Bad Ass Chicks Blog 2: Ruby Iyer

Ok so we are into the second week of the Bad Ass Chicks blog series and the author I am about to introduce has one kick ass character: Ruby Iyer, created by the award winning author Laxmi Hariharan. Set in the city of Bombay, Ruby is thrust into a fate of survival in this young adult action thriller. Check out the synopsis below:

” A girl desperate to rescue her best friend. A cop willing to do anything to save the city he serves. A delusional doctor bent on annihilation. A terrifying encounter propels Ruby Iyer from her everyday commute into a battle for her own survival. Trusting her instincts, she fights for what she believes in, led on a mysterious path between life and death on the crowded roads of Bombay; and when her best friend is kidnapped by the despotic Dr Braganza, she will do anything to rescue him. Anything, including taking the help of the sexy Vikram Roy, a cop-turned-rogue, on a mission to save Bombay. The city needs all the help it can get, and these two are the only thing standing between its total destruction by Dr. Braganza’s teen army. As Bombay falls apart, will Ruby be able to save her friend and the city? Will she finally discover her place in a city where she has never managed to fit in? And what about her growing feelings for Vikram?”

Laxmi gives us readers more of Ruby Iyer in a two book series beginning with TheRuby Iyer Diaries, The Many Lives of Ruby Iyers. Laxmi is also the author of The Destiny of Shaitan: An Epic Fantasy Series (Bombay Chronicles Book 1).

Thank you so much Laxmi for including Ruby Iyer in the Bad Ass Chicks series. Any young woman whose world is dependent on her skill level, and willingness to stop whatever evil that comes her way is definitely a Bad Ass Chick. I wish you the best of luck in your continued success in your literary endeavors. For those of you who interested in picking up your own copy click on the links below and show Ms. Laxmi Hariharan some book love.

The Ruby Iyer Diaries:

http://www.amazon.com/Ruby-Iyer-Diaries-Coming-Novelette-ebook/dp/B00MXSLQFU/ref=la_B007M6E542_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436384896&sr=1-1

The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer: A Bombay Story

http://www.amazon.com/Many-Lives-Ruby-Iyer-Bombay/dp/1502773775/ref=la_B007M6E542_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436384896&sr=1-2

The Destiny of Shaitan: An Epic Fantasy Series

http://www.amazon.com/Destiny-Shaitan-Fantasy-Bombay-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B007M2IBH8/ref=la_B007M6E542_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436384896&sr=1-3

***Stay tuned for next week’s Bad Ass Chicks blog feature***

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Arian’s Tale: My WIP

Arian’s Tale: My WIP

Arian’s Tale is the retelling of the Little Mermaid, but instead of a mermaid falling head over heels for a human male, this story is a reversal of the story taking place in a modern setting. Arian’s Tale is the first of a series that I have entitled The Retelling, which will involve my versions of famous fairytales including Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, Sleeping Beauty and Little Red Riding Hood. Arian’s Tale is still in the infancy stages but I am shooting for a September release date. And for those of you who are new to my blogs, check out Viper which will be available July 1, 2015.

Chapter 1

Arian

Arian sat by his father’s side in front of a mass gathering of mermaids vying for his approval. It was time for him to step up to the plate and begin training as co-ruler, since he is King Triton’s only son, and Atlantea’s future king. The throne upon which he sat had been constructed by Atlantea’s finest coral, and adorned with jewels found in the abandoned and sunken ships left behind by humans: jewels ranging from rubies, sapphires and diamonds, encrusted up his throne as an indicator of his power. Any other merman or tritone would have loved to be in his fins: to be considered the most eligible merman in the seas with all of the powers that came with it, and a harem of mermaids at his beck and call should have had him itching for a chance at the trident. But it didn’t. Sitting in front of a bunch of eerily beautiful yet superficial females with heavenly voices; but possessed personalities equivalent to that of a sand box just didn’t do anything for him. He wanted to get away; disappear into much more shallow waters, and practice taking human form so that he may walk among his two legged counterparts.

He smoothed his long, raven dark hair back even though the subtle movements in the water caused it to continue its drift with the current. His tail, a scaly and iridescent green that extended beyond his waist stretched out over seven feet into a pair of fins that spread out in opposing directions measuring two feet across, flinched anxiously as his father prepared to welcome the crowd of at least fifty of Atlantea’s best females. All of them ranging in size and color, these were Atlantea’s most desired mermaids, each one a prize among her clansman, and not one of them stood out to him. He wondered if there were truly such a thing as true love; and if so, did he not meet the requirements for such a wonder?

His father, King Triton is a merman of legend. A god among gods to his kind and the son of Poseidon. Under Triton’s rule, their kind have remained safely hidden underneath the waves of the sea, and it had been centuries since the war with Man, and as long as the Tritone people remained under his care, there would be peace. Arian understood this and desired to maintain and uphold his father’s laws; but he simply did not care for his moment. Triton rose to his full nine foot height, his golden tail shimmering against the current, displaying his role as king. Twenty feet across from them sat the potential brides awaiting their chance at finally being introduced to the one and only Arian, Atlantea’s future king. His thickly muscled chest flexed without his doing, his blonde hair billowing in the current, his emerald green eyes ablaze with hope and excitement for his son’s future, and without glancing in Arian’s direction, he smiled warmly at his private guests before finally speaking.

“It is my pleasure to be in the presence of such exquisite beauty,” he began. “I would like to welcome all of you on behalf of myself and my son Arian. Hopefully tonight he will choose his bride so that he may begin his training by the next full moon; and then it is within even greater hope that we could expect an heir by the next Great Tide to celebrate the continuation of my legacy. Your families have been assured that all of you will receive a private escort home to ensure a safe passage back to your seas.” He paused a moment to take in the view of smiling and hopeful faces before continuing. “Again, welcome to my palace!”

The mermaids gazed around in wonder and amazement at the exquisite architecture that had been Atlantea’s charm for eons. Hidden far below the deepest depths of the ocean, in the Mariana trench, the kingdom of Atlantea stood proudly. Crafted by none other than Poseidon himself, the entire city had been built from the ocean’s finest of coral, and stone straight from the underwater volcanoes-Obsidian. Atlantea was a complex networking of pyramid structures outlined with the finest of precious metals. The palace itself was a monolithic structure that defined Atlantea: completely made from glass, it shown in the distance as a giant prism, with various portions of the glass palace tinted in varying hues of green, purple and blue. Atlantea was a gem; the ocean’s best kept secret, and for any mermaid to come as an invite is without a doubt the highest honor. The city emitted its own natural light, courtesy of the powers of the King Tridon. All members of his royal line possessed those sacred abilities, otherwise the mer-people of the city would have had to manage to survive in much more shallow waters.

