Setting Preview: The Librarie

This week we are talking about The Librarie. This is the fictional bookstore and Cafe that Ailee Creed and Marlowe Lark manage in the Short Story Saturday series Port Shadeau. I kind of hope you guys love it as much as I do.

Many years ago I read a series by Nora Roberts about these women who live on an island and it still is one of my favorite series. My mom loaned it to me and I remember looking at her and telling her that I wanted the bookstore from the story. It had a cafe upstairs and it was also a metaphysical shop and I wanted to live there. So, when I was gathering inspiration for Port Shadeau, I found this picture of a bookstore somewhere and I knew that I wanted a cafe bookstore combination.

Now, to prevent copywrite and all of that, I changed it up. A cafe/bookstore isn’t a new idea so that wasn’t the problem, but making sure it didn’t resemble the one I read about a long time ago was essential. So, I set about creating the perfect environment.

It’s two stories, with the Cafe on the first floor near the back of the shop, and there are bookshelves that line the walls. There are new books, used books, a spiral staircase to get to the second floor where there are a few scattered chairs and small couches where you can read and sip your latte. It’s got brick walls and gorgeous windows for plenty of natural light. There’s a wonderful mixture of used books, and new releases, and several wonderful gifts for book lovers and coffee lovers alike.

Marlowe takes great pride in keeping the bookstore easy to navigate but also giving off the vibe of an old forgotten bookstore that you’d find down some alley in Europe, with books piled high not just on the shelves, but scattered on tables, placed carefully on carts, and any bibliophile would love to enter here. I want to go and it doesn’t exist. The smell of old books mixing pleasantly with the smell of freshly roasted coffee beans. It sounds like a sanctuary to me. There’s even a section of the store that’s more like a little library, you can check out the book rather than buy it. It’s wonderful. I kind of want to open this place now.

Can you imagine it? Spending hours wandering the aisles, looking for a long forgotten story that calls out to you. sinking into a comfortable couch and losing time while you read and drink a delicious cup of coffee or tea? I can. And I want to go there, like now.

What does your dream bookstore look like?
Have a great week guys!

Character Profile – Marlowe Lark

This week I wanted to tell you guys all about Marlowe Lark.

Marlowe Lark is the manager at the bookstore, the Librarie, and makes friends with Ailee Creed on her first day. It doesn’t take long for the two of them to become good friends.

Marlowe married a Diffuser, or Arkane fire fighter, named Wilder Lark when she was twenty two. They were high school sweethearts and didn’t let anything stand in their way. They moved to Port Shadeau about five years prior to the start of this story because of Wilder being transferred there. She started working at the bookstore shortly after and about a year later, they bought the larger of the two studio apartments above the Librarie itself. While they have no children, Marlowe and Wilder live a full life.

Marlowe loves to travel, and when their schedules align, they tend to go somewhere new. It averages out to one vacation a month. Although sometimes they prefer to stay at home and never leave their bed.

Marlowe spends a lot of time on her own because of her husband’s work schedule. Since she doesn’t work weekends, she usually spends her time reading and drinking tea. She also likes to wander around Port Shadeau and Seattle trying to find things no one else has. She hikes sometimes out to remote locations so she can play a little with the air discipline that she can’t use as much inside the city. Normally, she will sit on rooftops in the summer with a book and let herself play with the wind around her.

She takes great pride in the way she runs the Librarie. She likes to do special themes every couple of weeks to try and bring people into the shop. Ailee, once she hears about the plan, does her best to create special drinks to match the theme as well.

I don’t know if there are going to be too many surprises with Marlowe. So far she seems like the steady, kind of crazy, force you’d want as a best friend. This week’s Short Story Saturday features heavily on Ailee and Marlowe’s budding friendship as they hang out after work one day. I can’t wait for you guys to read it!

Let me know what you guys think of Marlowe, I’m excited to hear your thoughts!

Currently Writing

As you have probably figured out by the last couple of posts, I am always working on Short Story Saturday, however, I am also writing something else as well.

Just before my world blew up, I started working on the sequel for Noctivagus, tentatively titled Paroxysm. So far, I’m about twenty chapters in and already I know it needs some structuring. I am really excited about it actually.

Then just before the holidays, I got the manuscript evaluation back from my editor Erika, over at The Werd Nerd. You guys should check her out, she’s amazing! She sent me such a detailed report, that the work that needs to be done doesn’t seem all that daunting really. I am actually excited about the changes that have to be made for Noctivagus.

