Hello all! I haven’t posted here in a while. I’ve been more active over on my tumblr pages because it’s easier for me to use. I’ve decided to retire this blog and do Tumblr exclusively. So if you’re interested in following my writing you can find me there @rainydaydarling or my crafting, drawing, creativity page @rainydaydarlingcreativity. I hope you’ll all go check it out and give me some likes and reblog if you like my work! I still have until July on here so I might post a snippet or two but probably not. I wish you all well and maybe I’ll catch ya over on tumblr! Bye bye, darlings!
Here’s an excerpt from Wedding Bells and Blood.
Content Warning: mention of domestic abuse, trauma
“You okay, Tally?” Amara stood cautiously above her client.
“I need a minute,” Tally panted out. Sweat glistened on her dark brown skin.
“How about we take a break?” Amara suggested. It was normal for them to be out of breath, but she’d noticed Tally panicking a bit. Her breathing wasn’t that of exertion but of fear.
Tally had been abused by her husband for years and found the courage to leave him a year ago. But even though he wasn’t in her life any more, he still scared her. And being in positions that reminded her of those times occasionally still brought on panic attacks. Amara hoped her lessons would help Tally regain some of her control. She stood and extended her hand down to Tally, who nodded and took it. They took off their gloves, sat on the floor against a wall, and sipped water.
“I’m sorry if I pushed too far,” Amara said. “You told me you wanted to move faster and I thought that was what you meant.”
“No, you were right. That was what I meant. I just didn’t know it would trigger so many memories.” A tear slipped down Tally’s cheek.
“I’m sorry he did that to you.” Amara reached over and took her hand. “But soon, you’ll be able to defend yourself. If he ever comes back or if anyone else tries that, you’ll have the tools you need to fight back. You’ll never be that helpless again. I promise.”
“Thanks, Amara. You’ve been so great helping me through all this. I didn’t think I would ever be able to move past what he did to me. But I think I’m finally starting to heal.” She squeezed Amara’s hand.
“Good. Did you venture out of your house this week, like I challenged you to?”
“I did,” Tally answered as she sipped on her water.
“And?” Amara pushed. “How did it go without me being with you?”
“It went alright.” Tally looked down and fidgeted with her water bottle lid.
“Then what’s wrong?”
“I don’t know. I hated being out there. I was open and exposed. I felt like he could see me, he could find me. I hate being in public,” she told Amara.
Amara knew it wouldn’t be easy for Tally. She wished there was some way she could help her but Tally needed to put in the work herself, Amara couldn’t do it for her. “I know.” She shifted so she was sitting in front of Tally. “But it’ll get easier. I really don’t think he’ll try to find you. That restraining order was pretty clear.” She smiled at her. “And if he does find you, it’s not you who needs to worry any more.”
Tally chuckled. “You’re right. I know you are. And it’s silly to keep myself trapped here, I realize that. I’ll keep working on it.”
“I’m glad. No one deserves to be stuck in that place. You deserve to be able to move on.” Amara smiled, glad that her friend was doing better. “Let’s finish up this lesson. I’ve got wedding plans tonight!”
“Oh yeah!” Tally perked up. “How’s Tucian? How’s the wedding coming along?”
“Uh-uh,” Amara chided. “If you want info you’ll have to fight me for it. On your feet!” She extended her hand to Tally and pulled her up. She put on some punching mitts. “No more intense training today. Back to basics.”
Tally laughed as she put her gloves back on. “Alright.” She threw a right hook, followed by a left. She repeated as long as Amara wanted her to.
“The wedding is coming along. Now uppercuts,” Amara instructed. Tally followed her instructions, alternating hands, hitting the mitts with all her might. She continued. “We chose our cake today.”
“What.. flavor… did you… choose?” Tally asked as she did the hits.
“Quick jabs, sets of two,” Amara told her. Tally switched: left, left, right, right, left, left, right, right. “Good! That’s good. A few more and we’ll switch to knees. Tucian let me choose my favorite. It’s milk, dark, and white chocolate.”
“That sounds… yummy…” Tally breathed out, trying to keep her breaths in sync with her hitting. She paused. “I’m happy for you. One of us should have a good man.” She smiled at Amara who smiled back.
