Six Sentence Sunday

Here’s another six sentences from “Ouroboros”, book one of The Zayin Chronicles!

“Well, I never wanted to get involved in—in—whatever this is!”  I jumped up and headed for the door.  There was a large, muscled man blocking my way, his back turned to me.  I reached out to tap his shoulder to ask him to move . . . and my hand passed through him.  I froze and turned toward Zac, wide eyed.  “Am I dead?” I whispered, my voice trembling.

© Brea Essex 2011 ~ No part of this site (written or artwork) may be reproduced in anyway whatsoever without express written consent by Brea Essex.

Short Story Saturday: "Bemused" Part Five

            Darien knocked on Lorelei’s door. “Doing okay in there?”
            She threw the mess of fabric over her shoulders. “Actually, I think I might need some help.”
            He opened the door cautiously; carefully peeking around it to be sure she was covered. He might tease, but he didn’t want to be inappropriate. He could get thrown out of the Temple for even being in her room alone. He left the door ajar behind him as he entered the room. “Jeeze, you’re a mess!” he laughed.
            She looked at him helplessly. “Give me a break. This is the first time I’ve had to wear anything like this.”
            He helped her gather and pin the material with a brooch at each shoulder, then wrapped a belt around her waist. “There! Now you just need some sandals and you’re done.”
            “Thanks.” She looked at him curiously. “Why are you being so nice?”
            He shrugged. “I was new once. In fact, I’m still sort of new.”
            “So, where are we going?” she asked as she found some sandals and slipped her feet into them. She fumbled with the laces for a few minutes. Darien began to laugh again and kneeled down to help her. He laced them up her calves and tied them below her knees. “Can you remember how to do this next time?”
            She blushed. “Of course I can! It’s just a . . . new experience.”
            He smiled as he stood. “Let’s go find you some food. You’re probably starving.”
            “I am,” she admitted, “but I don’t really feel up to meeting a ton of people yet.”
            “You’re going to have to meet everyone sometime. Not all of them are going to wander into your room like me,” he said playfully. “But don’t worry. I know how we can get you some food without ever seeing anyone.”
            “Sounds good to me. Lead the way.”
            They headed out of her room and went the opposite direction of the one she had come earlier that day with Delia. He took her through several halls, and down a spiraling staircase. They had just reached the bottom of the stairs when Lorelei ran smack into someone who had appeared around a corner. It was Delia.
            “Lorelei, I thought you were going to stay in your room all night?” Delia asked.
            “Well, I had planned on it, but then . . .” she gestured helplessly at Darien.
            “Hello, Delia,” he said.
            “So, Lorelei,” Delia said, “how did you meet my brother?”

© Brea Essex 2011 ~ No part of this site (written or artwork) may be reproduced in anyway whatsoever without express written consent by Brea Essex.
*Disclaimer: I do not own the photo used in this post.

Fun Fact Friday: The Other "Logan"

I was sitting here trying to decide what to write about for today, and then I realized something: I promised a post about my other Logan inspiration, Darien!
Now, I was technically “too old” for Sailor Moon when it first came out in the United States. I was 14 when I first saw it. I have to admit; I still watch it now, at almost 30. It’s mostly because of Darien.
The funny thing is that when I first Googled images of Darien Shields, a picture of Chace Crawford popped up, which is who I “cast” as Logan! In fact, it was the exact same picture of him that I used on my Logan casting post. Bizarre, right?
Logan’s black hair comes from Darien. His eyes were almost blue—also because of Darien. They ended up being green because that’s my (and Raena’s) favorite color. His personality is also a little similar—antagonistic in the beginning:
Would do anything to help/protect later on:

Now, I really want to know what’s up with those roses. You wouldn’t think they would do any good! In the manga (comic books), Darien/Tuxedo Mask has actual powers. The roses seem to be nothing more than distractions—but somehow they work.

I also really want to know what’s up with his black mock turtleneck/grey pants/olive green jacket combo that he always seems to wear, but I digress. He’s obviously not the clothes hound that Logan is!
You have to admit though, the tuxedo, mask, cape and top hat are kind of cool.

Even the weird bluish-purple tuxedo and cape he wears as King Endymion.
My favorite is his prince costume/uniform/whatever you want to call it. It’s something Logan would probably wear if he were going with some sort of Medieval look.
In the end, Darien would do anything for Serena, even when he’s “evil”. No, I’m not saying that Logan’s going to turn evil. I’m just saying that he would do anything for Raena.
Sorry for all the pictures! I’m going to leave you with one of my favorite episodes of Sailor Moon. It’s in three parts, thus three videos. YouTube deletes Sailor Moon episodes a lot, but hopefully this one will stay up for a little while. Enjoy!

