Interview with Jorick

Hello! My name is Katelina, and welcome to Character Interviews. I spend a lot of time in the Amaranthine series quizzing vampires on what they’re doing, where they’re going and why, so Jo thought I would be the perfect interviewer.

The first victim – erm – interviewee is none other than my very own Jorick! If you’ve never met him I can sum him up for you in a few words: Dark, sexy and crabby. Oh, and he’s one of those vampires I mentioned earlier. You can find him in Both Shades of Gray and Legacy of Ghosts, as well as the upcoming Ties of Blood.

Katelina: So, hello Jorick! Welcome to the first Character Interview!

Jorick: Hello.

Jorick

K: Why don’t you tell me a little about yourself?

J: I believe you already know everything important.

K: I doubt it. Besides, the people reading this don’t. *jabs Jorick in the ribs*.

J: *sighs* fine. I’m Jorick.

K: Well that was informative. Okay, moving right along, would you say the book series you’re in should be classified as romance or thriller?

J: I think you modern people are far too concerned with classification. It has romance. It has vampires ripping one another to shreds. It simply is. Accept it, and move on.

K: That sounded surly. What’s the deal? Do you object to being the hero in a romance? If I didn’t know better, I’d think you objected to romance in general. *pauses* But of course, you’re the one who went to the trouble of finding me, not to mention all those old mementoes you saved of you-know-who-

J: *glares* What’s your point?

K: Only that you must be a romantic. But, you have a pretty violent streak, too, don’t you? I mean, you’re always fighting someone. There was Claudius, and then there was Kateesha and now Oren wants to fight The Guild (the vampire government).

J: If you haven’t noticed, there’s a common denominator behind all of those, and it starts with an “O”. Though, I’ve already told both of you I’m not fighting The Guild with him. If he would use his brain he wouldn’t, either.

K: You said that last time, too, remember? You’re always making absolute statements and then retracting them.

J: No, I don’t. Occasionally I change my mind given the circumstances. For example, I had every intention of ignoring Kateesha until her pathetic goons hurt you. After that I owed her.

K *giggles* That’s kind of romantic, you know. And since we’re on the subject, would you say I’m your girlfriend?

J: *clears throat* I’d say you’re ridiculously obsessed with labels. (Katelina narrows her eyes). For crying out loud, Katelina! I’ve rescued you, held you while you cried, risked life and limb, bled, and killed for you, and I’m even going to go meet your mother! What more can a woman want?

K: All right. I’ll take that. My mother’s really not that bad, you know. Where would you rather go?

J: Go? Nowhere! Why in heaven’s name must we always be “going” somewhere? Can’t we just stay home and have some peace and quiet once in a while? Is it really that boring?

K: You don’t even own a TV. You really need to catch up with the rest of the world. Sometimes, you’re like hanging around my great-grandfather and that’s kind of creepy.

J: *sarcastic* Thanks a lot. You know, sometimes you’re like spending time with a spoiled child, but I don’t point it out to you. If you think trying to adjust to having someone around the house after a hundred plus years isn’t difficult, the you’re much mistaken. Especially someone who is as fond of noise as you are.

K: Are you saying I’m noisy?

J: is that an official interview question? The answer is yes, by the way. *mumbles* like your great-grandfather…

K: Fine, I’m sorry. I retract that statement. But, you are, erm, crotchety. Why is that?

J: I’m not crotchety! I just have no patience for stupidity. It was always annoying, but after a few hundred years, I find it tedious and infuriating. You’d think people would learn but, no, they’re exactly the same now as they were four hundred years ago! They still do the same stupid things, make the same stupid mistakes and spend all their time either trying to get more or else trying to escape the fact they don’t have enough!

K: When will the third book, Ties of Blood, be out, and do you think it’s better than the previous ones?

by me

J: Hopefully this summer. I believe our… lovely… author is waiting on editing at the moment, or at least that’s her excuse. As for being better, who can say? There’s less violence than Shades of Gray, and there’s less romance than Legacy of Ghosts. I’d venture to say that there is more world building in this one, especially since readers will get to see The Guild’s Citadel and meet some characters that have only been mentioned before, like Malick, as well as some new characters . As far as what it’s about, some… beautiful, but insane little human decides we should go visit her mother. I am dragged against my will and, just as I predict, it is a disaster that ends at the police station. If that isn’t bad enough, there’s a red headed idiot that shows up and won’t go away! That clown is like a bad penny! Everywhere I look, there he is!

K: Yeah, yeah, Verchiel. Move on.

J: And then we go see Malick. *shrugs*. Seems pretty straightforward to me.

K: You didn’t mention Oren and his plans for the stupid war, or about that Traven guy who shows up. I know he’s up to something. And what about Senya? She’s still as evil as it gets! And-

J: Why don’t you just post an outline? Wouldn’t that be faster? You’re supposed to make it sound mysterious.

K: Like you did a good job of that! “And then we go see Malick”! What is that? Something like, “And then we are summoned by Malick, the most powerful vampire alive-“

J: he’s not, though. He’s just the most powerful one in the Americas.

K: Fine! “And then we are summoned by the most powerful vampire on the continent and taken to The Guild’s Citadel against our wills. Will we ever discover what the ancient master truly wants, or will his insidious scheme remain veiled in shadows until the next book?”