Each of the fifty or so invited guests, eyed their beautiful surroundings with hope in their hearts that they too could somehow become a part of Atlantea’s majesty. Beautiful floral arrangements of coral, sea anemones, lined the 2500 sq. foot main room along with the hallways; pearls strewn together in a whimsical decoration across the glass ceilings like white diamonds against the backdrop of vast and mysterious ocean. Several huge merman, almost as thickly built as the king that they served guarded the entryway, armed with specially made swords, and 10 foot tall spears that they held tied across their backs, and their bluish-green tails swishing about at the ready, the people that inhabited Atlantea had lived very protected lives since its construction. The mermaid guests that sat about anxiously for their introductions to Arian understood that if unsuccessful they were to return to their own parts of the ocean where they belonged and had to pay tribute to King Triton. Atlantea’s residents were all natural born and those that weren’t had to request the king’s clearance to relocate into its protective walls. And so for all of the lovely mermaids in attendance, becoming queen was the only option.

An older merman, the King’s advisor swam out from behind a curtain of kale and introduced himself to the female guests. “Good day ladies,” he began, smoothing away his paling red hair back away from his narrow face. “My name is Dash and I will be sort of like a consultant to the king and the prince in making his decision. Arian has expressed his interest for the time being-“ he said turning to face Arian, his expression smug and condescending. “-in only choosing his main wife. Perhaps later on in the future he would be open to selecting a second wife to guarantee the arrival of an heir by the next Great Tide. Now, I will need for you ladies to follow me down the hallways where all of you will wait to be called individually. It is only when you are called will you have the opportunity to demonstrate to the king and his son your uniqueness and why you should be Atlantea’s future queen. Follow me…” Dash turned quickly and without much warning disappeared down the corridor. After a brief moment of hesitation, the mermaids followed the trail of disappearing bubbles Dash had left behind to a smaller room in the center of the palace, bypassing a variety of sea shelled décor of a multitude of pastel colors. Perched high above their heads on the mantels of proud pillars sat massive clam shells; their jaws open and wide and in the center balls of white light helped to illuminate the palace. The mermaids giggled excitedly amongst one another, for none of them had ever experienced such splendor. Once inside the single room where all fifty of them sat in seats made of coral, sand stone, and lined with rare emerald, Dash disappeared back into the main room where both Arian and his father waited anxiously. As Arian surveyed the expectant faces of both his advisor and his father, he realized that this was going to be a long night.

Author Spotlight: Jessica Cage

Author Spotlight: Jessica Cage

11150350_816665795037066_7510772584786811723_nAlphasMany of you may know her for her hit story about a sort of coming of age telling of a girl who discovers she has a lot more kick to her than what meets the eye in Siren’s Call. Others may have fallen in love with her new werewolves series, The Alphas, the first book entitled Malcolm and just this passed Saturday, the sequel in the series, Jeremiah has been released to the world. I have been following Ms. Jessica Cage for a few months now and I am impressed. She has taken the indie world by storm and has no plans on stopping. Ever.  She was kind enough to give me a few moments of her time in an interview. Check her out!

Interview With Jessica Cage

  • When did you realize that writing was a passion for you?

For me writing has always been a part of my life. I guess I didn’t realize it was a true passion until later in life when someone else pointed it out. I always just did it, a natural habit that helped me deal with everyday life. When I was in my 20s I decided to do more with it, take it further. I am so glad that I did.

  • For the readers out there who are just discovering your books, what is the name of the first story you ever written?

First story ever written (that is available to the world) would be Let Me Protect You. Technically I wrote that story when I was in the 7th/8th grade… funny how life works as I was told at that time that it was too risky for the Young Authors Program I was in. Instead I submitted a story about a girl wanting a boy to ask her out to prom. It won an award but I never really liked it. First story ever published would be Revitalized (Book 1 of The High Arc Series).

  • How would describe yourself as a writer?

Random, unconventional, unorganized, unpredictable. I never plan. If it weren’t for having such an awesome team of people in my corner I am sure that this entire author life would be a total mess! I let my characters run free and I never attempt to tame them. That only leads to total devastation and my receiving a silent treatment from the invisible people living inside my head.

  • Why the indie route instead of the traditional publishing route?

I am a DIY girl who never even attempted to submit to a traditional publisher. I just love having creative control, no deadlines, and being able to cultivate real relationships and learn so much about the industry. My progress may be a bit slow but it is so much more rewarding this way. Now, that isn’t to say I wouldn’t jump on a contract now, but I doubt I would ever be given one as I have never submitted any inquiries.

  • What often inspires you to create?

Life. My son. My own brain. I have always been a creator. Art has been a part of my life in many mediums and writing just happens to be the one I can never step away from for too long. I took it public for the sake of my son. I wanted to show him that he can chase his dreams, do what really makes him happy. That is the most important thing in life. Living a life that fulfills you. Creating things of beauty, things that will stick with the world after I am long gone, well that fulfills me and makes me so unbelievably happy.

  • What inspired the Alphas Series?

My brothers. The bond between those two is one that will not be broken. That includes me as well. As I said in my dedication to them on the first pages of the book, No matter how far apart our lives may take us, our bond will remain strong.

I wanted to write a story that focus on the strength of men. I wanted to show that men can be as complex as women. My other stories all focus around the lives of women and show how they come into their own. I grew up with nothing but boys (in my age range anyway) and I was able to witness those parts of them that most females might not get to. They are strong yes, but they are emotional, irrational, just like women. I thought The Alphas was a great way to show that. I just hope I did them justice.

  • Do you ever place yourself as one of the main characters in any of your stories?

I have not, I am sure bits and pieces of myself live within all of my characters. Writing is after all a form of therapy. To say that any one character is me, well no. I don’t think I am brave enough for that one just yet.

  • What can readers expect from your newest installment of the Alpha Series: Jeremiah?

They can expect a faster pace than what was in Malcom. Jeremiah’s story is full of adrenaline.  There are of course softer sides. There is drama, love, heartache, forgiveness. So much packed into this story.

  • What can your fans expect from you in the upcoming months? Year?

I will be releasing a few anthologies this year as well as the first High Arc Novella revolving around the life of the villain of the High Arc series, Jocelyn. I will also be release the highly anticipated second book to the Siren Series coming this September.

  • Where do you see yourself five years from now as a writer?

I see myself writing more and more. I want to be traveling meeting more readers and using that platform to reach out to the youth. There is something missing for them, the connection to the arts. I want to use my writing to be able to help them. Whatever their creative medium is, I want to encourage that to grow.

  • What advice would you give your younger (beginner writer) self? What have you learned in this journey as a writer that you wished you had known when you first started?

Take your time! I really did a lot of rushing through the first stages of my writing/publishing. I would also tell her to promote more. Don’t hit publish and walk away for 2 years, so much valuable time lost. Most importantly I would tell her to be brave and work on that thick skin because this industry can really get to you.

  • Is there anything that you want your readers to know about you that they never knew before?

I will be leaving the world of paranormal writing for a bit. I have a few projects that are lingering and I want to explore another genre. I plan to begin this at the end of 2016. I am so nervous about this switch but I know that the witches, demons, vampires, wolves and of course the sirens won’t let me stay away for long!

