Tales from the Island #3: Oren

Katelina finally gets her beach vacation, but it’s not everything she dreamed. How could it be with the companions she’s got? Strap in for a collection of six short stories about surf, sun, and… um… I mean surf, moonlight and vampires.

OREN

Day 3:

Day 3:

Oren took a seat at the breakfast table and poured himself a glass of crimson liquid. The blood was warm and salty, but it wasn’t the same as drinking from a living creature. There was no link to the source, no connection to their memories or feelings. It was sanitized and impersonal, and he preferred it that way.

Etsuko sat primly next to him, wearing a pink flowered kimono. Her long black hair was pulled up into an ornate bun and her almond eyes were politely cast down, though he knew she was watching him. She was always watching. Since they’d come across her in Japan, Etsuko had haunted his steps and now she seemed to think she belonged to him.

He downed half the glass and set it back on the table. Etsuko snatched it up and refilled it. Her eyes met his for a moment and then dropped again. He was sure she meant well, but as far as he was concerned the human could just go back to Japan where she belonged.

A vampire with long black hair took a seat across from them and flashed Oren an abnormally cheerful smile. It was Jorick, his master, the one who’d made him into a vampire. “Good morning.”

Next to him, like a blonde shadow, was the ever present human annoyance Katelina. “Good evening,” she corrected as someone deposited a plate of food in front of her.

“It’s our morning, little one,” Jorick said and took a long drink from his glass. “You’ll get used to it one of these days.” Jorick turned to Oren with a wink. “What do you have planned for this lovely evening?” He motioned to the large glass windows where palm trees swayed against the backdrop of a tropical night.

“Nothing.” Oren took another drink and hesitated before he set the glass down. As he’d thought, Etsuko quickly refilled it and bobbed her head in a pseudo bow.

“You should eat your breakfast,” Katelina said and motioned to the woman’s plate of food. “Before it gets cold.”

Etsuko didn’t look up. “I can eat when Oren-sama has finished.”

Oren shifted uncomfortably and muttered, “It’s fine. Eat your breakfast.”

“If Oren-sama wishes it.” Etsuko bobbed her head again.

Katelina opened her mouth, and Jorick cut her off, “Leave it, little one.”

Though Katelina snapped her mouth shut and glared silently, Oren could see what she wanted to say in her mind, “Etsuko isn’t his servant.”

I never said she was.

They finished their breakfast and Jorick and Katelina left for the beach. Oren stared at the empty decanter and tried to think of something to do. The sand and surf didn’t interest him. He’d taken a walk the first night and then spent two hours getting the sand out of his boots and socks. He imagined Etsuko’s kimono had been an even bigger hassle, but he had no intention of asking. He was just grateful she hadn’t tried to share his room with him.

With nothing concrete in mind, he wandered towards the patio. Etsuko followed, three steps behind, and stopped only when he did. He made an aggravated noise and stared out at the night. The scene was straight from a postcard, but the tropical splendor was already wearisome. What good were lush surroundings when there was nothing to do except sit and think?

A thousand demons whispered to him from the shadows and he struggled with whether to embrace them or push them away. He could see the faces of his murdered wife, Jesslynn, and his children, calling to him for blood, vengeance, and remorse. It had only been months since the Executioners had killed them, one by one. It was too short a time for him to abandon his grief.

Wasn’t it?

He took a chair and Etsuko mumbled something about needlework. He waved his reply and she hurried off while he stared into the dark distance. Jorick had advised him to move on and let the past go, but it was hard advice to take. When Jorick’s wife had been murdered he’d mourned. And mourned. And mourned. Until even Jesslynn had commented.

“She was such a useless creature. To think he’s still pining for her is ridiculous.”

“He loved her,” Oren had told her, though even he wasn’t sure that Jorick’s devotion had been that deep and passionate.

“Not that much. He blames himself for her death and so continues this forced regime of mourning from a sense of guilt and duty. He’d be better to let it go and come back to the world. Mourning for eternity is useless.”

Oren wondered if Jesslynn would feel the same way now that she was the murdered wife. Would she say that he should let it go? He found that one’s opinions changed when they were personally involved.

It wasn’t just Jesslynn he missed, but his children. Alexander had been trapped in the body of a five year old child, with a brain that was slowly maturing. Though still childlike until the end, Oren had often seen flashes of adult thoughts in the boy’s deep eyes. How much longer would it have been before things got complicated? Before those adult thoughts turned to adult feelings, trapped in the body of a child?

And Tristan. He was only a few months old when Jesslynn turned him. As had happened to so many of their children, Tristan had been sickly with only weeks left to live. Oren understood changing him to save him, but to trap him as a perpetual infant? He’d never learned to speak, or to walk, and there had been moments, when Oren gazed into his tiny face, that he wasn’t even sure there was a soul inside, rather just an empty doll that went through the motions.

He shivered at the thought and pushed it away. Despite that he had loved him; he’d loved them both. Alexander with his quick smile, cheerful nature, and accepting personality and Tristen with… with…

Etsuko returned, yards of dark blue cloth in her hands. She bowed quickly. “I hope I have not disturbed Oren-sama.”

“No,” he murmured, and looked back to the sea. He listened as her chair scraped across the patio and then the silence fell as she bent to her work. He had no idea what she was making. A blanket of some kind? He wasn’t sure he cared, but his guilty thoughts hurt, and so he turned back to her. “What is that?”

“This?” she asked and lifted the cloth. “When I am finished I thought to make a kimono for Oren-sama, if it would please him?”

Oren blinked in surprise, lost for words, and tugged on his button up shirt. He couldn’t imagine wearing what looked like a blue bathrobe, especially not in front of anyone. But there was a hopefulness in her eyes that made him think of Alexander and his horrible homemade Christmas presents. Year after year the child had presented him with things glued together, usually with homemade paste. One would think after several decades he’d have improved.

“That would be… nice,” Oren said finally.

She smiled and bobbed her head. “Thank you, Oren-sama. I am glad you approve.” Then she turned back to her work.

Oren watched her for a moment. The needle and thread slipped easily in and out of the cloth, leaving behind perfect, practiced stitches. Though he found her old fashioned behavior bizarre in many instances, he had to admit it was refreshing to see a woman who could still do needlework.

If only she preferred to make shirts instead.

Jesslynn had quit making his shirts long go, and he missed that. He’d mentioned it once or twice and she’d told him he could purchase them now. “They have mail order,” she’d said and shoved a catalog at him.

But mail order wasn’t the same.

Oren’s attention drifted to the distant sea again. Even his vampire eyes could only see so far before the world faded into night. He knew his vision was better than a mortal’s, though he didn’t know how much better. He’d been human so long ago that he’d forgotten.

Though he tried to ignore her, he was conscious of Etsuko sitting behind him and to his left. He could hear the slow steady pace of her heartbeat and, if he concentrated, the soft patter of her thoughts rattling along in Japanese. It was just as well he couldn’t understand the musical words. He doubted he wanted to know what she was thinking.

The breeze blew past them and he smelled her mortal blood. It wasn’t an unappetizing odor, but neither did it drive him into a frenzy of bloodlust. The smell of blood had only done that in the beginning, and then only when he was hungry. Living with human servants had soon cured him of that. Jesslynn had frowned on killing them.

“They’re hard to train!”

He fidgeted as her memory pressed close without the required rush of sorrow. Jorick might think a vacation was a good idea, but he didn’t. It was nothing more than a trap.

He made an unconscious noise of irritation and Etsuko asked, “Please forgive my asking, Oren-sama, but is something wrong?”

“No,” he said tersely. Her heartbeats sounded in the background: one. Two. Three. Then he said, “I don’t see the point of this excursion.”

“To the island? Jorick-sama said that Katelina-san needed  a rest.”

“Yes, I know! But, a rest from what? From running around the world? From sticking her nose into places it doesn’t belong; into fights she is ill equipped to handle? Jorick could affect the cure easily enough by taking her home and leaving her there.”

“You must pardon my asking, but Oren-sama does not care for Katelina-san?”

