous.
Was the couple’s connection believable? If so, at what point did they click for you? Okay, I was a sucker for them in the beginning, and fell head long into their connection. There was obvious chemistry happening between them. After the startling turn of events, I liked that they both fought that obvious chemistry and that Aleks never used his position of power over Olivia to get anything sexual from her, not even a kiss. I liked that the internal struggle of falling for someone you had no business falling for was present and that they fought it. I like the inclusion of shame for Olivia that came with every time she gave in just a little bit, or thought about it. It made it more real. More believable. I also liked that every time they fought, a little more of their true feelings came to the surface.
What do you think happens to the leads after the ending? I think that after Aleks finds out that Olivia is gone, heads will roll, literally and figuratively. Especially after he finds out where she ended up. I think that Olivia is going to quickly realize that Aleks was telling the truth when he said he was trying to keep her safe and that running was probably the worst idea she’s ever had.
I gave this book 5 stars because obviously I wanted to throw it at the awall and it needed a book time out so often. The writing was great, I enjoyed the story, and very mjuch look forward to reading more of Nicole Fox’s work.
This book got a 5 flame heat rating. The spice was on point, just enough detail to really make it believable, but not too much graphic descirption to cross over into erotica areas. Also, it was never coerced or forced and that made all the difference for me. Despite everything, if it ever had been, that would have crossed too many lines for Aleks to be a redeemable character in my book.
Okay, so that’s the review for Shattered Altar. Read it. Enjoy it. Be prepared to throw it at the end. Seriously. Do yourself a favor, get the second book as well, because you’re going to want to tstart that one as soon as you’re done with the first one. I’m out for today, as always my beautiful people, be safe, drink your water, don’t eat yellow snow, and have an adventure, even if it’s just on the pages of a book while you enjoy the nice weather.
This summer I am going to read a lot of books. My goal is 12, but I’m sure there will be more! Between the Summer Solstice and the Fall Equinox there are exactly 12 weeks. My current TBR list…it’s over fifty books long. So there are a lot of choices. In the past I’ve decided what order I was going to read in, not this time. Several of these books don’t even come out at different points in the summer. Some of them are already out, or came out recently. I’m excited about it. So without further ado, here’s the list. Read with me if you want. Or feel free to suggest more books that you think I should read.
Amber Marie’s 2k22 Summer Reading List (In order of publication date)
Temptation by Ivy Smoak – published April 8, 2015 Suddenly Dirty by JA Law – published April 1, 2016 Mr. Perfect by JA Huss – published April 27, 2016 It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover – published August 2, 2016 Firefighter Griffin by Zoe Chant – published December 3, 2016
Greed by Lana Pecherczyk – published July 8, 2019 Bad Prince by Lilian Monroe – published October 1, 2019 The Longing of Lone Wolves by Lana Pecherczyk – published June 8, 2020 Curvy Girls Can’t Date Quarterbacks by Kelsie Stelting – published July 31, 2020 Promises and Pomegranates by Sav R. Miller – published August 10, 2021
Reborn by Anne K. Whelan & Liz Cain – published August 13, 2021 Hooked by Emily McIntyre – published September 7, 2021 A Throne of Ruin by K.F. Breene – published November 12, 2021 Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score – published January 13, 2022 Shattered Altar by Nicole Fox – published April 28, 2022
The Wild Side by Cassie-Ann L. Miller – published May 12, 2022 Filthy Rich Vampire by Genova Lee Albin – published May 24, 2022 Phoebe by Minerva Spencer – published May 31, 2022 A Frankness of Character by Pemberly Darcy and A. Lady – published June 3, 2022 Filthy by Tia Louise – published June 9, 2022
Hell Gate by Veronica Eden – published June 9, 2022 Rowan by Robin D. Mahle – published June 9, 2022 Alpha’s Redemption by Skye Wilson – published June 13, 2022 An Unpleasant Sort of Man by Michelle D’Arcy – published June 14, 2022 Blind Side by Kandi Steiner – published June 15, 2022
(These titles not yet published) On Thin Ice by Kat Obie – published June 23, 2022 Not a Vampire by Auryn Hadley – June 24, 2022 Tangle of Dragons by Jane Darkspire – published June 27, 2022 The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston – published June 28, 2022 Yellow by N.M. Burns – published June 29, 2022
