Conaire Quigley

Meet the Stirling Alpha!  (Totally unedited, btw, be nice.)

I am going to edit photos now.

Enjoy your Sunday!  

Muah!

Conaire Quigley

Age: 63

Height: 6’2”

Weight:  230lbs

Supernatural Status:  Alpha of the Stirling pack

Appearance: 

            Human:  Like most of the other Wolves, Conair is fit, broad shouldered and trim of waist.  Wavy black hair that falls almost to his shoulders, a strong brow, blue eyes and thick lashes top high cheekbones.  A long, straight nose leads to a lush mouth with a full lower lip, a totally kissable mouth; he also has a firm jaw line.  He is the epitome of a Highlands warrior.

                Wolf:  He is almost as large as Liam and Marcus.  His fur is shaggy, pure black and he has black eyes. 

Background: Conaire is a descendent of James the Second of Scotland. 

In 1449 James II, staying at Stirling at the time, hosted a tournament for the warriors and knights in the land.  Within his entourage was his pregnant mistress.

Among the knights was a Wolf with a vendetta against James II.  Once Seamus, as the Wolf was so named, discovered that the pregnant mistress was within the castle grounds he set out to find her.  He used the Wolves with him to help kidnap her and bring her to his camp.  Once he had her he seduced her with Wolf charms, calming her fears and arousing her until she willingly spread her legs.  Once he was deep in her he lost control and bit her.

The Lycanthropy raced through her system as he had her delivered back to James’s court.  It didn’t take too long before the Lycanthropy made her ill; by dawn she was feverish and delirious, talking about black eyes and people with fur. 

James, as any good ruler should be, had a relationship with the Supernatural community.  As word of her feverish ravings got to him a chill struck his heart. He hurried to her side, more concerned for the baby than her. He argued with the midwife, called in his own surgeons and had them take the babe from her womb, despite the fact that it was a month too early.

The baby was born squalling with a good set of lungs and as healthy looking as any full-term newborn.  As speculative whispers began about the actual due date, James himself bundled up the baby and wrapped himself in plain clothes.  He climbed on a horse and, with the baby in his arms, raced for the nearest Wolf pack. He charged them with raising the baby, gave them money, promised to aide in whatever way was necessary to raise his son, named the boy Phillip Quigley – “Quigley” meaning “lively” – and tore off again in the night to return to his court before dawn.  He worried that his son, in utero at the time of the bite, would be Wolf.

When Phillip hit puberty, his Wolf did indeed come upon him. James immediately put out the word for a knight to foster him, preferably one of the Wolf community, for the family he’d left the boy with were farmers.  While they’d be able to teach him to fight, James wanted Philip to learn all he could of the world.   

The Wolf who bit Phillip’s mother came forward and took the boy into his home.  He raised Philip to know his Wolf, to become one with it, know when to use it, and when to not.  He raised him in the ways of the knight and tried to poison him against his father.

Once Phillip hit the age of twenty, he was tall, strong, well-mannered, a very good fighter, and well learned.  He learned the truth of his origins and he killed the man who fostered him, the man who made him Wolf.  Then he appeared in his father’s court.

James, while not ashamed of his son, could not publicly claim him, for he’d decreed his son dead the night of his birth.  Instead, he took the boy into his court and got to know him, got him to understand what had happened on that fateful night. Then he settled lands and money on him.

Philip took over the Stirling pack, found a mate, invested the money wisely and set about ensuring that those generations after him would want for nothing. He raised his children, sons and daughters, to be Alphas and sent them into the world.  He relinquished his position only to the one who came back to stay and help the pack, and the investments, grow so that future generations would have all the same opportunities.

And so it came to be that Conaire Quigley, eleventh Quigley Alpha, came to be a very wealthy and very generous man.

Conaire himself grew up in a loving home within a pack that is fierce in its protection of self and property but also giving and devoted to the Supernatural community.  He was the only other one put up as a candidate for Alpha of Alphas.  He lost only because Liam has an edge that he does not and completed a trial Conaire could not bring himself to finish.  Nevertheless, Liam and Conaire are fast friends. 

 

Fiction Friday Week 10

Good Friday morning!

What?! It’s Saturday??   Surely you jest.

Nah, I know it’s Saturday.  Yesterday was just so… spectacularly lovely that the thought of work totally fled my mind.  We actually spent time outside!  And it was comfortable.  

