PROMOTION: BOOK ELEVEN

Promotion: What happens when a pawn reaches the 8th rank. Then it must be changed for a piece: a queen, rook, bishop, or knight of the same color (player’s choice).

The World of Metatron’s Army.  There are so many behind-the-scenes reveals in this chapter of Cirhce’s journey it’s difficult to know where to start when describing Promotion, eleventh in the Metatron’s Army series.

It’s About Time.  A central theme to the series is time with multiple dimensions and the repercussions of traversing them as branches of that theme .  

As I mention in Lessons From the Edge: An Author’s Guide to Metatron’s Army, this is a theme taken directly from the NDE.

I have always been fascinated by time, long before I had the NDE.  

I share a bit about my experience and perspective under the PSI Menu Pick on metatronsuniverse.com.

Promotion was one of the more challenging books to write and not because it’s lengthier.  There are multiple scenes that took over a year to develop.

I worked on the dialogue for the ARS Verix-Christine scene every night for months.

There is more drama in this chapter in the series.  A silver lining to this is that it allowed me to explore supporting characters in-depth.

If you want to see how someone responds to adversity, turn up the heat.

I was able to highlight how cultural influences and early life experiences shaped their personalities.

A Point In Time.  As I mentioned in a previous blog, this part of the series is original.  

Books 9 – 12 are.

This part of the series evokes a number of emotions for me, all of them positive.  As I was going through this installment of the series I recalled where I was when various scenes popped into my consciousness.  

A number of scenes were developed while I was stuck in traffic driving home from work near the Pontiac Silverdome.

Time Folds Back.  A few years back while writing Promotion I found myself reading rather than writing as some of the information became a memory.

It was stuff from the NDE.

This created a surrealistic experience.

I’ve written about solving an equation seen during the NDE while working on Bind.  While working on Promotion, I was given additional information on time and our relationship to it.

All of this added up to a book I enjoyed writing even as I was truly challenged by.  

Without Further Ado.  I’ll round out a few details about this chapter in Cirhce’s journey.

As always I take opportunities to add color to physiological differences key to character interactions.

“You read my mind?”

He took a seat next to her on the bed.  “I read your emotional response.”

“Same thing!” 

“It isn’t.”

I use outside characters to provide insight thus providing context.

Pilot Tavik Zana thoughtfully studied the woman behind the desk.  He had great respect for the young leader, though he supposed young was a relative term.  She’d lived more life in her years than most – even Dynamic graduates – did in a lifetime. 

Throughout the series I highlight the relationship between Cirhce and her people.  At this point in the game – the war – we see the depth of trust that has developed.

Christine stood, followed the pilot out of the administrative building.  He was the only one who ever called her kid and got away with it, in great part because it was a term of affection but also because he never did it within earshot of others.

I show the toll events have taken on Cirhce even as the adage what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger applies.

She’d been back from her vacation for well over two months and though she’d been plenty busy, she was having trouble staying focused.  Perhaps enough trouble that people noticed and put Tavik up to finding out what was going on and whether she was still in possession of all her marbles. 

I give insight into the type of people she’s chosen to be on her team.

“Tavik Zana.  I assume your visit is sanctioned?”

“By me.”

They are on her team but they work independently.

“So, Cirhce is unaware you’re here.  She does keep interesting company.”

“How so?”

“Surrounding herself with those who act under their own authority.”

“She’s a leader not a dictator.”

I have long maintained this series like all my writing is about characters driven by passion.  This chapter allows us to see just how true this is.

“So disrespectful,” she muttered.  “I don’t know why he hasn’t had you executed.”

“You know that too,” he replied with a lazy smile.  “He needs me too much.”

In Promotion we get to learn more about the Azlaans.

A race shrouded in myth and mystery.

Ryella, an Azlaan Healer,  was one of the more challenging characters to work with.  As I mention in Lessons From the Edge, she was an unexpected addition.

“You just won’t admit it, will you?”

“Admit what?”

“That there is anything redeeming about her.”

“I have great respect for the Princess.”

“As a rival.”

Ryn, another Azlaan was originally slated for a smaller role but I ended up liking him so well he not only got a major role, he will be getting his own book.

“Do not cross me on this.  If I discover you have disobeyed me I will take such vengeance upon you, you will wish you were not a part of our family.”

I provide insight into the world of Metatron’s Army.

