Story Extras

Story Extras
(Maiden of Time trilogy)

Contents: 

I. Q & A (ask your own questions in the comments)
      1. What are the Passionate?
      2. What are the Soulless?
      3. Why does this story take place in a time period?

II. Little Known Facts
     1. The Sparrow's War--who is the man behind the curtain?
     2. Symbolism in the cover: Everything is NOT as it seems
     3. What are the Passionate and Soulless based on?

III. Characters of the Maiden of Time Trilogy



I. Q & A


1. What are the Passionate? (SPOILER ALERT!)

A subspecies of humans who live among us but are governed by a particular set of rules to remain inconspicuous. They are nicknamed "passionate" because they feel emotions a bit more intensely. They possess unique gifts such as the power to alter memories, travel by mist, heal, kill with a scream, and much, much more.

When young, the Passionate are what you'd call "ugly ducklings." It's nature's protection. On the Moonless night following or proceeding their sixteenth birthday, they come of age, or mature. It's when their gifts come into play, and they change physically from something like this:


To this:


Okay, maybe not quite that dramatic, but you get the idea.

Lastly, when they choose a mate, it's for life. Bonding, aka extreme intimacy, connects two people's lives. If one dies, the other will as well.



2. What are the Soulless?

You know those legends about zombies and vampires?

Yeah, those are fake.

Those stories stem from creatures who’ve existed for millennia. While their bodies decay, their minds never do, and the longer they’ve been around, the hungrier they become. They feed off people—not blood, but a life essence all the same, seeking to satiate a hunger that will never be satisfied. Being attacked by one of them most definitely means death for a human.

They target the “Passionate,” so while you may not have to fear the Soulless will come stalking you, beware, they are hungry, and pray you don’t come across one of them on a Moonless night. They live in hives and are drawn to depression.




3. Why does this story take place in a time period?

About the time I penned out the first draft of MOONLESS, I was working on a musical based in 1798, England. (It may have slightly influenced my writing.) I knew the time period for MOONLESS had to reflect England’s most prideful hour—a time when aristocracy was at its height, before the American revolution and industrialization. This story has been in my brain for a LONG time, and the nation/time period was very strategically placed to accommodate the entire series arc, starting in 1768.

Book 3 takes place in the mid thirteenth century.


II. Little Known Facts


1. The Sparrow's War--who is the man behind the curtain?

Do you love easter eggs? Not the type you pick up on Easter, but the ones hidden on DVDs?

My books have a couple of these, but one of them is at the beginning of each book. All three open with a single stanza of a poem. Here I give you it in it's entirety:

THE SPARROW'S WAR

Fly little Sparrow, the soulless are coming
Fly lest yer caught on the Moonless night
Or render yer heart to the one that is callin’
Take up yer power and join the fight.

From the night’s darkness the lost ones are cryin’
Seeking to claim for their own, the new queen
War rises up, the forces now vyin’
To possess or deny her long-lost vict’ry.

Time holds no meaning to one what is Timeless
Yet fissures the world to the old and the new
Save them from torment, yea, save them from dyin’
Come now, great maiden, their fate falls to you.

                                                       --Author Unknown

I never give an explanation for this poem--where it comes from, whose it is, why it's there. This was done intentionally, just for this moment.

I've read some books where there's poetry at the beginning just to be pretty. Or to show off how well read the author is. Or to share some prose they especially love.

I tend to be much more methodical in my approach.

So are you ready for this?

The author of The Sparrow's War is...




GRANDFATHER TIME.

You read that right. In a book series with mystical time manipulation, how can you OMIT Father Time? The answer is, you can't. (But in this instance, he's a grandfather...for reasons readers will understand.)

Grandfather Time sees the end from the beginning. He predicts what's to come and leaves us hints at the beginning of each book. He's also one of my favorite characters. (But aren't they all?) Readers may actually get to meet him in TIMELESS. (Ooh! Now you know you're curious.)


2. Symbolism in the cover: Everything is NOT as it seems.

In Moonless, there are two clocks. One is in the Greek alphabet--to represent an ancient or timeless gift. The number of clocks on the covers of these books indicates where the story falls in the series timeline. Moonless starts in 1768. Sequentially, this is the middle time era in the story line.

Close ups. You'll notice that progressively we get a larger and larger perspective of Alexia, as her life, abilities, and vision expands. In Moonless we are up close, viewing what Alexia sees in the mirror the night her world is thrown into confusion. (The night she abruptly changes from ghastly to beautiful.)

In the animated version of the book, the title is constantly changing color, just as Alexia's life and perception of her world is constantly in flux.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. My cover designer said this one was a total accident. He was fixing something when one of the clocks landed in the wrong place. He sat back and thought, "Huh." The mistake stuck.

In Soulless, there are three clocks. This story starts in 1771, the latest dot on the timeline. If you'll notice, the main clock is backwards, as Alexia learns how to reverse the clock. The small clock is handless, symbolizing her power that waits to be controlled.

