I was asked by Charlene A. Wilson to present this blog post today. We’d like to thank Sandra Cox for this opportunity.
Ahem. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jamesuranton Lorus Tru Shilomacj. I’m known as James in Cornerstone Deep, however. Although, of course we don’t go by our full names in our own dimension either. *fidgets and mumbles under his breath* I must agree with Cole. This isn’t as easy as Charlene said it would be.
Ahem. *squares his shoulders*
What’s quickly becoming the most talked about quirk of the Shilo Manor characters is Cole’s love of butter. It was introduced in book one, Cornerstone Deep, when Cole and I are talking in the breakfast nook. But this short clip cemented it to his personality. Cole was very worried about getting Anna away from Lord Dressen and time wasn’t moving fast enough toward our planned attempt. He, uh, took it out on the mantel clock. Emanating Vincent’s destructive behavior, he caused a miniature statue of Meridian’s capitol tower to pierce the face.
“What are you doing up already?”
Cole’s nerves jumped at the sudden voice. “I hate it when you do that.”
James chuckled. “You called me.”
“I didn’t realize the time before I did.” He motioned to the clock. “You wouldn’t mind fixing that, would you?”
Stepping to the desk, James set a plate of cake down for his brother. “Taking on Father Time? You’ll lose.” He motioned a hand to guide the figurine to the bookshelf then passed it over his view of the clock. The face unpuckered, hands straightened, and the glass reassembled.
He sat in a chair and forked a piece of his own snack. “Eat the cake. Elaina’s family barely touched it. We have enough to last a year.”
“Did you bring butter?”
“You want butter on a cake?”
“I’ll eat butter on anything.” He reached for his portion.
“How about sweet cream?”
“Just eat the cake.”
While the visitors read, James leans to Charlene with a whisper. “I’m not portraying this post as I’d hoped, Charlene. I was under the belief I’d be announcing the release of book two, Cornerstone Deep Echoes. I truly think Cole was right in wanting to hire Mr. Ballard to present this. An officiator would do a much better job.”
Charlene smiles and sets her hand on his arm reassuringly. “You’re doing fine, James. Just imagine you’re in the study with Cole and Vince and you’re doing your counseling thing.”
James presses his lips into a fine line and sucks air through his nose. He nods, reclaiming his place as speaker.
As I mentioned, Vincent has a destructive side. Which brings us to his prominent trait: Impulsive behavior.
Cole didn’t know whether to head straight for the study or stop at the parlor to grab a drink first. His gut told him his hunches were true, and if they were, he’d need a strong mix to handle it.
Vincent marched beside him, flexing his fingers. Sparks flew from the tips with each outward arch, pocking the hardwood floor.
James looked at him sideways. “Clench those fingers into fists or you’ll be refinishing this floor yourself.”
Cole scowled at his youngest brother. “If you blow up this house again, I swear I’ll be the one to ban you to the woods this time.” He paused abruptly in front of the parlor and James bumped him from behind. “I need a drink before we look into this.”
James stepped past him. “I think we could all use one.”
“This is beyond sickening.” Vince turned for the study. “Forget the drink. I have to know.”
And as you can see, I tend to be the one to clean up after my two brothers. *glances at Charlene with a grin* I guess if I hadn’t been given that trait, Shilo Manor would have stood in rubble centuries ago.
With reluctance, Cole scooted back the chair. He flicked a stray ginger root peal into the trash bin and stuffed a small pouch of sage into the appropriate canister on the shelf. The gems clattered as he swept them into a drawer and rolled it shut. A wave of his hand, and the feathers he’d toyed with earlier whirled to gather around a sash that hung alongside the storage hutch. He scanned the room. “Not to James’s perfection, but what ever is?” He grinned at his comment.
James leans over to Charlene and whispers. “That’s not the clip I chose.”
“Oh, I just thought this one showed that you always have to have things perfect. You know, just right.”
He furrows his brow. “But the roots rising from the terra to support Shilo Manor’s failing structure after Vincent destroys the study with his temper was much more dramatic.”
Charlene nods. “And more flattering. I know, James.” She winks.
With a sigh, James straightens and returns to his post.
Ahem. As you can see, we characters take on a life of our own when given traits to personalize our behavior. I’ll not go into what makes the women we love special. But they have a unique voice as well, I assure you.
Charlene stands as James turns to her with a flushed face. “Now, see? That wasn’t so bad, was it?”
He hands her the notes. “No offense intended, but… Yes, Charlene. It was.” He clears his throat and heads for the door. “I’ll put Mr. Ballard on standby for the next blog post.”
James glances back at Charlene and watches as she strolls into the crowd to mingle. With a wave of his hand, he adds to the completed guest post.
As they crossed the terrace, Cole motioned to the grounds. “You’re cleaning this up, right?”