“No!” He cleared his throat uncomfortably as the impact of the statement crystalized. “I don’t hate her, of course. She has been useful now and then. She did manage to kill the Executioner, Senya.” He disappeared into an angry memory of the Executioners painted by flickering firelight as she helped to murder his family. He’d been able to kill one of them later, and Jorick another, but Katelina had killed the last of them. Finally, his family was avenged, though he wasn’t sure whether to be grateful to her, or annoyed that she’d done it instead of him.

A soft noise from Etsuko brought him back, and he tried to pick up the abandoned thread of conversation. “She’s also been a hindrance, though. Jorick is always forced to take considerations for her. Like this.”

Though Etsuko didn’t speak, he felt the need to defend himself. “That’s not to say I don’t understand, to a point. A man must make concessions for his wife. Only, she isn’t his wife, is she? She isn’t even his equal. Do you know, I believe he enjoys keeping her human? I think he gets a – a thrill from her weakness and need for protection, and what could be weaker than a human? If he plans to keep her around then it’s time he turned her, whether she likes it or not. That’s his excuse – that he saw in her mind how terrified she is of becoming one of us, and so he won’t do it until she’s ‘ready’. Ready? How many vampires were ready? How many had a choice in the matter? It wasn’t my idea, I can assure you, rather Jesslynn’s.” The name conjured guilt, so he backtracked. “As I was saying, it’s been long enough dragging her around as a human. Jorick needs to do it and be done.”

“Jorick-sama and Katelina-san have been together a long time?”

Oren did a quick calculation that took some of the wind from his sails. “Five months.”  He broke off and then rallied. “But Jorick has apparently convinced himself that they will be partners for eternity, so in this case months might as well be years.”

Etsuko nodded, but Oren imagined there was something judgmental in it; something that said he was being unreasonable. As if she didn’t deem five months a long enough time to base such a commitment on. “In the past people got married after shorter periods of time and lived respectable lives together for many years.”

But not for eternity.

He floundered and Etsuko said, “I know it is a painful subject, but if Oren-sama does not mind my asking, was your own engagement long?”

“What? Jesslynn? Well, I wouldn’t call it long but… I knew her for some time before I courted her.” The conversation approached uncomfortable territory and he steered it back. “Unlike Jorick. He decided he was in love with the human before he’d even spoken to her! Of all the ridiculous… He only did it because he knew it would complicate things.”

Etsuko gave another blank nod, and he rushed to explain, “She was dating a human that was helping us. When the enemy coven targeted her, Jorick volunteered to guard her. Or something like that. He was never supposed to make himself known to her, only keep an eye on things until the humans were no longer useful.” As the words left his mouth he realized how they sounded. “Until the war was over, I mean, because at that point what use would the humans have for us, or us for them? We’d have gone our separate ways and been glad of it. But Jorick had to become involved and it failed spectacularly, just like everything else.”

He fell into a disgruntled silence and tried for the thousandth time not to blame Jorick and Katelina for the Executioners’ appearance at his house. There was no proof that they’d been followed, in fact there was evidence to the contrary. But the suspicion was still there like a dark seed wanting only a little food to grow. They’d arrived at his house, seeking sanctuary, and only days later the Executioners had come. Jesslynn had trusted the children to her – to that human – and look what protection she had offered them! Katelina couldn’t save herself, how had Jesslynn expected her to save Alexander and Tristan?

”I am sorry that Oren-sama has faced so many difficulties. It must be hard to have suffered so many setbacks and unjust punishments.”

Oren jolted and turned in his chair to stare at her. In the months since everything had collapsed, no one had bothered to say that. “Well, yes.” He cleared his throat. “It has been… er… difficult, of course. There are… erm… difficulties…”

“I think Oren-sama is very brave,” Etsuko said admiringly. “To have faced such darkness and conquered it takes great strength.”

Conquered? “Um, well, yes…” He couldn’t find any intelligent words. If one asked Jorick or the others, conquered would be the last word they’d use. Even he wouldn’t say he’d conquered the darkness. Perhaps something more like “been overwhelmed by”.

Etsuko continued, “Add to that the running of Oren-sama’s coven, and leading two battles, one against The Guild of the United States. That must have been very challenging.”

He tried to hide his surprise at her comments. No one had noticed how hard it had been. “Well, yes, it was challenging, actually. There was a lot of fighting among themselves. Trying to force everyone to cooperate, even for the briefest of moments, was more of a struggle than a one man war would have been.”

“I am sure that Oren-sama met the challenge bravely. A vampire of his many years will have learned great wisdom.”

Wisdom? He gave a strange little cough and for lack of a better reply managed to say, “Yes, quite.”

Concern crossed her face at his strange reaction. “I hope Oren-sama does not mind my saying so? I do not wish to be impolite or rudely familiar.”

“No, no, of course not. It’s… fine.” He gave another odd cough, as if trying to force intelligent words through the shock. It didn’t help.

“I am glad. I do not wish to be offensive. I know that Maeko-sama would also be upset if she thought that I was being rude.”

Oren seized the change of topic. “Yes. Maeko. Speaking of her, are you sure you wouldn’t rather have stayed in Japan with her?”

“I appreciate Oren-sama’s concern, though I believe that this is where I am fated to be.”

He couldn’t argue with fate, or even imagined fate, so he turned back to the seascape and tried to pretend that she wasn’t still back there. He waited a moment, and then pressed lightly until the pittering-pattering rise and fall of her thoughts echoed in his ears. They trundled along, still in Japanese, and he let them go.

It’s just as well, he reminded himself. Did he really want to know what strange things she thought about?

She was right about one thing, though. Managing all of that – the covens, the alliances, the battles – had been difficult, especially considering the lack of help. After Jesslynn’s death, he’d counted on Jorick to take her place as the real commander and let him remain as the puppet, but Jorick had been too busy with Katelina to be of any real assistance, and then his sister… Just thinking about Torina and her never ending demands was enough to twist a sour expression across his face. She was his sibling, and he would always care for her, but that didn’t mean he should continue to tolerate her princess attitudes. She’d been spoiled for over two hundred years, and though he’d ignored Jesslynn’s demands that he “make Torina behave”, he suddenly felt that someone should at least try. It was time she remembered who had turned her into a vampire, and who led the coven.

“Yes,” he thought. “It’s time she learned to appreciate her position.”

And as soon as things got back to normal, she was going to.

Look for #4 next week, and don’t forget that book 6: Children of Shadows will be available March 15, 2014. You can pre-order it at Barnes & Noble & Apple iTunes

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Prologue 5: Oren, Torina, Micah & Loren

With the release of Heart of the Raven looming, it’s time to meet the characters! But why just read a stale bio, when you can have a flash-fiction introduction? These take place the day before Heart of the Raven begins. Think of them as mini prologues. They will not appear in the book and this is the only place you can read them. Enjoy!

oren

January 10th
An old farmhouse
Somewhere in Northern Missouri

The house was old, empty and abandoned. With no electricity and no water. Truthfully, it was no worse than some of the dens Oren and his war coven had stayed in, but he’d been busy then, planning, arranging. He’d been occupied. Now all he had to do was sit and wait.

Oren stiffened as the sound of a car drew closer. He searched for a weapon and, finding nothing in the empty room, dropped into a defensive stance. The note Jorick left at the old den had been too obvious. The Executioners were coming.

The motor cut off and car doors opened. Oren narrowed his eyes and reached out with his mind to find three of them. He pressed further against their mental walls and one of them gave way. It was Loren. Through the teen’s thoughts he could see his companions: the bald, tattooed Micah and his own redheaded sister, Torina.

Oren relaxed. So the note had worked the way Jorick planned. Of course. Everything always worked the way Jorick planned it to.

His irritation disappeared when the door opened and Micah came through it, stomping dirty snow from his boots. Loren followed, and Torina inched her way in behind them, frowning and shaking the muck from her expensive heeled shoes.

Micah’s eyes landed on Oren and he bellowed, “Well look what we found, skulking in the middle of bum fuck nowhere.”

