Exclusive Interview with “Halayda” author, Sarah Delena White!!!

Exclusive Interview with “Halayda” author, Sarah Delena White!!!

OK, first, again, apologies to you guys for not touching base as much as I should’ve… But then, I might not have been able to surprise you with something truly wonderful!

This summer, as I’ve previously mentioned, I read and got addicted to indie author Sarah Delena White’s first book of her Star Fae Trilogy, Halayda. (I will include a blurb at the bottom, for all those interested. I will say this, though: Fae meets alchemy meets steampunk. Meets the classic, “good vs. evil”. Hehehe.) I’ve actually had the pleasure to get to know Sarah personally via Facebook, and bonded a great deal, amidst several good-natured, and sometimes comical, conversations. She informed me that book 2 is coming out soon, this spring, in fact. I asked if, to help build hype and satisfy some of our curiosity, she’d be so kind as to agree to an interview– and she agreed!!!

I AM SO FREAKING PUMPED, GUYS!!!

Anyways… Ahem *clears throat* Let’s get this show on the road!

 

L4G: Thanks soooo much for joining us today, Sarah! It’s really quite the honor to be having this interview; it seems super surreal….I know a lot of readers and Bookstagrammers are rather unfamiliar with you and your writing, so we’ll start off there. First off, how did you get started in your writing business?

SDW: I never intended to be a writer, believe it or not. I’ve always enjoyed creating stories and worlds, but I didn’t prioritize writing until I was in my mid-twenties. I started writing while living and working overseas as a way of processing my experiences. I came to realize the profound power of storytelling and spent the next few years honing my craft and working on various projects. I always wrote fantasy, though. I love the power of speculative fiction to put the real world in a new perspective.

L4G: That’s awesome! I have to agree, I love how fantasy puts a novel (see what I did there?) spin on reality, and am a big fantasy reader and writer, myself. Speaking of which, I know a lot of people who are interested in writing, particularly fiction (and not just myself!). What pro tips can you give for future, aspiring authors?

SDW: 1. Always keep writing, and don’t be afraid to try new things. Before Halayda, I left a trail of half-finished stories in a range of genres. I had to keep trying different ideas and creating different worlds before I hit on something that deeply resonated with me and that I loved enough to commit to for the long run. 2. Don’t be boring! This piece of advice was given to me by one of my editors, Janeen Ippolito, and it changed my whole perspective on storytelling. I used to think I had to plow through the “boring parts” of a story so I could eventually get to the “interesting parts.” The result was some very uninteresting stories! When I started writing Halayda, I chose to make every scene an “interesting part,” realizing that if I wasn’t interested in writing something, people probably wouldn’t be interested in reading it.

L4G: Those are definitely words to live by… All you writers out there, take notes! 😉 I know I’m personally guilty of leaving stories half-finished, sometimes due to duller parts, until recently… But that’s another tale for another day. 🙂 Since, going by your Facebook and Instagram, we already know you love ballads and fae stuff, but… What SPECIFICALLY inspired you to create the world and characters of  Halayda and the Star-Fae Trilogy

SDW: Halayda was sparked by a dream in which I got dragonfly wings thanks to a crazy scientist’s experiment. The dream lingered in my mind after I woke up, and within a few hours Sylvie and Taylan came to life and started to tell me their story. I originally intended the book to be a superhero story, but I quickly realized that the concept wasn’t unique enough and needed other elements to make it sparkle. Since I love genre mashups, I combined fae mythology and steampunk with some of my favorite superhero tropes, and the world of Kyure was born.

L4G: What?! No way, I had a story world that was invented via a dream, too! OK, this is CRAZY *high-fives* OK, OK, Livia, stay focused… stay focused… In Halayda, there are a few things that are very symbolic, the Dragonfly wings and Dragonfly abilities being one of them. Maybe the Humanities and my English-y classes are getting to me with symbols and themes, but I need to ask: What made you choose the specific image of not just WINGS, but DRAGONFLY wings to symbolize and mark out Faerie’s Savior? 

SDW: While most of the symbolism in Halayda was deliberate, the dragonfly wings started as an unintentional symbol (or perhaps a subconscious one). I originally chose them because they were an element of the original dream and I liked the aesthetic. As I delved deeper into Sylvie’s significance and role while drafting the book, I realized that dragonfly wings were a perfect fit for many reasons. Dragonflies often symbolize renewal, as well as change leading to deeper maturity and self-realization, and this is perfect for Sylvie’s journey in Halayda.

L4G: Well, I guess that makes sense. I mean, sometimes dreams just have so much powerful imagery, you can’t help but include some of it… And the fact that it turned out to be something so much more… THAT’S what I call a “God-incidence”! Alright, since I promised my good friend Jarrett I’d ask a question or two regarding specific characters in your story, the Wild Hunt… (Sorry, Casimir– I PROMISE you’ll get a WHOLE interview to express your glorious self next time!!) He wants to know, how do the leaders of the Wild Hunt get chosen (by age, seniority, family/clan, descent, etc.)?

