“This is ABSOLUTELY a most kick-ass book!” – 5 Stars for THE GIRL

Lilo Abernathy, author of The Light Who Shines fantasy series, published her review of THE GIRL last week and it was pretty sweet. I mean, seriously, who wouldn’t love opening a review and reading the following sentence:

THIS IS ABSOLUTELY A MOST KICK-ASS BOOK!

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After providing a brief, spolier-free summary of THE GIRL, Abernathy goes on to say that “the book is filled with thrilling action and kick-ass scenes”  and that THE GIRL will “leave you on the edge of your seat.” 

Which is awesome because it’s exactly what I want THE GIRL to do for my readers – I want them to get totally caught up in the twisted and deranged world of The Sanctum.

But what’s even better is the closing of Abernathy’s review and her comments on my writing style. It’s kinda special and from now on, whenever I start doubting myself and this journey I’ve undertaken with Dev, Wyatt and The Sanctum, I’m going to come back and read this little paragraph to myself:

I want to take a moment to speak about Ms. Blaylock’s writing style. She is a skilled writer who carries a rhythm in her written words. It’s not a lyrical style, but rather you can hear the ups and downs of tone and the quickening and slowing of pacing as though she were reading it to you.  With grace and style, she will sweep you along the journey with her.

HOLLA, bitches.

[By the way, if you want to check out THE GIRL for yourself, just click here or here…or even here.]

Case No. 49889 – Jedda Djebar Alloula

CASE NO. 49889 JEDDA DJEBAR ALLOULA

Proceedings Transcript


 

Carter Breslin “CB”: This Counsil is called in the Sanctum year 7889 / Human year 1967, to address the double violations of Sanctum Bylaw 2098, prohibiting the stealing of identities, and the single violation of Sanctum Bylaw 10004, prohibiting unauthorized intermingling with Humans, by one Jedda Djebar Alloula, Magical, Class A Shifter. You may bring the accused forward and remove his shackles.

[The accused is brought to kneel on the step of judgment and unshackled as instructed.]

CB: Mr. Alloula, it has come to this body’s attention that you have commingled and fraternized with the likes of human A, one Malcolm X, and human B, one Robert F Kennedy, and two, subsequent to said commingling and fraternizing, you have stolen their identities and shifted into the likes of human A, the aforementioned Malcolm X, and human B, the aforementioned Robert F Kennedy.

CB: These are serious charges. What say you?

Jedda Djebar Alloula “JDA”: Please explain “what say you”, thank you.

CB: You will wipe that smirk off your face and answer the questions of this Counsil.

JDA: Or what, Carter?

CB: And you will address myself and any other member of this Counsil properly. We are not your friends, sir.

[JDA Laughs.]

JDA: You should then tell some of your fairer comrades to stop fraternizing with the likes of me, aye?

CB: Mr. Alloula, what say you?

JDA: What say me?

CB: Yes! What say you?

[JDA laughs.]

Ava Breslin “AB”: Mr. Alloula, please do show The Counsil the same respect we are providing you by bringing you before us to answer these charges rather than categorizing you Rogue and sending our Class A Warriors to terminate your status.

JDA: Ahhhh, Ava, is it not? My, my, my.

AB: Mr. Alloula, kindly answer the question.

[Long pause. Accused appears to be contemplating AB.]

AB: Mr. Alloula, I will repeat myself –

JDA: Terminate my status? Well when you put it that way, love, what choice have I but to come before this Counsil?

AB: There is no other way to put it, Mr. Alloula.

JDA: Ava, Ava, please call me Jedda.

AB: Mr. Alloula, if you continue in this manner, we will be forced to surmise that you are, in fact, guilty of the charges alleged and shall be punished pursuant to the guidelines set forth in The Sanctum Book of Peace.

JDA: Interesting that a book made up of nothing more than various punishments has the nerve to call itself one of peace.

Josiah Clayworth “JC”: I, too, have contemplated that duality many a night, Jedda. It is a misnomer if there ever was one. That said, please make an effort to defend yourself before this body. The bloodlust runs high with certain members of this group and I would hate to have nothing to stand upon when I refuse to sentence you for crimes I find rather dubious and contrived.

CB: Enough!

