Saying Goodbye: Series Finale The Vampire Dairies

 

images vd season1 2Do you know where you were when you watched the pilot of The Vampire Dairies?

I do. I was studying my Honors degree at the University of Stellenbosch, living in one of the senior residences and a friend of mine had come over for a visit. We’d ended up getting our weekly dose of The Big Bang Theory and then decided (since we are both Twilight lovers) to give this new vampire TV series a try.

We watched it with mixed emotions. It was not Twilight. It was something different. But not bad different.

I didn’t know if I liked Elena Gilbert or not. She was the polar opposite of Bella Swan—confident, sassy, popular, had two best friends…and a tragedy. Let’s just speak truth for a minute here. I love Bella Swan, but until Edward Cullen showed up in her life, she didn’t have any level of depth that I could spy. The vampire gave her layers.

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Elena Gilbert (even though I was one of the character’s harshest critics) is introduced to us as someone who puts on the social mask that everyone expects of her, but deep down is still struggling with her parents death and the car accident she survived.

When Stefan Salvatore shows up and distracts her from what happened, it isn’t so much as he’s giving her layers but rather, as she so aptly puts in the last episode of the series, he brought her back to life.

I also from the onset became a big fan of Damien Salvatore, the very good-looking sometimes downright evil and reluctant hero and older brother of Stefan. You could already see just what he was going to bring to the table when he said with a smirk, “Hello little brother,” at the end of the pilot episode.

images vd graduation bonnie elena caroline

And though the series was built on the love triangle between the two vampire brothers and a human girl, it ended up introducing us to the awesome witch Bonnie Bennet and organize freak who later also becomes a vampire Caroline Forbes, as well as Elena’s little brother Jeremy (in the books Elena has a sister), werewolf Taylor, Matt the human (yeah that’s how I thought of him lols at one point he was the only human amongst his friends), and his sister Vicki—whose death in season one threw us all. It was then that we all realized The Vampire Dairies meant business. This was going to be a show that’s going to grab you by the…uh nuts and take no prisoners. It was going to make itself stand out.

That was due to good casting and great storylines.

And let me not forget, they gave us the Mikaelsons; Klaus, Rebekah and Elijah…the Original vampire family. For that I will always hold a special place in my vampire-TV series-loving-heart for The Vampire Dairies.

I knew the end was coming after Nina Dobrev exited the series, but I held hope that it might go on to ten seasons *smile* I know, that’s pushing it. The love triangle, the tension between the three main characters that started us off, was gone. Because (oh I’m going to piss off a few people) I honestly don’t think Stefan was over Elena and vice versa. Yeah she chose Damien, but Damien can be so self-destructive that he would’ve ended up messing up their relationship (because as we’ve all learned in life, you can’t change for a person, you have to do that for yourself) and Damien’s whole premise of being good relies heavily on Elena. And we all knew Elena could be quite fickle sometimes. So there was still a chance, if Nina hadn’t left, that a relationship with Stefan would’ve been in the cards.

Hey, I love Damien, but I’m being realistic here. Damien was our foreshadowing of Klaus Mikaelson and anti-heroes are called anti-heroes for a reason.  

So Nina’s exit made it quite clear that The Vampire Dairies was coming to a definite end. Though we had time to prepare, it still took me by surprise at how emotional I was when I watched the last episode on Saturday. Yeah I know I’m a bit late to the party, but in my defense I’m thirty-three years old and was busy adulting, so put all my favorite shows on the backburner. (Yay Catch-up!)

 

images vd bonnie elena caroline

I was singing, “Please don’t leave quite yet!” and then The Fray’s Never Say Never. I hated that Bonnie didn’t get her happy ending with Enzo, but then again her ending was also fitting for the character. She’d always been this strong independent (black woman) witch who sweeps in and saves the day, sacrificing herself for the greater good and coming out on top, fiercer and wiser than ever. I loved how Caroline got what she’d always wanted, she married Stefan. Though she lost him again, she had that moment. She also got a family, because goodness, Caroline Forbes deserves to have a family dammit *sniffs* after what she’s been through. Oh and please plant her into The Originals. I’m still rooting for her and Klaus! *grin*

Matt became the Sheriff in Mystic Falls…yep uh kind of saw that coming a couple of seasons ago, but it’s also fitting. And Taylor, hot headed werewolf Taylor, is in the afterlife with Vicki and the rest of the cast who died.

