World Building Friday – Vampire Ranks

So today, despite being a tad bit late, we are talking about Vampire Ranks in the Arkane World. Vampire’s have a different ranking system based on the number of years they’ve been a vampire. This is a very basic list, but it gets the point across. 🙂 Enjoy!

I hope that clears it up a little bit. 🙂 Thanks for reading! Enjoy your weekend! I know I will. As always my dears, drink your water, be safe, make good choices and don’t eat yellow snow!

Cut Chapter – The Bluebird Chronicles

Today, because it’s the middle of the month and I, of course, am behind on EVERYTHING…. I have decided to give you a cut chapter from what would have been the fourth book in the Bluebird Chronicles series. Back when the series was five books. Back when Noah had proposed to Penelope at the end of the second book and she’d accepted. Back when they’d gotten married in the third book, had a really bad miscarriage at the end of the third book. Back when Noah was cheating on her, and everything was different. Back before I had switched everything to first person POV.
This scene has a lot of things that no longer apply. So there will be mentions of things that are no longer part of the story. So let me do a quick recap of the original story-line that doesn’t exist anymore because I did something COMPLETELY different with this story.

So, originally, the story went like this. In the first book, Penelope meets Noah before she meets Reid and they start dating. Her and Reid screw up, and sleep together, making her and Noah to break up. Reid and Penelope start dating after that and then break up. When they break up, Penelope and Noah end up getting back together and trying again. At the end of the second book, Noah proposes and Penelope says yes. The get married in the third book. Just before the wedding, however, there was a moment where Reid and Penelope almost sleep together, but they don’t. Noah, however, believes that they did. Which causes some internal strife between Noah and Penelope. Reid is actually dating someone, though no one knows about it. He’s kind of kept it to himself. Penelope finds out she’s pregnant just after the honeymoon, and the timing is right about the same time that Noah thinks that Reid and Penelope slept together, so he doesn’t believe that the baby is even his.

When Penelope goes into labor early, Noah is no where to be found. He’s on location shooting a movie, and is sleeping with a co-star. No one can reach him. By the time they get ahold of him, Penelope has already delivered a severely pre-mature baby, who lives about two hours before she dies. Penelope has had an medical issue and also almost died. Everything is fine by the time Noah arrives, but he really doesn’t think that the baby was even his so he’s angry. Noah and Penelope end up arguing later on in the fourth book. They’re miserable, both of them, and angry. When they argue, it gets a bit physical, and Penelope ends up with a bruise on her arm where he grabbed her when she almost hit him. It’s turns toxic quickly after the miscarriage and Penelope decides she can’t live like that anymore and she leaves, going to see Callie. Reid shows up quickly after that and is with her when she goes to collect some of her things from the apartment in New York.

He’s the one that tells Noah that the baby was in fact his, and this creates a whole host of issues for Noah, especially since some tabloids caught wind of him cheating on Penelope (which he’s been doing practically the whole time they were married) and have run the story. Penelope goes back to Illinois to stay in the house that Noah bought them there. She and Reid start arguing pretty consistently, she finds out he has a girlfriend and has been lying to everyone about her, he’s mad at her for staying with Noah long after she should have, etc. They aren’t really on speaking terms. Neither are her and Noah.

The scene I have for you, happens just before the final paperwork is signed for their divorce. Bailey has finally been turned into a vampire, and in the original, Asher and Noah had hit it off really well and become friends, and then stayed friends when Penelope and Noah split. (Like I said, this story has changed A LOT). So naturally, he was invited to the party to celebrate since he was going to be in town anyway. Keep in mind that A LOT changed between this version and the version I am actually publishing, and while this version was fun and had an interesting plot, I eventually decided to tell a different story. You still have the background of Noah and Penelope, you still have a lot of the points, but now most of it happened before the first book starts.

Okay, if you’re still here, enjoy this cut chapter. Love you! As always, drink your water, be safe, make good choices, and don’t eat yellow snow.