  • And last but not least, which book of yours is your personal favorite? And why?

I would definitely have to say Siren’s Call. It is my favorite simply because I felt like with that book I took my writing to an entirely different level. With that book I shook away the safety cord and took that leap. It was like I was tip toeing as a writer until that point and once I started, I knew I had to write Syrinada’s story from a different voice. It was difficult but I am so glad that I did. It continues to be my bestselling book even though I have published several titles since publishing it!

Jeremiah was released this Saturday, April 18th and is available to satisfy your reading cravings. If you love sexy werewolves and kick ass scenes click on the link provided to get your copy of Jeremiah. I wish this author nothing but the best and for more updates follow her Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/jessica.cageauthor/about

Escape: Coming 12/31/2015

Escape: Coming 12/31/2015

I awoke with a start to the sounds of an engine roaring to life. I shivered in the chill of the early morning, the sky had not yet been greeted by the first rays of light, and though every muscle and bone ached with a vengeance, I knew I had to get up, otherwise it would have been well into the afternoon before I would have returned to my bleak reality, and I definitely did not want to miss my opportunity to shower and regain a sense of normalcy. My eyes burn with fatigue and my corneas feel as if they are being scratched by sand paper, and as I stretched and yawned and tried to regain my bearings I cannot figure out how I managed to sleep for so long in such uncomfortable conditions.

I am begging my aunt to let me stay with her, even if I have to drop to my knees to do it.

I folded my ratty blanket and double check that my only three outfits which included two pairs of faded blue jeans, two bras, three pairs of colorful panties that my former social worker bought for me three years ago, a couple of pair of black socks, two hoodies, a matted ball of Scrunchies, half a bar of soap, an old tooth brush and a comb that was missing half of its teeth, a couple of sanitary napkins (thank goodness my cycle is irregular), my ID, my social and birth certificate, and three crew necks. That was all that I had to my name. Tying my hair back and smoothing my edges down as best I could, I pull my dingy hot pink hoodie over my head, slip on my beat up grey and white Nikes, hook my duffle bag over my shoulder and prepare to walk the fifteen or so blocks to the mission and I send up a silent prayer that all will go as planned. I believe that someone upstairs owes me for the life of pain that I have had to unfairly deal with; and just maybe, today, my life was going to turn around for the better.

I made it to the mission in less than 45 minutes. The local vagabonds that walked the city streets nodded in my direction before returning to their daily routines towards survival. A man whose path I have crossed many a time since I opted to remain in the downtown area screamed violently at the invisible offender; cursing and flailing his skinny and frail arms about, while blank black eyes stared in my direction. He looked as if he had not had a bath in years, and judging by the yellow and thick callous that covered his bare feet, he had not. I used to wonder if he had a family that was somewhere out there looking for him, but then, I remembered that I once had a family and they stopped caring to look for me. I reckon that is what happened to him too.

Bums, vagabonds, homeless folk, society’s failures, whatever you want to call us make up our own society-our own community. One would never understand the struggle to simply achieve the basic of necessities unless one walked in those shoes. And what wearisome shoes they become. The crazy thing about me being homeless is that I often have felt like I was right where I needed to be: I could disappear into the shadows of the streets, away from…

A nun greets me at the door, and welcomes me with a warm smile. She is familiar with me and my situation and has offered several times to let me stay in the nunnery, but I quickly got the impression that she was hoping to recruit, and I have to face it, my situation is too fucked up to even want to dedicate my life to a being that never showed He cared about me in the first place. No, I am not an atheist; I do believe in God, but I think the Lord and I have some unresolved issues that we have to work out before I give one prayer of thanksgiving.

The nun goes by the name Sister Mary; she is barely five feet tall, with peachy toned aging skin, stringy blonde hair and welcoming brown eyes. Dressed in the typical head to toe black and white nun garb with a gold cross hanging from her neck, she guided me inside the Cathedral where row after row of sporadically filled pews of sinful parishioners sought penance for whatever sins they committed. The colored glass windows with varying depictions of the Madonna and her child graced the walls of the massive church. The melodious melancholy hum of the organ playing in the background reminded me of my mother’s funeral, and as the nun quickly guided me into the hallway that led past the cafeteria where they fed what they could to the starving masses of people that greeted them day in and day out, I fought back the surge of emotions threatening to break free. I did not cry for neither of my parents…not even my mother when I found her lying in a pool of her own wastes, and I was not about to start now.

Sister Mary and I engaged in the usual small talk.  You know, the “how are ya’s”, and “Why wont you come stay in the Mission” to “God is merciful and forgiving”, etc… I don’t see why I need to be forgiven for dead parents who happened to be drug addicts, but I let her go on with her attempt at laying on the guilt trip on me in hopes that I will see that my sinful nature is the reason why I am living on the streets. I suppose she is under the impression that I am involved in some sort of prostitution ring, which is the only reason in the world why a young woman such as myself would be destitute and living on the streets. For someone who claimed to love God and took pride in doing God’s work, she never once asked me why and what led me up to this point. She already had in mind my history and everything was my fault. Typical.

We bypassed a row of occupied rooms and continued down the stretch of the corridor until we finally reached the last door in which she removed a heavy bundle of assorted keys and opened the door. Flipping on the light, inside the tiny space was a cot with several blankets laid on top of it, a full length mirror that leaned against the plastered wall, and there was a single window that overlooked the parking lot that was saturated with last night’s festivities: used needles, used condoms, and shattered glass. What a view. “I just need a shower, some food and I promise I will be out of the way,” I say, struggling to find that balance between sounding grateful yet firmly against what was being offered to me at the same time. “And where will you go?” Sister Mary pushed with a frown that deepened the lines in her face. “Back to your pimp?” “Um excuse me?” I say feeling slightly offended. “You are too young to throw your life away to the streets,” she scolded. “Stay here. If anyone comes looking for you trust me you will be safe.” “I don’t have a pimp Sister Mary,” I say dropping my duffle on the ground. “I am not a prostitute. I am more of a runaway than anything, and like I said I just need food and a shower and then I will be on my way.” “A run away? Good heavens child! What could you possibly be running away from?” Her normally even toned voice hit a higher pitch and before  could say or do anything more she ushered me out of the room and into the room next door where I was greeted by several shower stalls and a couple of unoccupied toilets. “In the long cabinet to your left is soap, clean towels and some shampoo. When You are done I need for you to head to the cafeteria where a hot meal will be waiting for you.” “But-“ “But nothing young lady! It has been placed in my spirit that I am supposed to look after you. Do you know how many times I have thought about you since our last few encounters and I swore to the Almighty that the next time you walk through those door I was not letting you go on in the manner that you are. No woman should be on the street. So shower, and please do something with your hair. I know dread locks are a form of cultural expression but you do need to wash them!” And with that she slammed the door behind her.

I hope that my aunt forgives me. I do not think that my destiny begins and ends in this Cathedral.