There are so many other memorable characters like Rick, Aunt Jenna, etc. But I’ve just gone over nine hundred words, so I’m going to stop here.  

From 2009 till 2017 you’ve given us great television. You weren’t just a teen paranormal action/romance/drama but a solid show with a great cast and stories. I’ll probably re-watch my favorite seasons, so though this is goodbye, it does by no means, mean that you’ll be forgotten.

Yep I just had to go deep ala Elena Gilbert *teary smile*

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Spotlight Interview with Zee Monodee

Zee Monodee`s name is no stranger to this blog, today I`m very lucky to be interviewing her and placing a Spotlight on one of her many great stories, Book 2 of her Island Girls trilogy, Light My World that was released on April 8th.

 Light-My-World300x450

Hi Zee, thank you for gracing us with your presence here at Inside These Lines. Please tell us a little about yourself and your background.

Thanks for having me over, Inge! Pleasure to be here, in the spotlight *squirms a bit*

So, about me – early thirties, married, mum to an 11 year old boy & stepmum to a 15 year old lad. Degree holder but chose to be a stay-at-home-mum and desperate housewife. Total bookholic. Neurotic basket case half of the time…and my idea of therapy involves either shopping for shoes or writing books. 🙂

I’m from the island of Mauritius, 3rd generation Indian, so a lot of Indian culture as it takes place on the island comes into play in my stories.

And for as long as I can remember, my dream was to write books one day.

 What were you like at school?

Lol (hope my kids aren’t reading this…)

I was the epitome of the model student in primary school. Top of the class, never missed one piece of homework, always with the right answer in class – yep, the kind of sickening student everyone else would love to hate. J I made it into one of the top secondary schools of the island (competition to get into secondary school here is very much like the SATs to get into university in the US – a dog eat dog race for the best spots).

And that’s when all hell broke loose. Still a good student, but my naughty side also came to the fore then. Yes – skipped classes, botched the homework, got just good enough to pass grades.

Luckily for me, I woke up soon enough to realize I was sending myself down the drain, and that restless, rebellious edge, I channeled into extracurricular activities like the debate team, Model United Nations, and the like.

And yes, I brought my grade average way up, and kept that going into university, as well.

I think all kids must rebel a little at some point – some of the joy of school is about playing hooky with classes once or twice, just so you make the mistakes of youth while you’re still young (and then are not tempted to maybe have a midlife crisis!) So yes – if tomorrow my kids tell me they’ve skipped a class, I won’t bring Hell down on their heads. But if they do it more than once, then yes, I’ll mean business. 🙂

Which authors inspire you?

When I started writing, my main inspiration was Vikram Seth – he wrote about India and Indian culture and I wanted that kind of flair in my stories – I knew that could/would be my niche, my forte.

Along the way, when I realized I couldn’t write serious or not-fluffy for the life of me, then Jill Mansell became the one to emulate. Have you read one of her stories? She starts you with a cast of characters, and all seems to be going straight from A to Z. But then through the story, A veers to G, then G returns to C, then it zaps forward to M, and then it’s downhill to Q, and only then can you reach Z. Her stories are always a wild, fun ride and I wanted mine to have that feel, to take the reader on a crazy journey with over-the-top characters.

Martina Cole – with her books about strong, shades-of-grey heroines in criminal East End London – has shown me that not all heroines need to be clean and ‘good’ girls; that sometimes, making them shady is more realistic than having a Mary Sue who doesn’t deserve a HEA as much as those shades-of-grey women.

And closer to now, Kristan Higgins, with her Blue Heron series, has been one that got me pondering, too. She has intense – and I do mean intense, don’t-shy-from-issues, characterization – that is making me re-think about deepening the characterization in my fluffy books.

So, what have you written?

Lol, quite a few books and shorts/novellas.

There’s the Island Girls Trilogy, of course – The Other Side, Light My World, Winds of Change – that was my very first writing. I had planned to stop after the first book, then the next two just popped out of the blue. Thought I’d be done after them, but no. More ideas popped up like replicating super plot bunnies. 🙂

My next work was Storms in A Shot Glass – a romcom in the glitzy world of London socialites and tabloid scandals (this book is coming out, revised, with Decadent Publishing this year).

