The Art of You Part2

Parade America 169

 

 

 

 

 

 

He looked straight into the lens of my camera. I was several hundred feet away from the man and he still saw me. I gasped and turned in the opposite direction.

Now I had heard of these movie star types from Hollywood that loved coming to Idaho. And why wouldn’t they? There is a little of everything here. I mean, you walk ten steps in any direction and scenery changes from urban to rural, from mountains to desert, from prairies to bluffs. Everything is here in this little state except the ocean, so we have lakes instead. Wildlife is abundant and recreational land is generous.

I suppose it had just shocked me. It isn’t everyday that a man you see on the big screen, one who wins award after award and lives the big life just shows up on a boat dock in a small removed town. He just seemed so…out of place.

And were those his kids? My head screamed at me.

I let out my breath after finally realizing I had been holding it for a while. That was my cue to head back to my little apartment.

There was no way I was about to stow my camera now. If I could get a great shot or two, it would be worth some dollars for my collection. Nope, that baby was staying out the rest of my trip.

I passed the grocery store and stopped in for a salad and water. Of course, I wandered the aisles a while and chose a few things that probably were not the best for me. I didn’t really care that much.

The first thing I did was race out to the balcony and act as though I were just watching the scenery, but I was combing through all the people to see if he was still out there or if he had just been a figment of my imagination. There were no bodies on the docks in the marina any longer. I put my camera up to my eye and brought the beach into focus. I didn’t see him at all.

Fearing I was crazy, I walked back inside and pulled the drapes. I lowered the Murphy bed that sat snug in the wall until it sat firmly on the floor. Grabbing my camera and plopping my body down on the soft mattress, I hit the review button.

There he was. I could not have been crazy. There was no denying that this was the very sexy, very handsome actor I followed on the screen. Jack.

I sighed and dropped my camera to the mattress. I had one photo of him and it wasn’t the best. I knew I could do better. These pictures could pay my mortgage for several months!

I sat there and plotted in my head when I should wake up, where I should go first, and how I could track Mr. Movie Star down. He would never know I was there, my lens was that good. Except that he seemed to know when my camera had been pointed at him earlier, but that was purely a coincidence.

I laughed out loud at my own stupidity and fell over backwards on my pillow.

“Just work twice as hard, Ruby. You don’t need his photos,” I told myself.

The evening went by quickly, compliments to the television. I ate my salad on the balcony as I watched the sun set behind the mountains. Every few minutes I would snap another shot as the colors developed above the tree line. The surface of the water became like diamonds, glittering and sparkling at me. I shivered when the breeze tickled my skin and the heat from the sun dissipated for the day.

Leaving the sliding door open and closing the screen, I surfed the guide for a movie. I figured I would look to see if one of Jack’s movies was playing. There were a couple on, a superhero flick that was about over and a mushy romance of star crossed lovers. I plugged in the channel and sat back to enjoy the next couple of hours.

Taking out my phone, I sent a text message to my boys: Made it safe and sound. Love you guys.

I nearly jumped out of my skin when my phone buzzed a few minutes later: Cool. Luv u 2.

I smiled and plugged the thing in to charge.

I was running away. Finding it near impossible to move, I kept struggling just to put distance between myself and whatever was following me. It was just black. Just empty. It had no shape or identity, but I was quite afraid. Out of nowhere, a voice shouted out to me and grabbed my arm. I screamed and was moved roughly to the side as the blackness devoured everything. I looked over at the man who grabbed me and it was Jack. He spoke to me and I couldn’t understand his words. It was like he was speaking a different language. We slipped into a building, dark and deserted. He was still talking to me, his mouth moving and nothing coming out. I tried to read his lips but I just nodded in agreement instead. A loud crash sounded and he shouted out to me, taking my hand and running with me again. The blackness seemed to find me no matter where I went or how much I tried to hide from it. But every time it sought me out, Jack would grab my arm and take me down another path to another hiding place.

It was still dark when the lilting sound of the waves filled my head and I woke up. I wondered briefly where I was at and then it all came rushing back and my breathing returned to normal. Grabbing my phone, I hit the button on the face and it burst into light searing my retinas. I blinked to relieve them and focused on the time. It was only four in the morning. The sun wouldn’t even be peeking for another hour and a half at least. So I rolled over and closed my eyes in hopes that I would sleep again.

But alas, I merely tossed and turned until the sky began to lighten. That was when I slid out of bed and hopped in the shower. I dressed quickly and towel dried my hair a second time, letting it fall where it wanted to in the casual pixie cut that adorned my head. It was a lazy cut, but easy when being casual and fun when I wanted to be fancy.

