Good Sunday morning!
Yesterday’s post ended up being dated as today’s but I think that’s because it was late by the time I got to it. No big deal.
Today I want to talk to you about the people in my life, from the living breathing ones outside my head to the ones inside who graciously grace the pages of my Highland Wolves (HW) series.
First and foremost the man who inspired Liam, D. He is a Scotsman, living in Glasgow. He is loving, honourable, fierce and one of my most favourite people. He gets first billing because he is responsible for the picture across the top of my blog. It is he, along with his group of friends who adopted me into their lives without missing a step, who inspired the characters and the stories in this series.
Next is Peter, my main squeeze, boyfriend and all ’round wonderful man. He gets me moving, he gets me thinking, he brings me peace in the chaos that is my life and, most of all, he gets me. He understands, mostly, the way my brain works. He’ll tell you, “As much as anyone is able to.” He loves me and I love him.
Then there are my children, Ben & Callie. They, especially my daughter, really wish they could read what I write but at 16 & 12 I just don’t think so. I’ve read them some and when I reach the sex scenes (chapters lol) I skip the pages and say “They hugged and kissed and woke up happy then next morning.”
“We KNOW what that means Mom!”
“Doesn’t mean you need to know how it’s done.”
To paraphrase Forest Gump: And that’s all I have to say about that.
My ex-husband comes next. Dennis helps me through everything unrelated to my writing. My life would not be the same without him. We have a fantastic relationship (now that we’re divorced and have been for almost 6 years).
Next to last are my staunch supporters, those who are there when I need them, even when it might not be daily: Mum, Ninfa, Dad, Kevin and Christie.
Finally, but most certainly not last, are my regular readers. Those who help me through stumbling blocks, writer’s block, errors I’ve missed and patiently put up with my “Does this sound better or this?” They get the first read throughs, the first glimpses of the world in my head. They are: Cindy, Tee, Eshe, Val, Krissy and sometimes Tiff.
Phew! These are the REAL people in my life and they are the blessings I count every single day.
The first thing you need to know about Highland Wolves is that it didn’t start out as even one novel, let alone three. It started out as a short story. It was my way of commemorating the two friends who died suddenly in a tragic accident. C & G saved D in their deaths and I did the only thing I could – I wrote about them. I wanted a short story about me, D and them, in order to remember their hearts and spirits. We became Anna, Liam, Marcus and Chelle and we became a Vampire and Werewolves, respectively, because the paranormal fascinated C & G.
So let me tell you who Anna, Liam, Marcus and Chelle are.
Anna Connor is a Canadian Vampire. She is extremely old but a living Vampire who never chose to live as one of the undead. That means she’s been born over and over and over again. Her father is Cain, yes of Cain and Abel. He who was cursed to walk the night and live on the blood of others for the murder of his brother. (Really, there are as many ways of telling the story as there are versions of the Christian bible, don’t be offended for the way I choose to interpret it for the sake of fiction.) Her mother is a human witch whose soul is one life older than Anna’s and who is also born over and over again. Anna is aka ““Princess Sadira Chalthoum, Daughter of Cain, Heir Apparent, Holder of the Regnier seat on the Vampire Council, Liaison to the Dragon, Fae and Demon Realms.” Hell of a title, no?
She meets Liam at a Council meeting for the clans of the world’s Supernatural creatures. She is Cain’s go-to gal for things he no longer wishes to do. It’s a meeting of souls, pure kismet, if you will. She falls head over heels for him and loves him with everything she has to give. There is pain in her past that keeps part of her locked away from him, though. They spend two years physically apart, two years meeting in the Astral Realm and talking on line via webchat programs until, finally, Anna is able to go to Scotland. It is in the Astral Realm where Liam’s Wolf pack bites her and makes her one of them. And, incidentally, the first Vampire-Wolf Hybrid ever. She develops some unique abilities, some of which are beyond her control – like the fires that start when her passions rise. And by “passions” I mean anger and arousal. When her ire rises fires pop out along her skin and on the tips of her hair. As it continues to rise, the fires start to range further outward. Yes, kind of like the girl in Hellboy but not quite and, frankly, I didn’t see the movie until AFTER I gave Anna this ability.
When she is aroused she starts out by getting a fever. Her skin heats up from the inside out. The higher her arousal spirals the hotter she becomes. The heat moves under her skin like light behind a sheet, swirling and glowing. The heat will spread to her partner, a preservation instinct. And the more she and Liam are together physically, the hotter they get. You’ll see what happens in book two, Demon Plague. In the first one, Witch Hitlist, things smolder but nothing catches fire.
Liam Taggart… He is my favourite of my characters. Ever. He is big and brash, gorgeous and sexy. He is smart, honourable and fiercely protective of his pack. He loves Anna with everything that he is. He is a Wolf born and bred and the strongest Alpha in the British Isles. With Anna at his side, physically, he becomes the strongest Alpha in Europe. He embodies magic, for he is magic, and can be a conduit for Anna. He can give her power or pull on his. But he doesn’t have the same abilities as her. Where she can rifle through the minds near her he can sense his entire pack when they’re within a few miles. He can shift to wolf form, as can all in his pack. Liam is Alpha, father, counselor, lover, friend, 5-star general to all in his pack. But he doesn’t do it alone.
Marcus Cariston is Liam’s Beta. His second-in-command. He is a stronger Wolf than Liam but not Alpha material. Where Liam is a natural leader, Marcus is a natural manager. Liam may create the plan and start the ball rolling but it is Marcus who keeps it moving. Together they are the perfect team. Marcus opened his tight, protective circle around Liam to welcome Anna with pleasure and joy (that his Alpha finally found his heart’s mate). He is a beautiful man with as much honour and heart as Liam.
Michelle (Chelle) MacMichael is Liam’s Gamma. So good is she at her job that none of the others are willing to challenge her (earned) right to do it. With the exception of Doug, the first Delta, those in the rank below her are three steps back to her one step behind Marcus. She was against Anna, for her prejudice against the Vampires ran deep but as Anna proved over and over again that she belonged, she accepted her willingly. She loves Marcus as much as he loves her and she is willing to go to Hell and back for her pack (good thing too, since that’s what happens in book two!). Liam and Anna and the pack are her life and she defends it just as honourably and fiercely as those above her in rank.
There you have the four main characters. It is Marcus and Chelle whose real life counterparts died saving D. I meant to write a short story and it turned into this entire world and family of characters I have grown to love. When the series is done I will miss them.
Everything I do with Highland Wolves is dedicated to those we, in our little big family, have lost. There were a few more who were on a bus tour in Europe when it crashed. They died and we miss them too.
I love those I choose to call family and I think I am loved in return.
Nah, I know I am.