The Blahhhhrbs

When I posted my works on Authonomy–which I recommend as a resource for writers who want a non-biased look at their work (provided they’re not the ‘this is gr8, plz read my book!’ critiques)–they had me write up a short pitch and a long pitch to describe my works. The short pitch was hard–sum up your book in twenty-five words or less. The long pitch gave you more, I think about two hundred, and read like the blurb you find on the back of a book.

Well, I realised today that while I’ve posted excerpts from my five on-the-go novels and talked about them a bit over the past month, I never did just give a back-of-the-book style blurb for readers to see if they thought they’d be interested in my works.

So, without further ado, the Blurbs for my five novels, plus my NaNo project, which will also be turned into a novel after November…

DOLORELAMIA:

Centuries ago, the technologically advanced clone race—the Sociotopians—made contact with the pre-industrial nations of the southern continent. Relations alternate, and the now industrialised continentals distrust the arrogant Sociotopians for the most part, though some of the clones have decided to exile themselves and intermix with the continentals.

Elliet Regan is the result of one such union. A palaeontologist, a cross-dresser, and an assassin working for his family’s organisation, he has more to worry about than the affairs of his father’s homeland. Benevolent mercenary Jared Simnel, seeks constantly to destroy him, while the jaded inspector Iobel Vindemar never stops looking for a way to make Elliet pay for his crimes.

But their grudges are put on hold when soldiers of unknown origin abduct every single Sociotopian and Sociotopian descended person in the mid-western part of the continent, Elliet’s siblings and two of Jared’s friends included. Elliet alone escapes, and with his friend Lizelba must ally with Jared and Vindemar to confront this mysterious threat and rescue their loved ones.

If Jared will let Elliet get that far, that is…

This one was difficult, because there’s so much backstory for Dolorelamia and the premise is hard to explain quickly. It may get overhauled along with Dolorelamia itself when the time comes…

ROOKS OF THE KNOT (PART ONE; ESCAPE FROM THE KNOT)

The Land of Camelot, resurrected on the tomb of London, is protected by a force-field called the Endless Knot and by the Rooks—soldiers; feared, admired, and often hated by the citizenry.

For centuries following a catastrophic war the Rooks have safeguarded Camelot, but their brutality has pushed some citizens too far. Seemingly without warning, a team of rebels infiltrates and takes over a section of Parliament, the stronghold of the Rooks, determined to be the first people to leave Camelot in over seven hundred years.

Tryamour and Unghared become their hostages—two very different girls both trying to keep themselves and their companions alive. Yvain by contrast fights with the rebels, but begins to question the worth of their actions. Dorigen and Degaré, a physics student and a Rook cadet, face the same questions but from the opposite side, while Palamon is determined to somehow find his true love within this chaos.

But with the rebels aided by fanatic outsiders and the Knights who control Camelot with their own agendas, it begs the question of whether Camelot should be freed from its oppression…

…or whether it’s better off with the devils it knows.

This one went through several changes, as it was also tricky to explain quickly. Then again, I am naturally long winded… The next ones haven’t been worked on quite as much, they were merely there to consolidate my ideas.

EVO

1953. Five tragic deaths open up five places in the esteemed academies of Wells’ and St. Margaret’s, two schools that border each other in remotest Northumberland. As the rains weep over the funerals of the dead, one of these places is filled by John Evelyn Mandeville, a strange red-eyed boy of dubious origins.

Regina Langstrom finds herself drawn to this fellow oddity, alienated from her classmates for her ethnicity and more so for her own secrets. She’s half African-American, and had lived there with her mother since being evacuated aged three, only to be sent back to her father and grandmother following a terrible event.

While her classmates are mostly cordial, her only close friend is a person she’s never met—a pen pal of sorts, who leaves her letters in the local cemetery. Stranger things than that are afoot though, the sudden rash of burglaries, the eerily familiar new school matron and the presence of two shadowy figures in suits speak to that.

Then one evening as she arrives to collect her latest missive, Regina sees John Evelyn in the graveyard, apparently digging something up…

Lol, just noticed I’d written ‘Northumbria’ rather than Northumberland before I posted this. Must have forgotten it was 2013, not 1013!

AH-SETI-TEN THE DREAD

Having been torn away from her life and family, her powers of divination lost and her future uncertain, former priestess Orinetpho was fortunate to save her twin brother Orinetph from certain death. Now they and a northern girl called Sukemi have been bought to serve Duke Daiki of Quanten Island, a childhood friend of the King of Aro.

Orinetpho’s new life as a handmaiden for Daiki’s nine-year-old son and heir, Daizeki, is one of mostly ease and comfort, her biggest worries are learning the language and customs of the Arosians, and trying to keep away from the lowest level of the palace, where the spirit of the sword of Daizeki’s ancestor, Mako, keeps an ancient evil contained.

Then the duke is called away to war, taking Orinetph with him. With the soldiers gone another branch of the descendants of Mako, the Tabikaki, seize the opportunity to reclaim what they believe to be their rights on Quanten Island. Orinetpho finds herself on the run with her young master, and no one to protect them from the Tabikaki…

…except, perhaps, something from the lowest level of the palace…

It was strange, when I saw this came next on my list of BOOK IDEAS I had actually forgotten that I’d thought of it before 518; I’ve done so much more work on the latter. I think Dread is a keeper though, so maybe it will be added to after November…

518

Life on Earth had become complicated for Ira McKentish. Well, it had become complicated for everybody, following the invasion of the Selena Empire—a nigh on unstoppable army of over thirty different species, determined to add Earth and all of humanity to their fold.

An army who, for all intents and purposes, have succeeded in their goal.

But sometimes life pulls you in strange directions, because the Selena have granted Ira the opportunity to join their ranks, as one of the Imperial Military Police. And it was all going so well until the destruction of a space station in Selena territory brought him and several of his fellow recruits out to one of the remotest parts of Selena space.

Their mission is ostensibly to investigate the incident as part of their final exam. But as Ira and his new friends dig deeper into the circumstances surrounding the tragedy, an unmistakable connection to events from Ira’s past begins to make itself known.

Was there significant human involvement in this act of terrorism?

And who could have given them the means, if there was?

I’m not really happy with this blurb, but I suppose I could work on it after November too. Or during November, if Shaedai starts giving me too much trouble and I want a break. Which is likely. (It’s more likely that break will involve me lying on the sofa watching pet rescue shows, of course)

SHAEDAI

For thousands of years the unstable relationship between Humans and the Shaedai; the spirits, fae, ayakashi–call them anything you like, has been goverened by an elite group of two dozen or so families chosen by the Shaedai themselves, bound in blood to the Place of Shadows, endowed with special powers one and all.

Even now in the 21st century, these houses must still adhere to the conditions of the pact that keeps the balance between Human and Shaedai, with all the rituals that go with it.

And the formost of those rituals has begun again.

At dusk on the night of the summer solstice, the ‘princess’ is chosen from their number, and nine boys from nine other houses with her; Xiang, from an ancient Chinese dynasty based in California, and Tarquin, from a British family living in India among them. Along with one companion, their quest is to obtain enough tokens to duel for her hand.

And it’s a duel to the death.