It’s saying something about the winter just ending when you can say that 7*C (44*F) is comfortable.  We spent time at the beach, soaking up the elements.  Spent some time on the deck, watching the cat roam around on his rather lengthy leash.  Cooked on the barbecue (although… I’ve been known to do that in February).

This week, I finished reading HW3 and began writing in it again.  There was a new character introduced – actually, I think she just tied up a loose end by walking into the shop where Anna was trying on a dress.  It got me to thinking that we don’t know Jules all that well.

So I made it my mission to get to know her.  GK helped me put flesh on her, figure out what she looked like.  She’s younger than I thought she’d be (than I intended her to be) but I think she has a lot of potential.  

Oh!  I just had a thought.  There’s a part near the beginning of HW3 where we meet Jules after she’s beaten the hell out of a fellow Wolf and in an effort to (Oh I have to fix how the permissions worked there) work her way up through the pack.  She tells Anna, “…I am not an Omega and I refuse to remain as one.”  Anna tells Liam they should have an all out, beat-as-many-as-Jules-can battle to see how good she really is, since Jules has been going about it outside of the Four Claw ritual; she’s been following, instead, her home pack law.  I was going to do it before the wedding but I think the full moon required may happen after and then I can open HW4 with it. 

*grins*  Oh yes, I like that.  

Anyway, I am two weeks overdue for a photo blog for you all.  That is next on my list.  I really, really want to go see if the beach is accessible so I’m going to do that too.  

Have a wonderful day, folks.

Muah!

Jules Verne

Age: 22

Height: 5’7”

Weight:  178lbs

Pack Status:  Xi

Supernatural Status:  Up and comer in the Four Claw Pack

Appearance:

Human:  Jules has a thick mass of curly, chestnut brown hair that falls just past her shoulders.  It is just long enough to put into a tight braid when she’s training or fighting.   It looks like a river of molten chocolate in the sunlight.  She has green eyes framed with thick lashes.  A few freckles dust her nose and across her cheekbones.  She has a Cupid’s bow of a mouth, perfectly kissable.  Dimples appear when she smiles large and genuinely, something that is rare.  She has a runner’s physique enhanced by martial arts and weights.  Her muscles are well defined, she has slight curves and long legs.

Wolf:  She is a medium sized wolf with fur the same colour as her hair.  It is darkest around her muzzle with the colour lightening as it flows down her body.  It is a pale milk chocolate at the tip of her tail.

Background:  Jules has come to the Four Claw the same way many others have – seeking safe haven and peace.  She is from the Soif de Sang (Blood Lust) pack from Paris, France.  She was born into the pack, drawn in, trained and taught by the pack.  Many of the children grew up brutal, without morals or scruples, like their parents and their parents’ parents.  The pack lives by violence and dies by violence. 

Jules was the daughter of the Alpha.  Her mother was killed in a bar fight by another woman when Jules was only five.  She was raised solely by her father who, in spite of pack law, refused the woman who had killed his wife. He’d been in love with his woman and only allowed the fight because he’d been certain Jules’ mother would win.  He had killed the winner instead and left the bar with Jules, crying for her mother, in his arms.  In those actions, he had accidentally instilled a lesson in her that he would never have allowed otherwise – love trumps everything. 

He sent her to school, taught her to fight, gave her everything she wanted, as long as she followed pack law.  He threw her in the ring constantly, pushing her to fight the bigger and better.  He was secretly relieved that she won every fight, even if she did almost die when she was fifteen.   She learned two years later that he was grooming someone to be her husband and right hand man.  It was then that she started trying to find a way out. 

Every time she ran, her father found her and brought her back. He beat her and locked her in a cage for a month.  Six times they repeated this pattern and when she turned nineteen he dragged her to a bridal salon to find a dress.  She ran out the back.  When he found her two days later he had given up.  He gave her a choice – stay and be married, become Alpha after his death, or fight the fiancé and gain her freedom.  The fiancé, a young man of twenty-two, lusted after Jules, and the position marriage would give him.  He fought hard, dirty, and still lost. 

Jules was then patched up and escorted to the edge of her father’s territory.  She was told that if she ever set foot on their land again, she’d be killed on sight.  She ran from them, ashamed that she was running yet exhilarated to have her freedom.  For a year she slunk through France before moving west through the British Isles and finding herself wounded and exhausted on Four Claw territory.  Chelle found her and dragged her to the compound and she’d spent every day since earning her place in the pack, learning that love and compassion are stronger than violence and hate.

 

Catherine Bowman

Good morning!  

I finished this profile for the website on Monday and I thought I would share it with you.

Yep, it’s me.  

