These are a few of my favorite things

Okay so yeah cheesy song but it’s the truth. Today is the start of a new way of doing things here on the blog and my other platforms. AJ is only going to dedicate one day a week to making sure I entertain you here. We aren’t limiting me to just my blog, I’ll be all around trying to stay active in various places and drumming up readers. So today we kick off some of my favorite things. Next month we’ll take a look at some of Alex’s favorite things, and then we’ll go from there with various other characters. We’ll try to stick to the characters we’ll have seen in the Kindle Vella releases. Which will kick off in about two weeks. But if you are a Patreon subscriber you’ll get the first scene of the Call of the Dragon on Monday.

So on to my favorite things.

Color: Persimmon Orange

Food: sauteed chicken over a crisp bed of a caprese salad.

Position: Do I really need to say? Bottom

Song: Stand by Me

And for an extra special treat I’ll give you Stand By Me sung by the person Alex looks most like – Matt Walst of Three Days Grace, or at the time of this song part of My Darkest Days

Music: Dance music

Band: Daft Punk

And because I also like Pentatonix here is a sampling remix of some of Daft Punk’s songs accapella

Book: The City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Claire

And I’ll do you one better my favorite quote from the book:

I did not make a pie,” Alec repeated, gesturing expressively with one hand, “for three reasons. One, because I do not have any pie ingredients. Two, because I don’t actually know how to make a pie.”


He paused, clearly waiting.


Removing his sword and leaning it against the cave wall, Jace said warily, “And three?”


“Because I am not your bitch,” Alec said, clearly pleased with himself.”

City of Heavenly Fire By Cassandra Claire

Ice-cream flavor: Chocolate

Drink: Water with Lemon or maybe it’s coffee I can’t decide.

Movie: Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List – so sue me. There are a bunch of hotties, it’s a sappy movie that Mia made me watch, and I enjoyed it.

TV show: Supernatural

Sport: If I had to choose, I’m gonna say MMA

Sports team: Uh…. New York Rangers? That’s hockey, right.

Holiday: Halloween, or as I like to call it, Alex’s birthday

Smell: Alex’s cologne (on him) – Versace Pour Homme

Thing you own: Ophelia, though she’d take offense to being called a thing or the fact that I own her. But she’s the only thing I care enough about to call a favorite


Tell me what some of your favorite things are? If you are a writer I’d love to hear some of your character’s favorite things.

The Venatori

We have some pretty in depth questions from our friends over at Dabble, so AJ decided since I’m being vocal about writing, I’ll fill out yet another character form. We’ll do one at a time for now as we see things going. Camp is coming this Friday and AJ plans on a very good first day with no work on her shoulders. So hopefully that’ll work out. So on to question #1:

Tell me about your community.

I’m going to preface this as this is my opinion of the community I grew up in. It’s highly prejudiced. Maybe I’ll let Jace or Mia tell their side of the story one day. (maybe…)

Since the age of 5 I have grown up in the heart of New York City. You could say that my life was plagued with the usual human sort misgivings of city life, but it wasn’t. I had a roof over my head. I had 3 square meals a day. I was fortunate compared to some in children and adults living in poverty in the City that I loved.

But what you don’t see is the prejudice and back water thinking that makes the world a horrible place for those who are considered different.

I was an outcast in my community. I lived on the fringes of my society, and the human world around me. I straddled two worlds never belonging to either one. I am half human, half Venatori. In the eyes of the Venatori I am lesser, I am useless and I am broken. And to the humans I’m just another being lost in the world of chaos with no direction and invisible to the world.

And quite literally I was invisible to them. Our magic is based on perception and it is distorted until we will it so. It takes years of practice and a tattoo of magical origins to control it with fine definition. And we aren’t granted that control until we are adults and have permission to be seen by the world outside.

But that didn’t stop me. I snuck out of the Apex Unlimited building whenever I had a chance. And I did so as early as I could think up the notion. By the age of seven or eight I was wandering the streets of New York without anyone caring. No one bothered me on the streets, and no one missed me in the dorms. I was invisible to everyone.

