Blogophilia 12.11 – Honeymoon Part 4

It’s time again for Blogophilia, the fun blog group where Martien gives participants prompts to use in their weekly posting. This week’s prompts are:

Ecrits Blogophilia Week 13.10 Topic: The End of the World
**BONUSES:
Hard (2 pts): Quote Leonard Nimoy
Easy (1 pt): Include the phrase “tooth and nail”

 

Continuing the story from the last three weeks. I had planned to start working on my Executioner stories with next week’s blogophilia, so I may post the remaining pieces of this one as non-blogophilia posts.

Anyway, Verchiel has intruded on Jorick and Katelina’s honeymoon and dumped a vampiress named Sharon on them – a vampiress whose cruel master is hunting her. What is his plan? Does he even know?

***

They fell into silence. Katelina knew she should suggest some kind of entertainment, but she couldn’t think of one. It had been hard enough to find things for Maeko and her boys to do, and they were happy just talking or playing games. There was a TV shoved in the corner that Katelina had made Jorick buy, but they couldn’t get any channels. She assumed they needed some kind of booster antenna, but the specifics escaped her, and the employee at the twenty-four hour big box store seemed to know even less than she did. “Come back in the daytime,” he’d suggested, like that was going to happen.

The door thumped open and closed, and Verchiel appeared, looking ruffled, a cut on one cheek.

Sharon leapt to her feet. “Are you all right?”

“Yeah, yeah. I’m fine.” He waved her off and turned to Jorick. “I ran into Eli.”

“And?” Katelina demanded.

Verchiel seemed to suddenly notice Maeko and the knot of males. “Oh! You have company! How rude. I-”

“You can do that later,” Katelina snapped. “So, about this Eli guy?”

Verchiel touched his cheek and looked surprised at the crimson on his fingers. “Ah. Yes. I ran into him. It wasn’t much of a fight, not a tooth and nail brawl or anything, but he made his opinion known.”

“Did you kill him?” Verchiel shook his head no, and Sharon’s hands fluttered, like a distressed butterfly. “What am I going to do?”

He moved to lay a hand on her shoulder. “It’s not the end of the world.”

“But it is! You said if he took it before the Lesser Council they’d rule in his favor.”

“They would,” Jorick agreed.

“But it won’t come to that. We just need to negotiate.” Verchiel’s cheerful façade flickered and Katelina saw something in his eyes. “You won’t like it, but he’s requested a meeting.”

“What?” Sharon stepped away. “You didn’t agree?”

The redhead shrugged. “It won’t hurt to see what he has to say. Unless you have a better idea?”

“You should have killed him!” Sharon moaned and covered her face. “You don’t understand, I can’t see him!”

Katelina felt the crush of her fear; paralyzing and cold, like being encased in ice and powerless to break free. When she’d wanted to be a mind reader, this wasn’t what she’d had in mind. Not mine, she told herself firmly. Not mine.

Maeko stepped to Sharon’s side and gently patted her back. “Sharon-san will not be alone. We will be there.”

“He won’t be alone, either,” Sharon muttered into her hands. “He’ll have Robin and-and Zeke,”  she whispered the name with a shudder. Her voice hardened and she added, “And Dilana.”

“I don’t know who will be there,” Verchiel admitted. “But I’m sure we can handle anyone he brings.” He looked to Jorick for conformation, but the dark vampire only grunted.

“Anyway,” the redhead went on, his usual cheerfulness back. “We agreed to meet at Loren’s house tomorrow evening, and hour after sunset. We’ll talk to him, and convince him to let you go. He can’t keep you forever. After all, change is the essential process of all existence.

“He’ll never agree to it,” Sharon said bitterly. “And the rest will take his side.”

“We’ll see.” Verchiel gave her a wink. “It might turn out better than you think.”

Sharon wailed and Maeko gently led her out of the room. “Come, Sharon-san, you would like to rest, yes?”

Their footsteps trailed away. Hikaru frowned after his mistress, and flicked long black hair back from his face. “I do not like this.”

“Neither do I,” Takeshi agreed, leaning on his cane, his bright orange hair like a miniature sunburst in the gloomy room.

“I’m sure it will be fine.” Verchiel rubbed his hands together. “Who wants a snack? After my little tussle, I could use a bite.” His eyes wandered towards the still human Ryuu and then away.

Jorick gave a low growl. “We haven’t agreed to harbor her, or to help.”

“You’d turn her away?” Verchiel asked with mock outrage.

“In case you missed it, Katelina and I are supposed to be on our honeymoon!”

Verchiel chuckled. “Honeymoon? Here? You’re right, I missed it, and I bet she did too. A honeymoon is supposed to be somewhere exotic and romantic, not just hiding out in your house.” He tipped Jorick a wink then evaporated before Jorick could kill him.

