Wednesday Randomness: I Spend Too Much Time…

I have many things I spend way too much time doing – I can procrastinate with the best of them, believe you me. But I don’t think my list of things I waste my time on is going to be much different than anyone else’s.

Reading – A constant my whole life. Best form of escaping, then, and it’s no different, now. Whether it’s a good novel, and interesting non-fiction read or a filthy fanfic, reading is a big part of my life. You won’t hear me say often that anyone can spend TOO much time reading, but for me… Yeah, sometimes, I’m reading when I should be doing something else – like finishing a book. *hangs head in shame*

TV/Movies – More TV than movies, really, but I’ve been known to marathon some good films. But I definitely watch too many TV shows. I very rarely watch episodes when they air on TV. No, I wait until later when I can watch and watch and watch…

netflix-marathonYeah, Merlin, Dr. Who, Broadchurch, The Fall, The Walking Dead, Arrow, The Flash, Friends, Psych, Supernatural…. Honestly, the list goes on and on. I have to be super strict with myself not to start watching a show when I should be working, because, despite my best intentions…

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Social Media – Twitter and Facebook? I look at the clock and realize waaay more time has passed than I thought. And anyone who knows me knows I spend more time on Tumblr than I ever should. it speaks to me. In so many ways. But mostly in this way

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or this way…

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I could keep going but… Well, you see what I mean about spending too much time? I’m trying to finish a book! I’m on a tight deadline and pretties (aka the life ruiners) keep distracting me! 🙂

And that’s where I’ll end it. Those are my top three time sucks – reading, watching TV/movies, and social media…


Go and see what the other ladies spend too much time doing!
Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn CeaseJessica De La Rosa | Kayleigh Jones  |
Kellie St. James Kris Norris | Paige Prince

Until next week!
Hugs,
~J

April Song Writing Prompt – “I Will Possess Your Heart”

songprompt1I had a whole other story in mind for this song – “I Will Possess Your Heart” by Death Cab for Cutie – which is a favorite of mine, btw.

But, I realized that idea…was something that would be much, much too long for something like this. So I switched gears.

Right now, I’m firmly entrenched in my Albion Circle series – writing like crazy on a story and characters I love. So, I decided to stay on that path with this month’s song prompt. Well, mostly on the path. Tthis is a slight detour as it’s a glimpse inside the head of Mordred – the not-so-good guy. o.O


~Mordred~

We belonged together.

Why didn’t Annwyl see that? Why didn’t she understand that Merlin wasn’t her other half? I was. I always had been, from the very beginning. He just got to her first.

Striding in to my study, I tugged my tie off and threw it on my desk before sitting in on of the armchairs in front of the fireplace. A few murmured words had flames springing to life, illuminating the darkening room. Another muttered spell, and a tumbler of brandy floated through the air into my waiting hand. I knocked the liquor back, relishing the burn as it worked it way down my throat to settle warmly in my stomach. I sent glass back toward the decanter to be refilled. Then, simply held the drink in my hand as anticipation flowed through me.

All day, I’d been waiting for this. Suffering through keeping up appearances, pretending to work for the bumbling idiot of a governor. Of course, he was firmly under my control, as was most of the staff. If I were to be successful this life, in this time, I needed to have power in the non-Magical world. The job was a means to an end, nothing more. But it kept me from maintaining contact with Annwyl. That required focus and concentration, and I couldn’t spare more than a few pockets of time through the day. And that wasn’t nearly enough. I needed more. She deserved more.

What Annwyl and I had, what we shared—no one else could understand that. Not Arthur and his followers, not Morgana, even when she was on the right side of the battle, and certainly not fucking Merlin. Even Annwyl didn’t fully understand. How could she? With Merlin in head? Well, this time would be different, because I was the one in her head now. I would have the time I needed with her, the time to show her the truth.

I know she thought I hated her, but my hatred never touched her. It was solely for Arthur and Merlin. I may feel anger at some of her choices—in this life and lives past—and lose myself in that anger, at times, but that was only because I cared too much. I loved her. More than Merlin ever could. It wasn’t a love born out of attraction and sex, but because she and I were of a kind. Underneath it all, Annwyl and I were the same. And it was up to me to make her see that.

I lifted the glass to my lips, thinking of what I’d have to do if I didn’t succeed. I never enjoyed taking her life. It hurt me to do so, and the guilt of failing weighed on me. But it was always a last resort, when it was clear she was too far gone to accept the truth before her. I regretted that her deaths were never easy, but if she couldn’t make the right choice, she needed to be used in a way to further the cause, to send a message to the Circle.

It wasn’t too late, this life, though. I still had time to make her see, to make her understand. I placed my brandy on the end table and settled back in the chair, closing my eyes, reaching out into Annwyl’s mind. Ready to spend some time with her and show her how things truly were. I would do everything in my power to succeed where I’d always failed.

And if she were too far gone, if Merlin and his king had corrupted her completely, I’d do what needed to be done. As painful as it would be, I’d reset things for her and start fresh in the next life.