Cut Chapter from Lacuna
(now titled Forever Bluebird)

Penelope sighed before closing her eyes and taking a fortifying breath. She should have known he would be here. Of course he would be. What had made her believe he wouldn’t be. This was a party for Asher and Bailey. She’d finally completed her transition and they were all celebrating her new lease on life. Penelope had come straight from work, only to walk into the crowded bar to find not just Reid, who was awkward enough to still be around, but Noah as well. Of course they were nowhere near one another, but they had clearly divided the room up between the two of them, and she wasn’t safe anywhere. The last time she’d seen either one of them she’d argued with them both. Forcing a relaxed smile on her face, she cut her way through the crowd to where her best friend was standing with her husband. 

“PJ! You made it!” Bailey exclaimed, wrapping her arms around her as she got near. Penelope smiled warmly and returned the hug, pulling away after a moment to hug Asher as well. 

“Of course. Sorry, a meeting with a client ran long.” She told them as Asher pulled away. 

“It’s fine Pen, I’m just glad you’re here.” Asher told her with a small smile. 

“Yeah. I’m gonna get a drink. You guys need refills?” She asked, taking a step toward the bar, and a brief respite from the voices in her head. 

“No, we’re good.” Asher told her as Bailey fell into conversation with the woman standing next to her. She nodded and made her escape. 

She set her purse on the bar as she waited for the bartender to notice her and get to her. She scanned the crowd using the mirror above the bar so she caught the moment that Noah noticed she was there. She saw him stiffen across the room and take a long drink of the bottle in his hand before he tuned back into the conversation he was having with a leggy blonde in a short red dress. She rolled her eyes and looked back at the bar. The bartender caught her eye and nodded, letting her know he’d be with her in a moment. She tried to school her features as best she could, and took a cleansing breath. She could do this, for Bailey’s sake. As long as she avoided Noah and Reid she’d be okay, she’d be able to have a good time for at least an hour or two before she begged off and was able to leave. She’d worked a lot that week so claiming exhaustion wasn’t too far a stretch. Besides, she wanted a good night’s sleep before she had to meet Noah at the house to sign the paperwork that would officially make it hers. Their divorce was almost final, they just had a few more things to settle, which is why he was in town in the first place. Probably why Asher and Bailey had decided to celebrate now, even though technically Bailey had been a vampire for almost a month and a half now. 

Grandmere had been by recently and had even blessed the event. Placing Bailey firmly under her protection. Reid had been irritated that she’d come to town to see Penelope instead of him and they’d fought about it, even though it was stupid. It seemed like all they did anymore was fight. She broke herself out of that thought as the bartender finally approached her. She ordered two shots of whiskey and a beer. She took the shots back to back before picking up her beer and her purse and walked away from the bar and made a circle of the room, saying hello to people as she went. 

Half an hour later she was standing in the corner catching up with Sama when Reid walked over with Shiloh, intent on starting a game of pool near where they were standing. Penelope smiled at Sama and excused herself to the bar for another drink. She sighed again when she reached the bar and squeezed in between groups of people she didn’t know who were also waiting. She’d attempted not to look at Reid, but she couldn’t help but notice the look on his face when she’d turned away. It had been hard to miss, especially when she could feel the bond pulling at her. She had it shut down, but she could always feel when he was trying to get a read on her. He was probably one of the only people left on Earth who could read her without the bond, but it worked better when he could hear her thoughts. She wouldn’t open it though, and she probably never would again. Last time she had, he’d used the information to hurt her and she still wasn’t sure she completely forgave him for that. 

This time when the bartender set her shots on the bar, she reached for one and a hand from behind her reached for the other. She turned to look at who it was as she downed the first one. Fin just smiled and downed the other. 

“If I have to watch you be so obvious about your avoidance of certain people, then I get to drink your shots.” He told her as he set the glass on the bar next to hers. Penelope chuckled. 

