Posted by: Alastair Rosie | September 11, 2014

Coffee With Cat

Book cover

Some people will always love, some people never lose hope, some people never die…

These interviews and articles are background material for The Chronicles of the Grey Raven. Book One, Angel of Mercy is now available on Smashwords and Amazon and Amazon UK

Coffee and Stimulating Conversation

The last time I was at Cat’s house in Athole Gardens the only other person living there was her stepdaughter, Samantha. Now there are three more residents; Shaima and her two children, Zeina (8) and Mohammed (5). They’re refugees from the recent conflict in Gaza but Cat is very coy about how they managed to get out.
“I have contacts,” she smiles as she spoons coffee into a funnel, “and if I say much more I’d just have to kill you,” she smiles warmly and pops the funnel into the coffee machine.
“Shaima’s grandfather was a friend of mine back in Cairo in the nineteen thirties, he was my housekeeper and bodyguard,” and seeing my smile goes on, “for the purposes of keeping up appearances. I was working out a university teaching nurses. When I left Egypt in thirty three I promised to provide for him and his descendants,” she opens an instruction booklet.
“I’m just honouring my oath and in my world honour is everything, we live and breathe it and that can be either good or bad depending on the situation,” she flips a page over. Read More…

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Posted by: Alastair Rosie | September 11, 2014

Chapter Eighteen: Angel of Mercy

Book cover

Some people will always love, some people never lose hope, some people never die…

This excerpt is from The Chronicles of the Grey Raven. Book One, Angel of Mercy, now available on Smashwords and Amazon and Amazon UK

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

This is the end of my part of the story but it’s not the end of the tale. Mom has agreed to tell of how she met her first vampires way back in 1292 so I’m keen to read her excerpts. It will be a relief not to have my excerpts read by others. In some ways I’ve felt a little exposed. My journey to the heart of the vampire world was an odd one. I was totally unaware until the very last moment that these people actually existed. I recall watching Interview With a Vampire years ago with mom and thinking Brad Pitt was just too cool for words and on that she agreed whole heartedly but she also thought the movie silly.
“Spending your nights sleeping in a coffin is plain daft. If you want to stay hidden from mortals for centuries then sleeping in a coffin is not the way to go about it. Humans are curious creatures by nature.”
It was an off the cuff statement I’ve only just remembered and I suppose I could always go back and put it where it belongs in this journal, but I’ll leave it here for now because it illustrates the difference between the real vampires and the vampires of popular fiction. The vampires I know helped raise me and not once did I ever suspect they were vampires. They were my closest friends, the ones I turned to for all kinds of answers, from basic math through to the deeper things in life. Melanie has spoken to me many times since and each time I get off the phone I feel as if I’ve grown a little more. She has a depth to her personality that is timeless and yet continually refreshing itself. The night we were reunited I asked mom how it was she could live so long without giving way to despondency.
“Love,” she replied, “love for each other and love for those about us.”

When my stepmom’s plane went down a part of me died, Cat was my world. In her place she left us to her friends, the Grey Ravens. Over the years I slowly came to realise her death was a mere facade. When we were reunited I learned the truth about Clan Grey Raven and her remarkable history. Some people will always love. Some people never lose hope. Some people never die…

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Posted by: Alastair Rosie | August 24, 2014

Chapter Seventeen Excerpt – Angel of Mercy

Book cover

Some people will always love, some people never lose hope, some people never die…

This excerpt is from The Chronicles of the Grey Raven. Book One, Angel of Mercy, now available on Smashwords and Amazon and Amazon UK

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

Tom has read over what I’ve written these last few weeks. I really like Tom, he’s become something of a father figure to me, even though I’ve got a dad and he could never take the place of my father, but he has this maturity about him that’s almost vampirish in a way, kind of timeless. He asked me how I felt when I was reunited with my stepmom. It’s an odd question coming from him. He isn’t usually the one to ask personal questions but I’m glad it was him who asked me because of the tone of his voice. He was devoid of emotion, seemingly and it forced me to rethink what I had just written and look at it from a purely objective point of view. As a result I’ve gone back and revised what I wrote two days ago because it was full of emotion.
When you find out that a loved one is really still alive you go through the full range of emotions over and over. Eventually you come to some sort of acceptance or you reject them altogether, many will waver between the two extremes to try and find the balance. For me the first reaction was pure shock. I felt as if my heart stopped. It couldn’t be the same woman. Her hair was longer and fell past her shoulders but it was much thicker. She wore a black rollneck sweater and black trousers under a light overcoat and purple scarf, but it was her face I noticed first. She had been gone ten years but she hadn’t aged a day, if anything she looked younger and healthier. I stood staring at her until finally Sean coughed and nudged me.
“Go to her, there are things that need to be said now that we’re alone.”