It was then that I looked at myself in the mirror. Who was that old woman staring back at me? How could I have possibly changed so much in such a short amount of time? The youth in my features was being replaced with deeper lines around my eyes, rounded cheeks and a slight redness to my skin. Of anything, my eyes stayed the same, large orbs like the green of the ocean, twinkling and bright when I was happy, dull and dropping when I was sad. They hadn’t been very bright for a long time…so long, that I had forgotten what they looked like any other way than sad.

I sighed. All I could do was plaster my face with makeup. It was an improvement, but it would all sweat off by noon. I shook my head.

Feeling like I could start my day, I decided to head to the beach and snag some pictures of the sunrise.

I walked around to the Mile High Marina’s boardwalk and stumbled my way down the dock floating in the water. The sun was rising, the golden light of morning washing over the lake, the sand on the beach changing colors from a blue-gray to orange and then to gold. There were large puffy clouds drifting over the horizon that looked like vanilla pudding against the morning’s blue sky.

Closing my eyes, I breathed deeply of the fresh air, still just a tad chilly. Nowhere else on the planet could it possibly smell so clean. A boat’s motor roared to life somewhere in the maze of docks behind me and to my right. I spun in surprise, but I couldn’t tell which boat was going out. The waves started sloshing as the boat’s engine disturbed its calm.

Shoving my camera to my eye, I focused in on one boat and then another and another, until I saw a little movement aboard one vessel. Slowly, it started to back out of its resting place. It was a large boat with fancy yellow stripes on it that ended in smart swirls of happiness. There was a tall canopy of red over pristine white seats. As they came out of the no-wake zone, the boat suddenly lurched forward, the water crystal sheets coming off the bow, the sun catching the droplets in mid-air like jewels.

I heard myself laugh and set the camera to the action setting. Then, I pointed the lens at them and held the button down, listening to the sound of the click, click, click of the shutter as it took one photo after another.

It felt like the small town gave a stretch and a yawn and the inhabitants slowly began to crawl out into the glory of the summer morning. Butterflies fluttered about and the occasional bee buzzed by. I basked for hours before deciding I would go for a drive.

If you deserve it, I’m giving you the bird…

a bird in hand

It probably seems like I’m not here at all anymore. Truthfully, I have been pretty frustrated and left with a really bitter taste in my mouth.

I write because I love it. I don’t write for you to tell me how much I suck at it.

I write to clear my brain of the lives and stories that haunt it. I don’t write so that you can make me hate the human race because you are so stupid.

I write to motivate, to empower, to bring your emotions to the surface. I don’t write so that you can dismiss what I have to say like it didn’t take me an entire year to write that book.

Am I licking my wounds? Probably. Am I sick of fickle damn people who don’t know how to be constructive? Am I tired of other authors yapping about how much they want their own dreams to come true with their writing and won’t do a flipping thing for another author? Yep. I’m pissed.

Do I care if I ever write another book as long as I live? Not today. Even for as much as I love to write, my time is so precious to me. Most of the time, I spend more time with other writers’ work than my own and they have no idea the amount of time I lose on their behalf. I spend the extra hours to prepare my own work for all those people who are “dying” for a copy and then have none of them even read it.

So for any of you waiting for that last book in the Aspen Series…I will get to it when I can. When I feel the love. When I know my time means something to another soul on this planet.

I have given this several weeks to chill out and every time I go to get on here, I just get mad again. You know, I have read some pretty crappy stuff in my time and I’m sorry, but mine isn’t even THAT bad on a rough day. But since I don’t beat the daylights out of my characters for fun or have the brain for fantastical science fiction, my work is boring. My work is terrible. My characters are bi-polar. Well, I don’t think so…unless I’m bi-polar, because some of my characters are modeled after my self or people I know. Doesn’t mean we are twins, but we think the same. I put myself in the situations and react accordingly. So if my characters suck so bad, I suppose I’m a rotten person. I suppose I think irrationally. I suppose my own whirlwind romance with my husband means nothing except that I am desperate.

Well, I bite my thumb at all of you who get your pleasures out of being an absolute idiot! It isn’t my fault that you have absolutely no imagination or attention span to read a novel. Go back to the kiddie section and read those, but quit wasting my time with your BS.

In this world we live in, there is no “you scratch my back, I scratch yours”. It is “let me read your book and make it look so much worse than mine”! There is no “Hey! I went to school with you, I’ll read what you have to say”, it is more like “even though we are family, I think your dreams are dumb”. And there is no “Hey! I loved your characters and your story! Let me tell Amazon all about it!”, it is “Uhhh…people will make fun of me for liking and INDIE author, so yeah…no”.

You could say that I’m overreacting. But I feel that writers are subject to abuse no one could ever understand…except maybe actors/actresses. However, the words come from the writers. Actors just bring those words to life. Publishers are so under-appreciated, it is ridiculous! If you actually read my rant to the end, open a new tab and send your publisher, you know, the one who forfeits long hours day and night to read, format, and publish your work, and tell them how much you love them for it. That as an author, you won’t give up on the faith they had in you when they put out your book FOR YOU! Apologize if you were ever a total jerk to them and refused to do your part.

