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I had the opportunity to sit down with Crix recently and ask him a few questions. Earlier this year I sat down with Rip (Rip’s interview). Both chats were interesting, leaving me with more questions than answers. Enjoy a little more of Crix (and Rip) but beware there are SPOILERS if you haven’t read Pure Blood yet.
My pen was paused above my notebook as I stared at the man who had gone through so much. His crow’s feet lines around his eyes made him seem wise, not old. His hair was beginning to grey, but his blue eyes were alive and alert, ready at all times. He sipped his tea as he looked out at the small town. People were bustling between some shops and cafes, preparing for Christmas. The sun was shining, but a chill ran through the air as the breeze caught the edge of my scarf. I pulled it closer to myself as I caught a smirk on Crix’ face. He turned and looked at me then, motioned with his hand in a gentle manner to let me proceed.
Thank you for meeting me here today, Crix.
The pleasure is all mine.
Could we start off by learning more about your past? We’ve learned that you were best friends with Gregoric, correct?
We were brothers.
And you met by him helping you in a fight?
(Smirk) How delicately you put it. He saved me from a massive beating. Let’s not sugarcoat the bad parts.
So, what did you two have in common to become so close?
We were both Oceains. Other than that, not much. Gregoric was an outgoing, clever boy, with lots of friends and the potential to be anything he wanted. I was very shy and backward my whole life. Gregoric always showed his emotions, not caring how embarrassed he might become, but I was more reserved.
Why do you think he wanted you as a best friend, then?
Honestly, I have no idea. He was the one who always saved me. He taught me how to laugh out loud and how sometimes being ridiculous was okay. What did he see in me? I don’t know. He always told me that my strength was my quietness.
Why were you so reserved when you were younger? Did you have a good family life?
My parents were lovely people, but poor. They worked a lot and never really had time for me. We were happy, though, and I loved them, because I knew that they worked hard for me.
If they were busy all of the time, how did you learn your skills?
Gregoric and his parents taught me. They were all Purebloods, so naturally they were amazing at everything. They were very patient with me, however, and taught me so much more than I could have hoped to learn.
What happened to your parents?
They died when I was in high school. My father died from a heart attack, and my mom from a broken heart and over-working. I was seventeen.
What happened to you after they died?
(smiles) That was the first time I had cried in front of anyone. Gregoric was with me the whole time. He asked his parents if they could adopt me, so that I didn’t have to be alone or forced to move somewhere else. Being such nice people, they agreed and asked me what I thought. Of course I agreed, but they let me keep my parents’ last name.
So they took you into their family?
They never thought twice about it. They always treated me like a son, but never expected me to forget my parents. They were the kindest people I have ever known.
Then you and Gregoric graduated from high school and went to college. Why didn’t you go to the same college as he?
Well, Gregoric’s family had some money and offered to pay for my college. I couldn’t say no, since I didn’t have any other way to pay for it, but I went to a really small school that was cheap, so that I didn’t feel as guilty.
Let’s fast forward a few years. What was your first impression of Katre?
Wow. She was dazzling, for sure, but very, how should I put it? Poised. What I mean is that she always had it together and knew what she wanted. She was never loud or quiet. She was balance itself. (laughs) She was so elegant that it made Gregoric look clumsy. I used to tease him for it all the time. She wasn’t just beautiful, though. She was also very kind.
And you met Mer through her, right?
Yes. Mer and Katre were friends.
What was your first impression of Mer?
(smiles) I thought it ironic that these two Purebloods had non-Pureblood friends, even a non-Oceain. I think it said a lot of Katre for having a best friend who wasn’t Oceain. (thinks) Mer. She was stunning, don’t get me wrong, but I was attracted instantly to her because of her friendship with Katre. Their friendship was just as close as Gregoric and I’s friendship. I liked how delicate she looked, like she needed a protector. (laughs) Maybe that’s why I am a natural Guardian.
Tell me about Holidee when she was born.
(smiles) She was the sweetest baby. I remember going to the hospital and seeing Gregoric very worried. It wasn’t until the doctor came out and told us it was a girl that he relaxed. We went in and saw Katre and tiny Holidee. She was so small and fragile-looking. I remember thinking how weak she looked. (laughs) I suppose outward appearances can be deceiving. I remember holding her for the first time and she leaned her small head against my chest and fell asleep. From that moment, she had captured my heart.