When my stepmom’s plane went down a part of me died, Cat was my world. In her place she left us to her friends, the Grey Ravens. Over the years I slowly came to realise her death was a mere facade. When we were reunited I learned the truth about Clan Grey Raven and her remarkable history. Some people will always love. Some people never lose hope. Some people never die…

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Posted by: Alastair Rosie | August 24, 2014

Chapter Fifteen – Angel of Mercy

Book cover

Some people will always love, some people never lose hope, some people never die…

This excerpt is from The Chronicles of the Grey Raven. Book One, Angel of Mercy, now available on Smashwords and Amazon and Amazon UK

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

Friday, January 24th, 2014

I know it’s a cliché but living here is so different to just visiting and the saying ‘the grass is greener over the other side’ can be applied to any geographical move. My first two weeks were a bit of a blur, the weeks were spent with Iain and Margaret who helped me get used to the public transport system. I’d always thought the British rail system to be very efficient but with privatization it’s decidedly inefficient what with train cancellations, late trains and everyone’s favorite, line maintenance. God forbid you get a train at peak periods because you’ll be standing for the whole journey. One of the things that frequently confuses Americans is the announcement when you get to the end of your journey, where they ask you to make sure you’ve got all your belongings. Because we Americans are often painfully polite we translate that as being extra polite, but few realize that if you leave bags behind they’ll evacuate the station and call the bomb squad to blow your bags up. Thankfully I’ve never left bags behind yet!
We can’t get over how small everything is compared to America and we’re not being boastful, we’re just entranced by how neatly everything fits together. They have some truly ingenious fittings in their houses, washing machines that fit under a kitchen bench and fold down benches just to mention two. Mom has a fold down clothes line inside the house and a combination microwave cooker. I think I watched the BBC news most nights for the first few weeks because I just love the accents, first the English news and then Reporting Scotland. I’m a big EastEnders and River City fan as well now, much to mom’s disgust!

…that August it seemed tantalizingly close when I went through the evidence Elizabeth had given me. There had been regular money transfers every year, all were for $5000 and seemed to suggest someone was drawing an income from the account but that isn’t a lot of money, unless you’re living in a Third World country and that was where I began to read up on Peru, Chile and Colombia. Was it possible she’d just moved there? I began trawling hospitals, gathering names of doctors and consultants before finally moving onto Brazil, Venezuela and Bolivia. Oh there were names that caught my eye. Most were Spanish but if she’d dropped off the radar then why wouldn’t she take a Spanish name?
There were clues aplenty, a postcard from Pampico postmarked 1993, an English Spanish dictionary and pictures of Mexico in a photo album belonging to Iain and Margaret. They were there in 2004 and stayed in Pampico at that house.
“We knew the title was in her name,” Margaret confessed, “we stayed there in the hope we could find out more.”
She showed me pictures in her photo album of the surrounding area. They’d been back there in 2007 and 2010.
“We’re hoping to go back there next year,” she smiled, “it’s a lovely house with a great view of the beach and it has a backyard pool, the gardens are just gorgeous.”

…“Love you lots, Sammie.”
“Love you too,” I watched the screen go blank and glanced down for a split second at the photo of Katrina next to Cat and for a second because my eyes were still a bit blurry, it seemed as if they merged into one photo. I blinked again and the illusion faded.
She was right. I was too close. Time for a little perspective.

 Chapter Sixteen

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

There are dates that stand out for all of us; the day we started school, our first exam, a special vacation or our first kiss. These events become part of who we are, not even a national or global disaster occurring on that particular date can taint the memory. My Uncle Joe proposed to Deborah on September 11, 1982 and the attacks that occurred many years later can’t blunt their celebrations. They’re both in love with each other. For me there are quite a few dates, the date I first met Cat, the wedding and the day she disappeared. There are other dates of course, some more memorable than others but I’ve added another date to that list, Monday, September 9, 2013. It was the day I came face to face with a woman I thought had died in that plane crash and was officially introduced to my very first vampire.

…“me too,” he stared at a woman leaning on the railing with her back to us.
“Be gentle with her, she’s got a story to tell that might curl your toes but there are things that need to be said. She needs to feel safe around you too. Remember, keep an open mind and keep your mouth shut about this.”
The woman turned around a moment later and I came to a dead stop.
It was Cat.