So how do I keep writing the sequel if I’m still making changes on the first story? Good question. I just know I have a lot to make happen, and the worst thing I could do is to stop writing. I took the last couple of weeks off to spend time with my family that visited for the holidays. Well, they left yesterday, so I am excited to get together with Erika and talk over the list she sent.

I have plans to keep writing the sequel, as it stands, Reid is facing a couple of challenges at the moment, and some of them are personal while some of them are a bit bigger than that. He’s having a bit of trouble working through some of these challenges and it’s starting to show in his stress levels. In addition to all of that he’s continuing to work. He’s still on Penelope’s protection detail, but he has his work to do for Atlas still.

I’m excited to see how this year shapes up as a writing year. I wrote three novel length stories last year, and a couple of short stories. Due to personal setbacks, I have been negligent in writing as much as I wanted to, but this year, I’m going to work as hard as I can to keep not only my writing on track as well as my writing platform running as well.

Well, have a great day guys! See you later!

Setting – Ailee Creed’s Apartment

Today we are going to talk about Ailee’s apartment. I mentioned before that she lives above the bookstore and cafe that she works at. It’s a little 500 sq ft studio space. I actually took inspiration for the entire thing from a post on Pinterest. I saw it an immediately knew it was the look I was hoping for for Ailee.

I don’t know what it was about it, but everything about it screamed that character’s name in my head. Back when I knew almost nothing about her but her name and her basic look, it made me latch onto it quickly. I followed the link and read all about the awesome lady that lived in this studio in Seattle. It seemed to be kismet.

So I gathered up the pictures, and then started making a few changes here and there, and I probably will continue to do so as the story goes on. I just loved the jewel toned colors and wood floors. It seems like the sort of space I would love, even though there isn’t enough room for me to craft. It seemed perfect for a person just starting out. Which of course, meant that it was perfect for Ailee.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief look into Ailee’s apartment. I hope that you’ve enjoyed seeing what I’m thinking of as I describe the apartment more in future stories. Have a great day guys!

Character Profile – Ailee Creed

So, if you caught the last Short Story Saturday, you got to meet a brand new character by the name of Ailee Creed. There are a few characters in the cast of the stories that will take place in Port Shadeau. Today I will do my best to introduce you to the main character, Ailee and hopefully we can all find out something about her together.

When we first meet Ailee she’s hanging out in her apartment considering a list of things she wants to do. Having recently moved to Port Shadeau from another location in the Arkane world, she’s just starting this new life. She talks a little about her estranged boyfriend Gideon, and the death of her father, but she doesn’t elaborate on either one.

From what I know so far, because I’m making this up as I go, after her dad dies, she doesn’t much want to hang around in Cheaveaux so she plans to move. When she chooses Port Shadeau, she asks Gideon to come with her, and he declines. She doesn’t see this as too much of a deterrent as those in the Arkane world can travel via Geo Drifting.

Geo Drifting is an easy way to travel once you’ve been trained. Drift points, which can appear in any location and often take the form of a doorway. An arch in the woods made of twisted branches, or a doorway at the back of an alley that appears to lead into a building. it could be anything. Most often in Arkane cities, they appear in their natural form, an archway filled with a swatch of swirling purple color, most often tucked up against a wall somewhere.

Drift points are easy to maneuver as long as you have a clear idea of where you’re trying to go, anywhere in the world. Essentially they’re portals, but only Arkane can use them. If a Jejune (typical non-Arkane human) were to walk through one of these Drift locations, nothing would happen. They’d simply be on the other side of the archway or door. By using these, Ailee could walk through a Drift point in Port Shadeau, Washington and walk out in Paris, France. The entire trip taking no longer than a few seconds.

Although not completely important to the story of Ailee, it is important to the Arkane world. Due to the ease of travel, living in another state from Gideon doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. Once she moves, however, he goes radio silent and she’s having a hard time dealing with it.

Ailee finds work in a bookstore cafe, which she also lives above for now. The bookstore, called the Librarie, is managed by a young woman named Marlowe Lark. The two of them become fast friends, and she finds it refreshing to have someone to talk to after a couple of weeks of near radio silence. Ailee is excited about the opportunity to run the cafe alongside Marlowe. She is concerned about some of her employees, and their well-being but isn’t too worried. it seems like a wonderful challenge, and exciting opportunity.