Torina was instantly animated. She pushed past her companions and stormed towards him, her manicured hands in fists. “Where the hell have you been? We thought you were dead!”

“Perhaps it would be better if I was,” Oren muttered, more from habit than conviction. He could see the tears that gathered in the corners of his sister’s eyes and thought about what Jorick had said.

“… Jesslynn is dead, your children are dead, but your sister is alive. If you don’t want to live for yourself then live for her. The time has come for you to pick yourself up from the ashes and start over. You have wallowed enough! Mourn Jesslynn, miss her, long for her even, but do not waste both my time and Torina’s by following her to the grave. Remember what you have left and be grateful for it!”

She raised a hand as though to slap him. Her fingers trembled and then she dropped her hand and shouted, “Don’t you ever do that again or I’ll kill you myself!”

She straightened her shoulders and spun away from him. Her eyes moved around the dark, empty rooms and she shuddered, “I’ve put up with some lousy dens, but this is ridiculous! The war is over! You can’t expect me to keep living in these rat holes! I’m used to better!”

“Who’s a spoiled princess?” Micah asked and snorted. She glared at him and he laughed. “We could go stay at pipsqueak’s house.”

Loren shrugged. “Yeah, I guess.”

Oren debated on whether to include them in his plans or not. He’d planned to take Torina with him, but the other two… Why not? Who else was there? His previous coven, the one he’d managed for years with his wife, was disbanded and scattered. Those that weren’t dead had no intention of returning, and those who were couldn’t. Loren and Micah were idiots to be sure, but they were idiots who’d gleefully joined in the fight, even when those he relied on were less enthusiastic.

He cleared his throat loudly. “Actually, we have some where to go.”

loren-micah-torina

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Next Big Thing Revisited – Hijacked by Oren

I am taking over this blog

Hello, Oren here. Joleene has been tagged again on the Next Big Thing by Paige Addams and I thought what the heck, everyone else has stolen a day on her blog, so I might as well. Speaking of Paige, if you haven’t checked her blog, you should. It’s paranormal, so you paranormal people will love it.

1) What is the title of your book?

Heart of the Raven – the unfinished saga. I made the last part up, but it seems to fit. Seriously, our author has dragged this out for months.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

It’s a series, so she had to write the next one, I guess. But she doesn’t plan things out, or make those professional outlines, she just hacks at the keyboard and plays on FaceSpace or TwitBook or whatever it is. Then she’ll hack a bit more and then wander away again. I think she may be stealing ideas from those sites, then when she’s coasted as far as she can on them, she has to go back and steal more. She’s even been so pathetic that she’s asked us for ideas and we’re supposed to be her characters.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Sickeningly, I imagine it’s a paranormal romance, just like the others. There’s too much of Jorick and Katelina oozing all over one another for it to be anything of substance.

4) Which actors/actresses would you choose to play your characters in a movie?

I believe this has been done before with the main characters, so I am going to take a moment to introduce you to some of the new ones – as if we needed more! Also, since we all know that the best our author could hope for is hack animation, I am instead choosing “Which animated characters could play the characters in a movie”. Not being a fan of such things, I base this on looks alone.

Cyprus (He’s a new Executioner) played by Cheshire Cat from Are You Alice (we’d have to lob off his ears, though)

Wolfe (He’s one of the German Executioners. I don’t like him.) Socom from Scrapped Princess

Sadihra/Zadihra (Another German Executioner whose name is up for debate) Beatrice ‘Bice’ Castiglioni from Umineko no Naku Koro ni (though she’d have to put a few pounds on)

Maeko (She’s, erm… well… she’s too enthusiastic for my taste) Yuuki Hankusu from Memoria

Hikaru (I’m not entirely sure what he does or who he is except that he’s attached to Maeko) played by  Haji from Blood + 

Etsuko (She’s a human that… well, let’s say she’s bothersome) Beniwo Nanatsuki from Caucasus ~Nanatsuki no Nie~

All right, I’m bored with this.

5) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

She is (supposedly) still plugging away.

6) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I don’t know. It isn’t the sort of thing I read. you’d have to ask Jorick, or Katelina. I imagine she reads trashy vampire books.

7) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Our illustrious author claims that her “fans” are “dying” for it, but I can’t really imagine her having any, so that leaves it down to Verchiel’s petition. Yes, the annoying lunatic actually managed to get a handful of signatures from characters begging for the series to continue. Mainly it’s those she hasn’t tortured enough, yet. Personally, I’ve had my fill and I’m ready to drop out now. I suspect from the looks of things she intends to drag out my torment for some time. Oh joy.

And with that I have completed my amazingly lazy author’s tag. Since I have no idea which of her friends would be suitable targets – I mean, suitable tagees, I shall simply say, If you’re interested then please join in. It’s a lot of… erm… fun. Now If you’ll excuse me, I believe she may actually need me for a scene. (Miracles do happen!)

Casting Call by Jonathan Harvey

Ha ha! I was doing some random google searches the other night and I ran into this old post by Jonathan Harvey that I wanted to share. Yeah, I am just going to steal it (images and all) and post it here because Jonathan is so cool he won’t care. You can see his original on his now abandoned MySpace though, and if you want to catch up with him he has a blog he occasionally posts in, a book he’s published called Shades of Plaid, and he writes the Terrible Turtle Conspiracy web comic.

**********

If you are looking for a book featuring Commando Cows of the Undead that fly around drinking blood from the udders of farm cows while dispatching bulls using submachine guns with extreme prejudice, then Shades of Gray by Joleene Naylor is definitely the wrong book. Shades of Gray is a delightfully gruesome paranormal romance that takes place during the dreaded war between vampire covens. The story’s heroine, Katelina, finds herself inexplicably caught up in a world of vampires. Not only does the poor woman have to grapple with the knowledge that vampires are real and that they want to kill her, but she also has to come to terms that the one who is sworn to protect her is a vampire himself.

Shades of Gray grabs the reader’s attention and keeps it throughout the course of the book. The story is well paced and well written. I was particularly fond of the villainy in the book. The characters were well developed. The book had a good balance of action and romance and the gore was at acceptable levels for a book of it type. I greatly enjoyed reading Shades of Gray and I am looking forward to reading the next book of the Amaranthine Series.

Now for the fun stuff! If they were to make a movie of Shades of Gray, who should be in it?

Jorick : The handsome vampire hero who protects Katelina! I’m thinking a dark haired Legolas, Orlando Bloom (Pirates of the Caribbean, The Lord of the Rings) should play Jorick.

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Katelina:  The main character of the story.  In the book the vamps are constantly putting her down for being plain.  This is a movie, so she should at least be pretty.  She should be pretty, but not overly sexy.  I chose Elisabeth Röhm (Heroes, Angel) she’s pretty not too young and she knows her way around science fiction.

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Oren is a friend of Jorick who loses most of his family during the Coven Wars.  He sticks with Jorick through the end.  He is the blond vampire.  For him I think we should cast Brad Pitt (Mr. & Mrs. Smith, An Interview with a Vampire).  He’s played a vampire before.  He was okay, I think he would make a decent Oren.

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Torina is Oren’s Sister.  She’s the sexy, red headed, femme fatale type.  I was thinking it would be cool to see Nikki Cox (Unhappily Ever After, Nikki) play this vamp.

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Jesslynn is the wife of Oren.  She is a proud dark haired and dangerous vampire coven queen.  I chose Angelina Jolie (Wanted, Tomb Raider) for this part.  She has the look and she works well with Brad Pitt.

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Kateesha is a treacherous and villainous vampire temptress whose alliances are questionable.  I  chose Aaliyah (Queen of the Damned, Romeo Must Die).  I know it’s type casting, but she was so darned awesome in Queen of the Damned.

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Patrick was Katelina’s old lover.  He’s killed off before the story ever really gets started.  Still, there are enough flashbacks of him that I thought why not cast him.  I’m thinking, why not James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Smallville)

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Arowenia  is Claudius’s plaything.  She gets kidnapped.  She gets killed.  She is the catalyst to all this vampire unpleasantness.  Like Patrick she really has a small role.  So why not cast Leslie Bibb (Iron Man, Popular).  She’s young, pretty, and blonde.  What more do we need?