Amara’s phone rang in her bag. “Hang on.” She paused and set down her training gear to fish her phone out. “Sorry.” She looked back at Tally. “It’s the police. They might have news about the murderer I’ve been helping them track down. You mind if I take it?” She stepped outside the room when Tally shook her head and smiled.
“Hello,” Amara said in the hallway. “Hi, Brad. How are you? I’m good. I’m so sorry. Can I meet you at the station later? Perfect. I’ll see you then. Thanks.”
“Any good news?” Tally said when Amara walked back in.
“No.” Amara picked up her punching mitts and nodded for Tally to continue.
“What was it?”
“Another missing person. We thought we had him this morning. But he got away… again. I hope he slips up soon. We really need to get this guy locked up.”
Amara packed up her stuff at the end of the lesson and went to say goodbye.
“Promise you’ll be careful?” Tally asked. “With your police work? I have a bad feeling about it.”
“Of course. I’m always careful,” Amara answered as she tripped over her gear bag and nearly fell on her face. She and Tally laughed. “See? Careful.”
Here’s my Edifice story from Braithe’s point of view instead!
My whole life has been a series of fights. I fight for my freedom, for my right to exist, for my right to live a demon’s life. Yes, that includes murdering. I am a demon after all. But the world is built of good and bad. I’m just helping keep the balance… kinda
My latest fight has been raging for two hundred years. I am trapped and can’t break free. I’ve been trapped before, I’ve always found a way out. This time is different, there’s no escape. I long for my master and for my demon siblings. All I want is to be with them. So I keep fighting.
When I finally get the chance, I eliminate Fredrick. He’s helping keep me trapped and when he’s gone I have a chance to be free. If it weren’t for that stupid Warden. He locks me back up. But something bigger is coming, my turn is coming. My master is coming. I just have to wait…
Lenci and Beck went outside where the sun was about to set. Everyone stood in pairs in a circle, Lenci and Beck’s space the only spot to be filled. They stood in their spot and looked around the circle at Warden and five other pairs of people. They were all young like Lenci and Beck.
“Thank you for joining me here, everyone,” Warden began. “As you’re all aware, Aiden has been released. We will be sending Kuval and his Keeper, Sadie, to track down the demon and trap him temporarily.”
Everyone nodded to a man with tan skin, blue black hair, and a neat beard. He wore a dark blue Indian kurta with gold trim. Beside him was a pale woman with short hair, the left half pink, the right half black.
After everyone acknowledged the pair, Warden continued. “We do however find ourselves in need of a new Edifice for Kuval’s demon. Breaking the lock has left our dear friend unable to contain demons.” An audible joint sigh of sadness for this man swept the circle in waves before Warden moved on. “I will be taking Nuri and Mizu with me to find a new Edifice.”
This time everyone nodded to a dark skinned woman with darker hair that flowed beautifully down her back in thick braids. Her partner was an Asian man in a suit with his dark hair parted to one side.
“The rest of you will be assigned new secure locations with new guidelines. None of you are to leave your houses until otherwise notified. No phone calls, nothing. This is an absolute lockdown until things are under control. You may have tonight to catch up with one another. I know it’s been a long time since we’ve all been in one place. And in the morning we’ll be welcoming a new Keeper to our ranks. Lenci has chosen Beck to be her new Keeper and he has accepted. He will be titled in the morning before everyone is sent to their tasks and locations.” This time it was Beck’s turn to be acknowledged and he nodded back at everyone. “I will be making preparations if anyone should need me. Enjoy your night.” He bowed and went into house directly behind him.
“Let me take you around real quick.” Lenci led Beck across the circle to the Indian man. “Kuval, old friend,” Lenci said in a soft voice. “I’m so sorry.”
“Lenci. As am I. I heard what happened to Fredrick. Awful to wake to that.” He grasped her hand in both of his. “This must be his replacement then?” He looked to Beck and reached both hands out to him.
Beck gave him his hand and said, “I’m Beck. It’s nice to meet you.”
“And you. I wish you better wisdom than our late Fredrick.” He released his hand. “This is my Keeper, Sadie.”
“Pleasure,” Sadie said in a British accent. “Mind if I take you around to meet everyone while these two catch up?” She looped her arm through Beck’s and led him away.
Lenci chuckled as she waved to Beck. She turned her attention back to Kuval. “Are you okay?” She asked him with sincerity.