Head on over and see what these awesome ladies have been inspired to write after listening to “I Will Possess Your Heart”…
Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn CeaseJessica De La Rosa | Kris Norris

MERLIN CLUB: The Diamond of the Day, Parts 1 & 2

 

MerlinClub1MERLIN CLUB: THE DIAMOND OF THE DAY, PARTS 1 & 2
OR THE END OF IT ALL
OR #MerlinClub? More like Merlin’s Sub…or at least Jess Is (Because @Tamsin_Frost tweeting this made me laugh so hard it gets to be part of my final Merlin Club post title 🙂 )

I have put off writing this all damned week. It really is, as the lovely Merlin Clubbers said, like leaving summer camp… I’m not ready to say goodbye to Merlin Club. But alas, no more avoiding. It’s time to get to it.

RECAP – We open with Morgana, with Mordred by her side, having a druid, Ari, demonstrate his magic. She then proceeds to take away that magic by having some big booger looking thing attach itself to his face. Bam, magic gone. She plans on using this on Merlin.

But now we know the war can be won. For Arthur is nothing without Emrys, and Emrys is nothing without magic.

One of her minions sneaks into Camelot and leaves the giant booger in Merlin’s room—after knocking Gaius out. Meanwhile, king and manservant are in the tavern, playing dice. Merlin manages to win every time with his magic. After, he sneaks back into his room and is attacked by the booger. (The creature is actually called the Eancanah, but it’s a booger, people). He throws it off and a now conscious Gaius clobbers it. But the damage is done—Merlin has lost his magic.

Morgana and Mordred attack an outpost of Camelot—magic fireballs flying through the air and everything. During the fight Gwaine saves a pretty girl, Eira, from being taken by a Saxon. Leon calls a retreat as they are vastly outnumbered.

Merlin is overwhelmed as the wounded pour into the city—without his magic he feels useless. Gaius tells him he still has skills as a physician and puts him to work. Merlin helps Eira. Gwaine already has it bad for the woman who has lost her whole family in the attack.

In a meeting around the Round Table, Arthur proposes going on the offensive—rather than just waiting for Morgana’s next attack. It is decided they will make their stand at Camlann. Merlin is freaked hearing that name as it’s there the prophecy says Arthur will die. Merlin prepares Arthur’s things for the journey but tells Arthur he will not be joining them—giving him the excuse that Gaius needs him to gather supplies for the wounded. Arthur doesn’t react well. (and the crying begins)

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Merlin is determined to get his powers back and enlists Gwaine’s help in getting to the Crystal Cave. We see Eira in the dark woods, meeting with Morgana and Mordred—she’s a spy! Dammit. Poor Gwaine. She tells Morgana that Arthur plans to ride to Camlann and that Gwaine is traveling with Merlin to the Valley of the Fallen Kings before he goes to the battle. Mordred mentions the Cave and it being the birthplace of magic. Well, Morgana isn’t going to risk Merlin getting his powers back.

In the Cave, Morgana taunts Merlin then traps him inside with a—SURPRISE *Jazz Hands*–rock fall that blocks the entrance.

Defeated, Merlin is visited by Balinor’s spirit, who encourages Merlin…

Merlin, you are more than a son of your father. You are son of the earth, the sea, the sky, magic is the fabric of this world, and you were born of that magic. You are magic itself. You cannot lose what you are.

He tells his son to rest. When Merlin wakes, he finds he’s regained his powers. Through one of the crystals, he sees Arthur sleeping and speaks to him—telling him of Morgan’s plan to outflank and ambush them. Arthur wakes and trusting what Merlin told him—even mentally—orders Gwaine and Percival to take men to meet Morgana’s. He gives a rousing speech to his forces…

Tonight…we do battle. Tonight, we end this war; we end a war as old as the land itself. War against tyranny, greed, and spite. Not all will greet the dawn – some will live, some will die. But each and every one of you fights with honour, and with pride. For not only do we fight for our lives, we fight for the future. The future of Camelot. The future of Albion. The future of the united kingdoms. For the love of Camelot!

…and the battle begins. Merlin magically busts out of the cave—full on Emrys/Dragoon—and rides for the battle.

The battle isn’t looking good for Camelot—Morgana’s up on some cliff using magic and Aithusa is raining fire down on them. It’s not good. But then, Merlin/Emrys shows up. Brings down freaking lighting and stuff and turns the tide. Sadly, though, Mordred has found Arthur and runs him through with his sword—the one Aithusa breathed upon—but Arthur returns the favor and kills Mordred with Excalibur. Merlin finds Arthur passed out on the battlefield, but he’s still alive. He carries him off. When Arthur comes too, Merlin is young again and the first thing his king asks is “Where have you been?” Oh God, my heart! Merlin apologizes and then reveals his magic to Arthur. Who doesn’t take it very well at all, and pushes Merlin away.

Here….watch. It’s… just…SOB

Back in Camelot, Gwen waits for word on Arthur from patrols searching for him. Gaius meets Merlin and Arthur in the woods. They tend to Arthur. When Merlin goes to see to the horses, Arthur tells Gaius that Merlin is a sorcerer, and quickly figures out that Gaius already knew this. Gaius tells him that Merlin is the only one who can help Arthur and he is loyal only to Arthur. Arthur’s reaction is lovely though. tumblr_mfkb29TrFw1qirafjo1_250 tumblr_mfkb29TrFw1qirafjo2_250

Gaius tells Merlin that a piece of Mordred’s blade is still inside Arthur and traveling towards his heart. That only the ancient magic of the Sidhe can heal him. He must take Arthur to Avalon. Arthur gives Gaius the royal seal to give to Gwen, and Merlin and Gaius hug and say goodbye.

