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Daily Prompt: Half

Natalia challenges Vincent to a fight, to get her way. Here, she recites his rules to show she knows what she is doing:

From Inside the Grey House:

“Do you know what happens now?” He started to circle her.

Natalia held his gaze, turning as he did. She came across his challenge rules in one of the Slayer journals. Vincent didn’t like when his men tried to kill him. If one of his men had a problem with some rule Vincent established, or they couldn’t settle an argument, they could land one blow then stop and the challenge would be enacted. “We fight. If you win, you’ll drain my blood, if you so desire. If I win, I get to drink half your blood. Since I’m not a vampire and I don’t want to drink your blood, I have a proposition.”

“You’re in no position to propose anything, human.”

“I swept you off your feet fairly easily, vampire. Do you really think I can’t do that again?”

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Daily Prompt: Counter

I like Charlie’s relationship with his wife. They are very close and he tells her everything.
When I initially wrote The Grey House, I started with Natalia’s birth, went through her childhood and her young adulthood. She met Charlie and dated him, while knowing he was a werewolf. When I edited went to publish, I was advised to start not at her birth. And then to take out Charlie from the book almost completely. I couldn’t Charlie is my favorite character in this entire trilogy/series. I have already started writing his history, to be able to show Natalia and Charlie’s relationship. Also, it would allow me to share how Rebecca and Charlie interact more. It’s in the works.

From Inside the Grey House:

“Why don’t you start with why you think it’s your fault she got hurt?” Her voice was kind. “I’ll make breakfast.”

He smiled at her as his tension momentarily melted away. His wife knew him very well. He sat at the counter as she started gathering food. “Happened after Natalia hypnotized her friend. I wasn’t paying too much attention to my surroundings.”

He continued the story as she made breakfast. Though she listened, part of her mind was on the fact that Natalia had a human friend. Rebecca knew it was dangerous to have human friends. She had none herself. Never had. She grew up knowing what she would become and had been warned against making any unnecessary bonds. Her only friends growing up were the adult werewolves her parents knew and Vincent’s crew. Her parents worked for Vincent until Rebecca was old enough to take over. Vincent convinced her great-grandfather to work for him, and her family had been working for the vampire ever since.

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Daily Prompt: Equipment

Skipping my usual explanations as I experienced bad insomnia again last night. Hope you all slept well.

From Inside the Grey House:

“Natalia.” He considered for a moment turning off the security cameras but decided against it. Mierka was watching, but there was no reason to turn off the cameras as nothing said here would go further than the surveillance equipment and the guard.

“Joseph said you would tell me what was going to happen next.”

Vincent nodded. “He’s right.”

“Are you going to punish me now?”

The vampire started to pace slowly in the small room. “Your punishment is done, Natalia. This is your first offense, so I’ll explain the rules. If you do something that I would consider a betrayal, then I or Joseph or Mierka will punish you, depending on the severity. Small betrayals deserve small punishments; large betrayals deserve more. I’m not here to punish you; I’m here to find if I’m ready to be with you again today, or if it will have to wait until tomorrow.”

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Daily Prompt: Tear *

*A (short, incomplete) lesson of the English language.

When this word came up and I searched my novel for any instances of it, I was reminded by the oddness of the English language. Here are three examples of ‘tear’ in my novel. Two have similar meanings and sound the same, but are still used differently. The third has a completely different meaning and does not sound the same.

1) Tear: to rip apart physically

As Joseph retreated, she slashed him a few more times, tearing up his shirt and skin.

2) Tear: to rip through, but not physically

Natalia turned back to the notebook, her previous thoughts still tearing through her mind.

3) Tear: that which falls from the eyes when emotional.

He brushed away her tears, smearing the black mascara across her cheeks.

English is amusing. We have our language due to the mix of a few different languages. I hope that we continue to accept and assimilate different languages into our own. There are a few movies that add Asian words into English. I want that to happen. I want humanity to keep their native languages, but have one that everyone understands (or mostly understands) that is a mix of all languages. The idea fascinates me and brings me peace.

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Daily Prompt: Poorly

I too, slept poorly last night. Unlike Natalia, I did not reach for my partner. He was asleep, and I did not want him to suffer from my wakefulness.

From Inside the Grey House:

“Natalia.”

She heard her name as if the wind were speaking it. When Natalia looked up, her heart and breath stopped. Vincent was standing not five feet from the desk and was coming closer. Last night, when he left her, the look on his face suggested disappointment. Now, there was lust. Natalia closed her eyes and took deep breaths to calm her racing heart. She slept poorly last night, waking often, reaching for the vampire that was not there. Not too long after sunrise, she woke for the last time, gave up trying to clear her mind and went looking for a shower and spare clothing. One of the house humans had shown her the spare bathroom and lent her clothing.