Meanwhile Elodie, whose African family moved to Canada long ago, has also been chosen; chosen as the Challenger. It is her destiny to challenge the Princess for her title, and her destiny to fail as every Challenger has done for millennia.

And then there’s the Princess herself…

So there you have it, the anthology of Rachelloon, summed up in six Blahhhhrbs. Well, not really the entire anthology, there have been quite a few that I’ve abandoned… let’s hope these don’t end up on that pile, but instead in each and every home in the nation!

…as a doorstop.

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Evermore Commentary: Mindless Over Matter (Part II)

PART TWO

Chapter Eighteen

Damen shows up at Ever’s house so Riley can be creepy and spy on their boring conversation. Ever whines about what a Gary-Stu Damen is, but Damen says that’s not true, he does have a flaw—he sucks at love. Bleeeuugh.

“One more sign of how perfect Damen is—he keeps a pair of trunks in his car.”

Ah yes, the height of perfection right there.

Irrelevant swimming ensues.

Chapter Nineteen

Ever’s usual wangsting over her powers is interrupted by Haven and Miles having a fight. Haven whines about how Drina is the only one who understands her, and Miles observes that her tattoo looks infected. Haven observes in turn that Damen doesn’t come to school anymore, and I’m wondering how much time is supposed to have passed in this book?

Damen then takes Ever on a date to the local bookies’. Remember, kids—gambling is good for you! But Ever’s satisfied because being a gambling addict explains why Damen’s never at school.

Chapter Twenty

Sabine tells Ever she’s been invited away for the weekend, and Ever debates on whether or not to tell Sabine that the man who invited her is not who he says he is… he still lives with his mother! What a loser!

(It’s funny, because I still live with my mum too!)

Then Damen and Ever have another boring date and Damen ditches her when she falls asleep.

Chapter Twenty-One

Riley’s wondering about whether she should stick around or not (No. No you shouldn’t, Riley.) when Haven shows up to tell Ever that Evangeline is dead. Oh noes, not Evangeline! She was my favourite character! (Just kidding, Stacia)

But Damen arrives too, to say he didn’t really ditch Ever and to worry over Haven’s tattoo. Yay!

But he didn’t count on Ever actually asking him what was going on, and the slightest hesitancy on his part makes Ever flip out and ask if he’s breaking up with her. When he says no, she asks him what’s going on for realz, and he’s forced to respond with… a plausible explanation!

Chapter Twenty-Two

Ah, the familiar feel of a half-way mark, free of anything actually having happened.

Well, Evangeline died, Riley started talking to the ‘fake’ psychic, Haven got a tattoo and made a friend with a girl who was Definitely Not a Villain, and Damen was mysterious, but since that was all boring I’m not sure if it counts.

Anyway Ever and Damen have another boring date, then Damen leaves to do, you know, stuff. Haven has gone missing, but Ever doesn’t really seem to care, and Riley has been spying on Damen, revealing to Ever that he lives in a big house… with no furniture! He must be a vampire!

This is so amazing that Ever drives straight to Damen’s house to spy on him. Yay for equal opportunity stalking!

Chapter Twenty-Three

Ever breaks into and sneaks around Damen’s house, and finds a bunch of paintings of Damen from different centuries wearing different clothes. He seems to have been painted by every artist the author’s ever heard of, because I guess he used his vampire powers to know that in the future they’d become famous.

He also has signed copies of all the 19th century romances, and for some strange reason Shakespeare. Could you actually buy Shakespeare’s plays back when he was still alive? Really? No. No you couldn’t. My mum also informs me it’s highly unlikely he got a signed copy of Wuthering Heights, seeing as no one knew who wrote it until poor old Em kicked the bucket. Ever drops it on the floor of course, wouldn’t want to be careful with a signed copy of Shakespeare’s works, now; would you?

Many of us might have assumed these were counterfeit, or family heirlooms—and Ever does consider the possibility, but all those years training to value and authenticate rare books and paintings must have paid off, because she knows they’re real. Well, I’m assuming she had all those years of training anyway, otherwise this would be, you know, stupid.

Oh, wait, no—her psychic powers authenticate them. Of course.

Then Damen shows up, carrying a bloodstained Haven, and knocks Ever out before she can call the police. Awww, isn’t that sweet?

Chapter Twenty-Four

Instead of explaining the whole vampire thing to Ever, Damen mindwipes her and dumps her back home. Mindwiping the POV character in a first-person present tense book? Perhaps not such a good idea…

Apparently Haven was cured of whatever off page, as Miles informs us after she sends him a text. Damen spends the rest of the day stalking her like a creeper.

Chapter Twenty-Five

Haven and Ever reunite so Ever can faint and get taken home by Damen. His home, I mean, which is suddenly all furnished and decorated—I guess the delivery guys were just late. Ever then reminds the audience all the weird things about Damen, and begins to wonder if maybe not having an aura means he might be some kind of supernatural creature?

But instead of asking him she just wants to go home. Me too, Ever, me too.

Chapter Twenty-Six

Ever is now mad at Damen for… uh, a reason, and doesn’t park next to him in the school parking lot! Damen responds by murdering the entire class!

Woo! Things are finally starting to get… wait, no! Staaaaaaaaciaaaaaaaa!

Oh, never mind—he just knocked them unconscious with mind powers. False alarm.

But still, it’s enough for Ever to say ‘omigod’. I’m not kidding, that’s how it’s spelt in the text.

Well, it’s time for the big reveal, and Damen can read Ever’s mind so Ever goes all Run Away! But it’s Not Very Effective because Damen has superspeed. It does result in her memories of two chapters ago coming back, glad we resolved that plot point so quickly.

Ever accuses him of trying to kill her, based on… uh, a reason, and tells him to get da fuk out. Damen reveals he’s not really a vampire, but an immortal. Which is different to a vampire because vampires aren’t real. Then he reveals he was the one who turned Ever into a psychic and saved her life when her family died, because she’s his destined soul mate or something. Ever takes it pretty well.

Ever: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

And she tells him to get da fuk out again (she’s giving Reed from Inescapable a run for his money here!) because her life is sooo terrible with her having all these cool psychic powers and stuff.

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Believe it or not, Ever regrets dumping the vampire—uh, immortal, but who cares, there’s more boring stuff like going to a random festival to do.

Ava the psychic shows up to help Ever barter for a bag, but Ever thinks she’s stolen Riley (huh?) and tells her to get da fuk out. Then after more bore-wangst, Drina shows up to remind everyone she’s supposed to be the villain in this book and to act like Haven’s sugar-daddy.

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Apparently Ever can’t get her psychic powers up when she’s drunk (I’m sure it happens to a lot of YA paranormal romance heroines) so she begins drinking. Unfortunately, Stacia catches her and gets her back for the earlier blackmail threat with her own photographic evidence. I don’t know if Stacia was just carrying her camera around everywhere, waiting for Ever to do something untoward so she could take photos, but hey—I like a girl who’s prepared.

This leads to… the two of them getting drunk in a bathroom together! Well, I admit I didn’t see that one coming.

And Ever gets suspended because Stacia took the picture to the principal anyway! Good times.

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Okay, we’re coming up to the three-quarter mark. Let’s get serious. Or not.

Ahem, Miles invites Ever to a goth party on the winter solstice. And Drina’s there! Dun dun dun!