I did it in the same style as the others because I liked the continuity but mostly because it amuses me.  hehehe  I do like it though.  I knew I needed to write one but since I dislike writing about myself – I’d much rather write about the fictional characters – I had no idea how to go about it. 

Then it hit me.  “Do it like the others!” 😀  “It’ll be fun,” my brain said. “People will enjoy it,” my brain said.   And you know, for once I think the brain has it.  I had fun writing it and my best two beta readers (The Boyfriend and Val) had fun reading it.

By the way, did you enjoy meeting my new Facebook admin?  Lovely lady.

So, here is the profile and it’s the last one!  Yesterday I sent everything over to my brother and the website will be up and running soon!

Have a great day everyone!  Muah.

Oh, by the way, if you have another word for ‘positivity’ (that works) please let me know.

Catherine Bowman

 

Age: 39

Height: 5’8

Weight:  None of your business!

Appearance: 

            Human:  Catherine is a vivacious, voluptuous woman.  Multi-coloured hair – chestnut, copper and silver – cascades a few inches past her shoulder and frames a friendly face.  Sensual lips are almost always curved in a smile while tri-coloured eyes (copper, green and blue) view the world with amused patience.  She is long of limb, generous in breast and hip and exudes an attitude rife with charming irreverence, positivity and affection for the people she calls family.

  She has a tribal tattoo of a wolf’s head with the words “The Fallen: Gone but not forgotten” on her left forearm along with a bear paw surrounded by flames and chicken footprints.  The first tattoo is to commemorate the losses suffered while writing her books.  The second is in honour of her children Bear and Chicken. 

Note: It is no coincidence that Anna looks like me, or that Marcus looks like C did and Chelle looks like G did, et cetera, et cetera.  My characters are based on my friends and I, though by no means wholly accurate, because the original story was about (a fantasy version of)  us.

            Wolf:   On the large side, with midnight black fur that is sprinkled in silver.  Pale blue eyes.  

Just kidding.  😉

Background:  Catherine was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada to parents who later divorced.  She developed a love of the written word very early, learning to read before she was four years old.  When she was about ten a teacher assigned her a short story project and the resulting comments made her realize she wanted to tell stories. 

Catherine told many stories, most verbal, until she was fifteen when she met John, a boy who quickly became her boyfriend.  He introduced her to sex and encouraged her to write out the fantasies she had about what she wanted him to do to her.  The stories were sappy, romantic and very, very teenage-girl.  She learned what not to do and what to do from the stories she wrote and the erotic magazines and books she devoured.  Catherine loved her writing being responsible for a person’s arousal and made a concentrated effort to write better.

Eventually, the short stories weren’t enough and she tried a novel, Welcome to Valhalla, about a Valkyrie community that took tributes of human males from nearby villages.  It wasn’t great so she went back to refining her craft with short stories.  Eventually, she met the group of friends on whom the Highland Wolves characters are based.  Highland Wolves came about when two of those friends died and she wanted to pay tribute to them, keep them alive in a small way.  She began a short story simply titled “Highland Wolves”.  Her every intention was to keep it below 10,000 words, to have it be no more than a novella, if it got that far.  Liam, Anna, Marcus and Chelle had different ideas though.  She fell in love with them and the story they insisted on telling and now that short story is a four book series!  And the four fictional people are considering pushing it into book five.  Catherine is resisting but will see what happens.

Meanwhile, life went on outside her imagination.  She was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia shortly after her son was born and had to learn to adapt to the cascading failures of her body.  Through the years she has also been diagnosed with half a dozen other chronic disorders that almost all center around her spine and central nervous system.  She’s been married, gave her son a sister and divorced.  She lived in the States for two years and returned to her beloved Ontario determined not to live anywhere else.  A trip to Scotland is in the works so she can finally experience firsthand the magic and history that is the Highlands.

Currently, Catherine has a wonderful, awesome Boyfriend who encourages her imagination and makes sure she looks after herself.  Her kids are now teenagers and are intelligent, positive, empathic, compassionate and gorgeous.  She has wonderful friends and beta readers.  She counts her blessings often and shows her gratitude for everything she has.

Weaknesses:  Catherine sees the good in everyone and often is blind to the bad.  She gives everyone more second chances than they deserve.  Her health is her biggest weakness as it saps her ability to concentrate, her memory and her strength.

Strengths:  Catherine is a very positive person and tends to infect those around her with the same attitude.  Her imagination is vivid and enables her to see both sides of any situation which makes her a good mediator and good at finding solutions to most problems.  She has great determination and a very strong will.