Nope, it is just better that I take the time to regroup. I have no clue how long that will take me. No one even takes the time, hardly, to even visit…if they seem to like it, they do so from the reader page. Well, that doesn’t count. But I do have to shout out to my buddy Arthur. He is about the only who gives a shit about anyone. Thanks Arthur Browne! Your support means the absolute world to me! 😀

Meet the Cast of the Aspen Series (Part 4)

RothanCover2updated

King Rothan is that person in your life who is very centered on themselves and truly believes that they serve others. He is respected by most because his title demands it. Most fear him and loathe him for his temper and his arrogance. When he sets his eye on a prize, there are very few things that can stop him.

I once dated a man, many years older than I, and he had a very jolly personality, loved life most of the time and knew what he wanted in life. He loved my boys and taught them things that I could not. I AM a girl, you know. In fact, I had never before ripped a worm in two and put them on hooks for fishing. Never until I met him and he spent that time with my sons. While I know he cared deeply for them, I feel that he did a lot of things to impress me. To make me think he was a different person than he was. You see, he loved his alcohol. That was his downfall and that ultimately led to me moving on with my life.

I did care about him, but he cared more for his drink than he did for me. When he yelled at me one night because I begged him to leave the beers alone, that was when I saw this very selfish side. He wanted his “trophy”, but he also wanted his life to go uninterrupted. I lost that battle to Budweiser.

Why do I tell you my sob story? Because that was how Rothan came to be. This man’s actions paved the way for this king who found his false happiness within himself. That can be a good thing and a bad thing. When you are so sufficient in comforting yourself, no matter how bad you want something, you can’t bring yourself to swallow that pride and reciprocate what others are giving you. For example, a man lived alone for ten years and kept the same routine each day. A stray puppy happens upon his stoop and he feels a pang of compassion so he lets the little guy in. The puppy gives him love and attention, wagging his tail when the man would come home and licking his face with adoration. The man merely shouts at the puppy and shuts him outside so he can continue to enjoy his peaceful evenings. He thought he would enjoy petting the animal and talking to him, but it was too much effort. One day, the puppy digs his way out of the backyard and disappears forever. The man shrugs his shoulders and tells himself that he is better off without the puppy anyway, that he doesn’t need anyone.

This is Rothan.

I was the only son of my parents, so I had no choice in what I would do as I grew older. This great city was not always called Farrin, mind you. I changed the name of the city when I married my beautiful bride. I named it for her.

But marrying Farrin was somewhat of a challenge for there were many who sought to become bound into a position of power and my father decided upon Farrin. I did love her. I think back to the years we had together and a warmth comes over me. Yes, I loved her.

The day she was taken from me was the day my life ended. I cared not for anyone or anything…even my own sons. I pushed them away from me emotionally because it hurt so much to feel anything. I sent my sons away to study and be educated with the most learned monks of our time. It was then that I learned to look at things differently. I was utterly alone in the world and I just did not care.

Farrin CasleIt felt like a lifetime passed, a certain gloom having settled about my great city,  and although I entertained those of noble blood, there were many around me who held such contempt for me! I took offense to their antics and my fist came down hard on the peasants that lined my pockets with their gold. I found that I could stretch my limitations with them and they would beg me for mercy, cowering before me like children and I loved it. I found myself often goading them just to see them squirming in desperation.

Everything lost its luster. My days felt bleak. I missed my Farrin.

And then it was on a pilgrimage that I happened to meet one soul who pulled my thoughts from the depths of Hell and showed me there was more out there. There was that light that could make you chase after it. I did chase. I ran and I ran until I was angry! That opportunity was taken from me by the most greedy, most obstinate lord of a southern village in MY territory. And like a fool, they lost the light. Snagged from right beneath his nose.

I felt something then. It was akin to the feeling I had when Farrin passed away. The despair and the panic gripped me and I did the only thing I could do; I banded with the very lord I despised. He was the only way we could be victorious. This man was not a fighter, he was not much of a leader either. He raped his own peasants because his title gave him a right to use any means necessary to govern his village. Most ruthless, I must say.

Ah, but alas, I found myself in quite the predicament and took up my sword to fight beside him. I will admit, I came to care for the bastard, I really did. However, he held something that belonged to me and I had to retrieve it. I began to put my plan, my very witty plan, into motion as we camped on the ground and ate off the land. For months, my mind turned, my eyes seeing the reward when it all came about.

War divides people. Where I was confident that I had allies, I had none. So, again, I was forced to do only what I could and that was to stand with the men that supported me and followed my orders. Everyone else, I cursed to Hell.