The Venatori teach us many things about the way of the world. As kids we learn about our own magic, and that of the magic of other species and creatures of the world. We learn of the Clandestine Providence, and the role we play in the enforcement of the only law we live by.

AJ once threw some World building notes out to a group, and she was told. I don’t know who I’m supposed to empathize with The Venatori or the CCB. Both are pretty shitty organizations, and for good reason. Her answer was simple, you are supposed to empathize with me. The Venatori are neither good nor evil. Good and Evil is a human concept. But the true reality of it all is, there is only order and chaos and how you choose to use the concepts is what makes a person good or evil in the eyes of humanity. You can be an agent of order and impose your stricture upon the people. But those rules and structures could be oppressive to those under the law. Thus the people think you are evil.

Robin Hood being an agent of chaos — stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Chaotic choices to benefit the greater good.

Chaos is not bad, and Order is not good. The world is not so clearly black and white. And the Venatori see the world that way. Bound by hundreds of thousands of years of tradition.

The community I grew up is no different than the community my readers grew up in. There was good, there was bad, ordered and chaotic. I have bad memories. I have bad experiences, but the people are good. Mostly. A few rotten apples. A few extremes. But that’s no different than any other community.

So not exactly a glowing discussion on what my community is but it is enough rambling for now.

from Character Questions from Dabble

Anthony Giovanni

So today we are back to Character Interviews. Today we are going to talk with Ant. His fully name is Antony Giovanni, he is technically a Junior, but I think AJ keeps making him a III third, which is not the case so it makes me wonder what’ up with the Roman Numerals for his name. Could be II. Not III. Though technically Tony is actually Antonio Giovanni.

Nox: So the biggest question that first, if we Googled your name Ant, what would we find?

Ant: No idea. I expect nothing as that’s Jack’s job. To make sure Mom and her ilk don’t get published into the media so we don’t look out of the ordinary and can stay in a place longer.

Nox: You think there is nothing on you or Il Cane?

Ant: Between us and the Venatori I’m pretty certain no knows the existence of my mother or myself. There are no viable records for Ryan or any of the herd.

Nox: Do you really call them the herd?

Ant: (laughing) No. They are family. But that’s technically what they are — Mom’s herd. Those people see feed from.

Nox: So what do you do for fun?”

Ant: (looks sideways at Nox) Fine. For fun I like beating the shit out of you. Or Ryan. I enjoy video games and playing sports, but the latter is much more difficult unless it’s against other supernaturals. It’s hard to hide what you are in the heat of battle.

Nox: Are you a half-full or half empty guy?

Ant: Neither. I just keep filling it back up. I make my own happiness.

Nox: Was that always the case?

Ant: (growling) No. but it’s the truth now.

Nox: Since when?

Ant: (sighing) Since meeting you.

Nox: Why?

Ant: (shrugging) No idea. Just how the cards landed.

Nox: Okay you don’t want to talk about it, next question. What is your greatest fear? What keeps you up at night?

Ant: (laughs) Those are two completely different things. My greatest fear is always living in my mother’s shadow. But it does not keep me up at night. The thing that keeps me up at night that makes me afraid — the day you decide that me or my mother are not worth the air we breathe.

Nox: You think that day would come?

Ant: For my mother yes. One day. And it will be my job to protect her.

Nox: I thought you were sworn to me?

Ant: Don’t put me in that situation, I don’t know if I’d choose you over the woman who gave birth to me.

Nox: (nodding) Understood. (pause) Final question. What’s your spirit animal?

Ant: (laughs) Probably a crow. But I have no idea.

Poet Rhemus

In an effort to provide a theme for my ramblings so I don’t have to think up some random topic with some random words, AJ has put together a list of things for me to talk about. Monday is supposed to be motivational. And Tuesday is all about Characters.