Tried my hand at those shades-of-grey heroines next, and the Corpus Brides series was born. Set in the fictional world of clandestine espionage agency Corpus, these stories feature strong, ruthless women who work as spies and assassins. Their moral compass might look askew sometimes, but at the heart of them, they are just regular women yearning for love. Walking The Edge (about an amnesiac heroine who uncovers secrets about her shady past in Marseille) and Before The Morning (which features the most lethal assassin and sociopathic heroine from the Corpus who goes into a tailspin when she crosses paths with her childhood best friend and the man she never stopped loving) were both published by a now-gone-under epublisher, and I am revising these stories for submission again, before writing the next book in the series.

Then has been Calling Home (romcom featuring a socially inept forensic pathologist who lands custody of a tween girl. The handsome doctor next door runs to her help!) and this book releases May 13 this year with Decadent.

Transient Hearts was my contribution to the Western Escape line at Decadent – about an Indo-Briton chef who finds all she’s ever craved with a New York Forex broker in the town of Freewill, Wyoming. But they’re both in transit in the town, so what’s the hope of a HEA?

You Belong To Me (releasing sometime this year) is a retelling of the Grimm fairytale The Nix of the Mill Pond, for the Beyond Fairytales line at Decadent Publishing – this story returns me to the world of espionage and grey characters.

And there’s also the Eternelles series I co-write with my bestie. It’s a paranormal/Urban Fantasy series that focuses on an immortal mother-daughter duo working together to stop the Apocalypse in their small, supernatural town of Shadow Bridge on the US East coast. It’s been dubbed Charmed meets Supernatural meets Sookie Stackhouse – which should give you a handle on what the story reverts around. 2 free prequels, featuring the characters’ backstories – Adrasteia & Séraphine – are out, as well as Book 1, Inescapable (free, too, btw), and Book 2, Indomitable.

And oh, yes – the 1NightStand short stories at Decadent. Once Upon A Stormy Night brings an unlikely power couple together; they wanted one night to forget and be themselves, but they find more when they meet. Once Upon A Second Chance is the story of an estranged Muslim couple, who are reunited through a blind date set up by Madame Eve. Secrets tore them apart, and before the night is over, they’ll each have to make peace with their pasts.

There’s also the Daimsbury Chronicles series – short/novella-length stories about the many families and inhabitants of the small village of Daimsbury in Surrey, England. Book 1, Bad Luck With Besties, follows 2 former best friends – Honor and Liam – meeting again after fifteen years and debating whether they could have a chance at love now.

My latest project is a series titled Havisham Park. It’s small town romance set in the fictional villages of Havisham Park, which fall under the patronage of the Earldom of Havisham in North Yorkshire, England. The current countess and her two sisters come to their family homestead and that’s the start of many mishaps and happenings in the village. Book 1, Whisk Me Up, was written last Nano, and is the story of an anorexic supermodel who discovers the meaning of life and fulfillment in the village, and with the Thor-like chef of the local pub. Only problem is, he’s allergic to celebrities. Is theirs a recipe doomed to collapse like a failed soufflé?

Wow! You are certainly a busy lady. Writing, a stay-at-home Mom & oodles of creativity for fascinating stories and characters! Simply, wow!

 Where can we buy or see them?

Here you go:

The Other Side (Island Girls, #1)

Amazon US (Ebook & Print) ~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon CA (ebook & Print) ~ Barnes & Noble (Nook & Paperback) ~ Smashwords ~ Kobo ~ AllRomance Ebooks ~ Decadent (ebook) ~ Decadent (Paperback) ~ Kalahari (Paperback)

Light My World (Island Girls, #2)

Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Decadent Publishing ~ AllRomance Ebooks

Bad Luck With Besties (Daimsbury Chronicles, #1)

Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon CA ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Smashwords ~ Kobo ~ AllRomance Ebooks ~ Decadent Publishing

Once Upon A Stormy Night (1NightStand)

Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon CA ~ Decadent website ~ AllRomance Ebooks ~ Barnes & Noble (Nook) ~ Smashwords ~ Kobo

Once Upon A Second Chance (1NightStand)

Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon CA ~ Decadent website ~ AllRomance Ebooks ~ Barnes & Noble (Nook) ~ Smashwords ~ Kobo

Adrasteia (Eternelles, Book 0) FREE (best read after Book 1)

Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon CA ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Smashwords ~ Kobo

Séraphine (Eternelles, Book 0.5) FREE (best read after Book 1)

Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon CA ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Smashwords ~ Kobo

Inescapable (Eternelles, Book 1) FREE

AmazonUS ~ AmazonUK ~ Amazon CA ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Smashwords ~ Kobo

Indomitable (Eternelles, Book2)

Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Smashwords

 Give us an insight of your main character in Light My World.  What does he/she do that is so special?