JC: Any Counsil member is free to speak their minds at this hearing, Carter. I will not allow you to run roughshod over this man in your haste to tie him up and throw away the key.

CB: And I will not allow you to treat this Counsil as a right-wing farce, Josiah.

JC: The farce is all yours, Carter.

JDA: I did it.

JC: What?

JDA: I appreciate your concern, Josiah. You are the thinker of this bunch, always have been. But the fact remains that I did fraternize, as Carter likes to call it, with those humans. Have none of you paid any attention to them? They are bloody brilliant and I simply could not help myself.

CB: The so-called brilliance of some Humans is no excuse for your crimes.

JDA: I am not making an excuse, you fool! I am stating a fact. There are moments in time, snapshots of greatness, in both the Magical and Human worlds. As an immortal being, I have every intention of being present and experiencing each and every one of them to the fullest extent possible, your foolish bylaws be damned. It is how I have made some of my closest friends and most ardent lovers and I have no intentions of denying myself this pleasure simply because The Sanctum has deemed it illegal.

CB: So you also admit stealing these humans’ identities?

JDA: I admit to no such thing.

CB: Jedda, now, now.

JDA: I thought we were formally addressing one another before this esteemed body, Mr. Breslin?

CB: You admit to fraternizing, but not stealing? That is impossible.

[JDA laughs. Again.]

JDA: Nothing is impossible, Carter. You know this as well as I.

CB: So you expect this Counsil to believe that you did not steal Mr. X’s and Mr. Kennedy’s identities?

JDA: That is precisely what I expect you to believe. I stole nothing from those men, for what kind of friend would I be if I acted in such a manner? They were perfectly aware of my capabilities, as were they aware of my fascination with their lives, their hopes, their fears. And their power. So like any good friend, they offered to allow me to be them for a day. Offered, Carter. Not stolen.

CB: Mr. Alloula, you will not make a mockery of this Counsil!

JDA: Mr. Breslin, only you are making the mockery. Jedda is guilty of no such thing. I have come before you when called, spoken my truth and patiently abided your disrespectful manner. Nothing I have said or done in any way mocks this Counsil.

CB: You cannot expect this Counsil to possibly believe this nonsense. And even if we were to believe your tale that these humans willingly allowed you to shift into them for a day, and you did not steal a thing from them, we would still find your actions in violation of Sanctum bylaws, for that would mean you have willingly exposed your Magical nature to members of the human world.

[Loud slap of the desk.]

JC: Enough, Carter. That is it. Jedda has come before this asinine Counsil and answered your questions, informing all of us that he did not steal any identities. And this idea of yours that Magicals and Humans shall not mix is ludicrous. It harks back to thousands of years ago, before Sanctum or Human ages of enlightenment. Jedda is a wise man and if he feels he can expose his true nature to Misters X and Kennedy, then so be it. And if they are open-minded enough or curious enough to engage and indulge his friendship and mutual curiosity, then who are we to quash such affection and understanding? The Clayworths will not be a party to this nonsense.

[JC and Sam Clayworth “SC” rise to depart.]

AB: Josiah and Sam, let’s not be hasty. Please, sit.

[JC and SC remain standing.]

Sam Clayworth “SC”: Thank you, Ava, but no. I agree with Josiah. We cannot, in good conscience, sit here a minute longer and participate in this farce. Everyone in this room knows that to charge Jedda with any crime, The Counsil needs unanimity, which, at this moment, you do not have since Josiah and I are withdrawing.

CB: Do not do this, Josiah. You and Sam should not act with such haste and little forethought. You will regret it.

[JC laughs.]

JC: I highly doubt that, Carter.

JC: Jedda, please rise. You are free to go.

[JDA nods to JC, SC and departs.]

CB: This is not over, Josiah.

JC: Trust when I say, it is only just beginning.

 

 

Random Thoughts

1. I’m watching Lionel Ritchie’s Master Class on OWN and We Are The World is kind of dope. Michael Jackson was so badass back then.

2. The fact that I’m about to leave for vacation does not alleviate the stress of preparing for vacation.

3. I had a 9 am meeting this past Monday morning, which meant I needed to get The Kid out of the house and to camp by 8:15, a feat much easier said than done. I had warned him of the fact we needed to leave early, that he wouldn’t be able to lounge around on his couch, and that he needed to eat his breakfast slightly faster than a two hundred year old tortoise. Trust when I say, all of that talking made nary a difference Monday morning.