“I’m sore but I’m alright. Better than being killed I suppose.” He shrugged with a wince.
“I’m glad you weren’t killed. Good men like you are rare in any time.”
“Thank you.” He smiled weakly. “Shirts are a pain right now though. Like being titled all over again.” Kuval reached a cautious hand to his shoulder.
“That’s bad. How did they do it?”
“A symbol I’ve never seen before. I’m assuming it’s the key to the lock they put on us. It stretches across my whole back. I can’t be titled ever again.”
“I can’t imagine.” Lenci looked at him with sympathy. “What are you going to do then?”
“Warden is letting me decide what I want to do. He’s offered to let me stay on and teach the new recruits and rebuild our forces. I would retain my immortality. Or I may become a mortal and live a normal life for the rest of my days.”
“What are you going to choose? That’s a tough decision.”
“I’m not sure yet. A normal life sounds good after all this.” He laughed. “But I don’t know how to live a normal life with what I know. I don’t know how to do nothing when I could be helping. I’m still deciding. He told me to take as long as I need. Maybe I’ll go spend some time out in the world as a normal person and see how I like it.”
“Good idea. See both sides. I think I should go talk to Warden about a few things. Can I meet up with you again later?”
“Of course. It’s always nice to see you, friend.” He grasped her hand one more time.
Lenci knocked on the door of Warden’s house and waited. He answered and ushered her in.
“What can I help you with?” He asked.
“Don’t give me that. You know exactly what you can help me with.” She stood with her hands on her hips. “Why am I not going with you to find the new Edifice?”
“Because Nuri is coming with me.”
“I want to go too. I could help.”
Warden set his hands on her shoulders. “My Lenci. My strongest Edifice, my best warrior. You cannot come with me this time as much as I desire it.”
“Why not?” She looked up at him with pleading eyes. “I can protect you and the new Edifice. I always go with you.”
“Not this time.”
“What’s so different about this time?”
“This time,” he moved his hands to cradle her face, “you are the target. You are what the enemy is searching for. The Demon Master knows who you are already. He will come for you. You need to stay in hiding. You can’t go all over the globe with me this time.”
“I can’t hide and do nothing.”
“You won’t. You’ll hide and you’ll train Beck. He needs your attention right now. Prepare him for the next new moon and the many more to come. Prepare him for battle that might be necessary. And most importantly, keep your demon secure. Keep yourself secure. Don’t let me lose you.” He kissed her forehead. “Please. Do this for me. Until the danger passes.”
“Alright, Ward. For you, my dearest friend.” She leaned into him for a hug and felt his strong arms of comfort wrap around her. “I better go see how Beck is doing. Thanks for seeing me.”
“You’re always welcome.” He let her go and watched her walk out the door.
I did a thing. I drew Braithe from my Edifice WIP. I can’t ever find good reference pictures of her because of all the odd coloring. Now, this isn’t great because I’m not a pro. I didn’t use any references and it was a quick one day sketch and color. So be kind!
This is what happens when pencil and paper are left in front of me. I know there are wrong angles and things. But I like it! I hope you do too!
Trigger warning: talk of attempted rape
They dashed From the beach into the house and back to the mansion. Doors slammed behind them. The house shook once again and they both fell to the floor. When the shaking stopped, Lenci stood and helped Beck up.
“Did we move again?” He asked as he regained his feet.
“Yes. That was an emergency move. I wonder why.” Lenci walked to the front door. “Let’s see where we are now.” She opened the door and groaned. “Crap.”
They were in what looked similar to a desert except that what was at her feet was not sand but salt. She would have seen it stretch on for miles in every direction if it weren’t for the circle of mansions they were not a part of. The shack part of their house was missing. The sun hadn’t set here yet but it would soon.
“What? Where are we?” Beck peered around Lenci. “What the—“
“We’re on the salt flats of the Great Salt Lake. Get dressed.” Lenci went to close the door as Beck retreated to his room. A hand stopped her. She reopened the door to see a man. This new man was only about two inches taller than her. Dark spiky hair stood on his head and his narrow eyes held dark irises within them. He was extremely well muscled in his too tight t-shirt.
He looked her over and whistled. “Someone’s been having fun without me.”