I lock the door even though the room was meant to accommodate multiple people, but even on sacred ground one could never be too careful. I choose the larger shower stall which was built to accommodate the handicapped, turn the water on to as hot as I could stand it, grabbed the soap and shampoo and let the hot water transform me into a new person with a new beginning. But, even with a shower, freshly washed hair and a new attitude, nothing was going to change the fact that Fate definitely played a hand in what I was to become: and most importantly, what I am to remember.

Blind Salvation: Damien

Damien

He made it to the mansion with just a few minutes to spare. He had just enough time to shower and dress and as he entered his version of King Louis XIV luxury suite of indulgence, he found his sister, the ever beautiful red haired beauty and royal princess Lucinda casually sitting on the edge of his 16th century styled poster bed. She glanced at him with a slight smirk on her face, looking as devious as ever. Dressed in a midnight blue strapless Christian Dior gown, she crossed her legs and eyed Damien with a look of suspicion. “You have been with a human,” she said still smiling. “I can smell her all over you. The night of the presentation and you fulfill your carnal desires with a human…” “Get out of my room Lucinda,” Damien seethed as he walked right past her and into his walk in closet that was the size of a one bedroom apartment. “Why are you acting so testy?” She teased as she slithered behind him to antagonize him some more. “I am sure father would be quite proud to know…” “As the future King of this bloodline I can do whatever the hell I want. The only thing I am obligated to do is marry the shrew and eventually give us an heir. Now get out of my room Lucinda!” Baring his fangs at his spitefully wicked sister, he turned his back to her in his continued search for something to wear. Unmoved by his anger Lucinda took a seat on a crimson red ottoman that was situated nearby and regained her composure. She fiddled with her hair which hung down loosely in a side ponytail that was curled at the ends. “My husband would have made a fine king had daddy changed the laws of the monarchy,” she said finally. “Alexander is a fine vampire who values civility and the rightful order of a society…” “Yes, well Alexander should watch himself,” Damien warned. “I have heard of his proclivities and you would have been better off marrying a Lycan than the likes of him. Hell, Rothbart would have been a better choice for you…” Lucinda gasped at the name. “Don’t say that name again in my presence.” She demanded. “Why?” Damien turned to face her. Her demeanor had transitioned from pretentious and snobbish to ghastly pale and frightened at the mention of the Slayer’s name. “You are the reason why I am even in this position. Yes, dear sister did you think I had forgotten your silly little games you played on the Slayer? The same Slayer that hunted our bloodline to damn near extinction and who left his mark on Father? You are fortunate that father did not kill you for the deeds that you have done. So, for you to come in here and taunt me about my personal affairs you should be residing in eternal hope that I do not exile you to destitution and have your precious husband executed on the spot!” Lucinda’s perfectly symmetrical face had turned beet red at the memory. Her wolf grey eyes had glittered with unfallen tears and she placed her face in her hands. “I really did love him Damien. It wasn’t a game.” Damien took a moment to study his sister and based off of her scent he could detect no lie. “Yeah? Well, tell that to Father because Rothbart has returned.” Lucinda wiped her face and stared into Damien’s midnight blue eyes. “I hope you killed whatever human you were with tonight,” she said. “I can tell by your scent that she is more to you than what you are willing to admit.” Lucinda stood up and strengthened her resolve. “If you care about her you would have killed her because now that you are about to meet your future queen I will leave you with this warning. Please consider it a parting gift from me because after tonight Alexander and I are leaving Brigewood forever. Guinevere is not the feeble minded, socially inadequate shrew that most of the members of the aristocracy believe her to be. I met her a few times and she is sadistic and evil and power thirsty. You are a prize to her: a hard earned prize and she will not settle for being second place in your life. She intends to utilize her role as your wife to its fullest capacity. Do not underestimate her.” Lucinda turned then dematerialized to the Great Hall in the house leaving Damien alone with his thoughts. He found the old world suit and tie that he was looking for and made his way to shower off the remainder of Kennedy’s mouth -watering fragrance before heading down to meet his Fate.

As always Damien was dressed to impress with his black tux and Prada’s finest leather Oxfords. With one quick glance in the mirror, he could not help but admit to himself that he looked like a living god. His long raven hair was freshly pulled back in his signature braid, the tux fitted his muscled form to perfection. Yes, he was definitely eye candy and Guinevere should feel honored that he was forced to be in her presence. He dematerialized to the Great Hall where his father and everyone in his family’s bloodline were waiting. The Great Hall, the largest room in the house was where his parents hosted many a dinner. The seating amounted to 300 and tonight it was filled to maximum capacity. Decorated in Old World Medieval elegance themes with two banners representing both families (Damien’s being red and Guinevere’s being bright green) mounted on opposite walls facing one another, Damien sighed at the spectacle.  Seated at glass tables with expensive linen’s draped across the top, each of the 300 or so guests represented every well known fashion designer from Christian Louboutin, Christian Dior, Coco Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Versace, and Marc Jacobs just to name a few. The female’s kept their gowns simple, most of them strapless and of varying colors. Most of the males were dressed in a tux and carried themselves with an air of regality that one would have thought they were in the presence of kings-not one king. The servants had worked tirelessly at preparing a feast that was fit for an emperor: serving the finest of fish, chicken, wines and a variety of side dishes that would make the Food Network look like a dish served in the local school cafeteria. Then of course, on each of the dining tables that could seat a total of ten people were helpless and very terrified and nude humans tied down as offerings for the supposed to be special day.

Working his way through the crowd he said his hello’s and performed the appropriate greetings to everyone according to their station before he finally made his way over to where his father and mother sat. His mother, Phaedra looked as divine as ever, an exact replica of her daughter, the only difference was the black mole that sat proudly above the right side of her mouth. His mother was known for uniqueness among the vampire race: she was not bloodthirsty, she did not take pleasure in terrorizing humans and she even held a certain level of respect and sympathy for them…except for tonight. She could not afford to make her husband of 600 years appear weak in front of hundreds of vampires vying for and secretly plotting for his position. He kissed his mother lovingly on the cheek before bowing to his father who gave him a slight nod in acknowledgement. “You made it on time,” Hadrian said feeling pleased with his son’s obedience. “I had no choice,” Damien replied as he took a seat next to his mother who gently patted his hand. The human male that was tied to the table and gagged gave Damien a pleading look, which Damien ignored. After tonight he was definitely going to feed. “Where is the wench?” Damien asked suddenly feeling irritated. His father laughed heartily. “She should be coming down soon, son.” “And then can I go?” His mother gave him a surprised look. “Damien, Guinevere is a lovely female. Why would you be so anxious to leave?” “Because Damien’s loins are calling out to him,” his father chided.  Damien ignored his father’s reproach and focused his attention on the door fifty feet ahead of him. He hated his life at this moment. He honestly did. If his father- and just then the door opened and everyone in the room fell silent. A tall, slender built female with magnificently dark hair and emerald green eyes met his gaze. She wore a forest green gown with thin straps that barely supported the most exquisite set of breasts that Damien had ever laid his eyes on…next to Kennedy’s of course. Her neck was bare and from her ears hung a pair of diamond earrings that illuminated a blinding sparkle. A knowing smile greeted him, as if she knew everything there was to know about Damien’s past, present and future; and she took her time approaching his table. Her father, Stefan, walked proudly behind her, his long blonde hair sprawled out across his shoulders giving him the resemblance of a lion instead of a proud and respected vampire. Her mother was as tall as she with equally magnificent dark hair that kept wrapped in a bun and she wore a simple black gown that gently caressed her small ankles as she walked. Guinevere was definitely excellent eye candy and clearly she found herself a stylist to make her look presentable for this occasion. But, as Damien watched with dread as his future wife proudly approached his table, his chest ached for only one woman: Kennedy.