She holds a sword for obvious reasons, since the war between the Passionate and Soulless has begun. And, as you'd assume from the dress, there is at least a wedding...thus the church stairs in the background.

We are further back from Alexia. She now understands her world and the part she plays in it, but she's not done learning.

The title bleeds smoke, just like the Soulless.

This was the cover my designer struggled with the most. He made 3 breathtaking mock ups, but they were all wrong--like the wrong genre. (He was in a mood.) I decided to give him a hand and hopped on a stock image site. I created some (very) rough mock ups to give him my thoughts, and that was all he needed.



You'll notice in Timeless, the grim background has disappeared, replaced by space. Alexia's hands are now the clock hands, and if you look closely, you'll see that she is controlling time.

There is only one clock. This story is in the mid 1200's, and thus the first in the timeline.

The clock is metaphysical. It only exists in our perception.

The title is broken, or rather, shattered. (Spoiler alert!) This is the moment Alexia shatters time and steps inside of it. This is the moment she overcomes all physical and metaphysical barriers and truly becomes the Maiden of Time.

My cover designer had this one conceptualized the first time he heard the summary for the book. He ignored any suggestions I offered, saying, "I have this." He certainly did. This is the most beautiful cover in the series if you ask me, which is appropriate considering the way the series ends.


3. What are the Passionate and Soulless based on?

Reviewers have accused me of creating paranormal creatures that are entirely unique. My creations:
  • Can live forever if not killed
  • Possess unique gifts or talents (kill with a scream, heal with a touch)
  • Are ugly as children until they come of age on the moonless night closest to their 16th birthday
  • Can be bound (permanently attached) to their paramour
  • Are able to share thoughts/memories through touch
  • Can make themselves unnoticed to human eyes (hiding in plain sight) 
  • Often die in childbirth
  • Are repulsed, even burned by metal
Now, in order to understand, let me explain that I have studied pretty much every supernatural creature under the sun. The Passionate are based on a hundred myths and legends, originating from various cultures and time periods. Essentially, I wanted these creatures to encompass most of those stories, to feel so true to the human narrative throughout time that we might actually question if they do exist.

The basis of their species is what we would define as "faeries," with elements of other supernatural creatures.

The darker side comes out in the Soulless who were once Passionate, but have been tainted or possessed by an overwhelming force (a hunger). That hunger takes over on Moonless nights, when their bodies change from physical to ethereal. They become wraiths who feed upon the living, and especially hunger after the Passionate. They feel empty. They need to fill that emptiness. The sensation is amplified as their minds merge with all the other Soulless during the new moon--so that what one sees, all see. What one feels, all feel. These creatures are rotting corpses who cannot die. Some of them still possess a conscience and hate what they are, but are trapped. Some have given into the darkness at their core. And some are so far gone, they're just mindless destroyers.

People have tried to define the Soulless as a mix of zombies, vampires, wraiths, and even werewolves. (Based on the moon aspect.)

Here's the clincher:

Not all Passionate are good.

Not all Soulless are bad.

This is a reality-based myth where people still have free will, even if their natures push them toward certain things--and therein lies the struggle. Who will overcome? The body, or the spirit?



III. Meet the Characters in the Maiden of Time Trilogy 
(may contain spoilers):



Alexia's world has been a whirlwind of upsets since her first prophetic nightmare came true with the death of a neighboring nobleman. She's a determined young woman, a bit against the grain (especially for her era), who challenges the dark and fears only that the man of her dreams is more of a nightmare.


Kiren carries the weight of the world. Mourning the loss of those closest to him, he is never far ahead or behind the shadowy wraiths known as the Soulless. Don’t get caught staring into his eyes or you may just find him reading your thoughts.


Bellezza is driven by only one motive: revenge. She has no qualms with killing or initiating a war to get what she wants, and she especially enjoys head games. With unique abilities to travel by mist or kill with a scream, she's a formidable foe. (A high functioning sociopath with homicidal tenancies.)


Sarah is a total flirt and Alexia's best friend/aunt. Lighthearted, vivacious and occasionally unladylike (despite her noble upbringing), she is always the heart of the party. Don't let her dismissive attitude deceive you, she possesses the blood of the Passionate and a touch of telekinesis to all things wooden.

Rupert Vanwick may as well be Alexia's brother, except for the crush he's developed for her. As neighbors, they've been a part of one another's lives since birth.


Miles is a friend, protege, and sidekick to the leader of the Passionate. He has a gift to "see through other's eyes." Because of that, he's been feared and avoided by most the Passionate. His parents became Soulless when he was 4 (enemies to the Passionate who hunt them on moonless nights) and he hears them calling for him every new moon. Loyal to the death, he's a timid soul who truly and deeply desires to do what's right, willing to sacrifice everything for the greater good.


