First of all, I'd like to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving. My next post won't be until the day after, so I thought I'd get that in now. I hope you have a warm, cozy, fun-filled holiday.
I've been taking it a little slower this third week of November/NaNoWriMo, but I'm still writing. Just not pushing myself. My hands have begun to hurt a little, so I need to take it easy. You can see my daily word counts, along with the novel's total word count, below.
Otherwise, I've finished reading Russell Blake's Black In The Box. Really loving this series and wish there were more books. I've also begun his The Day After Never: Nemesis book. I highly recommend these two series, along with his Assassin series (link takes you to the first book in the series, King of Swords, on Amazon). The Black series is noir mystery with a lot of sarcastic humor. The Day After Never is post apocalyptic with a western feel. Assassin is, duh, about an assassin. Ha ha! But you find yourself rooting for the assassin, El Rey, especially in the last two or three books.
Have you read any great books lately? What are they? What did you love about them? What made them hard to put down? Let me know in the comments!
Writing Goal Progress:
I wrote 13,388 words this week, a bit less than last week's 25,644 (or week one's 26,429), but I've been taking it a bit easy since reaching 50K. I'm still pretty proud of how much I've written.
Day 15: 1,301 -- Novel total: 53,504
Day 16: 2,128 -- Novel total: 55,620
Day 17: 0 -- Novel total: 55,620
Day 18: 2,956 -- Novel total: 58,576
Day 19: 3,250 -- Novel total: 61,826
Day 20: 1,926 -- Novel total: 63,752
Day 21: 1,827 -- Novel total: 65,579
Meet the Character: Katrina
Character Model: Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)
Weight: 130 lbs.
Eyes/Hair: Brown / dark brown
Illdir & Tatia: Neutral good. (ĭl’ dēr | tät’ yä) The Creator Gods, the patron gods of Illdirin itself. Worshiped by those who strive to live in harmony with the earth.
About 30% of Illdirin’s population is human. Humans have no magic of their own, though most can use magical artifacts.
As far as good and evil, humans are all over the board, yet they’re still the chosen race, and they are protected by immortals and celestials.
Humans have a finite existence on Illdirin, with the average life span being about 70-80 years.
Because of their ability to adapt and change, humans can be found in nearly all lines of work.
Most humans live on the surface of Illdirin, though there are a few who live in Sub-Terra. Those in Sub-Terra mostly keep to themselves, but some have been enslaved by the other races, or they’ve become members of different warring factions that are scattered about.
Humans, in general, worship all the gods, or none at all, but their patron gods are Illdir and Tatia, the Creator Gods who first gave them life.
Strengths: Loyal, observant, intelligent, compassionate, hardworking, dependable, trustworthy, determined, focused, fair-minded, protective, tech savvy, patient, adaptable, quick witted, adaptable
Weaknesses: Has a love of old things and isn’t above stealing, but if someone else steals from her and her group, she will grow angry about it. | Those she cares about can be used against her, because her feelings run deep.
Languages: A little bit of Celestial, a little bit of Madaiian, Arconian, Agrian Proper, a smattering from other languages
Favored Weapon: Handguns (also proficient with rope, whip, dagger, and hand-to-hand combat)
Career: Archaeologist, adventurer, researcher
Motto: “The past must be preserved at all costs, and if I should profit from it, why shouldn’t I?”
Trained Skills: Theology | History | Survival | Hand-to-hand combat | Magical Artifacts | Archaeological Methods | Sociology | Computer Science | Martial Arts | Technical Writing
Untrained Skills: Street Fighting | Athletics | Endurance | Intimidate | Acrobatics | Stealth | Parkour | Negotiate | Acting
RESIDENCES (Most Recent First): Illdirin
Town: Kanduyar, Indas — Katrina splits her time between Kanduyar and the Homewood Sanctuary, along with Samandriel. She is an independent career woman with business contacts in both Indas and Essear, as well as Arcona and Ethica, and she is legally able to work from any of these locations.
