Alexandra

What can I say about Alexandra? Enigmatic. Old, but aging very gracefully. A very powerful woman with a heart of gold and a love of the underdog, or underwolf. Yes, she’s an Alpha werewolf, the leader of the Battersea pack. Power hangs around her like a silver cloud. She’s the chosen priestess, if there were such a thing, of the goddess the wolves owe fealty to.

And, finally, I have the modelling tools to do her some justice. So here she is in all her glory. Well, not all of it, but at least some of it.

Alexandra

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Another Dragonfall Teaser

Dragonfall is out in the shops in time for Christmas (or December 21st and the end of the world), and I thought I’d post another fragment, taken at random, to give a little flavour…

Ceri pushed the bag with her clothes in it into the hole in the tree roots where she always hid it. Getting to her feet, she stretched and then reached for the leather, silver-studded collar around her throat; it and the fairy silver chain around her ankle were the only things she was wearing. A small push of power, a shimmering, tingling sensation that washed over her skin, and the world was different.

Of course, technically, it was Ceri who was different. She had black fur, a dog-like head, eyes which saw much better in the dark, and a nose which almost immediately caught Michael’s scent on the breeze. She estimated he was a hundred yards away, give or take a bit, which likely put him at the edge of the lake. He probably had not caught her scent yet and was possibly busy. Giving a soft snicker, she slipped through the bushes and out onto the footpath, staying low and trying to ensure she was not seen.

She spotted him as he was sending two of the Guards off on a perimeter run. Dropping down behind a bush, she waited for the two wolves to lope away before making her move. Michael was entirely oblivious until about a second before she tackled him. Then he let out a yelp which turned into a gurgle as they both went into the boating lake. They emerged from the greenish water spitting and coughing, and in Michael’s case growling. Ceri snickered.

Rolling his eyes, Michael waved for her to follow him and set off across the lake toward the island in the middle. She got the feeling Alexandra wanted to talk to her and she was not wrong. Michael shifted as he climbed ashore, and started toward the clearing. ‘I can’t believe you did that,’ he huffed. ‘I just got dry.’

Ceri lifted her hand to her collar, shifting back to human and then running a couple of paces to catch up. ‘You were going to bring me here anyway. And you jump me every chance you get.’ They emerged into the clearing with its oil drum in the middle where Alexandra usually had a fire, though not tonight. ‘You’re just sore because I turned the tables on you.’

Alexandra, curled up beside the oil drum, lifted a mug of tea toward Ceri, who took it without a word. The old woman tended to know when she was going to have visitors; she was kind of annoying like that actually. ‘Of course he is, dear. You’re getting to be as good as him. He won’t be able to use training you as an excuse for al fresco sex in the bushes.’

Ceri’s cheeks coloured a little, but she smirked. The embarrassment was irrational; it was down to being caught out by Alexandra more than what she was suggesting. The Battersea Alpha was well over a hundred years old and her age was showing, just not nearly as much as it should have. She was a black-fur, like Alec was, and they tended to age slower than humans, or other werewolves. Alexandra was a picture of fading beauty made regal by age. She always held herself straight and her body, while not as perfect as it had been, was still attractive. Her hair, long and silver-white, gave her the look of a wise grandmother. Under a full moon her hair shone and she looked truly incandescent.

‘You wanted to talk to me?’ Ceri asked, curling onto the grass. Michael settled behind her, sliding in close and wrapping his arms around her waist. His chin rested on her shoulder and he nuzzled her neck. Werewolves had no idea of personal space and a very tactile view of affection.

‘I told you that my visions of the future had… more or less stopped?’

Ceri nodded. ‘Things were probably too uncertain for anything clear to come through.’

‘Well, I’m starting to get fragments. Little bits of dreams. Well, more like nightmares.’

‘When you said you’d lost sight of the future I didn’t think it was going to good.’

‘No. True. It’s not much, really, but it doesn’t seem good. I’ve been dreaming of battles between demons and dragons. It seems abstract. I don’t recognise the locations. I’ve seen no one in those dreams who resembles you, or anyone else I know. It’s as if I’m seeing cyphers. Two huge armies, lines of battle, a representation of a war rather than a prediction of one.’

Ceri frowned. ‘Demons fighting dragons. Do you think this is happening already?’