James grinned, causing dimples to crease his cheeks. A pass of his hand, and he took in the area at large. Marble reassembled like an intricate puzzle, smaller pieces snapping into place with tiny clinks. Limbs and splinters gathered and reunited with the trees as leaves and pine needles reclaimed their rightful holds. Roots slithered back into their burrows, sod settling into place to blanket the disturbed soil.
Cole watched the circus of movement and shook his head. No amount of time could pass that would take away his admiration of his brother’s multi-tasking control. He turned and headed inside. “The seraphim’s arm is in front of her dresser.”
“I’ll take care of it.”
He checks to make sure Charlene’s still not looking adds another clip.
James’s hand whipped to the sky and roots rose from the terra to support the failing structure. Vines and limbs intermingled and snaked across the ceiling and walls, holding firm the framework. He threw his thick arms around his enraged brother, pinning his motion.
Fire flashed in Vincent’s eyes as he looked to the door. Another pulse of power flashed along his hands as he struggled against James’s strong hold.
James nods with a smile. “That’s better.”
What they’re saying about Cornerstone Deep
Full reviews available upon request.
“This is a well-written world, with a cast of characters that bring it to life. Cole is the bad boy, the one that tugs at your heart, but makes so many mistakes. His brothers are a great foil to his personality, both well written as well with stories of their own. Anna is a fun and feisty young woman, also looking for love, but with her will taken from her, making her an entirely different character. Cornerstone Deep is fast-paced and hard to put down. I look for Ms. Wilson to follow this up with stories on each of the brothers. I would enjoy reading more about this fascinating family.”—The Romance Review
“The detail that Charlene puts into this story on the objects around the characters as well as the characters quirks is astounding. When I got this book and began reading it I couldn’t put it down! I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy, paranormal, and of course, true love.”—Anastasia Creatives
Cornerstone Deep blurb:
It's their nature - long lives and rebirth. They're from another dimension, one gifted with advance abilities, but they serve in Cornerstone Deep. They're the Wizards of Shilo Manor.
They outlive the mortals of this realm by thousands of years, and when it comes to love the cruel fact is reinforced. Reincarnation doesn't exist on this plane. They lose their wives to death with no hope of reuniting. Yet they continue to accept others for whatever time they have together. Save for Cole. His love for his last wife still burns in his soul four centuries after her death.
When the service they render to the noblemen of Cornerstone Deep brings him face to face with Anna, something unexpected happens. In a realm of silent souls, hers calls to him. He responds with a kiss—one that joined with the spell of servitude she inhaled, binds her soul.
Breaking ancient covenants, angering the lords, and bringing the gods' wrath upon him, Cole tries desperately to undo his wrong and free his love—despite the determination of the nobleman to keep her.
~ * ~
My life is a mirage of endless time. But you in this moment engulf me, rivet my mind, encompass my soul. (Cole Shilo)
Cornerstone Deep - excerpt
As Anna emerged from Cantrell Artisan, she shivered in the spring air. The industrial West Side’s sulfuric odor rode the breeze from across town, and the fragrant fire flickered out. She cradled the holder between the large granite lion paws that sat beside the steps. It fit nicely. She sniggered at the sight. Kyle Dressen’s artistic contribution to the sphinx.
She stepped onto the sidewalk and looked around. Humor faded. Vapor loomed over the empty streets like phantoms gathering warmth from the asphalt. She briskly rubbed her sleeves. The slight warming did nothing to ease her insecurity. Street lights blinked on but offered little comfort as the newscaster’s announcement flooded her mind. “After much deliberation, the new curfew of 2024 has been set into place. Lord Kyle Dressen, Grand Marshal of the courts, announced the bill’s passing, and urges all to adhere as strict measure will be taken to ensure vandalism of the East Side is eradicated.”
What a ridiculous notion. The impoverished East Side getting aid from the lawmakers. Yet now, unease filled her. Her co-workers’ gossip on the matter didn’t help her anxiety. An apprehensive tone caught her voice as she repeated the warning. “Curfew breakers will never be seen again.” Her whisper sent mist through the chill. She wished she hadn’t spoken.
Anna hurried across the open court and down an adjacent street. Awnings rustled in the wind. Neon signs that once invited late-night commerce hung dead behind barred windows. Her rushed steps echoed through the air.
She looked to the sky. A blanket of stars covered the firmament. She’d worked too late. Again. “God, I’m not going to make it.”
Her steps quickened, and she caught her breath as she approached the shortcut through the park. The wide corner entrance stood closed, the ancient stone griffin perched high on the gateway glaring down at her. She shook the bars with disbelief. “When do they ever lock Shilo Park?” Scanning the long gates that fortified the urban green, fear clutched her stomach.
She whipped around. The sound was like a whisper to her mind yet clear as if spoken. Her gaze intensified as she studied the shadowed pavement. Beneath the dim light of a street lamp, dense smoke billowed, taking the form of three men. Her throat clenched. “What…in…the…world?” She spun around and ran.
“There’s no use in running.”