Once she had finally reached the table where Damien and his parents sat, she bowed respectfully to Hadrian, and then Phaedra and finally to Damien. When her eyes met his, her irises lit up with desire and Damien respectfully smiled at her. Realizing that his enthusiasm was not the same she averted her eyes to the floor and she straightened her stance with her father guiding her over to her seat next to Damien. Hadrian stood up and proudly bellowed to the crowd, “To the future King and Queen of our glorious bloodlines! May they have many heirs and a prosperous existence!” The crowd erupted with cheers as champagne glasses were passed around. Damien was not in the mood to drink anything. He could feel himself being watched and he turned his head to face Guinevere whom had been studying him as she took a sip of her champagne. “Am I not to your liking milord?” She asked plainly. Phaedra turned to look at Guinevere who gave an awkward smile and a raised glass. Phaedra glared at Damien who simply shrugged and returned his attentions to the crowd.

It was a good while before the cheering and clinking of glasses abated and then once Hadrian was finished giving his speech addressing the importance of bloodlines and unity, only to conclude on a high note of praises towards Stefan and his family could they eat. Becoming more frustrated and irritated by the minute, Damien eyed the human hungrily and before the first plate of food was served to his table he savagely bit the frightened human. He tore deeply into the man’s jugular and with vicious pulls he drank the life forced that helped him deal with his irritable mood. Once he was finished, Damien raised his head to notice everyone in the room staring at him, even his father and mother who gave him a look of surprise and horror. Guinevere smiled and followed suit, dropping her fangs, the strike was swift and hard into the man’s thigh. Soon, a feeding frenzy erupted and Damien took this an opportunity to leave.

He dematerialized to his room where he found his phone hidden behind a desk and hooked up to a charger. There were no missed calls and then just as he was about to search for the name of the only woman he could think about came a familiar scent. Guinevere had followed him. He bared his fangs in annoyance as she took form in front of him. “Who is she?” She demanded. “Why are you in here?” He snarled violently. “Who is she?” She demanded again. “I am to be your wife and you have done nothing more than look at me with unfortunate dismay as if I were some human!” She screeched. “I don’t even know you and you are acting as possessive as a fool in love you delusional twit,” he snapped. “I am required to marry you, and if you thought that by acting as an insecure teenaged girl in the throes of a tantrum was going to make me look at you with anything more than dismay you have another thing coming.” Well that got her attention. “I will have you know that this is as much as a sacrifice for me as it is for you.” She retorted. “No it isn’t,” Damien replied coolly. “You and your family are elevated from that lowly station that you were given-for goodness sake Guinevere you get to be a queen with every right and privilege afforded to that title. So what exactly are you sacrificing? And whoever this she is that you keep inquiring about, well there is none. So, with that being said, why don’t you remove yourself from my presence before you embarrass yourself and your family any further than you have already.” Tucking his phone in his pocket, he disappeared out of the room to another, more remote location in the house leaving a furious Guinevere trembling with rage and mumbling a vow of vengeance. “I will find out who this woman is Damien.” She inhaled deeply and smiled. Guinevere’s family was legendary for their ability to track the even faintest of scents, which was how her father had found favor with the king.  Guinevere stalked out of Damien’s room with a twisted smile. “Let the games begin,” she mumbled to herself.