Town: Homewood Sanctuary, North of Saena Lanora, Forest Hemalean, Northern Essear — She’s lived here with Samandriel since she was about 23 years of age. From here, she works on archaeological research, sets up archaeological digs, and pursues other interests.
City: Westerview, Capital of Arcona — She returned to Westerview after university, but moved away after meeting Samandriel a year into her stay here.
City: Newgate Point, Ethica — She went to university here, in the largest city in Ethica. It’s situated on the eastern coast.
City: Cahyrst, Gaelgaret — Her family moved to Cahyrst when she was 16, and she finished out secondary school here.
City: Tariibaar, Al Shasra — Her family moved to Tariibaar when Katrina was 14, and they remained there for two years.
City: Westerview, Capital of Arcona — Katrina was born and lived here with her parents until the age of 14.
Katrina has always had a fascination with history, which includes ancient sites and artifacts. It is her one main passion in life, and she pursues knowledge about long forgotten places and people through her work.
She also loves to share her findings with others — not just other archaeologists, but average people, as well. In fact, she has a gift for simplifying concepts and other aspects of history so that the average layman can understand them. She’s sought out for her knowledge and experience.
There’s nothing that gets Katrina’s blood pumping quite like going on new adventures. She will gripe and complain about the dangers, the conditions she often has to live with, but deep inside, she relishes every moment spent seeking out new experiences, especially if these new experiences have anything to do with history and archeology. She can handle herself in the wild and against danger from rivals alike, as she’s had training (or been self-taught) in the ways to survive in any environment.
Ever since she was a little girl, Katrina was interested in history and all things ancient. She also loved to go outside and get dirty. But rather than play the average sports, she would go off by herself and climb hills and rocks and trees, swim in nearby lakes and rivers, and run through local forests, exploring their depths with intense interest.
A military brat, Katrina easily became friends with others like her, and they would all get together and practice various skills, such as running, fighting, and parkour. She had no problem competing against males her age, as she was extremely competitive.
On the other hand, every once in a while, Katrina likes to let her feminine side show. She feels as comfortable in a dress as she does in a tank top and jeans, and her career often calls for both at one time or another.
While in university, Katrina majored in archeology and sociology, with miners in computer science and technical writing. She was also a member of the swimming and parkour teams.
She met Samandriel during her post-university time in Westerview. They were traveling separately and happened to meet out in the Ugonaian desert. They decided to travel together, and they hit it off well. Soon after, they became romantically involved, and they’ve been together ever since.
Her secret dream is to marry Samandriel and have children with him. As a love of history, she naturally wants to leave a legacy — not just in writings and discoveries, but in children who share her passion for history.
Her biggest secret, however, is the cache of stolen artifacts she hides near Samandriel’s Homewood Estate. Over the years, she has dipped her fingers into many archaeological sites and stashed these pilfered objects in a cave in the surrounding mountains. Over time, she’s built a safe for these items that’s climate controlled with its own independent power source and security system. Not even Samandriel knows about it.
Excerpt (from chapters 49 and 51):
“Thank you so much for taking me to Abandale, Zachariel. I feel like so much good happened there today. Can you feel it, too?”
“I can,” Zachariel lied, giving her a warm smile. “It’s really good to see you so happy and full of energy. I’ll have to take you out more often.”
Ebonie squeezed his hand a little tighter. “Would you? Really?”
“I think it can be arranged,” he said. He stopped, as they’d reached her door. “I guess this is goodnight.”
“The day doesn’t have to end here, does it?” Ebonie asked with a frown. “Won’t you come in for a bit?”
“Are you sure?”
She blushed and lowered her gaze. “I — yeah, I’m sure.”
“Okay,” he murmured and unlocked the door. He opened it and waited for her to enter, then he stepped in behind her. He remained by the door, watching her closely as she let Scout out of his kennel and gave him some fresh food and water. He wondered if this was a good idea. Should he get physically involved with her? It would only mess with his emotions and his plan, wouldn’t it?