Well, in the words of Trent Garrison, the book’s hero, Diya Hemant is a spitfire! That word sums her up pretty nicely. She’s cheeky, impulsive, a bit of a hot head, has a sharp tongue…but her heart is in the right place, and she’s just looking for love aka Prince Charming, but on her terms; not what society, or worse, her mother, would deem suitable/proper for her.

I think there’s a part of Diya in all of us – do we accept whatever others deem best to bestow upon us, or do we seek our own path and forge our destiny? Diya’s spirit is what’s special about her, imo.

Light My World, is part of a series, tell us a little about it?

Well, I started The Other Side, book 1 in the trilogy, with the idea that it would be my magnum opus and I’d be done with writing. How wrong I was…because from the very start, Lara’s two sisters popped onto the pages and I just knew they had to have their story. Diya was the most vocal, so she got her story right after I finished book 1. Now, you can’t write about 2 sisters and leave the third one out, right? So Neha got hers, too (Winds of Change, coming soon).

I knew that each story would have to have a few years in between, and every story showing what’s happened to the previous book’s couple. It seemed like 10 years would be suitable for this, spreading the stories apart by 5 years each. And since the 2000-2010 decade was the one that seems to have brought most change in Mauritius – whether in lifestyle or mentality – I had my time frame for the series, and the books chronicle, in the background/backdrop, this evolution of the Mauritian society from a close-to-Third-World country to one of the leading developing nations of Africa.

But basically, it’s just feel good romance following the lives and loves of 3 sisters, and showcasing a typical Mauritian family. 🙂

 What are your thoughts on writing book series?

You know what? I used to be allergic to book series in the past, like when I was a reader. I did not see the appeal at all. Then I started writing, and you know when characters pop up and just scream to have their stories told? How can you dismiss a series then? And when you keep going, you notice more and more avenues to expand the world and bring more interesting people and plot lines in – I became a series junkie, both in reading and in writing!

But you need a lot of discipline to write series. There’s a basic world you need to account for in each book, details that need to be similar and consistent throughout – you need a good memory (or a good series bible!). And you cannot jump the gun – if a character’s story has to come next so that plotline moves seamlessly throughout the series, you cannot say “throw it all to Hell, I’ll write that other character’s story.”

And there’s always the need to up the ante – not only must you keep the feel consistent and deliver what your readers loved about the previous book, but you need to go above and beyond for every successive book, and that can spell the biggest challenge of a series over time.

 What genre is Light My World?

It’s basically a romantic comedy – light and fluffy, and (I’ve been told!) with quite some laugh-out-loud moments throughout. But the book also skirts around the genre of New Adult – Diya, in her mid-twenties, is facing life as an adult and many twenty-something women can empathize with being in her shoes. You could also call it a contemporary romance.

What draws you to this genre?

Well, I love light and fluffy. Romcoms are my escape from life, from the day-to-day grind. I find the best escapism and feel-good factor comes from settling down with a story that can make you smile, if not laugh out loud (and I can’t write funny to save my life! I tried, but failed miserably!).

 One fun fact about the hero of you book.

He’s an uptight, straight-laced Brit, and this paves the way for lots of comedic moments and silly conflicts with impulsive and brash Diya. Loved to ruffle him up throughout the story. 🙂

Which actress would you like to see play the lead character for heroine in Light My World?

 Well, I did write the story with Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor in mind – she’s got the peps and snark and bouncy-type of personality that Diya epitomizes.

But when I saw the cover and the model used to represent Diya, I realized Glee’s Lea Michelle would also be a perfect fit for her. 🙂

 How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Website: http://zeemonodee.blogspot.com/

Blog: http://zeemonodee.blogspot.com/search

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/zee.monodee

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/ZeeMonodee

 

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/zeemonodee/

Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/Zee-Monodee/e/B008H07PVM/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4836171.Zee_Monodee

 

 It was great hosting you today Zee and getting to know such fun facts about you and your writing! Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this Spotlight Interview.

 Pleasure was all mine! Thanks for having me over!!

 

Blurb of Light My World:

 It is a truth universally acknowledged that to find a prince, a girl has to kiss a few frogs along the way. But what happens when a modern-day princess comes across…an ogre?