Chapter Thirty

Drina gives a villain monologue about all sorts of bullshit and she’s going to kill Ever because apparently that’s what she does every time Ever is reincarnated, because she’s in love with Damen, or something.

Then she kicks Ever in the head, so she can monologue even more about how she was the one who lured Ever out and tried to kill Haven and Damen saved her life and she stole some picture of Ever in a plot point so minor I didn’t even mention it, and she killed Evangeline, and got a Miles a part in a musical, and made Sabine fall in love with Jeff, and it was she who took the last cookie from the cookie jar, in the conservatory, with the revolver.

And she did this all to make Ever feel isolated. Then she goes back to killing her, but Ever is an immortal too now, and fights back; I sense a grand battle will be—

Chapter Thirty-One

—narrowly avoided!

Because suddenly Ever is with Damen, in a random other dimension called Summerland, where they sacrifice virgin police officers who scream ‘NOT THE BEES’ in giant wickermen. Oh wait, no, that was Summerisle.

Making mind-butterflies ensues. And also mind-Orlando Bloom.

Seriously.

Can we say ‘Big-Lipped Alligator Moment’?

Anyway, then it’s time for Ever to whine about Damen saving her life and turning her into an immortal, and then for almost letting her get killed by Drina. Make up your mind! Then Damen explains how Summerland exists…

“It’s simple quantum physics. Consciousness brings matter into being where there was once merely energy. Not nearly as difficult as most people choose to think.”

Aha. Ahaha. Ahahahahaha. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Of course! Don’t you know anything about science?

Well, this book just became worth it for that line alone. And Stacia.

But now it’s time for backstory, and Damen’s dad was a mad medieval scientist, who was searching for the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything, and when he died Damen used his Gary-Stu powers to continue the search. Apparently the answer was red Powerade (or some kind of magic booze), and he gave it to himself and Drina so they could become immortals together.

This results in boring infodumping, yay! And then Damen has to bugger off.

Chapter Thirty-Two

Miles calls up to be extremely unfunny, and Sabine shows up all depressed because she found out her boyfriend lives with his mother, the horror, yawn. Then Riley appears—oh, joy—to tell Ever to go see Ava again. Ever still doesn’t want to, even though Damen also told her to see Ava.

Chapter Thirty-Three

Ever goes to see Ava.

Ava tells her that Riley decided to come back to earth to be with Ever, because they apparently had such a close relationship before, and Ever has to give her a blessing so she can pass to the other side.

Instead, Ever learns how to turn off her Psychic power switch. Good, maybe she’ll whine less now.

Ha ha, who am I kidding!?

Chapter Thirty-Four

Haven is apparently no longer a goth now, for… reasons. Time moves on, montage style, boring, boring, boring… And, then Damen sends Ever a greetings card. And tulips.

Chapter Thirty-Five

10% more to go. We’re almost there.

Ever decides it’s time for Riley to move on to the other side now, a complete 180 from what she felt a few pages ago—consistency! They argue, those parents of theirs are mentioned briefly, and then Riley leaves. Yay!

Chapter Thirty-Six

With Riley gone, Ever finally realises that the tulips are supposed to mean something, and goes to the interwebz to look it up. Well, turns out a red tulip is ‘undying love’, (that’s not what it says in my book on flowers, but I’m sure google knows best), and that the white rosebuds he kept giving Stacia meant ‘I’m just doing this to fuck with Ever’.

Yep, his flirting with Stacia was just a test, a test worthy of Walter from the Clerk’s Tale’s brilliant ‘I’m going to make my wife think I murdered our children to see if she still loves me’ test. This means Ever and Damen belong together!

Chapter Thirty-Seven

Suddenly Drina appears to villain monologue and mock Ever, telling her Damen’s a big ho who’s been around the block five hundred times and wouldn’t be interested in her. Drina also reveals it was she who murdered Ever’s family, and Laura Palmer, and she didn’t kill Ever’s father—she is her father! (okay, not those last two), and she smacks Ever over the head.

Chapter Thirty-Eight

This time a fight actually does ensue—well, half fight, half monologue, and Drina uses psy-beam, which almost depletes Ever’s HP, but Ever uses the Power of Love, and it’s Super Effective—

Nah, I’m just kidding; Damen shows up and saves her. Or, he just shows up and Ever killed Drina with bullshit love power, it’s not very clear. Apparently chakras were involved. Ever tries to get Damen to quit bullshitting, but he says “Never!” and they end the book with a boring conversation. Ah, boring conversations, the bread and butter of the YA paranormal romance. A fitting conclusion.

Blue Moon Excerpt:

Sigh. Like with Inescapable we have a chapter from the next book to entice us. It’s pretty boring.

Interview With Author:

“Damen is an amazing character…”

An amazing character?

An amazing character?!

Also the author says her favourite character to write was Riley, which explains a lot.

Final Thoughts

Well, since I’ve chosen to go along with what this book has taught me, and believe that thought can transform energy into matter, I’d better be pretty careful how I go about this. Let’s see, uh…

Oops! I just turned my boss’s house into a potato. I knew I shouldn’t have drunk that fifth of vodka in the school bathroom with Dawn.

Wait, what was I doing at a school?

To sum up: insert a Drina-style villain monologue here and let it be known that the cast of Evermore are preps and posers, one and all!

Evermore Commentary: Mindless Over Matter (Part I)

EVERMORE
(THE IMMORTALS)

PART ONE

How could I not pick up this book, emblazoned as it was with a cover depicting a generic girl sniffing a flower? The condensed Goodreads review can be found here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/544027300

I’m not sure what magical creature we can expect to find (obviously an immortal one, but who isn’t these days?) but I can’t wait to make new friends with a new set of characters that bear no resemblance to any of the other characters I’ve met on my review journey so far.

And you never know—maybe this one will actually have a story!

Auras Page

After the frontspiece quote by good old Emily Dickinson we get the Auras page, which tells us what different coloured auras mean.

Oh man, this is going to be a good one!

Chapter One

Oh yes, yes! We begin with a description of what the main character’s best friend is wearing!I’ve hit the jackpot! Ahahahahahahaha!

Our hero describes her dear friend Haven, in all her wacky corset-wearing, Evanescence-loving, adulterous-parent-having… ness. And then she casually mentions she’s a psychic. If this wasn’t secretly written by Tara Gillespie, I’ll eat my hat.

And then Stacia Millar, the Dawn character shows up, right on the third page! Christmas has come early! (she even has the same last name as Marcie from Hush, Hush—being a mean girl character in YA paranormal romance must be a family business.) She calls Our Hero a ‘looo-ser’ for no reason, so we’re off to a good start.

And because it seems nothing else is scheduled to happen in this chapter, the main character takes the opportunity to exposit about her backstory and how her family died in an accident and stuff. She had a Near Death Experience, which as we all know gives you superpowers. Also her name is apparently ‘Ever’, because that’s what she told the paramedic in her flashback.

Chapter Two

Enter Mysterious Transfer Student, with the stupid name of Damen August. Did the author mean Damian? Or was that too much of a shout out to The Omen? You decide!

Damen is different from all the other mysterious, mesmerising, absurdly good-looking transfer students because… his name is Damen, and none of the others are called that. Anyway, the whole class is immediately obsessed with him, Stacia, Stacia’s friend Honor, Honor’s boyfriend Craig, Haven, Miles…

Wait, who’s Miles?