SDW: The leaders of the Wild Hunt claim their positions through a combination of seniority and fighting ability. The older, more powerful members of the Hunt will often fight to assert their dominance and try to claim a higher rank in the pack. Iberek became the chief hound shifter about two hundred years before Halayda takes place, winning a fight against multiple challengers. He is the oldest living member of the Wild Hunt, and very few Hunters are bold enough to question his authority.

L4G: I’m sure Jarrett’ll be pleased to know that fascinating tidbit about his fave character. He also wants to know, just how animal ARE the Wild Hunt– as in, are they mainly human/fae with animalistic traits, or is it vice versa?

SDW: Good question! It’s always interesting to see how authors handle this aspect of their Shifter characters. In this case, the hound and cat shifters of the Wild Hunt are primarily fae, but they prefer a more primitive life than the elemental faeries. While certain aspects of their culture resemble a wolf pack, they don’t view themselves as animals at all.

L4G: That’s very interesting! I thought that way myself, but Jarrett asks a lot of intriguing questions I never would’ve thought of, myself… I gotta hand it to him. Anyways, let’s wrap this up! 🙂 So happy we could get together to do this! Hopefully we can get together to do this again sometime in the future! Just one more question: Any clues as to what book 2’s going to have in store for us– a blurb, or even title-wise? Because there were noticeable changes on your Pinterest, hahaha….

SDW: I don’t have a blurb or a final title yet, but keep an eye out for that this winter, along with the official cover reveal! Here are a few clues about book 2, though:

-It is partly inspired by the Greek myth of Hades and Persephone.
-You’ll get to see more of the mortal (steampunk) world).
-Everyone has a secret, and nothing is quite as it seems. 😉
 
Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Olivia!

 

Thank YOU, Sarah!!! This was a lot of fun, and hopefully we can do it again in anticipation for book 3!!!

 

Interested in the Star Fae Trilogy? Here’s more!

Halayda blurb:

“Betrayed by a trusted mentor, Sylvie Imanthiya hides on the fringes of society, caring for half-fae orphans and trading her alchemical creations on the black market. She lives for the one night each season when she can see her dearest friend—a man whose destiny is far above hers.

King Taylan Ashkalabek knows better than to exchange halayda vows with a mortal. Even their friendship is a risk; love is an impossible dream. Then a brutal alchemical attack poisons his realm, unearthing a dark power within him—and leaving Sylvie with the ancient mark of Faerie’s savior.

Manifesting unpredictable abilities and aided by allies with their own secrets, Sylvie and Taylan journey into the wilds of Faerie to heal the damage and confront Casimir, an invincible star-fae determined to claim the realm as his own. But only their enemy knows Sylvie’s true capabilities—and Taylan’s weaknesses—and how to use them in his vicious schemes.

Her fate is life. His fate is death. With Faerie in the balance, Sylvie and Taylan must stand together before reality as they know it is destroyed.”

Find out more in this dramatic clash of fates and destinies in her first book of the trilogy, now!

https://uncommonuniverses.com/books/halayda/

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About the Author:

Sarah Delena White

Sarah is a vagabond on a never-ending quest for truth, beauty, and really good lattes. She has degrees in Intercultural Studies and Teaching English as a Second Language, and loves to explore the connections between fantastic stories – both modern and ancient – and the cultures that invent them. When she’s not writing or editing, she can be found making jewelry, singing Irish ballads, and working a variety of odd jobs. She occasionally remembers to eat and sleep, because those things are apparently important. She also loves chickens.

SarahDWhite

Image Creds: Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram 

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More Updates

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Greetings everyone,

It’s me, Ginger. Yes, I know, it’s been quite some time, hasn’t it? Olivia has been quite fraught with a good deal of work, and since Eikon has been left– temporarily– at home, it was up to me to take charge of Olivia’s blog.

Olivia is finally reading some adequate literature, though I am not sure what to make of some of the fiction that she has to read for one of her classes. I never knew how brutal some of the older time period writers could be! Well, I suppose there are some of “those” people in each era, although I myself am more inclined to authors like Ms. Austen or Ms. Bronte.

Speaking of literature, Olivia has been officially elected to read some of her pieces for her college’s “Reading Series,” or “Geneva Reading Series” (also known as the “GRS”) a once a semester program which focuses on embracing culture, literature, and even music. She wanted to keep it a secret from people, to help build suspense and hype, but since her professor, the very unorthodox Dr. Williams, decided to let the cat out of the bag a tad early, she told me to go ahead and talk about it. I kept “nagging” her to take me, but alas, we have only gone once. I supposed it is ironically befitting that she read for them now; she has informed me to tell you that she will likely be selecting a poem or two from here, on her own blog, as well as a section of a story she is writing. I couldn’t be prouder. She will be reading on October 25th; they will record it so that you may watch on some video-posting site that Olivia says is called, “YouTube”.

