Monday Blog: The Boys of Our Lady

 

 

 

We’ve arrived at the final blog post for the month of June. To close out one of this month’s themes, this one is all about the male characters in the Our Lady of Righteous Rage series. I won’t lie: this is my favorite W.E. series, and I’ve sort of been looking forward to this post.

Our Lady follows Amy Edwards and friends as they start a business, a band, and try to keep up with both, while jumping over hurdle after hurdle. What sets this series apart from the others I’ve published so far, are the characters: they are anthropomorphic cats. However, when you’re reading the books in this series, you may find yourself completely ignoring that, and just enjoying the story. Another difference: stream of consciousness. Each chapter is narrated by a different character (think William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying). On the surface, that may sound confusing, but I can assure you it’s not. The chapters are short, and there aren’t that many characters to keep up with. So, let’s get to the boys, shall we? (SPOILER ALERT AHEAD!)

David Sarconi: He and Amy start out as friends, then they become boyfriend and girlfriend, then they get married. And then, it all changes. David tries to be passionate about music, but he just doesn’t seem to be his thing. On top of that, he doesn’t think it should be Amy’s thing, either. He’s also Nick’s cousin, and while the two start out just fine, David changes and begins to distance himself from his cousin.

Nicolas “Nick” Lianetti: Born in Sicily and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Nick is the lead singer and primary song writer for Our Lady of Righteous Rage. Music has been his passion since he was young. His father wasn’t around very much while he was growing up, but it helped shape him into a mature and responsible young man (or cat). He’s very even-tempered; he remains calm in situations that would send any other person into a rage (such as a cheating girlfriend…).

Aidan Sirci: Okay, I’ll just say it: Aidan is my favorite male character in the series. Life knocked him down more times than not, but he just keeps getting up. He’s generally cheerful and in a good mood, cracking jokes and making sarcastic remarks. He’s Nick’s best friend, and Amy’s non-biological big brother. Tall, blond, and green-eyed, most of the band’s female fans tend to gravitate to him, even though he’s deeply in love with his wife, Dee.

Rob Zickye: He’s half Scottish and half German, and the tallest member of the band (six foot five, btw). He’s been in love with Amy since they met in high school, but the two don’t get together until later on. Rob is a self-taught drummer, and can play nearly any song by ear. He’s also my second favorite, and another character who’s father wasn’t in the picture (a common theme in this series). He’s protective of his family, especially his older brother, who happens to be bipolar.

Mike Murnsen: Mike knows his way around audio and recording equipment. He’s been helping his father at his store since he was young, and when Our Lady opens a studio, he helps them produce their first album. Later, he becomes their manager.  He’s married to one of  the founding members of  the Urban Collective, Vanessa. The two of them constantly bounce ideas off one another. Mike is quiet, but he has no problem standing up for himself, or the band.

Jon Sarconi: Amy’s adopted son. He’s actually David’s younger cousin, and the two of them adopted him shortly after they got married. After their divorce, Amy had to fight to get custody of Jon. He idolizes his mother, and wants to be a rock star, just like her. The older he gets, the more assertive he becomes.

Next week is the first week of July, so it will be time for a new theme. I’m considering running 2 again. One of them will be New Fiction: I’m working on three new books, and my mother is working on one, too! If you’re an indie author and you’d like to share what you’re working on, please contact me. I’d love to post some info about you and your work! Until next week…

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A Moment Between Mother & Son

I sighed. “Nick wants to start finalizing the tracks for the album, but I wanted to squeeze two more songs on. I just can’t seem to come up with anything worth recording.”

            “Don’t push yourself so hard, Jon,” Mom said. “You’ll come up with something; I know you will. You have no idea how extraordinary you are. You may not be able to see it, but I can.”

            I cocked an eyebrow at her. “How?”

            Mom smiled at me. “Because you’re my son,” she said, simply. “Because you’re mine. You were mine, even before you entered the world, because the universe declared it.”

This moment brought to you by “Biologicals”, coming soon from Woolaston Entertainment

Traumatized

Love this!

ebunnygirl

Like most of you, I was anticipating “Avengers: Infinity War” for several years. When it finally came out, I bought a ticket and went to the theater to see it (side note: those tickets are almost as hard to come by as tickets for ‘Hamilton’). I sat in my seat, large popcorn and soda in hand, and watched as the story unfolded. If there’s anyone here who hasn’t seen IW, turn away now.