J: A little melodramatic, but it’s better than anything our author has bothered to come up with. I don’t think she’s even started to write up a blurb.

K: And with that we are out of time! Thanks so much for being my first unwilling victim, Jorick. As I mentioned before, you can find both Jorick and myself in Shades of Gray and Legacy of Ghosts, available as an ebook from Amazon, Smashworda, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and many other places, or as a paperback through Amazon.com.

  

If you’re an author and would like your character(s) to be interviewed by me, then check out this very cool page that has all the details:

https://joleenenaylor.wordpress.com/character-interviews/

And now, as a special treat, here is a (tiny) extract from Ties of Blood chosen by Jo’s brother:

(working cover)


“No!” Jorick shouted. “If it weren’t for you and your wife and your sister! We’re here because of your war with Claudius! Your sister started that war, if you’ll remember, because she couldn’t keep her hands to herself! And when the Executioners came, they killed your wife because of the Laws she broke! She trapped your son into eternal childhood and the youngest as a baby for eternity, Oren! A baby! How many hundreds of years would you want to live, trapped like that? It was Jesslynn and Torina’s self centeredness that’s landed us all here! I’ve stood by you because no one else would, but by God, Oren, I’ve had it with your inability to see your own faults! You’re so quick to blame someone else when the person you should be angry at is the one who looks back at you in the mirror! You allowed Torina to be out of control! You allowed Jesslynn to turn the children! You let the war drag on and on, and when Torina derailed your second war to fight Kateesha, because of a feud over yet another of her bedmates, you went along! It was your choices, and your choices alone that have landed you here and I suggest you use the time until we’re released to come to terms with that!”

Katelina stared at the wooden door, her eyes wide and her mouth open in shock. As if her hand acted of its own accord, she opened the door wide enough to see the pair. Jorick stood over the couch, his dark eyes flashing fire, his hands on his hips. Oren was still seated, his face white, his jaw clenched and his fists shaking at his sides. His earlier anger was nothing compared to what she saw on his face now.

Lost Chapters 6: That Would Be Cheating

Why should DVDs get all the fun? now presenting the deleted scenes* from Legacy of Ghosts! In other words, The Lost Chapters. – click the link for more info.

More info

Of course, since these are little snips, you don’t need to have read Legacy of Ghosts to enjoy them.

(Insert this at the end of Chapter Eighteen.)

Katelina stared at the window where light leaked around the dressers.  Despite the precautions, the room was far from dark, and whether because of the light or her nerves, she couldn’t find sleep.

Jorick stirred beside her and murmured, “You should rest, little one.”

“I know, but I can’t.” She stopped short of mentioning why; the panic, the worry, the hovering thoughts of certain death. He’d know them all, anyway.

A sudden wave of relaxation crashed over her, and she could hear him soothing her, “Sleep. Everything is fine. Everything will be fine. Sleep-“

“No.”  Despite the good intentions, she didn’t want him to use his mind tricks on her.  “You know I don’t like that.”

He sighed resignedly. “Yes, I know. But, I thought rest was a higher priority, this time. You’ll need your strength tomorrow, and it seems a waste for you to ignore the resources available.”

“Resources?” she echoed incredulously. “I hardly call you ‘enchanting’ me to sleep a resource!”

“Why?” He rolled her over to face him and met her eyes with a challenge. “If you were tired and had sleeping pills then you’d take them, wouldn’t you?”

She knew where this was going, and she refused to play into it. “Maybe.”  He narrowed his eyes, as if reading the truth from her, and she relented. “All right, fine. If I was tired enough, then yes, I would. But,” she added quickly. “I’m not that tired right now.”

“If you say so.”  His shoulders moved in an almost imperceptible shrug and he rolled onto his back. “But, I did offer.”

“I know.”

They fell into silence and she stared at the dressers and the light leaking around the edges. Maybe she should take him up on it. After all, they’d have a fight tomorrow and-

And why didn’t he just use that mind control to win? “He could just take them over and-”

“Wouldn’t that be cheating?” he asked to her unspoken thought.

She started to chastise him, then let it go. What was the point? “Not really. If you got it, use it.”

His amusement was palpable. “Yet you just said-”

“That’s different,” she interrupted. “That’s on me. I’m not trying to kill you.”

“Really? It often seems the same.” He suddenly turned serious. “No, but they are, and that’s the problem. Influencing someone does require a certain level of concentration, and it’s rather difficult to concentrate while you’re fighting.”

“Well, yes, but you could stand off to the edge, couldn’t you? And do it that way? Or do you need eye contact or something?”

“That helps, yes. But, it’s faster to just kill them.”

His cavalier attitude struck her as wrong. “But what about someone strong,” she argued. “Someone you can’t beat easily?” Like Kateesha.

“If they’re strong enough to pose a challenge, then their minds are probably too strong. As for Kateesha,” he broke off and pulled in a tight breath. “I’ve told you before that I can’t read her mind. If I could, I’d have known what she was up to before she ever betrayed us.”

She didn’t remember the conversation, but he had a valid point.  “Why can’t you read her mind? I thought you could read everyone’s?”

“No, not everyone’s. There are those who are far older and more powerful than me, and those who are stronger, and those who have a natural immunity.  I imagine Kateesha falls into the latter category, or perhaps it’s because we had the same Master.”