We have a set of 14 questions at present, and AJ has chosen 5 randomly to ask various characters throughout my story. Today we are starting off with a big bad. A guy you’ll not get to see much of, but is a big player AJ hasn’t preanswered these questions for any characters including myself, so it’s all a bit new to us too.

By the way, if there are any fun questions you’d like to see here answered by myself or other characters comment or shoot me an email at nox.durante@gmail.com.

As the title suggests today we are going to be talking about Poet Rhemus.

Nox: First things first, Poet, I can call you Poet?

Poet: Sure, why not. It’s not like I can stop you.

Nox: (chuckling) Tell us a little about yourself.

Poet: Alright. My name is Poet Rhemus. I’m a vampire.

Nox: What kind?

Poet: (glaring) A primeval vampire. I was born a vampire, I will die a vampire. You would consider me one of the First.

Nox: Tell our readers what does that mean?

Poet: (sighs) I am one of the First Vampires ever born. My father was Cain, and my mother Lilith. I and dozens of other vampires were their first children. The First Vampires as neither Cain, nor Lilllith were vampires.

Nox: Can you tell us what they were?

Poet: Cain was a human cursed to walked the lands forever. You’ve all heard the story of the One True God’s Garden of Eden. Whether or not you believe it was a god, or not doesn’t matter, the truth is still the same. Cain was cursed. Lilith is a demon.

Nox: Can you tell our readers what is your deepest secret? I’ll plug my ears so I can’t hear. (Spoilers to follow folks!)

Poet: Sure. Since I don’t have a choice in the matter, being as this is world building for our creator. My biggest secret is I was not given the name Poet. It is an anagram for my true name.

Nox: And that is?

Poet: (sighs) Prometheus.

Nox: So you gave humanity fire.

Poet: (nodding) Yes.

Nox: Is that your biggest regret?

Poet: (laughing) That wasn’t supposed to be the question, but yes. Giving humanity fire is my biggest regret. Look at the world they have created. The world is a shit pile and it’s all because of them. We could live in a near paradise if not for their so-called scientific advancements.

Nox: But without you they would be slaves to the supernatural. You gave humanity independence. You freed them from the darkness they feared.

Poet: And look where it got us.

Nox: (sighs) We aren’t hear to argue — that’s what the story is for. Next question. What is the worst thing that has happened to you?

Poet: (laughs) Having a pesky boy foil my plans.

Nox: (laughs) We can’t give away all the story details.

Poet: (smirks) They’ve read most of it here if they have been here a while.

Nox: Still, let’s not spoil the whole story. What is your greatest fear? What keeps you up at night?

Poet: (laughs) That meddling boy actually. There is power in him like none the world has ever seen. I was given the same power. I saved humanity with it, as did the first Ascendant before me. Third times the charm? But you will not win this war — you cannot. Humanity is a plague upon this earth that must be tamed or we will all be destroyed.

Nox: All doom and gloom after saving them. Irony, right? So last question on a more fun note. What is your spirit animal?

Poet:(rolls eyes) How would I know? Apparently after a little research by our creation my Spirit animal is a Fox.

Nox: Thanks for coming and spilling a few good morsels of world lore and juicy bits about stories to come.

Poet: Anytime, I have no choice in the matter.

Nox: I hope you all enjoyed this. It was pretty fun to write or so AJ says. I won’t guarantee that it’ll be like this next week, but we’ll see. I’m out, see tomorrow.

Let’s Get Dangerous

It’s Ryan’s turn to answer the questions.  You will have to forgive him he’s old.

Character Interviews


What is your darkest childhood memory?

My darkest childhood memory is finding my little sister strung up like a scarecrow to be fed to the wolves because she was different.

What bad habit are you struggling to overcome?

I talk too much. I listen too long. I try to help when help isn’t wanted. I’ve been studying so many things in my long life that it’s hard not to.

Why does your journey matter to you personally?

