It isn’t every day that I get a chance to sit and visit with elves and I’m excited about this opportunity. Today I am welcoming Naliel and Sarnaiel to my blog. They are here to talk a bit about themselves, their life together, and their world. Please, have a seat and get comfortable.
Thanks for being here today. Can you tell us a little about yourselves?
Naliel: As of this writing, I am currently a little over two hundred years old. I’m a hunter and teacher in my community, as well as heir to Liunos lands. I am a half-elf, my mother was a human noble from the country Bavaria. I have one living daughter, Briae, and Sarnaiel is the human equivalent of what one may call my husband.
Sarnaiel: I’m about four years older than Nal, although that means quite a lot of nothing if you think about it. He and I grew up together. I’m a Ka’naar, or Dark Elf, and his father adopted me into their family when I was abandoned as a baby during the war between my birth race and the Qui’vali, or high elves. Biologically, I had a twin brother, a sister, and some parents, but no one gives a fuck about those assholes since they left me behind, and I’m amazing. Their loss, not mine. Anyway, I mostly do some of the dirtier jobs in the land that require my…unique abilities. I’m a shadow user, an ability high elves don’t have, and it’s fairly handy for spying and backstabbing. I’m also the native poisons expert. Take that how you will.
Interesting, I feel so humbled to be here with you two. Can you give us a couple of random thoughts about yourselves, something that will surprise your readers?
Naliel: Random thoughts, hm? Alright, I have one. Although my biggest vice is jealousy, there are times when I secretly enjoy it when Sarna flirts with others knowing it will upset me. I know he only does it because it’s one of the few ways I’ll become aggressive in bed, and a part of me likes the fact he enjoys the times when I become the dominant one. I like knowing I have as much power over him as he has over me.
Sarnaiel: (speechless) I…I’m sorry, give me a moment to pick my jaw up from the floor. So. Thoughts. To have…no…it’s done. I can’t. My mind has been effectively blown. Next question.
Okay, moving on. Can you share with us something about your ordinary world before the upheaval to your lives.
Sarnaiel: Which upheaval? Whatever, I suppose something ordinary I would do would be to go out foraging for poison reagents. I’m not good with training others, the first time I was sent to lead a green team of elves for sentry training was the last. In my defense, they were all a bunch of whiners, with the exception of my magnificent daughter, Briae. I pity the weak willed fool who tries to win her heart, she’ll eat him alive.
Naliel: A normal day for me consists of meditation, archery practice, and sometimes various meetings with my father and the council to discuss politics and the status of our lands. Meditation helps keep me balanced with my element – earth – and helps keep my mind clear and focused.
Can you tell us what upset your daily lives and brought you into conflict with each other?
Naliel: As Sarnaiel said earlier, we were pretty much raised together, although that doesn’t mean we were always close. The war between our two races resulted in a lot of bad blood between my people and Sarna. Since he’s older than me, as children he took a lot of his resentment out on me, since I was half Qui’vali. We overcame that, amongst other things, but it wasn’t easy. I was also discriminated against, being a half-elf, and for years we walked on eggshells around each other due to the feelings we had for one another.
Yes, I can see how your relationship would have been complicated. What did you first think of each other?
Sarnaiel: When Naliel was born, Rhiannon – his mother – told me I was a big brother, and I had to protect him. I was four at the time, and I didn’t quite understand what that meant. At first I tried hard to be a good big brother, but like Nal said, I was surrounded by people who hated me because I existed, and I lashed out a lot. Growing up, I wanted to hate Nal because he was so damn passive. He pretended to brush off the other kid’s insults about his heritage and never fought back. I hated that sort of weakness, but I couldn’t find it in my heart to hate him. Needless to say, I was a pretty confused kid back then.
Naliel: I adored Sarna. He was my big brother, and I wanted to be like him. Like most little brothers, I somewhat hero-worshipped him even when he was mean. When I started feeling more for him, I at first felt ashamed. I mean, he was my brother, yet I had very impure thoughts about him. Even though in my head I knew we weren’t really related, it felt like that shouldn’t have mattered. Obviously, I got over it.
Confusing times, definitely. Were you annoyed that Naliel got in the way of you obtaining your goal?
Sarnaiel: Naliel was my goal, and his stupid arranged marriage pissed me off. I had waited some pretty agonizing years for him to come around and return my feelings, and then when it all came out and he told me he was getting married, I wanted to kill someone. I did seriously contemplate killing his fiancée more than once. When she first showed up, she was barely an adult, only 16, and already had some guy she was in love with, so she tried to be insufferable in hopes they’d change their mind and send her back home. It didn’t work, but I ended up having to stay away anyway, because you know. I have homicidal tendencies. I would have made it look like an accident, I swear.
