A Gargoyle’s Might

So I finally put the last word of A Gargoyle’s Might into OpenOffice and hit Save.

Lincoln and Ivory’s tale is told in its rough form and is ready for all that must come after it. Strangely, this has been a very wild ride. Ivory changes so much over the course of the book… and yet she doesn’t. It isn’t until the end that you understand her.

This was a challenge to write because I resisted it every step of the way. I wanted Ivory to be a sympathetic character. I wanted to like her. I hated what she did to Lincoln. I thought Lincoln was being a big fainting daisy. I tried to change them and they fought back. They stood up for who they really are and challenged everything I thought about how they should be–and  a lot of what I think I should be.

They taught me lessons that I didn’t want to learn, and they showed me truths about myself that I thought I would hate once I saw them without their masks. Like Ivory, I learned that not everything is as it seems… even the things inside me. Like Lincoln, I learned that devotion can be a strength, and I learned that while sometimes it results in pain, it can lead to renewal, as well.

Romance novels aren’t thought to be great literature by most, but Lincoln and Ivory’s book, long and intense as it is, shows me that at least in my mind, it can be.

It won’t be long now. It’s coming. And it’s coming with lessons and with intense drama that is unlike A Wolf’s Song in almost every way. But then I think that’s how it’s supposed to be. Everyone’s story is different. Ivory and Lincoln both show sides of themselves that leave them vulnerable to dislike. They shed their outer garments of attempted perfection and they get down and dirty and honest about themselves and their confusion and their hurt and their hope.

The book is very raw, and their feelings are very raw. They are put through hell, chased and tormented by everyone who ever claimed to love them. They find new allies in unexpected places and they find old allies in places they hadn’t appreciated as much as was deserved.

They must find themselves, and each other–and despite the high word count, they had little time in which to do it.

Ivory teaches us that being honest and being vulnerable may make you more powerful than you could ever dream.

 

A Gargoyle's Might

A Gargoyle’s Might

SNF: Vamp Queen Comes to Vermont?

by Gretchen Vance

Well, there’s little to do now that we have a new News outlet than to tell you the News!

Rumors have it that Queen Nerianne may be putting in an appearance in Vermont. Since the new Master Sentinel, Paige was discovered, it seems almost certain that she’ll be brought with the Queen for the visit with Tallis Sharpe. For centuries now, rumors have flown around about the possibility of a coup by Tallis. And if there’s one thing that we all know, it’s that Tallis has a remarkable ability for long-term planning.

For those Supernaturals who don’t know what a Master Sentinel is, it means that Paige is able to read the intentions of any person in the room towards the person she focuses on. This could mean that she will focus on the Queen and discover that Tallis has designs on the Monarchy!

Whether these rumors are true or not should be more clear by the end of the month. Regardless, one would wonder if the Queen won’t simply come over for the sole purpose of testing Tallis’ designs on the Vampire Throne.

Granted, the rumors claim that she’s coming to investigate allegations that the Huntress is in the area. However, no one has seen that venerable personality in hundreds of years, to our knowledge at SNF.  Therefor, we are left to believe that either the rumors of an emerging Sorceress are true, or Queen Nerianne intends to check up on Tallis.

What I wouldn’t give to watch THOSE sparks fly!

Excerpt from Love’s Armageddon

“The what village?” she asked, confused.

He raised both eyebrows. “New Galatia. The ‘were village…” he said it like she was stupid.

“‘Were? As in werewolf?” she finally asked, sorting out what he must–impossibly–be saying.

“Obviously,” he scowled. He pulled a thick, laminated poster towards her. “I think you’d be particularly interested in this–“

She couldn’t help it, she cut him off again. “There are werewolves, too? For real?”

He stared at her. It was very clear the vampire wasn’t disposed towards her in anything approaching a friendly manner. She might have been something unidentifiable, ugly, and smelly stuck to the bottom of his shoe. “Has he told you nothing?” he asked finally. “Of course there are werewolves. You’ll be living in their village–“

“I’m not living with werewolves.”

He looked pained, as if she were purposefully being obtuse. But seriously, he didn’t genuinely think she’d just move in with a bunch of man-dogs, did he? She supposed that it was nice that he wasn’t moving her in with vampires, but werewolves weren’t something she wanted to live with. Ever. No vampires, no werewolves, no snake-dudes or reptillians or whatever. No, no, and no.

With exaggerated patience, he said, “Perhaps you would like a cabin in Waltham Park, then? Something isolated? Would that make you happy?”

She rested her jaw on the heel of one hand while she tapped her fingers on the table with the other one and considered it. Would she be safe anywhere near the werewolf town? She did know that New Galatia was in Waltham Park. She just hadn’t known it was… werewolf central.

“Let me put it this way, Miss Barker. You haven’t got a choice. It’s Waltham park, or perhaps Tallis’ dungeon.”

Her fingers stopped drumming the table. “He has a dungeon? Can I see it?”

He rolled his eyes, the gesture fitting his youthful appearance perfectly. “Not unless you piss him off enough,” he told her. “And then it won’t be a sight-seeing tour.” He pulled out a different glossy poster. “How about this?”

The poster showed a lovely, long ranch-style house that sprawled in a green, grassy yard. Behind it were verdant trees and the mountains rising behind it. It was, in a word, lovely. She smiled. “That’s beautiful. But the problem is, I’m not staying here. Neither you nor Thanatos can pressure me–“

“You were attacked at your college, were you not?” At her nod, he continued, “And at your home?”