As for her one blogging story, she says she promises to continue it when time permits her, and I know she longs to do so, but barely has time for herself anymore, so it will likely not be until later this year– at the earliest, perhaps next weekend. At latest, her Fall “Break”.

Some nights are better than others around campus, though, I must confess, Olivia for the most part has the loveliest friends that help making staying here worthwhile. Her one roommate has the most scent-sational essential oils, and her other friend is an excellent back rubber/tummy scratcher, and even does Olivia’s hair properly. I typically stay in the room and doze whilst she is at class, though, so I rarely get out unless I feel the need to stretch my lovely legs.

Olivia has gained much experience over the summer, making new friends, and even befriending an actual published author, from a real publishing company. She and said author have become good friends, I think, as when they are “messaging,” as Olivia calls it, she is often grinning, giggling, and even laughing outright to herself when reading her friend’s messages. I think that looks a bit odd; whatever could they be discussing? I am curious, but not inclined to pry, as that might be considered rude by any standards.

vulpixgif1

Until next time, farewell,

❤ Ginger ❤

P.S., The one evening, she has, of late, burst out into sudden squeals. I have no idea why, only that they had to do with this picture… Might you be able to decipher why?

NandWhite

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Image Credit:

https://tenor.com/view/alolan_vulpix-vulpix-alola-pokemon-sun-gif-7402679

http://pokemontowerdefensetwo.wikia.com/wiki/Vulpix

Five Things I Learned This Summer

Five Things I Learned This Summer

So, no matter where you go or what you do, even if you’re miles away from your school, you never. Ever. EVER. Stop. Learning.

This summer, I learned a few things, aside from a couple of measly cooking skills in a kitchen, which I was previously fairly deficient in. #lifeskills

  1. The Internet has a mix of good and bad people. Very often, you hear negative stories about online people. Stalkers. Kidnappers. Scammers. Catfish. Virus-Makers. (Yeah, I’m looking at YOU. I’m onto you, buddy…) Basic Creepers that have no business in looking at ANY pictures you post (especially if your account is already set to “private”), let alone messaging you (which I’ve had happen to me quite a few times… deleted those suckers faster than you can say, otkazat’sya!). BUT, I will say, there aren’t just bad apples in a barrel. You may have to dig a little, beneath Haters, PCPs (Politically Correct Persons), and Creepers, but there ARE some good, decent people out there online. I’m friends with a few, actually, via a couple of Facebook groups, two of them being writing groups (“Realm Makers” is one) and the other, Project Inspired-based, but of course. So many people out there are just like you, just “normal” ( 😉 ) people who’re nice, caring, friendly, crazy, and GREAT. They genuinely empathize when you’re hurting, give advice if you’re confused or need clarification about something, or if you just wanna hang out and talk, they’re usually there for ya. So yeah, there are the jerks who are as easily triggered as a blink… But there are also the WONDERFULS. Find yourself a “wonderful” and hang on tight to them. It’s worth it.
  2. Don’t stay in an abusive situation. Ever. OK, granted, this kind of thing has happened to me, more than once, and in more than one way. The first I will not go into great detail, only to say that it was an abusive friendship (if it could even be called that, at times…), and I said/thought a lot of regrettable things before I ended it two summers ago(summer of 2016)…. But this time, it was a different situation. And again, because unspecified reasons, I won’t go into detail. Let’s just say I felt deeply unappreciated and alienated by certain people this summer, and it nearly tore me to shreds. Mentally. Emotionally. Spiritually. Due to circumstances, I couldn’t exactly leave this one immediately, but I knew I had to soon, or I would lose it. I cried at home almost every other night, maybe even more, because of said situation. I felt God wanted me to be strong, but I just couldn’t, at that point in time. Looking back, I’m glad I left that situation when I did; it was shortly before the week I got a blood clot in my left calf, and I would have not handled the situations very well together. So, maybe that was a sign…
  3. Appreciate constructive, mentoring feedback– IT’S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD. So, my summer, in a sense, consisted a good deal of getting advice on my writing, and giving advice on writing. As stated in a previous post, I spent my days, when not working, interning as an editor (for an indie publishing company), and doing my job, I was working at my independent study, on my novel, with my dear professor friend and overall genius, Dr. THE Williams. If you people know me at ALL, you’ll know that I’m a sensitive little bugger, and even if said with the best of intent, if you criticize my work, that sensitive little blister inside my brain threats to burst, drenching my cranium with EMOTIONS (mostly upset/depressed ones). I think this is because (theory time!) I’m so super-critical of myself already, that more pressure and criticism just causes my brain to kind of malfunction and/or overload. This is probably why I’m also so critical of OTHERS, actually– it reflects that I’m already too critical of myself. But anyways, I got a lesson in that, this summer. I told myself to quit being so sensitive and juvenile, and that, if I wanted to be a well-known writer someday, I’d get flack from ALL sides, so I just needed to suck it up and take it. Dr. Williams was going easy on me, I think. But he made very good points in his critiques, and really opened my eyes to something I had never viewed my story from, before: if it made SENSE to the reader. Seems like a “duh” thing, but really, it is so flipping important! I actually got to experience a bit of this myself first-hand, so I can now much more easily empathize with both Dr. Williams and all my educators. This summer I had the pleasure of helping a young lady (whom I will, for privacy’s sake, leave unnamed) with her own story, as her editor; her five previous editors had left her high and dry after just a few pages of reading– she had no idea why. Soon after I started, I realized why: The story concept was good, but it needed so much improvement, developmentally and grammatically, that it was making me cringe (as a reader) inside; additionally, she had little to no description of any of the characters, places, etc. It was like sitting in a theater blindfolded, only hearing dialogue, without any sense of what was going on, who was doing what. It hurt the most to see that she was already planning her sequel, and wanted to know if her book was ready to be published. (*winces for her sake*)But, now that I look back on it, she seems to have more of the mind of a playwright, NOT a novelist. If she can get some grammatical and developmental things under wraps, add some little descriptions here and there, plays should do well for her. But not every writer has the brain of a novelist. It would (probably) be terrible if Mary Oliver or Walt Whitman tried to write us a novel; it’s just not THEM. But editing for her gave me not only (free!) invaluable experience to my field,  it also showed me what it’s like on the other side of the fence, as the reader, and how I should approach certain editing situations, especially with stubborn or (like me) sensitive authors. It showed me how valuable criticism and advice truly can be, and I think that helped more than anything.
  4. Life is short, and summer is shorter. Not to mention, this was probably my *last* “free” summer that I’m going to have. Ever. Some things, money just can’t buy back, and it’s just not worth it…
  5. Internships can give you GREAT experience. If you want to test-run what it would be like to work in a certain field, go for it! If you’re just curious, that’s fine, too. 🙂 Some are paid, some aren’t. Mine wasn’t, but that was OK, because it counted for class credit (much needed credit, might I add), I was able to LEGIT help others in editing and providing feedback (seriously, best feeling EVER– your input is actually VALUED!!!), got experience, and I did so well, that the professor/owner of said indie publishing company said he was more than willing to be a reference on my resume, write up a letter of recommendation for me, and asked me to keep him posted about how things were going! In the right internship, magical things can happen to your academic-career life!