Abilities:  Catherine does a lot of energy work, healing and the like, and is capable of astral travel. 

Dougall McCaleum

Dougall McCaleum

Age:  40

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 180

Pack Status: Master at Arms

Supernatural Status:  Liam’s second enforcer

Appearance:

            Human:  Doug is a human bean pole.  He is tall and skinny.  That slimness hides incredible strength.  He has soft, curly dark brown hair most women want to run their fingers through even though it’s always carefully arranged so the humidity doesn’t make it poof out into a clown wig.  He has chocolate brown eyes – dark chocolate at the iris that fades out to creamy milk chocolate at the edges – that are often filled with humour.  He has smooth cafe au lait skin that is marred by a few scars on his torso.  Long fingers are capable of caressing and pleasing or of great harm.  Soft but wiry hair is sprinkled across his chest and belly.

            Wolf:  His Wolf is larger than it should be, coming in at around 200 pounds, in big part because of his heritage.  He has milk chocolate fur and black eyes. 

*Never used his demon form

Background:  Doug was raised by a single parent.  His mother had been raped by a Demon walking around in human guise.  This Demon is a general in the Seventh Circle and was capable of hiding his scent well enough to get close to her.  There was a prophecy in hell that a Demon-Wolf would rule the Supernatural world and this general, it was decided, would be the one to begat just such a child. 

After much research, the Four Claw pack had been chosen to be the keepers of this Demon’s offspring and that Doug’s mother should be the one to raise him. 

Dougall was never blamed by his mother.  She did not believe that he was responsible for his creation or his birth.  So he was raised with love and much affection.  He was also raised to be able to strong, to be able to be the one to take control in a fight.  He was taught about weapons; blades, guns, anything that can be thrown or swung, he knew it all.  He knew their histories, their present technologies, their potential uses and their weaknesses.  And he knew how to use each and every one of them. 

He grew up with Liam, Marcus and then Michelle.  All four of them were a tight-knit group.

Weaknesses:  His Demon self is under-developed.  Other than that, his apparent lack of weaknesses leaves him unbalanced. 

Strengths:  His knowledge of weapons.  His humour. 

Abilities:  He is a shifter.  He has an innate knowledge of people – he can see who is Light and who is Dark.  He can sense where enemies are.

Marcus Cariston

Marcus Cariston

Age:  42

Height: 6’3”

Weight:  280

Pack  Status:  Beta

Supernatural Status:  Beta of the Four Claw Pack.  Right hand of the Alpha of Alphas, enforcer of his will.

Appearance:  

            Human:   Marcus is built a lot like Liam – big, broad-shouldered, big hands, big feet.  He towers over most humans and a large number of Wolves, standing at 6’3”.  His hair turned silver when he was sixteen.  He tried dying it once but after a shift during a full moon it reverted back to silver so he just left it; it seemed pointless to try and change it when his eyebrows and eyelashes turned the same colour. Now he keeps it just about shoulder length and cut into layers that always manage to stay swept back, no matter what he’s doing.  The silver hair only serves to make the denim blue of his eyes richer.  He has a strong, square jaw, hooded eyes and a straight nose.  The broad shoulders taper down into narrow hips, a tight ass and long legs.  Thickly corded muscles in his arms and legs and the rippled abs make women look twice and then a third time. 

            Wolf:   His wolf is huge, slightly larger than Liam.  He keeps his blue eyes, though they’re a pale, washed out version, like bleached jeans.  His thick fur is shades of silver and grey from smoke to polished silver.

Background:   Cubs don’t come into their Wolf until they hit puberty, even though the adults in the pack call their children cubs.  Marcus is the son of the pack’s only female Beta in recorded history and her Mate, the Gamma from a northern pack.  Marcus’s father moved south to be with his mother with his pack’s blessing.  Marcus grew up in a loving, joyous atmosphere and that love and joy didn’t disappear when his father was killed in battle when he was but five years old.  It became a little quieter at times but his mother was never one to wallow.  Marcus was her only child and she loved him. 

He met Liam when he was born, the day after his own first birthday.  He was taken to meet the Alpha’s son when Liam was just a day old.  The new baby opened those eyes, already green, and met the rich blue eyes of the new toddler and reached out with both hands.  Marcus had met Liam’s hands with his and the bond was formed.  Marcus’s mother spent a lot of time in the main house and he went with her.  He spent as much time as possible with Liam.  If Marcus disappeared from his mother’s side, he was found at Liam’s side. 

