Danielle Gavan is back and today she has brought along Ardeur, a character from one of her books. I have to tell you that after reading some excerpts from the novel, this particular heroine is one interesting person. But, don't take my word for it. Check it out for yourself.
Desperate to evict her demon, Ardeur persuades the Angel of Death to intercede; but the consequences are worse than she realizes. He’s playing for keeps. Her freedom might be the end of Ardeur’s relationship with Brody and a life away from everything she never thought she’d have in the arms of a werewolf with dimples and a charmer’s grin.
Hi Robin, My name is Ardeur. Nice to meet you. Thanks for having me on your blog today.
You are very welcome, Ardeur.
Why don’t you start us off by telling us a little bit about your world.
My world. Hmm. It’s pretty much just like the real world except there are angels, werewolves and all kinds of supernatural beings living alongside the human population. Some of us hang out at the local pub just like ‘normal’ people. Others live in seclusion, like at the Abbey where we live inside a barrier that shields us from sight. It’s a kind of sanctuary where supernaturals can come to hide from the world or whatever.
Hmm, it sounds like Danielle has created quite an intriguing world for you. Does she ever try to take over the story? And how do you deal with it?
Honestly? No. Danielle was really good at letting me tell my story without any interference from her. Even with the really hard parts, she just stepped aside and let me get it out.
She must truly understand the importance of allowing you to express who you really are. So, is expressing love difficult for you? Why?
It used to be, but not so much anymore. I wasn’t shown love or affection while growing up. Makes it difficult to know how to give it. Brody, the one person who ever showed me affection, changed that for me. He showed me how to love. The man is amazing, really.
That’s what I hear. Other than Brody, what’s the most interesting thing that has happened to you?
Interesting? *laughs* Does being possessed by a Chaos demon and then finding out you’re an angelic hybrid count? My life is an experiment in ‘interesting’.
Uhh, yeah, I would say that definitely qualifies as interesting…and then some. I’m so glad you’re opening up and explaining more about yourself. Is there a message you want to get across in this interview?
Never, ever give up hope. Life might suck more than you could ever imagine, but things will work out.
Yes they do. I’m sure that Danielle must believe that too. If you could pull her into your world, what do you think would happen?
She’d find herself a nice angel or werewolf and snuggle up tight. I think Danielle would fit right in. Oh, and she’d find Azrael just to give him a serious kick in the ass.
I’d live to see that.
Just like other people’s relationships, do you ever ask your significant other for advice?
All the time. Mostly I’ll ask him for advice about the kids. I grew up, well, alone. Brody has siblings, nieces and nephews that he’s helped raise. He knows more about that stuff than I do. He’s my kid Wiki.
Information at your fingertips, huh? That’s great.
Well, we have an idea of what would happen if Danielle visited your world, but let’s say you were brought into this world…what would be your first order of business?
Finding Danielle and giving her a great big hug. Then I’d visit the places she used for inspiration in my book.
That makes a lot of sense and would probably be a ton of fun as well.
If you had the chance to meet another character, who would it be and why?
Of Danielle’s characters? Hmm, oh the choices. I might go with Kylar. I think she and I have a lot in common. Ky’s from something Danielle is working on right now called Untouchable and she’s a kick ass woman.
I’m sure we will see more of her very soon.
What is your most favorite thing to do?
Besides roll around the sheets naked with Brody? *grin* Um, play with my kids and fly. There’s nothing quite like their giggles or the wind blowing through my wings. Baby giggles trump flying anytime though.
I couldn’t agree more.
With kids around you have to be careful, especially when you have the powers you possess. Have you ever lost control?
Recently? No. When I was possessed by Shadekar (the Chaos demon)? Many, many times. The little bastard managed to slip my shielding on quite a few occasions. I always woke up severely hung over and scantily dressed. I hated it and I’m so frickin’ glad he’s gone.
Sounds like he caused a lot of trouble and some naughty trouble at that. Waking up hung-over and scantily clad brings up a rather personal question… how many sex partners have you had? How many at one time?
One. Brody. Never gonna be another.
That’s a refreshing answer and makes me even more curious. I mean you appear to be quite content with Brody, so since we’re getting personal, what was the best sexual experience you’ve had?