You got to spend a year with her before you became her Guardian?
Yeah. It was the best year of my life. Truly. Holidee was like all of our daughters. We all loved her equally. Katre and Gregoric were great parents and I was proud to be in that family.
What was you first thought when Gregoric asked you to be Holidee’s Guardian?
My first thought was that I felt honored. I never had the confidence Gregoric possessed, and I never believed in myself like he believed in me. I was in disbelief, because I didn’t think I was good enough for the job. I remember thinking, ‘Why me? For your Pureblood daughter? Are you crazy?’, but he always had faith in me.
Were you sad to leave?
Of course. Those people were my life, but it wasn’t as bad as it sounded. For a couple of years we were still altogether. I just couldn’t be seen by Holidee. Then Gregoric and Katre moved to Ohio, and that’s when things got complicated.
You mean with Mer.
Yes. It got more difficult to see her. You see, whenever I was in Ohio, I was thinking of her, and whenever I was in Georgia with her, I was thinking of Holidee. As Holidee grew, it wasn’t that I worried more; it was just that I wanted to be there. Always. I felt her blood in my blood and every little trip or scraped knee, I could feel. It was tough feeling things and not knowing how serious they were when you are in a different state. Mer was understanding, but I knew she felt second-best. (sighs) That’s when I told her I wouldn’t be visiting her for a while. I wrote to her every week, but we didn’t see each other except on Christmas.
That must have been tough.
Toughest years of my life. Katre and Gregoric felt guilty, of course. They even thought about moving back to Georgia, but then Gregoric’s parents became ill. The timing was never right.
Why do you think Mer never married?
You’d have to ask her.
You gave us a small insight into Gregoric’s death. Why do you suppose he didn’t let you heal him, aside from Katre?
Well, honestly, it wasn’t my job. I wasn’t his Guardian. I was Holidee’s.
Where were his Guardians?
(deep breath) This is probably something that I have been asked the most. Firstly, Guardians are not immortal or invincible. Secondly, most Oceains didn’t have Guardians. It was more of a Pureblood thing. More traditional. Even then, not many Oceains knew other Oceains. There are a lot of factors that complicate everything. Simply put, though, Gregoric’s parents were more traditional in Oceain standards and believed that Purebloods should have Guardians. I’m sure Gregoric had a Guardian of his own, but never met him or her. That being said, people grow old. I would assume that Gregoric’s Guardian died or else they would have saved him. His parents had died. It’s safe to assume that his Guardian had died as well. That is the awful truth to Guardians: eventually you won’t have them around to protect you.
Can you be a Guardian to more than one person?
(smirks) You will find that out later in the series.
What advice would you give to a new Guardian?
I would tell them to not be afraid of loving. That is the hardest part of being a Guardian. You are afraid to love or be loved, because you feel that your life is devoted to someone else who may need your life given for them. That’s no way to live, though.
Let’s talk about your eyes.
Ah, my eyes. We finally come to the topic of my death, and you skillfully mention my eyes.
Okay. Do you remember anything from your death?
I remember Gregoric. He was waiting for me with a smile on his face, but he didn’t welcome me. He told me to go back. It wasn’t my time.
I remember feeling…old. Maybe not old, no. Wise? (shakes head) I don’t know. I just felt different.
And when you first saw your eyes?
My eyes. They don’t feel like mine, but I suppose they are now. I don’t really have a strong opinion about them, since I rarely see myself in a mirror. I do find it interesting, though, that Oceains’ eyes are just reflections of their soul. Does that mean our natural eye color is clear? Like a window? (shrugs) It is fascinating when you think about it. Not many Oceains see souls in their pure form. Maybe that’s why I never knew that your soul reflects in your eyes. I always thought it was more of a genetic thing.
That is interesting.
Isn’t it, though? I was taught by Purebloods and am still discovering things about my race. Makes you wonder what else is out there.
Copyright © 2013 by B.M. Green
I was surprised yesterday with the most wonderful gift: the ocean. After telling me to meet him at a certain place at a particular time, I made my way by train to the unknown destination. While reading a good book, I noticed out of the corner of my eye the thing that I had been longing for all these months. The calm ocean pulled the train, teasing me to touch its frigid waters. When the train got to its last stop, I got off to feel the warm embrace of the man I love while the wind whipped around us. He smiled, his eyes full of surprises, and led me to the place I was hoping: the beach. We walked on the coarse sand and talked for hours, wanting only to be in that place, and I realized in that moment, that it is possible to have everything you always wanted.