It seems Miles is Haven and Ever’s Sassy Gay Friend who shows up without warning. His job is to be gay and squee over Damen. (did I mention Damen has a black BMW? No? Well he does! If you wanted to know more about this fallen angel (oh, god, I hope not) there you have it!)

Despite sharing two classes and a copy of ‘Wuthering Heights’ with the guy, Ever only realises after school that he has no aura. Spooky. Maybe he’s a robot? No, apparently it means he’s dead. So, ghost, zombie, vampire, revenant, the list continues.

Chapter Three

Ever tells us how she now lives with her dad’s twin sister Sabine, who’s obviously loaded, and goes on about all the cool expensive shit she has. But she doesn’t want it, because her family’s deeeeead! (Yeah, cry me a river). She also explains how her psychic powers work, which basically boils down to ‘whatever’s convenient for the plot’.

She then tells us how she talks to the ghost of her dead sister Riley all the time and they have conversations using images, so I guess the afterlife operates on Pictionary rules? But no, apparently Riley was just fucking with her and can speak perfectly well—I can see why Ever was so upset over her death. Actually she’s only mentioned being upset in a kind of vague way, so maybe it’s not all that much of a problem.

Chapter Four

I love that that entire last chapter was just backstory.

Wait, did I say love?

Anyway, Ever and Riley have a dumb conversation, but then Ever realises she’s late for another dumb conversation with Haven and Miles so she goes to school so she can listen to Miles obsess over Damen some more.

Then Damen pops up to return a book he borrowed and Ever touches him without being able to read his mind, insert Damen-is-completely-mindless-lol joke here. Then they have a boring conversation.

Chapter Five

The familiar joys of lunch and banter settle in, so Damen can tell us he’s from lots of different places and Ever can wonder why he’s sitting with ‘the freaks’. Miles invites Damen over to Ever’s house, like all good friends do without their friend’s permission.

We’re then introduced to Haven’s hobby of copying the main character from Fight Club’s hobby of going to support groups. Ever tells us that beneath the natural blue streaks in her friend’s black hair and the red eyes, she’s just like every other girl at school! Oh no, wait, that was a character from an MST of a Lord of the Ring’s fanfic I read once. No, Haven’s thing is that beneath her copying Ebony Darkness D’mentia Raven Way’s dress sense—she’s a tender hurting soul!

Ever then goes on about how she used to be one of the cool kids, and a cheerleader, and have a friend called ‘Rachel’, which we all know is the height of popularity.

(It’s still funny, because my name’s Rachel! Geddit?)

But once she became a psychic, Ever realised that Rachel and her old boyfriend Brandon were totally teh suxxors, and went to hang out with the outsiders, who were good and pure, and she won’t risk her friendship with Haven to be with Damen!

Wait, what? How would that happen? Sure, Haven’s shown interest in Damen, but she’s known him for like, a day—she’s not madly in love with him! And why is Ever now interested in Damen when before she was just kind of freaked out by him?

Could this be… insta-love?! Off-page insta-love?

Chapter Six

I can’t believe I’ve already written over a thousand words of this—it’s only 10% done! Time for shorter recaps!

Damen tells Ever he won’t be able to make it to her house that night. Miles seems to think that’s serious business, and takes the opportunity to harass Ever for the terrible crime of… wearing hoodies! Bluewater was right all along!

To honour the anti-hoodie sentiments of her aunt, Ever dresses up in a dress when they go out to dinner, and the ghost of her wonderful sister shows up to give her approval and to taunt her over the fact that Rachel and the old boyfriend have now got together in her absence. Sad tiems.

Chapter Seven

Ever wangsts over being ‘too damaged, too weird’ to try and form a relationship with her grieving aunt. (I don’t know…) Damen shows up at the restaurant with a mysterious redheaded friend who also doesn’t have an aura, and a ghost that isn’t Riley appears in Ever’s bedroom. Well, that was short.

Chapter Eight

This chapter begins with the line “I see dead people.”

Seriously.

Anyway, the ghost was Damen and Ever passes it off as a dream but still acts like he has cooties the next morning in class (we know it really was him, because this is a YA paranormal romance, and breaking into the heroine’s house to watch her sleep is womantik). The narration focuses more on what Stacia and Honour are saying in the background then Ever’s conversation with Damen—that’s how important their budding relationship is.

Then Haven shows up to glare at her supposed best friend for talking to Damen, and to tell everyone how she went to a club for vampires on the weekend. And Damen seems to know a lot about it—I wonder what that could mean!

Haven also tells them they’re getting a new friend she met at the club, and Miles whines about his internet-boyfriend secretly not being who he said he was as when Miles asked him for his picture, he sent a photo of Damen back.

Chapter Nine

Ever starts thinking far more than any normal person would about a picture of Damen being from New York, when he said he’d come from Santa Fe. Ever also tells us she can now read the minds of books as well.

And of pop quizzes. That’s… really dumb.

Then they have an art lesson, and Damen is really good. He must be a vampire! (Oh no, did I spoil that?)

Chapter Ten

Riley pops up to taunt her sister about her love life some more, and Damen pulls a rosebud from behind Stacia’s ear, upsetting Ever so much she won’t pass notes between the two of them in class. Oh the humanity!

Then she picks up a note from him to her with a red tulip. Hmm, red tulip—declaration of love, according to my handy flower-language book. Moving a bit fast, are we, Damen?

Chapter Eleven

Halloween approaches, and Ever refuses to tell the reader what she’s dressing up as, so I’m on the edge of my seat.

Riley is still annoying, and lots and lots of descriptions of clothing ensues. Damen shows up even though he wasn’t invited—what a dick!—and Haven goes into jealous psycho mode.

Then another psychic shows up, hired by Ever’s aunt. Huh.

(Oh, and Ever dressed up as Marie Antoinette, and Damen’s costume matched hers serendipitously. That was totally worth all that build up, right?)

Chapter Twelve

Ava the psychic begins to give readings…

And then the scene immediately changes so Ever and Damen can have a dumb conversation. Thank god, I was worried something might actually happen for a minute there!

Kissing ensues.

Chapter Thirteen

Someone named Drina arrives to make Damen go all weird and kriptik and take Haven to the vampire club. I wonder if she’s a vampire too…

Then Ever gets mad that Damen apparently knew someone before he met her, which is a completely reasonable reaction, and storms off so Sabine can make her have a reading. I wonder if she’ll get the death card!

No, Ava puts the cards away. Aww. Then she says the usual bullshit about Ever having a wonderful gift, and Ever plays the ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about card’, but Ava counters with her business card for later plot convenience.

Chapter Fourteen

Ever whines about her psychic powers being a curse she deserved to get for surviving her family’s death, so sad, yawn. Riley’s back to annoy the reader, and then Ever talks to Miles about how Damen said ‘souvenir’ after he kissed her and that means he’s not planning to stay.

Which he didn’t. He said it after he took a feather from her costume, meaning he wanted a souvenir for the dumb party.  Then Damen comes in… standing next to Stacia! They must be engaged! And Damen says some crap about flowers.

At lunch, Haven shows up so Ever can be amazed at her changing her contacts so her eyes match Drina’s, and how she’s completely changed everything to look like Drina.