When Brody and I bonded while making love. It was absolutely amazing. Who am I kidding? It’s always amazing with him.
I’m sure it is. I’ll try my best not to be jealous.
Being a mere mortal who writes about vampires, I find myself surrounded by beings that think they’re superior because they aren’t human. Do you think you are a superior being?
I’m an angel. *laughs* Honestly, no. I have flaws just like everyone else. I’m angelic but I’m seriously far from perfect.
I think you would get along with my vampires quite nicely then.
I am so glad you came by and I really look forward to the excerpt you brought along for today and tomorrow. Thank you for everything!
The chill from the cement floor seeped through the thin mildew scented pallet of my bed into my skin and bones. I cowered, curled in the fetal position in a corner of the small, fetid space. My eyes were shut tight against the ghostly occupants of the warehouse. I refused to acknowledge them again or the taunts they threw at me.
Who names a child such a ridiculous thing? One malevolent voice snickered. Not really a child though, are you?
Necromancer. Nephilim.. Nephilim. She smells like an Angel. The words reverberated around me and I curled tighter around my knees. I had no idea what they meant but they frightened me all the same.
Ardeur Blaise? Another angry voice snorted. As if. They should have named you Frosty or Chilly. Look at you, shivering on the floor all blue lipped and shit.
Ignore us all you want. We won't go away until you give us what we want. Yet another voice from the hordes hidden in the darkness. We could tell you what's waiting for you out there. Pray you starve to death before you find out. Or don't - It'll probably kill you like it did us anyway. Wonder what happens to a dead Nephilim?
There were no windows in the dank cell of my new home. No portals to let in the sunlight so I could count the days. No blanket to ward the chill from my tiny body or food to ease the cramping in my stomach. The sobbing and tears eventually gave way to wracking shivers and, finally, the oblivion of unconsciousness.
With the blanket of insensibility upon me I relaxed and dreamt of the events which had led me to be in the dark, dirty cell I'd been shoved into like a discarded piece of trash.
The morning of my twelfth birthday dawned bright and sunny. The birds chirruped outside my curtain-less window and I woke up to the sounds of my parents bustling about in the kitchen, singing and laughing like I'd never heard them before. The smell of frying bacon had set my empty stomach growling and the warm, vanilla pancake scent filled my mouth with saliva.
If I had died and gone to Heaven during the night, this surely would have been how I imagined it would sound and smell.
I was given a bubble bath, something I had never experienced before and dressed in my best clothes. The blue and white gingham dress I wore to church functions had been washed and pressed. A pair of new, white tights and black patent leather shoes sat, still in their packages on the chair next to it.
Once dressed, I was fed pancakes and bacon for breakfast with a large glass of orange juice. Maman even took the time to braid my waist length golden blonde hair and tie a new satin ribbon that matched my dress over the elastic to hide it.
I was given everything a normal child would have during our seemingly innocent road trip. Songs were sung in the car. Permission was given for me to roll down my window and enjoy the wind rushing over my face. Lunch at a fast food restaurant was provided when my tummy rumbled from the backseat. Stops were even made when I needed to use the restroom because my system rejected the greasy food it wasn't accustomed to digesting.
To the casual observer, my family - the Lisle's - appeared to be enjoying a casual outing. How wrong they were was soon to be all too apparent.
Our car turned into a highly industrialized area that looked nothing like the shopping malls and retail stores I had been fantasizing about for hours. Instead, what I saw were ramshackle warehouses, abandoned buildings and the odd unsavory character darting from one outcropping of concrete to the next.
My parents returned to their usual quiet selves as they scanned the buildings for addresses and, at last, located the one they wanted. The building the car pulled up to had rusted green corrugated metal siding and the windows were mostly boarded up; the uncovered ones showed no sign of occupancy to anyone's eyes but mine.
Ghostly faces peered out of the windows back at me and I cringed into the soft leather of my seat as I questioned why we were there. Maman shushed me. They parked the car in front of a dark doorway where two men stood waiting under the blinking light of a bulb threatening to go out any minute. "Ardeur, silence. We have something to do with these here gentlemen and then we will go."