One Last Excerpt of “The Family Curse” Until the End of NaNoWriMo

One Last Excerpt of “The Family Curse”  Until the End of NaNoWriMo

Chapter 8

I really wish my mother would hurry up and come home…as a matter of fact, I have a big beautiful house in Malibu that I could go and relax in and here I am stuck in the house with a half vampire, a ghost, and a sibling who is in love with a fairy. How magical. I am feeling incredibly drained emotionally, and my aunts are doing their best to pretend that none of this has happened. Anya had went in her room I suppose to call Lucian; Aunt Brielle was in my mother’s room supposedly looking for something of great importance and Aunt Luna was pretending that she was interested in CNN’s current newsbreak. It had been almost two hours and I had not heard from Nino, but knowing him he would call me as soon as he handled whatever business he needed to handle and we would be back home making love until the sun came up and all would be right in the world. To be honest, Minerva was the least of my concerns at this point. I reached for my phone which I had placed on the brown coffee table that was heavily stacked with magazines when Aunt Luna glanced at me sympathetically. I really wanted to glower at her to let her know that I am still pissed off at her and everyone else, but then…I cannot be mad too angry with her. I sigh and shake my head. “I am sorry Aunt Luna,” I finally say, suddenly feeling exhausted. “Don’t be,” she said as she scooted closer to face me. “I would have been angry too. Hell, I was mad when I found out that Minerva had been blocking you and Anya’s memories. Your mother is hopelessly forgiving when it comes to Minerva…hell when it comes to anyone she loves. She asked Minerva to do it instead of going to Artemis like she should have because she was scared that you and Anya would suffer the consequences of her…mistake.” “Mistake?”  I asked slightly indignant. “Not a mistake in the sense that you and Anya should have never been born; a mistake in the fact that she married a human and conceived children by this human. Your mother is goddamn goddess! There is a heavenly order that immortals are not supposed to intermingle with humans. Period. Your mother violated that order and for that your father paid the price. She was scared that you and Anya would be next, but Artemis was merciful and the only thing she did was strip your mother of her title. Your mother is no longer the Goddess of the Moonlight but she still maintains all rights and privileges of the position.” I held my Aunt’s thoughtful gaze and realized that I owed my mother a serious apology. I owed everyone in here a serious apology. But, there was one thing I needed to know. “How did you become a half vampire?” Aunt Luna looked away and her shoulders slumped as if in defeat before returning her gaze to me. “Minerva was jealous because I had found favor with the god Helios who granted me the opportunity to become an immortal. I had returned an item that had was stolen from one of his temples that was of great value to him and in return he gave me immortality. He did not make me a god like Selene but he felt it unfair that two of my sisters could live on forever and I could not. He said when the last one dies then I will with her and he graced me with immortality. Minerva was already disgruntled about being jilted twice and when she found out that I too had received the gift, she cursed me to live the life that she felt I actually deserved: vampire. But, Helios corrected that somewhat. Gods do not have much power to reverse curses, they can only undo some damage. Being that he is the god of the sun, he made it so that I could still walk in the day and that I would not be subject to the aversion of silver, and a stake through the heart could not harm me…but he could not undo the bloodlust. He did however, say that Minerva would never see forever; that the very thing she tried to corrupt me with would be her undoing.” ‘A vampire would kill her?” And I know exactly who that vampire might be. Nino.  “Yup. That is why she hopes to drain you and Anya of your powers so that she may be invincible.” “Have you seen Helios since then?” I inquire. I need to talk to Nino. “Well, he visits from time to time. He and Aphrodite have their own modeling agency which has been quite the success. He has even invited me to come visit them in the south of France during the summer. I think I might take them up on their offer. “Aunt Luna,” I say, still debating on whether or not I should reveal to her what I feel I have to reveal. “Oh hell you have that same suspicious look your mother gets when she is about to drop a bomb on me. What is it?” That is when I proceed to tell her everything about Nino, his family and his plans for ending his curse. I told him his version of Ambrogio and my mother and when I was done Aunt Luna’s jaws had dropped so I thought it would hit the floor. “Does your mother know?” she asked in pure shock and disbelief. “Not the part about Nino wanting to kill Minerva.” “Well then we have a problem then.” She said rubbing her chin indicating that she was in deep thought. “And what’s that?” I ask nervously. “If Nino is successful in killing Minerva that means not only does she die but he dies too…” The thought of losing Nino was enough to make me panic. But, then there was the sudden realization. “Aunt Luna, what happens if a vampire feeds from an immortal?” Aunt Luna eyed me suspiciously. “What the hell are you saying?” “I think you know what it means….” “Fuck Rita are you insane?! Do you know what you have done? Helios, Artemis, and every god still in existence may come out of hiding and put an end to you, your mother, me, and the rest of the family!” Brielle, upon hearing my dear Aunt Luna’s outburst came bursting out of my mom’s room with Anya in tow. “What is the matter?”  Aunt Brielle asked clearly panicked. “Your niece allowed a vampire to feed from her and now we may have a problem.” I could have sworn when Aunt Brielle gasped she sucked in all of the air in the room and before releasing it back into the atmosphere. “Have you any idea what you have done?” Aunt Brielle exclaimed. ‘Your mother is petitioning Artemis right now as we speak and knowing her, she knew it the moment it happened. So, now we have no idea what the consequences of that foolish decision will be until Selene comes back in one piece!” “Listen, if the gods are no longer in position to rule over humanity like they once were, the only thing they are responsible for is themselves. And, if by chance Artemis decides she has a problem with it she can come see ME!” “Rita-“ “No, don’t Rita me,” I snap. “Nino needs my help. He has to know so-“ “You would betray your own flesh and blood for him?” Aunt Brielle asked incredulously. “How the hell is it betrayal when the same flesh and blood wants to drain you of your powers?” I demand.  “Now look,” I continue. “We just can’t sit around and wait on the great and powerful Artemis to-“ My phone began to vibrate. It was a text from my beloved Nino. It read:

Whatever you do, do not go out at night. I have to find Ambrogio. Do not call me until I tell you it is safe.

Love Always, Nino.

I text him back:

I miss u babe. My blood makes you immortal. Call me.

I wait for him to respond but after a few minutes of nothing, I can tell that he is not going to. Both of my aunts and my sister are looking at me silently waiting for answers. “He is going to look for Ambrogio. He needs my help.”  “Well you can’t leave,” Aunt Brielle said firmly with her arms folded across her chest. “Your mother pretty much barricaded us in.”  “Who is Ambrogio?” Anya asked nervously. Unfortunately, I did not have the energy to explain everything all over again. “I have to get out of here,” I say shaking my head. My mother cannot expect me to stay locked in her house until Artemis sees fit to release her. The clock was ticking. “Your mother’s wards are too strong. You will not be able to cross the threshold of the door without being electrocuted,” Aunt Luna pleaded. “Hmmmm,” I say as I rise from the comfort of the recliner and make my way to the front door with everyone in tow. “Rita! I have seen what happens when someone crosses the wards!” Aunt Brielle cries out. “You do forget I am my mother’s daughter,” I say refusing to break my stride. “Rita STOP!” Aunt Luna grabs me by my shoulder, spinning me around to face her. Her face is lined with panic, anger and frustration. “You cannot leave! Even if you are successful in crossing the barrier you will be putting yourself at risk. Minerva is looking for you; what part of that do you nor understand? You are a fledgling goddess. You have no clue on what your abilities are or how to use them.” Now that got my attention. “I am damn near thirty years old and it was not until Friday that I learned that I am not 100% human. The least either of you could do is educate me on exactly what type of demi god I am so I have an idea on what to expect from myself. I know my powers are connected to my moods and can light up a room with almost as much power as the sun if provoked. It was not until Friday that I knew vampires existed; and it was not until Saturday that I could live forever. I am already growing tired of the daily surprises, and whether you like it or not I am walking outside that door.  Spare me at least one.”  Aunt Brielle and Aunt Luna glanced at each other, appearing to sense defeat and it was Aunt Brielle that spoke first. “You and Anya are the most powerful of the demi gods that still walk this earth. But, you Rita have something that your mother has tried to keep hidden. You have the ability to manipulate time. You can stop it and restart it at your will but it is only temporary. Still, it is the most powerful weapon in your arsenal. Both of you can manipulate the light, control the moon’s gravity, manipulate reflections and even call whatever is being reflected in a mirror into being. You can control the tide, which makes you a dangerous entity when near water.  The individual gift that you possess is Time manipulation; like I said earlier, Anya can manipulate people’s emotions. But, the there is a theory that the two of you combined…would be unstoppable.” But, the theory is that the two of you combined would be unstoppable, I replay my aunt’s words in my mind as they stare at me intently; desperate to know what I was thinking and what make next move is. I scan their faces searching for answers to questions I do not even have yet. I love my aunts; I love my mom but fate has forced its hand on me. I know it sounds selfish, but I have to do what is best for me and what is best for me is the life of the one man in the world who loves me unconditionally. He is looking for a way to reverse the curse; but in searching for that answer may result in him having to sacrifice his own life. I cannot live without Nino, especially knowing that we could have an eternity together. I look over at my sister, Anya who is nervously poking at her freshly manicured nails. She catches my gaze and I smile. “Come with me Anya,” I said stretching my hand to her for her to take. “No! I told you what you wanted to know and since it is obvious that there is nothing I can do to stop you fine. But, you are not taking your sister with you on a suicide mission!” Aunt Brielle slapped my hand away and stepped in front Anya as she were body shielding her from some mysterious threat. I guess that threat is me. “Come on Anya,” I say ignoring Aunt Brielle’s protests. “I understand if you want to stay, but I need you. I would do the same thing for you if Lucien were in trouble.” “No Anya don’t you do it! Don’t you do it!” Aunt Luna had become so irate and upset that her fangs had dropped and her pupils flashed a tinge of blood red coloring that had not been there before. “What the fuck are you going to do if you are attacked by vampires? Huh? They can smell you a mile away! If something happens to either of you there will most definitely be a war. Your mother will raze the earth seeking vengeance! And what do you think she will do to-“ “Alright,” Anya said softly, sneaking her head around Aunt Brielle’s protective body block and catching my gaze.  I smile victoriously. Anya smiles back and makes a dash for her keys and slips her sandals back on and finds herself once again body blocked by Aunt Brielle.  “WHAT?! NO! Anya, you stay right here.” Aunt Brielle commanded, her body losing its transparency with each raise in octave. So, it was true: my Aunt Brielle is a spirit without a body.  “Aunt Brielle,” I said carefully. “Anya and I have to go. This is what I have to do and my sister has made her choice. I love you both but I just can’t sit here and wait for something tragic to happen.” Both of my aunts’ shoulders slumped in defeat. “You are going to put your life at risk for what? How are you going to defend yourself against the dark magic of a witch as ancient as Minerva? Huh? What are you going to do?” Aunt Luna demanded. “You said so yourself that between the two of us”, I said taking my sister’s hand and leading her to the door. “We are unstoppable. Tell my mom I love her.” Anya tightens her hold on my hand as we look back at our anger stricken aunts and then at the front door. I turn my head to face her and ask, “Are you ready?” Anya just nods her head and closes her eyes as I grab the doorknob and swing the door open. Once we cross the threshold I can feel the heat being emitted from the invisible barrier attempting to do more than just singe the surface of skin. And my first thought was right. We are our mother’s children. We are outside and on the grass unscathed. “Now what?” Anya quizzed glancing around nervously and fiddling with her hair. “You have your car right?” I ask scanning the driveway for her car only to find Aunt Luna’s Jaguar and Aunt Brielle’s Prius parked outside of the garage. “Yeah, I parked down the street.” Anya replied as she began to lead the way to her Mini Cooper. I turn to look back at my mother’s house and I could still see the silhouettes of my aunts possibly arguing back and forth about how they were going to break the news to my mother explaining how they let two grown demi gods out of their grasp. Mom was definitely going to be pissed off. But, one day she would understand. It isn’t like we don’t have eternity.