‘I think that it has been going on for some time, yes. I also think that things are changing. Lines are being drawn. Something big is going to happen.’

Ceri sipped her tea. ‘If the demons are planning something, there aren’t very many dragons in this part of the world to fight them. I mean, I know most if not all of them and none of them seem like they would be much use in a fight. Brenhines, maybe, but she’s pretty isolated.’

‘Perhaps,’ the old wolf said, ‘they need to become more engaged.’

Anita

 

 

Anita first appeared in Legacy. She is the Captain of the Battersea pack and when she first appeared she was basically just the hard-nosed leader of the pack’s Guard unit. I had no clear idea of who she was or what was going to happen to her, or even what she looked like. She has variously been described as an Amazon, and as the kind of girl Conan would have drooled over, but I’ve never given a particularly good description of her. That seems a shame since she’s developed a boyfriend, three sisters, and far more of a personality over the course of the series.

So, I did what I usually do and built a model of her to see what I thought she really looked like. Then I can work a proper description into the rewrite of Legacy. I like the way she came out; she’s got all that suppressed power and she’s pretty good looking. So, I did a render of her on a visit to High Towers, sitting on the rug in front of the fire, as she often does when escorting Alexandra, her Alpha. Since she doesn’t usually wear clothes when she does that, the picture is after the cut.

I think there’s more to hear about Anita. I know there’s at least one story to tell about her and her family. Here’s to seeing more of Anita (in the literary sense, rather than the visual, since there’s not much left to see). Continue reading

Ancient: Easter at the Jade Dragon

As promised, some exerts from the upcoming eighth Thaumatology novel, Ancient.

 

If you’ve read some of the other novels you’ll know that the waitresses at Carter Fleming’s premiere nightclub, the Jade Dragon, get put in special costumes for special events. Carter has quite a taste for body paint, but for Easter 2012 he has had a slightly different idea…

The full moon was in the sky outside the Jade Dragon and inside the werewolves were in high spirits. Being dressed as a rabbit was, perhaps, not the best thing under the circumstances, but Ceri was rather enjoying it.

Well “dressed” as a rabbit was probably the wrong term. The outfits were white; white six-inch, platform pumps, white push-up balconette bra, white satin, high-hipped thong with a little white puff-ball tail on the back, and, of course, white rabbit ears on a hairband. The four waitresses were basically naked rabbits dodging the paws of a bunch of horny wolves.

Still, there was a good atmosphere. It was a national holiday and people were out enjoying themselves. Boy were they enjoying themselves! The good humour of the werewolves seemed to be rubbing off on the humans more than usual, the drink was flowing freely. Carter was looking a little concerned that someone might get over-excited, right up until the point where Cheryl walked in in a pale yellow, halter-necked gown which flowed around her figure like water and left little to the imagination.

‘Business first,’ Cheryl said as Ceri walked up to the bar with a tray of empty glasses. ‘You know I’m going over to Amsterdam for a project meeting?’

‘Sunday, coming back Tuesday, right?’ Ceri replied.

Cheryl nodded. ‘I know it’s really short notice, but do you think you and Lily could come over with me? The Dutch project manager would like to meet you so he can talk over the ley line construction, and here’s a guide they’d like us all to meet.’

Ceri glanced at Lily, receiving a shrug in reply. ‘How would we be getting there?’

‘Car to Felixstowe, high-speed ferry to Rotterdam, train to Amsterdam.’

Ceri took in a deep breath. ‘I flew all the way back here from America on an airship, I can handle a few hours on a boat.’

‘Ship, Ceridwyn,’ Carter corrected. ‘They get annoyed if you call them boats.’

‘Whatever floats your boat,’ Ceri replied.

‘We’ll be there two nights?’ Lily asked.

‘Yes,’ Cheryl said. ‘Monday will be fairly busy, but we’ll be there from about seven pm on Sunday and we aren’t leaving until ten am on Tuesday.’

‘I wonder if Tawni has a contact number for Lia?’

Ceri grinned. ‘Probably. I’d imagine she’ll be happy to show us ‘round the town if she isn’t busy. I’ll call Tawni tomorrow.’

‘Business concluded?’ Carter asked.

Cheryl gave him a broad smile. ‘You’re driving us to the dock, yes?’