I don’t have time for you, Edan.” Lenci walked away with Edan following close behind.
“Of course you do. You certainly have time to let me enjoy you in your cute little swimsuit. I never get to see this much of you,” he whined.
“That’s because I don’t want you to.” She gasped as Edan took hold of her waist and spun her around. She crashed into his solid chest. He held her tight against him.
“Come on, Lenci. Spend some time with me. Like we used to.”
“No. We’re here for a reason. Now let me go,” she demanded.
“What if this is the reason we’re here?” He leaned in.
“No, Edan.” Lenci backed away as far as she could. She wouldn’t have this. If he wouldn’t let go on his own, she would make him let go. She grabbed his wrist and twisted as she pushed him away. He cried out in pain and cradled his hand. She followed with a good hard smack to his cheek. She immediately turned heel and strode the rest of the way to her room.
“Lenci, wait!” Edan walked after her. He tried to catch up as he shouted, “Wait! I’m sorry, okay?” Lenci only slammed her bedroom door in his face. Edan laid the side of his face against the door and said, “It can be how it used to be. We’re so similar, Len. I know you, I can feel you. Let me in.” He didn’t receive any answer.
“You know that’s not what we’re here for, Edan,” The Warden’s voice said from down the hallway.
“I know.” Edan turned back down the hall. “I can’t help it though.”
“You can help it,” The Warden chided. “Don’t give me that.”
“She’ll give in one day though. I can’t give up. You’re supposed to tell me to hang in there and have hope.” He looked up to The Warden who was nearly a foot taller than him.
“No I’m not. Why would I condone you harassing another person? Let alone another Edifice. When someone says no, it means no, Edan. You need to take your answer and go.” He looked down at him with serious eyes. “Don’t let me catch you bothering Lenci again.”
“Fine.” Edan walked away as Beck came into the hallway in a t-shirt and jeans.
“Warden,” Beck greeted. “It’s nice to see you again.”
“And you, Beck.” Warden paused as Lenci joined them in a grey shirt, black jeans, and white leather jacket. “I’m sorry to have to take you from paradise so soon. I had planned on you staying there for the remainder of the week.”
“It’s alright. What’s wrong?” Lenci wondered. There hadn’t been a meeting like this in over a hundred years. The last time was when… “Who was it?” Panic flooded her chest.
“It’s Aiden. He’s been released.”
“No.” Lenci covered her mouth with both hands. “Kuval?”
“He’s alive,” The Warden told her.
Beck stood in confusion but neither The Warden nor Lenci had the time or desire to explain at that moment.
“What do we do?”
“That’s what we’re here to discuss. Take a few minutes and meet outside. Beck,” he shifted his focus back to the confused man, “I’ll see you out there.” He disappeared in his white cloud.
“First question.” Beck turned to Lenci. “Who was that guy I heard you arguing with? The Warden sure told him off.”
Lenci cringed. “Edan. He’s an old… friend. Or he used to be a friend. We had a falling out when he tried to seduce me after I’d been titled. He knew it was wrong and dangerous but wouldn’t take no for an answer. I ended up knocking him out and moving away right after that. He can’t take the fact that I don’t want his friendship or anything else any more.”
“Anything else? Were you guys—“
“We were in the same class growing up. Over those years we had formed a bond. We had feelings for each other. Nothing ever happened that shouldn’t have. A few secret kisses, nothing more. He was made an Edifice a few years after me.”
“Next question.” Beck moved on quickly. “Who’s Kuval?”
“He was the Edifice for Aiden, the lava demon. Now his demon is free.” She shivered at the thought of a demon being on the loose. “Looks like they’ve found out how to break the lock put on us when we’re titled. It’ll make it easier for them to free more demons. Only high ups know that information. They must have gotten it when they attacked last month.”
“That’s horrendously terrifying,” Beck spoke exactly what Lenci was feeling.
“It is. I’m sure he’s already taken and destroyed many lives. That’s why we’re all here. Ward will explain what’s going on and what’s being done to capture that demon and prevent the others from being freed.”
For WBAB I didn’t do any planning for any of the books. I ended up with lots of lovely scenes but no real plot.
So for Edifice, I took a different approach and outlined first. My word count is way lower with this method because I only put in the essentials. But it’s been much easier to go back and add in than to change the whole core of the story like WBAB. So I’ll probably stick to doing a primary outline and adding in after the first draft.