That was quite a complication toward obtaining your goal: Naliel. What were some of the headaches/trials you faced in dealing with Sarnaiel?
Naliel: Dear gods, you have no idea. I love Sarna with every fiber of my being, but he seriously tests people’s patience, on purpose, mind you. It was difficult having him lash out at me whenever he had his fits of temper when we were younger. I’m told I have a lot of patience and that like my element, I’m resilient. I suppose that’s true, but in reality the biggest reason I forgave Sarna for all the things he did is because I love him. Well, that and some of our relationship problems were my fault, and I couldn’t really blame Sarna for reacting in a very Sarna-like manner to my stubbornness. We’re both very hard-headed people.
It sounds like you certainly had your challenges. Did any other people interfere with you reaching your goal?
Naliel: I suppose. The incident with a certain someone haunted me for years, and for a while I was unable to seek intimacy from Sarna without him seriously coaxing me and putting me into a relaxed state. The arranged marriage also put a strain on things. I was also terribly jealous of Tyrnus, but he didn’t actually hinder anything.
Just curious. Did you feel an immediate attraction to each other? Or an immediate resistance?
Sarnaiel: It was mixed, really. I knew I loved Nal when we were kids, but that didn’t stop me from being cruel occasionally. I fell in love with him before he fell for me, so it wasn’t immediate. But once we both felt it, we knew it wasn’t going to go away.
Who made the first compromise in an attempt to make peace in your relationship?
Naliel: Sarna, actually. He’s admittedly a selfish and callous individual, but there’s so much more to him than that if you were to know him like I do. He’s the one who helped me recover after the attack, and he’s the one who closed the gap I had put between us due to the arranged marriage. He has sworn himself to me, and although I don’t feel comfortable with the fact that he believes I own him, I’m grateful one of us swallowed our pride for the sake of our happiness.
He sounds like a good man deep down. When did the heat between you and Naliel first start firing up?
Sarnaiel: I came on to him first, mostly out of jealousy. The girls were flirting with him after we had successfully killed a hubrion – a really big beastie – and things got a little heated. That’s when he told me about the arranged marriage, and things went south from there.
Definitely a mood killer. But you managed to make things work between you after some ups and downs. Would you go through all of that again?
Sarnaiel: There’s only one thing out of all of what happened that I regret, but I’d do it all again. A lot of it was painful, but we were very young, the equivalent of teenagers for humans, and we did a lot of stupid things. Now that I’m two hundred years wiser, I know that what happened let me know what I wanted in life and what I needed to be for Nal. What I needed to be for him is the most important lesson of all, so I don’t think I would want to change anything.
Naliel: We cannot change the past, we can only look forward to the future. I don’t believe in wanting to change the past, but I do believe in learning from it. That’s the most anyone can do, really.
Thanks to both of you for being willing to come here today and share some about yourselves and your relationship. Now sit back and relax while I talk a little to your author, Catriana Sommers.
Catriana, what drives you to be a writer?
I’ve had stories in my head for as long as I could remember. I had to write them down eventually or I probably would have gone crazy, lol. It’s more like a calling, a drive. It’s a part of me, like art is a part of the artist. But the biggest goal I have as an adult is to make a living doing what I love. That is the main goal I hope to achieve someday.
I hope you achieve that goal. What do you do to get away from the stress of writing?
Play video games, watch movies, or spend time with the hubby. Typically, the first two coincide with the last, as I play MMORPGs (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) and other multiplayer games with him.
Do you use a pen name? If so, why?
I’ve had an online persona since I was 14. I’ve gone by various names, some kind of silly, but Catriana is the one that’s stuck with me the longest. I started writing fanfiction, and so I wanted those who may be interested in reading my original stories to find me easily. So far, I’ve had quite a few fans from my fics cross over to read my original stories. That makes me very happy.
I understand about being pleased to have earlier fans stick with you as your career progresses. I’ve been fortunate that way, too.
Where do you find inspiration for your stories?
It varies. Most of the time, it’s random thoughts that pop up in my head. Tiny ideas that I latch on to and try to work out in my head until they become something substantial.
Do you have a regular writing process?
No, I’m pretty random. Sometimes I write my ideas down, sometimes I shoot from the hip. It’s been difficult doing the latter with a series, because you have to be consistent and there are a lot of things to remember. So lately, I’ve taken to writing articles and other tidbits of world information to keep me on track.
I “shoot from the hip” sometimes, too. But I also write series stories and, yes, you have to remember more details that tie the stories together.
Do you have some “words of wisdom” for other writers, especially new writers?
Don’t compare yourself to others. You are you. You have your own style and your own talent. Embrace your strengths and take note of your weaknesses.
I really like that advice. Thanks for sharing a little about you, the writer, and letting your characters visit with us as well.