 

Maeko left Sharon on the air mattress in the guest room, as Jorick was calling the old junk room. The amenities included some stacks of boxes, an old bicycle, and two air mattresses. It wasn’t what Katelina would call luxurious.

“It’s like camping!” Maeko had assured them when they’d shown it to her. “It is perfect.”

But of course she’d say that.

Katelina didn’t understand the quiet conference the vampiress had with her boys. They spoke in rapid Japanese, breaking now and then to nod. If they’d been human, she’d have been able to pull a sense of meaning from their words, a kind of low level mind reading. As it was, she was able to guess enough, added together with their facial expressions, to give her the gist. Hikaru and Takeshi cautioned against involvement – they were visitors in a foreign country, set to leave in two days. Did they want to risk casualties, or entanglement that might delay them? Maeko, meanwhile, assured them everything would be fine, that they worried too much, and that it was their duty to help.

Though Katelina hated to say it, she almost agreed with the guys.

****

guesses:

Topic: Lisa Conrad

Bonus: Jay Sole, Tyler Myrth

Pic: Colleen

1) Hanging on, 2) holding on, 3) upside down, 4) like a bat, 5) tastes like chicken, 6) fairy in disguise, 7) fluttery, 8) hanging out, 9) just chilling, 10) Mind if I stop here?, 11) tattered, 12) beat up but still beautiful, 13) bruised but not broken, 14) taking a rest.

Blogophilia 12.10 – Honeymoon Part 3

It’s time again for Blogophilia, the fun blog group where Martien gives participants prompts to use in their weekly blog. This week’s prompts are:

 

I’m continuing the Honeymoon story from the last two weeks 🙂 In June I am going to have to get with it and start on Executioner stories again.

The bushes parted and a redheaded vampire stepped out. His hair was wild, and his new coat torn. He fixed them with violet eyes and said, “Eli’s coming.”

“Who?” Jorick demanded.

The bushes rustled and a second figure stepped out. Curly brown hair fell around her shoulders, and an uncertain smile played on her lips. “He’s…well…”

“Who is this?” Jorick cried, but Katelina recognized her.

“You were at the wedding.”

She nodded emphatically, and Verchiel said quickly, “This is Sharon. Sharon, that’s Jorick and Katelina. As I was saying, Eli’s coming, so I wondered if I could leave her with you for a few days?”

Jorick roared, but Katelina hushed him. “Who is Eli, and why does she need to stay with us?”

Verchiel’s expression turned tragic. “It’s a terrible story, full of jealousy, cruelty, and a rather long blood debt. But it’s a story better told later. I did mention-”

“Eli’s coming,” Katelina and Jorick said in unison.

He nodded and took Sharon’s arm to tug her towards them. “Here.” He handed her off to Katelina, who wasn’t sure what she was supposed to do. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to try to distract him.”

Verchiel disappeared in a streak of red and black, almost too fast to see.

“Sorry about this,” Sharon said. “It was his idea.”

“I’m sure it was.” Jorick turned back for the house, his shoulders stiff and his hands wadded at his sides. Katelina could feel his anger and annoyance, but what was there to do? They couldn’t leave the woman out here with some mysterious Eli on his way.

She motioned Sharon after her, and followed Jorick to the house through the balmy air of night.  As they drew close, she saw a small group gathered on the porch. A Japanese girl, dressed in a puffy pink dress, looked no more than thirteen. Three males clustered around her. The tallest had long black hair, while a redhead leaned on a cane, his right trouser leg tied off above where his ankle had once been. The third was still human and no more than seventeen, if he was that old.

It was their guests.

“Jorick-ue!” Maeko hurried towards them. “You have brought a new friend!”

“I don’t know who she is,” he said flatly, stopping before the diminutive vampiress. “Verchiel dumped her on us.”

Sharon cringed into herself. Katelina felt the prickle of her humiliation and sighed. It wasn’t her fault . “There’s someone after her.”

Maeko bowed and introduced herself, then took Sharon’s hand and led her onto the porch. “I am sure Jorick-ue means to welcome you. Let’s go inside and discuss your circumstances.”

Jorick made a noise that said she was wrong, but they followed the pair into the living room. Maeko sated Sharon on the couch, then perched next to her, motioning Katelina to take the other side.

Sharon wrung her hands uncomfortably. “I met Verchiel at the citadel, where we went to the wedding.”

Maeko nodded encouragingly. “I thought Sharon-san looked familiar.”