“I’m fine, it’s other people being weird, not me.” She told him as she picked up her beer and turned away. They moved away and toward a table where they could sit and talk. 

“Right.” He rolled his eyes. “You’re avoiding Reid so the two of you don’t argue about something stupid and no one blames you for avoiding your ex husband who has his tongue down someone else’s throat.” 

Penelope sighed again. “Look, what Noah does, and who he does it with, is no longer my business. It didn’t matter when we were together, why should it matter now?” She asked, taking a drink of her beer. 

“Reid seemed pretty put off about it.” 

“That’s his problem. Not mine. Contrary to popular belief, I’m not in charge of either of them. They’re grown. Old enough to take the consequences of their own actions and none of them are my fault.” 

Fin laughed before taking a drink of his own beer. “Girl please, this is me you’re talking to. I thought we were better friends than that. I wasn’t blaming you PJ, just informing you that if you’re wanting to make an early escape, you should before the two of them fight just to get your attention.” 

“They don’t want my attention. They’re preoccupied.” She scoffed, rolling her eyes again. 

“You sure about that?” Fin asked as he stood up, one eyebrow raised in question. Penelope shook her head but watched him walk away. She sighed again but didn’t get up, content to sit at the quiet table and finish her beer. She hadn’t talked to Bailey since she’d arrived but she wasn’t too worried, her and Asher were busy with their other friends. She saw them all the time, they wouldn’t be too upset.

“Are you really going to sit here and pout all night?” A voice behind her asked. Penelope closed her eyes and took a drink of her beer. Maybe if she ignored him he’d go away. She heard the chair Fin had vacated slide back, so he must have sat down. 

“What do you want, Reid?” She asked, not looking at him, instead focusing on the group around them. 

“Are you going to pout or are you going to party with your best friend?” He asked again, leaning on the table and into her space. She leaned back in her chair away from him, still refusing to look at him. 

“I am not pouting. I’m enjoying myself. Bailey and Asher are busy, I’ve talked to them, and Sama, and Fin actually.” She said finally before finishing what was left in her bottle. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I need another drink.” 

“If you’d look at me Bluebird, you’d know I already got you another beer.” He said, a bottle appearing in her peripheral vision on the table. 

“How presumptuous of you.” She scoffed. “But I have to drive myself home soon, so I’ll be switching to something non-alcoholic, thank you.” She said standing. 

“I can drive you.” He said softly, causing her to pause. She almost broke and looked at him. “If you want, I mean.” 

“No thank you. I have no desire to fight with you tonight Reid.” She said finally, still standing by the table. 

“We don’t have to fight.” He assured her quickly. She closed her eyes and tipped her head toward the ceiling. 

“No Reid. We will. You’ll get mad at me about something stupid, again, and fight with me.” She turned to look him in the eye finally. “So why don’t you go back to your girlfriend? You guys don’t have to hide now, I thought you’d be happy to flaunt it.” Ried looked down at the table and picked at the label of his own beer. 

“She broke up with me, Pen.” He said sadly. “That’s why she’s not here.” Penelope swallowed hard. 

“Well I’m sorry. But I’ll be fine without the ride, thank you.” She said moving away. “Besides, I have to finalize my divorce tomorrow.” She threw back over her shoulder before she’d gone too far. 

From her place at the bar she watched him in the mirror. He sat there alone for a moment looking put out and her resolve almost broke. Then he downed the rest of the beer in his hand and the one he’d brought for her. He stood and moved away from the table, leaving the bottles and she lost him in the crowd shortly after that. She collected her soda from the bartender and made her way back over toward Bailey, intending to spend a little more time with her before she left. She didn’t want to think anymore about Reid, but her brain wouldn’t let go of the look on his face when he’d told her about the break up. If she hadn’t known him so well, she’d have thought he was pretending to be hurt for sympathy. But she did know him, and knew that wasn’t the case. 