I don’t know. I think I’m good with emotional descriptions. My character isn’t just happy to see someone, her heart blooms at the sight of his desperately missed face. Strengths are tough though. Not a lot of people have read my work so it’s hard to judge.
I’ve been doing a fun event on tumblr that I’m going to share on here too. It’s just about me and about my books in progress. So here’s the first one!
Me. Huh. I write. I also sew and dabble in drawing sometimes.
I’m a stay at home mom with two beautiful daughters.
I have a genetic defect called Fragile X, which threw me into early menopause when I was thirty. That was hard. I’m over it most of the time now, two years later. Other than that there’s nothing too unique about me, I’m pretty ordinary.
I’m normally a pretty private person. But I’m trying to branch out.
One random fact about me is that I’m horrible at winking! I can only wink my right eye and I have to move my whole face up to do it so it ends up looking silly!
I’ve loved writing my whole life, whether through journals or stories. I have two WIPs I’m currently working on and posting about.
Guess that’s it!
When they arrived back at the house they settled in for lunch. But they didn’t get the chance to eat. They were standing in the kitchen, getting ready to cook, when the floor shook. Lenci fell onto Beck. He caught her and held her up with him against the counter. He held her tight until the shaking stopped.
“Hey there.” He looked down at her.
“Nope.” She stood up quickly, using the same thing he told her the night they met.
He laughed and asked, “What was that? An earthquake?”
“No. We’ve moved again. Let’s go see where we’ve landed.”
“Why would we have moved again?” Beck followed her to the front door.
Lenci opened the door and smiled. “Because he thought we might like a warmer vacation.”
“He?” Beck peeked around her to look outside. Before them was a sandy beach and turquoise waves. Not a soul in sight. It stretched on as far as they could see.
“I won’t complain. I hope he got me a swimsuit.” He turned around and headed straight for his room.
A few minutes later they both emerged from their bedroom doors to face each other in their swimsuits. Beck was in a pair of black swim shorts. Lenci was in a green one piece with mesh and no lining on her nearly flat torso. A short, flouncy, white swim skirt hid the tops of her round legs. Sunglasses sat on her head like a headband, keeping her hair out of her face.
Beck leaned against his door frame as he looked her over. “Yep. This is my best vacation ever.” He smiled at her as his eyes meandered over her well supported and much less covered than usual chest.
“None of that, you!” Lenci laughed even though she couldn’t help but notice his body too. He looked fit but not carved, with a healthy thin layer of fat over his abs that still allowed for the nice V shape she loved at the bottom. His chest looked firm and his arms strong. He looked like he took good care of himself, which made her happy. “Come on!” She grabbed his hand and pulled him along to the beach.
Lenci and Beck swam around, splashed, played, and laughed in the waves. Lenci was enjoying herself when she heard a quiet voice in her head. She knew who it was. It was the same voice she’d been hearing and fighting off for two centuries. She froze in the water. It was cool and refreshing. Her body was losing heat quickly. As the voice echoed in her head she wondered if she’d stayed in too long.
“Edifice,” Braithe whispered to her mind. “Edifice.”
“No,” Lenci answered silently. She noticed Beck staring at her. A few moments passed as Lenci pushed Braithe down deeper. “Sorry,” she said aloud to him. “I think I need to get some sun. Some heat.”
“Alright. Need me to get something to lie on?” Beck asked. He watched her with concern in the waist deep water. The waves didn’t budge her. Her eyes were distant and shimmered oddly.
“Sure. There are some light blankets in the closet.” She didn’t move from her spot in the water.
“I’ll go get one. Come on, Lenci.” Beck took her arm and pulled her hesitantly to the shore.
As he turned to walk away she grabbed his arm and said, “Thanks.” He nodded and went inside. She stood in the sun for a few minutes as Braithe tried to persist. Lenci closed her eyes as Braithe’s grating voice faded from her mind and she sighed as the sun warmed her skin. Beck came back as she let out a long breath. He saw her chest rise and fall dramatically.
“Everything okay? Are you in control? Should I get the lighter?”
Lenci opened her eyes. “Everything’s okay,” she answered. “Everything is good. I should probably stay out of the water the rest of today.”