She let out a pained sigh.  “Apparently, Tavik took it upon himself to go to both monarchs and threaten them.”

“With what?”

“A war.”

“Can he start a war?”

“He’s Dynamic.  We don’t have to get Congressional approval for anything.”

I provide insight into the challenges of allies who are a law unto themselves.

“He doesn’t take just anybody, huh.”

“Noooo.  Even after I was accepted, I had to prove myself.  Again, and again.”  She shrugged held up her glass.  “I’m an outsider.”

And the reality of needing to keep them at arm’s length.

“What’s in it for him?”

“Back door into the Light Beings.”

“A lot of people use you for that, don’t they?”

“They try.  It’s kind of a farce.  Everyone knows I would never betray those guys.”

As always I add levity when and where I’m able..

Bring her here.”

“To this dump?”

She laughed.  “This dump has great food, but the best part is the people who come here don’t have to worry about being spied on.  Well, they are but by professional spies, so it doesn’t matter.”

We continue to see that team members aren’t shy about expressing opinions.

“Did it ever occur to you that I don’t force myself on stubborn women?”

Roddy was silent for some time.  He rubbed the back of his neck.  “That is the first honest thing I think I’ve heard anyone say since this whole fiasco started.”

“What fiasco?”

“Not what, which,” he responded.  “Take your pick among the many.”  He made his way over to see if the team needed any assistance.  Before he killed the fool standing next to him.

Theirs is an interesting relationship.

“Princess?”

“You used to call me by my name.”

“Azlach is waiting.”

“Jerk.”

“What happened to Godzilla?”

And humorous.

Christ.  Beam me up Scotty.

“I don’t think he can.”

For the love of -.  She was definitely heading to the nearest bar at her earliest opportunity.

“You won’t be alone.”

SSDD in the land of adversity.

“It would be inefficient to go into details when the Tactical Instructor is waiting for you and you need to report back to the Phoenix.”

“Jerk.”

“As you will.”

‘Ugh!  Total jerk!”

This is one of the more incredible parts of how the name came about, details of which can be found in Lessons From the Edge.

He turned down his uniform collar.  To her utter shock, a small gold ornament – Archangel Michael – was pinned there.  She’d given it to Xavier for Christmas.  On Earth.  A lifetime ago.

I really delved into the members of Metatron’s Army, their personalities and how they interact with each other.

“Au contraire, my friend.  It’s exactly where he wants to be.”

“Why?” she snapped.

“Because you’re here.”

“What?  You’re – you’ve -.”

“Feel me.  Feel my emotions.  Do I feel like I’ve lost it?”  

In addition to the Azlaans I give insight into the Isolans and other enigmatic characters.

Alexander rarely worried.  He’d lived long enough and seen enough to notice that the fabric of time, when wrinkled, eventually straightened itself out.  Of course, that didn’t mean it didn’t need a little help now and then but for the most part, with patience, one saw that events played out as they should.

There is a focus on inter-species intimacy in this book.  To support this I draw attention to the passion that defines not only the characters but the relationships.

The man looked as if he was in the most wonderful place.  “How do you do that?” she whispered.

He took a drink of wine, savored it.  “The key is to go into it with no preconceived ideas.  Allow every sensation, every flavor to stand on its own. Do not judge it for good or for bad until after the experience is over.”  

She shivered.  This was definitely a date.

I explore the complexities of interspecies perspectives.

“The bond.  It is an open connection.”

“No, it’s an open window.”

“Explain.”

“You aren’t human.  Picking up on what is inside of me doesn’t translate to understanding.”

He didn’t bother to point out that she was not human.  “I think I follow.”

I use humor to highlight the challenges of interspecies relationships.

She winced.  She hoped Verix didn’t get the book – written by a couple of Earth females – outlining rules they thought women should follow to attract and snag a husband.  She could just see him passing it around among the Light Beings as educational material.  What a nightmare.  

Excerpt.

Vetrias stared at the flower trapped within the vines.  The only reason the current wasn’t shredding the soft petals was because the web of vines was loose enough to allow some movement.  An apt visual metaphor for the situation at hand.

“I trust you to do what you feel is best, but I would ask that you delay the revelation until the Princess is used to being in a relationship with the Energy Shifter.”  Who was far more powerful than she was aware.

“Agreed.”  They needed to ensure the Princess thought the decision was hers.  

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