Katelina shivered as she thought about the dark demoness and her vengefully gleaming eyes. That was something she didn’t want to think about, so she asked instead, “I don’t suppose you can read his mind, either?”

“Malick’s? No. And I doubt I’d want to.” Jorick changed the topic with an attempted smile. “But all of this talking isn’t leading to sleep. We can talk tonight. In the meantime-”

“Yeah, yeah. I know. I’m just… wound up.”

He gazed at her sympathetically, then drew her to him and held her close. His familiar scent filled her nose and his strong arms chased away the imaginary phantoms. “It’s going to be all right, little one. Trust me.”

Despite the comfort of his presence, she wasn’t convinced.

*However, unlike deleted scenes, these were actually written later, for fun, so I could pull off the whole “Lost Chapters” gag. None of the Lost Chapters were ever in the original manuscript, nor were they ever deleted. Thank you for reading the small print.

Lost Chapters 5: They Say

Why should DVDs get all the fun? now presenting the deleted scenes* from Legacy of Ghosts! In other words, The Lost Chapters. – click the link for more info.

More info

Of course, since these are little snips, you don’t need to have read Legacy of Ghosts to enjoy them.

(Insert this at the end of Chapter Sixteen.)

Katelina flipped the cable channels randomly, only stopping on the local news as a last resort. The news anchor was a cheerful looking male with graying hair and a too tight tie.  He tugged at the offensive neckwear as he continued his story.

“-Baker’s Funeral home reported the theft of eleven caskets from its downtown showroom. A security camera recorded the image of a masked man before it was disabled-”

A fuzzy picture showed someone who was built very much like Micah and wielding a crow bar. He swung the weapon towards the camera, and the picture disappeared.

“-Authorities are unsure at this time if the theft is intended as a prank, or if it is related to the theft of fifteen caskets from the Bryson County Funeral Home in Palmina earlier this month. The eleven caskets have been estimate to be worth over $30,000.”

Katelina whistled low. At that price no self respecting vampire could afford to buy their own casket! No wonder they were stealing them. If Oren and his cohorts had that kind of money then surely their war coven would have been somewhere with heat and running water?  Though, it was Oren’s own fault. It wasn’t like vampires had to be in coffins; Oren was just a psychopath who liked them.

The funny thing was, she’d never bothered to wonder where the caskets came from, even though there’d been a basement full.  And just how did they steal fifteen caskets at one time and transport them back? That would take a lot of trucks, wouldn’t it?  Or one really huge one?

She’d have asked Jorick but, as usual, he wasn’t there. And even if he was, what would he say? She could imagine the conversation:

Jorick would laugh, then he would say something like, “You wonder about the strangest things, little one.”

And she’d glare at him with offence and snap back, “It’s a perfectly logical question! How do they haul all of those?”

Jorick would roll his eyes. “Not all at once, obviously. I imagine they take them one or two at a time, don’t you?”

“I don’t know!” she’d cry. “If I did, I wouldn’t ask you!”

He’d snicker, pat her on the head or something similar, and casually remark, “Perhaps you should ask Oren.”

No he wouldn’t. Not now. Now he’d say:

“I don’t know, does it matter?”

Yes, that final statement was a far closer fit to his mood.  And technically he’d be right, it didn’t matter. She’d never even thought about it until a moment ago, but now inquiring minds wanted to know. And know they would!

It was an hour later when Jorick returned, and he was barely through the door before she was on her feet, hands on her hips. “All right! No evading my questions!”

He rolled his dark eyes and moved around her. “What questions?” He dropped onto the edge of the bed and kicked off his snowy boots. “If you must know, I followed him. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t a trick.”

His immediate answer threw Katelina off guard. “What? No! I want to know how they haul the coffins!”

Jorick’s head snapped up and he stared at her incredulously. “How they haul the coffins? Who?” Understanding slowly filtered over his features. “Oren? For the love of- I don’t know! I imagine they use Dez’s truck!” He shook his head and turned his aggravated attention to his socks. “How they haul the coffins!”

“It’s a perfectly legitimate question. I mean, they did steal fifteen at a shot.”

“Did they?” he asked with no interest as he peeled off his dirty shirt and tossed it away. “I’d imagine they carry them out, stash them somewhere and then haul them a few at a time.” He stood and started for his jeans, then paused to look at her. “Why?”

“Oh, I don’t know.” She shrugged, as if that was an answer. “I was just curious.”

He tugged off the jeans as well and left them on a heap in the floor. “Yes, well, you know what they say, curiosity killed the cat.”

He started to turn for the bathroom and a shower, but Katelina called to him, “Who says? It’s always ‘you know what they say’. Well, who exactly are they?”

Jorick stopped, and without turning around answered, “Someone very wise.”

“Really, well ‘they’ also say that inquiring minds want to know.”

She felt his amusement and heard the smirk in his words, “Too much knowledge can be a bad thing.”

“But knowledge is power,” she quipped back.

Jorick’s smirk grew into a full blown grin, and he looked back over his shoulder and said, “Yes, but they say power corrupts, and I wouldn’t want to be responsible for corrupting you, so….” He trailed off into laughter and, before she could work up a good counter argument, disappeared into the bathroom.

*However, unlike deleted scenes, these were actually written later, for fun, so I could pull off the whole “Lost Chapters” gag. None of the Lost Chapters were ever in the original manuscript, nor were they ever deleted. Thank you for reading the small print.