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Daily Prompt: Flowing

There is a point in Book 2 where Vincent and Natalia fight (with weapons). She knows when he is about to attack because of a tell. If you’re not familiar with that definition of the word, it’s a poker term meaning to give away the cards you’re holding with some action. Some people become very excited, therefore terrible poker players. Some have small gestures.

Natalia, having been with Vincent for about a year at this point in the trilogy, has noticed something he does right before he moves. It helps her a little.

From Inside the Grey House:

“And how exactly am I doing that?” His voice grew loud. He was feeling a hunger weaving, flowing within him, combining with his anger. He was still under control, but it had taken a lot to heal the last cut. He breathed deep, closed his eyes as Joseph told him his tell.

Natalia waited patiently for Joseph to seal her fate. Joseph most probably knew what she did: that Vincent’s jaw twitched right before he moved. It was something Natalia learned in bed. There were times he would stand unmoving watching her, deciding how to proceed. Every time, without fail, his jaw muscle would twitch right before he dove for her. It was a handy tell to know about in this situation. Natalia felt the slight weight of the rapier, glad now to have the lighter weapon. It would be easier to whip at Vincent than the samurai sword. She stood at the ready as Joseph stepped away.

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Daily Prompt: Favorite Line

I have a favorite line of the trilogy. Well, probably more than one, but this one keeps coming back to me. It’s from the first book:

“The din tore down the beach like a great beast in heat.”

This happens when Natalia lets out a frustrated scream when she realized she wants to sleep with Vincent. I wanted the noise she made to resemble a beast, hence that word in the sentence. There is another, hidden, indication of that as well. “Din”. Great word. Older word we don’t use too much in English (American English anyway) that means noise.

I didn’t want to use noise though, as that was not quite right. I can remember if I used a thesaurus for the word, of if I remembered it from various books and poems I’ve read.

At any rate, I decided to use “din” as it reminded me of another word: djinn. Also spelled jinn. And bastardized into genie.

The image of Natalia releasing a frustrated scream in the form of a large genie like cloud that escaped down the moon lit beach hit me hard. It was, for me, perfect.

I love that line.

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Daily Prompt: Glass

Describing furniture is not always my forte. But when I get an idea in my head on what a room should look like, I run with it.

From Inside the Grey House:

Lilly sensed the human’s need for silence, and simply led the way. They were halfway to Vincent’s room and Natalia was doing splendidly. By the time they reached Vincent’s rooms, the human was walking with her head held high.

The sitting room they walked into was furnished with antique furniture. There were two leather couches, a large wooden desk and several glass cases filled with artwork and artifacts from all over the world. All the furniture was stained a dark red and had clawed feet. Lilly admired everything as she led Natalia through the room. Natalia didn’t seem to notice anything but the way ahead. Looking around too much made her slightly dizzy.

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Daily Prompt: Dress

I like describing women’s clothing, as they can be so much more varied then men’s. I have used the internet to find interesting dresses, but I also use my own imagination, and, on occasion, my own wardrobe for the main woman’s clothing in my works.

From Inside the Grey House:

“Soon. She was at one of Anthony’s safe houses, waiting for instructions.” He heard the laughter again, and felt his body reacting. He craned his neck, trying to catch a glimpse. He stood taller as the crowd parted and revealed Natalia. The night improved tenfold.

Natalia’s dark hair, which was tied up in a French twist, sparkled in the light. The hairdo revealed her long neck in all its beauty. Her dress was black velvet with a silver vines and flowers climbing around it. The dress tied around her neck, confidently revealing her bite mark riddled shoulders and muscular arms. Her silver necklace was just under the string tie, almost hidden by the velvet. The dress was so short: it barely hid her ass. She was holding a black and silver rose, twirling it slightly in her hand. Her shoes, stiletto heels, matched the silver of the dress. He caught her eye and she smiled. She was almost to him. He started breathing, trying to stay in control of himself. As his eyes raked her body his only thought was to wonder where she had gotten the dress.

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Daily Prompt: Traffic

Vincent is not what you call “good”. He lives by his own rules and is not above killing, imprisoning and torturing people that get in his way, or harm hi m or his people. Therefore the antagonists had to be worse.

From Inside the Grey House:

“Those Edwin doesn’t trust are ordered to sleep at his house. If we don’t show up before sunrise, he sends people after us. Thugs he’s hired to keep us in line.” Janice looked distraught. “I was late once, traffic was bad. As I drove up, six people were getting onto motorcycles. When I got out of my car and went inside, they followed me until they saw I was going to Edwin.”

“I tried to get out once.” Kari waited until Vincent looked her way. “I told Edwin I wanted to go find some new challenges. I told him I would be back in a week. He said I could go, as long as I took an escort. To hide what I was doing, I went to Los Angeles. He had me take two of his thugs. They were with me everywhere I went. Edwin may not appear to be that bad, but he’s worse than you know.”

Vincent stared Kari down. “Edwin is a monster. Nothing about him surprises me.”

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