Sharon shifted uncomfortably. “Yesterday Eli showed up. He’s-he’s my master. Was my master. I suppose he still is, but my blood debt is paid. Or he said it was.” Jorick coughed, and she cringed farther into herself. “After he released me, I left right away. He was fine with it, until Robin saw me at the citadel with Verchiel. I know he called Eli, and that’s when he came running. He claimed he hadn’t released me; that I ran away, and that I owed him another twenty years. But I don’t. It’s been thirty already! It’s ridiculous.”

“Blood debts can last centuries with an unscrupulous master,” Jorick muttered.

“Who’s Robin?” Katelina asked.

“A friend of Eli’s. He’s a sniveling snake. I knew as soon as I saw him that trouble was coming. I warned Verchiel about it.”

“Are Sharon-san and Verchiel-san a couple?” Maeko asked delightedly.

Sharon flushed and shook her head. “Unfortunately no. He’s fun, but I don’t think he looks at me as anything serious. I thought he might, when he first volunteered to get me out of the citadel, but I don’t think so anymore.”

“It’s hard to tell with him,” Katelina said quickly. “I’m curious where the jealousy and abuse come in.”

Sharon looked away. “He…he wasn’t a particularly kind master. He never loved me, not a real, normal love, but as I said, as soon as he found out I might be with someone else…”

She trailed off and Katelina decided to let it go – for now. “So this Eli followed the two of you from the citadel?”

Sharon nodded.

Jorick made a low noise. “I’d like to know why Verchiel chose to come here in the first place.”

Sharon shrugged. “He said he had a friend here who’d be willing to help. Isn’t that you?”

Katelina hurried to answer before Jorick could correct her. “Of course we’ll help you. I’m just not sure what we’re supposed to do.”

“I don’t know what his plan is, either,” Sharon admitted. “I thought we’d discuss it on the way, but he had music going the whole time. His taste is bizarre. Everything from American Pie to ACDC.”

Maeko patted Sharon’s knee. “It seems the best thing to do is wait for Verchiel-san to arrive and tell us what he has planned.”

“Assuming he’s thought that far ahead,” Katelina muttered.

*****

I may add some more next week.

And now for my guesses:

Topic: Irene

Bonus: Rebecca, and Dave Coon

Picture: Jessica Brooke Miller

Secret Phrase: Light in the dark, In the shadows, In the basement, Light left burning, Who left the light on?, Can’t believe the power is still on, Abandoned house, alone in the dark, Left in a hurry, That was some party

Thankfulness #133 & #134

Number 133 seems to have disappeared, despite my writing it. Though I don;t remember what I used, I do know I wrote the post…So, I guess it will remain a mysterious thankfulness!

Yesterday I was thankful for:

Time with family: It  was my cousin’s daughter’s graduation and the party went very well. Had a nice time.

Cheap clothes: We found cheap Big & Tall men’s clothes at Burlington Coat Factory for a fraction of what we’ve been paying at Casual Male, so now hubby has a nice set for today’s graduation. (He has a habit of wearing nice clothes to do stupid things in – and ruining them all the time)

Bike Riding: So, yesterday, hubby went nuts and bought us both bicycles. I haven;t been on one since 1994 (literally) so… yeah. It took me quite awhile to get used to it again. My steering is still a bit wobbly, but I’m balancing just fine, so I can report that riding a bike is kind of “like riding a bike”.  My arms and shoulders are killing me today though.

And now I must get ready for graduation #2.

Have a cheap clothes kinda day!

Jo 🙂

Thankfulness #132: Fan Message

Today I am thankful for the super amazing fan message I got on Facebook. I won’t lie, I’ve been feeling kind of down. A sort of postpartum always happens after a book release but it’s worse this time. Maybe because it’s the end of the series (though no the universe or characters), maybe because it was so rushed that I didn’t have any preparation time, maybe because I haven’t engaged in a whole lot of fanfare; no blog hops, or tours, just the one Facebook party (because, you know, everything was so rushed I was out of time). Or maybe it’s the lower sales numbers. I’ll usually sell about 85 the first week (including pre-orders) but my total so far after twelve days is still sitting at 61. There are a ton of factors that could contribute to this: It’s the last book so some people have admitted to putting off buying and reading it because it’s the end – my brother actually owns series where he’s never read the final book for that exact reason. There’s also that lack of fanfare, the different season –  I usually release in March when it’s still crappy out, but now it’s warming up, people are outdoors more, not reading as much as they do in colder months. It’s also graduation/end of the school year and people are busy. The market has been trending down for all authors since 2014 and keeps going lower and lower thanks to a glut of free books caused by KDP Select and then the Amazon Unlimited subscription service – which my books aren’t in because I refuse to go exclusive. On and on.