 So what if a girl has to kiss a few frogs to find her prince?

Tired of her Indian-origin mother’s relentless matchmaking, Diya Hemant is determined to find her Prince Charming on her terms. Armed with a definitive list of requirements, she is sure she’ll know her man when she meets him…

But looking and finding are two different things, especially on the tiny island of Mauritius…

When her path crosses surly British widower Trent Garrison’s, it’s hate at first sight. And though fate keeps pitting her against him, she’s certain he can’t be turned into a frog let alone a prince.

Can this modern-day princess overcome her own expectations and see beyond the ogre to the man beneath?

 

Excerpt:

 

Still squatting in front of the children, Diya peeked up for a first glance of him.

Brown linen trousers covered his long legs, and she craned her neck to take in his tall body and broad chest. He’d rolled the sleeves of his cream-coloured shirt to his elbows, revealing big, powerful-looking hands and strong forearms dusted in dark hairs. A tense, corded neck lay visible beneath the open collar of the shirt, with a slightly pointed chin above it. Strong jaw, and chiselled, taut, handsome features. Deep-set grey eyes, very much like the elder boy’s, squinted at her beneath thick eyebrows the same hue as the neatly trimmed dark hair on his head.

Diya gaped. This hulking Adonis was her neighbour?

He has offspring to boot, whispered a little voice.

She snorted under her breath. Just her luck, again. He was taken. What is it with this weekend from hell?

“You?”

The word rolled off the Greek god’s tongue, and the British accent and disbelieving tone dripping with spite jolted her like an electric current.

This man, and the savage who’d hit her car the day before, were the same person.

The surprise zinged through her; she gasped, and brought her hand up to cover her mouth.

In doing so, she lost her balance and toppled over onto her arse to lay flat on her back. Pain from hitting the hard marble erupted all along her spine, and she caught herself before the back of her head smashed into the floor. Quick save, and thank goodness most of the broken glass lay in her flat, and not in the lobby. She’d have been in for some major injury, otherwise.

“Are you okay, miss?” a little voice asked.

Would this nightmare ever end? She must appear like an undignified heap, and there went all the leverage she could bring to this meeting. Humiliation piled onto her anger at being caught in such a stupid position, in front of him, no less.

“No, I’m not okay.” She glared at the oaf. “It’s all because of you, you beast.”

“Dad?” Matthew asked. “What’s he done?”

Confirmation he was the boys’ father. Great. Could something, anything, go right for her?

“Oh, forget it,” she said as her voice broke.

Shoot, she wouldn’t cry, would she?

“Of all the people in the world….”

He spoke the words softly. The disbelief in them wiped away her feelings of self-pity, and hurt like a stab, in the same go.

Was he rude by nature, or did he always itch for a fight? Either way, she wouldn’t let him off the hook.

“What?” she asked. “Go on. What were you gonna say?”

“Nothing,” he said through clenched teeth.

“It’s not nothing. So don’t be a chicken. Say it.”

He remained stubbornly silent.

She glowered up at him. “So?”

He tightened his jaw. “You’re the one person I hoped to never meet again.”

This had to strike beyond rude. What a bastard.

Outrage at his insult filled her, but the distaste for him and his cavemen-like ways won the battle. “Same here, mate.”

“You know each other?” Matthew asked as he peered back and forth at them.

“Yeah,” they both growled.

 

Buy Links:

 

Decadent Publishing http://www.decadentpublishing.com/product_info.php?products_id=929&osCsid=8l5kll18n74unhu3c4vhi41577

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Light-My-World-Island-Girls-ebook/dp/B00JH2HUQE/ref=la_B008H07PVM_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396846679&sr=1-9

Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Light-My-World-Island-Girls-ebook/dp/B00JH2HUQE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396847137&sr=8-1&keywords=light+my+world+zee+monodee

Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/light-my-world-zee-monodee/1119125864?ean=2940149544790

AllRomance Ebooks https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-lightmyworld-1472190-177.html

Trailer:

 

Link http://youtu.be/0bxEPp5NNC8

 

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About the author:

Zee Monodee

Stories about love, life, relationships… in a melting-pot of culture

Zee is an author who grew up on a fence – on one side there was modernity and the global world, on the other there was culture and traditions. Putting up with the culture for half of her life, one day she decided she’d stand tall on her wall and dip toes every now and then into both sides of her non-conventional upbringing.