Chapter Fifteen

Damen asks Ever out.

Chapter Sixteen

Damen and Ever go to Disneyland. Now they’re boyfriend and girlfriend!

Haven calls up to say her friend Evangeline is missing, and Damen disappears while Ever uses her mobile while driving. I can see why that terrible car accident happened! Anyway, Haven says Drina is really upset about it, but Ever doesn’t believe her because ‘Drina doesn’t seem like the type to feel much of anything’.

Which Ever knows, of course, from meeting her once and being unable to read her mind.

Chapter Seventeen

Oh good, we get more Riley in this chapter. She’s been talking to Ava, and Ever tells her not to, because Ava’s a fake. Which she obviously isn’t, because she can talk to Riley. Oh, Ever, I’m beginning to think you might be the stupidest YAPR heroine so far.

…no, that’s still Coach Science-teacher. Still so stupid he wins even though he’s not a heroine.

But, Damen and Ever make up, twu wuv and all that. Unfortunately history class makes her have a grief breakdown because of… history, and she’s so upset she runs into Stacia and rips her dress. Stacia is rightfully pissed off, and rightfully threatens to ruin Ever’s life (okay, that one wasn’t so rightful) but Ever uses her psychic powers to blackmail Stacia and they end in stalemate.

And Haven’s getting a tattoo of a snake eating its own tail, which I guess means she’s become a cannibal.

CONTINUED IN PART TWO

The Maps to Nowhere

Yes, it’s time to forget about my shoddily drawn characters and move on to my shoddily drawn maps–they serve their purpose though, so only I’m allowed to criticise them.

The first masterpiece of cartography is for ‘Dolorelamia’, and is a map of the two main continents in the world of that novel, though there are two more that don’t really feature all that much until later books.

Map of Ellietland

Our main character Elliet, his family, his best friend and his arch-enemies Jared and Inspector Vindemar are all from the southern continent and the country of Skelara, the largest of the red nations. Among Jared’s friends (in case you’re looking at last week’s drawings of them) are Kitora, also from Skelara, Heron, from Trinite, the second largest of the green nations, Shenmahkon, from Rix, the largest of the pink nations, and Radioret, from the northern continent and the northernmost country on that continent: Yehstalt.

The different colours indicate different majority religious affiliations, except for the purple line which denotes the former Rixian Empire, and in Yehstalt there’s a blue dotted line running down the middle which indicates the territory currently under occupation by the neighbouring country of Deimenstalen in the second book, which takes place mostly in Yehstalt. Time zones and the equator have also been marked.

The other world of my own construction is that of ‘Ah-Seti-Ten the Dread’, and here is the map for that land, also divided up by majority religious affiliation, though I didn’t put time zones or an equator on this one; I drew it in a hurry once I realised I was going to be putting quite a bit of geography in the first chapter.

Map of Orinetpholand

Our heroine hails from Nietszenti, one of the blue nations in the west south of Lilenti, which her fellow slave Sukemi comes from (if you were reading my recent excerpt from this novel, you’ll recognise her). They were sold in Farsuchia, the yellow nation in the far south-eastern part of that half of the continent, and are headed off to Quanten Island, the largest province of Aro, the most prominent of the nations of the other half of the continent.

South of that is Cieterik, which doesn’t really play a part in the novel, though there are characters from there present, so for now it’s just an outline.

Next week will be the first day of NaNo, but I’ll still post my artwork, with the temporary book covers I’ve drawn for Dolorelamia, Rooks of the Knot, and my NaNo project which has recently been titled ‘Shaedai’.

Telepaths vs. Strawmen: MORTAL COMBAT!

You know what I hate today?

Walnuts. I was sitting around minding my own business this afternoon when suddenly a walnut came tumbling down the chimney and scared me, the bastard!

But the thing I hate today that I’ll likely hate tomorrow as well, is Strawmen, and not just any Strawmen, but those set up by the most annoying, condescending people in the entire world; people I call ‘Telepaths’, because apparently they can read your mind. And this is a behaviour type I’ve seen all over the internet, propped up in defence of all sorts of opinions, often mutually exclusive—so this can be a post that everyone enjoys!

… everyone except the Telepaths, that is.

Let me explain what I mean. In case you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘Strawman’, the idea goes something like this: ‘I am opposed to you on a certain issue, but cannot defeat your argument in this instance. However, I can defeat this other argument that has superficial similarities to yours, so I will pretend you used this argument so that I may defeat it and win the argument’, thus they ‘set up a straw man’ to defeat, since they can’t defeat the real thing, and may not even have any problem with the real thing:

A: I didn’t like the Avengers movie.

B: There’s nothing wrong with comic book movies, adults enjoy comics too these days and they have some really complex and mature storytelling!

A: Yeah, I know. I just didn’t like the Avengers; I thought the best comic book movie of 2012 was Dredd.

B: … oh. Did I ever tell you that I AM THE LAW!?

A: LAAAAAAAAAAAAAW!

But what I really hate are the Telepaths, people who go a step further than that, and insist, insist, that that Strawman they created really is a part of you, even if you don’t realise it yourself. Take the controversy over abortion, for example—there’s a nice, safe topic that’ll never get me into trouble—because I have seen Telepaths on both sides of the debate:

A: I believe a woman should have the right to safe, legal abortion without any stigmatisation from society.

B: But killing babies is wrong!

A: Uh, I never said anything about killing babies. I just think it’s best if every child brought into the world is a wanted child.

B: That may be what you say, but I know you really just hate God and want to disregard the sanctity of life by killing babies!

A: No, seriously, I don’t think that.

B: I know you do!

A: How could you possibly know what I think better than I do!?

B: My pastor told me, that’s how!

A: ¬_¬

(Or, if you’re on the other side, take a look at this and see if this looks familiar:)

A: I believe abortion is wrong, because life begins at conception and we must preserve the sanctity of that life.

B: Don’t give me that ‘sanctity of life’ crap—you just want to control the bodies of women!

A: Uh, no, it’s really the killing thing that gets to me—I have no problem with women making their own choices in life.

B: Yeah right, you think of women as nothing more than baby-making machines, and if they’re not popping out kids, they’re not doing their jobs right!

A: That’s not how I think of women at all!

B: Yes it is!

A: How could you know what I’m thinking better than I do!?

B: Because I saw someone talking about it on Tumblr!

A:  ¬_¬

I cannot stand seeing people try to tell other people what those other people are thinking (lol, like anyone cares what I think); because if it’s not congruent with reality then you’re never going to get anywhere in a conversation—you’ll just be throwing ‘murderer’ and ‘misogynist’ back and forth at each other ad infinitum, and if it is what they think then they’re hardly like to admit it.

My favourite is people who have tried to tell others I agree with on some issues that they don’t actually believe what they’re saying—they’re just trying to sound ‘edgy’. I’m guessing these are people with a very low tolerance for ‘edge’.

So yeah. People who think they know what you think better than you know what you think, because I guess they’re telepathic or something. Mostly they think their opponent has been ‘brainwashed’. Brainwashing explains everything—much easier than finding real counter-arguments! Telepaths do more than just set up Strawmen, they go up to their opponent, shove straw down their shirts and then declare themselves the ‘winner’.