 

When my stepmom’s plane went down a part of me died, Cat was my world. In her place she left us to her friends, the Grey Ravens. Over the years I slowly came to realise her death was a mere facade. When we were reunited I learned the truth about Clan Grey Raven and her remarkable history. Some people will always love. Some people never lose hope. Some people never die…
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Amazon UK

Posted by: Alastair Rosie | August 18, 2014

Chapter Fourteen Excerpt – Angel of Mercy

Book cover

Some people will always love, some people never lose hope, some people never die…

This excerpt is from The Chronicles of the Grey Raven. Book One, Angel of Mercy, now available on Smashwords and Amazon and Amazon UK

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Elizabeth called me tonight, she’s in Denver meeting some of the regional managers to go through the plans for the Spring season launches. She’s always been a hands on CEO who pays attention to the more mundane aspects of the business. Once a month she selects a store at random and turns up to work behind a till, the back office, sales floor or even a stockroom. She’s always said if you roll up your sleeves and work with the people at the coal face you learn a lot more than listening to a manager saying all the right things just to please her. It’s become something of a McIvor tradition and there’s a dedicated Twitter feed that updates her followers whenever she’s working at a store. #mcivoratwork has about 850,000 followers so far.
She read my last chapter and wouldn’t change a thing, which surprised me because I thought it was a bit too revealing about her but she assured me it wasn’t.
“It’s being read by Grey Raven members and associates at the moment but even if Melanie and the Central Council decided to out themselves I still wouldn’t change anything about your story. It goes a long way to dispelling the old prejudices about vampires so feel free to mention me whenever you feel it’s necessary to your journal.”
That last week in July was warmer than usual and on the 24th, Elizabeth drove me up to Sigrid’s hotel where all my friends were waiting to give me a surprise farewell party I’d never forget. Elizabeth isn’t a big drinker but that night she had a few too many and the next morning I found her lying on a couch looking quite pale.
“Champagne doesn’t go with tequila,” she groaned..

…One of the going away presents she gave me was a suitcase full of new clothes from House of McIvor. It was why Melanie and the others weren’t on the flight that day, they’d been out at the store selecting clothes. At the airport they charged extra for the suitcase and Elizabeth paid the difference without blinking an eye. It was a bittersweet parting, sad because I was leaving my family and friends, and sweet because I was going to Cat’s homeland. Elizabeth had rekindled a fire in my soul. One way or another we were going to unravel the truth. I wanted to walk the same streets she once walked, wait at the same bus stops and soak up some of the culture. I still had a Cat-shaped hole in my heart. It may have been a coincidence but one of the tracks playing on my in-flight entertainment console was I Will Find You by Clannad.

When my stepmom’s plane went down a part of me died, Cat was my world. In her place she left us to her friends, the Grey Ravens. Over the years I slowly came to realise her death was a mere facade. When we were reunited I learned the truth about Clan Grey Raven and her remarkable history. Some people will always love. Some people never lose hope. Some people never die…
Smashwords
Amazon.com
Amazon UK

Posted by: Alastair Rosie | August 17, 2014

Angel of Mercy Chapter 13 Excerpt

Book cover

Some people will always love, some people never lose hope, some people never die…

This excerpt is from The Chronicles of the Grey Raven. Book One, Angel of Mercy, now available on Smashwords and Amazon and Amazon UK

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Reading back over what I’ve written it must seem weird that I became a part of a vampire clan without ever suspecting they were vampires. Certainly other mortals have known from the start, and I’ve been told since that it wasn’t the usual course to take for membership. At the time I thought it was just cool to be part of this inner circle in a more intimate way. I was no longer just Cat’s stepdaughter, I was a member of the same club as her and even though she was no longer with us, I felt as if I was honoring her wishes by becoming a member. Yet I still found myself looking twice at red haired women in the street until they turned around, and on several occasions I had what I call visions, usually when I was waking up. These visions were remarkably lucid too. In one recurring vision she was sitting at the end of my bed just watching me and one time I was out camping with the Kings, I could have sworn I saw her moving through the forest, but when I told them they shrugged it off.
My final year at Harold Washington was pretty stressful. Not only did I have to get good grades but I also had to apply in advance for university in Scotland and perhaps because it was such a big move, I found I was procrastinating more than usual. I have to say that because by nature I don’t act on something until I absolutely have to do something and then it’s all hands on deck. I’m getting better now that I’m living with mom again but she’s always had a calming effect on me. Unlike me or dad for that matter, she pays her bills before they’re due, like who does that? Apparently lots of people but we’re getting off track here and one of the issues I put off was my relationship with my boyfriend Darren.

