Monthly Archives: July 2013


I’ve been trying to expand the gallery a little, but have run into a snag. For those who don’t know, I’ve gotten into doing photo manipulation lately, where (often numerous) photos are combined along with artwork into a new picture. So far, I’ve done the Agnes and Jonas, the Louis-Cesare, the Louis-Cesare and Dory, and the Consul images in the gallery. The others were done by a professional, as if you couldn’t tell!

But I’ve been having fun anyway, or at least I was until I decided to try to do Ming-De. She plays an important part in the next Dory book, so I wanted to include her, but damn if finding stock images for Chinese models in traditional dress isn’t difficult. All the stock galleries seem to cater to European interests. Need something from the European Middle Ages? They’ve got you covered. Need something from T’ang Dynasty China? *crickets* Or, worse, they’ll have a European model made up to look Chinese, which no, just no.

So I began to wonder . . . is there a dearth of Chinese models out there? Or does nobody make Han or T’ang or Ming clothing anymore? But on the contrary, it turns out that there’s a recent upswing in the manufacture of traditional clothing in China, which people are starting to wear for weddings or photo shoots or just for fun. It’s called Hanfu, which technically refers to the Han Dynasty, but has come to be a sort of catch-all term for any traditional Chinese outfits. And the best examples are simply beautiful.


Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find a stock gallery that has decent Hanfu images for me to play with. On the other hand, I’ve come across some gorgeous Hanfu I just had to share. I love fashion, as you could probably tell from the books, and Chinese traditional fashion is just gorgeous. In case there’s anybody out there who agrees with me, here are some of the best “Ming-de’s” I’ve come across out of the Hanfu craze.




And my personal favorite:



I don’t think I can do better than this for Ming-De. But if I ever manage something, it’ll be up for your perusal. In the meantime, back to work on Masks!

Q and A #44

1. Do Antony and the Consul ever shoot the breeze together about the good old days? Do they ever reminisce about their children? Along this vein (hehe), do vampires who had children while still human keep tabs on their surviving bloodlines as the years go?

Not really. Most vampires tend to lose track of family after a few centuries, if not before. Your new family takes precedence, and as a young vamp, you have very little chance to do your own thing. By the time you could just take off for personal reasons, your kids are probably dead, along with their kids and possibly another few generations. The only people you would meet would be distant relatives. Who, of course, wouldn’t know you at all.

Anyway, human lives seem so ephemeral in comparison to the ages you have and will live. What is the point? If you’re going to discuss children, it’s normally your immortal ones who dominate the conversation.

2. Was Julius Caesar ever a vampire, in the CP/DB universe?

No. He was dead long before Anthony and Cleo were ever bitten. Plus, god damn, can you see Julius as a vamp? He was bad enough as a human!

3. Did Alphonse know that Sal had turned traitor, or what she was planning to do, in CtD? If so, was he punished by Mircea? What has he been up to?

No, she didn’t tell him. Sal’s opinion of Alphonse’s intellect wasn’t high, and she didn’t trust him. Tony had acquired him for his killing ability, not his smarts. As for what he’s been up to, what would you be up to if you’re a trained killer and your old boss just basically offed your girlfriend?

4. Why did Pritkin and Mircea warn Casanova off Cassie when it’s a hotel full of incubi and vampires? He doesn’t seem to like her much anyway!

But they didn’t know his attitude at the time. And Casanova’s rep had preceded him.

5. Cassie often seems surprised when everyone else wets themselves in fear of Mircea and they seem surprised that she doesn’t fear him at all. This is quite funny and intriguing. Who is right about how dangerous Mircea is?

Everyone else.

6. Why did Louis Caesar only lose his cool in Touch the Dark when Cassie told him how many people they were facing (in the car park) I would have lost my head way before that!

Louis-Cesare would like me to inform you that there must be some misunderstanding. He never loses his cool. Cassie was under considerable stress, and must have misinterpreted his competent, calm and capable reaction to the matter.

7. How did Mircea know about the present Cassie sent Ming de? (lamia skin) I can’t help laughing imagining her face when she got that present.

Presumably, Ming-de mentioned it, possibly in one of their already tense negotiations over the new treaty alliance. Although, with Mircea, you never know, do you?

New Louis-Cesare in the Gallery


Larger size here.

This is Louis-Cesare during his time as dueling champ of the European Senate. It isn’t perfect, but I’m proud of it since it forced me to have to learn how to do shadows! 🙂

Street Team

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Q &A #43

1. I can’t remember if this has already been addressed, but did Mircea name Dory? It doesn’t seem likely the Rom would call her “a gift from God”.

Dory’s mother named her. You’ll find out more about what happened in Dory’s early years in a later book.

2. Why is Cassie short(ish) with curly hair, if her parents were both tall and straight-haired?

Because genetics are weird? It is fairly common for a child to take after a grandparent on something like height, eye color, hair color, etc.

3. If I have this correct, I believe there are 6 vampire senates: North America, Europe, South America, India, China, and Africa. If this is so, what do the vampires who live in parts of Asia other than China and India do? What about the vampires of Australia and New Zealand? Are they simply under the jurisdiction of the closest geographical senate? Are they not under any senatorial jurisdiction at all? How exactly does it work?

The name of Ming-de’s court is the East Asian, not the Chinese, because it encompasses Japan and the surrounding regions as well as China. Likewise with India, which also governs the parts of Southeast Asia closest to it. A senate’s rule usually runs geographically, because vampires were once quite territorial. But Aus and New Zealand aren’t really that close to anything, and so are under the European senate (because that’s who colonized them).

4. Why did Agnes decide to transfer the power to Cassie? I assume at some point she found out Myra was evil, knew she herself was dying, and decided to transfer the power to a better candidate. But why, specifically, did she choose Cassie? As she wasn’t even an initiate, how did she know about her?

The power chooses the pythia. Agnes received a vision about Cassie, which is how she knew who she was and that she was in trouble. But she didn’t transfer the power so much as make sure that Cassie was still around to receive what was already headed her way.

5. Did Rafe make a full recovery from his near death experience in CtD? And will we see any of him in TtS?

More or less, and no. I enjoy Rafe, and want to get more of his story in, but Tempt the Stars wasn’t really the place to do it. It has enough going on already!

6. I wanted to ask about Louis-Cesare and the process of how he finally admitted to himself he was in love with Dory. I know their attraction was always there, but you’ve established he had abandonment and trust issues. So how did he feel when he found out he was head over heels for Dory even though he suspected she had a problem with emotional intimacy? Was he not afraid she would eventually push him away like everyone else did in his life or was he simply confidant he can win her over?

Louis-Cesare, who apparently likes to live dangerously, has decided to pursue Dory. In other words, they are dating. But loving someone and living with them are two different things, and it remains to be seen if theirs is an attraction that will last. It’s probably safe to assume that, if it works at all, there will be some pretty big adjustments needed on both sides!

7. Since her father was a magical human, does Cassie have relatives she doesn’t know about on his side? If so, will she ever meet them?

Eventually, you will realize just how funny this question is. For right now, though, all I can say is that you’ll find out more about Cassie’s parents in TTS, although not the answer to this question just yet.

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