I remember seeing that gift before me…my hand outstretched with the sun on my rings nearly blinding me with its brilliance…That was the moment my heart began beating again and blood flowed through my veins at long last. My world became infused with color where before it had been void. Tears were falling and others around me wailed in sorrow, but I couldn’t stop until I secured what I had been after for so many years! I would not stop until my fingers closed around her, this one whom I played like a stringed marionette.

Rothan

I am not so sure what else to say on this man’s behalf. Rothan stands for all those people living lonely, shallow lives that don’t know how to care for others. They live in the moment, but always seek out those things which they desire. Look out! You might be the next conquest for another. There are more Rothans in this world than we could fathom. We see it on the news daily and we work with these kinds of people. We trust in them blindly and often get hurt by them. Guard your heart and don’t be too quick to fall into their trap!

Who do you picture as Rothan on the big screen? My pick is the very ingenious Oliver Platt. He won me over in The Three Musketeers many years ago and if he just had lighter hair and blue eyes, he would be perfect. I think Mr. Platt had that ability to exercise an air of arrogance with a little smugness and serve it all up with a side of being the master in charge. He has such a commanding way about him. Love him. However, I do feel that the man who posed for my photo shoot did a great job in capturing the essence of the king. He appears so…kingly and holds that look in his eye. The one to make you shiver a little in trepidation.

Looking for something new to read? Here are some links to help you out:

The Aspen Series (All five books on one page for download)

All books are eCopies unless stated otherwise…

Noble Courage: Book One of the Aspen Series  (paperback rights are about to expire.)

The Price of Power: Book Two of the Aspen Series  Paperback copies available HERE

Tears of Penance: Book Three of the Aspen Series  Paperback copies available HERE

Salvation of the Forgotten: Book Four of the Aspen Series  Paperback copies available HERE

The Benevolent Light: Book Five of the Aspen Series  Paperback copies available HERE

Tales of Elgolan: Prequel to The Aspen Series  Paperback copies available HERE

Meet the Cast of the Aspen Series (Part 3)

Rayven edit

 

 

 

 

There is always a part of us all who is the rebel. Somewhere deep inside, we have a dark side that we choose not to explore. However, there are some who are just born dark and enjoy partaking of the evil deeds. What would a great story be without that rebel or evil doer? It would be pretty boring, I would think.

In the beginning, my story was going in one direction and suddenly took another. Rayven St. Michael was never going to be bad. But he changed as I fell in love with Thorne. My storyline started to wrap around itself a lot! Making the fair headed, light eyed boy be my villain was the best decision I made in this series. We all love to hate him.

I would say that most people would look upon me as weak. I was small in stature, I was thin. I appeared an angel to those who did not know me. But my father knew me. I was a disappointment to him and he let me know that. Yet, I was his heir. There was nothing he could do to change that except death.

I learned early that there should be no mercy for anyone or anything. My father never gave me any so no one should get it. Apologies and tears were simply shams to manipulate you. My heart has never been anything but hard and calloused toward others. They never cared for me, there was no reason for me to extend compassion to them. In this world, I was alone.

Being the first born son to an earl came with responsibilities that diminished my childhood and I found that as I grew old enough to be away from the castle at times, I would do the kinds of things I was forbidden to do at home. No one would ever dare say a word against me, but they would look at me as though they pitied me and I hated that. I was not allowed to be a normal child in any sense of the word. So as my anger flared at tenants of my father, I would take their animals…the dear ones they loved…and kill them just for the feel of it in my hands. That would teach them!

rosehill

My father was a very ominous man. He felt he needed to be…assertive to get where he wanted to be. When I was very young, he waged war on his sister’s family in Cliffehaven. He was not victorious and caused a great scandal. In the process, he killed his brother by marriage, his own sister, and my uncle’s heir. He just missed one. That little urchin of a boy escaped and came back to rule his people in utter darkness.

And as I grew to be a young man, his thoughts returned to taking that village again, once and for all…but there was a child that kept his attention. We knew the days he saw this child he was in a happy, lighthearted state. One that hadn’t always been there. I found out later that I had another sibling. A bastard sibling. I can remember my mother’s tears over the revelation. I should have accepted it, yet it made me even more angry. That child, born from my father’s greed, stole his affection from me. It always had. No, I hated that child.

And then it happened that I met her. The one girl I wished to court, to marry and have bear me children. She was a beauty with hair like mahogany and eyes like dewdrops on grass. I knew my first moment of weakness that I can remember in all my life. But she disappeared. Taken right out from in front of me and given to my cousin who could never love her the way I could! My anger spiraled out of my control and I cared about nothing…only getting back what was mine.

My cousin is a fool! He attacked my village and thought he could kill me. Well, he did not kill me although he took my castle. He took my whole world; yet he couldn’t take me. I laugh in his face.

No matter if I sent my lovelies after him or if I found ways to infiltrate his camps, he seemed to forever slither through my fingers, keeping my love just beyond my reach.