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 Claudius is the big bad of the book.  He’s the guy that has who is so upset about poor Arowenia being kidnapped that heads are going to roll.  Cast for this role is Gerard Butler (300, Law Abiding Citizen).  Because “This is Sparta!” just kidding.  It’s madness.

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Well there you have it.  Shades of Gray is all cast.  This might not make you want to read the book.  But heck, I think I’ll be first in line to see the movie.

 What do you think of Jonathan’s choices? Who would you pick to play the characters? And do you think I should take his advice and add undead cows (LOL!)?
 

Interview with Loren


 

Hello! My name is Micah and I’m from Joleene Naylor’s Amaranthine series. Using state of the art-mumbo-jumbo-author magic crap, Jo usually has Katelina interview other authors’ characters but now we’re finally interviewing fellow Amaranthians. Even better, the questions come from you, the readers!

Micah: I’d say I was filling in for Katelina, but frankly she hasn’t done most of these damned things. That Executioner twit with the red hair has probably done half of them.

Loren: And I did it last week!

M: My point. Anyway, today I’m interviewing this pipsqueak named Loren who has no taste in super heroes, by the way.

L: Yes I do! X-men rules!

M: Fuggedaboutit. Hulk would pound their sissy faces in. But enough of that. We got some new questions for you. Eh, let’s start with Sharon’s, “What does he want out of life (or undead life) now? Where does he see himself in 10, 50, 100 years?”

L: Yeah, just start with the hardest one, thanks! Hmmm. I don’t know. I never really thought about it. I guess I’ve just been kinda floating around, waiting for something to, I don’t know, drop from the sky or something. Wow. I need to think about that.

M: Don’t think too hard, huh? Okay, we’ll move on for now. From Sue, who, by the way, also comments that she really likes you-

L: Really? You mean I have a fan?

M: Yeah, evidently. Anyway, she asks, “Does it bother you that you’ll be a teen forever?”

L:  Nah. If you’ve ever played video games you’ll know that it’s always the teenagers who save the world. And it means I can scope out more chicks. Old dudes like this guy look creepy checking out a seventeen year old, but I can get away with it, and older ladies love young guys.

M: Really? Like you know anything about that shit.

L: I’ve had girlfriends! I had one chick stalk me in fact, so there.

M: Yeah, yeah. Sue also asks, “Do the big boy vampires treat you as a lesser vamp?”

L: Eh, not really. Well, Jorick does sometimes, but it’s not just me. He kinda treats everyone he likes that way – like they’re little kids and he’s their dad.

M: Well hell, you are a little kid. You’re like what? Twenty?

L: I’m over thirty!

M: Oh, excuse me, ancient one. *snickers*. Ah, I been there. I used to be the new kid on the block, and don’t think they didn’t all remind me.  You just gotta start hanging out with someone younger. But we got more questions. This one’s from Donna – I like her. She’s got good taste in characters. You shoulda seen her comment last week.

L: *rolls eyes* I did.

M: Hey, I didn’t say anything about you havin’ a fan, huh? Now where was I? Oh, yeah, “You seem to always get stuck baby-sitting Katelina. Does that make you feel like the lesser of the group?

L: Nah, I don’t mind it most of the time. I mean someone’s gotta keep an eye on her, you know? It makes me the last line of defense. Like if something happened to Jorick or whatever then I’d be all that was left. So it’s actually kind of a big thing. I think it means he trusts me – not just for that, but not to do anything to her. He doesn’t just leave her with anyone.

M: He sent her with me.

L: Only because I was there. He wouldn’t let you spend time alone with her. Especially not after all that stuff you said last week about making her into a real vampire.

M: Yeah, well, offer still stands. Speaking of Katelina, Sue wants to know, “Do you wish you could have a girl friend like Katelina some day? Would you care if she was human or not?” Fuck, I hope it’s a less annoying one that Lunch!

L: *looks uncomfortable* Well, um, yeah, I guess. I mean, sure, a girlfriend would be cool. And nah, I don’t care if they’re human or not. Maybe it’s better that way. Then it makes you the stronger one, you know? You get to be all manly and save her and stuff.

M: You’re just a little soppy-sappy romantic, aren’t you? Here’s another feely question. This one’s from Donna again, “do you still miss your parents? You lost them at so young an age.”

L:  Yeah, sometimes. If they hadn’t gotten killed then things woulda been really different, you know? I think about that sometimes. Ashton never would have started hanging out with Jessie and those guys, so he never would have been a vampire, so he never would have had to turn me…

M: And you’d have never met me. Depressing idea, huh? Well, Sharon wants to know, “What do hate about life as a vampire?”

L: The no sunlight thing blows, especially in the summer. I grew up on the beach; you know, swimming and the whole nine yards, and now I can’t go out in the daytime. Sure, I can do it at night, but it’s not the same thing. Also the food. I’d kill for a twinkie, dude! Or some mustard flavored pretzels.

M: Mustard and pretzels? Are you kidding me? Is that a real thing?

L:  Yeah. You get them out of vending machines.

M: Yuck! The only place mustard belongs is on a fuckin’ hot dog. Seriously, you modern people!

L: You sound like Jorick.

M: You didn’t just compare me to that prick, did you? Coz if you did…

L: What? Huh? You’ll ask me another question. *snickers* Our author told you that you had to be good or she’d pull the plug on the interview, so I’m not scared.

M: Oh yeah, hide behind the author. You wait ‘til this is over. Last question from Donna, “Who frightens you more – Micah or Jorick?” I can answer that one: Me, coz I’m a scary sumbitch.

L: Nah. Not really. I think Jorick’s scarier.

M: What the hell? First you compare me to him and now you’re saying he’s scarier?

L:  Sorry, but he is. You’re all noise, but he’s quiet. Your kind just punches someone in the nose and walks off. His kind takes a machine gun to the post office.

M: Yeah, he is kinda nuts, I guess. But I’m still scarier. All right, and here’s the last question of the interview and it’s from Barb, “You wanted to fight in Oren’s war so badly, do you still think this was such a good idea? Would you have waited?” Hell yeah it was a good idea!

L: I dunno. Jorick was kinda right about some things-

M: What the hell?

L: It was a lot… gorier than I thought it was gonna be. Watching it on TV is one thing, you know? But actually being in the middle of it with blood flying and people screaming…

M: You’re killing someone for cryin’ out loud. Of course it’s gonna be gory!

L: Yeah, I know. I guess… I dunno. I mean, I was there for Ashton when they… when Jessie and them killed him but… It’s kinda different when you’re doing it yourself. I don’t regret it, well, except for what happened there at the end. *looks at Micah* Are we allowed to do spoilers out of the newest book?

M: I dunno. Our “esteemed” author didn’t say nothin’ to me about it. But if you’re worried about it then just leave it at that.

L:  I just don’t want to spoil it for anyone. I hate when someone tells you the end of the book ahead of time.

M: Okay, okay. Well, I guess that’s it-

*POOF* the amazing author enters*

Jo: We have one last question.

M: No we don’t.  *waves paper* I asked them all.

Jo: Juli was a late entry. Here *hands Micah new paper* now be good or I’ll kill you off.

*POOF* the amazing author disappears*

M: What the fuck? Oh well, I like Juli, so I guess. I was kinda wondering why she hadn’t asked you anything. “Do you ever think about what you want to do with your future? You’ve got unlimited time on your hands, what are some of the things you’d like do?” Hah! Looks like you’re not getting out of this one!

L: I don’t know. It would be kinda cool to learn to play the guitar. We could make a vampire band.

M: That’s been done. Ever hear of Lestat?

L: Yeah, but he sang vampire music. We could just do regular music. I’m just saying, it’s something. I’d also like to get the top score in every game I own. How cool would that be? They’d all have LorIzTheShiz in the top spot. That’s my user name-

M: And you think Jorick’s nuts. Okay, enough of this. Next week is the last of these interviews, and someone will be interviewing Kateesha.