imagesOSFWNAOT

Another Excerpt From my Upcoming Book: The Family Curse

Another Excerpt From my Upcoming Book: The Family Curse

“Hey Anya,” I mumble as I stalked passed her and I quickly slumped down on the beige recliner that my mother had purchased from Living Spaces. It was against her taste but she found it useful after a long day at work. “Hey Rita,” she said softly. “So, I’m the only one who was kept in the dark huh?” I so was not in the mood to deal with Anya’s feelings. “No Anya you and I both were in the dark about everything. I only learned of mother’s true identity but two days earlier than you and not from her. This weekend has been a weekend of revelations unfortunately and before you ask, no I did not know Nino was a vampire until recently. And it was not until the day before that that our mother went from a regular diminutive but successful real estate agent to freakin’ moon goddess. And oh, yeah I glow too…” I did not mean to come off as harshly as I did but what my mother had done was team too much. Not only had she withheld important family secrets but now she went after my fiancé like a deranged lunatic. Nino had done nothing to deserve that and just because her relationship with Ambrogio was not the fairytale ending that she had hoped it would be does not mean that she should talk to the man like he was dirt at the bottom of her shoe. Our relationship had seen better days as it was and it most definitely did not need this. Anya sat quietly, I suppose taking things in. Her bare intricately decorated feet tapped the floor anxiously while she smoothed her perfectly thick and flat ironed hair into a messy bun. “You glow?” she finally asked. “Like a goddamn night light,” and after those words left my mouth my skin began to illuminate a soft white glow instead of the mellow violet color. “And apparently I change colors too.”  Anya’s eyes widened and my Aunt Luna let out a low whistle. “Yup, you got the brunt of your mother’s gifts there,” she said brushing a stray hair from her heart shaped face. “And your mother’s moods too,” Aunt Brielle added.  “Anya has the gift of persuasion…just like the moon she has the ability to sway one’s emotions and moods into her favor. She also can control the tides and force the moon to reveal itself whenever the need arises. I am surprised she has not met a man with a little werewolf in him. They would  be the perfect match,” Luna smiled. “Did you find yourself having to deal with constant headaches?” I ask Anya who was just kind of sitting there like she was in a trance. And then I cannot believe that I had to ask my sister that. I should have already known the answer but instead I had to ask her as if she were some distant relative whose life I had to catch up on through small talk. I did not realize that until now. Perhaps we were both entirely too wrapped up in our own personal lives that we forgot to maintain our sisterly connection. “Yes. I had been dealing with migraines for years now and as of late they became more frequent. I thought something was seriously medically wrong with me because-“’It felt like your entire cranium was going to explode?” I said finishing her sentence like we used to always do. She smiled. “Yes! Girl, I thought I was going to die until Lucien” (her boyfriend) “took me to his mother’s and his grandmother gave this herbal tea that his family has used for generations to aid in ailments.” A strange thought popped into my head when she mentioned her boyfriend. I wondered if he was supernatural too. “Is he,” I began cautiously, “Uh…like Valentino?” “If you mean if he is supernatural,” my mother finally decided to chime in,” he is not vampire but he is something else. Or, OF something else. I believe his family is of the Fae.”  Fae? As in Tinkerbelle and Peter Pan? What the hell has this world come to? “A fairy.” I say plainly. “Well I’ll be damned…I attract vampires and my sister loves fairies.” “Don’t allow the title to fool you. The Fae are formidable by nature and once upon a time were great warriors. Now, their numbers have reduced so it is saddening.” “I did not know he was a fairy until he told me and when he did I thought he had smoked something he shouldn’t have.” Anya chuckled which made me smile. We really need to catch up.

Aunt Brielle slid over to one of the wooden barstools that my mother kept in a perfect line behind the counter. Even though there was not much distinction between my mom and her sisters, it was obvious Aunt Brielle was the wild one. She cut off all of her except for that in the middle and wore it hanging, flat ironed straight to the side as was the current hair trend. She had dyed the tips a radiant blue which went well with her creamy taupe skin tone that I am sure drove all of her suitors wild. Even as a ghost or apparition she looked much more alive than most of the human women I have seen strolling around here like they have permanent chip on their shoulders. Standing at 5’5’’ and a hundred or so pounds, and wearing one of those colorful strapless sundresses, Aunt Brielle was stunning and again I began to question if I myself was adopted.

Aunt Luna was no slouch either with her killer curvaceous body, thick dark hair that she kept in a single long braid and warm smile. From what I was told during my younger years she had caught the attention of not only professional men such as doctors and lawyers, but she had caught the eye of a few celebrity men who were more than happy to escort her live on the red carpet. Angelina Jolie would have not been the happily committed woman she is today had Aunt Luna decided not to go with her heart and accept Dr. Richard’s proposal. I’m just saying…Miss ‘Gelina needs to count her blessings. Unfortunately, the engagement to Dr. Richard did not last long due to my aunt’s current half state of vampirism, so the relationship could not work out. Dr. Richard was a prominent plastic surgeon back in the day when plastic surgery became the new thing and once he found out that blood had a little more meaning to Aunt Luna than donation purposes he was gone. At least, that is what I was told.