Gaius returns to Camelot—tells Gwen that Arthur is in the best care with Merlin and hints that Eira should not be trusted. The girl is caught sending a message to Morgana—with false information as it was all a trap—and is executed. Gwaine—poor, poor, heartbroken Gwaine—and Percival head out to find Morgana. When they do, they fail in capturing or killing her and are taken themselves. Morgana uses the nathair serpent on Gwaine, and Percival hears his screams as he is tortured for information on where Arthur is. Percival breaks free and finds Gwaine who is dying. He says he has failed his king; he’s told Morgana where Arthur and Merlin are going. Then he dies.

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As Merlin and Arthur journey to the lake of Avalon, Arthur begins to see what Merlin is capable of and understand that Merlin has been protecting him all these years. Here come the GIFs en force, because these are some of my favorite moments…tumblr_mfq85tduP11qdoo05o1_250 tumblr_mfq85tduP11qdoo05o2_250 tumblr_mfq85tduP11qdoo05o3_250 tumblr_mfq85tduP11qdoo05o4_250 tumblr_mfq85tduP11qdoo05o5_250 tumblr_mfq85tduP11qdoo05o6_250

 

and this…

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and dear God THIS…

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Morgana catches up to them, and throws Merlin back with magic. She taunts Arthur.

What a joy it is to see you, Arthur. Look at you, not so tall and mighty now. You may have won the battle, but you’ve lost the war. You’re going to die by Mordred’s hand. But don’t worry, my dear brother, I won’t let you die alone. I will stay and watch over you, until the wolves gorge on your carcass and bathe in your blood.

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He then turns his attention to Arthur and getting his king to the lake, but without the horses—that Morgana scared away—their progress is slow. Arthur can’t go on any longer and collapses. Merlin holds his friend, who acknowledges what Merlin has done and accepts him before he dies in Merlin’s arms.

Here…join me in my pain.

Merlin calls Kilgharrah who brings him to the lake. The dragon tells Merlin there’s nothing he can do, but he must have faith—when Albion’s need is at its greatest the Once and Future King will return.

In Camelot, Arthur’s death is announced.

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Merlin throws Excalibur into the lake, returning it to the Lady of the Lake. He places Arthur on a boat and magically sends him to the Isle of Avalon

The show ends in modern times—an old Merlin walking by what was once the lake—clearly still waiting for the day Arthur will return.


 

If I’d written this episode, I would have changed… There’s not much I would change, honestly. And the thing I thought I would change, I’m not so sure anymore. It’s when Morgana is killed. When I first watched it, I thought it was way too anticlimatic. I wanted a huge magical showdow – Emrys v. Morgana. 

But now, after watching several times, and listening to the commentary, I like the way they did it. Merlin holding her as she dies beautifully parallels when he poisoned her in season 2. So I’ve changed my mind about that.

OH OH! I do have something I’d change! WHY THE FUCK DIDN’T HE CALL KILGARRAH SOONER??!!?!?! Have that dragon fly your ass to the lake and save your man, Merlin? I get that Arthur had to die – I was expecting that from the beginning of the series but it doesn’s make sense for Merlin to put off calling Kilgarrah for so long. It actually is pretty out of character for him, the man who is will to pretty much do anything for Arthur. So I’d have him call the dragon earlier or give a freaking reason why he doesnt.

Thing(s) I loved about this episode—I already put a lot of gifs of some of the scenes/moments I loved, so I won’t repeat myself. But here goes…

Arthur’s reaction when he learns of Merlin’s magic. Notice he didn’t say “Get away from me, evil sorcerer” or anything like that. When Merlin first says he has magic, Arthur’s reaction is:

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The first response is utter disbelief because HE WOULD KNOW. He would know something that important about Merlin. Even as they are journeying, as Arthur processes all of this, the anger he shows isn’t about the magic. It’s about the fact that Merlin lied and kept this from him for so long. He feels betrayed (again) by a person he loves. 

I love that the episodes focus so much on Merlin and Arthur – not just because of my mad Merthur love, but because this has always been their journey. Watching Arthur process everything and finally come to accept Merlin just as he is…. beautiful.

And Arthur’s first words to Merlin when he wakes after being wounded?

Where have you been?

Because despite Merlin saying he wasn’t coming, Arthur expected his friend to be there and wanted to know where he’s been. SOB

Colin Morgan and Bradley James – OMG, these two. They played this perfectly. Absolutely perfectly, IMO. Betrayed!Arthur is a fave of mine…always, and Bradley does it so well. But espeically in these episodes. And then the subtle changes, his expressions as Arthur begins to realize exactly what Merlin has done… FOR HIM. Truly brilliant. Another example…as Arthur is dying, he starts to fade, Merlin calls out to him and there’s a brief moment when he opens his eyes and focuses on Merlin…the look on Merlin’s face – that glimmer of hope – and him whispering “Don’t leave me”… KILLS ME EVERY TIME! it’s just perfect…and that line? Not even scripted. It was all Colin.

Thing(s) I hated about this episode—That Arthur died, but knew that was coming. The headache I get after the constant flow of tears that happen every time I watch these episodes. That it is the end of Merlin Club. 