I’m not sure yet what her larger motivations are, but I’m sure that by the end of March we will know. I created these characters as little more than outlines. The prompts for 2021 are set, and I have sketched out a basic outline between now and March. Whether the story will continue after that or not, we will have to see. I hope to add more depth to Ailee as a character in the future. At least more than a mid-20’s blonde woman who has just moved to a new city and likes photography and has a crappy boyfriend. The story is really taking shape and I’m excited to share it with you! Have a wonderful day guys!

Unwrapped

Hello all! Happy New Year! For at least the next three months, I will be writing about a set of characters from Port Shadeau Washington. They are a settlement of Arkane people that blend into the Seattle cityscape seamlessly. Ailee Creed is the main character, at least for the next three months. Come join me on this ride and welcome to the 2021 version of Short Story Saturday!

Ailee sat down on her couch and stared at the list in front of her. She had a few days before she started work, and she planned to make the most of it. It was a brand new year and she wasn’t going to waste it wondering why Gideon had gone silent just before Christmas. He wasn’t returning her phone calls, or her texts, and now that the new year had rung, and his gifts still sat under the tree. She shook her head to clear the thoughts of the past from her mind and focused on her list. She wanted to go hiking, see the city a little more, and relax before Monday. The long holiday weekend would lend nicely to being able to get lost in a couple of crowds, blend in with the Jejune and get lost in Port Shadeau.

    Port Shadeau was one of the oldest Arkane settlements on the West Coast.  It was built around Jejune and was now the oldest part of Seattle.  It had been like that forever, the Jejune and the Arkane blending seamlessly with the Jejune none the wiser.  It worked out for everyone involved and Ailee was happy to finally be here.  After her father had died, she’d had to get out of Cheveaux.  Gideon hadn’t understood, they’d argued about it, but in the end, she’d moved anyway.  

Just before Christmas she’d moved into a small studio apartment above a bookstore named the Librarie.  Ailee had felt at home there immediately.  A few days after moving in, she’d found out that the little cafe in the bookstore was hiring, and she’d jumped at the chance to work there. 

    Her life was finally falling into place.  As best as it could at least.  She’d stayed up late the night before to ring in the new year with a glass of plum wine and then gone to bed.  Now it was time for adventure.  Ailee grabbed her list and shoved it into the pocket of her bag before setting off into the city.  

    She spent hours exploring the city and when she fell into bed that night, she was excited to go hiking the next day.  She was planning to take her camera and was hoping to get some good shots she could frame and put on her wall behind her table.  Before she fell asleep she texted Gideon, just on the off chance that he’d respond. 

Ailee: I hope that you had a good day.  Just wanted to tell you that I love you and I miss you. 

She waited a few minutes and when there was no response, she plugged her phone in and rolled over to go to sleep.  She woke up the next morning and drank her cup of coffee before she left to go hiking.  She drove a little outside the city and the recent snowfall made the couple hour hike beautiful.  She got some good shots and was able, thanks to her tripod, to get some really good pictures of herself while playing in the snow.  She went back into town as the sun was setting.  She found a great place to eat dinner and managed to catch a couple of shots on her camera of herself watching snowflakes fall under a streetlight. One of the things she hoped to find was a competent person to help with her amateur photography.  

When she got home that night, she took a hot shower and then made herself a cup of hot cocoa.  While she waited for the milk to boil, she sent another text to Gideon, just to see if he’d respond.  She curled up on the couch and read for a little while.  Once her cocoa was gone, she carried the cup to the kitchen just to have an excuse to stretch her legs.  She was irritated that she still hadn’t heard from Gideon.  She wanted to believe that she’d given up on the whole idea of their relationship, but it wasn’t so easy to let the last couple of years go.  They’d been fine, everything was great up until her dad had died unexpectedly.  Things had been rough and when she felt like she wanted a change of scenery, she’d asked him to come with her.  He hadn’t wanted anything to change. Ailee had needed nothing but change. 

Walking back toward the couch, she passed the Christmas tree she planned to take down the next morning.  She stopped and looked down at the gifts still sitting under the tree.  She had spent so much time shopping for the right gifts.  Carefully wrapping them with tags and ribbon.  Making sure that they conveyed every bit of love and devotion she had for him.  She paced away from the tree and toward the couch and tossed her phone down onto it.  She turned back around and looked at the tree again.  She bit her lip and considered what to do.  