Lost Chapters 4: Jorick of Oz

Why should DVDs get all the fun? now presenting the deleted scenes* from Legacy of Ghosts! In other words, The Lost Chapters. – click the link for more info.

More info

Of course, since these are little snips, you don’t need to have read Legacy of Ghosts to enjoy them.

(Insert this in the middle of Chapter Ten, after the grocery store and before burning bodies.)

The headlights cut through the night and illuminated the fat, falling snowflakes. Jorick shut the car off while Katelina climbed out, her blue eyes bright and her cheeks pink in the cold. Like a child, she held out her hand to catch a snowflake. Three of them landed on her outstretched fingers and she hurried to think of a wish for each.

Grocery bags rustled and Jorick called, “Are you going to help?”

His voice broke the magic of the moment, but she refused to let him spoil it completely. As if to punish him, she scooped up a handful of snow, squashed it into the semblance of a ball, and hurled it straight at his head.

It hit its mark and then most of the snowball dropped away, but a lump stayed lodged in Jorick’s dark hair; white on black, and a few flakes were even brave enough to splatter across one oh his cheek.s

Jorick stared at Katelina, at first emotionless, and then a mixture of outrage and disbelief took over. “What do you think you’re doing?”

“I hit you with a snowball,” she answered as she hurriedly scooped up another handful of snow. “And-“

He cut her off, his tone brooked no argument, “I wouldn’t if I were you.”

She weighed the cold snow in her hand. “And why not? It isn’t like you’ll melt.” She changed her voice to an imitation of the Wicked Witch of the West. “I’m melting! Meeeeeellllting!”

“No,” Jorick snapped. “I won’t melt. Now, come along and stop this nonsense.”

“Nonsense?” she echoed. “It’s not nonsense, Jorick. It’s called fun. I realize that’s something you try to avoid, but….” She trailed off and waited for his denial. But, his only answer was a dark scowl, so she let the snowball fly. He dodged to the side and back so quickly she barely saw it, and it flew past him and landed in the yard.

“That’s enough of that,” he said firmly. “Now come on, we have groceries to put away. You can help carry them inside, since they are for you.” As he spoke, he hefted three plastic bags and turned towards the house, his broad back a black coated target. Katelina couldn’t resist.

The snowball hit him between the shoulder blades, and he stopped mid step to spin around and glare darkly. “I said-”

“Yes,” she interrupted. “You said. But, you’re not my father, so….” she left the vague threat hanging and offered him what she hoped was an evil smile.

Jorick’s opinion was silent, but sudden. “Evil? Actually it looks like you’re having problems with digestion.”

“Stop doing that!” she shouted and waved her fist emphatically. She was getting really sick of that!  It made her wish she’d never found out about his mind reading, and that he’d never-

The thought broke off as he smirked smugly; too delighted at having annoyed her the same way she’d annoyed him. “Then stop acting like a child with your snowballs and come along before you melt.”

He turned back towards the house, while Katelina puzzled over his words.  The subtle insult took a movement to register, but when it did, she flung a large snowball at the back of his head.  It hit with a satisfying plop, and she called after him, “I’ll get you my pretty, and your little dog too.”

Jorick’s only answer was, “I don’t have a dog, only a human pet.”

As if he sensed it coming, he easily dodged the next snowy missile.

*However, unlike deleted scenes, these were actually written later, for fun, so I could pull off the whole “Lost Chapters” gag. None of the Lost Chapters were ever in the original manuscript, nor were they ever deleted. Thank you for reading the small print.

Lost Chapters 3: Ask and Ye Shall Receive

Why should DVDs get all the fun? now presenting the deleted scenes* from Legacy of Ghosts! In other words, The Lost Chapters. – click the link for more info.

More info

Of course, since these are little snips, you don’t need to have read Legacy of Ghosts to enjoy them.

(Insert this in the middle of Chapter Five, on the way to the roses.)

Katelina glared into the unfamiliar darkness of the motel room. She was annoyed with the situation, annoyed with Jorick, and even annoyed with Loren. How could he be so enthusiastic about it all? But there were a lot of unanswered questions about him.

Jorick stirred next to her and murmured quietly, “You should get some sleep, Katelina.”

She agreed, but instead of taking the advice asked suddenly, “So how does Loren get away with it?”

Jorick half turned in bed to stare at her curiously. “Get away with what?”

“With being a vampire. I mean, he looks like a teenager, right? Don’t the locals notice he doesn’t ever grow up? How does he get out of going to school? And you know, that chick he was dating? I mean she was a teenager, but he’s really, what? My age or older, I imagine. Think about that age difference!”

Jorick cleared his throat noisily to stop the flow of random thoughts. “I don’t know. He just doesn’t go, and I’d have to figure up how old he was, which I don’t care enough to do.”

Not to be deterred, she demanded, “But he is from around there, right? And no one notices?”

Jorick gave a resigned sigh and rolled over to fully face her. “Yes, he’s from ‘around there’. He and his brother both were.”

“And where are his parents?” She paused, and then gave vent to her own private theory, “He didn’t, you know, suck them dry?”

Jorick’s eyebrows shot up with outraged offence. “Suck them dry?” he demanded. “Suck them dry? That’s a lovely phrase!”