(Hopefully A and B will come to a better understanding of each other over their shared love of comic book movies.

… actually, knowing fandom wars, that’ll probably only make things worse.)

The Long-ish Wait is Over

Wow, it’s later than I thought it would be. I just spent several hours reading my recently finished Rooks prequel to my dear mama, for she is old and frail… and old, and can’t see too well. And she’s the only person in RL who’s around and willing to listen to my glorious works.

Note I’ve added some ‘categories’ to my blog. For categorising.

Anyway, today I thought I’d talk about Evo and Dread, the two novels of mine that have the least written about them, about 5,000 words each—something I hope to rectify after NaNo—and how they came into being.

Evo, as I said in my first ever blog post ever, is my attempt at seeing if YA Paranormal Romance can be done to a standard that I would consider ‘well’. It builds on the Twilight structure; young girl, paranormal creature(s), love triangle, stuff… okay, it’s not really a structure, but you can’t say I haven’t done my research for this one!

Actually, since I only sought out the books I knew I’d find hilariously bad, I guess you could say that. Oh well. Moving on, ‘Evo’ is set in the 1950s Northumberland, a place and time I know very little about, and deals with many issues I am in no way qualified to deal with, but I’m going to do it anyway, because I lack sensitivity—and if you have a problem with that then you’re an insensitive bastard!

Don’t worry, I won’t actually deal with any issues, they’ll just exist in the book. As I’ve said before, I usually hate books that deal with ‘issues’. But, the main character is half black, and it’s not like it’s ignored by the other characters, it’s just not the focus of the book or of the character; and why would it be, when she’s caught in a love triangle with the Frankenstein Monster and the Invisible Man!?

Well, not so much of a love triangle as… a big mess. Here’s an excerpt, in which our heroine Regina has just met the mysterious new student John Evelyn Mandeville, who we will later discover is nicknamed ‘Evo’, and is conversing with him for the first time about some recent deaths…

Lighting flashed far away.

“You think your arrival warrants all this?” I laughed. “Should I be worried?”

He smiled again, this time for a few moments more than before.

“Well, I was referring to the funerals. I suppose everyone’s a bit  out of sorts over the affair?” His voice was uncertain. “Probably not looking to make new friends so quickly.”

Ah, he was worried about his position in a world still grieving the loss of the guys he’d been sent to replace. That was understandable—as I said before one of the girls had used that very word in reference to him. Unfortunately I couldn’t speak for the others, only for myself, and I especially wouldn’t know what the feeling was towards him at Wells’.

“Some of them are,” I said. “I didn’t know Marigold all that well, and I didn’t know the boys at all, but I think those that did are pretty upset over the whole thing.”

“I’d imagine so,” said John Evelyn, averting his eyes to look out across the moors. “I heard it was a drowning.”

And there he was hesitant. Morbid curiosity? I had to confess to being weak to that myself sometimes. Better he asked me than someone who’d be distressed by it.

“That it was. For the boys, I mean. Damn fools should’ve known better than to boat on the lake in August—pardon my language. ” Words of that sort still sprung out sometimes, despite the elocution lessons. “I’ve been here less than a year, but even I know the place is strangled with weeds. You fall in and you’re pretty much done for, no matter how strong a swimmer you are.”

We went single file at this point to avoid one of the bigger puddles. John Evelyn shook his head.

“And the girl killed herself? But if the lake was overgrown, wasn’t it difficult to get the bodies out of the water?”

“Yeah…” I said. I was frowning, because that question made him seem a little too interested. Of course, maybe he didn’t get out than much—he looked like he’d never seen the sun before in his life. “Only, the bodies didn’t drift on account—I mean, because of the weeds. They were right where the boat was. The locals fished them out within two hours, but it was much too late.”

“Were their bodies buried here though? Weren’t they being sent back to their families?”

“Three of the boys were local,” I said. “They keep a certain number of places in both schools for the locals—not from the village, but from some of the outlying places, there are a fair few within fifteen to twenty miles. John Garrett’s family’s based in India these days and Marigold’s were Catholic, and their church didn’t want a suicide on the grounds.”

“Did you see it happen?” he asked me. It was kind of blunt, probably something most would find inappropriate—indeed, I kind of felt it was inappropriate, and yet I didn’t really have any trouble answering him.

“No one did. She left the note on her bed and the groundskeeper found her early the next morning, called the teachers; they made sure none of us girls saw anything.”

There was something else he wanted to ask, I could tell from the look on his face. Something about my answer had left him dissatisfied and I began to wonder what his angle was. Some kind of dark soul, obsessed with death and that? Or was he just what my classmates would have called a ‘nosy parker’. To be honest I’d have hoped for the former, that was no matter to me; but I didn’t want him to start prying into my affairs or annoying anyone else with it.

“Doesn’t bother you, does it?” I asked him.

He met my eyes briefly. “I wouldn’t say bothered,” he said. “Only I have an acquired interest in pathology.”

An aspiring surgeon? That was kind of interesting.

“Well,” I said. “I don’t think there was anything out of the ordinary about the deaths themselves, it was pretty much just drowning and jumping off a tall building. That tall building.”

Cheerful as ever!

As for Ah-Seti-Ten the Dread, that one’s a bit harder to define. It was a mixture of watching too much anime and being annoyed with moral absolutism. If you’re a moral absolutist, and to be fair I think most people are, I’m not setting out on a futile mission to destroy your world view, but I’m a relativist, and so my works often deal with moral and social relativism—by which I mean the main characters often do things or have things happen to them that modern society would consider terrible, but are not and never will be considered so or considered as much so by them.

And vice-versa, when it comes to things modern society would consider good.

Maybe it comes from all my years of studying history, but recently I saw a conversation online about one of these time travel series, and how they were so glad that this guy from the eighteenth century happened to have social mores about one degree off from modern liberalism, because otherwise they’d be completely unlikeable.

This was exactly what I hated about the character, the show, and all shows like it. Yes, they also made a good point about how boring it would be if the show did a ‘hero learns an important lesson about X-ism’ every week, but they’re not the only options. I mean, would you adjust your morals just because you got thrown into another culture? I’m not saying historical characters always have to embody all the nastiest aspects of history, but making them pretty much a modern-day person who hilariously doesn’t know how to work a toaster is just so… fake.

So I guess there’ll be a lot of people who hate this book, and all my books, if they ever read them. Do I care? Meh.

I went into the premise in my ‘Insert Title Here’ post, so here’s an excerpt–our heroine has just been bought at auction, and goes to meet and greet another girl bough by the same person:

The auctioneer pointed his cane at the carrier and the Lilentine was given a gentle shove towards the stairs leading off the stage. I followed her with my eyes rather than watch the next lot. She seemed a bit clueless; all wide-eyed and clumsy—she almost tripped going down those steps. A few of the girls tittered, and I admit I had to hold my own laughter in.

Then I think one of the Farsuchite girls said something along the lines of ‘it’s true what they say about northerners’ and my eyes narrowed. Nietszenti wasn’t as far north as Lilenti, but it was certainly further than Farsuchia. Well, for all their clucking those dumb hens hadn’t impressed me any more than the Lilentine girl. Less, if anything.