All at once the overwhelming anger she thought she was over consumed her again.  She took a couple of steps and snatched the largest gift from under the tree.  In a couple of steps she stood before the small fireplace in her apartment and tossed the gift into it.  She felt satisfaction in watching it burn.  She turned around and grabbed the two smaller gifts and tossed them into the fire as well before she sat down on the couch and watched them burn.  Once they had burned out, she stared at the fire a little longer.  Then she went over and did her best to put the fire out for the night. 

Once it was done, she crawled into bed and slept better than she had since Gideon had stopped responding to her.  The next morning, over coffee, she planned out how she was going to pack up her Christmas decorations.  She spent most of the morning doing just that and once she was finished she was ready to relax.  Needing a change of scenery, she went downstairs to the bookstore to wander around a little bit.  She ended up picking up a couple of new books and felt like wandering a bit more.  She liked the atmosphere in the bookstore and couldn’t wait to start working.  

When she got to the counter she smiled and had a great interaction with the girl behind the counter.  She seemed to be about her age and she hoped maybe they’d get along once she actually started working.  With her new purchases in hand, she went back upstairs. Later that evening she went out for a walk.  She had located the four closest Drift points in case she wanted to go anywhere, and she enjoyed walking around the back alleys and places off the main streets.  It might seem a little dangerous to some, but this was Port Shadeau, crime was dealt with differently here.  There wasn’t much of it, as you never quite knew what you were going to walk into.  Once it was fully dark, she wandered back to her apartment.  

Work the next day was a crash course in managing the small, but busy cafe.  By lunch time she wasn’t sure she was going to remember everything, but the customers were friendly and the other employees were great too.  The former manager had been Jejune, and the mostly Arkane staff was happy to finally have an Arkane manager who would understand their unique circumstances a little better.  One of the employees had just completed her Initiate the spring before and was still a little jumpy if something got dropped.  Another of the part-time barista’s had a sister getting ready for Initiate in a couple of weeks.  She was a nervous wreck and Ailee knew she’d have to see how she was feeling closer to the time to know if she could handle the counter or if she needed to just be wiping off the small tables and helping out with the bookstore cleanup as well.  

Around lunch time she was introduced to the young dark haired woman from the bookstore that had rang her up the day before.  Marlowe Lark was about her age and lived upstairs in the other loft apartment with her husband, Wilder.  Marlowe managed the bookstore and loved her job.  After they both left for the day, Marlowe invited her to go out and get some dinner, apparently her husband was working late. 

“So how do you like Port Shadeau so far?” Marlowe asked her as they walked down the street toward Marlowe’s favorite little restaurant.  

“I like it so far.  It’s been just me for a couple of weeks so it’s kind of nice to have someone else to talk to.” Ailee told her with a small smile. 

“I wish I’d known sooner, we could have hung out for New Years.  Wild had to work that night so it was just me and a couple of friends.  I could have introduced you.” She said with a smile, as she tucked her dark hair behind her ear. 

“That would have been nice.  So how long have you lived here?” 

“A couple of years.  We like it here.  We moved a bit after Initiate, while Wilder was climbing through the ranks.  But we’ve been here long enough that we think we might stay.” 

“What does he do?” 

“He’s a Diffuser.  Only, they don’t have a Diffuser station here, so they work with the regular fire fighters.  The local house is mostly Arkane, but there is at least two in every house in the city.” 

“That’s cool.  Port Shadeau is so different from almost every other place.  It’s so weird to mix so easily with the Jejune, it almost makes me wonder why we have to hide at all.” 

“I get that, but look what happened to the Vampires when they came out a hundred years ago.  There are so many restrictions for them, I’m surprised there isn’t a national registry for them.” 

“For all we know there might be one, but it’s so tightly controlled by the Crones and Sages that the Jejune will never hear about it.” 

“True. It’s probably for the best.  I knew a Vampire once, I can’t imagine having to go through that stuff.” 

“Yeah, me neither. What if we had to register every time we moved? It would get taxing.”

“True.” Marlowe nodded as she held the door open for Ailee. 

They had a nice meal and the conversation flowed easily between them as they walked back toward home. They said goodnight and Ailee was excited to see her again the next day. It might seem insignificant, but she finally felt like she’d made a friend. For the first time since she’d moved there, she felt justified in the decision. She had made a friend and was hopeful to make more.

My Hive Mind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Character Profile – Bailey Stills-Parker

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

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

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

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

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

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

As always, be awesome.

Character Profile – Reid Walker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Apparently a lot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Character Profile – Ryan Meade

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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