What did you learn this summer, and how did it impact your life for the better?

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Image Credit:

http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2012/06/summertime-and-the-words-are-too-easy/

 

“Ugly” and the Beast: A Snek’s “Tail”

“Ugly” and the Beast: A Snek’s “Tail”

See what I did there???

Also, yes, I misspelled “snake,” on purpose. But don’t worry, I’ll get to that later.

Lately, I’ve been doing a good bit of reading. And not just popular reads, either (Six of Crows and Heartless have been tempting me yet again… This time, I may have to give in to the latter.). I’ve seen some pretty good stuff from the indie author side of the spectrum lately, too– from Halayda to my latest finished read, the novella by H.L. Burke, Coiled. 

WARNING! YOU ARE ABOUT TO, YET AGAIN, PASS THROUGH INTO SPOILER CITY. PROCEED NO FURTHER IF YOU WISH TO REMAIN UNSPOILED. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Overall, a good read. A fairly short, and somewhat predictable read, but a good one nonetheless. While it was advertised as a take on the mythological Eros’s and Psyche’s tale, it personally reminded me of more of… Beauty and the Beast. Only, this version was more like UGLY and the Beast.

But then, perhaps not. You see, the main character, a girl called Princess Laidra, is outright hideous in every single way imaginable, but has a beautiful, caring, moral heart. She has the gift to heal others physically, whether it be animal or person, but at the cost of further damaging her appearance; she often does so anyways, but has to hide when she heals, because her mother, who in actuality does not care about her whatsoever, forbids her from growing uglier. Laidra must wear a hooded cloak, and sometimes a veil, to hide her appearance in public. In stark contrast, her vain, arrogant and cruel twin, Princess Ellea, is immensely outwardly stunning, a pure model, but has the heart and sympathy of a freaking boulder. Yeah, you heard me. A. Boulder. A stone-cold one, at that (yep, feeling punny today, hehehe…).