I am a man who has died more than one time and has come back to be stronger and better than before. My life feels empty, meaningless, and wrong without her with me. Until the time of a cold steel blade taking my from this life, I will walk as a shadow through this life. I have embraced the darkness and realized that I don’t need power to get what I want. I must be as a ghost, quiet and cunning. It is he who is stealthy that lasts. An old monk once taught me that. That monk showed me that there were truly good people in this God forsaken world. He was the only person to ever accept me for who I was…or was not…without judgment.

And now, I sit and think of my daughter and son that I will never see again for I have built myself to new heights. I have been reborn…

Salvation of the Forgotten, Chapter 11

How easy it would be to silently reach down and crush the throats of all three children. He itched to do it…but even more, he wished to take from his cousin that which should have belonged to him in the beginning. Aspen would be his one day, but Dalen was Thorne’s firstborn…his heir. Both of them were treasures that Rayven decided he wanted.

Just imagine calling to young Dalen, he didn’t know any different. Cornix was there taking care of  him as he was dying and Cornix was going to take him on an outing. Rayven would lock eyes with his cousin, his hand outstretched to the child as Thorne watched his little boy walk away with his enemy, the terror and the knowing dawning on him too late. By the time Thorne would be following them, Rayven would be far ahead and he would make certain that Dalen was never found. The heartache Darktower would feel would be enough to keep him fat with happiness the rest of his days. The taking of Aspen would just make him obese.

 

Rayven young

Always plotting, Rayven St. Michael is. He is one person that does not know the value of giving up. He just doesn’t do it. There are times in the stories that I do feel sorry for him and I want him to find his own happiness. But then, I enjoy the cat and mouse between the three of them, Thorne, Aspen, and Rayven, enough that I cannot give in. Where Rayven is concerned, I must be just like him as I bring him alive on paper. Show no mercy and never give up.

So now you are probably wondering who I would cast as this young man. Well, I know he is older now, as all my stars are, but I see Leonardo DiCaprio in this role. He plays a very crazy good old boy really well, in my opinion. He has the blond hair and blue eyes…always those blue eyes…that just look right through you. If he could talk with an accent, He would be my pick for sure.

So now it is truth time…tell me any part in any of the books where you liked this villain just a little bit! Maybe others feel the same way! 😀

Looking for something new to read? Here are some links to help you out:

The Aspen Series (All five books on one page for download)

All books are eCopies unless stated otherwise…

Noble Courage: Book One of the Aspen Series  (paperback rights are about to expire.)

The Price of Power: Book Two of the Aspen Series  Paperback copies available HERE

Tears of Penance: Book Three of the Aspen Series  Paperback copies available HERE

Salvation of the Forgotten: Book Four of the Aspen Series  Paperback copies available HERE

The Benevolent Light: Book Five of the Aspen Series  Paperback copies available HERE

Tales of Elgolan: Prequel to The Aspen Series  Paperback copies available HERE

 

Meet the Cast of The Aspen Series (Part 2)

Thorne1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He is tall, sexy, handsome, wealthy, and powerful. Sounds great, right? Well, some would not agree…

This post is dedicated to Thorne Darktower, Earl of Cliffehaven. He is feared and hated…misunderstood by most.

I have always seen my life as a dark path filled with loneliness and hatred.

Being born into nobility was fate. I was a gift to my mother and father, Ainsleigh and Devlin Darktower…but I was a second son. I was nothing and my father reminded me of that often. At best, I would leave the castle and live out my days on a plot of land and a home in the country that had been set aside just for me. Cliffehaven was not meant to be my home but it was home to me.

cliffehaven

I lost my family while I was quite young and became a lord over a group of people before I was ready. In fact, I never should have been a leader for my brother was the one training with my father to one day succeed him. But I think above all, the loss of my mother caused me to shrink away from life. I became a monster and I knew it.

But what I didn’t know was that I would be sent an angel that would cast my life into the light and give me purpose once again. I suppose I didn’t know how lovely living could be until that day. I had forgotten, buried those memories with my mother. Battling against my mind and my heart broke me and I became a man that I can be sure my father would approve of.

Growing up in castle life, I rarely saw my father. He always seemed to have a meeting or an appointment with his mistress. I never was as good as my brother because I was born a second son. Even as he died at the hands of my uncle, I was inadequate. I could not save him and he perished there before my eyes. I was saved…spared…from death by an unlikely guardian who helped me steal away, although I was wounded. That gash left its mark on me forever and it still pains me.

There are some men that I just cannot have a friendship with. Perhaps I am not the kind to keep companions close to me through my life. While I can respect them for who they are and how much more power they boast of, I cannot like them. I take pride in what I have and the village I govern. For any of these men to threaten what I have worked so hard for is like my uncle waging war on my father. I tend to forget my place at times and I do lose my temper.