Something I never noticed about this episode before—I’ve seen these episodes so many times – they top the Jess Rewatch List. So nothing about this episode, but it was something I noticed from an episode WAY back, and have been holding on to until this very post. From S01E09 Excalibur – Arthur counseling his knight: 

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And fast forward to this episode and…

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For once, I’m praising the writers. Well done.

Proof of some head canon I’ve created— So we have Arthur dying and he says: 

I want to say…something I’ve never said to you before… Thank you.

Um no. That is not what you were going to say, Arthur. No. Because you’ve thanked Merlin before and you damned well know it. And it wasn’t just one other time you said thank you to him, either… Let’s just take a look, shall we? 

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That’s at least 14 times you’ve said thank you to Merlin, Arthur! I don’t believe that’s what he was going to say. I think he was going to tell him he loved him. The way he looked at him, the way he cupped the back of Merlin’s head, it all makes sense that he would say I love you. But realizing that he was dying and leaving Merlin, he couldn’t bring himself to do it. And I will hold on to that head canon for as long as I live. 

Favorite costume—BAMF!Gwen’s outfit during the battle

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What would Bron steal from Camelot Camlann in this episode? Arthur’s tent and everything in it. Seriously…I would camp all the time if it were like this – and it included people setting it all up.

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What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? That Gwen put it all together and worked out that Merlin was the sorcerer in the battle – from not believing Merlin would leave Arthur’s side for something like gathering herbs, to seeing the sorcerer at work… Well, I think she loved everything about Gwen in this episode but especially this. 

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Bron’s Take on “The Diamond of the Day” | Jen’s Take on “The Diamond of the Day”

And that is it, friends. The end of Merlin Club. I was almost as weepy doing this post as I was watching the episodes.

Special thanks to Bron and Jen… This was awesome in every way. 🙂 I’m so glad we decided to do this.

And thank you to everyone who watched along or read our posts  – especially @volcat, @Tamsin_Frost, @TayciBear, @practicalstyl & @dylanbim, who watched and tweeted along regularly. As much fun as it is to just hang and talk with Jen and Bron, having more people along for the ride made it even more so! 

So, what’s next? Well over the summer, we’re going to do some move watch-alongs. It won’t be every week, and we won’t be doing blog posts about the movies. We’re going to take it a bit easy over the summer – at least as far as this kinda thing goes. 🙂 But we’ll announce when it’s happening on twitter so you can join us.

Then, in the fall (September), we’ll be back to watching and posting weekly. We are going to be watching Rome. We’ll have more details about that later, but it’s going to be fun as hell. 🙂

Goodbye, Merlin Club.

Good with Pie

Hugs,
~J

Wednesday Randomness: 5 Words or Less – My Blog, My Fiction, My Creative Process

5wordsorless

My Blog – Challenging, fun, growing

My Fiction – Sexy, fun, entertaining, I hope.

My Creative Process – Maddening, Exciting, Always Evolving


Check out how the other ladies described these things!
Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn CeaseJessica De La Rosa
Kayleigh Jones | Kellie St. James Kris Norris

Until next week!

Hugs,
~J

Your Lies – Chapter One

I’m so excited to post the first chapter of my serialized story, Your Lies – and that Kris Norris is posting the first chapter of hers – Red Sky Dawning.

Your Lies is also available on Wattpad, with chapters posting there the same time as here. So if you prefer that…there you go. 🙂

http://embed.wattpad.com/follow/JessicaJarman

**Also, remember to comment to be entered in a drawing for a $20 Amazon giftcard at the end of the month**
April’s Winner: Ali
Congrats, Ali! Happy Reading
your lies banner

Chapter One
~Delia~

“It’s still secret, right? No one’s found out?”

I rolled my eyes, even though Mom couldn’t see me. Every single phone call either started or ended with these questions, and it was getting old.

“I’m not an idiot. I haven’t told anyone, and I won’t. You’ve adequately drilled that into my head.”

“Don’t take that tone with me, Delia. You’ve no idea how scared I—” Her voice cracked, and guilt swamped me.

“I’m sorry,” I said quickly. “But nothing’s going to happen, okay? No one knows anything about me.”

“But if you let it slip to one of your friends or if you lose control… Honey, maybe you should just come back home. You wouldn’t have to worry here about anyone finding out about your—” She sighed heavily. “About you.”

I shook my head and ignored the tightening of my throat. She couldn’t even bring herself to say the word. That was nothing new, though. She hated this part of me. Not the way others hated it or feared it—nothing like that. She loved me more than anyone, of course, but having this inside me put me at risk, and what mother wouldn’t loathe that?

“Mom, I want to help people, people like me, and I can’t do that there.”

“But you’d be safe!”

I closed my eyes against the sudden burning. I didn’t like that she worried, that I was the cause of so much fear and stress and had been my entire life. Sometimes, I wished I could do what she wanted—go home, live on the farm, safe and sound—but coming here was the first step in fulfilling my dreams. The first step in doing what I’ve always wanted to do.

“I’m safe here,” I assured her. “You’re forgetting there are laws to protect me, that it’s illegal to discriminate against me just because I have—”

You’re forgetting just how little those legal protections mean,” she shouted loudly enough I had to pull the phone from my ear. “They didn’t help your father; they don’t help anyone. If anyone finds out, you’ll be put on a watch list—the lists that aren’t even supposed to exist but do—and you will never have a moment’s peace. You’ll never be safe; always having to look over your shoulder.”