© Brea Essex 2011 ~ No part of this site (written or artwork) may be reproduced in anyway whatsoever without express written consent by Brea Essex.
*Disclaimer: I do not own the photos or videos used in this post.

Thursday Photos: Capitola pier

I already posted this photo on my Facebook page last week, but I thought I’d post it on here so I could talk about it a little.

This has to be one of my favorite photos that I’ve taken. My dad and I got up at 5:00 am and rushed out to Capitola beach to get photos before the sun came up. This was taken just before sunrise (not that the sun came out–the fog didn’t burn off until around 8 or 9 that morning).

I’d almost forgotten how foggy it can really be early in the morning in Capitola, even in the summer. Looking at this picture, it’s easy to tell why my character Raena is afraid of the pier, even if you don’t factor in her nightmares.

This photo will most likely end up on my website as the backsplash/header. I’ll see what my husband decides, since he’s the one building my website.

© Brea Essex 2011 ~ No part of this site (written, artwork or photography) may be reproduced in anyway whatsoever without express written consent by Brea Essex.

Why I Love Wednesdays . . . Childhood Book Friend

This week’s “Why I Love Wednesdays . . .” topic is “Childhood Book Friend”. Now, I couldn’t exactly remember what my favorite book was as a child, so I asked my mom. Her response? “I don’t remember. We read a lot of Dr. Seuss.”
Since I barely remember any of Dr. Seuss’ books, I decided to write about Nancy Drew. I know that’s technically more than one book, but series count, right? She was certainly one of my favorite book characters. I’ve always liked strong female characters, ever since I first saw She-Ra (I think I was about 3 when that was on).
I liked Nancy Drew so much that, in fifth grade, I decided to kill her off. I know you’re probably laughing, wondering why on Earth I would kill off my favorite character. Who knows what my 11-year-old brain was thinking? It was my one and only foray into writing mysteries. If I remember correctly, I killed her off by having someone knock a marble pillar on her. I think someone died like that in one of my mom’s novels that I read. My cover was horrid. I took a lot of art classes as a child but alas, I never lived up to the caliber of my dad or grandmother’s artwork. My characters on the cover were probably glorified stick figures. For some reason, though, despite the terrible drawing and somewhat violent nature of my little book, my teacher put it in our class “library”. The class library was full of books that we had made. We would “publish” them by folding plain white paper in half, writing our story on it and then stapling it together with a construction paper cover. I swear the book wasn’t gruesome or anything like that. I’m actually surprised that my teacher didn’t write home to my dad and tell him that I was disturbed and needed counseling. I don’t know why I wrote it. Anyway, I never wrote another mystery (although “The Killing of Nancy Drew” was surprisingly popular among my fifth grade classmates).
But back to Nancy. Even when she worked with the Hardy Boys, she still kicked butt. I didn’t really understand how she solved her mysteries, but she always did. I wasn’t even sure how she kept getting into all these crazy situations. She always managed to get out of them, though.
I eventually stopped reading the Nancy Drew books when my dad decided I was “too old for kids’ books” and literally locked away all my books. It ended up working out though, because that’s when I discovered epic fantasy. It also probably led to my writing YA books today. If I couldn’t read them when I was a teenager, then why not read/write them as an adult?
© Brea Essex 2011 ~ No part of this site (written or artwork) may be reproduced in anyway whatsoever without express written consent by Brea Essex.
*Disclaimer: I do not own the photo used in this post.