From this resolution spanned a world of adaptation and learning to live on said wall. The realization also came that many other young women of the world were on their own fence.

This particular position became her favourite when she decided to pursue her lifelong dream of writing – her heroines all sit ‘on a fence’, whether cultural or societal, in today’s world or in times past, and face dilemmas about life and love.

Hailing from the multicultural island of Mauritius, Zee is a degree holder in Communications Science. She is a head-over-heels wife, in-over-her-head mum to a tween son, best-buddy-stepmum to a teenage lad, an incompetent domestic goddess, eternal dreamer, and an absolute, shameless bookholic. When she isn’t penning more stories and/or managing the Ubuntu line at Decadent Publishing, you can bet you’ll find her with her nose in her tablet, ‘drinking in’ a good book.

                                                                                                     

Review of Vampire Origins: The Ichorous Project by Riley Banks.

Vampire Origins

The Vampire Origins: The Ichorous Project is the first, Young Adult Paranormal, book in its series, Vampire Origins.

The first book centers on the origins of the first of five Vampire tribes the Strigoi, with Vladimir (Vlad) as it`s ‘founding father’. The Author blends historical fact with fiction as she weaves a fast paced story filled with characters.
Vlad aka Vladimir the Impaler slaughtered 30,000 in one night in Jerusalem and impaled 100,000 more in Romania in the 1400s , setting him up as a ruthless killer Vampire. Vlad in present day discovers a way to enslave humans and rule the world. But there`s one thing that could end his plan – a Strigoi human and Vlad would stop at nothing to achieve his goal or rather finish his project.
The main girl Scarlett Fraser has no idea she was that Strigoi when her father moved their family again, this time to Romania to renovate an old castle that was ground zero for Vlad’s Ichorous Project and his plan for world domination.
The book starts off with a bang, right in the middle of Russian revolutionist history, with a not so dead prince Alexei (Alex) and princess Anastasia (Anna) Romanov, and their journey to Vampiredom. It`s here that I got really excited being a history major myself and growing up with movies with conspiracy theories about princess Anastasia.
The Author takes us back to 1915-1925 introducing us to Alex and Anna before they are turned Vampire by Vlad. We fall in love with their story of survival, as their mother hides them from the Bolsheviks and them later on being discovered by a servant Ivan who wasn`t at the castle when it was attacked. We receive this information from Alex`s point of view in a flashback, who`s about to ask, Kristiina, Ivan`s daughter to marry him, but Vlad steps in, resulting in Kristiina`s death and them becoming Vampires.
As the Frasers get introduce into the story from here on, you get sucked into their family dramas of sibling bickery as well as true family tragedy, in the form of their mother dying right after the birth of the youngest sister, Ruby. Scarlett`s the one who feels it the most. She blames her little sister for her death.
Scarlett`s a spitfire tomboy who grew up with three brothers- they`re quadruplets. Scarlett`s struggle makes her surly and in compassionate at times, but she still obeys her father to a certain extent and looks after her sister.
But if you thought the book revolves just around Scarlett, you are mistaken. The other characters also have prominence. And that`s why I thank the Author for the character list at the beginning of the book. It`s a good reference point, though it wasn`t tough for me to sort them out, I know that some could find it confusing.
The first hundred pages flew by for me. I was excited and exhilarated at how the normal was going to meet the paranormal. I`ve already developed a crush on Alex and was already predicting his role in Scarlett`s life. Alas it was not the role I wanted. It was clear that the Author decidedly moved away from the typical ‘old vampire falls for the seventeen year old girl’. And in my book that`s okay.
The Author also explores the relationship between Vampires and Werewolves, playing on the age old animosity between the two. In this book Werewolves are the slaves to Vampires, the ‘bottom of the food chain’. But there are those who are thought of as even less, shape-shifters and it is with a shape-shifter, Caleb that Scarlett falls in love with. Though it`s not an epic love, it is a teenage one with all the drama and unexpected break-ups that goes along with it.
Of course Vlad has a nemesis in the form of his wife`s nephew, Lachlan. And Lachlan, besides making a play for Scarlett and inevitably finding out the secret to Vlad`s demise, play`s the malevolent ‘bad boy’ who has no problem killing to get his way. He manipulates everyone around him, using dark magic and his Vampire abilities. Being a Cambion, he`s a pureblood Vampire with all the arrogance of one.
What I did want more though was Vlad`s story. From the book`s blurb you expect at least an introduction to Vlad early on, but it doesn`t come until later in the book and by then you`ve forgotten that the story is actually about Vlad, Vampire Origins and The Ichorous Project, because you`ve become so invested in everyone else`s story.
The story definitely has twists and turns, but because it`s a third-person narrative, it doesn`t offer the punch the Author intended. There are interesting moments like when the Author takes liberties with famous celebrities.
By the end of the book I, however, was left…bereft. I wanted more details of the Ichorous Project. I wanted to know Vlad`s origin story. How did he come into existence? And why is it so important for him to start the project in the first place? With things like blood banks, the whole concept didn`t jell for me. I needed an explanation on why Vlad the Impaler would spend time doing something like this.
Second, Scarlett stands in the way of him finishing the project. Never in the book does it get revealed how she would achieve this. Does it have something to do with her blood? Or just the fact that her hand would hold the tool to kill him? I would have liked to be in on that secret.
And lastly, Vampire Origins set out to do something few supernatural/paranormal books have done, explain the origins of Vampires, something I applaud. It`s ambitious in that endeavor, still I don`t know where the Strigoi come from. There are five tribes (The Cambion, The Bretonnian, The Strix, The Nosferatu, and The Strigoi) , each has their description, but none of them a true origin like some popular fiction has attempted to do e.g. True Blood with its Biblical claims.
There were definite parts that I loved, but then there were also parts that I didn`t. The ending was a bit abrupt and left too many things hanging or rather too many characters hanging. The background of Russian history interwoven in Alex and Anna`s story was superb, I would like to read more about either of them. And that`s the other concern, I`m more interested in, what I assumed to be, the back stories of the book than the main characters.
And therefore because of this I give Vampire Origins: The Ichorous Project a 3 out of 5. There will definitely be those who would enjoy the fast paced and ambitious attempt at explaining Vampire origins.