“No one knows,” I said in a rush, anxious to cut off the rant before it really began. “And no one will ever know. Dad taught me well, Mom. You know that. I’m just another student here, one of thousands. Nobody cares about me, and I’m not drawing attention to myself.”

A heavy sigh traveled through the phone. “Promise me you’ll be careful. Promise you’ll come home if there’s even a hint that someone knows or suspects.”

“Promise,” I said softly, as I always did.

I wished she’d ask me about my classes, about the people I was meeting, the things I was doing, but it was only the questions and the promises—every time. A part of me understood why—truly I did—but another part wanted her to be interested in my life. In me…beyond that one part. I glanced at my watch and stood from where I sat on my bed.

“I’ve got to go. I have class in a few minutes, and it’s across campus, so I need to hurry.” Grabbing my bag, I hoisted it over my shoulder. “I’ll call you over the weekend?”

“All right. Call sooner if you need anything.” She paused, and I could tell she wanted to say more, to keep warning me, but instead, she simply said, “I love you, Delia.”

“Love you, too, Mom.”

I ended the call and shoved the phone in my pocket as I left my room. I hurried out of the building and started the trek across campus.

“Delia!” Peyton Harding—a girl from my dorm—jogged up and fell into step beside me. “Study group around four. You coming?”

“Yeah. Where?”

“John wants it to be out here.” Peyton rolled her eyes as she gestured around the quad. “Everyone’s pretty much agreed to it. Figured we might as well while it’s still nice enough to, because before too long, we’ll be stuck inside.”

“All right. My class goes until three-fifty, so I’ll meet you here. Who else is—oof.”

“Oh shit, sorry! Wasn’t looking were I was going. Are you okay?” A strong hand wrapped around my arm above my elbow, steadying me.

I looked up and found myself staring into the clearest, greenest eyes I’d ever seen. I’d call them pretty if it wasn’t for the whole picture they were a part of. Messy brown mop of curls, high cheekbones, full lips that were turned down into a frown. No, pretty wasn’t the word I was thinking. Hot, sexy, breathtaking—those all fit.

“You okay?” he repeated.

Great, I was gaping at him like an idiot. I nodded and smiled. “Yeah, yeah, I’m fine. No worries.”

His frown transformed into a wide, bright grin, and there was the breathtaking. Damn.

“I’m glad.” He tilted his head and ran his gaze over me. “I haven’t seen you around. First year?”

I nodded, acutely aware of the warm weight of his hand still on my arm. Everything in me responded to his touch, and I breathed through it—the trembling, the heat swirling through my body, threatening to radiate outward—desperate to keep that reaction concealed, hoping he’d see nothing more than a shy girl gobsmacked in the presence of a hot guy. Which I was, but it was only a fraction of the story.

His fingers flexed, and he continued to smile at me. “I’m Maddock.”

“Delia,” I forced through numb lips.

“That fits—beautiful girl, beautiful name.”

Some shouting had him glancing over his shoulder. Relief and sadness warred within me when he let me go to wave at whoever had been trying to get his attention. I inhaled deeply and felt myself calm slightly. Until he faced me again, eyes crinkling as he smiled. Damn, that was cute.

“I have to go.” He actually sounded as if he regretted it. “I’d like to see you again, Delia. Come to the rally this afternoon.” He pressed a piece of paper into my hand, holding it firmly against my palm a moment. “Look for me after? Maybe we can get some coffee and get to know each other better.”

“I-I’d like that.”

“Me, too.”

He released my hand then, after a quick nod in Peyton’s direction and another flashing smile in mine, he walked away. I watched him go—I was only human, and he wore those jeans oh so well—until I was jolted from my thoughts by a rough nudge on my arm.

“Wow,” Peyton drawled, linking arms with me. “Hot, majorly hunky Maddock Roberts just asked you out.”

I snorted, eyes still on where he now stood talking with a group of people. “Not exactly.”

“Meeting for coffee after his rally? That’s a date, my friend.”

No, it was— Oh God…was it? My stomach fluttered. I looked down at the paper in my trembling hand, and the flutters morphed into full on spasms, driving out the nervous excitement. Bile threatened to choke me as I read the bold print across the top—Protect Our Students. Ban Magic Users From Campus!

“Hey, something wrong?” Peyton asked.

I crumpled the flyer and chucked it into a nearby trashcan, ignoring the flare of prickling heat inside me.

“No,” I croaked. “Just don’t want to be late for class. The prof’s a real stickler about being on time and all that.”

I pulled away from her and set a quick pace towards my destination.

“Delia, wait! What’s the matter?”

“Nothing! Promise. See you at study group!”

When I turned to smile and wave at her—because I didn’t need anyone to be suspicious of anything; I needed to be normal—I saw Maddock Roberts a few feet from her, frowning fiercely at me.

* * * *

I was late for class, anyway. But it was all good, because I’d lied—the professor didn’t give a shit. I’d had to duck into one of the bathrooms, lock myself into a stall and calm down. Showing up to class with my magic going crazy, my hair practically standing on end and energy flowing off me in waves, wasn’t the way to stay unnoticed.

My mother would flip a nut if she knew I’d nearly lost control. In a very public place, no less. Over a boy. An absolutely gorgeous boy, yes, but a boy just the same. Stupid, stupid Delia.