Me sorprendió ayer con el regalo más maravilloso: el océano. Después de decirme que lo encontrara en un lugar determinado en un momento determinado, me dirigía en tren hacia el destino desconocido. Durante estoy leyendo un buen libro, me di cuenta por el rabillo del ojo lo que yo había estado esperando durante todos estos meses. El mar en calma sacó el tren, burlándose de mí para tocar sus aguas frígidas. Cuando el tren llegó a su última parada, me bajé a sentir el cálido abrazo del hombre que amo, mientras el viento azotaba a nuestro alrededor. Él sonrió, sus ojos llenos de sorpresas, y me llevó al lugar que estaba esperando: la playa. Caminamos a la arena gruesa y hablamos durante horas, esperando sólo para estar en ese lugar, y me di cuenta en ese momento, de que es posible tener todo lo que siempre quiso.
The breeze was soft against my cheek as I gazed at the blue horizon. The blue on blue color scheme would only work when put together by nature as whitecaps glittered the ocean. My attention was pulled down to the warm cup in my hands. Mocha. The chocolaty coffee was cooled by the ocean breeze to the perfect temperature. My notepad and pen were set beside my cup, ready to write. The laid-back teenager sat before me, staring off into the ocean, no doubt yearning to be in it. Rip Hakeber, who preferred just to called Rip, agreed to answer a few questions for me. I remember meeting him when he was only sixteen years old, and can see a growing maturity within him each year. That maturity is turning him into a deep thinker, a meditator, which gives him a mysterious air. However distant his mind was, his body seemed at perfect ease in the small oceanfront café. We sat at a small table outside, facing the water, the breeze combing through our hair. He had ordered a black coffee, but had not touched it. I took a sip of my mocha, before addressing him, hoping my voice was not full of the nerves that my body felt.
Hi, Rip. How are you today?
Thank you for taking the time to sit down with me and chat.
Sounded fun to me.
Okay. Let’s get started. What does it feel like to be popular in high school?
I’m popular? Huh, who knew? (smirks impishly) Well, in all honesty, I just try to keep up with the crowd. If I fit in, then I don’t stand out.
Why do you put red highlights in your hair?
It brings out my eyes.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I don’t really know. Something active so that I can stay healthy and in shape. Plus, I would get bored with an office job or something similar.
Do you or did you ever have a crush on Holidee?
(thinks for a moment) Holidee is like a sister to me, much like Bek. I respect and admire her intelligence and skills. Could I ever love her more than a sister? Perhaps, but that was not given to me and, therefore, is not mine to have.
Do you envy Zeke for snatching her away?
No. Zeke is my friend. I believe all of us, Tom, Zeke, and myself, were all mesmerized by Holidee when we first met her. She has an air about her, which attracts people to her. She commands your attention. I suppose that comes with being a Pureblood. But I don’t think she would have fallen for anyone other than Zeke. Zeke is so easy to be with and genuine. Tom and I… well, we have a few more issues.
What kind of issues are you referring to?
Well, I don’t want to go into too much detail, for fear of giving away anything from the second book, but Tom and I both have problems concerning our fathers, which have created something inside us that is just brewing. That is all I will say.
Are you on bad terms with your father?
We don’t speak much, no.
Do you think that will ever change?
No. And before you ask, it does not make me sad. Call me insensitive, but it’s how I feel. Bek, however, feels differently. She was always the more hopeful of us two.
You and Bek have a very strong connection. How do you like being a twin?
Oh, I love my sister! Bek is the best! We understand each other better than anyone and it’s a relief to have someone I can confide in just about anything.
Do you fear that connection will ever change?
I don’t think the connection will ever weaken, but as we grow, I do realize that things will change. Bek will get married eventually and have a family, which will take most of her time, but our connection will always be strong.
Will you ever get married?
I don’t know. I suppose if I find the right girl. It is certain for Bek, however, because she is a Mother, you see. (smiles) It’s in her blood to love.
What of your mother?