Welp, right across the ocean so blue, we have our lovely neighboring kingdom with their own troublesome royal twins, Kalen and Volen, who are likewise under a twin-curse- thingy, via a demi-god’s wrath. If Kalen is looked upon, he turns into a huge, vicious serpent, and his mind instantly becomes bestial, inhuman. So naturally, not wanting to harm anyone, he lives out in a cave that interconnects to a special castle just for him, where he can be alone (but he is very lonely. Trust me on that.), save for his demi-goddess mother’s occasional visits (she visits him blindfolded). On the opposite end of the spectrum, Volen, who is more callous, cannot at all be left alone, lest HE be serpentine, as well. Their father obviously favors Volen for the throne, so, to break the curse on Volen but to seal Calen as a serpent forever, he plans to ally with previous said kingdom, marry Volen to Ellea, thus breaking both of their curses, and forcefully change Calen into a serpent and feed Laidra to him. But things go awry when Laidra ends up escaping, and she and Calen meet (it’s dark enough that she can’t see him, and thus his curse is not activated). What happens next through a series of events is epic, beautiful, and powerful. Here’s my take on the story:

What was done well:

  1. The character building. The characters were realistic and easy to empathize with, if somewhat predictable. I mean, you easily knew that the two sets of twins were going to end up with each other. Still, kudos for character growth. Especially for Laidra’s character growth. And I love Calen’s character! Very sensitive, strong guy, for all his weakness.
  2. The overall plot. Even if somewhat predictable, it was still enjoyable. I mean, for starters, it didn’t take me long to figure out that Calen was a gigantic serpent, and Laidra was supposedly going to be fed to a monstrosity (I mean, two and two, really…)… so… But the overall plot was good. I like the theme of looking past outward appearances to the heart and soul’s beauty– classic Beauty and the Beast stuff.
  3. How Laidra’s gift showed her true character and inner beauty. Each time she heals, she gets uglier. She continues to heal despite this, despite being unwanted and shunned due to her appearance, and her mother’s threats. That not only takes guts, but compassion and selflessness. She obviously thinks little of herself in this sense, and more of others, which I deeply admire.

Mixed Feels on:

  1. The whole “gods” vs God thing. While there are pagan gods, these are portrayed as the “lesser” gods at one point, and God is shown as the only One True Divine Being. However, this was not always shown to be the case, until the second half of the book, save for Laidra hoping for and hopefully praying to that God of love. This was a bit confusing, because I didn’t know which direction the author was really taking the story, with this idea– mythology, or GENUINE theology? If you’re going to blend the two, at least be careful in being theologically sound.
  2. Volen’s transformation. I thought it a cool and ironic idea… But it was confusingly executed. If he alone transforms when he’s ALONE, with no one watching, wouldn’t he turn back into a human upon his brother– and Laidra– seeing him, when he attacked them on the beach? It’s slightly contradictory, just slightly.

Things that needed work:

  1. I felt like things sometimes progressed a little bit quickly. Granted, not always the case, and I really appreciated how she spread out the days so Laidra and Calen got one-on-one quality time with each other, BUT something about most other things felt a little… rushed, every now and then. I don’t know why, maybe that’s just me. It wasn’t all the time though, and just occasionally.
  2. Slightly lacking in scenery description. Great at describing people, but then, I think that that’s what the story was about, that and love. But needs work in describing a *little* more of the scenery. Not too much more, but a little. Teleport us there!
  3. The disembodied voice of Calen’s invisible servant pal. Honestly, I want to know more. More, I tell you! I feel like we don’t know enough about him (?). Who is he? How did he end up working for Calen? Why is he invisible to begin with? Is he human or mythological?Sooooo many questions!

My rating: 3.5 stars. (Hey, like I said, I’m a tough rater, so this is actually pretty good.) Needs a bit of tweaking, but definitely LOADS of potential. Idea is very intriguing, but mostly needs to be made less obvious in some areas. Let the reader do some detective work, except when it comes to Mr. Disembodied Floating Voice. That, we need the beans spilled on!!

Oh, and P.S. ….. The author likes affectionately referring to them as, “sneks”. Because reasons. 😉

 

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Image Credit:

http://www.hlburkeblog.com/2016/12/

 

Updates/ Things to Look Out for!

Updates/ Things to Look Out for!

Hey, everyone! *waves* It’s me, Eikon! I’m back… Miss me much? 😉

OK, OK, owwwww, quit pulling, Ginger, yes, I’m writing!

Things have gone a bit more active around here, since Livva quit work a couple weeks ago (because “ugh” people), from a stupid blood clot in her leg, to inviting people left and right, and left and right… from all over… to come and visit before school starts for her. Sheesh, you’d think she’d have enough to deal with, already…

Anyways, in other news, Livva has started writing again, but told me and Ginger we’re still in charge of keeping you guys up-to-date with what’s going on, soooo…. >.>

Aside from alllll that, Livva’s starting school the week after next. We all havta go back early because SOMEONE (looking at you, Isaac James) HAS to be there for “Welcome Week”. But I guess that’s chill at the same time; Ging and I get re-adjusted to the new pad and make ourselves at home with Hayley and Abbey too, while Livva talks with Dr. Martel and Dr. Williams about important school and work stuff (BOR-ING).