But she looked so damned beautiful that he couldn’t turn and walk away. His mind screamed for him to leave her alone even as his body moved toward her.
He pulled her into his arms and kissed her. She returned the kiss, clinging to him as if he were her lifeline. It made him feel strong and masculine.
“Are you sure you wanna do this?” he murmured against her ear.
“I’m sure,” she whispered.
He drew back and watched her. He brushed her long dark hair over one shoulder. With the other hand, he started unzipping her top. When it was far enough down, he stooped to kiss her neck and collarbone, then went lower.
In the next moment, he tugged on her skirt, letting it fall to the floor. He pushed the hem of her top up, and she lifted her arms over her head so he could more easily pull it off. He dropped it to the floor beside the skirt and gazed on her nearly naked flesh.
She had a beautiful form that was firm yet soft, fair skin that was nearly flawless, and fluid graceful movements that came naturally to her. He wanted to take his time with her, savor the experience, make it last.
He lifted her into his arms and carried her around the bed. He laid her upon it, then he yanked off his shirt and leaned down to kiss her belly. He tugged his pants off, kicking his shoes off with them, and soon, they were making love like there was no tomorrow.
- - -
All night, Zachariel warred with his conscience and his lack of memory. On one hand, he wanted to get up and leave. Ebonie had been a challenge, but he’d conquered her. Did he really need to stick around? On the other hand, if he wanted her to believe he loved her, walking out could have brought the whole thing to a halt. That much he knew for a fact. Had he left, she’d wonder why, and their line of communication, such as it was, would be strained at best, nonfunctional at worst.
And if that wasn’t enough, he wasn’t sure what he felt for her. Did he love her? Or was he just infatuated? Had it been his loneliness and need for companionship that had driven him to be with her?
He’d loved Sachiel, but that was a helluva long time ago. So long he couldn’t remember what his feelings for her had felt like. Had his heart raced at the thought of being with her as it had last night when Ebonie had invited her in? Had he been willing to endure almost any hardship for her as he realized he could for Ebonie? Had Sachiel’s smile brightened his days? Had her body warmed him inside during the long nights?
Why couldn’t he remember what it felt like back then? Did his desire for vengeance all these millennia drive out all other emotions? He remembered moments, but they held no emotion for him — except for that last moment when he’d watched the Gods take Sachiel’s head.
He didn’t even remember what his love for his unborn son had felt like.
Or the love for the brothers and sister he’d held so dear.
Though he could admit to feeling something when Sam had visited. But what was it? He didn’t think it was love, but how could he be certain? All he knew was that Samandriel’s presence had been familiar, almost like a feeling of being sheltered, though he couldn’t explain why “shelter” should be the word to come to mind.
He glanced down at Ebonie and found her sleepy, dark eyes watching him. He smiled down at her. “You’re awake.”
“You’re still here. I thought you’d leave in the middle of the night.”
“What would make you think that?”
She raised herself up on one elbow, and her messy, tangled hair tumbled down over her shoulder. “I dunno. I guess it seems too good to be true.”
“It’s true, Ebonie.” He touched the side of her face and gazed into her dark eyes. “I promise, it’s true. And I’m not going anywhere for a while.”
“Not even to get us some quava?” she asked, the corner of her mouth curving up into a little grin that he found endearing.
“Oh, well, if the lady needs quava, she shall have it,” Zachariel said, rising from the bed.
“Hurry back? I don’t know how long I can take your absence.”
“Won’t take 5 minutes. I’ll have the cook fix breakfast and quava, and someone will bring it up to us. How’s that sound?”
“Very convenient,” Ebonie said with a wink.
“Pays to be the man in charge.” Zach grinned as he padded over to where he’d kicked off his jeans and shoes the night before. He put them on now, then slipped his t-shirt over his head. He returned to the bed long enough to kiss her, then headed for the door. “Be right back.”
He returned a few minutes later and quickly undressed and climbed back into bed. He wrapped his arms around Ebonie and kissed her long and slow.