RothanCover2updated

If people tell you that I have a love affair with the drink, they are wrong. However, in my younger days, I could be found sleeping off the effects of too much brandy…or wine, I suppose. My favorite place to uncork a bottle is up at Kara’s place. My sister loved the parapets and I learned as a man, that she had been pushed to her death from the one place she adored. I can remember a time when I saw her, after she had died, and was talking with me to ease my pain. She wanted to take someone dear to me with her. That one moment really made me afraid and I didn’t know what to do. It seems strange for a man to be frightened of such a thing, but if you were there you would understand what I was about to lose.

I suppose women think I am handsome and many would marry me just because of my station. But marriage was one thing I did not want to do with my life. There was little chance that I could open myself up to being hurt again. The pain of losing my family as a boy will haunt me to the end of my days. Why invite more?

There was a time when I felt life was great. I smiled a bit more than people were used to and I felt inclined to do nice things for others, like building new homes and helping the lowers plant crops. And then, it was all taken from me. That light became darkness once again and I didn’t know how to continue on. Those close to me rallied the ranks and we did the only thing we could. We shed the blood of my own kin, all the while searching for that light to come back into my life.

I can tell you that love is truly what makes everything worth it. Life is sweeter, the laughter is like music, and the tears fall to remind you of your humanity. If it all came so easy, we would be bored. Those hard times make the good ones all the more sweet. I have learned in my  lifetime to make each moment count and I write this as an old man appealing to the young ones of the day. I have learned on many occasions that life is precious and you don’t know what lies ahead.

Although I am but a whisper of a person, penned in detail at the author’s hand, I am still grateful for whom I have grown to be. There was always only one person who could handle me, who could put me right in my place. That person has returned me to my former glory and through these tales, you will see how we struggle together. We have times of anger, hurt, and distrust…but we can find it in us to band together and accept each other for who we are in the world. We are no different than you.

From Noble Courage, Chapter 2

“You will not get away so easily! I paid dearly for you, so you I will keep!” he croaked out.

A scream escaped her again as she tumbled to the floor and felt him pulling her toward him. She clawed at the ground, knowing that if he had her close, he would surely kill her for her assault on him. Panicked, she kicked out at his hand to make him let go of her but he held fast and refused to give in.

“Let me go!” she screamed at him behind clenched teeth. “I do not belong here!”

Finally, he had her where he wanted her…right beneath him. He pinned her arms above her head with one hand and sat on her thighs to limit her mobility. He didn’t think he could sustain another blow to the groin. She continued to thrash around on the floor until she tired and just laid there panting from her exertion.

He looked as though he would snarl at her, but his words came out fairly calm. “You are mine and you would do well to remember that. You have no say in the matter and it would be wise of you to accept your fate at what it is before real harm comes to you.”

For me, Thorne is every bad boyfriend I have ever had and he is the goodness of the best. He continues to take on qualities that my husband has as well. Men are most mysterious to me so Thorne was brought out to be dark and glowering yet sexy and appealing. He has had a rough life, tougher than most people will ever know. He is from a time in the past when killing was rampant among human beings. It was a careless act in the name of power and position. Like anyone, he has quite the temper that flares often and as the tales unfold, he does some changing. Happiness can do a lot for a person who has lived his life in the darkness.

Thorne

As we talked about in the last post, movies cross most author’s minds. I think the reason is for that is because as we write, we are transcribing a movie that is already taking place…inside our minds. That is how you come to read books. You are reading an author’s movie. This is very true! So when I think of an actor to play Thorne Darktower, I see Hugh Jackman. He has the right balance between anger and normalcy in all the different movies he plays. To be honest, I could see it in the flick “Van Helsing”. But the one that really got me was “The Illusionist”. Holy cow! Walking down the dark street with a cane and a coak! Yes!

Okay…I couldn’t find that shot I was looking for. But i liked this picture of him too. Some argue that Robert Downey Jr. would be a great pick and I agree. I suppose that I have just seen him this way for so long, I’m not ready to change yet. lol

So for those of you who have read the books, please comment below on what you liked the best about Thorne’s character. Show others that while he might be a little bi-polar…not my words…he is still a strong character with strengths and flaws. Like anyone.

Looking for something new to read? Here are some links to help you out:

The Aspen Series (All five books on one page for download)

All books are eCopies unless stated otherwise…

Noble Courage: Book One of the Aspen Series  (paperback rights are about to expire.)

The Price of Power: Book Two of the Aspen Series  Paperback copies available HERE

Tears of Penance: Book Three of the Aspen Series  Paperback copies available HERE

Salvation of the Forgotten: Book Four of the Aspen Series  Paperback copies available HERE

The Benevolent Light: Book Five of the Aspen Series  Paperback copies available HERE

Tales of Elgolan: Prequel to The Aspen Series  Paperback copies available HERE

Meet the Cast of The Aspen Series (Part 1)

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I thought that introductions are in order with the new release of The Benevolent Light: Book Five of the Aspen Series. So today, we will bring Aspen Tiller to the forefront and shine the spotlight on her for a bit.