She brushed off his overreaction. “Well, did he?”

“Not that I know of.” Jorick glared at her . “The next time you’re eating I should say you’ve mashed your food to death, right?”

“It’s already dead,” she pointed out, then switched back to her original topic. “So, what happened to them, then?”

He sniffed disdainfully. “They died. They were mashed to death.”

She couldn’t stop from rolling her eyes. “Very funny. What really happened to them?”

“A car wreck, I believe. I don’t know. It isn’t as though Loren and I sit around the fire trading stories of our lives! If you want to know, then ask him. I’m sure he’ll be more than happy to tell you.”

She turned the idea over uncomfortably. “No,” she answered slowly. “It would be rude to just point blank ask.”

Jorick seemed surprised. “Why?”

She fidgeted with the hem on the bedspread. “Because…. It is. If he wanted me to know, he’d tell me, himself.”

Jorick pondered the idea a moment. “Assuming he knew you were interested. I doubt it’s occurred to him that you care.”

“Oh, I don’t care,” she said quickly.  “I’m just, you know, kind of curious.”

“Well, be kind of curious tomorrow and ask him.” Jorick yawned pointedly and then rolled onto his back. “For now, I’m rather tired, and we have a potentially long day ahead of us tomorrow.”

“Yeah, I suppose,” Katelina murmured with no conviction. Somewhere the mood of the whole conversation had changed, as had the real topic. The letters popped into her mind and she wondered if Jorick would have the same “just ask” policy about those?

Somehow, she doubted it.

*However, unlike deleted scenes, these were actually written later, for fun, so I could pull off the whole “Lost Chapters” gag. None of the Lost Chapters were ever in the original manuscript, nor were they ever deleted. Thank you for reading the small print.

Lost Chapters 2: The Black Cliche

Why should DVDs get all the fun? now presenting the deleted scenes* from Legacy of Ghosts! In other words, The Lost Chapters. – click the link for more info.

More info

Of course, since these are little snips, you don’t need to have read Legacy of Ghosts to enjoy them.


(Insert this in the middle  of Chapter Four, after the nightgown but before the dining room discovery)

Katelina stared through the darkness, her thoughts churning.  She could hear Jorick’s slow steady breathing as he settled down for the night, and she knew that any moment it would all but disappear as he dropped off to sleep. If she wanted to talk, now was her chance.

“So, what’s with the Executioner’s cliché outfits, anyway?”

Silence greeted her question, so she nudged Jorick and repeated it.  Slowly, he asked, “What?”

She was certain she’d spoken English, but she tried to hide her impatience and said for the third time, “I wondered why the Executioner’s outfits are so cliché. You know, long black coat, black clothes; even the silver medallion thing’s pretty unimaginative. They look like they came out of a Hollywood blockbuster, or an anime.”

“A what?”

Her eyes narrowed suspiciously. Jorick was getting oddly hard of hearing all of a sudden, or else purposefully obtuse. “An anime. You know, those Japanese cartoons with all the weird stuff in them?”

“No. I don’t.”

“You can get them online almost anywhere. There’s a bunch of them on youtube-“ she broke off as she realized who she was talking to. “Oh.”

Jorick was silent a moment and then he asked, “If they’re just Japanese cartoons, why are they called anime? Why aren’t they just called Japanese cartoons?”

“Because anime is short for animation,” Katelina explained knowledgably.

Jorick rolled over to face her. She couldn’t see him in the darkness, but she could feel him studying her. “All right. So why isn’t all animation called anime then?”

“Because it isn’t Japanese!” she exclaimed impatiently. “Have you been listening to me?”

“Yes, but have you?” He broke off and then repeated, “Why is it called anime?”

Why did he expect her to know that? It wasn’t as if she was an emissary for the whole human race! “I don’t know! It just is!”

“Okay then. That’s why the Executioners dress that way. Because they ‘just do’.”

Katelina ground her teeth impatiently and jabbed her finger into his ribs. “Very funny.”

“You expect me to know everything,” he pointed out with his usual too perfect perception. “So why can’t I expect you to?”

“Because I’ve never been to Japan, or made Japanese cartoons, but you’ve been an Executioner! For crying out loud! Did you used to look like something from a cheap horror movie?” She stopped as she had a sudden mental image of his current wardrobe choices; black shirt, black pants, long black coat. “My god, you’re a walking cliché!”

“Thanks very much,” he drawled, managing to sound very offended. “But, did it occur to you that cliché’s come from somewhere?”

She blinked against the darkness. “What?”

“Now who’s obtuse?” he questioned, and then went on, “Cliché’s come from somewhere. Someone has to originate every idea, and that original idea becomes a cliché when everyone else embraces and regurgitates it. So, just because it is now a cliché doesn’t mean that it wasn’t an original idea when it started. And yes, that was the basic ‘uniform’, if you will, when I was one of them. Originally it was a long black cloak, and then as time and fashion progressed it changed to a coat.  And yes, I like black. We’ve been over this before. Black is non offensive, it doesn’t clash so I never have to worry about mixing and matching clothes, and it makes it easier to disappear into the shadows. All together it’s a lovely color and I believe that’s why it rotates back into popularity all of the time. You notice that yellow doesn’t last long, but everyone likes black.”