I reined it in, though, and made it through class without blowing anything up, so win for me. Wouldn’t be so much of a win if anyone asked me what the actual lecture was about as my mind had been thoroughly occupied by a cute guy who apparently hated what I was and, if he knew the truth, would probably rather see me dead than date me.

Such was my life.

Now, as I entered the quad, the first thing I noticed was the huge crowd of people occupying the center of the large space. Shit, the rally. I stopped abruptly, got jostled as people pushed past me to join the group. And in the middle of it all was none other than Maddock Roberts, standing on the platform of one of the hideous abstract sculptures scattered throughout campus. He was speaking, loudly, but I was too far away to hear anything clearly. I couldn’t pull my gaze away from him. Those flocked around him were just as enthralled as I was with whatever he was saying, with his earnest expression, his animated gestures. Good-looking, charming, charismatic—didn’t it just figure he was the enemy? Someone to avoid at all costs?

Why hadn’t I read the freaking flyer before I tossed it? I could have made my excuses to Peyton and avoided the quad altogether. I glanced around. Besides the rather huge gathering, people were scattered through the courtyard, but no sign or Peyton or John or any of the others I’d studied with before. Relief filled me. I could just cut through, head to the dorm, and escape. Just tell Peyton later I couldn’t find them in the chaos.

That plan in mind, I started across the quad, skirting around the gathered masses. I tried not to listen as I hurried past, but try as I might, snippets of Maddock’s speech reached me.

“Safety should be our number one priority…”

“…don’t advocate any violence towards magic users, but…”

“Magic is a disease that should be eradicated to keep…”

“…wouldn’t allow rabid animals to wander about campus, why should we allow magic users the privilege?”

I nearly fell over stopping as quickly as I did. I struggled to control my breathing as I turned toward where Maddock spoke. I fought back tears as I saw those surrounding me nodding along with the poison he spewed. Over the pounding of my heart, which echoed in my skull, his words penetrated and filled me with a fear I’d never felt before in my life.

“They are just as dangerous. Do you want to be in the company of someone who could suck the life out of you with a look just because you said something they didn’t agree with or took offense to?”

“They should be put down!”

Maddock shook his head at the shouted statement. “No, that’s not the answer; that’s not fair. This isn’t something any magic user asked for—what’s inside them is a defect of birth. What they are is no fault of their own. Any violence against them is inexcusable.” His hand slashed through the air. “My father is part of a team of researchers who have been working for years to develop a cure for this…abomination. A way to rid these innocent people of the sickness that eats away at them, that corrupts them. And they are close, so close, but until that great day arrives, those with magic need to be contained. Where they can go and what they can do has to be limited. They need to be watched and monitored. As sad as that is, it’s essential, for everyone’s safety. Including theirs.”

He looked out over the crowd, and his gaze landed on me. Of course it did, because I was just that screwed. His bright grin stole my breath, again—but for very different reasons this time.

“There are people up here,” he gestured to his right, “who are waiting to take your signatures on our petition to ban magic users from campus. Rest assured, we aren’t asking to take away anyone’s right to an education. As part of our plea, we’ve offered suggestions, options for students who have magic—online courses, courses offered at locations set aside solely for their kind. Please sign, and be a part of this important movement. Thank you.”

He jumped off the platform and started making his way through the throng—straight toward me. Magic skittering just beneath my skin, I spun around and moved as quickly as I could in the direction of the dorm, away from the hate and prejudice, away from him.

I breathed a sigh of relief as I exited the quad and started down the far less crowded pathway between buildings.

“Delia! Hey, wait up.”

Short of running away and making a spectacle—which was the last thing I needed, and my mom would kill me—there was nothing I could do except listen to the slap of his shoes on the pavement as he caught up to me. My short-legged walk, no matter how hurried, was no match for his long, running stride.

“Thought we were going to grab coffee,” he said, slightly out of breath. “The rally ran a bit longer than I thought. Sorry about that, but it was a great crowd, don’t you think?”

Hysterical laughter bubbled up, and I was powerless to stop its escape. I kept telling myself to just agree with him, make an excuse to get out of coffee and get the hell away from him, but I couldn’t form any words. Couldn’t do anything but laugh.

He grabbed my elbow, pulling me to a stop beside him. I jerked away.

“Don’t—” I cringed at the volume of that one word, and drew on all my strength to lower my voice and control myself. “Don’t touch me.”

Maddock frowned and held his hands up, palms facing me. “Okay, okay! I’m sorry.”

“Whatever.” I shook my head and backed up a step. “Just stay away from me.”

My chest ached at the hurt, confused expression on his face, and I had to repeat his words in my head to stand firm. Disease. Rabid animals. Abomination. As charming as he was, as much as his feelings may be hurt, he thought of me as an abomination. That was what I needed to remember, right now.

“I don’t understand,” he said slowly. “I thought earlier that we’d… What changed between then and now, Delia?”

“Everything.”

Chapter Two >>>


 

Click the banner to check out chapter one of Kris’ Red Sky Dawning:
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**LIMITED TIME $0.99 SALE** LONDON BOUND

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With the release of Drawn That Way – the 2nd book, and Bronwyn’s 1st offering, in The Bound Series – I’ve decided to offer London Bound for $0.99 for a limited time.