‘Indeed. I’ll pick you ladies up from High Towers at… around midday?’ Ceri nodded; that should work. ‘Excellent. Alec, wine for our lady.’

Grinning, Ceri turned to scan the room and immediately started across the floor. Table sixteen was looking ready for the next round, another six Wolfsbanes if she were any judge. Cranking her strut up to “high,” she headed out to satisfy their need.

Ancient will be hitting the stores this weekend.

Hammer of Witches

The sixth of the Thaumatology Books is now out on Smashwords. Amazon will follow later today (they have a longer publishing process).

 Ceri Brent and Lily Carpenter, a sorceress and a half-succubus, are new to police work after becoming Special Advisors to the Greycoats, but when Ceri and her werewolf mate, Michael, find a charred corpse she finds herself frozen out of the investigation. As the bodies pile up they begin to investigate anyway, especially when their friends are threatened by the Witch Hunter’s widening list of criminals to be tried, convicted, and burned alive.
But the Witch Hunter appears to have divine help and Ceri’s faith will be tested to the limit before he can be finally brought to justice. What can a girl who stopped going to church at the age of seven have faith in when the country is invaded by angels?

To buy from Smashwords at half price until May 5th, use coupon code JA73H at the checkout.

Hope you enjoy it.

(Amazon took even longer to publish than usual, but for those waiting, it’s finally there.)

A Random Thought on Werewolves

So, here in the UK we’re a little behind some places on Lost Girl and I’m watching episode 3 (I think) of season 2. Inside of thirty seconds, Dyson has his shirt off. He seems to be doing that a lot this season and I can’t help but think of that terrible sounding spoof movie based on Twighlight.

Is it really true that werewolves have to take their shirt off every hour? I’m not saying it’s wrong. Perhaps it’s a racial trait. Mine tend to be naked most of the time, no shirt to take off, but perhaps the ones who spend more time in human form just have this sudden urge every sixty minutes or so. A compulsion to strip to the waist for no reason.

(This brought to you by “Random Thoughts from a Guy with a Cold.”)

Michael

I haven’t done one of these character entry for a while, so let’s say hello to Michael.

The son of the Alpha werewolf of the Brecon pack, Michael’s mother was a human who died giving birth to him. His father could never quite forgive him for that, and he had two other brothers who were full-blooded werewolves. Michael left the pack as soon as he was old enough, running away to London where he eventually met Alexandra and joined the Battersea pack. He is now a member of Alexandra’s Guard, a position of responsibility he would never have expected a few years ago.

When Ceri decided to join the Battersea pack for research purposes, Michael fell for her despite the fact that she was human and he knew how that could work out. Ceri fell for him, despite the age difference; Michael’s seven years younger than her (I think it shows in his face) and she sometimes thinks of herself as a cradle robber.

The picture shows Michael around the time of Demon’s Moon. This is the outfit he’s wearing when we first meet him in human form. His confidence is growing the more he spends time around Ceri and Lily, and his available wardrobe is growing too – you can’t go out to night clubs dressed as “Skater Dude.”

Demon’s Moon

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/102265

Demon’s Moon is now available on Smashwords. Use coupon code YZ56V for 50% off for the first week.

A PhD thesis on the metaphysical change process of were-creatures, what could possibly go wrong with that? Ceridwyn Brent, thaumatologist and sorceress, figured it was just a matter of getting a few friends together, putting them in the middle of a scanning thaumometer rig, collating the results, and writing it all up. No muss, no fuss. She even has one of the rare South American were-creatures to work with, and exciting new insight into the process to write up. Her doctorate is a shoe-in and her personal life with Lily, her half-succubus “pet” has never been better.

But something is going on among the werewolves. Dane, leader of the North Hills pack, believes that an old menace is returning to Britain. Alexandra, the enigmatic Alpha of the Battersea pack believes that Ceri is the only person who can stop that menace from doing something which will threaten mankind as well as the wolf packs. When werewolves across the country suddenly go to war with each other, Ceri and Lily have to go to war themselves to save their new friends, and Ceri must find “The Fair One” before the Winter Solstice. For then, beneath the Demon’s Moon, the fate of all werewolves will be decided.

As always, for genuine requests for review copies, a coupon can be made available for free access. Just contact me.