Katelina stared at Jorick in disbelief.  “Yellow?” she asked weakly.  She couldn’t picture Jorick anywhere near yellow, let alone wearing it.  In fact, she couldn’t picture any vampire in yellow.

“Exactly,” he agreed emphatically. “Now, if you’re done, I’m afraid I’m rather tired.” As if to prove his statement, he gave a long, loud yawn. “I realize that I’m the all knowing font of knowledge, but even the wisdom of the world must sleep now and then. Unless you have any other random questions?”

She glared at him and then, in her most innocent voice asked, “Yes, all knowing font of knowledge, why is it called anime?”

He made a small noise in his throat, but didn’t bother to answer her.

*However, unlike deleted scenes, these were actually written later, for fun, so I could pull off the whole “Lost Chapters” gag. None of the Lost Chapters were ever in the original manuscript, nor were they ever deleted. Thank you for reading the small print.

Lost Chapters 1: Sparkling Jorick

why should DVDs get all the fun? now presenting the deleted scenes* from Legacy of Ghosts! In other words, The Lost Chapters. – click the link for more info.

More info

Of course, since these are little snips, you don’t need to have read Legacy of Ghosts to enjoy them.

(Insert this randomly into Chapter Three between the walk and the stitches)

Katelina lay on the living room couch and stared at the book in her hands. It was another 1800’s era “classic” and, though she  liked old books, she wanted something newer. Maybe something that didn’t have the women in bustles.

The door opened and her eyes flicked from the printed words to Jorick, who strolled into the living room casually. He started for the dining room, but when he noticed her scrutiny he changed directions and came to stop next to the couch. “Hello.”

She gave him a cursory smile, then asked, “Don’t you have any books that were published after 1901?”

His brow wrinkled. “What?”

“Books,” she repeated. “Published after 1901? Maybe something from the last fifty years?”

“Of course I do,” he responded testily. “You just have to look for them.”

“That could take the rest of my life,” she muttered darkly. “It isn’t like you have anything organized around here!”

If his expression was anything to go on, the idea was a completely foreign one to Jorick. “And how should it be organized, pray tell?”

“The books could go in a book case. That would be a good start.”

He blinked at her, and then waved the conversation away. “You just have to look for them,” he repeated. “I’ve got a lot of books around here-“

“I’ve noticed.”

He ignored the interruption. “-And there’s surely something you approve of.”

Loren chose that moment to arrive, noisily banging the door open and closed. Alost tauntingly, the boys arms were laden with even more freaking books!

“You’re bringing yours over here now?” she cried. “There’s enough!”

Loren dropped the stack into one of the wing backed chairs and straightened his hoodie. “Nah, these are Jorick’s. Just bringing them back.”

Katelina couldn’t stop the annoyed eye roll. “Fantastic. Just what we need. More books.”

“There’s some good ones in here,” Loren objected. He paused to rifle through the heap and one fell to the floor with a bang. Loren left it lay, oblivious to the dark look Jorick shot at him. He seemed to suddenly find what he wanted. “Here, this one’s good.” He held up a battered paperback of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

“It’s strange,” Jorick countered, and scooped up the fallen book.

“It’s supposed to be!” Loren explained, waving the book for emphasis. “It’s funny.”

Katelina climbed to her feet and moved to examine the books. Most had unfamiliar, albeit modern covers, all except one; a black cover with a bright red apple.

“You’re joking!” she cried and hefted the heavy book. “You own this?”

Jorick peered disinterestedly over her shoulder. “Oh, that. Yes, I suppose I do.”

“Oh my God! You’ve read this? Seriously?”

“Yes, I read it. I’ve read a great deal worse, though I’ve also read a great deal better.”

“No shit!” Katelina suddenly imagined him sitting in the chair pouring over the teenage romance, a kleenex clutched in his hand. The image was too much to take and her laughter got the better of her so that she dropped onto the couch, the book clutched in her hands.

“I’m not sure what’s so funny,” Jorick remarked stiffly. “It’s a book, like any other.”

“Yeah, if you’re a twelve year old girl!”

“Hey!” Loren objected. “I read it too, you know!”

Katelina waved the objection away, and managed to choke out, “So, team Edward or Jacob?”

Jorick drew back a step, as though she’d lost her mind. “What?”

“Jacob.” Loren leaned on the back of the chair, settling in for the conversation. “That shit in the second book where he takes off and leaves her, I just can’t condone that, you know? He just leaves her there to get whacked by those other guys.” He grinned broadly. “Besides, the whole glitter thing is too gay, you know?” He jerked his head towards Jorick. “Can you imagine him glittering?”

“No,” Jorick stated flatly and snatched the book from Katelina’s hands. “She can’t.”

“Actually,” Katelina began, her grin large and evil. “I think it’s an interesting picture. Jorick in sparkles.” She held up her hands as if framing a photograph. “What do you think, Loren? Wouldn’t he be lovely?”

Loren laughed until Jorick smacked him in the back of the head. “Aw, come on man, lighten up! This is a literary discussion here!”

“It’s an imbecilic discussion,” Jorick replied. He looked at the book in his hands, then held it out to Katelina. “Here.  You were so desperate for something modern.”

Her laughter died and she cleared her throat noisily. “Well, yes, but…”

Jorick raised an inquiring eyebrow. “But?”

She shifted uncomfortably, her eyes on the floor. “But, well.” Her voice got quiet and she admitted reluctantly, “I’ve already read it.”