My name is Aspen…or Aspen Morjean Tiller when my mama would yell for me to come for the evening meal.  I was born to my parents in the very ordinary village of Rosehill in the territory of Elgolan. Times were bleak as I grew up, yet I loved where I lived. Most would call it a hovel, I called it home.

vatric house

We would be considered middle class as there were many better off than us but many more that were less fortunate. Our home was one room and my parents had a bed with a real mattress…my siblings and I slept on the floor in blankets that we would roll up each morning and stow away. My mama would prepare meals in the small, but efficient, fireplace that my da was so proud of building with his own two hands. I would say that my favorite meal was venison stew, but I was not always happy about harvesting the vegetables out of the ground for it.

Mama made us girls two dresses each. One was our gown for everyday use and one was a special gown to wear to Mass or special events. Because of the time spent in making them, we were to take special care of them. Fabric was a luxury…one that Da would not allow us to spend the coin on.

The earl of our village was the Earl St. Michael. When I was small, I thought him an angel. When I finally knew who he really was, I knew pain deep in my heart. A pain that has never gone away. His son, Rayven, stood to be in line to inherit all that his father had built there in Rosehill. I would most assuredly say that Rayven was the first boy that I remember loving. I looked up to the father and loved the son.

I was fortunate enough to be learned. Our earl brought in men who were taught in monasteries and were knowledgeable in many aspects of our world and he encouraged the youth of the village to attend. He was a visionary man and knew that the children would be the future of his world. He wanted us all to know how to figure numbers and write our letters. He also encouraged instruction in music. I was well taught, by a most patient man, how to play several instruments. But my favorite was the harp.

I had two close friends from our lessons. Being backward and shy, it was hard for me to make any friends at all. But these two girls made me feel like I belonged. My da had always despised me and beat me often, but my friends would provide for me an escape from that reality. I giggle as I write this, for now that I am grown I can see how wistful we were in our youth. We loved to play in the trees that bordered my home. Each of us would claim a tree as our castle and we were known to waste away those warm afternoons pretending our charming princes were coming for us. It was a wonderful fantasy.

My life changed drastically as I neared my eighteenth birthday. I thought it a curse…a punishment. I felt betrayed by my mama and humiliated by my da. That was the day I met Lord Darktower. Seeing him for the first time, I felt real fear like I had never before. 

I am most grateful that there was a soul out there in the world who provided me respite and comfort. 

I was named for my mama’s mother…Morjean. I can never forget the day I met her in the house of the trees. She trembled when she first saw me and knew exactly who I was. I begged her for guidance and she sent me away telling me that the struggles I faced in my life were preparing me for who I would become. I felt lost and angry that she would not help me. But as I grew older and matured, my eyes were opened to what she had told me. She was most wise.

Cappy

I cannot close without speaking on a wonderful friend, one that I trusted my life with, one I could count on to take my life into his hands and offer me protection. Cappy was Thorne’s captain of the guard. He had been named that by his lordship because Thorne could not ever remember his real name. Thus, he remained Cappy to us all. This was a man who was large as a tree with flaming hair and a long beard. He was jolly yet fierce and he captured my heart. He could love people like none other and his loyalty could not be matched. He will forever be my friend and protector.

I do not feel I can go on much further without giving my life completely away to you. I can only hope that you will share my adventures. Perhaps the times I must muster the courage to walk through life would inspire you to do the same. I am merely a ghost…a ghost of words…but I am a friend to all.

From Noble Courage, Chapter 18

“Will you beg me for mercy?” he asked her.

She sat there still and silent. She did not want to answer him. She wanted out, to be clean and fed, but she would not beg the likes of him for mercy. Her voice sounded strange to her own ears. “I do not beg anyone, but God, for anything,” she answered painfully. Her throat was parched and sore as if she had swallowed a knife that cut her from her mouth to her gut.

Rayven’s face grew angry as he listened to her thwart him even in her pitiful state. He was glad she was here, locked behind iron bars, to learn some respect.

“Very well, I have no mercy for you.”

Aspen is an amazing woman to emulate and I try each day to be like her for she is strong, capable, intelligent, compassionate, and resilient. This girl has helped me, her creator, through some terrible times. Bringing her to life with my words has been an amazing experience and I know I have grown from her. If you walk in her footsteps through The Aspen Series, you might feel empowered from the things that she has accomplished in her life. Writing about her is much like wading through memories of another time in a forsaken place where God was the giver of all and circumstances were unforgiving. Aspen haunts my mind and she has for near to 15 years now. She shows us, in each progressive tale, that there is always room to grow and achieve no matter your station in life. I guarantee you she is not the same person in The Benevolent Light as she was in Noble Courage…but she is a determined soul ready to take on her world and win.