I finally get to pave my own path. Well not exactly my own since I’m bound to a vampire until the ends of time. I wouldn’t change my path mind you, I am grateful to live this long and this well. My journey matters because now that I’m bound to Ant and through him to Nox, I can help in a way I’ve never been able to being bound to the scariest vampire in the world. My path is unlimted now.

What does a perfect world look like to you?

There is no such thing as perfect world.

What smell or scent reminds you of your childhood home?

I can’t remember the smell of home. I can’t remember the vision of my mother or father, I imagine they look like myself and Mia. But I can’t remember home anymore than I can remember where I was 100 years ago. I don’t stay in one place for very long until now.

What is your biggest regret?

I have no regrets. Not in 800 plus years.

Who was your childhood sweetheart?

I was sweet on a girl, would have married her if my parents had let me, but it was more arranged than anything.

What do you fear losing the most?

I fear losing my connection to people. I was bound to Cari for so long that I was afraid I might have. That all humanity was lost, but I was wrong, I’m still here, and I have a chance to make it all better.

Is there a secret spot you like to retreat to? If there is, why that spot?

There is this spot in Italy that I love. Countryside, vineyards – yes lots of wine. It’s picturesque and beautiful and quiet. I miss the quiet but city life works for me too if I can go back and visit. It’s not too far from Cari’s Villa near Rome. It’s nice.

Do you have a family member that’s ever let you down? If so, how has that affected you?

Both of my parents, I guess. But that was a long time ago, they have long since died.

Are you afraid to be alone?

I’m never alone. That’s the down side to being Chevalier. For over 800 years I’ve had someone else in my head. A tight bond that we can’t break – well we couldn’t until Nox came into the picture.

Are you proud of who you are?

I guess. I’m not horrified by the person I’ve become. Can I do better? Of course.

What keeps you up at night?

Hardly anything at all keeps me up at night. Nothing scares me. I don’t worry about anything. After 800 years of life you kinda just go with it. I’ve seen it all before.

What was your favorite stuffed animal or toy as a kid?

Uh….. I don’t know. That’s a long far off away time since I was a kid.

What was your worst injury ever?

Probably too many too count if I were just human. I can’t think of anything that didn’t heal quickly tho.

What song makes you think of your crush?

I don’t have a crush. I don’t have relationships besides those with Cari over the years.

What was your bravest moment?

My bravest moment was drinking blood from a vampire so that I could live forever and save my sister’s life. It was a bargain we made with Cari. I became her food, if she saved my sister. I have not regretted any moment.

Who can make you smile no matter how bad you feel?

Ant makes me smile. When he was a boy he could make me laugh, now he is just a sarcastic jerk that seems to keep on going. But the others all said it true too. That little girl of Nox’s can make anyone smile. That telepathy of hers lets her see just what she needs to to make that frown turn upside down.

What is one thing you always carry with you?

A sword. Yes Ant and I learned from the same person. My pocket of shadow’s isn’t quite the same as his as I can’t actually use the power, but with what I’ve come to realize now is a rune stone I can use it just like Cari does because I was tied to her, and thankfully sitll can with Ant. Though we have had to tweak it a bit – thankfully Nox is here to help with that.

Who is one person you would never ever want to see again? Why?

I could do without seeing any of the old mobsters from back in the day. They liked to profit off of Cari’s blood lust. Those were some dark times for us.

What, to you, is the worst way to die?

Fire has got to be the worst way to die. Funny knowing that Nox went through that – and survived.

You can bring one person back to life. Who would you choose and why?

I’d bring back Jimmy Hendrix so I could listen to him jamming in real time. But then I think Vincent Van Gogh could do some beautiful paintings, and that episode of Dr. Who was like epic when they showed him how he’d become so popular and respected in the future. But then you can’t forget the unforgettable ‘sex’ and ‘your mother’ are the root of all problems with Freud. I’d love to see how he’d react to today’s world.

Is it easy to admit when you’ve made a mistake?

Mistakes? What are those? Yeah I can admit when I’m wrong or made a mistake but it rarely happens.