One of the men was tall and lanky with greasy uneven hanks of shoulder length brown hair. The knees of his greasy faded blue jeans were gaping holes. His lumberjack's shirt was covered by a grubby denim jacket with various gang patches. The other man was a few inches shorter and had the look of evil about him. Beady brown eyes, short graying hair and a pot belly covered by grease stained shirt and jacket. His pants had fared no better than the other man's and displayed a variety of holes and clumsy patchwork.
Tall and lanky stepped away from the door and addressed my father. "Lisle?" My father grunted his ascent as he came around the car to open my door.
I was only a child, but it didn't take a genius to figure out something bad was in my very near future when my father hauled me out of the air conditioned car. When my struggling became too much I was brusquely thrown over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes and taken into the warehouse. At ninety pounds, I wasn't very heavy but I fought like a champion prize fighter to stay in the car. "Put me down Daddy. I don't want to go in there."
"Ardeur, stop fighting. We're doing this for your own good, ma chère." Try as I might, I couldn't crane my head around enough to see my mother as she said what amounted to her version of goodbye to my retreating back. It may have been a good thing I couldn't see her face and the lack of tears on it as her only child was carted off to who knew what followed.
The sound of masculine snickering followed us as the two unsavory characters followed Daddy inside. My kicking and screaming was ignored by anyone who might have heard it. In this area, mostly inhabited by criminals, drug addicts and prostitutes, those sounds were as commonplace as the wailing of sirens in the night.
Directions were given in hushed tones and I soon found myself deposited on a crude metal table below a naked bulb suspended from the ceiling. The thin material of my dress and the tights I wore could not keep the chill from leaching through to my skin and bones. "Daddy? What's going on? Why are we here?"
My eyes were wide with fright. I tried to see through the gloom outside of my small pocket of light and failed miserably. I could hear the wind howling through the upper levels of the warehouse and the skittering of unidentifiable creatures across the dirty floor.
Years of going undernourished and mistreated had stunted my growth and at the age of twelve I had reached the height I would forever remain. My body would eventually fill out into the curves of a woman but I would never be taller than the five feet four inches I'd reached. In that moment, I looked every bit the small china doll my parents had intended I look like in my checkered blue dress and beribboned braid.
Daddy stood with the two men on the cusp of the circle of light the bulb cast around me. My eyes strained to make out the exchange of a large bag between them before my father strode off into the darkness beyond. "Daddy. Please come back. I don't want to stay here. Please? Maman? Daddy? I promise I'll be a good girl from now on but, please come back." There was no goodbye, no admonishment to be a good girl, no see you soon called out from the doorway. I was left in the cold, vile smelling room with the strange men. The fear in the pit of my stomach exploded into full blown terror as they approached where I sat and began to circle the table as if inspecting the prized blue ribbon pig at the county fair.
"Well aren't you the pretty one? Better than they expected, eh Boyd?" This came from tall and lanky as he reached out and flicked the end of my braid where it laid, golden and gleaming, against my back.
The smell of stale cigarettes and alcohol assaulted my nose as rough hands reached out to grasp my chin and turn my face up to the light. Another set of hands set to busily unzipping the back of my dress and stripping it from my tiny frame. "I think we got ourselves a steal with what we paid those two for the kid Wes. A real dolly this one is."
I was stripped down to my brand new day of the week underwear and the ill-fitting training bra I'd outgrown several months before while Wes and Boyd inspected me from every possible angle. Cold fingers, rough with calluses touched my skin and I heard things like porcelain doll and angelic whispered between the two men while I shivered in the cold and fetid air.
When they were satisfied their money had been well spent I was quickly shuffled into a small room and locked in with nothing but a grimy mattress and the sound of my frightened sobbing to keep me company. Wes, Mister Tall and Lanky, sneered at me while I cowered in the corner. "Behave and we might feed you. Maybe."
Hunger and cold had never been strangers to me, but this, this was new. Soul starving gut wrenching deprivation was my constant companion in my tiny space.
Boyd and Wesley came now and then to rattle the door to my cell and whisper obscenities at me or laugh at my tears when I wailed and begged to be let go despite the knowledge deep down that I would never really be free again. They could have saved themselves the trouble though. The spirits in the building where they kept me were not happy ones and when I made the unfortunate mistake of looking at one of them, they all descended upon my dark, putrid hole in the wall and the true torment began.
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