It had been years since I have seen Aunt Brielle and even longer since I have seen Aunt Luna. I might as well find it safe to assume that her diet may have had something to with it. We all just kind of sit there lost in our own thoughts for a minute. It was Anya who broke the silence. “So, what is going on with Aunt Minerva? None of us have seen her since God knows when and now all of a sudden things seem to be spiraling out of control.” I nod my head in agreement while my mother and her sisters glance at each other as if trying to figure out who is going to speak first. “Well, Minerva is an evil bitch,” Aunt Luna seethed. “Luna!” My mother and Aunt Brielle shouted in astonishment. I could not believe it either. Well tell us how you really feel Aunt Luna. “I am not going to beat around the bush with it nor am I going to continue to cover up the fact that Minerva is absolutely evil,” Aunt Luna said unapologetically. “I love my sister, but the person that we grew up with is gone-long gone. She is a dark witch and has been for centuries. She is the reason behind why I am living a half-life as a vampire, why Brielle is pretty much a ghost, and why your-“She turned to point at my mom who just stood there with a stone face, “daughters are in danger. The sad part is you may not have enough time to prepare them for what she may do next…” I got the impression there was more my aunt wanted to say but she thought it best to keep whatever it was to herself. “Rita, tell us everything Nino told you. I gave them the basic run down but I need for you to fill in the gaps.” My mom said pointedly. I sigh. None of this would be happening if this bull crap had been addressed long ago. But, I sit up straight and take a deep breath and begin. “Mom, Valentino is Ambrogio’s nephew. Valentino and his entire family were cursed with vampirism because of Aunt Minerva.” “WHAT?!” Aunt Luna was the one to shout now. She jumped up and sat on the arm of the recliner on which I sat and looked at me with so much disbelief I thought she believed I was lying. “What I say is true. The curse not only befell Ambrogio but on his immediate family: brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews. I assume it was only the first generation that was affected.”  “That cannot be…” Aunt Brielle said, stunned. “I believe it,” my mother finally said, refocusing the attention back to herself. “Minerva was just as in love with Ambrogio as I was when we were working in the Temple of Artemis. She tried everything she could to break us up and she pursued him with relentlessness that in all of my years of existence have yet to see again. Sometime before Ambrogio befell the curse, I remember Artemis chastising her about practicing white and dark magic and told her that if she continued to do so she would banish her from her temples forever. But, what I believe what really sealed the nail on the coffin was when Minerva walked in on Ambrogio asking for my hand. She stormed off after swearing vengeance on both of us when Artemis reappeared and cast her out of her temple. A year or so later, Ambrogio was cursed and it was over a hundred years before Minerva and I had contact again. But I did not know that Ambrogio’s entire family suffered from it too…” “This makes me wonder if Valentino knew who you were the entire time Rita,” Aunt Brielle said looking at me with sympathy in her eyes. “He clearly knows or better yet, knew the history on our family prior to meeting you. He could have had an agenda all along.” “If he had an agenda then why would he tell me the history of my family instead of it coming from anyone of you?” I shot back. “He opened up and told me the truth of who and what he is while all three of you just sat there and allowed me to fall in love with a vampire. Suppose he did have less than honest intentions? Then what? You would be too late!”  My heart was pumping a thousand miles a minute I was so damn mad. How dare they? “Rita-“ Aunt Luna pleaded. “No, don’t Rita me!” I snapped, directing my glare to my mother whose eyes narrowed as if she was open to my challenge. “All three of you allowed Anya and I to walk around unaware of who and what we are without thinking that about the laws of attraction. Did you ever stop to think about the possibility of either one of us attracting another supernatural entity? I mean, with us being freakin’ demi gods and whatnot, did you honestly think that we would fall in love with normal humans? That there wasn’t a risk that something from another realm would be drawn to the powers in our veins?” It pissed me off even more that no one said one mumbling word. Not even my sister. So I continued with my rant. “And another thing: you allowed the very individual that we are running from to block our memories and our powers; allowed us to suffer through migraines so excruciating I thought I was having an aneurism for what? Suppose Nino did drain me dry upon the first encounter…What would you have done? Or what if Anya, met someone with evil intentions like Minerva, then what?” “Rita, we-“ Brielle tried to explain. “No,” I said, trembling with pure fury. The soft white glow that I emitted earlier had brightened tenfold which was an indicator I was losing it. “Rita, your light!” My mother shouted hysterically. “No mother,” my voice grew grave and ominous and echoed throughout the walls of the house. “You judged a man that has done nothing but protect me despite what he is. You have not even tried to get to know him. He sent me here to be with you to ensure my safety while he deals with his very dangerous, very blood thirsty, vampire family who would not have hesitated to feed from my veins just to get a taste of power. So, let’s make one thing clear: Valentino is not a threat. Minerva is. So, we are either going to discuss the next course of action on how to deal with her or I am going to go back to my big beautiful house in Malibu and figure stuff out on my own.”  The silence that permeated the room was as thick as a red brick house. Aunt Luna and Aunt Brielle looked away, reluctant to look me or Anya directly in the eyes. My mother, the great and all powerful Selene; Goddess of the Moonlight stared at me with tears threatening to break through the wall of carefully placed emotions. “Well I am sorry for only wanting to protect the only children that I was blessed to have,” her voice was barely a whisper, but it could still be heard with perfect clarity. “Excuse me for wanting to give my children a sense of normalcy that I no longer possessed and have not possessed since the day I set foot in the Temple of Artemis.”  Aunt Luna went to my mother with a gentle attempt to calm a growing storm. “Forgive me,” she said, her tone gaining strength with each syllable. ”Forgive me for protecting you with everything in me. Forgive me Rita…for wanting my daughters to know what it’s like to be human.” Well I will be…what could I say to that? I was angry. I felt betrayed. I was hurt. And confused. And incredibly drained. And afraid. And my mother was all of those things and then some. So were my aunts. If my Aunt Minerva was strong enough to give my mother, a goddess, pause, then there was something to think about. “I don’t want you to hate me Rita,” my mother said struggling to maintain her composure. “And, you are right. Valentino should not have been the one to tell you. I should have told you. I owe him a sincere apology, just as I owe you and Anya my apology. But right now, I have to go speak with Artemis…Until I return this house is under heavy guard. No one is to leave and no one is to enter.” And with that, my mother vanished into thin air. I did not know she could do that. The way that I felt, I did not know much of anything. I hoped that wherever Nino was, he was fairing much better than me.

The Family Curse Coming Soon!!!moon goddess symbol imagesH4IBRIFH Must use as cover for Family Curse