Two things make me perk up about fall, Halloween and pranking people aside, though… More “Rebels” and “Boruto: Naruto Next Generations”!! I miss watching the action with Livva on Sundays, when it was just us, food, and “Rebels”. I can’t wait for the finale this fall, I know it’s gonna be fantastic!!! (Ging usually naps on through it… Her loss. You snooze, you literally lose. Hehehe…) I recently got hooked on “Naruto” then “Boruto,” too, thanks to Livva. But, I’m so glad she did! They’re about bad-guy beating NINJAS, and it is EPIC! Also, sometimes Naruto or Boruto like pulling pranks on others, so I can relate… >:) I like Boruto and sometimes Mitsuki the best in the newest series. I sometimes think Sasuke’s a bit TOO serious and all, and Sakura… man, dat GIRL POWUH, though!! O.O Neji’s kinda cool, if a bit too strict, Lee’s weird, I could go on but you get my point. OH AND KIBA!!!! I SHIP MYSELF WITH HIM SOOOOOO BADLY!!! ❤ AND I LOVE AKUMARU!

Livva also wants me to tell you, that she’s also pretty pumped for more “Pokemon Adventures,” manga, particularly from something she calls the “B2W2 Chapter”…. I wonder why…

This December, we will also be camping in with several of Livva’s (human) besties to see, “The Last Jedi,” and later on, we’re booking it to The Promised Land! Soooooo excited, never really been out of country before, except as an eggy, and I don’t really remember that, just muffled noise. Lots of that. Huh? What now, Livva? Oh yeah, Livva says she’ll post pics of our Israel trip on her Instagram, said to tell you guys her username is “livgirl63”. WE’RE STAYING IN INNER CITY JERUSALEM, BABY!!! YAHOOO!!!

In other news, we’re all planning on watching that epic eclipse sometime soon. Since greedy bozos hogged all the glasses, Livva says we’ll havta settle for making one of those thingies that lets you see it without hurting your eyeballs. Of course we’re all psyched about seeing it; it’s the Darkling’s symbol and only comes to the US once every 50 years or something. Duh.

Livva’s excited and anxious about a couple other things, too, but I’m not allowed to say what, or I’d be in even bigger trouble than I already am… Karisse is watching me as I type…. Send… Help… Please…

Welp, gotta go!

Til next time,

Eikon

P.S., Oh, and here’s a pic of “him,” just because….

Darkling1

*drools* OK, OK, Karisse, I’m getting off, I’m getting off!!!

 

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Image Credit: https://pugfu.tumblr.com/post/148215980160

https://www.tumblr.com/search/grisha%20fan%20art

 

Alert: HACKER ON WORDPRESS

I am not a hacker, but the person aside from Doran Creations who liked that particular post is. Stay away from them, and, if you can, report them!

thoughts of a wanderer

Hello! This will be a short article because I’m trying to figure out WORDPRESS on my tablet. Why am I on my tablet?

I was looking at the blog of my friend LivGirl and on her article Jesus Loves…Me?

There was one profile which liked it. I clicked on the gravatar, then on the “Official Website”.

It was a virus.

I watched as it downloaded and my screen froze, a message saying my computer had been hacked flashed in front of me. I tried to move the mouse. I could not.

Do NOT go anywhere near it. Is there a way this profile can be reported? PLEASEREPORT IT if there is a way to do so.

(This also means that I will be posting a lot less soon.) It is truly amazing how clever these hackers are. Be VERY careful.

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The Water Wolves

The Water Wolves

Author’s Note: This story, while still in the realm of “fantasy,” is a bit different than what I usually do, like in the “Junk Collectors,” stories, or otherwise. This story (or rather, short story– which I typically dislike writing, as I have the brain of a novelist and usually can’t just “stop”) is more in the category of “traditional fantasy,” but meets the modern world. I do hope you guys like it. It kind of formulated itself into my brain over the past few days out of sheer boredom, until it was practically begging to be written. So, here we are. Again. 

While not related to the “Junk Collector” realm in any way, shape, or form, I did not enjoy writing this any less than my second “baby” (my first trilogy, which is in the works, in my first baby. “Junk Collector,” is second.). It actually has a very, very old daydream idea of mine interwoven into it, as you’ll soon see…But really, I hope you guys enjoy it.

******

Kierra Callot stared at the edge of her resort house bed, trying to figure out what to do. It had all started a few days ago, shortly after she and her family had gone to the beach for vacay. After all her duties, more than what her parents were even aware of, the vacay had been much needed, and extremely deserved.

She’d been lying under their umbrella, reading in the shade after nearly getting scorched alive trying to tan– it was, after all, the middle of July– she heard a soft, “Hey.” Looking up, peering over her shades, she saw before her probably the hottest surfer dude on the whole beach. His short, strawberry blonde locks were spiked upwards, somehow oddly complementing deep sapphire eyes. He was shirtless, as most men are when swimming, but had the six pack to flaunt, which many men did not. He wore black and white swim trunks, and had some kind of tooth necklace around his throat– she knew it wasn’t a shark tooth, it was longer and the point was not as accented, but…

He’d interrupted her thoughts with a little chuckle. “I know, I know… I’m a fine specimen, aren’t I?” Those sapphire eyes seemed to dance. Her heart almost leapt, before her common sense dragged it back down to planet earth. “How do you even know that was what I was even thinking?”