Now, lets talk specifics about your book Destined…
Genre: Family & Relationships, Fantasy, Gay, Interracial, Romance
Length: 266 pages (E-book), 348 pages (print)
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Buy Link: E-book
Buy Link: Paperback
Was there anything that surprised you while writing this book?
Some of the minor characters surprised me. Tyrnus was a minor character who became more important than intended. Whether or not he’ll play a role in future books remains to be seen.
Did you have a scene that was particularly hard to write? Why?
The attack on Naliel was the most difficult scene for me to write. I usually don’t enjoy being graphic about things like molestation or excessive violence, and I was writing it from his POV as the victim. I felt like a terrible person the entire time, and more than once my best friend, who was betaing for me had to go “You are holding back and stunting this scene. STOP IT.” It was also hard for me on an emotional level, because I’ve been in a similar situation. I’ve been young and naive, and I’ve been tricked by someone who was supposed to be….not a friend, but someone relatively trustworthy, and they utilized that to take advantage of me. Being helpless like that is a terrible feeling, I’d wish it on no one.
Will there be any sequels to this book?
Currently, I plan for the series to be 7 books, but the world is ever expanding, so I wouldn’t be surprised if more popped up. We’ll see.
Raised together, Sarnaiel and Naliel are as close as brothers could be, until the dark elf Sarnaiel decides he wants them to be something more. Rejected, Sarnaiel vanishes, leaving Naliel alone and heartbroken. Their bond, however, cannot keep them apart for long, especially when someone from the shadows makes his move on Naliel in the most brutal of ways.
As the two elves grow older and wiser together, they share an oath, a promise. No matter what trials or obstacles they face, they stay true to one thing:
“It was us from the beginning, and it’ll be use until the end.”
The angle of light filtering through the leaves overhead indicated midafternoon by the time they found their prey, a lone male hubrion. Due to the beast’s extreme temperamental and territorial nature, these large creatures were normally a hunter’s last-resort game. There were typically only two reasons why one would wish to hunt such an animal–desperate starvation, or having something to prove.
Two young elven males, Sarnaiel and Naliel Liunos, happened to be in the latter category. Perched high in the trees, they looked down as the creature grazed the branches to their right. What had started out as a simple conversation amongst peers had turned into a daring bet against the two social outcasts. Pride and egos at stake, the two naturally accepted. Their peers were currently a good distance away, quietly observing in the dense forest.
Naliel frowned thoughtfully, brushing aside his long midnight hair. He reached behind for his bow as the hubrion turned, presenting the perfect angle to hit the vital spot just beneath its jaw.
Something flashed just outside the corner of his eye, distracting him. Naliel turned to his childhood friend, whose fingers moved rapidly in silent communication.
Jumping in one minute. Naliel nodded right as Sarnaiel melted into the shadows of the forest, leaving nothing but a small stream of black smoke in his wake.
Naliel counted the seconds, readied an arrow, and took aim. Enchanted clothing and natural elven abilities kept him from making a single sound and alerting their prey. The creature had yet to change its angle, continuing to chew on fresh leaves, oblivious to its upcoming demise.
At fifty-nine seconds, Naliel shot the first arrow and struck the target dead on. A blood-curdling roar erupted from the beast and three more arrows struck deep, seconds apart. The hubrion swayed, disoriented.
Once the fourth arrow hit, Sarnaiel seemed to emerge out of thin air, flying down through the shadows, wisps of dark smoke trailing from his clothes. He latched onto the creature’s long and slender head, gloved fingers digging into rough hide. Before their prey could even contemplate trying to shake this newest annoyance off, two swords appeared in the elf’s hands, slicing open the creature’s throat. The hubrion flung its head, and Sarnaiel let go, fading back into the shadows.
The beast thrashed weakly, choked attempts at a roar coming from its mangled throat as it drowned in its own blood. Bloodshot orbs rolled to the back of its head as the body fell sideways, dead the moment it hit the ground.
Silence reigned in the forest as Naliel jumped from the perch and made his way towards the creature. Sarnaiel emerged a moment later, a triumphant grin on his handsome face. Turning to the woods, the dark-skinned elf shook blood from his blades before sheathing them. “All right you bastards, pay up!”
Slowly, the rest of the elves came out of hiding, annoyed expressions on most of their faces. However, even they were unable to hide the awe and grudging admiration in their gazes. Two of the golden haired females, Niona and Ralina, glanced at the hunters, impressed and intrigued. They were the only ones to have smiles on their lightly painted lips despite the fact they were out quite a bit of kon.
A blond-haired male, taller and unusually bulky for his race, approached the victors, fixing Sarnaiel with a hard glare. “So you succeeded,” Mironel Liunos said.