L: Not me! She scares the crap out of me!

M: Ah, she ain’t that scary, but I don’t feel like doing it, either. I can’t imagine Lunch handling it, all things considered.

L: *snickers* That would be kinda funny.

M: yeah, it would, wouldn’t it? My money is on Jorick or the redhead. Either way, we’re outta here. Come on pipsqueak, I’m gonna show you who really is the scariest mo’ fo’ around here.

If you’d like to leave questions for Kateesha, please check out this blog and leave them in the comments section. Thanks!

  

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Interview with Micah


 *Profanity warning (it’s Micah, are we surprised?)

Hello! My name is Loren and I’m from Joleene Naylor’s Amaranthine series. Using state of the art-mumbo-jumbo-author magic, Jo usually has Katelina interview other authors’ characters but now we’re finally interviewing fellow Amaranthian’s. Even better, the questions come from you, the readers! How cool is that?

Loren: As I mentioned, I am filling in for Katelina because I wanted to. It’s about time I got to do one of these interviews. That Verchiel guy has hogged way too many of them. Anyway, today I’m interviewing none other than… *drum roll noise* Micah!

Micah: Ta-da!

L: *snickers* So, you ready to answer questions because there’s a bunch of them… though some of them are kind of similar.

M: Lemme guess, it’s chicks wanting to know if I’m single, right. Well, honeys-

L: Um, no. Actually it’s kinda like… well… it’s mushy stuff. Not like romantic mushy stuff, but-

M: Oh, just spit it out, kid!

L: All right. Like Sharon asks, “What are you hiding behind all that macho bull shit? Who hurt you?”

M: Ah. *regains composure* Pfffttt. Who says anyone hurt me? I’m just macho, you know? I’ve always been pretty damn tough.

L: Well you had to be. After your master just dumped you like that.

M: Well… yeah. I was tough before that, though. But yeah. Look at that. Some weak ass punk woulda just rolled over and whimpered in the corner, but not me. No sir, I got off my ass and fuckin’ figured this shit out myself. You can’t always rely on someone else, ya know? They just let you down and, fuck, even if they don’t they won’t be around forever, anyway. I mean look what happened to Benjamin. Everyone thought he’d be around forever but no, he got whacked-

L: Who’s Benjamin?

M: What the fuck? Are you serious? He was this – he was this crazy vampire who owned a motel. We used to go play poker with him sometimes and he’d fucking take big ol’ swigs of booze and spit the shit in a bucket. Talk about disgusting! Jorick and them stashed Arowenia at his hotel and when the bitch pulled her shit-

L: Ah, he’s the guy who got killed.

M: Damn straight. He’s the reason I joined up with this pansy ass war in the first place. I wanted to beat the fuck outta that bitch for it!

L: That kinda goes with Donna’s question. “Your personality is so different from Jorick and Oren, so why do you hang around with them?”

M: Hey, yeah it is! I don’t hang out with them – fuckin’ ex-Executioner dog and his boy wonder. Eh, I suppose Oren ain’t all bad. He’s had some shit, you know? But I was hanging out with Herrick and Des and Benjamin and them until this mess. Des and Oren were buddies – or actually Torina and Des were, if you get my drift, and so he was helping Oren out, and that’s how Benjamin got dragged into it all. Since then I’ve just been enjoying the ride.

L: Amy asks, “Do you remember anything from “before?” You seem to be a pretty complex guy (the anger issues, along with the intense loyalty), makes me wonder what your human life was like.”

M: You want a biography, sweety, come see me after class *winks* Eh, I was living over in New Jersey in a shit town fixin’ bikes at Lo Dog’s shop. Dog was pretty all right and he was fuckin’ huge, man. Seriously, one look at him and you’d have shit yourself, he was that scary. Then some money went missin’ and a course since it was me, Dog and Dog’s piece of shit son Trick workin’ there, you know who got blamed. Wasn’t nothin’ new, though so I said fuck this and left town. That’s when I ran into him and got turned into this.

L: Juli says, “I’m fascinated by tattoos. There’s always a story behind the ink. What’s the story behind your tats?”

M: Now there’s a decent question! Well, see the mermaid over here, Left arm? She was the first. Fuck, I was seventeen and drunk outta my mind, so this guy Carl I was hanging with says to me, “you got virgin skin, we better fix that” and drags me to his uncle’s house, right? Well turned out his uncle was a tattoo guy. Well, he used to be. Lost his license over some bullshit. Anyway, so he did her. He also did this one here, right above her. See, it’s two moons, right? Like the crescent moon here on the bottom, then the full moon here on top, and then you can’t see the fuckin’ new moon, so there’s nothing for it. But it’s like the phases of the moon, coz even back then, man, the night time was way better than the fucking day time. Then this thing over here on my right arm that looks like a fire ball? Yeah, so I was working at this bottling plant, right, bottling soda. Well there was this idiot there – Curtis – fuck, can’t believe I remembered his name. Anyway, Carl and I had split by then so this dude Curtis says he can lay ink. Yeah, well guess what? He fucking couldn’t. Made such a mess I had to pay someone to try to cover it up and this was the best they could do with it. Not that he was much better. Shit. Carl’s uncle was way better than that clown.

L: What about the one on your face?

M: That was the last one I got. Lo Dog and I went in on my birthday and got this. It was like a fucking statement, you know? All these guys got these tear drops and shit, meaning that they killed someone or did time in prison, or whatever, like that makes them tough or some shit? Just coz they got one don’t mean they ever really killed no one, and just coz someone ain’t got one don’t mean they ain’t fucking killed a dozen people. So I say look at this shit and tell me what it means. It don’t mean shit. It’s just a bunch of wriggly weird symbols that some tat guy came up with. Though if someone asks me about it in a way that pisses me off I fucking tell them it’s part of the cult I’m in. *laughs* shuts ‘em up every time.

L: This seems like a good place for Sue’s question, “Not only who hurt you but why are you always so angry?”

M: Fuck, honey, I ain’t angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry! Ha! *pokes Loren* You ever see that? Incredible Hulk. Now that was the shit.

L: I dunno. I like X-men better.

M: X-men? No way! Too much whiny bullshit!

L: No there’s not! And Wolverine is way cooler than some huge green guy!

M: Huge green guy? Man, at least get the name right! Fuck, you got a lot to learn kid! But come on, what’s the next question.

L: All right! Jonathan says, “I bet deep down you are sensitive. It’s okay, but appearances are important, right?”

M: Sensitive. Pffft. Yeah, my ass is sensitive. What’s with this? First I got anger issues and now I’m sensitive!

L: That’s because you are. Deep down you’re like a widdle cuddly teddy *dodges fist* Call X-men whiny bullshit again, will ya, asshole!

M: Just get on with it, ya’ whussy-wolverine-lovin’ nit wit.

L: There is nothing wrong with Wolverine! He’s awesome! From Donna, “You are so kind to Loren. Have you adopted him as a little brother?”

M: I’m gonna un-adopt him in about three point o. Ah, what can I say. The little punk needs someone to look after him, and that prick Jorick ain’t doing such a good job.

L: Eh, Jorick’s not that bad.

M: Says you. I say he’s a royal douche. His type always are; know-it-all jack asses who think they can scare everyone off just by lordin’ over their great ancient fuckin’ age and their status. *in high squeaky voice* “Oh, look at me! I’m a thousand years old and I got a shiny necklace! Whoo-hoo! Run in fear!”

L: You better watch it. If Jorick hears that he’ll kick your ass.

M: Him and what army, huh? What else you got, boy?

L: I have one more from Donna, “Micah, you tease Katelina so much, but let’s face it, if given the chance you’d want to be the one to change her, wouldn’t you?”

M: Ha! Why not? As I said, Jorick can’t even manage this punk *points at Loren* and we’ve all seen what he did to Oren. He’s got no idea how to raise a fledgling. Let me get my hands on Lunch for a month and I could turn her into a real vampire. You wouldn’t even recognize her when I was done, guaran-fucking-teed.

L: Uh, You better not let Jorick hear you saying that either.