4. The Facebook page for The Sanctum Trilogy hit 1077 likes today. I have no idea how this happened. Last week I was just stuck in the high 300s. It’s bizarre and unexpected, but I’ll take it.

5. Francis, Claire and those smoking scenes on House of Cards are absolutely divine. The lighting, the mood, the conversation. Those scenes say so much, reveal so much about the characters and their strange bond to one another, all while being quite minimal in movement and sound. Simply put, they are perfection.

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6. On my walk home the other day, I passed a tiny, puff ball of a poodle, and eyed it just to make sure it wasn’t going to attack. Crazy, huh? Trust me, I feel crazy when I do that shit lately, eyeing dogs warily as we pass one another on the street. I’ve been like that since last year when I stopped by a friend’s house and wound up getting bitten by her sister’s English bulldog, who was on a leash and just kind of leaped of the ground and chomped on my shoulder. It was unprovoked and scary as hell, but most interesting about the experience is that I am now wary of dogs on a leash. The breed, the appearance, the size of the dog – that makes no difference. I just don’t like dogs that are tied to their owners; I want nothing to do with them.

7. Did I mention I have to work over my vacation?

8. Do you watch Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown? If not, you are missing out. It’s the best. His episode in LA with David Choe and Roy Choi is my favorite – those two are the coolest – but the episode on the Mississippi Delta is a close second. The locale, the people, the food, the rhythm of the entire piece is brilliant. And then there are the writers in Oxford. There are a ton of them and they are super cool. And now I feel I must, at some point in my life, slip away to Oxford.

9. I’m still shocked by the traffic and feedback I’ve received on my post You’re Indian? Shut Up. – it’s quite awesome. The conversations it sparked are thoughtful and enlightening; the people I’ve met are engaging and intrigued. I sat with that post for weeks, wondering whether I should let it go live. I am pretty pleased I took the leap of faith and hit that publish button.

10. And finally…

BetterAtTheBeach2

 

A Letter From Pru

Dearest Amma and Duchan,

I know this letter will likely never reach your hands and I fear you will spend the remainder of your days in a fog of loss and despair, wondering what has become of me, why I do not return, but I shall nonetheless persist, if only to alleviate the pain in my heart, assuage some of my anger, and be able to once again go about the business of being Pru, she of the House of the Bellsace Moonlight Imps, servant only to the Gods.

And now, captive of The London Academy and one Maxwell Breslin.

It was the young Sanctum who grabbed me all those many mornings ago in the woods, yanked me up by my ears and tossed me over his shoulder with little care or concern for my cries, my pleas. But you would be proud of me for rather than carry on maniacally, I calmed myself, and with a quiet dignity befitting my name and stature, tried to will my release.

But his is a wicked soul, that Maxwell, black to its core, and he was unmoved by the words I uttered. Instead, he lashed me twenty times then left me chained to a wall for days, so long I began dreaming of Death and her minions, calling to her, begging the Gods to allow Death to take me as her willing bride, envelope me in her cold embrace, smother me with her ghastly kiss.

Alas, I was not so lucky.

But do not let my dreams sadden you, Amma and Duchan, for Death is a far fairer maiden than living in this hovel of violence and evil. Oh! I should not speak such things for I do not wish you to worry about me, but should this missive ever reach your hands, you must know the extent of the horrors undertaken in these dark tunnels of misery and pain.

It is like nothing one can imagine.

It is worse than anything one can conjure.

And I have lived it, day in and day out, hiding in corners, making myself smaller than I ever imagined possible, desiring nothing more than to disappear from Maxwell’s consciousness, failing miserably at that simplest of tasks. For he never forgets. Every day he finds me, no matter where I hide. My only reprieve is when he is away, for I do not believe anyone else is aware of my existence, so worthless is my Magical life in this chamber of hell.

This Sanctum pit of malevolence.

Certainly the Gods will not condone the continued rape and pillage by The Sanctum. There will be a consequence. Their day of reckoning is coming, for it is evident in the madness of their actions, the frenzy in their eyes. These Sanctum know the sun shall rise and we Magicals shall reap our vengeance on their sinful, black souls.