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***From now until 4-19-15, only $0.99***
AMAZON | B&N | KOBO | iBOOKSTORE | ARe

After losing her husband six years ago, Meg Stevens has focused on the day-to-day and being a mother, not sparing a thought for anything beyond—no dates, no excitement, no life other than what she already had. A six-week vacation to London, all but forced on her by her two children, changes all of that. Meg meets the man of her dreams—gorgeous, dominant, and completely on board with a short-term fling—despite the fact he’s far too young for her.

Nathan Harris is more than a bit curious about the beautiful woman renting the upstairs flat, and once he talks to her, curiosity is quickly replaced by arousal and desire. It doesn’t take long before it’s clear she longs to experience sexual submission, and Nathan finds himself desperate to be the one she submits to.

Her days spent exploring the city, her nights exploring Nathan and the pleasure submitting to him brings, Meg discovers the trip she’d taken out of obligation has turned into something she doesn’t want to walk away from. However, the life she left behind beckons, and there’s no room there for dreaming of something she can never have.


And check out Drawn That Way. You really need to because Rory… Rory… *fans self* He’s sexy as fuck and the story is absolutely brilliant!

Drawn that way ARe coverAMAZON  | KOBO  | ARe
(Coming to B&N and iBookstore SOON)

Tristan Weaver, accountant for a successful video game company, is in way over her head. Honestly answering a company-wide survey and criticizing the sexist stereotypes used in the company’s games was enough to catch her boss’ attention.  But speculating on his sex life within his earshot has unexpected consequences when her hot, but nerdy, boss invites her to model for him.

Owner, artist and lead developer of Brecken Games, Rory Brecken, has a strict no fraternizing with employees rule. However, when he overhears Tristan’s conversation with her friend about his rumored kinks and begins to suspect her curiosity about the submissive side of sex, he’s more than a little tempted. When her interest is undeniably confirmed, he suggests a onetime only, colleagues-with-benefits hook-up.

Though neither want a relationship, once isn’t enough for either one of them. As their encounters become more intense, Rory makes a huge mistake that may cost him the woman he’s coming to love.


And we have many more stories planned and in the works.

Yummy accents, hot dominant guys, kinky times galore… Can’t really blame us, can ya?

Hugs
Jess

Wednesday Randomness: A Thank You Note

bannerfans_15386690Despite the enormous distraction you are in my life, you are truly my happy place. What I turn to when I need some time away. I’ve so much to thank you for…

You make me laugh and make me think. You show me that I’m not alone in my thoughts, beliefs, and not even in my (apparently) strangely specific fetishes. 😉

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tumblr_mjpm7n2kHr1r7lfr2o1_250
tumblr_mmyzhn4OgC1qma7m9o5_r1_250And you don’t judge that Colin Morgan seems to embody all of these.

You are so much more than a distraction, though. You are an infinite source of inspiration when I’m writing and trying to picture a character – an expression or way of moving.

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You never bring up the fact I look up more pretty men than anything else. You just get me.

And do I even need to bring up the enormous amounts of filthy fanfic you bring to me?

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Yeah, I didn’t think so…

So, thank you, Tumblr. For brightening my days and being so awesome.

Loves & Smooches
Jess


Wonder what the others are saying thanks to…
Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Jessica De La Rosa
Kellie St. James Kris Norris | Paige Prince

 

COMING SOON: Serial – Your Lies

I’m so excited about this. Really, so so excited.

This project started a while ago. I’ve been wanting to do a serialized story for a long time. After talking to the fabulous Kris Norris, we decided we were going to do it 🙂 We came up with a common theme – enemies to lovers – one of my favorites!

We’re going to be posting chapters twice a month – the 2nd and 4th Mondays. The first chapter will post next Monday 4/13. 

Kris, who is not only a fabulous author but also a brilliantly talented artist, has designed the most gorgeous covers for these stories.your lies

 


Keeping her magic secret keeps Delia Lancaster safe. That is the one truth among the lies that make up her life. Having left the safety of home for college, Delia clings to that truth. Trusting someone with her heart is difficult enough. Trusting someone with her secret? After everything she’s already lost? Next to impossible. And isn’t it just her luck that the first guy she feels any interest in just happens to be the charming and very attractive face of the anti-magic movement on campus?

His entire life, Maddock Roberts has watched his parents work to relieve magic users of the burden they carry, the disease that corrupts them. Popular and confident, Maddock finds himself a leader in the fight against magic. Eyes on the future, he’s more than ready to take up the mantle and continue the battle beyond the boundaries of campus. The last thing he needs is to be distracted by a pretty face. Particularly when everything about her—her actions, her words—makes him question everything he’s held as truth.

Working with the magic Sympathizers on campus brings Delia face-to-face with Maddock more than she wants. Physical attraction, Delia can handle, but getting to know the man behind it all…and liking what she finds? That’s a problem she doesn’t need. Despite her best efforts, she and Maddock grow closer, and keeping her secret becomes more difficult. But their fledging relationship isn’t the only thing that could be destroyed if the truth comes out. Her life is at risk, and it may already be too late to walk away.


Also, each month, I’ll be doing a giveaway – a $20 Amazon giftcard. Entering is easy peasy. All you need to do is comment on the posted chapters. At the end of the month, I’ll randomly choose a commenter as the winner. So comment on both chapters, and you’re entered twice. 🙂 Kris is doing the same, so there are lots of chances to win. 🙂

I have given a couple peeks into our heroine’s past in a couple of my flash fiction posts.