Marcus is a natural Alpha.  The pack speculated that one day the two friends would battle each other to the death for the Alpha spot.  Eventually it became clear that Marcus always deferred to Liam.  If the two children were given cookies, Marcus waited until Liam bit into his.  If they were forced to fight, Marcus always lost, though he never obviously, deliberately threw a fight. 

When Liam’s father was killed and his own mother challenged then killed by wannabe Alpha Rick and his thug, Marcus helped Liam bury their respective parents and get his mother to a safe place.  He also agreed to whatever Liam wanted to do to rectify the situation.  He swore fealty to Liam as soon as he could speak and then again when they hit puberty and their Wolves made themselves known.  He swore to stand behind, in front of and beside the man he considered his Alpha from day one.  He deliberately altered his own natural Alpha abilities to be able to serve and protect Liam better.  He will stand at Liam’s side unto his death. 

Weaknesses:  Marcus is somewhat inflexible in things as he puts the safety of his Alpha above all else.  His one other weakness is Michelle MacMichael.  She is the love of his life.  However, he doesn’t feel free to pursue it just yet and that hesitation is a tiny chink in his armour, the only uncertainty in his life.

Strengths:  He is a planner and a forward thinker, just like Liam.  He is capable of seeing both the Dark and Light.  His devotion to Liam, Anna and the pack gives him the ability to stand firm in the face of anything.  He is as skilled as Liam in defensive and offensive fighting techniques but a slightly better shot.

Abilities:  He can look at a person and see all the choices of their lives and know the one thing that will help them follow the right path.  He is an excellent tracker.  He has an almost terrifyingly accurate ability to read body language.  He is cunning and an exceptional strategist.

Anna Marie Connor

Howdy!

Over the next three… three?  Anna… Marcus… Doug… yes, three days I will be sharing the rest of the character bios with you.  They will be going up on the website soon (as soon as I get quick and dirty temporary book covers put together for HW3 and HW4!) but I thought I would share them with you.

I will not, however, be editing them here again.  *laughs*   They will be edited [better] before they go up on the site.

Enjoy!

 

Anna Marie Connor

 

Age: 33 (according to the government; 633 as a living Vampire this life)

Height: 5’8”

Weight:  210

Pack Status:  Alpha Mate

Supernatural Status:  Princess of the Vampires, daughter of Cain, heir apparent, holder of the Regnier seat on the Vampire Council, liaison to Dragon, Fae and Demon realms, Alpha Mate of the Four Claw Pack.

Appearance: 

            Human:  Anna is a curvy girl in exactly the right way, she is the kind of sexy Marilyn Monroe was; very fluid, liquid lines, generous breasts and hips.  Her hair is copper* with silver streaks, grows quickly and undergoes a random change in style every few months.  She was born with tri-coloured eyes that change colour with her emotions.  When she is happy they are pale green with copper around the iris and navy blue rims.  They darken to emerald green with passion, either ire or arousal.  When her ire reaches the point of fury or when the Vampire within her is hungry they turn black.  When they are forest green with a black rim she is feeding from the ambient energy around her.  She has sensual lips most often curved in a smile and a dimple in her left cheek that appears under sweeping cheekbones when she is delighted with something.  She has a long torso, long legs and long arms that all make her look taller than she is.  Her soft curves belie the strength her body carries.

*In Demon Plague Anna’s hair turns black after a battle with a griffin and later it turns white after an infusion of Demon essence.  She also acquires three thin scars from her right temple to the corner of her mouth, giving her a small, permanent lopsided smile.

            Vampire: Anna’s Vampire is harder, leaner and uglier, even her fingers lengthen as the nails turn into razor sharp claws.  The bones in her face become more prominent, sharper and more angular.  Her canine teeth lengthen and all her other teeth sharpen, giving her mouth the appearance of double the amount of teeth.  Her eyes turn black as her skin pales to the death white of her undead kin.

            Wolf:  Anna’s Wolf’s beauty is a complete polar opposite to the ugliness of her Vampire.  Because of her human weight she comes in larger than most of the pack’s other female Wolves at about 185 pounds.  Her fur is a deep, dark black like Liam’s but with the silver streaks from Marcus’s influence in her change.  Her eyes are a beautiful clear amber.

After her adventures in Hell in Demon Plague Anna’s fur is snow white, almost a crystalline purity.