Click the Bell to Subscribe by N. M. Burns – published June 29, 2022 Captured by Billionaires by Drusilla Swan – published June 30, 2022 The Phoenix Prophecy: Nova by Cara Clare – published July 1, 2022 Deucalion Academy: Pawn of the Gods by Ruby Vincent – published July 2, 2022 Audrey by Elle Lincoln – published July 5, 2022
The Sedition of Sophie Covey by Tana Rose – published July 5, 2022 Blood and Vows by K. Easton & Amanda Richardson – published July 7, 2022 Amp by Sybur Phyre – published July 11, 2022 Noire by Anna Fury – published July 12, 2022 Demons So Dark by Alessa Allure – published July 22, 2022
Midnight Sin by Morgan Elliott – published July 26, 2022 Silenced by Jayce Carter – published July 26, 2022 A Vampire in Rosings Park by Penelope Talbot & A. Lady – published July 30, 2022 Invoking the Blood by Kalista Neith – published August 2, 2022 A History of Vampires: A New Queen by Amanda Lewis – August 8, 2022
Ruthless by Gena Showalter – published August 9, 2022 Consort by Ada Dart – published August 14, 2022 Dawn of the Dark Ice by Grady P. Brown -published August 21, 2022 Small Town, Big Magic by Hazel Beck – published August 23, 2022 Numinous by Victoria Woods – published August 23, 2022
Sanctuary by Holly Hanzo – published August 26, 2022 Pack of Lies by Charlie Adhara – published August 30, 2022 Wolf Found by Kaylin Peyerk – published August 31, 2022 Vamps: Fresh Blood by Nicole Arend – published September 1, 2022 The Siren and the Water Witch by Cameron Allie – September 16, 2022 Fated to be King by Skye Alder – published September 16, 2022
That’s the list. I hope you enjoy it. If you decide to read along with me, let me know which ones you pick and what you think of it! You never know, I could just invite you to help out with a Book Review for Complicated Houseplants! Well, that’s it for now my loves, as always, be safe, drink your water, don’t eat yellow snow, and have a wonderful adventure!
Before I got signed with Clan Whelan Publishing for The Bluebird Chronicles, it was called The Ashes and Stars Series. Back when the first book was called Noctivagus and I had finally finished the first draft of it, I sent it over to an editor friend of mine named Erika over at The Word Nerd. She’d never edited fiction so we worked out a deal, and she did a Manuscript Evaluation for me. Took her about a month to get back to me, and while she loved the story, there was a lot that needed to be fixed. While she had that I started working on the second book in the series.
When I got the eval back, I was a bit of a mess. My mom had just died and it was a lot for me. It was the first time anything of mine had really be critiqued and I felt some type of way about it. After a couple of weeks, I sat down and really read the feedback Erika had provided. Turned out to be really good. She pointed out several things that I could change and several creative ways to do it. Overall, the feedback really helped form the second draft of the story and though it took almost a year, I was able to rewrite the story, and it was better the second time around. It was the version I submitted to Clan Whelan that got me the publishing contract in the first place.
Throughout the difficult rewrite process, Erika was patient and didn’t mind scheduling several meetings with me as I worked through the information and tried my best to incorporate it into something that was a feasible story. In fact, it was scheduled to go back to her in May of this year, but I signed with Clan Whelan Publishing in February instead.
When I was in the beginning meetings with the publishing company I now call home, I told Erika about it and she checked with her multiple resources, like I had my own, to ensure they were a legitimate company. When the contract came, she was one of the people I had look it over for me. Then we had a conversation about what I should ask them in reference to several aspects of working with them. She was extremely helpful when it came to completing my journey, and one of my biggest supporters.
Erika and I have known each other a number of years and we were friends before she ever edited a word for me. I was so excited to work with her. She helped more than I can convey in words. She helped me refine everything I needed to. I can’t wait for her to be able to read the version of this story that actually gets published. She has a book of her own coming out soon and I cannot wait to own it. It’s a dicktionary or expletives for editors. As an author, I plan to pick it up so I can write my expletives correctly and save my editors some work. I’m so proud of her. She’s amazing.
