Millhaven Castle has always been a unique story. It wasn’t actually much like the original story with these characters that I’d worked on for years before, but it sprang up on its own with a little village of idyllic-but-look-more-carefully people living on the edge of an old secret in the kingdom. These people are the Sherbans and over time their culture has declined. But they’re still very dedicated to it and believe it or not, they think there’s something in all this opposition to a royal dynasty so long after said dynasty has become established. Nobody cares for their opinion, clearly, and constantly making dissent to the government your brand name is obviously not a great idea.
But Sherbans are very stubborn people and not as friendly as they look. Oh, they have down-home-values, sensible style of dress, rural farming and gardening ways, and all of that. But they know where the real value is even if they don’t see all the details and even if the situation looks risky. Long before it becomes apparent a Sherban named Alyce holds the secret to the Falknor’s succession, all the Sherbans remain confident there is some value in their culture after all.
They also aren’t as easily oppressed as they look. The reason a messenger from the king is such news in Alyce’s little corner of the world is because Capsells RARELY—and I mean RARELY-visit them. When Capsells come, they get chased off with rocks thrown by Sherban boys (Who have really good accuracy, by the way.) So they get left alone in the lovely vales of Milland. Sherban lands are the sort of peaceful, sweet place where you’d like to go on honeymoon. Except for the Sherbans being there, of course. Like I said, they’re not always the most welcoming.
And there will be more updates.
One of the highlights of each Vintage Jane Austen book, of course, is the moment when the cameo character “Jane Watson” walks into the pages. She’s based on Jane Austen and is a journalist in the 1930s. It was a pleasure to bring her to life in Bellevere and what was more amazing was that each author showed her so differently in their books. I guess Jane Austen fascinates people because each person sees something different in her. The only thing they agree on is that she is seriously cool. Even though some of the hype and the endless rehashes of her work and biography can get a little spun out, in the end everyone loves them some JANE.
Jane offers something unique to world literature and her personal life is interesting too. Especially her close friendship with her sister Cassandra has always intrigued many people because they want to think there was someone in Jane’s life who really understood her, although I personally just never feel that spark in Cassandra that Jane has. But what is specific to Mansfield Park among Austen’s works is her relationship to Maria Bertram. No movie ever shows Maria the same way and people don’t seem to agree on what she’s like. I think Jane Austen knew a lot about this character but didn’t quite let on what she saw. Maybe Maria isn’t as simplistic, just greedy and filled with a wish for gratification with Henry, as people think. It’s just that Jane Austen didn’t tell us enough about her.
And in my book, “Jane Watson” spends all her time talking to Faye instead, while Myrtle (Maria) is in New York and Jane could have talked to her. This is true to the book, which is all about Fanny, while Maria lurks in the background. Many people find it hard to understand why she included Maria at all. But maybe that’s because we don’t know something about her that Jane did.
And there will be more updates.
Fantastic is a (pun intended!) reference to the title of Facets of Fantasy and the nature of this work’s space opera and mythological settings. I’ve picked three characters to highlight from the book today, one from each of the novellas in the collection. They’re not heroes or heroines—or villains. But they are all exciting pieces of the story.
Mr. Parchem is a middle-aged diplomat who befriends brooding, weird cousins Karl and Cassie in Halogen Crossing. He comes from a land called Raocas and speaks with a strongly colloquial, regional style. But make no mistake! Mr. Parchem, as he said himself, “did not rise to be President of my great land by cutting in front of people in line.” A savvy politician, he immediately singles Karl out and pays him a lot of attention. He’s a good friend too, in his way, and points out things Karl should be noticing—like the Queen of Metallgia, who knew Karl’s father.
Charis d’Jinla is a female student at the Jurant military academy under the control of Don Tachimant’s grandfather in the story Jurant. She’s roughly high-school age and very pretty, with a jaunty, aggressive manner and thick tails of curly blonde hair. Charis easily comes across as a bad girl and she pretty much is one. She doesn’t play nice, she’s rough around the edges, mixes that with being flirtatious, and wouldn’t hesitate to get in a fight with you. Or shoot you, except getting in a fight with surprisingly violent Don Tachimant probably won’t end up that way. But without Charis, there wouldn’t even BE a story in Jurant.
Prince Juranai comes from a strange long-lived people who dominate the plot of The Amulet of Renari. He is partly wolf and might seem simple and aggressive, but Juranai, like the rest of his people, is very intelligent and should command a lot of respect. When Juranai decides to befriend Violet, the daughter of someone his family has a long-standing grudge against, it changes a world that has been locked in a feud for thousands of years. Although Violet can be hard to work with, he’s a good protector to her and his friendship is crucial.
And there will be more updates.
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I live surrounded by cultivated fields that rapidly give way to wild flowers, wild plants, and wild life. I get most of my ideas while drifting innocuously around my house and some of those ideas get into print.
Bellevere House has been featured on Ezvid Wiki video "10 Wonderfully Inventive Retellings That Interpret Classic Stories in a New Way." Click to see the video.