            Demon: (Her Demon form comes out in Demon Plague during a course of events in the depths of Hell.)  Anna’s Demon is a blend of her Vampire and Wolf with a few changes.  She has the same facial structure of her Vampire but with a shortened Wolf snout altering the lower half of her face, giving her face a half-Vamp, half-Wolf structure. Long sharp teeth, snow white hair and deep-set black eyes complete the appearance.  Her skin turns ash grey and she is covered with short startlingly soft, white fur.  Her body tightens, slims, becomes longer, almost skeletal.  The claws she has in her Vampire form are nothing compared to what tips her fingers in this form.  The final detail is a pair of large, dull silver, bat-like wings that sprout from her back.

Background:  Anna is her human name but in the other Realms she’s known as Princess Sadira Chalthoum.  She is a living vampire with a purpose: to maintain the peace and good relations between the Vampires and the rest of the Supernatural world. She is born over and over again, choosing with each death to be reborn alive rather than become undead, so that she remains current in thinking with the shorter lived Supernaturals, such as the Lycanthropes.

Janelle, her mother, is half Witch and half Vampire and is the source of much of Anna’s magic.  Where Anna’s Vampire half, from her father, trumps the Witch, in Janelle the two are in perfect balance.  She is in a human body kept immortal by her Mate, Cain.

Cain is Anna’s father.  He is the Cain of Cain and Abel infamy, cursed by the Christian God to walk the night, feeding solely upon humanity.  He is the source of Vampire kind and Anna is the only genetic, living child he has ever sired.  He sits upon the throne, father and king of Vampires, a vicious and nearly merciless ruler.

Anna has been involved in the Supernatural world since birth (in all her lives it is the same).  She is generous, kind and sweet.  She is an excellent diplomat who works tirelessly to find peaceful resolutions but who can be as cold, hard and vicious as her father. 

Anna is the Vampire liaison to the Supernatural Council and it is at one of those council meetings that she meets Liam.  He had never attended before, having always sent his Beta, Marcus.  Their energies, their souls, were immediately drawn together.  They decided to keep talking after the meeting and eventually got together in the Astral Realm.  They fell in love quickly.  It was deep and true and within a few months they knew it was forever.  He and his pack bite her and bind her to them.

Weaknesses:  Anna is the absent-minded professor type; very powerful, fairly smart but most often stuck in her own head or in at least one other Realm at the same time. She is vulnerable to attack because she doesn’t pay attention to her physical surroundings.

Physical body is easily injured; power use drains her physical strength.

Always sees the good in people.

Strengths: Always sees the good in people.  Anna is fiercely loyal.  She loves deeply.  She always keeps her word.  She has the combined powers of Vampire, Witch and Wolf.  She is honourable.

Abilities/Traits: Astral projection, healing, fire (blue is healing and cleansing, black – which is Demon fire and comes in book two – is pure destruction), shape shifting (to Wolf form), body temperature rises with passion (anger or sexual) and can rise to the point of spontaneous combustion.  She can cut an opening in the seam of reality between realms to pull things out or put things in, after book two she discovers that she is able to move her physical body through the seams.

Anna is the only Vampire-Wolf hybrid in existence in any realm and is one of the singularly most powerful creatures ever.  And yet, she is vulnerable because of her human frailities and her innate need to see the best of people. 

Snowy Greens and Brand New Wolves

Good Saturday morning folks!

I have three pictures to show you because… Well because the snowball bush is in bloom and for some reason I find the damn thing fascinating.  Truly though, there are only so many pictures I can show you of tiny white flowers.  😀   And I do have something special to show you.  The blog title is a bit of a misnomer.  There is only one new Wolf to show you but I wanted to share Chelle’s profile with you too.  Her background and the new Wolf’s background are tied together and it happened completely by accident.  

But I’ll get to that after the pictures. 

Does everyone know what a snowball bush is?  No?  Well, it’s remarkably similar to a hydrangea but the balls of flowers are about the size of a snowball you’d make in your palm, hydrangeas can have flower clusters the size of your head.  And the flowers are much smaller and simpler.  And it only comes in white.  (The hydrangea in that link there is spectacular!)  Some people do call a hydrangea a snowball bush but I think that’s largely because no one can ever remember ‘hydrangea’.

Okay, okay, so really the only thing they have in common is the fact that the flowers grow in ball shaped groups.