I expected a hero or two to die, I must admit. However I was unprepared for the amount of heroic deaths in this film! Seriously? I feel like I need to start a support group of some kind. Then I had to remind myself, a sequel is coming. Adam Warlock and Captain Marvel have been introduced in post credit scenes in IW and Guardians Vol. 2. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Until…

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Monday Blog: The Boys of Valentine & Valentine Apart

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New cover of Valentine

 

When you read the Valentine series, you may be under the impression the female characters are the most important. No offense to any of my male readers, but this is actually true. However, it doesn’t mean the male characters aren’t important, because they are. For one thing, the villain of the story is John Rafferty. It seems most of the problems in both the Valentine series and the Valentine Apart series, can be traced back to him. So, let’s meet the guys, shall we?

Vincent Entienne: He’s just a man, trying to take care of his family. Working for Rafferty is dangerous work, but it pays well. Vincent’s wife leaves him without any warning, and he finds himself alone with a young daughter to raise. He makes a poor decision, which has tragic consequences, which change the course of his and his daughter’s lives forever. But he means well. He only wants what’s best for his daughter Val and his nieces, Veronica and Victoria.  

Victor Entienne: You meet him briefly in Her Name is Lola Vencent , but I wanted to mention him here, because he is important to the series. Victor is the younger brother of Vincent, and he’s Veronica and Victoria’s father. Rafferty’s nephew Damien, placed a hit on Victor on Rafferty’s behalf, when he believed Victor was trying to cheat Rafferty by withholding money. His daughters weren’t raised together, because Veronica didn’t learn of Victoria’s existence until much later on. Why Victor kept Victoria a secret, is completely unknown.

Jacob Price: He’s been working for Rafferty since he was a teenager. He used to be Vincent’s partner, until Vincent left the Syndicate (the network of criminals, hitmen, mob bosses, etc). He always seems to have his own agenda when it comes to Val: Rafferty gave him specific instructions regarding Val’s drive to L.A. in the first book, and Jacob ignored his orders. He’s supposed to keep tabs on Val, but he seems to look out for her instead. He knows a lot of people in the Syndicate, and can always find out information.

Allan Avery: A hitman for hire, who freelances. Allan is protective of his little sister Mackenzie, loves Lola Vencent, and enjoys his job. Allan has creative ways to carry-out his hits. When he spends more time around Val and her family, he becomes attached to them, and becomes protective of them as well. He is known as one of the best hitmen in the Syndicate.

Michael Aldus: He’s a liaison to the Syndicate. He arranges meetings, and hires outside contractors, when necessary.  He, much like Jacob, seems to have a hidden agenda. He’s like a glorified assistant, but he has aspirations of becoming so much more.

Lorenzo Entienne: Vincent and Victor’s father. He approaches Val and offers to take her to Italy, where the Entienne family is originally from. He comes across as a loving grandfather, but he has plans to put Val and her reputation to use.

John Rafferty: The man at the top of the Syndicate. He doesn’t care who he steps on, destroys or kills in his quest to run the entire Syndicate. He sees Val as his archenemy: she’s the first person to challenge his power, and live to tell the tale. He’s involved in several criminal enterprises, including drugs (there’s a hint to this in the first book, when Val opens a box in Rafferty’s warehouse. He’s interested in having a romantic relationship with Lola Vencent, even though she makes it very clear, it will never happen.

Next week, the boys of Fortune’s Wing, and I’ll tell you all about my trip to Virginia for a reunion with the staff of my high school’s lit-art magazine, Polaris!

 

 

Monday Blog: Celebrating Jo Fuentes

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This month, Woolaston Entertainment is celebrating two themes: Male Character Month, and Pride Month. I’ve decided to begin with the later. This week’s blog post, is all about Jo Fuentes of the Valentine and Valentine Apart series.

Jo is the first LGBTQ character to be featured in a published Woolaston Entertainment book. She’s also W.E.’s first LGBTQ character to receive a stand-alone book, Jo Fuentes: The Black Queen. When I created Jo, I was thinking of a sort of alter-ego for Valentine.  The two of them do share a few characteristics: they’re tall, mouthy, and they don’t take any crap. Jo was never intended to be a soldier of any kind, but I had a dream about the scene in the second chapter of The Black Queen, where Jo takes out eight men in under sixty seconds. I thought, it would be cool to have a female character experience a James Bond moment, but I needed a reason. I decided, making her a Marine, would be the best reason.