M: *snorts* Like I said, him and what army? So that it, or what?

L: Yeah, that’s all of them.

M: Good deal. Then here’s where I say that we’ll see you next week when it’s Loren’s turn to sit in the hot seat and my turn to ask the questions.

L: Katelina’s not going to interview me?

M: Fuck no! It’s my turn, punk.

L: I’m not so sure that’s a good thing…

If you’d like to leave questions for Loren, please check out this blog and leave them in the comments section. Thanks!

  

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Interview with Torina


 

Hello! My name is Katelina and I’m from Joleene Naylor’s Amaranthine series. Using state of the art-mumbo-jumbo-author magic, Jo has had me interview other authors’ characters but now I’m finally going to interview my fellow Amaranthian’s. Even better, the questions come from you, the readers! So let’s get this party started!

Katelina: Today we are interviewing Torina, Oren’s slutty – erm, I mean… no, that’s what I mean. Oren’s slutty sister. Hello Torina, how nice of you to come.

Torina: I’m only here because our illustrious author promised me shoes. Lots of shoes.

K: Right. Well let’s get on with it then, shall we? Unbelievably, people actually want to know things about you. Let’s start with Sue, “You’re such a slut. Were you one when you were alive too?”

T: Aww, is that jealousy you’re both oozing? I can’t help that I was born with certain God-given charms, now can I? And I prefer the phrase “woman of adventure” to “slut”, thank you very much.

K: I’m guessing that’s a yes. And while we’re on that topic, Amy asks, “I have only one question, and a burning question at that…Micah or Loren??? (Loren, please! Make a man out of that poor boy!)” Oh brothers…

T: *laughs* Now that would be telling, wouldn’t it. *winks* In all truth either one might be fun for a moment, but Loren would be the kind to cling afterwards. His kind always do; the nice-guy, momma’s boys. They get their first taste of real sex and can’t let go because it’s all wrapped up in romantic idealism. Micah on the other hand… well, he’s just an animal. *smirks*

K: *rolls eyes* I can’t believe I’m listening to this!

T: you could have let Jorick do this interview, you know. You’ve flaked on some of the others.

K: *mutters* Over my dead body. *ahem* Next question comes from… I think we’ll skip that.

T: *grabs paper* Oh! I see! *delighted laugh* From Sue, “What did happen between you and Jorick?” Let’s just say I’ve been there and done that. *smirks at Katelina’s outrage* Oh, come on, ice queen, you can’t really imagine he was a virgin when you got him? He wasn’t even one when I did. *waves hand haughtily* It was brief, though. It was after I’d been turned. He was nice enough, but he’s so grim and serious. Who can stand that for long? Present company excepted, of course.

K: *grabs paper back* You better watch it-

T: Or what? I’d be interested to see what you’d do without Jorick here to bail you out. *snickers*

K: I’ll show you – you, you, slutty, trampy-

*Verchiel saunters in*

Verchiel: Well hello, ladies. Do I smell a cat fight? I wouldn’t want to miss that!

K: Oh go away! I’m trying to do an interview.

V: Then perhaps you should ask some questions. *snatches the paper* From Donna – awww! Hello there, Donna, dear! *waves*. Anyway, she says, “Have you ever been in love and wanted to devote yourself to just one person?”

T: Pffffpt. Once. Long ago.

V: That wasn’t a very good answer, you know. She really deserves more details.

T: *rolls eyes* His name was Armus… He… I turned him myself, my only fledgling. Yes, sad, I know. We were… happy for ten years and then Kateesha… She claimed she caught my Armus with Shawnine, a cheap, lowly, hussy that Kateesha had taken up with. I never believed it but Kateesha… She pushed the issue and eventually exacted her ‘revenge’. She had him burned, if you can believe it. So cliché.

K: I’m surprised you didn’t just join in with him and Shawnine.

T: That would have been impossible since, as I said, Kateesha fabricated the entire thing. I imagine she made advances that he rejected. She was always such a vain bitch that she couldn’t handle rejection. But enough of that. Next question, Verchiel, dear.

K: *jerks paper back* I’m doing this interview!  From Juli, “Do you ever think about striking out on your own? I know you care about your brother and you owe him a great deal, (plus you probably still have a blood debt to fulfill)…but do you ever think about creating your own coven? What fears are perhaps holding you back?”

T: Oh, it’s not fear, just too much work. You have to organize everyone and repair all the little squabbles and ugh! I watched all the work Jesslynn did, and no thank you, honey! Oren can play coven leader and handle all the boring garbage. I much prefer to worry about myself. It isn’t as if I don’t make sure that I get what I want now that Jesslynn’s gone.

V: You don’t seem very broken up about that.

T: Should I be? You forget, she was my sister-in-law. They don’t improve with age.

K: This is also from Juli, “I sometimes think you were born in the wrong time period, and perhaps live in the wrong area. The way I see it, you’re more of a glitzy, “Sex in the City” sort of vampire. You seem like the kind of gal who craves passion and adventure rather than hanging out in the sticks. Am I right?”

T: Yes and no. There is one advantage to being in the wrong place; you’re the only one of your kind. Much less competition. Not that I need to worry about competition, but, you know…

V: You don’t need to be faster than the bear, just faster than the people you’re with.

T: Exactly. *winks* I had no idea you were so smart. Why do you waste your time hanging around that annoying little human?

K: *ahem!* from Donna, “Torina, how can you dress as you do and battle too? Wouldn’t it be easier not to be so dressed up?”

T: Maybe. I wouldn’t know, I’ve never tried it. When I was human women dressed to the teeth – layers and layers! – just to go to the garden! I guess I never got out of the habit. Unlike some people *coughs and looks at Katelina*

K: Excuse me if I dress like a normal person!

T: I’d use the word ordinary, but whatever.

V: *ahem* Donna has one more question, ladies. “I felt so sorry for you in ‘Ashes of Deceit’, but you are feeling better now that you had the news about Oren, aren’t you?”

T: *looks uncomfortable* Well… yes… of course… *clears throat*

V: It’s all right, I think we all understand. *pats her hand*. There is one final question from Juli – with no e – hello there, Juli! *winks* She says, “Oh! And the stories you could tell! I can only imagine. Would you care to share something juicy? I’d love to hear it!!!”

K: Well I wouldn’t!

T: No one asked you, dear. Though since you’re so over sensitive I’ll keep the stories about Jorick to myself. Oh! I know one! You might remember Jesslynn’s brother, Fabian? One evening Jesslynn had a party, I think it may have been Oren’s birthday. I don’t remember now what she did or said, but she made me angry, so I found it quite amusing to drag her “precious little brother” into the basement where I had my wicked way with him in Jesslynn’s coffin! Ha! Of course once the initial rush faded he was suddenly terrified she’d find out. Naturally she would not approve. It wasn’t her fault, she was always so plain and rigid and boring, I suppose. Nor his that he was so fussy. Someone described him as a yapping Chihuahua and that fits him perfectly. He was always fussing about this or that. But, I derived great pleasure for several months in taking him to the basement whenever Jesslynn annoyed me. *laughs* I can still see the look on her face when she found out! Oh! It was beautiful – pinched and sour and furious! Ha! Of course it was Fabian’s fault. He got too excited and made a mess. And Jesslynn would have to have a velvet lined coffin. Have you tried to get blood out of velvet? This was before all the fancy cleaners and convenient chemicals. When she saw it she demanded to know where it came from and I took great pleasure in telling her.

V: *tsk*tsk* You are naughty.

T: Why don’t you come with me and I’ll show you just how naughty I can be. In fact, I think I’ve been a very, very bad girl and need an Executioner to punish me. Thoroughly.

K: Oh my God. I think I may throw up. How can you say that crap with a straight face?

T: You should try it, dear. You’ll find that men like it.

V: *snickers* Speaking of things men like, you were saying? I think I have a window in my schedule right about… now. And I’d be more than happy to punish you until you repent of your wicked, wicked ways.

K: Ugh. You’re both disgusting.  Just go! I’m sick of this interview already! And speaking of interviews, next week we’ll interview Micah. That should be something to look forward to!