 

Last weekend our rather large snowball bush began to bloom.  We were disappointed because the flowers were coming up green and we didn’t remember that happening last year.  At this time last year it was all leaf and buds then BOOM! pretty white snowballs.  Like, overnight.   But last week they were green.   I went and took pictures with my phone, just to see how they’d come out.  Not bad really.  I played with the ISO and the white balance and the contrast and got a bunch of pea soup coloured pictures.  *le sigh*

There were, however, two I really liked.  This first one happened after I put the camera on landscape to see how that would come out.  I did have to tweak the colour a little bit.  It wasn’t quite bright enough so I played with the green and yellow in shadows, highlights and midtones. I am impressed with the picture overall.  I like the scale of it and the depth of field surprised me; I figured it would come out a little flat.   

Pretty isn't it?  Hard to be disappointed in the wee green flowers.   ....But they weren't white!

Pretty isn’t it? Hard to be disappointed in the wee green flowers. ….But they weren’t white!

This second green one was taken with the white balance set on Daylight and the ISO at 800.  To find that the picture looked the way it does surprised the hell out of me.  I didn’t do much in editing, I simply touched up the contrast a little.  

Striking, isn't it?

Striking, isn’t it?

Finally, this is what I came back to yesterday.  I took the pictures early this morning after the sun rose but before it was well in the sky.  I did like 3 or 4 of them but only this one well enough to share.  There’s a breeze today and it seemed that the Gods did NOT want me taking pictures because every time I lifted my phone, (used for continuity in quality), the breeze kicked up and nudged those heavy snowballs into bobbing like crazy.  To edit this one I tried auto-levels, didn’t like it and undid it.  I tried auto-contrast but didn’t like that much better.  So I played with the brightness and contrast manually until I got it right.  Didn’t take much.  I chose this picture because of the shape and that the contrasting greens made the white flowerettes seem all that much brighter.  

Beauty, eh?

Beauty, eh?

And that’s it for the photos today!  

This came out longer than I thought so I’m debating whether or not to put both biographies in here today or put in one and post the other tomorrow.    My usual sounding board is still asleep, (damn her for being 3 hours behind 😉 ), so I’m going to make an executive decision.  Oh hey, I AM the executive, guess I have the power *He-Man voice*.

Me?  Crazy?  Nahh…

I’m going to post Chelle’s – whom you only think you know – and see how much of your time I’m taking up.  Sound like a plan?  Or at least a pluh?

Good.

Here’s Michelle:

Michelle Moira MacMichael

 

Age:  39

Height: 5’7”

Weight: 145

Pack Status: Gamma

Supernatural Status:  Liam’s enforcer

Appearance: 

            Human:  Chelle is a bleached blonde.  The carefully maintained straw coloured silk falls to her shoulders and allows her to hide her intelligence in the stereotype.  She is slim and lithe but she is well defined in the shoulders, arms and legs, her stomach is lightly rippled with a six-pack.  She has pale green eyes and a full, sensual mouth.  She dresses like a man more often than not – jeans, sweats, men’s shirts, tank tops – with her hair up but somehow still manages to look very feminine.

            Wolf:  On the small side, in comparison to her Alphas and Beta but no less strong.  She has copper fur and yellow-green eyes.

Background:  Michelle was not born into the pack as a very large portion of the pack was.  Michelle is not the name she was given at birth.  She came to the pack seeking asylum as a ten year old, the daughter of a mated Beta pair.  The Alpha of her previous pack, one set deep in the Highlands, had a taste for young girls, brunettes in particular, and girls who began to fill out early were of a special interest to him.

One night, a night her father was on patrol and her mother had been sent away to negotiate with a coterie who wanted hunting privileges on their land, the Alpha snuck into her bedroom.  She awoke at a soft noise and slipped her hand under her pillow for the knife her parents insisted she sleep with when home alone.  He crept close to her bed and eased the blankets back while she pretended to sleep.  She let him run his hand down her ribs and over her hip to her knee.  She let him slide his hand under her shirt and even moved restlessly, like she was dreaming.

So focused was he on her soft skin that he didn’t notice her change in breathing or the tension coiling in her body as she shifted to her back and changed her grip on the knife.  So intent was he on touching the small, developing breast that he didn’t see anything but his goal.  When he touched her, finally, he sighed with pleasure and closed his eyes for a moment.  Chelle used that moment to strike at him.  She sank her small blade into the right side of his chest, feeling the steel slide between his ribs.  As he stared at the hilt in shock she bolted from her bed and then the room.

It was a hard journey south in little more than her pyjamas.  She had been tempted to go back several times in those three days from flight to found to make sure her parents were okay but she knew she’d be dead the moment she stepped on pack soil.  She ended up at Liam’s side after he and Marcus found her begging for scraps outside a pub on the edge of Glasgow. 