She did her best to put it out of her mind while she visited with her friends before she made her excuses and left, just like she’d planned. She made it outside and stopped to heave a sigh of relief. Besides her brief conversation with Reid, she’d managed to avoid both him and Noah the entire two and a half hours she’d been there. She dug into her purse for her keys and was preparing to walk away when a voice behind her made her pause. 

“Where’s lover boy?” She tipped her head back and groaned aloud. She’d been so close. So close. Practically to her car already. 

“What?” She asked turning to face her ex-husband for the first time since their meeting with their attorneys. 

“Where’s Reid?” He asked, pushing himself off of the wall, a cigarette in his hand, and a distinctive slur in his voice. 

“Inside I assume. He’s not my responsibility. Though I caution you against fighting with him. B and Ash won’t take too kindly to it. Neither will the bartender. You really don’t need that press right now.” She found herself saying, before she cursed herself mentally. What did she care about his image anymore? He’d tainted it all on his own after being caught publicly cheating on her while she’d been pregnant. 

“How long did you wait before you took him to our bed?” He asked, coming closer to her and blowing out a lungful of smoke. She sighed again. 

“I didn’t. He’s been dating someone since before you and I split.” 

“That’s never stopped either of you before.” He sneered. Penelope closed her eyes. 

“Yup. Once a million years ago just after we met and then we kissed once after you and I got back together. Of course it’s me that has the problem with-“ Penelope cut herself off and took a deep breath in through her nose before letting it out slowly through her mouth. “Nope. You know what, no. I’m not doing this with you. Not here on the sidewalk. Not ever. We’ve said enough. I’ll see you tomorrow to sign the papers.” She said before she turned and walked purposefully away. 

“I know you tried to fuck him in the house I bought us, before we’d even moved into it. Why do you think I’m letting you have it?” He called after her. She clenched her fists and made herself keep walking. When she was finally inside her Jeep, she locked the doors and leaned her head on the steering wheel. 

It could have gone worse, she thought to herself, but it also could have been better. With a deep breath she started the car and drove off toward her house. Once there, she locked the doors and made her way upstairs to the bathroom. After a hot shower and a small cup of tea, she tried to block out the fight she’d almost gotten into with Noah. She almost wanted to call and see if Bailey would come to the house the next day, just to keep them from fighting. Noah tended to be on his best behavior when he was sober and someone else was around. 

The next morning dawned bright and early. Penelope drug herself out of bed, did her morning workout, and then pulled out her IPad to get started on some work for a client while she drank her morning cup of coffee. Noah knocked on the door at precisely ten o’clock and Penelope steeled herself before she pulled the door open and let him in. He followed her silently to the kitchen where they laid the papers on the island counter. 

“It’s all here, just like I said it would be. You get the house here in Illinois, and the apartment in New York. I get the LA apartment and my house in London, obviously. That’s one house and one apartment each. You get to retain your income from your business, I retain everything I earned from my career, and you don’t owe me anything for the investment in your company.” He said, his voice attempting a calm facade that he couldn’t quite reach. 

“All wrapped up with a neat little bow.” She snarked. He shot her a look and she shook her head, she didn’t want to fight with him. She wanted to sign the paperwork and get it over with. 

“Are we going to fight or are we going to do this?” He asked, setting the pen down on the counter. 

“Let’s just get this over with Noah.” She said with a sigh. 

“According to the prenup you signed, I don’t have to give you anything and you would owe me for that two million dollar investment, plus interest. Is that the route you want to go because we can.” He said, his voice tinged with acid. 

“You’re the one who cheated on me. It makes the prenup invalid anyway. So I could take you for half of everything.” She sneered back at him, narrowing her eyes. He swallowed hard. “But I don’t want it. I wanted a marriage. I wanted someone who loved me. Since I’ve been denied that, I’ll take whatever you’re willing to give me as a consolation prize.” 