Jorick’s expression was one of satisfied smugness.

*However, unlike deleted scenes, these were actually written later, for fun, so I could pull off the whole “Lost Chapters” gag. None of the Lost Chapters were ever in the original manuscript, nor were they ever deleted. Thank you for reading the small print.

The Lost Chapters

You’ve probably seen the special features that come with most DVD’s. They range from the ever cheesy movie commentary to my personal favorite: the deleted scenes. Whenever we finish a movie the next thing we do is check the menu to watch all the scenes that got cut. But, wouldn’t it be cool if you could do that with a book?

Well, now you can.

Presenting The Lost Chapters – the “deleted scenes”* from Legacy of Ghosts. Just like the deleted scenes, these will be tiny nuggets that have been removed from their surrounding scenes, with very little references given, so that you have to strain and try to figure out exactly where that went.  Okay, maybe not.

Though I will mention where the scene “fits in”, it isn’t necessary for you to have read the book to enjoy them.  They’re also pretty much spoiler proof. How cool is that?

I’ll be posting these one a week, so all the links won’t be active yet:

The Lost Chapters

  1. Sparkling Jorick
  2. The Black Cliché
  3. Ask and Ye Shall Receive
  4. Jorick of Oz
  5. They Say
  6. That Would be Cheating
*However, unlike deleted scenes, these were actually written later, for fun, so I could pull off the whole “Lost Chapters” gag. None of the Lost Chapters were ever in the original manuscript, nor were they ever deleted. Thank you for reading the small print.

Legacy of Ghosts – Chapter 3 – Part 7 (final)

For the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting the first three chapters of Legacy of Ghosts in tiny, blog sized nuggets,  hopefully a bit a day.

If you’ve missed previous chapters, you can read them here.

WARNING!!!

This contains spoilers. If you haven’t read Shades of Gray, proceed at your own risk

*****************

Before Loren’s objection could sound, Jorick spun around, closed the distance between them and slammed him into the door with a force that jarred the house and made Katelina gasp.  Loren struggled loose from his grip and circled Jorick warily. With one hand Jorick snatched him off his feet and threw him across the room where he crashed into the chair and sent books scattering.

Jorick glared at him as he tried to stand. “Just stay down.”

“No.” Loren grimaced and righted himself. “You’re not my mother! And I’m not some little kid!”

“Compared to some of the vampires you’d be facing you’re only a toddler.” Jorick’s voice rose, “Do you understand how powerful they are, Loren? Do you remember the other time The Executioners came? Do you remember what they did to the Rogues? Do you?”

Loren shuddered involuntarily, then looked disgusted at his own weakness. “That was a long time ago!”

“No, not so long ago.” Jorick appraised him with cold eyes. “Can you defeat me? If not, you have no hope of winning against them, either.”

For the first time since the fight started, Loren looked uncertain, but he quickly hid it beneath a veneer of determination. “Maybe I could.”

Jorick shook his head, and the ghost of a smile tugged at his lips. “No, you can’t.” He turned back to the dining room. “This conversation is finished, Loren. When you look back on it later you’ll realize-”

Loren launched himself across the room at Jorick’s back, and Katelina shouted a warning. However, before her noise even registered, Jorick stepped out of the way and Loren ended up sprawled on the floor.

With a savage growl he pulled himself up and flung himself at Jorick, his fists swinging. Jorick blocked his punches and tossed him to the side. He landed near Katelina’s feet in a heap, but he was soon up again. A thin stream of blood tricked down the side of his face and his eyes blazed hatred.

“Loren?” Katelina whispered and pressed herself back into the wall. Until now, she’d never been scared of the boy but, with that face, he looked like some of the monsters she’d fought before; the ones hiding in Claudius’s den.

Jorick took a step forward. “Stop, Loren, before you get hurt.”

“No!” he roared. “I can take care of myself!” He launched himself at Jorick again, and again Jorick sidestepped him. But, at the last second, Loren whirled and landed a punch to Jorick’s gut.

Jorick stood there and looked at him, unfazed.

Loren gaped in surprise, and for a moment his resolve appeared on the brink of crumbling, but something in Jorick’s cold face strengthened it instead.  “Fuck this!” He stepped back and straightened his hoodie. “Fuck this and fuck you!”  Then he stalked out the door, slamming it behind him.

It took Katelina a moment to gather her wits and then she glared at Jorick, who was innocently righting the furniture. “Was that really necessary?”

“What?”

“Beating the crap out of him. He’s just a kid, you know! He just wants your approval. Like it would kill you to give it to him? Why do you have to be so… so unrelenting all the time?”

Jorick stacked the books haphazardly without looking at her. “Am I unrelenting?”

“Yes,” she seethed. “Unrelenting and judgmental! You think you know what’s best for everyone! You act like-”

“Like what?” He snapped around to face her, his tone angry. “Like sending him to that fight would be sending him to his death? Because it would be, Katelina! Would you rather I encouraged him to go die? You, with all your sentimentality?”

“Well, no,” she faltered. She’d seen what they were capable of. They were as strong as Jorick and he’d defeated Loren effortlessly.  But, even so. “He deserves to be given a chance. If he’s going to fail, he should be allowed to find it out for himself. He has feelings too, you know.”