When the Alpha she’d stabbed showed up at the Four Claw house it was Liam and Marcus who hid her.  Liam and Marcus who lied well to keep her from being taken.  It was Liam and Marcus who had taken the beatings for the lies and it was Liam and Marcus who told Liam’s father what had happened and made sure that she was inducted into the pack.  Liam’s mother taught her how to dye her hair and it was Liam’s father who welcomed her into their home permanently.  From then on she had shadowed Liam and Marcus, learning everything she could from them. 

Weaknesses:  She doesn’t trust a  man’s word, outside of Liam and Marcus.  And maybe Doug.  She has a fierce hatred for those who abuse children and tends to go overboard in her reaction to seeing mothers or fathers who spank their children in front of her. 

Strengths:  Phenomenal martial arts skills, high level black belts in Seikido, Kung Fu and Krav Maga.  She is a sharp shooter, the best in the United Kingdom, third best in Europe.

Abilities:  She is a shape shifter and has superhuman strength, above and beyond most other Supernaturals.

Lovely woman, strong as hell, and absolutely in love with Marcus.  And thank you, lovely people, for showing me that it needed edited.  I think that I will post the new Wolf’s bio here.  It will make the blog a little on the long side but that’s nothing new, eh?

Introducing… *drum roll*

 

McKenna Amberson

Age: 28

Height: 5’10

Weight:  190

Appearance:

            Human: McKenna – Mac to her friends, precious few that they are – has broad shoulders, generous breasts and an hourglass figure.  She has shockingly red hair that is all natural and falls around her face in short, just above the shoulder waves.  She has the porcelain complexion that is typical of a Scottish redhead, along with a smattering of freckles below the bright blue eyes.  Very delicate, elfin features draw the eyes of men and women alike despite her every attempt to downplay them.

She has a scar just under the right side of her ribcage, around the back, where a would-be mugger stabbed her in the kidney when she refused to cooperate.  And she is missing a chunk out of her left breast from a mishap with a Tiger that got infected and never healed quite right. 

            Wolf:  Medium sized Wolf with rust coloured fur and pale, washed out blue eyes.

Background:  McKenna was born to a single mother who happened to be a lone Wolf.  A Scottish Wolf living in London, McKenna’s mom was a runaway, the Theta from a northern Highlands pack.  One who had run away when her Alpha raped her while she was caring for the wound in his chest caused by a missing young girl.  When the mother found out she was pregnant she sought sanctuary in London and raised her girl with love and the arts.  McKenna’s mother died the night of McKenna’s first heat.  The heat had called in several males who were eager to get at the fourteen year old girl.  Mac ran as her mother fought for their lives.  Three males lost their lives before Mac’s mother lost the fight.

Mac did everything she could to cover her scent and crossed into Wales, where she stole art supplies and food and made a home for herself in a cave in the Cambrian Mountains.  She began to sell her work for pennies until a gallery owner saw them, and her, and took her in.  It took Mac a long time to trust the old man but he did nothing to her but treat her like a granddaughter and sell her work.

One full moon night, coming from the gallery on her way to run she was stopped by a Tiger.  He accosted her, demanding to know why she was on their territory without permission.  When she told him the truth he tried to take her to his Alpha by force.  She shifted and ran for the mountains, not knowing that the old man always followed her on her runs.  The Tiger shifted and followed her.  He caught up to her in the foothills and attacked.  She was losing the battle, having been bitten in the chest, a large chunk of flesh torn out, when the man shot the Tiger, repeatedly, emptying a semi-automatic rifle – a Browning Bar Mark II – into the Cat and dragged Mac into his truck.  Only her being a Wolf saved her that night. 

When the man died a couple of years later she mourned him like a grandfather.  Then she took the money and the rifle he left her and headed north again, landing in Glasgow and selling her wares in the Barras. 

Weaknesses:  The fact that she’s a lone Wolf makes her half as strong as she could be.  She trusts no one and allows no one to get close to her.

Strengths:  She became a marksman, not at the level of the upper four in the Four Claw pack but well enough to defend herself.  She is an underground boxer, taking her aggressions and anger out on the men who laughingly step  into the ring with her.  She doesn’t dwell in her anger but has used it to fuel her survival.

Abilities: Shifter. 

Isn’t she lovely?  Twelve years younger than Doug, sure, but she loves him and he her.  And you will meet her properly in HW2.5, the short story I’m doing for KallySten’s anthology.

I’m out, folks!  Have a wonderful weekend!  

Muah!