When the story writes itself…

barney


I`m currently working on a YA that I started back in 2011 (I think) it`s a series and I`m on book three already. Today I BBMed my cousin Lizle and friend Nomsa, that the story is going to take a couple of twists and I`m apologizing in advance because I just know that they wouldn`t like it. (They were my beta readers on the first two & have grown unnaturally invested in the series-seriously-I fear for my life now!)

But that`s not the theme of this blog. Nope. As eventful as our BBM`s are (crying-spree last night about the end of Twilight as I started rereading ‘Eclipse’) *cough* it`s not about that!

It`s about how you suddenly get pulled in a whole new direction by the characters in your book. And yes normal people who don`t walk around with voices in your heads, it happens. Today I was dragged kicking and screaming into a direction I know could get me killed if this series see`s the light of day and I`m not even halfway through it! Suddenly my ‘author`s voice and control’ is pushed to the side and my creations are starting to take over.

Do I like the directions that their taking? Should I admit to such craziness? Eyes closed as I`m typing, I have to admit that I do. I love what they’re doing to the story.

My heart thumped as my fingers flew across the keys; I stifled a nervous giggle and gulped as my synopsis got ripped into shreds.

This story was supposed to be the end of the series. I gulped. It`s not supposed to go over to four books. I gulped. I need the villain dead. He needed to die. I gulped. And their answer, of course he will, “I`m knifing him myself,” the lead character said, while the rest looked at me like I`m crazy (I`m not by the way, my mother had me tested).

I stared at my screen trying to work out exactly when I stopped being the author of their fate and realized the moment these characters started to become more than just characters on a page, which meant the day after I started writing the first book and Nomsa said, “Oh sorry I see you`re in your bubble again”, and I gave her a blurry look.

You know that look. That unseeing look, where your brain hadn`t caught up to what`s happening around you, but then suddenly it snaps into focus and you look at your friend like she`s an aberration.

When the story writes itself it`s one of the best and horrific experiences ever!

There`s no control. And I shamefully admit that one of the reasons I love to write has everything to do with having control. I hate surprises. Wait let me rephrase that. I hate bad surprises but I love good surprises. But mostly I just hate not knowing (laugh). Yeah I cleared that one up. I love knowing the beginning and end. In life you don`t have that. But in a story! Oh boy and joy!

But we get lost between the lines. Our characters not as black and white. Our journey with them never over as they live inside our heads (see I told you I was tested *smile*).

I hope my future readers will be able to forgive me. I didn’t mean to, but I couldn`t help it…the story wrote itself.

*smile*