“Stupid feelings,” Jorick remarked thoughtlessly, but her furious look made him do a double take. “What?”

“That’s exactly what I mean!” She snapped. “You’re so unrelenting and judgmental! Like you have a right to decide what’s valid and what isn’t!”

Jorick stopped what he was doing to focus on her. “No, I’m not. I was only saying-”

“You were only saying that his feelings were stupid. Are mine stupid too?”

Jorick started to answer, then held up his hands. “I don’t know what this is over, but I’m done with this.”

“Oh, you’re done?”

“Yes,” he said quietly. “When you’ve figured out what you’re mad about, let me know.”

“For your information, I know what I’m mad about!” She broke off as he strode from the room. “Jorick! Get back here now!” she shouted, but his only response was the slam of the door.

“Loren’s right,” she muttered furiously and threw herself on the couch. “Fuck you, and fuck your secret room too!”

Legacy of Ghosts – Chapter 3 – Part 6

For the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting the first three chapters of Legacy of Ghosts in tiny, blog sized nuggets, hopefully a bit a day.

If you’ve missed previous chapters, you can read them here.

WARNING!!!

This contains spoilers. If you haven’t read Shades of Gray, proceed at your own risk
*****************

Jorick snorted contemptuously. “And what does Oren have to do with this? For that matter what do I? J and O? The letters could mean anything. This message wasn’t meant for me.”

“Yes it was,” Beldren declared flatly. “It was sent, via messenger, to be delivered to you. Luckily, we intercepted him.”

“Whether it was meant for me or not is irrelevant. I have no idea what it means.” Jorick looked from one to the other. “I do find it interesting that you’re searching for him, though.”

Beldren gave Jorick a tolerant smirk. “Ah yes, I shouldn’t forget about your amazing perception.”

Jorick’s return smile was cold. “Nor I your ability. However, I don’t believe it’s needed here.”

Beldren handed the paper back to the ever silent Zuri. “We’ll find him, you know. Malick has a special interest in his plans.”

Jorick’s face twitched at the mention of that name, but his tone stayed unruffled. “Then I wish you luck. Malick won’t accept your failure easily.”

“He won’t have to, because we won’t fail.”

The two men stared at one another; a silent contest of wills. Finally, Beldren broke away with a soft laugh. “All right, Jorick, we’ll be leaving. But, should you hear anything, or suddenly remember ‘where the roses grow’, you know how to find us.”

“Yes,” Jorick agreed. “But I won’t need to.”

“I’m sure you won’t.” He turned to Zuri. “Come on, we’ll find him on our own. It isn’t like we actually expected Jorick to cooperate. He’s too busy presiding over his infant coven to be any trouble.”

Zuri made no reply and, as quickly as they’d come, the two were gone.

Katelina stood frozen in place, her breath caught in her throat. The seconds ticked by and she slowly came to the realization that they’d really left. The horrible Executioners had left, without killing or torturing any of them. Thank God.

Her body sagged, and she sighed with relief. The sound reminded everyone where they were, and the two vampires snapped to life.

Loren relaxed his protective posture but his eyes stayed on the door. “What was all that?”

“Executioners,” Jorick explained bitterly. “Apparently they’re searching for Oren. I imagine word of his little plan has gotten around and they intend to nip it in the bud.”

Katelina shifted uncertainly from one foot to the other. “Exactly what is his plan?”

When Jorick didn’t answer, Loren explained, “He’s going to attack The Guild.”

Katelina nodded. “Yeah, I know, but beyond that? I mean he’s not planning to do it with just Torina and himself, is he?”

“He’s collecting a coven-”

“It’s unimportant,” Jorick snapped. “He has no chance against them.”

Loren cleared his throat loudly. “Maybe if we helped them?”

Jorick waved the suggestion away. “No. It’s not my fight.”

Loren looked at Katelina for support, but he found none. For once she wholeheartedly agreed with Jorick. This wasn’t their problem.

She gave a soft shake of her head and Loren’s face hardened. He crossed his arms defiantly. “Then maybe I’ll go alone.”

Jorick crooked a heavy eyebrow and snorted. “And what help do you think you’ll be?”

Loren blinked in surprise at the insult, his mouth half open. As if unaware of his reaction, Jorick snapped, “We’re not going!” Then, he turned his back on the conversation and strode towards the dining room.

“You can’t tell me what to do! I don’t owe you anything!”

Katelina flinched unconsciously at the venom in the young vampire’s voice. His cheeks were flushed and his eyes glittered dangerously. Jorick’s remark had wounded him deeper than she thought.

Jorick stopped in the doorway, his shoulders tense. “Why do you want to go so badly?”

“Why not? I’m not as weak as you think. I know how to fight.” He dropped suddenly into a defensive stance, his knees bent and his arms tensed. “I can take care of myself!”

Jorick shook his head and turned away again. “You’re an idiot, Loren.”

  • Tales of the Executioners

    Short stories from the world of Amaranthine; a universe of blood and darkness where vampires don't sparkle and night is eternal. Each is about a member of the Executioners squad; the special vampire "police" force. Members both past and present share stories of assignments, origins, and more.

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    Joleene Naylor

    An independent author, freelance artist, and photographer for fun who loves anime, music, and writing. Check out my vampire series Amaranthine at http://JoleeneNaylor.com or drop me a line at Joleene@JoleeneNaylor.com

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