John was a doctor in a small community before he was tainted by the Soulless. Since then he’s been searching for a way to heal the Soulless, including himself. A man of integrity, he doesn’t mix words, nor does he paint a prettier picture than reality.


Alexia’s father, Charles Dumont, is a country baron who has a tendency toward anger, but absolutely adores his daughter. After losing both parents, his sister, Alexia mother, and his wife, he clings to his only remaining family and is terrified to let her go. A soldier at heart, he is not afraid to fight, even the Soulless.


Lester is a bit gruff. He may be the fastest of the Passionate, but he's also one of the oldest. He has no qualms with punishing the wicked and serves directly under the leader of the Passionate.

Rosalind has been a distant mother to Alexia, and terribly fragile as well. She is the epitome of poise, beauty, and masked pain.




Edward can bend your memory faster than you can shake hands. He won’t, unless ordered by the leader of the Passionate because of his own mistaken past, but his gift for altering people’s minds is a skill few of the Passionate possess.



Ethel has been around for much longer than one might guess by looking at her. With the gift to travel by mist, she's the right-hand asset of the Passionate--although she fains living as a "seamstress." She serves as a surrogate mother to Alexia and will claim she's in retirement. (She's not.)

Dana died the day Alexia was born, but owing to the realm known as the absence of time, she is always near her daughter, ready to bestow her knowledge of their unique gift.


Nelly has a nasty history and has fallen under the protection of the Passionate leader. By his decree, she will never be asked to use her gifts, ever, but that doesn't mean she won't use them to protect those she loves.

New Characters from Soulless


Mae is a gentle, blind soul who manages an inn on the outskirts of civilization...but don't let her easy manner fool you. With a smart tongue, she is a woman of great and deadly power known as leaching. She is trusted by the leader of the Passionate with some of the greatest assets their people possess.


Amos has been one of the Soulless for centuries, slowly decaying but unable to die. Since the battle between the Soulless and Passionate began, he's been leading a faction of the Soulless to undermine the Passionate and take absolute control of his kind.

He was once the leader of the Passionate, a man who could summon darkness to protect his people.


Elizabeth North is the daughter of Edward (one of the Passionate) and Emily (a human). Elizabeth was raised by her mother's friend after a falling out with her father, and Emily died in an asylum. Elizabeth possess a mean streak.


Lucian is an ancient monk of Asian ancestry with a gift for premonition. He is also one of the Passionate.


Corona Deiliey was denied loving parents as a child and has become the queen of her own world. Devious beyond reason, she will shape the world into what it should be--by altering what people perceive.



Regin puts people to sleep with a touch. A bit rough around the edges, he has a large heart and a wild need to be independent. Blood makes him squeamish.


New Characters from TIMELESS
(Alexia joins a band of vagabond Passionate, and while not all of them are named, many are mentioned specifically and have very brief cameos.)



Deamus is a fumbling, unbeautiful member of the Passionate who relies upon the "magnifiers" (spectacles) Alexia had fashioned for him. He is the only literate member of the rugged Passionate band (other than Alexia), and has a gift to borrow and reform energy.


Leofrik is one of the Knights Templar who has been tasked with tracking down the Passionate and eradicating or imprisoning them.


Velia is a child of the mist. She is Bellezza's direct ancestor and is mute. She transports the Passionate from place to place and is their saving grace, but she has her own secrets.


Zephaniah is Kiren's best friend. He has gray-green, feathered wings, horns, and even a tail, and has been mistaken as a "demon" on many occasion. With a healthy sense of humor, he is fiercely protective of his best friend.


Ulric only wishes to be all-powerful. He has the king's ear, and has been "loaned" one of the Knights Templar to enforce his will--which is to capture and enslave the Passionate. 

Sarlic inflicts pain. He taps into the brain and makes a person feel agony without laying a hand on them.

Ilaria has no name for most of her life. She comes into her gift, the ability to mist, far younger than most because of a life-long imprisonment and emotional/physical abuses. 

Willem shakes the earth. He is Nelly's ancestor. At only ten, he has seen more war than most grown men.

Hammond is a newcomer to the Passionate. He possesses "the strength."

Silivia is a telepath. Zeph has a crush on her, but she's not interested.

Filia is one of the children in the Passionate camp. She never comes into her gift. 

As a painter, Oluchi has the ability to add emotion to color. She is quiet.

Ilberd is a bit gruff, but he has a big heart.

Beatrice cripples people with fear.

Oriel is an empath.

Ravia, Cedric, Perrin, and Murial are mentioned briefly.

Priest Eli was once healed by Kiren. He is the reason Kiren has forbidden that anyone outside of the Passionate should know of their heritage and abilities. 

1 comment:

  1. wow symbolism in the cover. I was thinking of doing a black and white cover with a two boys and a girl in the front to connect with the Main characters. Now that you mention symbolism I might need to think about that as well. Great use of pictures to illustrate each character. I'm slowly but surely getting to know about your book. Great fan fic

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