“I’m not the only one who cheated, remember?” He said. 

“Hey Bluebird,” Reid’s voice rang out from above them before Penelope could respond. They turned to look up at the loft. Reid was standing there, nothing on but a pair of low slung sweatpants that made it clear he wasn’t wearing anything underneath them. Penelope closed her eyes and groaned audibly. 

“Murder Christian Reid Walker. I am going to murder you.” She muttered. Noah turned and looked at Ried, who was just smirking in their general direction, braced against the railing like he didn’t have a care in the world, and back to Penelope, shaking his head. 

“Why is it that every time you and I have something important to do, he’s up in our business? Every fucking time Penelope. Hell, he was smack dab in the middle of our entire relationship, right from the beginning.” He stacked the papers back up and tapped them against the counter. “What was that lie you told me about not bringing him into our bed again?” He sneered at her, throwing the pen onto the counter, where it bounced and landed on the floor. 

“I didn’t. I don’t actually know what he’s doing here besides being an asshole.” She told Noah, not sure why she was defending herself to someone that didn’t deserve it. 

“Just sign the papers so I can be done with this freak show.” Noah spat as Reid slowly made his way down the stairs. 

“Yeah, sign the papers and come back to bed Pen.” He said, hiding a smirk as he bypassed Noah to grab a bottle of blood out of the fridge. He leaned against the opposite counter and raised an eyebrow at Penelope. 

“I can’t believe you.” Noah muttered before looking at Reid. Penelope snatched the pen off of the floor and hurried to sign the papers before they started fighting. “I thought you had a girlfriend.” He spat at him. 

“We broke up.” Reid said with a grin. “Couple weeks after you and Pen called it quits finally.” Penelope rolled her eyes as she scanned the next page and signed it quickly. 

“Of course you did. I’m surprised you two waited that long to start sleeping together again. Your little avoidance show last night must have been a fun game of foreplay.” Noah spat. 

“Oh no, she was actively avoiding me. Has been for some time. Something about not trusting men ever again.” Reid told him calmly before taking another drink of blood. Penelope sighed as she scanned the last page. 

“Is that what you call it?” Noah sneered, turning to face Reid directly. Reid straightened. 

“It isn’t like we’re going to be estranged forever, Pretty Boy. She’s my Flame, remember? I will always have a stronger connection to her.” Reid told him as he set the bottle to the side. “Someone had to make sure you didn’t hurt her. Lord knows she wouldn’t let me hurt you when you left bruises on her skin, maybe she’s changed her mind. Should we ask her?” 

“And I’m done. Here Noah. Take these.” Penelope said suddenly, shoving half of the papers at him, along with the pen. “Now leave. I’m done with that. I’ll have Asher and Bailey collect anything that I may have left in London or LA. I’ll have them deliver anything I find here or in New York.” She demanded, staring Noah down, daring him to say anything else. 

“Fine. I’m done with this. Have a nice life.” Noah spat in her direction before he picked the papers up off of the counter. “You two deserve each other.” He added over his shoulder. 

“Damn right she deserves someone who won’t do to her what you did.” Reid called after him. Penelope waited until the door slammed before she turned to Reid. 

“Get out of my house.” She bit out between clenched teeth. 

“Come on Penelope, we need to talk.” 

“No we don’t. I have nothing to say to you just like I have nothing to say to him. My marriage blew up in my face and your response was to ridicule me and use it as a weapon against me. That wasn’t fair.” She told him before shaking her head. “It doesn’t matter anymore. Get out.”

Character Preview: Adas Bardhyl

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!

Geo-Drifting in the Arkane World

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.

The Arkane World

Okay folks, it’s occurred to me that though I am now working on the third book for the Bluebird Chronicles, and I’ve told you quite a bit about different settings and characters, I haven’t told you much about the Arkane world. Even the setting for Port Shadeau (My Short Story Saturday series) is in the Arkane world and the rules aren’t exactly explained. I aim to rectify that in the future. Not only am I running out of settings that I can tell you about, not settings that exist mind you, but settings that I can reveal right now, but I want to start letting you in on more of the Arkane world than I can conceivably convey in just one series.