My mother is an angel. Very passive in her nature, and sometimes fragile, I believe, even if she won’t let us know. She is a very kind-hearted being with a lot of love for everyone, which is probably where Bek gets it from. I have more stubbornness, which comes from my father.
What was your first impression of Holidee, considering you already knew her to be the last Pureblood?
Upon first seeing Holidee, I thought she was quite young. I know she is my age, but I thought the last Pureblood was older, or at least that is how it sounded from the stories we had heard. I had wondered at the time, if she had it in her to save us. It wasn’t a question of power or skill but of courage. It was no small task that was given to her.
What stories do you speak of?
When her parents died and I assume other Purebloods as well, whether it be old age or other reasons, stories circulated around the community that our blood was disappearing. Some feared the worst and had no hope, but then more stories began to appear of a girl who carried all of the strength and skills of a Pureblood. No one had seen this girl, and she didn’t appear in any of the normal places for our people, so it was only considered a story, a sort of fairytale. I had heard from my mother that a Halfblood teacher had transferred to my high school, which was peculiar since there weren’t many of us in this town and he was unmarried. Then, after talking with one of her friends and meeting the teacher, my mother had found out that he had transferred because of the Pureblood girl, who was to attend my high school as well.
And you recognized Holidee right away?
It was pretty obvious if you know what to look for. Her eyes are a dead giveaway, but even if I hadn’t seen them, the way people stayed away from her, rather than smothering her as new meat, was also an indication. I think humans have a sixth sense when it comes to feeling strong power. They shy away from it, unconsciously, afraid it might be dangerous.
You mentioned normal places for your race of people. Were these secret?
No, no. It wasn’t like we were magical in that sense. There were just places that our people tended to gather. It wasn’t formal or anything. Humans didn’t notice anything strange. For example, there was a café on the corner near the supermarket near my home. The café was ordinary, serving coffee and sandwiches, but it was run by a man who had an eighth of our blood and therefore gave special discounts to us. He called us his loyal customers. So a lot of us just went to have our coffee there and everyone tended to talk about the latest gossip or what they were doing with their skills. My mother took Bek and I there many times when my father was busy. She loved talking with the older ones about stories and Purebloods. She was always fascinated with Purebloods.
Why are the Purebloods so important?
They carry an essence within them that gives them the ability to be the best at every skill, as well as have a stronger connection with the ocean and its creatures. Their abilities help others, like me, to understand better and improve our skills. They are considered teachers.
Your skills seem strong.
Not half as strong as Holidee’s.
What is your favorite skill?
I enjoy doing things with my mind. Concentration and meditation are very appealing to me.
Are those you best skills?
Yes, I believe so.
What skill would you like to improve on the most?
(thinks) Probably my Healer skills. I think healing, along with Mother skills, is the most important of the skills. It is essential in a world such as today’s.
What kind of world is that?
Do you wish to elaborate?
(Takes his first sip of coffee) Mother Earth is dying and crying out to her children to stop the abuse, the destruction. We are all contaminating, changing, and destroying our world. Humans and non-humans. If we continue down this path, there will no longer be a world to live in.
Do you believe there is one part of the world that is far worse than any others?
I don’t know much about the other areas, but I do believe the oceans are the worst. The fisheries are disappearing. Animals are being captured for entertainment purposes. Garbage is thrown into the water by the tons. It is actually changing the chemistry and temperature of the waters, creating unlivable habitats for marine animals.
Do you think that your people can stop it?
No. There are too few of us and too many careless, selfish people.
So you have no hope?
Unless the world decides to change, and my race of people can come together to work on our skills, to become stronger as a people, then there is no hope.
That is a little dismal, Rip. Does it make you angry?
I get angry sometimes about the nature of people and their selfish ways, but I try not to let it get me down. I think I am more of a realist, whereas Holidee and my sister are optimists, which is what our race needs, so it makes me happy to have a leader such as Holidee.
Realists are good, also.
Yes, balance is the essence of life. That is why there is both good and evil. If we did not have one, then we could not appreciate the other.
You sound wiser than your years.
(Big smile.) Nah! I’m just Rip.
With that, Rip took another sip of his coffee and finished our chat with a smile and a laugh, but behind that smile, I could see something deeper in his eyes. It was as if he was asking a question that no one could answer.
Copyright © 2012 by B.M. Green