Monday, January 21, 2013

Guest Blog & Giveaway: Shattered Circle by Linda Robertson

UFI welcomes Linda Robertson Author of The Persephone Alcmedi Series. Thanks for Joining us!!

The Trouble With Wærewolf Dens

I used to live about an hour south of Cleveland and an old friend and I (he was born and raised in Cleveland and could very well be a tour guide there—he knows everything about it, I swear) were talking about my stories. I asked him about a good place for my wærewolves to live.

Ok, ok. In truth I told him I was going to have them housed in a revamped space above a yoga studio. He laughed and laughed. I know nothing about yoga (figured I’d learn about it via the research for the book), but there is apparently some pose that is incorporated into yoga with a dog-type name. Yes, he had a good, long laugh.

Then he told me about the Cleveland Cold Storage building. CCS was built long ago and serviced local businesses that required items be kept refrigerated. Of course as refrigeration advanced and groceries got their own freezers and coolers and meat lockers, CCS was needed less and less. It had become, more or less, a giant billboard.

Situated right along the section of highway where I-90 and I-71 are joined together for several miles, thousands of motorists headed into downtown went by CCS every day and again every evening. Since it was a large, tall structure with no windows it could easily have signage painted on it. 

Did you catch that no windows part? THAT made it perfect for the wærewolves. My lycanthropes responsibly kennel themselves during full moons, so a huge building with no glass that might be easily broken and allow escape would appeal to them. Also, since wærewolves in my story world are not exactly trusted and liked by all, the fact that this building was on the edge of town and not right downtown only increased the logic behind it.

I was delighted by this find and happily included it in the storyline. The old pipes that would have run the coolant had an important part in ARCANE CIRCLE. The less used upper floors, the elevator and elevator shaft were key pieces in WICKED CIRCLE.

Then the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) decided they wanted to tear my building down. For real.

In real life, ODOT announced big plans for a new I-90 project that would require the destruction of the CCS building. The actual owners fought this, as those billboards brought in 5-digit figures each month and they didn’t want to give that up. Then there seemed to be a scandal about unpaid taxes or something of that nature. I didn’t follow it too closely, but skimmed it enough to get a sense that some of the dealings had a definite ‘shady’ taint to them.

In the series I have used many actual places in Cleveland. It was important to me to blend the actual with the fantasy as much as possible,  that makes it seem more real, more alive. So knowing that I was going to lose this building, I decided to write that in to the story. It’s a tidbit subplot that takes on new weight in SHATTERED CIRCLE. 

The character Johnny, who is having to face his destiny and ascend to become the king of wærewolves even though he truly wants nothing of the rank and responsibility, must meet with a strange wærewolf who has experience negotiating such situations, and they meet with ODOT together in a dark tunnel under a bridge (another actual place).

It’s a very tense scene, but it allows me to bring this other character in who plays quite a hefty part beyond this key moment. It allows me to show Johnny giving in to the demands of his position, how he is accepting his fate, his power, and how using it affects his pack and the regular humans around him. It’s a great little scene that came about all because of real-life political road management. 

Ain’t that sweet?


Linda Robertson is the mother of four wonderful boys, owns three electric guitars, and is followed around by a big dog named after Bela Lugosi. Once upon a time she was a lead guitarist in a heavy metal cover band and has worked as a graphic artist. She still composes and creates art, when time permits. Linda currently writes and rocks in northeast Ohio.
Find Linda and her books

Shattered Circle
Persephone Alcmedi #6

After her werewolf boyfriend, Johnny, tried to kill her, Persephone Alcmedi finds herself in the comforting arms of powerful vampire Menessos. She’s trying to sort out her feelings for the two men, but not even Seph is above the confusion of tangled emotions. All Johnny wants to do is mend their relationship and reveal the life-altering news he’s recently received, but his new responsibilities as the werewolf king take up most of his time.

Does this mean Menessos can finally make his move?

Meanwhile, unknown to Seph, her beloved foster daughter, Beverley, has been playing with a magical artifact and making dubious friends on the other side. When Beverley disappears, Seph must seek help from a supernatural being so potent that even Menessos fears him...and such aid always comes with a very steep price.

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