The Arkane world is vast. Made up of six Arkane Alliances that span several countries and continents, sometimes completely ignoring the boundary lines that we know on our own maps. The Alliances are made up of Territories, each of which is ruled over by the Crone of that Territory. There are thirty-three Crones in all, throughout the entire world. Serving under the Crones, and charged with keeping the peace between the Elentori (Magical Creatures like Vampires, Werewolves, etc.), the Arkane (Humans with abilities that pertain to one of the six elements), and the Karhu (Non-magical humans) are the sixty-six Sages, and the sixty-six Lords or Ladies. There are two of each per Territory. The Sages are primarily in charge of the Elentori population, where as the Lords and Ladies are in charge of the Arkane population within their specific Territory.

For example, Baxter Vartlett is the Crone in charge of Territory Three of the North American Arkane Alliance (NAAA). Working for him are the Sages, Atlas Rivers (Eldritch Demon), and Ivy Herrick (Vampire). They are in charge of the entire Elentori population residing within the borders of the Midwest Territory. Velvela Dewbrook and Antonella Havendale are the Ladies in charge of the Arkane population. The Karhu are regulated by their own governmental bodies.

If the Crones are equivalent to the President, the Sages and Lords/Ladies are the governors. It helps keep crime to a minimum, and peace between the three groups of people. There are members of the Karhu governments that do know about the Arkane world, though the number is limited.

The Arkane world boasts sixty-six schools designed to teach the Arkane children. They don’t start school until they turn sixteen and do not finish until they are twenty or twenty-one, depending on where their birthday falls. Some schools are smaller, but there are several larger ones that teach speciality information that isn’t as common. Arkane schools teach the Arkane children how to control their abilities as they correspond to the six elements: Earth, Air, Water, Fire, Metal, and Wood. As Arkane children hit puberty, their abilities start to manifest. They can be as mundane as helping plants to grow, like Cedar Wolfendale, or manifesting and controlling air currents in small areas, like Izara Sutton, who regularly floats six inches off the floor while wearing ballet Pointe shoes because she can. Then there are people like Keita Hayes, who when upset can burn the surrounding flora in a one-hundred foot radius from the inside out, or Rowan Alderton, who can manipulate emotions. There are also some abilities that are completely useless, and others that are dangerous, so training is very important.

In addition to the Elentori and Arkane populations, there are also magical creatures and other such things that exist as part of the Arkane world. I plan to get into all of them a little more deeply as the weeks go on, because explaining the Arkane world, that took me over a decade to create, with quite a bit of help, cannot be summed up in one blog post. This is just the introduction to a very long series. Come along for a ride and learn about the world that The Bluebird Chronicles and the next couple of series are based in. I can’t wait to show you everything.

Jackelope’s are just one of the many magical creatures that exist in the Arkane World.

So my friends, thanks for reading thus far. As always, be safe, drink your water, don’t eat yellow snow, and have a wonderful adventure this weekend my loves. Ta ta!

Bye Bye Butterfly!

Working with an Editor

Editor Aesthetic Picture

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.

The Werd Nerd logo

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.

A sneak peek at Erika’s book cover. She’s so proud of this. And so am I.

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!

Bye Bye Butterfly

Nora Kate Whitley

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.

Emilia Clarke – Face Claim for Nora Whitley

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.

Face Claims (L-R): Bailey, Penelope, Nora, and Callie

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.

Face Claims: Aiden Cunningham (L): Kit Harrington; Paisley Cunningham (R): Rose Leslee

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.

Paisley Cunningham (L) & Nora Whitley (R)

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!

Bye Bye Butterfly!

Bailey Stills-Parker’s House

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.