“You’re ogling.” A sunny little smile lit those eyes up again. “People usually do when they think those thoughts.”

“What? Like you’re some kind of museum artifact, begging to be looked at?” She tried to roll her eyes, and draw her focus downward, back to her book. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have much needed vacation time to catch up o–”

“Even more important,” he said softly, suddenly right behind her, “than taking care of… Area 61 matters?” She’d jumped out of her beach chair in fright and shock– partly due to his unexpected proximity, but also due to his unquestionable knowledge of–

“What did you say?” she stammered, trying to force herself to stay calm, “I don’t know what you’re… what you’re talking about.”

He studied her for a few moments, eyes grazing on her whole being, then halting and hovering at her own. He leaned against their umbrella stand casually, arms folded. “Well, then, I suppose it WOULDN’T interest you in the least that some… rogues… are attempting to portal jump?”

She didn’t have to say anything this time; her eyes widened, and that seemed to be good enough for him. “Tell you what,” he said, voice again like silk, “Why don’t we have ourselves a nice little chat about it over dinner? I can easily provide you with all the details. The Seafood Ship, 113 Main Avenue. My treat. Oh, and they prefer it if you’d wear the nicest clothes you have with you. See you then.” Completely ignoring her sputtering protests, he’d calmly sauntered off, but not without the gazes of at least two dozen giggling or jealous females watching. Kierra had sunk down to her chair again, feeling flustered, confused, suspicious and concerned all at once.

Just as she was feeling now.

She sighed, twirling in her teal ombre sundress, gazing at herself in the mirror. Her family, especially her younger brother, wanted to know why she was getting all dolled up, but she didn’t disclose any of the real details. She didn’t know what had moved her to even THINK about doing this. Maybe it was duty, an actively subconscious response to aid someone during a GENUINE “Area 61” call. But, in this case, she had no clue as to if this call was a genuine one, or a trap. How did he know, anyways?

She would, one way or the other, learn that in a hour’s time.

She set off to the Seafood house with a disconcerted feeling that she would in no way be eating during their conversation.

*****

He’d picked out a booth before meeting her at the door; apparently, this guy was a real regular here. Every other server they passed seemed to greet him with a smile and a nod, or, in male servers’ cases with Kierra, a sly little wink. Kierra felt like she’d swallowed a stone, and that stone had punched a hole through her gut; she wasn’t here to go on a date. She was here for answers.

She decided before they were seated not to order anything, even under pressure, in case anything was spiked. Probably paranoia, but in her profession, it never hurt to be too careful. After they sat, she said, “OK, talk. Who are you, and how do you know about…”
“Area 61?” He leaned back, almost as casual as before, only in nice jeans, a white shirt, black leather jacket. Only the tooth necklace remained the same, out in plain view. “Dear, I’ve known for quite some time that you’re a Portal Hunter. But you’re right,” he added, seeing her jaw drop and eyes narrow at his audacity, “It’s not very fair that I know all of that about you, and you not to know a a whale’s tail swish about me…. Fair game. My name, dearest, is Micah. Micah Greenwater. And I happen to be one of the administrators for MARINO.” He paused to thank the server for his lemon-water, and to take a sip.

“Wait a minute… MARINO…. Why does that sound–”

“Familiar?” he finished, after a long gulp. “Stands for “Merish Aquatic Rescue International Networking Organization”. Surely you’ve heard of us?”

“MERISH?” Her eyebrows had never shot up so fast. “You’re MERISH? On human land? I don’t believe you. You don’t even have a tail, or gills, and there’s a severe penalty for any Mermian to go out wandering on human–”

“I see you’re under the influence of several very prominent misconceptions about my people,” he cut her off again, coolly eyeing her once more. “I suppose you also believe the little myth that we are half human, half fish, do you?”

“Well…”

“Tut, tut… such prejudices…” He downed the last of his water faster than she could bat an eye. “If you were to know our actual past, you would be fully aware that my people were originally Atlanteans, some of whom survived the Great Flood by breeding with the likes of porpoises, whales, manatees, dolphins, and sharks. Do fish, after all, have such beautiful song voices? I think not. And not every Mermian does, either. Usually only about two-thirds of us, actually.”