So do not mourn me, Amma and Duchan, for although I live in constant fear, I have fought valiantly, undermining  Maxwell’s depraved intentions at every turn, biting, kicking, scratching, inflicting pain at every opportunity, going about the business of being Pru, she of the House of the Bellsace Moonlight Imps. And I will continue to wage my war until I take my last breath, most certainly with Maxwell’s hands wrapped tightly around my neck, most certainly with a curse on his soul crossing my lips.

The end is nigh.

Of this I am certain.

Pru

Book Review: The Light Who Shines by Lilo Abernathy

Lilo Abernathy is a great person – her good juju abounds. Girlfriend is also a masterful storyteller. Which she proves emphatically with her debut novel, The Light Who Shines.

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Set in the twenty-first century of the Red Ages, a time when Gifteds and Vampires help keep Norms safe from Dark Vampires, TLWS centers around the brutal murder of a young boy and its investigation by Bluebell “Blue” Kildaire, an investigator for The Supernatural Homicide Investigation Unit.

Blue is a Gifted – an interpreter of souls – and an excellent and empathetic detective, but there is more to her story and very early on hints are dropped that she holds a key to something very important, that she is very significant to the souls, both human and supernatural, around her.

Abernathy’s writing style, her rich, detailed world-building, and her meticulous descriptions keep you turning the pages of TLWS, wanting more of Blue’s story, her painful past, her interesting (and painful!) present and her intriguing future.

Then there is Jack.

I tweeted Lilo yesterday and told her I love Jack.

ILoveJack

I don’t know how Lilo feels about Jack – every writer has their favorite character, like my love affair with Darby Winthrop – but I love him. This love runs counter to my initial intention, which was to fall head over heels for Blue, since she’s a working woman in this man’s world, making her way on her own and whatnot.

But Jack entered the picture and all girl power stuff was pretty much forgotten. Pretty freaking fast.

Also, I should clarify this little love fest – I initially met Jack through Blue’s eyes and honestly, wasn’t that intrigued. He came across as a sexy, sure-of-himself vampire, a character I’d read hundreds of times over. Then I actually met him, for the story is told from his perspective as well, and that’s when I fell for him.

Yes, he’s sexy and sure of himself – you would be, too, if you were an old ass, been-around-the-block-a-few-times vampire. But Jack has layers that make him very interesting, much more than the one-dimensional character Blue introduces us to at the crime scene.

He’s vulnerable, insecure, protective, conflicted, loving, controlled and he’s hiding something huge. HUGE.

Oh. And as an added bonus, homeboy is gifted in his knowledge of a woman’s body. I mean gifted. Whoa, Lilo writes good sex. Trust me when I say, everyone, man or woman, needs a little Jack in their lives.

[For the record, I fell for Jack long before I learned of his excellent bedside manner.]

But I digress.

Needless to say, if you are looking for a new fantasy author and series to follow, I highly recommend picking up Lilo Abernathy’s The Light Who Shines. The world she has created will pull you in from page one and then the characters take over and hold your attention until the very last word.

My only regret is that I cannot immediately turn my attentions to book two in the series.

Lilo! Get writing, woman!

Lupita Nyong’o first advertising for Lancome

The badassery of Lupita continues.

If you follow me, you know I love her. So needless to say, I was rather thrilled when my reader opened this morning to this post on her by The Citizens of Fashion.

Lupita is the current ambassador for Lancome – check out her first image for the brand’s Teint Idole Ultra 24H foundation campaign.

Girlfriend gives good face.

the CITIZENS of FASHION

Lupita Nyong'o first advertising for Lancome Lupita Nyong’o for Lancôme

At the beginning of April French beauty brand, Lancôme announced that the new face of the brand will be Lupita Nyong’o and everybody were looking forward to the first advertising campaign featuring the actress, who won this year’s Oscar and gained immense popularity

Today the first image of Lupita’s advertising for the brand hit the internet. The actress became the face of Teint Idole Ultra 24H foundation, showing a natural makeup and radiant skin. The product available in 29 shades for all skin tones is one of the most diverse lines on the market. Lupita Nyong’o follows the steps of other famous representatives of the brand, as Penelope Cruz, Kate Winslet and Julia Roberts. The actress says that for her the honor to represent a brand that she had always loved.

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