If you’d like to leave questions for Micah, please check out this blog and leave them in the comments section. Thanks!

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Jesslynn now on Smashwords!

The tenth Vampire Morsel, Jesslynn, is now available as a free read on Smashwords.com.

Short Story. Not for children. Part of a collection called Vampire Morsels about vampires from the Amaranthine universe. When Jesslynn’s baby gets sick, she sees only way to save him; by discovering whatever dark ritual keeps their neighbor, Jorick, healthy and eternally young. She gets more than she bargained for. 

It’s still pending approval for the extended distribution, but once it is approved it will filter through to Barnes & Noble, Kobo, etc.  Ashes of Deceit got approved quickly, so hopefully only a couple of weeks.

This is the last freebie I will post for awhile because later this month I will publish the Vampire Morsels collection featuring all seventeen stories in one book.  And, yes, I am going to charge for it, which means Amazon will finally get the Morsels. 😉

 

COMING SOON!

Interview with Jamie


 

Hello! My name is Katelina and I’m from Joleene Naylor’s Amaranthine series. Using state of the art-mumbo-jumbo-author magic, Jo has had me interview other authors’ characters but now I’m finally going to interview my fellow Amaranthian’s. Even better, the questions come from you, the readers! So let’s get this party started!

Katelina: Today we are interviewing Jamie, one of the Executioners. He was a write in vote, but he got voted for none the less, so here he is. Hello, Jamie, thank you for stopping in.

Jamie: Hello.

K: Though we only had a couple of people ask questions, we got a LOT of questions, so we’d better get started.  Bonnie and Donna both asked “Why are you an Executioner?”

J: Someone must be one. Originally Malick recruited only those whose skillset was similar to his own, and as I am also a whisperer, he recruited it me. It never occurred to me to say no.

K: Of course it didn’t. *under breath* Perfect Executioner material. *louder* Bonnie asks, “You don’t seem to be as nasty to humans as some of the others, why is that?”

J: I see no need to apply extraneous force. There are those who need to prove themselves and their own worth, basically to prove that they are strong enough to be in the position they’re in. I don’t need to prove anything.

K: I can think of someone who uses extraneous force. Speaking of your fellow Executioners, Bonnie also asks, “Who is your favorite Executioner to work with? Your least favorite?”

J: Of all time? There have been changes to the “line up”, if you will. For instance Bren was never a favorite of mine, and neither is Greneth. They remind me of one another.  Kateesha was also very troublesome to work with. As for my favorite… If I could choose a partner for an assignment  I suppose it would be Ark. However, of all the Executioners, Bryn was the one I was fondest of.

K: What happened to him – or her?

J: He died. Senya replaced him.

K: Ah. I can tell you, she is my least favorite of them all. Bonnie also asks, “What did you think of Malick?”

J: What does anyone think of Malick? He simply is.

K: Simply is a sadistic lunatic, you mean!

J: He’s very old. With age comes…

K: Insanity?

J: A certain attitude. The longer you live, the more superior you feel to everyone and everything.

K: That’s putting it mildly. All right, from Donna, “do you ever hate the way everyone seems to favor or center on Jorick?”

J: No. Malick favors him, obviously, because he is like his son, and he has a certain “legend” quality because he was the first Executioner in the New World, he and Kateesha, that is, and of all of us he is the oldest. He was older even than she was. A vampire who lives a long time is one thing, perhaps they have spent their life, as Malick does, sitting in the background and allowing others to face danger. But a vampire who fights and has lived a long time is something else. It means that they have beaten all of their opponents.  Not to mention that Jorick has a certain grim attitude, which lends itself well to the job.

K: I thought you were as old as he is? As Bonnie asks, “How old are you?”

J: No, there is nearly a century between us. I was turned in 1650 and he is the late 1500’s, if I remember correctly.

K: Um, yes, something like that. Bonnie is full of questions, it seems. “Who turned you? Was your master kind or cruel?”

J: She is full of questions. It was my sister Caitrin. She was turned by her husband, whose name I’ve forgotten. We all fell under the “ownership” of a vampire who called himself Eagan. He was neither particularly cruel nor kind, like many, he simply was. It was to him we paid our blood debt. When mine was finished, I left for America, though my sister stayed behind.

K:  And as Bonnie asks, “When did you come to America?”

J: 1668, if I recall. Or somewhere very near to that.

K: So you were here awhile before you became a… before you joined Malick?

J: Yes. It was… 1715, when I joined them? Yes, I think that’s correct, it was the year Carolina went to war with some group of Indians or another – sorry, I believe it is Native Americans, now, isn’t it?

K: Yeah, that’s the PC term.

J: PC?

K: Politically correct.

J: How interesting that it’s so used it needs to be abbreviated.

K: Um… right. Anyway, the last several questions kind of go together. Donna asks, “Is there someone you love?”

J: If you mean am I in a romantic relationship, then no.

K: I don’t think that was exactly what the question was. But all right. Bonnie asks, “Have you ever been married? If so, how many times?”

J: Yes. Once.

K: I don’t suppose there’s more coming? *waits, but nothing happens* All right. Then here’s the last question from Bonnie, “Have you ever considered having a human as a lover?”

J: *clears throat* Why are you asking?

K: No! It’s not me! I already said it’s Bonnie!

J: Of course it is. *clears throat again* Where is Jorick, again?

K: No! You have the wrong idea! I swear! It’s – oh just forget it! Never mind.  Thanks to Bonnie and Donna for their questions and to everyone for reading! Next week we’ll interview Torina. That should be something to look forward to!

If you’d like to leave questions for Torina, please check out this blog and leave them in the comments section. Thanks!

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Interview with Malick


 

Hello! My name is Jorick and I’m from Joleene Naylor’s Amaranthine series. Using state of the art-mumbo-jumbo-author magic, Jo normally has Katelina interview other authors’ characters but now we’re interviewing fellow Amaranthian’s with questions that come from you, the readers.

Today I am filling in for Katelina because we are interviewing Malick, and she didn’t feel up to the task. his interview is suspiciously well timed, as the fourth book, Ashes of Deceit, has just been released, and guess who is on the cover?

Jo: *interrupts* I would like to note that I have “capped” Malick’s special abilities for the space of this interview, so no one needs to worry about having their brains melted or anything. Being an author I can do that.Also, it was just luck that his interview was today. Okay, back to you, Jorick.

Jorick: MmHmm. Yes. Thank you. As I was saying, I am interviewing Malick, who is the head of the North American Guild.

Malick: And also your master, I believe. It is interesting that you neglected to mention this.

J: It didn’t seem important. These things drag on long enough without superfluous conversation.

M: You do not enjoy your moments in the lime light? Your chance to speak, unrestrained, and give out your version of all events? Ah! But I suppose the novels already carry your version, don’t they? So perhaps it is unnecessary.

J: There are questions for you. I suggest we get started. From Juli, “rumor has it that you’re ‘the oldest vampire in North America.’ I’m curious, what century were you turned in?”

M: Ahh! The curiosity of the young! So refreshing. You have asked for a century, my child, but I can give you better. It was in the sixth year of Nabonidus. Though perhaps by your modern dating conventions that does not tell so much. I imagine that you would say that it was between 600 and 500 BC. The exact date in your calendar eludes me.

J: From Bonnie, “Are the vampires in Munich older or stronger than you are?”

M: Ah! Munich and the True Council. Such an interesting question, as I do not believe the esteemed author has shown it to you yet. I understand that she plans to in the next volume. Are they older than I? Perhaps. As for strength, who can say. The contest would be a worthy one, assuming any of the ancient masters would stir from their slumber of indifference long enough to give one.

J: *clears throat* Yes. Moving on, another question from Juli, “Would you please tell us about the circumstances in which you were turned and a little about your sire. Is your sire still alive?”