When he finally came up for air, he gazed into her dark eyes, trying to lose himself in them.
“How long before someone brings us our food?” Ebonie asked.
“He said it would take about twenty minutes.”
“Long enough for—?” Ebonie touched him under the covers.
He shuddered, and lowered his lips to her throat. “Mm hm,” he murmured. “You keep doing that, it won’t even take me 5 minutes. Have I told you how much I love your hands?”
“Not until now,” Ebonie whispered. “Should I stop?”
“Gods, no. Keep going, woman. Keep going.”
From the Legendus Illdirinus Encyclopedia: Black and Divine Light Magic:
There are many kinds of magic on Illdirin. for the purpose of this entry, I'll focus on Black and Divine Light, as they are polar opposites and prevalent in the story I'm currently writing.
Black Magic on Illdirin is 100% evil. It was devised by ancient gods and their angels who had fallen long before Illdir & Tatia's time. Black Magic derives its power from the darkness and shadows, as well as the intent and emotions of its user. For example, if the user has murderous intent and is filled with rage, and it's nighttime, the black magic being used will be more powerful than if the user only wishes to trip someone up for fun during the day.
Those borne of divine light can't use black magic unless they fall, but then evil has to consume them before they can actually use it. Those who fall will eventually become users of black magic, but it takes a long time for most. In fact, Zachariel was in Sheforat (Hell) for almost 13,000 years, but he never became evil. He wanted revenge in all that time, but he never gave in to the evil so prevalent there. He only gave rein to his emotions, his anger and resentment, even hatred, but he never would have considered letting evil enter his spirit. Only those who let evil into their spirits are truly damned to eternity in Sheforat.
Black magic isn't all powerful, but it can cause a lot of damage. It is permanently corrupted and no good ever comes from it, even for its user, who is damned for their willingness to give in to the evil needed to wield it.
There are many black magic spells and artifacts, thanks to their introduction by an angel long ago, when the races were new. Since humans and Immortals don't have magic of their own, they must resort to artifacts (and spells if they work with an artifact).
Black magic is a supernatural power that can have tremendous influence over people, willing or not, conscious of it or not. Only the strongest divine light users are resistant to it, but even they can become corrupted by it over time.
Divine Light Magic:
Divine Light Magic is 100% pure. It's what the Creator Gods used to create their angels, beings of pure magic. Divine light magic can't be corrupted, though its user can be, over time. Black magic is exceptionally powerful, and divine light magic is its equal. No other magic can truly beat either of these if they're at full strength. Under the right circumstances, both divine light and black magic can cancel each other out.
Divine light magic gets its power from stars and other sources of light, as well as the purity of its user. This is why an evil person can not use divine light magic (and, conversely, a pure person can't use black magic). Divine light magic is supernatural by nature, and in the truly pure, it is the strongest magic out there. The user's purity is the main determinant in how strong the magic will be, though the amount of light will affect it, as well.
There are many divine light magic spells and artifacts. In the beginning of Illdirin, some of the gods and their angels taught the mortal races how to use them. Those who were magical by nature (elves, dwarfs, fey, etc.) took to them much more easily than humans, who have no magic of their own. Black magic was introduced to the races by a fallen angel in order to counteract divine light magic, and it's been a problem ever since.
Music I'm Currently Listening To:
One of the most gorgeous voices I've ever heard: Ruut DeMeo on YouTube! (My sister and I used to babysit her hubby when he was just a tiny tyke!)
Video I love:
The Northern Heart YouTube Channel: I like seeing how people live in the far 3north, especially in Scandinavia.
Lois Eighmy (pronounced like Amy) is a full-time fantasy and thriller writer. She's also an artist and fledgling photographer. You can see some of her writing and other creative works here on her website. She lives in Missouri with her husband, Jeff, her white calico cat, Chloe, and her brindle mutt, Nikita. She dreams of moving anywhere she can experience an annual White Christmas, but is happily working on being content with where she's at in the present.