Bailey’s House in Southern Illinois.

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.

Kitchen (L), Living Room (C), and back deck (R).

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.

Bailey’s closet, bedroom, and master bathroom.

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.

Guest Room One (L), Guest Room Two (C), Sitting Room (R)

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.

Penelope’s bedroom (L), Living Room (C), and Bathroom (R).

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.

Laundry Room (L), Stairs to the upstairs and the door to Penelope’s suite (C), Penelope’s outside entrance (R).

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.

Bye Bye Butterfly ❤

Friends Forever?

Face claims for Bailey (L), Penelope (C), and Callie (R)

One of the primary things that holds The Bluebird Chronicles characters together is the friendships that have before the story starts, and the ones they make along the way as well. While I like writing romantic stories, my favorite ones are always those that have something more going on than just a romance. I hope that I can do that as well. As most of us know, there isn’t always just one thing going on in our lives, when romance hits. It’s never just that. There’s always something else as well.

I hope that by sharing some of these friendships, everyone can get a deeper understanding of these characters before you get to meet them on the page. I’m so excited for it. So, this first one is probably the most important. Penelope being the main character and all, it’s important to know where she comes from. Who her people are. Perhaps the most important people that she has, are her best friends.

Katie McGrath: Penelope’s Face claim

Penelope Sawyer was four years old when she met Bailey Stills-Parker. They were kind of thrown together while their family’s spent time together. Penelope, for her part was overjoyed to finally have a new friend to hang out with instead of just her brother Cohen, and his friend Micah. Micah, was finally happy to have a baby sister of his own, just like Cohen. It didn’t take long for Bailey and Penelope to form a fast friendship that couldn’t be severed, no matter what.

Melissa Benoit: Bailey’s Face Claim

By the time they were in high school, they were more like sisters, along with their brother’s, the four of them spent most of their time together. By the time that Cohen and Penelope left Illinois to move to Michigan, even the distance couldn’t dampen the friendships they shared and they continued on into adulthood unfettered.

Chyler Leigh: Callie’s Face claim

When Penelope joined the military after high school, she met Callie Gracen. They’ve became fast friends and that hasn’t changed. Through Penelope, Callie met Cohen and after a few meetings, the two began dating. They were about to get engaged when the unthinkable happened. Penelope and Callie were both due to get out of the military and while Penelope did, Callie didn’t. That change did nothing to dampen their friendship.

Photo by APG Graphics on Pexels.com

Penelope introduced Bailey and Callie and the rest is history. The three get on like a house on fire. Though the distance between them is vast, the advent of technology and group chats has made everything easier. The girls regularly talk in the group chat they’ve created. Though they don’t get together often, when they do it’s always chaos. There is drinking and adventure and they renew their bonds of friendship in the oldest ways.

Emilia Clarke: Nora’s Face Claim

Though not as close Bailey or Callie as Penelope is, Nora Whitley is the fourth member of their little group. She is dating Penelope’s cousin Rich, and has been for a number of years. She’s met Bailey, and Callie at different points, and though they don’t get a chance to hang out as often as they’d like, with Nora living in London, when they do it’s always special. She rounds out the group. Bailey and Penelope are ride or die for one another. Callie and Nora are the same. For some reason the two developed an immediate bond and that doesn’t ever diminish. The four remain fast friends.

Photo by vjapratama on Pexels.com

As a writer, I had a lot of fun creating these characters. Though they might have been defined by events out of their own control, they have a lot of fun together and show that it really doesn’t matter what life throws their way, the four of them will face it together. In spirit if not standing back to back. Everyone deserves a friend like that. A friend that is ride or die, and always has your back. I hope that everyone who reads The Bluebird Chronicles thinks of their best friend when they see how the four of them interact. I hope that everyone has at least one friend as good as these four are to one another.

I’ll see you guys next time. As always, be safe, drink your water, and don’t eat yellow snow.