Jo is a great character, because she’s a little complicated. She has a frightening set of skills, and she has no idea where she learned them. She’s gay, and proud of it. She values the friendships of the people who matter the most to her, and she’ll do anything for them.  She easily makes the transition from Marine to Hitwoman when she begins working for Kelly McCormick. And, she has a wicked sense of humor.

I’m honoring Jo, by making Jo Fuentes: The Black Queen, available for FREE, June 4-June 6. If you’ve never read it, this is a great opportunity to become acquainted with Jo, and the rest of the Valentine Apart/Valentine series.

Jo Fuentes on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jo-Fuentes-Black-Queen-Valentine-ebook/dp/B078TNHBRF/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1528138515&sr=8-1&keywords=jo+fuentes+the+black+queen

Next week: the boys of Valentine and Valentine Apart

Monday Blog: The Ladies of Fortune’s Wing

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Fortune’s Wing was the first book I ever published, and it was the first book I had ever written which used human characters. The first edition was published in 2009, while the original handwritten edition was completed in 2002. I made a few changes before submitting it for publication, some of which I will briefly discuss towards the end of this blog entry. But first, let’s talk about the ladies of the Fortune’s Wing series.

There are “heroes” and there are “villains” in this series. Fortune sets out on a journey to either save or destroy the world, and he is accompanied by his sister, Haverdy, his girlfriend Esrieve, and his psychic friend, Narumi, along with his other friends Tony and Ringo. The group frequently finds themselves in a confrontation of some sort with members of the Winged Seven: powerful sorcerers who want control of Fortune’s Wings. They are led by Demetri, their strongest member and the one who is hell bent on gaining control of the wings, no matter what the cost.

Haverdy Oyama: Fortune’s brave tomboy of a younger sister. She’s not afraid to run head-first into a battle, and is even prepared to give her life for her brother. She believes in him, and is the first to volunteer when he sets out on his first journey.  She wears her hair stylishly short and prefers to dress in boys’ clothing, much to the dismay of her mother.

Esrieve Fullerton: Fortune’s girlfriend. She’s in the same grade as Haverdy, and while she would like to be equally as brave, she’s very afraid of all the dangers that lay ahead during the journey. Still, she stands by Fortune’s side. Esrieve can be a tad air-headed at times, but she always means well.

Narumi Hime: One of Fortune’s best friends. Narumi is half Japanese, and has a psychic ability, which proves to be very useful while she and the others search for The Wings. She’s very quiet, but feels things very deeply, and is often concerned for her friends’ safety.

Verdonna Onnashari, Oracle of Light: The one who chose Fortune to bear the Wings. Verdonna is a member of a very old clan of people who are fully aware of the Prophecy of The Wings. She lives in the woods with her people, in seclusion. She’s young, around Fortune’s age (BTW: Fortune is eighteen), but she is wise beyond her years.

Emery Holt: She’s a little girl who carries a special light, which reminds Fortune what he’s fighting for. She was the only survivor of an attack on her town by the Oracle of Darkness. She’s playful and sweet, as a child should be, and usually clings to Haverdy.

Kazumi Ogata: Haverdy’s childhood friend who moves back to the neighborhood after being away for a few years. She unwittingly becomes a part of The Winged Seven’s plan to defeat Fortune when she is abducted and used to lure Fortune and company into a trap.

Seynoma: One of the Winged Seven. Her power is the ability to creature fierce monsters from nature. It’s an ability she has had since she was younger. When Demetri found her, he convinced her to help him by making her believe they could create a better world.

Isabelle: Another member of the Winged Seven. Truthfully, Isabelle doesn’t want to be part of the fight. She’s a bit of an outcast: she’s a Goth girl who has never been about to fit in. She has the ability to manipulate people by using their fears against them.

There is a character missing from this list: Russia Proust. In my very first version of the story, Kazumi returns to visit Haverdy, and as the two of them begin to catch up, Haverdy asks Kazumi if she is seeing anyone. It is later revealed, Kazumi does have someone special in her life, and that someone is a girl named Russia, who looks suspiciously like Haverdy. When I made the decision to publish this book, I wanted it to be appropriate for middle school age readers, so I left Russia out of the story. I have thought about publishing the original version in its entirety, which would include Russia, and would be for the 17 and older crowd.