I squeezed past them towards the prettier girls, hoping to talk to my new… colleague? I don’t know what you called a slave owned by the same master that you were, or even if there was a word for it. She was indeed very beautiful, with blue-green eyes and smooth, pale skin. When she’d taken her dress off for the crowd she’d revealed a pretty impressive body too.

She was looking worriedly at the carrier when I approached her.

“Hello,” I said.

Clearly she was surprised I was speaking to her. For a few seconds she just blinked at me.

“He bought me too,” I said with a shrug.

Understanding gleamed in her eyes.

“You know Lilentine,” she said happily.

I nodded.

“You’re Nietszentine? I’m liking your marks.”

Her dialect was a bit odd, not utilising the grammar we were taught at the temple. I assumed by ‘marks’ she meant the tattoos, and I shrugged again.

“Thank you,” I said.

She giggled. “‘Thank you’,” she repeated. “You’re talking nice. Like about from Eelin.”

Yeah, I’d guessed she probably wasn’t from the capital.

“Were you from the mountains?” I asked.

“Aye,” she said. “I’m Sukemi-on-Ealisetnin, my father is Sudi-on-Ealisetnin.”

“My name is Orinetpho,” I said. “My father is Orin, Chieftain of the Lower Gezett Valleys, blessed by T’hiea.”

I had to say ‘is’ because Lilentine has no past tense, not that I knew whether he was still alive or not, but then if he knew I was then he’d probably have disowned me, so either way he was no longer my father. Nor, I suppose, could I really say he was blessed by T’hiea, seeing as his lands had been sacked and half his family killed or sold into slavery, but that was a much larger matter.

“Seyirak! Seyirak!” yelled the auctioneer again.

The last girl looked to be Farsuchite, and quite nervous. The bidding that followed got quite vicious.

“Do you know what that word means?” I asked Sukemi.

“Virgin,” she said, blushing a little.

Ah, that made sense. Had our master bought her specifically because of that, or had it actually been the hair, I wondered. Hers was lighter than any I’d seen before, close to the inside of a lemon.

“Do you know who’s he?” Sukemi asked me, pointing at the carrier.

As I shook my head I studied it further. It was taller and plainer than others I’d seen carried around the Farsuchian city, but it was a prettier colour as well, a kind of blue that shimmered like an opal, inlaid with black timbers. The men on each side of it were in full armour; again, not a sort I was familiar with, and their faces were entirely covered.

“They could be Teytakk, I suppose,” I said. It was a place I knew little of. “But in all honesty I’ve no idea.”

We weren’t to learn anything more after the last girl was sold either. The auction was broken up for the afternoon meal, to reconvene for the selling of male slaves at the third hour. The notary who had attended our owner stopped by briefly to tell us to wait outside the tent where our owner had been invited to dine, a grand affair which many of the buyers attended. Our owner was carried inside before we could catch so much as a glimpse of what he looked like.

One of the armoured attendants slung a length of rope over the large branch of a nearby tree, then tied one end around my wrists, the other around Sukemi’s. It wasn’t tight, but it did mean we couldn’t try to escape even if we’d had anywhere to go, and annoyingly the rope was only long enough for one of us to sit down at a time.

He did bring us some food though, which was nice of him; some flat bread and hrethahl, a kind of paste made out of chickpeas, cashews, and the pureed innards of a chicken. Probably a chicken. Most of the hrethahl I’d had since I’d got to Farsuchia had been made from pigeon, but this had come from inside the tent, so I had high hopes for finer fare.

There were a few dried figs as well, but I wasn’t hungry enough to force down a fruit I’d never liked, so I passed mine to Sukemi in exchange for more bread.

As we sat, we talked a bit. She told me how she’d come to be in a place so far away from Lilenti, how the harvest had been bad in the north and her father’s winter stores had suffered. She told me the same conditions had happened five years ago, and at that time her father had refused to sell any of his children for money that would have seen them through the winter, how he’d decided to brave the winter with what he had.

She told me how a brother and two sisters had starved to death that year. Sukemi was the third of thirteen children, all by the same mother, and had nine siblings still living, of which she was the second eldest. The money her family made by selling her would ensure they could buy imported grain in the coming months. Her parents and siblings had been devastated to lose her, but at least none of them would die.

“It wouldn’t be a nice life there anyway,” she told me. “Papa can’t afford a dowry, so my husband is being whoever’ll have me.” She chewed and swallowed. “Like is here, I suppose. Wish Papa can have some of six hundred jeahl—how much that be in sovereigns, you think?”

There were about ten jeahl in a Nietszentine counter, so Sukemi had been bought for sixty of those, but they were worth three times a Lilentine sovereign. “A hundred and eighty,” I told her.

She hissed as though she’d been burned. “Papa getting thirty-two,” she said.

“Unfair,” I agreed, then stood up so she could sit down—a bit ungainly, with my hands bound. “Though my father got nothing, of course.”

Somehow my being stolen made us both smile.

And now I must go make some food of my own…

Verity Commentary: The Life and Times of Dawn Talbot (Part II)

PART TWO

Chapter Eight

A dead cat appears on Perdita’s doorstep the next morning, either a gift from Nathan or a threat from the Polish werewolf mafia, I’m guessing. Perdita and her family are surprisingly nonchalant about the whole thing, saying a predator must have got it. Uh, I don’t live in Ireland-land or anything, but how many vicious predators are there running around central Dublin?

Oh, I forgot—this is the village of Dublin.

Much gossiping about dad and dad-girlfriend (her name’s Erin, he doesn’t have a name yet that I’m aware of), Tammie and Joey, and Perdita and Nathan ensues, and then Perdita goes over to Amelia’s house to meet Uncle Byron and the rest of the pack.

Oh, and the grandfather’s name is Jakob. SUBTLE!

Pages upon pages of irrelevant talking ensues, but it’s worth it when Dawn shows up to tell everyone there was a dead rabbit in her garden and then leave again for no reason!

Then Perdita goes home to hear some backstory from her grandmother about how her mum and dad got together and broke her grandfather’s heart and he died and then her mother ran away because she couldn’t handle married life. Stirring speeches ensue.

Chapter Nine

And there’s the halfway mark. Funny how less and less happens in these books with every one I pick up, huh? Well, at least we have Dawn!

But things are really beginning to perk up now, with Amelia giving Perdita a tarot card reading! (I wonder if she’ll get the death card?) Well, we start with the three of swords, meaning Perdita had a past of conflict, pain and heartbreak, not that we’ve heard anything about this so far but I suppose the card is referring to her having arguments with her dad about wearing jumpers—truly a deeply traumatic event.

Then she gets the two of cups, which signifies the beginning of a new relationship, and then… OMG! The DEATH card! I totes didn’t see that one coming!

Then Perdita has a major big fight with Tammie over… uh… something, and bursts into tears. Amelia calls Tammie a cow, Perdita tells her to mind her own business, Amelia flounces—DRAMA!!! (or what passes for drama in a novel that was supposed to be about werewolves). Perdita and Amelia make up almost immediately, but it looks like the dream team is broken up 4 evah, so sad, but then Dawn shows up to say she got attacked by a huge dog last night!

But that’s quickly forgotten about in favour of more teen drama. It’s not really worth recounting, though Perdita and Tammie do make up. Sort of. And then they all go to Aaron’s house party.