Aspen

Most authors dream about their story being on screen. I am one of the many. I often have conversations with readers about casting choices and who would I have play the role of Aspen. While there are many wonderful women out there to choose from, I will admit to seeing Keira Knightley in that role. When I first really saw her in a movie, and fell in love with her performance, it was during the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean”. I think a lot of people thought her performance was great, but I saw the headstrong woman of Aspen in another scene of another time period. She has been in many movies in her life, but I recognize many qualities that Aspen holds in her.

So, if you have read the books…any of them…and have even one word to say about Aspen, feel free to comment below. Let other readers know what she inspired in you!

Looking for something new to read? Here are some links to help you out:

The Aspen Series (All five books on one page for download)

All books are eCopies unless stated otherwise…

Noble Courage: Book One of the Aspen Series  (paperback rights are about to expire.)

The Price of Power: Book Two of the Aspen Series  Paperback copies available HERE

Tears of Penance: Book Three of the Aspen Series  Paperback copies available HERE

Salvation of the Forgotten: Book Four of the Aspen Series  Paperback copies available HERE

The Benevolent Light: Book Five of the Aspen Series  Paperback copies available HERE

Tales of Elgolan: Prequel to The Aspen Series  Paperback copies available HERE

RETURN TO CARDAMOM BOOK TOUR!

Return to Cardamom Blog Tour Button 2013

I was fortunate enough to be asked to participate in a book tour for the new release, Return to Cardamom by Julie Anne Grasso.

You can read my thoughts on the book in the post on my website, one of the stops of their tour! Help spread the word…this was a cute little story for middle grade children!

Return to Cardamom - cover

Life is sweet for Caramel and things are finally getting back to normal. Well, as normal as it can be for a telepathic elf who can train trees and control computers, but she soon finds life on Cardamom is not all cupcakes and apple cider. A saboteur is hiding in the rainforest canopy, and the elves’ precious cardamom export has been wiped out. Caramel is certain it’s another trick of Alexander222 and her Aunt Isabel, but no one will believe her, and the clock is ticking. She must expose the saboteur in time to save the crop or the Elves of Cardamom will lose their livelihood. Caramel won’t rest until her theory is proven. While she is on the hunt, she makes a shocking discovery, one that will change everything.

TOUR STOP #4! Of Blade and Valor!

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Tour stop #4 for Of Blade and Valor by Cheryl Alleway is with author Neil Newton, who features the book One Time on Earth. We are so thankful to have his participation on this tour and he wrote a beautiful sort of review that exposes his emotions on the subject of historical fiction and bringing to life successfully. Cheryl does this in her new release, Of Blade and Valor and Neil will tell you as well.

When you visit, please comment so we know you were there! 😀 We want to enter you in the drawing for some great prizes!

So here is the link to Neil’s post: http://neilnewton.co.uk/novelist-cheryl-allway/
Please take a moment to check out his work as well!

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Of Blade and Valor Book Tour!!

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So I must call upon all me fellow bloggers and readers…even authors.

Today is a really special day for a great gal that I have really come to admire. It is her day…the day her book is brought to life. She has walked carefully out on the plank and stared down into the waters swimming with the sharks of the literary world, but seeing her dreams on the ocean floor, jumped right in. This girl has put in countless hours preparing, learning, and writing for all of you.

The problem we face, as writers, the the lack of support from the very people who read books.

So I am asking you all to get involved today. Visit the post that will kick off Cheryl’s tour and participate. Download your copy and be entered to win prizes! We were able to pull a bunch of bloggers together to make this tour a lot of fun for you as readers. Click here for the schedule of stops!

We beg you, yes this is me begging, to share this among your audiences and help to propel this young woman to great heights.

When it is your turn to sit in the spotlight, you know we will be behind you as well! We appreciate your support! Feel free to reblog the Twisted Willow Press post today!

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Book Release: Of Blade and Valor JULY 12th, 2013!

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Well, hello again friends!
I wanted to scream out to my awesome community that Cheryl Alleway is releasing her book “Of Blade and Valor” on July 12th, 2013.

Some of you may know that I also have a small publishing house and she selected me, as Twisted Willow Press, to represent her!

I have read this manuscript from beginning to end and I absolutely love the storyline. With a few tweaks and a few edits, we are excited to send it out into the world. 🙂

You can read all about it in this post at Twisted Willow Press.

I encourage you to take just a few moments today to welcome Cheryl and share her voice with your circles. That is how it all works. Just as life has a circle, so does authorship. If you can’t reach out and support your fellow writers, neither will succeed.

Keep on the lookout for fun activities as the big day gets closer!