She looked away. Did everyone know?

“The point is, you’re being attacked. You’re not safe at your college or at your home. Where will you go?” he asked, “What will you do? You’re a target.”

She sighed. She should at least go look at the house, right? “Fine. Can I see it?”

He smiled, almost a genuine one, too. “Yes. We will set out immediately.” He snapped his fingers and the three women in the room who had supplied the folders and glossy posters went into instant action. The papers were cleared away while another briskly trotted out of the room and down the hallway.

She felt an unexpected irritation with the man, and with Thanatos as well. She felt like she was being pushed into something she didn’t want. The house was beautiful, but what strings did it come with, even if she decided she liked it? She was particularly disturbed by James’ simple recounting of what she already objectively understood; gargoyles hired women to birth their children.

What exactly was Thanatos’ motivation here? He made it very clear that he didn’t care about her, but his behavior spoke far different from what his words did. He said she was just a human but he saved her, he protected her from a vampire, he was apparently buying her a house, he dipped into the all-important hoard…

She sighed and followed James outside. He picked her up and suddenly the world tilted and spun and flashed past with insane speed and fury. When they stopped, she was dizzy and disoriented.

“I’ll show you the inside first,” James said through the roaring in her head.

She straightened up and nodded. “Okay.” It was as weak as it sounded.

They reached the steps when a reverberating ‘boom’ shook the ground as Thanatos landed behind them.

“What are you doing?” Thanatos demanded.

“We’re looking at houses, as you requested,” James informed him, his tone surprisingly respectful, given his track record so far.

“This is not in the town,” Thanatos told him, scowling.

James backed up against the door frame. “She doesn’t want to live with werewolves,” he answered.

Thanatos’ eyes switched from James to her, and Alexis realized for the first time why everyone cringed from him.

“They are the best possible protectors,” he informed her. “There’s nothing to be afraid of. They leave on the full moon.”

She shook her head. “I don’t want to live there. This is a beautiful place, quiet and–“

“Isolated. It’s quiet and isolated. It is utterly unacceptable.” His gaze switched to James and Alexis could go back to admiring how powerful and sexy he was, even in ‘jeans and a t-shirt’ made out of skin. “I told you to get her a house in town, and instead you have isolated her. Do you wish to see the moon rise tomorrow night, or has all self-preservation fled you?”

James practically groveled then. “You said to give her what she wanted! Whatever she wanted…”

“In town!” Thanatos barked.

“I don’t want to live in the town!” Alexis yelled at him, irritated.

“Yes, you do,” he told her. “You want children at your house. You want activity and friends and–“

“None of those people know me, Thanatos. They’re not just going to send their kids over to my house–“

“They will,” he interrupted her. “I will see to it.”

“Or what, you’ll kill them?” She crossed her arms to glare at him.

He scowled. “Of course not. You don’t seriously think I’d kill them just for not visiting someone?”

“Then how?” she asked. “What possible motivation would they have to stop by the house of a person they don’t even know?”

“My hoard is quite substantial…” he trailed off as he looked at her, apparently clued in to her shock by her gaping mouth.

She snapped it shut and then asked, as calmly as she could muster, “You intend to buy me some friends? You can’t buy people, Thanatos.”

He obviously realized he’d done something wrong, as he scratched the back of his neck and looked perplexed. “Ah… no. I was going to buy you a chance to get to know them. Once they know you, they’ll adore you.”

“It doesn’t work like that. People you pay are employees, not friends.”

“You can’t live out here,” he said. “You won’t even have a chance to meet them, so how will you get to know them?”

“They’re werewolves, Thanatos,” she argued. “Who says I want to know them?”

His face closed off, just like that. His voice was colder than the morning after an ice storm, and just as discordant as he said, “So that’s the problem. Werewolves. Who would have thought that a woman who got herself arrested, and then attacked for protesting for gargoyles would be such a bigot!”

He looked at James, “Get her whatever house she wants. If she’d rather be isolated than make friends with those got-to-be-evil werewolves, then so be it.” The look he threw her was scathing, hard, dismissive.

He vanished before she could speak. But what was she going to say? What could she say? He was right. She just kept screwing up, time and again. But in fairness, did he expect her to just trust mythical monsters without knowing a thing about them?

“Take me to the town. I want to meet some of these werewolves and learn more about them and if I’d be safe.”

James looked at her like she was insane. “Of course you’d be safe. Even if you don’t trust them, do you genuinely think Thanatos would purposefully put you into a situation where you weren’t safe?”

“I don’t know. He keeps telling me I’m a useless human and then he buys me a house. I guess, though, when you have a hoard that nets three quarters of a million dollars from just a bag full, it’s not so hard to buy someone a house.”

“You really don’t know anything at all about gargoyles, do you?” he asked her. “Especially the one you’re involved with.”

“We’re not involved,” she growled. Much to her regret, if she were going to be honest about it. But then again, why would they be involved. Despite her earlier objections–and lies–to the scary vampire Thanatos had protected her from, she was considered ‘pleasantly plump’ by the world. And she wasn’t anywhere near a size six, either. Why would a guy like Thanatos be interested in a fat chick? Sympathy?

“I wouldn’t tell him that,” James told her. “No matter what he has said, he’s crazy about you.” He picked her up and the world flipped inside-out again as he flitted through the woods, past trees and over their fallen brethren.

Apparently, they were off to the werewolf village so Alexis could crap her pants with fear while meeting some perfectly sweet half human, half wolf beasts. Oh, the excitement!

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