I Hope He’ll Forgive Me

Here’s this week’s prompt:
300-500 words * original female character * I hope you’ll forgive me
            “Renée, how am I going to look him in the face at every single family gathering for the rest of my life?” Isabel asked her sister.
            “I doubt he’ll be at every family gathering!” Renée said. “His son is marrying your daughter. That doesn’t mean that our families have to socialize.”
            “Yes, but I don’t want Alexis to feel torn between her family and her in-laws.”
            “She won’t. Caleb wouldn’t do that to her.”
            “But his father might.” Isabel sighed. “I don’t know if Nicholas will ever forgive me.”
            Renée took a sip of her coffee and then leaned forward. “It’s not your fault. If anyone needs to ask forgiveness, it’s him.”
            Isabel crossed her arms on the table in front of her. “I gave up on him. Who knows what would have happened if I had stuck around?”
            “Nick treated you like dirt.”
            “I wouldn’t say that exactly,” Isabel said defensively.
            “Your whole relationship was a mess.”
            Isabel snorted indelicately. “If you could even call it a relationship.”
            “Nick was a jerk, plain and simple.”
            “He wasn’t always bad. There were times when things were really great.”
            “And times when he was completely obnoxious and ignored you. He messed with your head and then dropped you—repeatedly.”
            Isabel sighed. She shouldn’t have brought this up to her sister in the first place. Renée had extremely strong opinions about Nicholas . . . she always had. After all, she’d been there to see Isabel’s heart broken by him over and over again. “Well, let’s just hope Caleb doesn’t take after his father.”
            “I doubt he does. He actually asked Alexis to marry him after all.”
            Isabel stared out the window, watching people walk by. “That could have been us. Maybe I gave up too soon.”
            “You put up with his yo-yoing emotions way longer than any sane person would,” Renée said.
            “Stop blaming him for everything, Renée! It wasn’t just him. I’m to blame too. I think he may have been starting to come around, but then I lost my temper.”
            Renée shook her head. “You’re still delusional about him after all these years. Do I need to spell it out for you yet again? He. Didn’t. Love. You.”
            Isabel stared at Renée, angry tears beginning to well in her eyes. “I can’t believe you. Even if that was true, you don’t have to be so hateful about it.”
            “I’m sorry. I just hate that he’s still hurting you after all these years.”
            “I understand. But you’re really not helping.” She drummed her fingers against the table. “Now the question is: Do I tell Lexi or not?”
            “Don’t tell her. You don’t want your daughter getting freaked out and ending her relationship just because her mother dated her future father-in-law.”
            “Yeah, that would freak her out. Okay, we’ll keep this between us.”
            “Maybe I should find someway to apologize to Nicholas,” Isabel said.
            “He doesn’t deserve an apology. He needs to apologize to you. Just let it go.”
            “Fine. I’ll let it go,” Isabel agreed. For now.
*Note: I may eventually extend this into a novel. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think of it!

© Brea Essex 2011 ~ No part of this site (written or artwork) may be reproduced in anyway whatsoever without express written consent by Brea Essex.
*Disclaimer: I do not own the photo used in this post.

Character Archive: Casting Zac Cohen

Since I’ve shared two excerpts from Ouroboros, book one of The Zayin Chronicles, the past two weeks, I thought I would share my “casting” of Zac Cohen. Yes, this is the “hot guy” that my main character Rhiannon sees upon awakening in the hospital.
I chose actor/model Jordan Nichols to “play” Zac. He’s had some bit parts on Disney Channel shows. Here’s clip of one. He enters at about 3:10, if you want to fast-forward.

Now he has a couple of movies coming out. I couldn’t find a clip or trailer for one and the other just looked so bizarre I didn’t bother. But, here’s another picture instead:
Isn’t he cute? Anyway, onto why I chose him as Zac. Zac’s described as really tall, with sandy brown hair and blue eyes. It actually took me a long time to choose someone as my Zac visual, but when I saw Jordan Nichols, I just knew he would be perfect!
What would you like to see next Monday? My casting of Rhiannon? Or should I return to my Foreshadow archives? Let me know in a comment!

© Brea Essex 2011 ~ No part of this site (written or artwork) may be reproduced in anyway whatsoever without express written consent by Brea Essex.
*Disclaimer: I do not own the photos or video used in this post.

Six Sentence Sunday

Here’s another six sentences from “Ouroboros”, book one of The Zayin Chronicles:

I watched in shock as a blade appeared, glinting in the middle of his chest.  The boy’s eyes opened wide, and he slumped to the floor.  I began to scream shrilly, my shrieks reverberating through my head as they bounced around the narrow enclosure behind me.  Another boy stood behind him, his sandy hair gleaming even in the poor lighting.  He twisted the blade in the fallen boy’s body, and then cruelly jerked it out.  He calmly pulled a cloth from his pocket and cleaned the sharp edge that was now dull from a dark substance. 

Check back next Sunday for another six!

© Brea Essex 2011 ~ No part of this site (written or artwork) may be reproduced in anyway whatsoever without express written consent by Brea Essex.

