Sunday, June 26, 2011

Meet Varek Leale of Stolen Destiny by Gabrielle Bisset

I’d like to welcome Varek Leale, the hero from Gabrielle Bisset’s new novel, Stolen Destiny. First, here’s a little about the book.

Released from prison to find a murderer, a prison-hardened Varek Leale is convinced no woman deserves the man he’s become, but his Aeveren destiny makes him succumb to sweet and sexy Callia Reynolds. To catch a murderer, he and Callia must find an Aeveren with the power to control time. But Amon Kalins isn’t a man to trifle with, and when he wants something, he’ll use his powers, devastating charm, and good looks to get it.

When Amon manipulates time and seduces her away, Varek must turn to the people who set him free for help to get her back. But the Council doesn’t do anything without requiring something in return, and what they want is Amon Kalins, one of the most powerful Aeveren ever. Varek will do what he must to capture Amon and find Callia. If he doesn’t, she’ll be lost to him for untold lifetimes.

RIW: Varek, would you tell everyone a little about yourself?

V: I’m an Aeveren and...I spent three lifetimes in Nil. My wife, Callia, and I have a newborn baby boy and my daughter Tia from my first destined one.

RIW: What are Aeveren?

V: Aeveren are a race of people created by the Archangel Raziel. We’re physiologically just like humans. Where we differ is in the fact that we live fifty lives through reincarnation, have destined ones that we’re drawn to lifetime after lifetime, and some of us possess powers above what humans possess.

RIW: Maybe you should explain what Nil is for the readers, Varek.

V: (hesitating) ...Nil is Aeveren prison. I was sent there because I murdered my first destined one and her lover as they... while they were in bed—my bed.

RIW: How long were you there?

V: Three lifetimes. I’d still be there if the Council hadn’t needed me to find the murderer in New Hope.

RIW: Aeveren live many lifetimes through reincarnation, but three lifetimes is a long time, isn’t it?

V: Aeveren value life even more than humans do. It’s one of our core ideas. So when I murdered another Aeveren, the Council decided I needed to forfeit lifetimes of my time on Earth. I deserved what I got. But time in Nil is a little different as it’s in a different dimension. I simply lived the equivalent of three lifetimes in Nil, never aging, I’m just happy that my first destined one was able to forgive me.

RIW: Does that surprise you that your first destined one, Neera, forgave you?

V: No, not really. But it shows that she understood I made a horrible mistake. I can’t thank her enough for that. If she hadn’t been able to forgive me, then I’d still be rotting in Nil.

RIW: I guess it can be said that forgiveness is a key part of being Aeveren too.

V: I think so. When you live fifty lives, you carry a lot of memories and history with you. If you didn’t forgive what others had done, you’d be pretty damn unhappy.

RIW: So I guess you’ve forgiven Amon then?

V: (scowling) Not so fast. Amon isn’t the same thing at all.

RIW: I know Amon did some terrible things to you, but Callia’s forgiven him. Don’t you think you could?

V: Callia is a much kinder person than I am. The man manipulated time and took her from me. I don’t care if he rots in Nil for the rest of time.

RIW: I understand. How about we change the conversation to something a little lighter, ok? Tell the readers something they wouldn’t know just by reading Stolen Destiny.

V: Something they wouldn’t know? Like that in a past lifetime I was someone famous?

RIW: Were you?

V: (laughing) No. How about I tell them a little more about Tia? My daughter, like Callia’s great-aunt Jean, is an ancient Aeveren. That seems strange to some people since she’s just a preschooler, but in fact, she’s lived almost enough lives to move on.

RIW: That’s very interesting. What power does she have?

V: An even more interesting thing. Tia has the ability to read minds. And now that Callia seems to have that power, thankfully she hasn’t been able to use it with me much, but now I have two people in my house who know what others are thinking.

RIW: And what about your son?

V: Hunter is just a baby, so we don’t know yet. But if he’s past his twentieth lifetime, when most of us receive our powers, so he’ll probably have something too. We won’t know what lifetime he’s in until he’s older and can tell us.

RIW: Thanks for sitting down with me today, Varek. It’s been a pleasure. And congratulations on your new life. You have a lot to be thankful for.

V: I do. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for a second chance.


Varek stood looking down, her hurt coming in waves toward him. He wanted to take her in his arms, hold her body to his, and kiss her pain away, taking it into him. But he didn’t because he knew he would only cause her more pain in the end.

She seemed so small standing in front of him. Her head would rest on his chest just over his heart if he pulled her to him. His mind wandered, and he thought about his hands stroking her long hair as he held her to him. The thought caused him to reflexively breathe in deeply, and before he could stop himself, he sighed as he exhaled.

Callia watched him silently and told herself to just walk away, but something possessed her to ask him why he’d done what he did.

“Why do you reject me as your destined one?”

The words were like knives that cut him but didn’t leave him numb. Her pain stabbed at him, causing his chest to tighten and ache.

“You don’t want me. Trust me.” Another deep breath of cold air.

Callia couldn’t believe she had opened herself up for more humiliation. She felt angry at him and now herself.

“I guess I have no say in this. Great. Seven lifetimes with no destined one and when I’m finally given one, he doesn’t want me and blames me, saying I won’t want him.” Tears began to well up in her eyes like they always did when she was furious. She turned on her heel and walked away as fast as she could without looking like she was anything but angry. She was angry, but more than that, she was hurt and disappointed.

Varek watched her walk away and fought for control over his body, which wanted to run after her. Finally given one? Why would the universe do this to her—make me her first?

As he walked behind her, instinctively protecting her, he told himself he was doing the right thing by not being with her. He wasn’t the type of male she needed. She should have someone kind and gentle, who knew nothing of the horrors he’d experienced, someone who didn’t carry the scars of something wrong in him where she could see.

For every reason he told himself he shouldn’t be with her, his body answered in making his legs move faster to catch up with her. He was losing this battle.

Callia realized about halfway home that he was following her. She considered turning around to ask him why and to demand he stop, but she didn’t want to give him another chance to hurt her. She considered running, but knew that any man with legs that long and a body that well-built was in good shape and would catch up to her in no time.

She reached her apartment and turned to see if he was still behind her. He was, and he was coming toward her. Suddenly, she was frightened. Had she angered him? Was that why he was following her? She quickly reached into her coat pocket for her keys and nervously fumbled with them as she tried to put the correct key in the lock. She stopped dead and sensed him standing on the sidewalk behind her, staring at her as she stood too afraid to move.

Varek knew he had frightened her. She stood stiffly, as if readying herself for an attack.

“I’m sorry,” he said, unsure why he began like that.

Callia turned around and stared down at him. The kindness she had seen when she’d first met him had returned. She decided to open herself up one more time.

“Would you like to come in?”

Varek knew what could happen if he went in with her. He could touch her soft hair, kiss her beautiful lips, and feel her next to him. Biological yearning won out over fear and anger.

He nodded. “Yes.”

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Scooby Doo Meets NASCAR and I Play Gunga Din

Christine and Elizabeth
These photos must have been early in the day before people started arriving.
Last weekend (June 4, 2011), I had more fun with my daughter, Elizabeth’s job at the Volo Auto Museum  I spent Saturday playing Gunga Din to the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine crew.  They were at the Chicagoland Speedway for a NASCAR race.  My younger daughter, Christine is a huge NASCAR fan, so Elizabeth of course asked her for assistance.  There were four passes, so it was Elizabeth and her boyfriend Marshall, Christine and her best friend Anita.
Anita, Elizabeth and Christine
 They didn't think to take food and drink when they left home at five a.m., so when they got down there and discovered hot dogs were $10 a piece they called me for an emergency food/drink run, which took all day, part of which I spent driving around in circles outside the parking lot trying to find "Gate 4."  No one knew where it was.  If the kids had said they were outside the main gate, I'd have had no trouble finding them.  That's where I finally gave up and went.  And sat through a horrible, blinding downpour with hail.  When it cleared up, I could see the Scooby Doo van just beyond the Programs booth.

 Elizabeth and Marshall

We could have stayed and hung out with the kids--maybe even have seen the races, but I hadn't brought all the grandkids--just my grandson, Alex and Anita's son, Dusty to help carry the heavy cooler.  My granddaughters were home and I wanted to spend time with them, too.  So, I left immediately and couldn't get out of the place.  There was a barricade and a cop there.

Anyone familiar with the ventriloquist Jeff Dunham will appreciate this.  Here’s a snippet of his genius and what was going through my head that day. There are some bleeps in this You Tube clip, but it’ll help you understand my conversation with this cop.  Mind you, we were in Joliet, IL, about 50 miles south of Chicago and I live near Fox Lake, about 50 miles north of Chicago.  Here’s a link to Jeff Dunham and Sweet Daddy D talking about NASCAR, followed by my own conversation with the cop who finally told me how to get out of the parking lot after I made my delivery.

"I've been driving around in circles for half an hour making nothing but left turns.  How do I get out of here, Officer?"

The officer's lips twitch toward a smile. "Where're you trying to go, Ma'am?"

"Fox Lake."

He's trying to keep a straight face.
"You turn around and go down to the other end of the stadium--"

"Aw me-ann.  ANOTHER left turn?"

Poor guy's trying to keep it together while he gives me instructions. "Yes, Ma'am.  Then at the end, you turn right and, and at the light you turn right again and go straight back to the Interstate.

"I finally get to make a RIGHT turn?  Yay!"

He was in full, gut-shaking belly laughter when I drove away.  I hope I lightened his day.  I overshot the Interstate entrance and got lost once more before I got on and headed north, but I finally got home and watched a movie with my granddaugthers.

The kids arrived home from the races around one a.m.  There was a band there I've never heard of.  Puddle of Mud?  Several people were jealous that Elizabeth took the van down there when they heard about the band.  Perks of the job.

If you're in the Chicago area, come on up and see us.  We have the Doc Hudson from the movie CARS, and on July 3, George Barris, the Hollywood auto magician will unveil Lightening McQueen.  Elizabeth's bosses are our landlords, so we live right here.  Our backyard abuts the rear of the museum.  There's always something going on!