Is it easy for you to forgive others? (Truly?)

I’m going to say no. I’m pretty sure I’m pretty pissed at my parents for what they did to Mia.

You’re on your death bed. Who do you want by your side?

The love of my life… But one I haven’t met her yet, and two I probably won’t be dying in a bed. That is not my life and it never will be.

Your childhood bully has grown up to be a philanthropist. Do you praise him and give to his cause? Or do you turn a shoulder to him and scoff?

For a good cause…. but not because of the person I knew.

Who would you want to raise your child if you die unexpectedly?

If I had a kid, and I died who would I want to raise my kid? None of these asshats. Nox and Alex will screw the kid up. Ant would probably end up treating my kid like I had treated him. Izzy might do an okay job if she survives her child birth. Oh wait I shouldn’t mention that one lest Nox hear me and starts freaking the fuck out. Yeah I want him raising my kids. I tease of course. Any one of them would do great – Rider would do great too.

Do you suffer from a reoccurring nightmare? If so, what happens in it?

“I am the terror that flaps in the night. I am the surprise in your cereal box. I am Darkwing Duck!” – the answer is no by the way.

What do you notice first about a person?

Uh… them? There legs? I don’t know. I don’t really pay much attention… honestly personality. I didn’t pay all that money to earn multiple PhDs to not pay attention to their body language, personality and all the little things.

Do you find it difficult to praise others?

No. Though few do anything praise worthy smirk

Which color do you feel looks best on you?

Emerald Green – Think Green Arrow back in Smallville Days!

What’s your drink of choice?

I’ll usually stick with water, but I’ve been known to drink the Koolaid.

Which parent do you take after more? (If they know their parents)

Honestly I have no idea it’s so long ago.

What quality about your parent do you admire? Abhor? (If they know their parents)

See the answer above

Do you wish to be a loner? Or have a family one day? (Or if they already have a family, do they enjoy family life or regret it?)

I am never truly alone but I’d love to have my own family. Though having kids is probably not on the agenda. I might get a girl pregnant, but in 800 years I’ve yet to do so. And I have tried.

What odd habits or ticks do you have?

I psychoanalyze people even if they don’t want me to.

Have you traveled to other lands? Or planets, even?

I have never been off earth but every where else – yes!

Do you feel a need to fix or repair problems that don’t directly involve you?

Every fucking day and every fucking second – it’s so fucking hard to stay in my own lane. Or at least that’s what I’m told.

How do you view other races or cultures?

Nothing really surprises me anymore.

Do you worry about what the future will bring?

One big happy family – at least for me and mine. The rest of you, who cares grins

Pack Alpha

It’s Rider’s turn to answer questions.  I know it’s a little early but it’s done.  Ya’ll will get what you get.

I’m thinking of posting the next story as it comes out.  We’ll see.  AJ has changed the last three stories she’s started writing so we are a little leery of doing so at the moment.  Don’t want to get your hopes up and then stop mid story.

Character Interviews


What is your darkest childhood memory?

Lake and I got lost in the woods once. We were like 6 and we were following a fox and her kits and we got lost . We couldn’t find our way back and it got dark. Our dad found us a few hours later huddled together against a tree waiting. We had remembered to stay put.

What bad habit are you struggling to overcome?

I bite my nails – always have it’s the only anxious trait I have.

Why does your journey matter to you personally?

I never expected I’d be what I am. I’m not exactly old enough to lead a pack but here I am. I think it’s all Nox. But he doesn’t. I don’t quite get it. He says something about magic. But I just want to learn more about this world – my mom kept it from me. But it’s part of me.

What does a perfect world look like to you?

I don’t think I have any idea what a perfect world looks like. My mom to be a live and love my older brother would be grand. To have known him for more the past five years of my life too.

What smell or scent reminds you of your childhood home?

I’ll have to go with Nox on this one, apple pie reminds me of mom all the time.

What is your biggest regret?

That I didn’t get to know my big brother growing up.