Short Story Saturday: "Bemused" Chapter Four

Chapter One can be found here
Chapter Two can be found here
Chapter Three can be found here
            Lorelei spent the entire first night at the Temple hiding in her room. She didn’t bother going to dinner, even though she was starving. Luckily, she had snuck some snacks into her bags. Who knew what passed for food here? She hadn’t thought everything at the Temple would be so . . . archaic. Sure, she was expecting it to be a little old-fashioned. After all, the Temple of the Muse had been around since ancient Greek times. That was hundreds and hundreds of years ago—maybe even thousands. Lorelei didn’t want to bother to try and figure it out.
            She sat on the floor, sifting through the contents of her suitcases. Maybe she should send some of her regular clothes home to her dad. She wouldn’t be needing most of them here. No, she had to wear the stupid white robes. They weren’t in Greece any more and this was the 21st century! She shouldn’t have to walk around wearing a sheet. What have I gotten myself into? she wondered to herself.
            Her breath caught when the door began to open. Now what?
            She looked up—and up and up. The man standing in the doorway was extremely tall, much taller than her, especially considering her current position on the floor. His hair was as black as midnight, but the eyes were as grey as the sky after a storm.
            She quickly scrambled to her feet. “Hi,” was all she could manage.
            “I’m so sorry!” he exclaimed, flushed despite his golden tan. “Wrong room.”
            He started to walk away. “Wait!” Lorelei shouted, a little louder than she had intended. Why did I do that? she chided herself.
            He paused and turned back toward her. He remained silent as he waited to see what she wanted. “Ummm . . . what’s your name?” she finally asked.
            “Hi. I’m Lorelei.”
            He smiled. “What a beautiful name.”
            Now it was her turn to blush. “Sorry, I don’t know why I stopped you,” she admitted. “It’s just . . . it’s my first night here, and I don’t know anyone.”
            “I was pretty lost on my first night here also. I haven’t been here that long, but do you want me to show you around a little?”
            “Sure!” she agreed eagerly.
            He laughed. “Why don’t I step out for a moment so you can change? You’ll blend in better if you’re wearing these ridiculous robes,” he gestured to the one wrapped around his waist and thrown haphazardly over one shoulder. He leaned closer. “I can’t stand the things,” he whispered conspiratorially, “but that’s the rules. They certainly don’t leave much to the imagination.” He winked and pulled on the hem that hit just above his knee.
            She laughed with him and tried to will herself to keep looking at his face. “I think they left me some robes somewhere. I haven’t tried them on yet.”
            “I’ll wait in the hall. Let me know if you have any trouble with those pins.” He winked once more before closing the door behind him, leaving Lorelei standing in her room wondering what exactly had just happened.

© Brea Essex 2011 ~ No part of this site (written or artwork) may be reproduced in anyway whatsoever without express written consent by Brea Essex.
*Disclaimer: I do not own the photo used in this post.

Fun Fact Friday: The Literary Love of my Life

Well, the wait is over. Today’s the day I’m going to talk about Kellin from The Chronicles of the Cheysuli, my first “literary crush”. I’ve mentioned him in previous posts, which you can find here and here.
First, just look at him. Isn’t he hot? The cover artist did an amazing job on him. (In case you’re wondering, the woman on the cover is named Ginevra—and yes, Genevra from my Shadow Imperium series is named after her.)
You can’t tell in this picture, but Kellin’s eyes are green—this is what started my obsession with guys with dark hair and light eyes (particularly black hair and green eyes—hello Logan Conner!).
Now, I don’t want to ruin the book(s) for everyone, but I’ll do my best to summarize Kellin sans spoilers. Kellin is first introduced at the end of the previous book, called “Flight of the Raven”. At the beginning of “A Tapestry of Lions”, Kellin is ten years old. His grandparents and his great-uncle have raised him since infancy. A tragedy prompts a radical change in Kellin’s personality.
Fast-forward ten years. Kellin is now an adult and has turned his back on his heritage and the prophecy that has been the focus of his people for generations. The only thing he hasn’t turned his back on is his title of Crown Prince, although he ignores the responsibilities that come with it.
At this point, Kellin’s become cocky, self-absorbed—you know, all my favorite qualities in a fictional hero. He’s a drinker and basically a man-whore (neither quality are ones that I like) but there’s still something redeemable about him. It must be the whole tortured thing. His family has spent generations serving a prophecy that Kellin is the last “link” in. He’s the one who’s supposed to fulfill it—but he’s doing everything in his power not to.
I don’t want to give away the ending, so I won’t tell you if Kellin ultimately fulfills the prophecy or not. You’ll have to read it for yourself.
As I mentioned before, Kellin was one of my inspirations for Logan Conner from my Shadow Imperium series. The other was Darien Shields (Mamoru Chiba, to use his Japanese name) from Sailor Moon—I know, I know . . . I have a slight anime obsession. But more about that (and Darien) next week!

© Brea Essex 2011 ~ No part of this site (written or artwork) may be reproduced in anyway whatsoever without express written consent by Brea Essex.
*Disclaimer: I do not own the photo used in this post.