“What?” She stare at him, trying to digest all this information, thrust at her all at once. “You’re saying… that you’re a product of… Bestiality?” His lobster platter had arrived, and though it had grill marks, it did not look very well done. She was beginning to feel ill. “You’re not going to be ordering anything, dear? What’s the matter? You look a little… green around the gills.” He chuckled quietly at his own joke, sawing into his meat like an ordinary gentleman. “Don’t worry, mine’s lightly grilled. Only lightly. Living in the human world for so long causes you to adapt to some of their ways, after all. Most Mermians would eat theirs completely raw.” He closed his eyes and chewed, savoring the flavor,as a million questions flooded Kierra’s mind. Then at last she blurted,

“You’re… you’re not planning on… on seducing me and taking me into the ocean to drown then eat me, are you?”

His eyes instantly flitted open, and he started coughing. She almost felt worried that he was choking because he was angry and surprised, but suddenly a laugh barked out past his lips. “Seduce you… drown, then eat… good Neptune, what movies have you been watching, dearest?” He wiped his mouth, settling down again. “If you’re referring to our methods of mate selection, mesmerism and conversion, then let me assure you, they’re very different from those… rumors. The stories you’ve been told have been obviously exaggerated. But it’s alright that you asked, because that will bring us to the point of our little meeting, anyway.” He set his utensils down, steepled his fingers together, gazing at her for the longest time over them. Then spoke,

“You see, after my people were officially born into existence, we were quite numerous. For several hundred years, we flourished, built homes underwater, had cities similar to your own– ones with technology and architecture that you wouldn’t believe. Then multiple plagues struck. First the elderly, then the young. Soon, we were perishing in great numbers. It became vital to preserve our numbers, so young mermen and mermaids began a special kind of adaptive training. They could spend days on land, spending time with, and, as you call it, “seducing,” many humans. Usually by means of persuasion and mesmerism. We often have had harems, to help increase our numbers with them. But we could only do so after they themselves had been converted, had become Merish. Which brings me to my main point,” he said quickly, noticing her agitated expression, “Some of those things, I admit, were a little… desperate and barbaric. You must understand, we did what we had to, to save our society and keep it from dying out. It was not exactly… a proud past that we had.” He broke his gaze at her to stare down at his nearly-empty plate. “But times have changed, and we, with them. Conversions must follow specific regulations, such as age limit– no younger than sixteen– and certain, specialized circumstances, such as if the human was in an abusive household, or the like. Very specific situations… And we never, ever condone forced, nonconsensual conversions, least of all child conversions. The unfortunate news is, sometimes these conversions still occur. These… These Merish rogues, as we call them, mostly mermen… They are not like the rest of us. Our understanding is that most of them are half the most predatory aquatic mammals– sharks. Understandable, given their ways.” His tone turned angry, vicious. “They are very old-fashioned, some of them, and believe we ought to return to the old ways, of kidnapping, having harems of pretty young human girls, not caring about age… Others, they are worse. They call themselves, “The Water Wolves,” they’re much like your mafia, only specific in their dealings. You know about human trafficking in your own world, I take it?”

She nodded, speechless.

“Well, they are avid partakers in it. Sometimes, they are so lazy that they let humans do the kidnapping for them, without disclosing that they are Merish, and when they get their victims… Well, I’m sure you can easily fill in the rest.”

“But… That’s awful! Can’t we do anything to stop them?”

“That’s why MARINO was founded, dear. We work side-by-side with multiple anti-trafficking organizations, including that human one that helps to locate and return missing and exploited children. Our job is to rescue as many human children, and yes, even teenagers like yourself, before it is too late. We’ve had enough negative dealings with things like this in the past. That’s why I would like you to help us.”He leaned forward, looking eager.

“What can I do? I’m just a Portal Hunter, like you said. I only monitor the portals open to other worlds, and help shut down illegal portals that others try to open. I’m not law enforcement, by any means.”
“Perhaps, but I know you’re legally REQUIRED to ACT as law enforcement, particularly in Area 61 matters like this, until proper authority arrives, if you see and find something suspicious. You have a right to investigate, arrest, and to protect the innocent.”

“You DO do your research well, don’t you,” murmured Kierra. “All right, then. No promises, but I’ll do what I can to ensure no new portals get activated in specific locations. Just tell me where to keep my eyes peeled. Oh, and two more, unrelated, questions…”

A smile curved those perfect lips. “Yes?”

“You said your people bred with… certain marine animals, right? And you seemed to imply that your people were long lived–”

“Oh, you’re wondering what I’M part of, and how old I am?” Amusement was in his tone. “My great-great grandmother was an Orca whale. I’m actually wearing one of her teeth.” He stroked the tooth affectionately. “That way, I know part of her’s with me, wherever I go. As for how old I am…” He stood to leave, “Well… Let’s just say I look a lot younger than I actually am. A lot, by far.” He took her hand, delicately kissing her fingertips, one by one. “It was wonderful meeting with you today, my dear. Can I expect a follow-up report in, say, the next week or so?”

“I’ll do my best,” said a flustered and crimson faced Kierra.

___________________________

Image Credit: 

https://www.etsy.com/listing/120860115/paperd-antique-orca-whale-tooth-necklace