Who was your childhood sweetheart?

I didn’t/don’t have a childhood sweetheart.

What do you fear losing the most?

My family. I’ve already lost my mom, I don’t think I could take losing my dad or brothers right now. Which includes Matt (and all of my nieces and nephews)

Is there a secret spot you like to retreat to? If there is, why that spot?

Not really. The kitchen but it’s not a secret.

Do you have a family member that’s ever let you down? If so, how has that affected you?

My mom. But it was magic making her hate my brother. But for a long time I was disappointed she couldn’t love him specially after I got to know him – he is just so awesome. Sweet and caring, the heart on that guy is so frigging big. I can’t imagine not ever knowing him.

Are you afraid to be alone?

Absolutely. Isn’t everyone.

Are you proud of who you are?

I’d like to think so. I still have a lot of growing up to do, but I’m getting there.

What keeps you up at night?

Right now, I have a lot of responsibility. Alot keeps me up at night – all that responsiblity

What was your favorite stuffed animal or toy as a kid?

I didn’t have a favorite stuffed animal. I was too much a guy, my mom says I used to carry around a tiger I called Tony – original I know. But I don’t remember him much. I think mom trashed him after he was covered in much slime of babydom.

What was your worst injury ever?

I broke my foot playing soccer.

What song makes you think of your crush?

I don’t have a crush. Never had a crush I still think of either.

What was your bravest moment?

Becoming pack leader of a bunch of strangers cause of my brother.

Who can make you smile no matter how bad you feel?

Lake is my person who I know can cheer me up. But now I think Cass is the best person to do it.

What is one thing you always carry with you?

I always carry with me a photo of my family when we were last all together. I even have glued Nox into the picture

Who is one person you would never ever want to see again? Why?

I don’t know. I don’t ever not like someone that much. No one has really hurt me that badly.

What, to you, is the worst way to die?

Burning to death, drowning, anything that takes a long time.

You can bring one person back to life. Who would you choose and why?

My mom so she could learn to love Nox like he deserved and needed to be loved.

Is it easy to admit when you’ve made a mistake?

Yeah, I do it all the time.

Is it easy for you to forgive others? (Truly?)

I guess. But I don’t know. Few have ever needed it.

You’re on your death bed. Who do you want by your side?

My brothers (and my family but mostly my brothers)

Your childhood bully has grown up to be a philanthropist. Do you praise him and give to his cause? Or do you turn a shoulder to him and scoff?

I’m not as good natured as Nox so even though I have no bully I would say no. A dick is a dick is a dick.

Who would you want to raise your child if you die unexpectedly?

If I had kids. My brother probably. I bet he and Matt will have lots of kids anyway – just like Nox.

Do you suffer from a reoccurring nightmare? If so, what happens in it?

Not really.

What do you notice first about a person?

Their shining personality. I’m a eyes kinda guy tho.

Do you find it difficult to praise others?

Not really. If someone does a good job they should know it.

Which color do you feel looks best on you?

Emerald Green. I don’t know!

What’s your drink of choice?

Water with lemon

Which parent do you take after more? (If they know their parents)

My dad.

What quality about your parent do you admire? Abhor? (If they know their parents)

My dad. I mean he’s doing the whole Doctors Across Borders now that mom is gone. He’d never have done that with Mom here, she’d never have allowed us to stay with Nox.

Do you wish to be a loner? Or have a family one day? (Or if they already have a family, do they enjoy family life or regret it?)

I need family.

What odd habits or ticks do you have?

I don’t think I have any. I’m anal about my workouts.

Have you traveled to other lands? Or planets, even?

To just New York City

Do you feel a need to fix or repair problems that don’t directly involve you?

Only Nox. Everyone else no.

How do you view other races or cultures?

With respect. I grew up human. I am Therian now, but I didn’t know any of it existed before now.

Do you worry about what the future will bring?

Yeah I guess. I’m ruler of a pack now and I’m still learning things. I could screw up a whole lot of people.