Anyway, the whys are not important, what is important is the funk is real, so the fan letter really made my day and reminded me why I started writing the books in the first place. When I published book three I had 12 fans and knew each by name. So, downward trend from book eight or not, that 61 is still a huge improvement on those 12. That’s the kind of thing I need to tape to my wall somewhere – If I had an office wall, that is. Mostly I have walls that need the wallpaper stripped off of them so we can paint.

And now I need to get the Turtles page done for the night.

Have a fan mail kinda day!

Jo 🙂

Song going through my head STILL: Closer by Saliva – Repeat #362. Literally.

Thankfulness #131: Successful Release Party

Today I am thankful to Book Born and to everyone who attended my Goddess of Night release party in Book Born, and everyone who was there in spirit. There was pretty good attendance. We had a lot of fun, played some games, and generally had a good night.

Not much else. Went to Orschelns for the bro today and I got to play with the baby chicks and ducklings, so that was also fun:

It rained all morning so we had some nice clouds this afternoon:

And now I am hoping to write a little on the Vampire book I’m working on with Jonathan.

Have a baby chick petting kinda day!

Jo 🙂

Thankfulness #130 & Union Station

Today I was thankful for getting things ready for the Facebook party tomorrow. I have all my prizes and images and script all ready to go. (The party is 6pm – 10pm in the facebook group Book Born.)

Some of my snazzy graphics:

And while I am sharing snazzy things…I mentioned the Pompeii exhibit a couple of days ago. As I said, it was held at Union Station in Kansas City which is an old – but still functioning – train station that is beautiful! Seriously:

02

I didn’t have the Nikon because we didn’t know it was in a train station and didn’t think we’d be able to take photos anyway (ha!) But I did get some snaps with my cell phone worth sharing:

And now I go to watch Hell on Wheels and hopefully get some work done on the fantasy book.

Have a train station kind of day!

Jo 🙂

 

Blogophilia 11.10 – Honeymoon Part 2

It’s time for blogophilia, the fun blog group where Martien gives participants prompts to use in their blogs.

This week’s prompts are:

Ecrits Blogophilia Week 11.10 Topic: Any Way the Wind Blows

**BONUSES: Hard (2 pts): Incorporate a Laura Nyro lyric

Easy (1 pt): Have gold in your blog

 

Continuing the honeymoon story from last week:

 

It was some time later when Katelina headed up the basement stairs. She wound through the small house to the living room. A couch and two winged back chairs sat waiting before a cold fireplace, but there were no vampires.

Jorick stepped into the room behind her. He paused to press a kiss to her neck, then murmured, “It looks like they’re out. We didn’t need to hurry, after all.”

“They’ll be back.” Katelina stepped away from him reluctantly. “In the meantime we should go feed.”

They headed outside into the deepening October evening. Autumn leaves crackled under foot and rattled in the trees. A dark sky spread overhead, strewn with windblown stars.

Any way the wind blows, they still sparkle.

They made their way across the yard and through a stand of trees. On the other side, the grass fell away into sand, the end of the world, as Katelina thought of it.

Jorick took her hand and tugged her gently down the beach. She glanced down at their fingers intertwined and noted the glint of her golden ring – her wedding ring. Something she swore she’d never wear, yet there it was, riding on her finger as though it had always been there.

And will always be there.

They followed the edge of the ocean, careful to avoid the tide slipping in and out, down past Loren’s empty house and on to a winding path. They followed it away from the moonlit beach and up into a thick group of trees. There, Jorick enchanted a raccoon and a pair of squirrels.

When they’d finished feeding, they made their way back to the house. Though Katelina knew they should hurry – they had guests – she couldn’t make herself want to. The moonlight shimmering on the dying grass, the smell of the ocean, the sound of the waves crashing; it was invigorating.

Jorick evidently felt the same, because he turned away from the small house and headed farther down the beach. They’d nearly reached an abandoned house when a loud crash sounded in the greenery. Jorick dropped Katelina’s hand and spun, fangs bared. She dropped into a fighting stance, when a familiar scent caught her nose.

Jorick growled, but relaxed a little. “What are you doing?”

The bushes parted and a redheaded vampire stepped out. His hair was wild, and his new coat torn. He fixed them with violet eyes and said, “Eli’s coming.”

To be continued

And again this week I’ll try guessing:

Topic: Barbara Kausteklis 

Bonuses: Stormy Gail Dormire  & Gerard Villegas

Picture:  Rebecca Grusendorf 

Phrase: into the light, staring into the sun, looking out, sun through the clouds, on the ledge, out the window, heavenly, golden light, ready to jump, ready to fly, off in the clouds, daydreaming, sunlit, golden clouds

%d bloggers like this: