Hi guys! Today I am very excited to welcome author Belinda McBride here to Joyfully Jay. Belinda is here as part of our Joyful Approach Countdown to GRL and she is talking about genealogy and sharing an excerpt from her book Silver/Steel in the fabulous Arcada series. She has also brought a copy of the book to give away!
So please join me in giving Belinda a big welcome!
Who’s Your Daddy?
Genealogy has been on my mind lately. I’ve had many, many ancestors who were just fascinated with their family history so I’m really lucky because there’s a lot of data on my family. The other night, I was browsing Ancestry.com looking at what other people have added to the information I already have. There are photos and anecdotes as well as the obligatory census records and so forth. In one case, I knew my great, great grandparents had divorced but never had any insight as to why. Well, he married her when she was fourteen, she had two children by the time she was seventeen, and several every year after that. No wonder they fell apart!
I love learning about my family and sometimes elements I discover about them creep into my writing. Not so much personality traits as just a sense of where they came from. What was important to them. Most of my characters have deep family and community ties. In the Arcada books, the “Who’s Your Daddy” question is very important. If a character happens to be part of the Blacque family, they are deeply marked by Dane Blacque, the still-living patriarch and alpha wolf of his pack. That gives me issues and relationships to explore. Drusilla is a loyal daughter who will do almost anything for her father, regardless of the cost to herself. Lukas is prickly and defensive around Dane, largely because he was afraid his father would learn his secrets. And young Travis feels alienated from his father, caught somewhere between his powerful older brother and the darling babies his father loves so much.
Over in the Uncommon Whore universe, the father figure isn’t there for Helios and Griffin, but as I write the newest installment of the series, the hero Caius is deeply marked by his father, and not in a good way. But more importantly, the theme that’s beginning to emerge in the series is of Helios as father. Not only of he and Griffin’s children, but on a much larger scale. As the king, he is charged with the wellbeing of all his people. Markus has reappeared, and stands at risk of being usurped in his own father role by his cousin Helios.
A battle is on the horizon, and it should be interesting to watch it unfold.
But for now, here’s an excerpt from Arcada: Silver/Steel. This is where Lukas Blacque and his little brother Travis are bonding. Enjoy!
For the first time Travis saw that he and Blacque weren’t that different. Blacque had made rash decisions he regretted. He’d fought his own war against alienation from the pack and his family. Travis bit his lip. “Do you want kids of your own?”
“Didn’t think I did. Now? Maybe.” He glanced at Travis. “You?”
“Hell, yeah. I’ve always wanted kids.” Problem was no woman wanted kids with him.
“If you want it, it’ll happen.”
“No, Blacque. It won’t. No female’s ever gonna want my kids. I’ll never mate.”
Blacque grinned. Where’d he get off being amused by something like that?
“God, I just confessed my deepest, darkest secret, and you smile!”
“No, I caught you in a motel room with your deepest, darkest secret. As for the females, they lust after you like you’re a bitch in heat. When the time comes, it’ll happen.”
“Gee, thanks. Comparing me to a bitch. Lovely analogy.” He knew damn well what he looked like. He was smaller than every other male in the pack. He could put on a fuckin’ dress and pass. No, thank you.
“Okay, I put that badly. Like they’re in heat, and you’re the only male in town. Or like they’re a bunch of preteens, and you’re Justin—”
“You will not go there. I don’t wear pink lip gloss.”
“You don’t need it.”
He growled, and Blacque laughed. The truck fishtailed, and they grew quiet, focusing on the road as they drew nearer to Arcada. He was superstitious: once they crossed the city limits, they were in a sanctuary. Arcada didn’t tolerate aggression. He always expected something horrific to happen just this side of the track.
“Lukas, does it bother you that you’ll never have a mate?”
His brother looked at him, and his expression was warm. Understanding. “Travis, I have Oliver.”
“But he’s not your mate.”
“Not the way our people mate. But we’ve got something better. And given that our father left his mate, I’d say the love Bleu and I share is a blessing.”
“Dad was mated?” His belly flopped, and then he looked at his brother in amazement. “To your mom. He was mated to your mother! That’s why… Well, shit.” It had happened when Travis was a teen. Lukas and Drusilla came to live with Dane, and his father had been quiet and grim for such a long time afterward. That was about the time all the baby-making started—right around the time Lukas’s mother become so ill. He pulled his coat around his body, not so much cold as shaken by the revelation. They rode in silence for a few moments.
“Hey, Trav?” Blacque’s voice was low and rough. Tense. Confused. He turned to look at his brother. Blacque was watching the rearview mirror. “Think you can manage to shift?”
“Well, yeah. But—”
“Get ready. I’m gonna shoot for the city limits, but I might not make it. If we have to stop, you get out and run—run hard.” He picked up his cell phone and quickly dialed a number, then tossed it on the seat. Travis twisted around to look behind the truck and saw nothing, just dark shadows under the trees. Inky stains that wove from tree to tree, dodging in and out of the light.
When dream hunter Dylan Ryve spots a beautiful shapeshifter raising hell in a bar, he knows he wants the wild young man. But Travis Feris is more to Dylan than a few hot minutes outside in the snow; he’s the assassin’s ticket into the magical town of Arcada. He didn’t plan to rescue the kid, but when he found the shifter being attacked, the opportunity to play hero was too good to pass up.
Through the solitude of a long winter night, Dylan walks in Travis’s fevered dreams, learning about Arcada and the pack, and showing the shifter the man he’d been so very long ago. When morning comes, both men know their lives will be forever entwined.
From Dylan, Travis learns that he is a strong, valued member of the pack. The dreamwalker sees his own worth reflected back at him in the dark blue eyes of the wolf. Yet when Dylan has the chance to free himself from centuries of enslavement, can he betray the man he has come to love?
Publisher’s Note: This book contains BDSM elements, domination/submission.
Belinda has brought a copy of Silver/Steel to give away to one lucky reader. Leave a comment below for your chance to enter. The contest closes on Thursday, August 29th at 11:59 pm EST.
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