Find her over on her website, or her Facebook page. Give her a shoutout and if you’re looking for an editor, she’s amazing and comes highly recommended. That’s it for me today my lovelies. As always, be safe, drink your water, don’t eat yellow snow, and have an amazing adventure!
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!
There are so many settings that help shape The Bluebird Chronicles stories. One of the major ones is Bailey’s house. It’s the center of Penelope’s life in Illinois. She has her own room there, sort of like an in-law sweet. Complete with her own entrance and exit to the house. It’s Bailey’s oasis, the one place she loves, and Penelope loves coming home to it.
When the Sawyer family moved to Michigan, they kept Penelope’s Grandmother’s house. She had no need of it after moving back to England and while they used it until Penelope and Cohen left for school. Cohen had initially wanted it, but after his death, they planned to sell it. Bailey was looking to move out of her parents house, and was interested in the property. The Sawyer’s cut her a deal, way below market value, since they really didn’t need to make a profit on it, they owned it outright. With help from her parents, she was able to purchase the house and still have enough left over to renovate the entire inside. She made the floor plan a little more open, took out one of the upstairs bedrooms and added in a small living room feature just outside the master bedroom. It was then that the basement was finished and Penelope’s suite was included as well. She’s still paying on the house, but her payments aren’t that much, which allows her a little bit of freedom when it comes to her life.
Her first act of business was to renovate the first floor, allowing the kitchen and living room to feel a little more open. It created a bigger feel to the room and after finishing the space with the deck outside, she loved the way it looks. The laundry room is also on the same floor, along with a nice pantry. The stairs upstairs and the stairs to the basement are near the kitchen and they’re wide enough that moving furniture up and down are not a problem.
The next thing she worked on was the upstairs. First she started with her own bedroom. She made it spacious, and added a walk-closet, making the bathroom a little smaller than it could have been and taking out one of the guest rooms to make room for the closet and the small living room that sits outside her door at the top of the stairs. Bailey decorated with burnt oranges and colors that felt homey and warm. She wanted to make it lively, and feel happy, even if she’d had a rough day.
Once she’d finished her room, she moved on to the guest rooms upstairs. Though basic in theme, she wanted any potential guests to feel comfortable. The decor matches that ideal and looks well. The small sitting room outside her bedroom is decorated in the same theme as her room, or close to it. Moving the colors out and blending them so that the guest rooms, the bathroom, and the hall all came together beautifully.
Bailey spends a lot of time in the sitting room. She has a desk in the corner where she does her school work or looks over cases she brought home from work. She’s amassing a small law library on the shelf next to her desk in the corner, but she’s happy with it. In the evenings when she doesn’t have class, she’s apt to sit at her desk while Asher sits on the couch playing video games until they’re both ready for bed. She finds the entire thing domestic and wonderful.
The last thing she worked on was Penelope’s basement suite. Once everything else was done, Bailey was able to move into the house and they worked on Penelope’s space downstairs with a lot of input from Penelope. The room is smaller, barely bigger than the queen sized bed and night stands that Penelope chose for the room. There is a small reach in closet on the same wall as the door and other than that, it isn’t large. The living room is full of soft and comfortable furniture. Penelope enjoys her space as much as she can. She has a desk off to the left of the living room, a small office, not much more than the desk and book case next to it. It’s sufficient if she has to work from there, but not as nice as her office at home. The bathroom is comfortable, but like everything, it’s smaller than what she has at home. It was never designed to be permanent, just comfortable for her when she’s on vacation. She loves that she has a door that leads directly outside so she can come and go as she pleases, which is helpful if she arrives late at night.
Bailey’s house is comfortable and is one of the major settings throughout the series. I’m hoping that you enjoyed this look into her sanctuary. It’s a beautiful thing that Bailey has created and it’s good that everyone feels comfortable hanging out there.
Well, until next time my friends, you know the drill. Be safe, drink your water, don’t eat yellow snow, and have an adventure.