“Here.” He laid out a large blanket for both of them to lie on.
“Thanks.” Lenci lied down, pulled her sunglasses from her head to her face, and basked in the sun’s warmth.
After a long period of silence, Beck turned on his side and propped his head up on his hand. “What’s it like, living for so long?”
“It’s weird.” She laughed and turned to him too. “You see things come and go. People come up with the strangest things. Some are amazing, some are bonkers! Cars, phones, computers… the internet! The fashions are interesting to watch change. I’ve loved watching the progression of equality so far. My favorite is the food. Oh the things people have done with food! You have no idea how excited I was when the cupcake came about!” She gushed. “Chocolate milk, ice cream, burgers and fries, tacos, oh my heavens. Who knew?!”
Beck laughed loudly. “Of all the things you could love about being immortal, it’s awesome your favorite is the food.”
“It’s not all good.” Her face fell. “People are born and die while I don’t age. I watched my family grow old. My siblings got married and had children of their own. I stayed with them until all my immediate family was gone, held their hands as they died. I even kept a distant eye on my siblings’ great grand children. Eventually they branched out too far and I was left with no family. There are horrifying wars and devastating illnesses. As much good as there is, there’s an equal amount of awful.”
“I’m sorry you’ve had to see all that.” He tilted her face back up. “That’s a lot.” She looked into his hazel eyes and didn’t say anything. “Maybe I can help you through the next little bit.”
“I’d like that.” She gave a small smile.
“I think I might too. If I can manage not to get killed,” he chuckled.
“I’ll do my best to teach you what you need to know.”
“No small task.” He sat all the way up and picked at the blanket. “I’m not quite sure why you chose me. I’m sure there’s someone out there better for the job. Maybe someone who knows how to fight.”
“Fighting skills I can teach.” She sat up, put her sunglasses back on her head, and put a hand on his shoulder. “What I can’t teach is a sense of right and wrong. I can’t make someone learn how to have a conscience or a strong moral compass. I most definitely cannot teach someone to have an intuition like yours. You have what is needed. I can teach you the rest.”
“You really think so?”
Lenci threw her arms around him, nearly knocking him over. “Oh Beck,” she whispered, “you have no idea how hard it was to find someone like you.”
“Thanks.” He hugged her back tightly. His stomach growled and he laughed as he let her go. “I guess I’m a little hungry.”
“We did skip lunch. We should have a picnic dinner on the beach! I’ll go whip up some sandwiches.”
“I’ll get drinks and chips.”
After their dinner, they sat on the edge of their blanket sipping sodas and watching the sun set. They were side by side, their shoulders close to touching.
“I know you can’t be in a relationship. But have you ever been in love?” Beck asked.
Neither of them looked at each other as they stared at the vast array of colors before them. The pink and orange sky reflected on the water and it looked as though they could dip their toes into the sunset. Lenci loved the thought of it. She thought a sunset ocean would be supremely warm. She wasn’t sure how she should answer his question though. He deserved her total honesty. She also didn’t want to give him any ideas.
“Yes,” she answered after a long moment of silence. She would give him the truth. “Not being able to be in a relationship doesn’t stop feelings from arising. I’ve learned to break off connections early if I begin to develop real feelings that could lead to love. So I haven’t been in love in a long time. I don’t give myself the chance any more.” She dug her toes into the sand.
“You should.” Beck rested his hand on hers. “I imagine a long life without love would get lonely.”
“Let me guess, I should give it another chance with you?” She looked at him with a wry expression.
He broke into laughter. “No! That’s not what I meant! …Although I wouldn’t complain if it ended up being me.” He winked at her.
“I’m not going to fall in love with you, Beck.” She shoved him a little but not hard enough to knock him over.
“Yes, we will.” Lenci twisted around suddenly as the house’s alarm blared. This time it was flashing blue. “Inside!” She shouted and heaved Beck to his feet.
They dashed into the house and back to the mansion. Doors slammed behind them. The house shook once again and they both fell to the floor. When the shaking stopped, Lenci stood and helped Beck up.
“Did we move again?” He asked as he regained his feet.
“Yes. That was an emergency move. I wonder why.” Lenci walked to the front door. “Let’s see where we are now.” She opened the door and groaned. “Crap.”