When my stepmom’s plane went down a part of me died, Cat was my world. In her place she left us to her friends, the Grey Ravens. Over the years I slowly came to realise her death was a mere facade. When we were reunited I learned the truth about Clan Grey Raven and her remarkable history. Some people will always love. Some people never lose hope. Some people never die…
Smashwords
Amazon.com
Amazon UK

Posted by: Alastair Rosie | August 17, 2014

Morganna’s Interview – Excerpt 6

Strong words (about Israel)
Morganna: What do you want me to say? That we should let our diplomats sort it all out? The IDF routinely goes into the Gaza Strip to slaughter hundreds and thousands of civilians. Our White House slaps them on the wrist and then signs over billions of dollars worth of arms shipments to Israel. Our aid package to the IDF is about three billion dollars every year. You can’t then go to the Palestinians and say let us help you when you’re providing arms to their enemies to obliterate their villages and towns. It’s sanctimonious bullshit and downright insulting. We’ve got no business even being there. Even when the Palestinians try to go down a peaceful route and join the UN they get blocked by the Americans, who are only doing the bidding of their masters in Tel Aviv. America has done enormous damage in the Middle East by siding with what is basically a colonial apartheid state. Seriously Israel is a cancerous growth that needs to be excised and left to go it alone. American foreign policy in the Middle East is just a train wreck of staggering proportions. Then you have these obsequious little weasels on the news programs asking, “why do they hate us?” Are you out of your fucking mind? If someone betrayed you like that you’d want them dead as well! American foreign policy is like an albatross flying in ever decreasing circles until it swallows its own ass, and the sooner the better if we’re to have a shot at finding world peace.
Read More…

Posted by: Alastair Rosie | August 17, 2014

Morganna’s Interview – Excerpt 5

What’s your view on the war on terror?
Morganna: First of all I’d call it a war of terror. How can you declare war on a military tactic? It’s absurdity to the extreme, a soundbite trotted out by Fox News and CNN over and over to please their masters in Washington. America and its allies in the West have been funding extremist groups in the Middle East for decades, setting up client regimes that will benefit their business interests. I’ve spent a lot of time in the Middle East over the last two thousand or so years. They were always far more advanced than Western kingdoms. Al Queda was a Western backed group of freedom fighters who are now terrorists after nine eleven. Saddam Hussein was Washington’s man and the Taliban had funding from the CIA but when they decided to do their own thing or should I say disobey the west they paid the price. The Zionists in Israel are a powder keg in the middle of a furnace. Israel possesses the most terrifying arsenal of all, and believe me they’re not above using it to start a war. The American government needs to get out of the Middle East and stop meddling in things they know nothing about, they’re so busy trying to please Israel and buy off Israel’s enemies that all credibility is completely lost. It will take two generations at least to shake off the stain of American and British influence.
Read More…

Posted by: Alastair Rosie | August 17, 2014

Morganna’s Interview Excerpt 4

So was Christianity a good thing or a bad thing?
Morganna: It kept the power centred on Rome even after it was sacked. Christianity by the time of Constantine was a major force because Christians took anyone into their fold. They borrowed the concept of Roman citizenship and modified it. Go through baptism and become a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven. Rome was bankrupt, morally and financially, the Goths were manoeuvring into position, the Parthians were a constant thorn in their eastern flank and the Irish and Pictish Celts had never been conquered. Rome was imploding and Christianity united the empire but ultimately it couldn’t stave off the inevitable collapse. As to whether it was a bad or good thing, I can only say there were individual Christians I liked and protected but as a religion I could never take it seriously. When it was joined with political power it became even more corrupted, which led directly to the Burning Years and the suppression of intellectual and scientific thought. The most perplexing problem for scientific minds in the Middle ages was working out how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. Christianity and science, such as it was back then were definitely at odds with each other and the church had the upper hand.
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Posted by: Alastair Rosie | August 17, 2014

Morganna’s Interview – excerpt 3

You don’t have much respect for the church do you?
Morganna: Well that stands to reason. I was there when the myths about Christ began to circulate in the market places and taverns. I met Jesus once and thought him to be a good and noble man but he was not the son of a god, not even a distant relative. He was a mortal man who dreamed of a united Israel that incorporated Jews and Gentiles, men and women, slaves and free. That was the heresy for which he was condemned because he was a self proclaimed Son of Man. The first time I had an argument about his divine birthright was in Alexandria at the great library. There were Greeks who’d been disciples of Saul of Tarsus. He’d been executed in Rome a few years previously and these Greeks were saying that Christ was the Son of God. I argued with them for a good couple of hours but not even logic could sway their blindness. The general belief was that Christ would return very shortly, like in a few years time to bring an end to the world of man and usher in the kingdom of heaven. It wasn’t the first time I’d heard the prophecy but towards the end of the century it became more and more common. There was a need to put the stamp of authenticity on the Christian cult because it was competing with much older cults and traditions. Christianity was the new kid on the block that claimed ancestry from a man who’d been crucified. It was a novel enough idea at the time when you consider that crucifixion was a shameful death. Over the next century and a half I saw more and more Christians accepting this myth that Jesus had risen from death. It was borrowed from the cult of Mithra and the Egyptian god, Osiris. Mithra was the soldier’s god and worshipped all over the empire by soldiers. Just about every so called Christian tradition or story was borrowed or bastardised from other pagan stories, at the time it was actually quite laughable.
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