Chapter Ten

Random creepy stalker-guy shows up again, but fails to distract Perdita from Nathan telling her to be nicer to Abbi. Who’s Abbi, and how is she important to the story so far? The answer to that is.

Then the party happens and Perdita thinks she hears a dog but doesn’t find one. The excitement never ends in Verity, even when Nathan and Aaron have a dumb brawl over Perdita.

But it’s time for a ‘tell mee whatz happennin/itz tuu dangirus!’ conversation, followed by twu wuv’s first kiss. Aww.

And then a werewolf finally shows up.

Chapter Eleven

Well, it only took us three quarters of the book, but this is a short book, so I guess I can understand it. As Nathan and Perdita are smooching, a giant wolf/dog/canine/thing appears in the road to growl at them, and once again it’s Holy Grail time.

RUN AWAAAAY!

Perdita runs to Nathan’s house so Uncle Byron can rip his shirt off (and turn into a werewolf or something) and the wimminz hide in the house while the menz go out to fight the werewolf off page. Then they come back. Excitement!

Perdita figures out that they’re all werewolves now, whoop-dee-doo, and Nathan says she must never tell anyone, like, ever. Also that he doesn’t use mind control to make everyone like him, he’s just that likeable… somehow. (yeah, I’m calling bull on that one)

Chapter Twelve

Nathan’s grandma pops by for a nice spot of backstory and exposition. Apparently back in the 18th century Nathan’s ancestor turned into a werewolf and killed some gypsies—and you know what that means! Curse time!

So this curse is that everyone in the family will only have one child—a boy, who’ll wander the earth in search of their soul mate until they find them and have another kid, and the curse will only be broken when a daughter is born into the family. Man, what a dumb—uh, terrifying curse!

For some reason, Granny gave birth to twin boys, Nathan’s dad and uncle Byron, and Nathan’s dad had Nathan and then Amelia, so everyone thought the curse was broken, except it wasn’t. Does this mean that Amelia was the ‘abomination’ from the beginning?

Oh, and Perdita is Nathans soul mate. What a twist!

Perdita is mad at the family for not telling her everything (like she’d really have believed them) thinks the whole thing is screwed up (it is) and Nathan tells her that the werewolf-soul mate always dies young, except Granny because she became a werewolf too. So why don’t they just make all of their soul mates into werewolves? Who knows?

So Nathan’s dad probably killed his mum due to werewolf rage, and Nathan and Perdita can’t not have a kid because of… reasons. Nathan will go mad or something. Couldn’t they just wear condoms?

Well, kissing ensues, and Nathan says maybe the other group of werewolves showing up was just a coincidence because he’s a moron.

Chapter Thirteen

With the weight of the werewolf revelation Perdita decides to try a new approach, and starts thinking—the most shocking plot twist so far. Well, the only plot twist so far.

But since she’s not used to it, it doesn’t get her very far, and the next day Tammie is a big meanie again, and Joey seems to be really uncomfortable with her meanie-ness. She snaps at Perdita for ‘copying her’ by getting a boyfriend, hahahaha, and then the evil werewolves show up in their human forms of those random creepers so they can do nothing.

Nathan’s family doesn’t believe it’s them though, until it’s pointed out that it obviously is and they’re being stupid. But, nothing comes of it except more generic wisdom spouted from Granny, so Perdita goes home and has dinner with dad and dad-girlfriend.

Chapter Fourteen

Nathan comes over to meet the family, and Perdita’s dad is… totally fine with him. And Tammie’s still being a big meanie for no reason. Drama ensues over Perdita’s deadbeat mother, but we do learn that her dad and grandmother’s names are Stephen and Ruth, so that’s something. (they were probably mentioned before, but they’re not exactly engaging characters)

Then Perdita goes over with Amelia to her house and gets attacked by werewolves, running off into the woods. They’d better hope they’re not in an episode of Midsomer Murders, or they’ll be done for!

Chapter Fifteen

Taking a leaf from Killer Croc’s ‘Fightin’ fer Dummies’, Perdita throws a rock at a werewolf. It’s Not Very Effective. Enemy werewolf uses quick attack, but Nathan shows up to save the day. Perdita claims that without Nathan there to give her strength she’d have ‘lost the plot’, so I suppose that means Perdita’s had the story’s missing plot this whole time and was saving it for a rainy day.

So the rest of Nathan’s family turns up, and it’s Mysterious Blonde, Mysterious Grey and Mysterious Redhead versus Nathan, Uncle Byron, Granny, and Grandpa Jacob—uh, Jakob. MORTAL COMBAAAAAAAT! *insert music*

But Nathan is Not Very Effective against blondie, so Perdita jumps on her back and pokes her in the eyes. My God, I don’t believe it—a YA paranormal romance heroine who actually does something!? Other than whine, cry, heal people, or jump off buildings, I mean? Woooow. This is an important day.

Sadly the grandparents have been offed by Mysterious Grey, so Perdita goes to hit him with a stick—his one great weakness. And he dies! /Phelous. Crap, the YA paranormal romance heroine actually iced the big villain!

Jakob survives to chase off the other wolves with Byron, but Granny’s definitely dead, sad tiems. Perdy feels guilty for killing the slobbering monster (why?) and they all go home for tea.

Chapter Sixteen

Now that the action is over, it’s time for boring talking. Once Nathan is finished with that, it’s time for a family meeting, where Perdita suggests they call the police. Byron says no, because of how, you know, dumb that idea is, and Nathan gets all pissy about him telling his twu wuv what to do, so Byron tells him to shut da fuk up.

Well, I know who my favourite character is!

(not counting Dawn, of course.)

Byron says they have to leave to avoid more werewolves but Perdita says no, that would make her just like her mother, because running away when your life is in danger from bloodthirsty supernatural creatures is exactly the same as running away because meh, you just kind of feel like it.

But Byron’s overruled, and they decide to stay and face off the other werewolves if and when they come, because that’s the best idea when you have no idea who these people are or what their numbers are like.

And so our story ends, with Perdita restating how she and Nathan are soul mates and have a really strong bond. Insert 007 joke here.

Epilogue

Hey, we had a prologue, so why not?

This seems to be from the villain’s point of view, which is good because otherwise we wouldn’t have known that they actually had names—Ryan and Willow, and the Grey guy was Willow’s dad. She’s angry at Perdita for using the dirty stick over the head trick, but Ryan says it was his own fault for being allergic to sticks. Or careless, one or the other.

They’re working for Vin, the guy from the start (remember him? Why would you?) who’s holding Ryan’s family hostage and…

Oh, that’s it. Well.

*drums fingers*

CUT!

Final Thoughts

After the bores of Inescapable and Delirium, Verity was a breath of fresh air, isn’t that right, Dawn?

Dawn says yes.

Anyway, me and Dawn are taking Patch the camel to get his new wheelchair fixed, I would have brought my best friend but she’s turned against me for no apparent reason and hates seeing me happy ever since she began  dating my cousin.

If only I had my werewolf soul mate here to comfort me! Unfortunately he dumped me for a high school student who was secretly an angel with butterfly wings. What a fucktard, I’m going to get Dawn to push him over in the school cafeteria and call him a freak. Isn’t that right, Dawn?

Dawn says as long as there are no mysterious shadowy figures who attack us for no reason in the last chapter.

You tell, ’em, Dawn!