M: An inquisitive mind, this Juli. How interesting. I have not spoken of my “sire” in many centuries. His appearance was of a beautiful youth, you would perhaps go so far as to call him a child by the standards of this time, but his age exceeded my own by nearly two hundred years. He had wearied of the company of those whose outward appearance matched his own, and so looked upon me as a nearer equal. When necessary, we passed ourselves as an old slave and young master, but as time progressed we turned to the more practical charade of father and son. As to his current existence, I could not say. If the rumors were true, then he is dead and has been for over a thousand years.

J: A final question from Juli, “It must be difficult to form friendships/relationships, when everyone around you is SOOOO much younger than yourself. You must feel as though you’re surrounded by “children” by comparison! Do you have anyone in your life that you can turn to, someone that you would consider a confidant or a friend?”

M: How very astute! Ah, but to have friends, child, one must have equals, and those are harder to find.

J: This question comes from Roger. “Don’t you ever get tired of blood? How about nice well done steak with chilli sauce?”

M: *laughs* A sense of humor, I see. How delightful. I can tell that he has never enjoyed the subtle bouquets of a well lived life. Can there be nothing better? For each person’s blood is as unique as they; teaming with their experiences, their turmoil, their fears, desires, the flavor of their environment. If one were tired of such a meal, it could only be because they have forgotten how to enjoy it.

J: As you say. Next is-

M: You seem to be in a rush, my son. Have you no comments to make? No witty banter to fit the spaces between the questions?

J: Not particularly, no.

M: Then why, I wonder, have you been sent to conduct this interview at all? Could I not have read the questions myself?

J: Yes. I suppose our… author wanted to make sure you didn’t skip any.

M: Did she? How interesting. I wonder which topics she felt I might shy away from? The question Bonnie asked about Kateesha, perhaps? Yes, let us have that one next.

J: *makes sound of annoyance* from Bonnie, “Did you and Kateesha have a thing going?”

M: “a thing”. What an interesting choice of words, Bonnie! Though you have not been specific, I can see clearly what you mean. No, we did not have the kind of romantic relationship you are imagining. I had hoped that Jorick would supply that for her.

J: You knew how I felt about her! A relationship of any kind with her would have been impossible!

M: *laughs lightly* Ah! How you like to pretend now! But you did not always spurn her advances so hotly. You have many virtues, my son, but chastity is not one of those. I believe this will lead nicely into the next question?

J: *growls low in throat* Also from Bonnie, “Why did you choose to turn Jorick?”

M: Aha! Even at an interview for another, it is Jorick who is the topic of interest! But I digress. The decision to give him immortality was not made lightly, for it should not be. Only the best and most interesting should be handed such a prize.  Look at him. Is he not beautiful? It was this that first caught my attention, but so many have been beautiful before and found wanting in other aspects. When I first clapped eyes on him, he was, of course, ignorant after the fashion of his people. Peasant stock, you might call him, but his lack of formal education did not diminish the intelligence that shone through his eyes. The potential was there. He lacked only the hand to guide his mind to the paths of knowledge that he so craved. But it was not just knowledge that he wanted, for it is not the virtues that makes one an intriguing companion, but the faults. My son is greedy. He wants it all – everything. He wants knowledge, and power, and strength, and what he has is never enough. Though he spouts the wisdom of old ones and claims to have cooled through his misery, he has not. The passion still burns in him, the hunger for more – more of everything. It is not enough to have loved, he must love more – longer, more fiercely, more completely. It is not enough to be strong, he must be the strongest, he must be feared-

J: if I want to be feared it’s only so others will leave me in peace!

M: Even in that you are greedy, for you want both peace and life at the same time. The thrill, the excitement, and yet you wish to have it at no personal cost, with no sacrifice on your part. You, my son, are a mass of greedy contradictions and THAT is why, when you came to me, demanding in your fury that I give you my strength, I honored your request.

J: Enough! There is another question from Bonnie-

M: But you have skipped dear Donna’s question, have you not? I believe that it follows this stream of thought. Since you will not ask it, I shall do so myself. Donna has asked of me, “Will you ever truly let Jorick go? You still seem to have some hold on him.” My answer must be this, does any parent let go of their child completely? Is there not always a pull, caused by the common blood, even among those parent/child sets who would claim to hate one another? His original biology is thanks to another, but was it not I who raised him from peasant to something greater? In all but the most biological, I am his father, and so he will always remain tied to me in that inexplicable way that a son can never be free of his parents.

J:*through clenched teeth* I am not tied-

M: Our dearest Donna has another question, it seems. Perhaps you would care to read it to me? Or shall I finish the interview on my own while you storm away in a fit of anger?

J: *growls* She wants to know what you think of the idiot.

M: I don’t believe that those were her exact words. “What do you think of Verchiel?” is her precise question, and an interesting one at that. Ah! Verchiel! What can one think of him? Just as I enjoy Jorick’s contradiction, so do I enjoy Verchiel’s seeming unpredictability. It is as if even he does not know what he will do from one moment to another, though there is more of a pattern than he thinks. I know which orders he will obey and which he will disobey, the interesting part is watching HOW he will do these things; how will he get from point a, to point b, as it were. Perhaps because of his mixed cultures, his mind is most intriguing.

J: He’s easy to predict. Just imagine the stupidest, most annoying, haphazard, imbecilic way of doing something, and that’s the path he’ll take.

M: You are unfair to him! Ah, but we all know why. Will you ask the next question?

J: I fail to see the obsession with the idiot, but Bonnie asks, “Why did you make Verchiel an Executioner when he is so unpredictable?”

M: For precisely that reason, my child. A little chaos is necessary if one wishes to maintain order, for just as you can not have light without dark, neither can there be discipline without its opposite. We are drawing to a close now, I see. But we have a final question.

J: It wasn’t for you. Barb wanted to ask it to Katelina-

M: And am I not equipped to answer it? Imagine even, that it is outside of my expertise, have I not seen her every thought and feeling, painted like figures on a sidewalk?

J: *growls low* I don’t think this is appropriate.

M: No, I imagine that you don’t. But I will answer it all the same. Barb has asked about sharing an intimate relationship with a vampire. She was kind enough to share a link (http://kenradaniels.com/2012/05/08/your-guide-to-sex-with-1/) and has asked, “-can [you] tell us if [Jo’s] vampires are like that?” Since the post it links to has a “checklist” of sorts, I shall do the same as it pertains to those living in the Amaranthine universe. I can not, however, speak for vampires in any other universe.

  • Point 1 – horny vampires bite – yes, this is true.
  • Point 2 – Vampires must be well fed or suffer a crisis of performance – yes and no. If you were to drain them dry, then the answer would be yes, however it is not necessary that they have fed immediately before, or even the same night of. It would be preferable for a human, however, for many reasons, one of which is that a hungry vampire is less likely to stop drinking.
  • Point 3 – the vampire’s bite is pleasurable – yes, of course it is, if this is what the vampire has in mind, which, during intimate associations, one would assume would be at the forefront of his or her intent.
  • Point 4 – vampires are pale and cold – they are paler, yes, but not necessarily white. I am not white. I was not white in mortal life, and so I am not so in immortality, either. The cold, however, is true unless they have fed on warm blood. Once they’ve fed, they’ll hold the warmth for several hours.
  • Point 5 – vampires have increased stamina – I imagine so. Especially since it is not even necessary, for a vampire, to have the traditional “sexual contact” in order to have what is, in effect, sex. This leads back to points 1 and 3, as the sharing of the blood (or drinking of the blood if it does not go both ways) and the mental and para-physical connection are the actual ‘sexual act’ itself, while the more traditional physically “sexual” contact is superfluous and could even be viewed in the same light as “foreplay” – merely there to add to what is already taking place, or will take place.

J: I think that’s enough. You’ve answer the question… thoroughly. Thank you to our readers. Next week we’ll interview Jamie-

M: An odd choice. But, I believe he was a write in candidate, wasn’t he?

J: Yes. If you’re not sure who he is, he’s one of the Executioners. And with that we’re finished here. Hopefully I will NOT see you next week, and Katelina will return to her interviewing duties, or I’m going to demand a raise!

If you’d like to leave questions for Jamie, please check out this blog and leave them in the comments section. Thanks!


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  • 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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