Crossing his arms over his chest, Sarnaiel raised a pale eyebrow, smirking smugly. “I dare you to claim we cheat now. As you can see, the two of us are better than all of you combined and I assure you, it’s all natural skill.”
The newcomer’s bright green eyes narrowed in anger. Although Mironel had a bigger physique, Sarnaiel hardly seemed intimidated. There held a note of a challenge in his voice, encouraging the pale-skinned one to start a fight.
Naliel almost sighed at the exchange, resisting the urge to rub his hand over his face in utter frustration. Sarnaiel held their peers in contempt and the feeling was nothing short of mutual. Most of the dislike towards the dark elf was due to race and little else. A silly and moronic reason as far as Naliel was concerned, but he knew how prejudice could shape others, being a half-elf himself. Strapping his bow back in place, he placed a hand on Sarnaiel’s shoulder.
“We have won the bet,” Naliel said, attempting to be the reasonable one of the group. “Let’s leave it at that.” Finally, Mironel gave him his attention. “Two gold kon was the bet, correct? You all will be responsible for getting the body back to the village, as agreed.”
A muscle ticked in the high elf’s jaw. Dropping his arms, Mironel took another step forward, ignoring Naliel for the moment to get into the shadow dancer’s face. “He won’t always be around to protect you with his father’s influence.” His voice rumbled in clear warning.
Sarnaiel smiled and said quite cheerfully, “If you try it, I’ll slit your throat in your sleep.” Despite the deceptively jovial tone, no one could mistake the honesty in his tone. The others learned, quite early and painfully, anything the dark elf said he would do, would be done, especially if violence was needed to get a point across. Sarnaiel had proved time and time again to be much more skilled than most of them in direct combat.
Color drained from Mironel’s rugged face briefly before flushing bright red. Enraged, he would have stepped forward to engage in combat with the smaller elf right then and there, if not for a strong hand suddenly gripping his shoulder from behind. Snarling, he turned to give the interloper a piece of his mind before stopping short, stiffening with fear.
“I’ve heard enough, Mironel.” The grip belonged to another elf, standing around the same height as the two triumphant hunters. Long silver hair settled along the middle of his back, and he glanced around coolly with vividly bright violet eyes. Alabaster skin made him stand out, pale even for a high elf. His silk robes were lined with baby blue, white, and silver, marking him as an Elementalist.
One of the oldest of the young elves, Veciel Rianlai Liunos came from a powerful family. His status as an Elementalist–an official spiritual warrior–proved his power as an individual. An unforgiving gaze full of barely concealed hatred settled on Sarnaiel. “And inferiors should know their place,” he said icily.
Naliel stepped between the two men, knowing if he did not intervene this time, there would be blood. Even now, though they had proven themselves, the animosity between their peers could not be sated. His decision to take on the stupid dare had been part pride, but also hope that he and Sarnaiel could finally garner some respect from individuals like Veciel. “Stop this,” he snapped, a frown darkening his face. “Learn some respect Veciel. You are speaking to my brother with such disdain. As a Rianlai, and the oldest of our peers, I would think you would be above such trivialities.”
With the exception of raising his well-trimmed eyebrow, Veciel’s bland expression did not change. He didn’t seem bothered by Naliel’s veiled insult. “He is not of our blood and therefore is little more than a clan-less Ka’naar. Dark elves are worthless, at best. Why do you think they lost the war? You are the only one who believes differently, although I suppose if my human mother was of the same skin, I’d be sympathetic too.” Raising an arm, a coin bag appeared. “Your earnings, half-breed.”
Irritated, Naliel took the bag, glare unwavering. The other young elves remained silent, but he knew most, if not all of them, shared the same views. Being the son of the Lord of Liunos lands demanded a certain amount of respect, but being half human put him only slightly above Sarnaiel in terms of social acceptance. Their opinions mattered little to him on a personal level–so what if he wasn’t pasty pale and his ears weren’t as pronounced at the tips?–the issue was more political for him. One day, he would be leading them, full Qilvali–high elf–or not. Eventually, he would have to address Veciel’s behavior or risk being undermined for centuries.
A soft, gentle hand rested on Naliel’s arm, pulling him away from his ruminations. He turned to find Niona looking up at him with wide, golden eyes, smiling demurely. “Ignore them Naliel. They’re just jealous because no one has been able to kill a hubrion at our age.” When she moved closer to him, out of the corner of his eye he saw Sarnaiel stiffen. “Ralina and I thought you were amazing.”
AUTHOR CONTACT INFO
Author Web Site: Catriana Sommers
Author Blog Site: Catriana’s Muse
Facebook: Catriana Sommers
Amazon Author Page: Catriana Sommers
Email: [email protected]