I also made a change to Narumi. Her original name was Nirogetai, and her friends called her Niro for short. I thought it would be silly for to have a made-up Japanese name, so I gave her a real one instead. Loosely translated, her current name means “roaring sea princess”.

I wrote a spin-off series featuring Haverdy, titled “Haverdy O”, which follows her as she begins attending college with Esrieve, Kazumi and Russia, and begins to explore her Japanese heritage and discover who she truly is. I’m planning to publish it, in the future.

Next week, the ladies of The Witch of Fulton Lane.

 

Monday Blog: The Ladies of Valentine and Valentine Apart

ValVerLola

 

This week, it’s Valentine’s turn! While there are many female characters in the Valentine and Valentine Apart series, I’m going to focus on the most important characters.

Val Entienne, aka Valentine: The first time you meet her, she starts out as a wild nineteen-year-old girl, who only wants to drive from Chicago to L.A., to save or father. Over the course of the series, she becomes so much more. She becomes a hero, best friend, and a fighter. Val doesn’t take any crap, and certainly will never play the role of “damsel in distress”. She’ll do anything to protect her family, including putting herself in harm’s way.

Veronica Entienne: Val’s cousin, best friend, and the voice of reason, when she needs someone to pull her back. She’s against violence, but slowly learns that sometimes, it’s the only solution. She lost her parents at a young age, and has lived with Val and her father Vincent ever since. Veronica is a caring person, and always stands by Val’s side.

Melinda St. James: She was waiting for a train to Tulsa, when Val saved her from a group of boys who were harassing her. Melinda sees Val as the ultimate hero: she’s brave and unafraid. Melinda is sweet and can be a bit naive at times, but she has a good heart.

Victoria Entienne: She’s the half-sister Veronica never knew existed. Victoria loves her sister, but she idolizes her cousin Val.  She has trouble trusting people, and it often takes her a while to open up.

Lola Vencent: She was John Rafferty’s Valkyrie, a hit woman who knows how to handle a gun. Lola has been a member of the Syndicate for years, and she knows it like the back of her hand. She lost her father, Luther Vencent, a prominent NY Attorney, when she was a child, and his death shaped the woman she later became. She and Val start out as enemies, but quickly become very good friends.

Mac Avery: People think she’s a little crazy, but the truth is, she’s just protective of the people she cares about. Mac and her brother Allan are hitmen and members of the Syndicate, but their loyalty is to each other and the people they care about. Mac’s methods of carrying out each hit may seem unorthodox, but she always gets the job done.

Jo Fuentes: Jo is a Marine who survived an explosion that killed all but two members of her unit: herself and Patrick “Sully” Sullivan. When she returns to the United States, a member of the Syndicate reaches out to her in hopes of using her skillset. Jo is tall, sarcastic, but very passionate about the people and things that matter to her. She takes a liking to Val the very first time she meets her.

Kelly McCormick: The highest-ranking woman in the Syndicate. Her father and uncle were members of the Irish mob when she was younger, so she’s no stranger to danger. Jo works for her, and while Kelly may be the only female sitting at the Syndicate’s table of leadership, she has no trouble making her presence known.

The importance of Val Entienne:

You seldom find a female character doing the things Val does in the series. She drives a classic Mustang. She knows how to handle a gun. She’s not afraid to fight someone, even if that someone is a man. I could have easily made Valentine a male character, but let’s face it: it would have been clichéd. I liked the idea of the “badass” in the story, being a young woman instead of a young man.

The importance of Jo Fuentes:

Jo is not the first LGBTQ character I have created, but she is the first to appear in a published W.E. book. She wants to be in a relationship, however, she begins to understand how dangerous her work is, and she doesn’t want to endanger anyone she loves. She’s one of the best hitmen in the Syndicate: she earns the nickname “Black Queen” after being the first to pass a weapons test with a perfect score and record timing. She’s also a Marine: she still reports to a commander on a routine basis. What makes Jo stand out from the rest of the hitmen, is her skillset: she can kill anyone, using anything , from guns and knives, to her bare hands.

Next week: The Ladies of Fortune’s Wing