“The Lies Begin”
“Lying in Wait”


Kris’ story, Red Sky Dawning, promises to be amazing. i’ve gotten a sneak peak of the beginning…AND I WANT MORE. I know you will, too.

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In a world where magic can destroy kingdoms, there’s no greater force than the bonds of love.

Rylan, son of Roan, and heir to the throne of Ravendale, has been fighting his father’s battles since he was old enough to hold a sword. His abilities as a fire mage gave his kingdom the ultimate weapon, until he seemingly vanished. Left vulnerable, his father erected a magical barrier that has provided Ravendale with a false illusion of peace—until now.

Shunned by her own people for being born with a power no realm has witnessed in over five hundred years, Aelwyn, Princess of Aldhaven, bears the mark of the gods, themselves. Both blessed and cursed, she’s devoted her life to protecting her brother, Aelrik, until he can take his rightful place as King—and finally end the war between her kingdom and Ravendale.

But his mysterious disappearance on the eve of his coronation brings a new scheme to light—one that’s designed to thrust Aldhaven into another millennium of bloody war. Left with no other option, Aelwyn has freed the only man capable of getting her brother back—a brutal, Ravendale warrior captured a century before she was born. But his cooperation comes with a price.

Enemies by heritage, Aelwyn has to put her faith in a man whose conquests are the horrifying legends of her past. Their mission is simple—rescue Aelrik and prevent a new battle from tearing both their worlds apart. There’s just one problem—circumstances of their agreement have put Aelwyn into her enemy’s arms, and she’s seeing a different side of the man history has labeled a murderer. Knowing firsthand that claims are often wrought from fear, she can’t help but strive to see the warrior beneath the lore. The man within the monster. But falling in love is a dangerous choice—one that might break far more than just her heart.

Click the banner to learn more about Red Sky Dawning and read a teaser!

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I hope you’ll come back and read Your Lies as the story unfolds.
Hugs,
Jessyour lies banner

April Photo Writing Prompt – Lying in Wait

 

photopromptTotally late on this one… Got in super late from a weekend away last night and passed out. And I’d spent the 4 of the last 10 days in the car. Not particularly fun, even though the visits in between were lovely.

Anyhoo, I’m not wimping out. I have a flash peice for this picture. The upside to hours upon hours in the car by yourself? Lots of ideas pop up and there’re no distractions as they come to ilfe in your head.

This is another glimpse into Delia’s life. She’s the heroine from my NA serial that will begin next week. Squee! So excited about it. You can check out the last tidbit from Delia HERE before reading on…or just read on….

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Lying in Wait

I leaned against the tree, scratching the growing number of bug bites on my exposed skin. And there was a fair amount of it. Should’ve changed out of the thin, short dress I’d thrown on that morning, but I hadn’t expected to be standing here long after night fell. And honestly, the air was heavy and thick with humidity, even now, and I’d be sweltering in anything else. The small amount of relief I felt as the stingy breeze coasted over my damp skin was worth it. I smacked my neck, grimacing at the smear of blood on my palm. Mostly worth it.

Where was he? I peered down the dark street. This was the way he’d come back, the way he always came back whenever he left for…whatever he was doing. He still wouldn’t tell me anything, saying I was too young, that Mom would have his ass if he involved me at all. Of course, Dad just talking to me about magic, in general, was enough to get her blood boiling something fierce. Which was why I’d waited for her to doze in the recliner before slipping out to meet Dad when he returned. I figured this was the only way I’d get him to share anything about his secret outings. Not that I’d been successful to this point, but at home? No chance there.

Oh, he’d be annoyed when he saw me. He’d get out of the car, all frowns and glares, but that would only last a moment before he’d shake his head and and nod for me to get in. And even if I couldn’t get him to spill about, we’d talk about magic. Freely and without worried looks. I swatted at another mosquito buzzing around my ear and sighed. I knew Mom didn’t mean anything by it. She really didn’t understand why we needed to talk, why I needed to learn about what was inside me. How could she? She wasn’t a magic user. She didn’t feel the power thrumming through her, pushing ever outward as she had to hide that part of herself from everyone out of fear. She couldn’t imagine what it was like to feel as if she were dying because something that was so essential to who she was was being smothered.

“Delia!”

I spun at the soft call, grabbing the tree truck for balance as I tripped over my own feet. Squinting into the night, I tried to find the source of the voice, and nearly fell on my ass when a tall figure stepped from the shadows across the way onto the asphalt.

“Kyle? What are you doing here?”

“Was…was…”

He braced his hands on his knees and bent forward, gulping air. I hurried closer to him, joining him on the road. and saw he was drippping with sweat. His jeans were torn at the knees, filthy, and when he straightened, my stomach roiled when the streetlight illuminated a nasty gash along his temple and the blood coating half his face.

I closed the distance between us and reached up. Before I could touch him, murmur one of the healing spell Dad had taught me, Kyle grabbed my wrists and shook his head, wincing as the movement obviously pained him. He glanced around nervously.

“Not here. Not now.”

“What’s going on? What happened to you?”

“There’s no time to explain. You have to get home. Now. And when they come, you know nothing.”

“When who comes?” I pulled free of his grasp but didn’t move back.

“I was with your dad and mine. They…they…” He pressed his lips together and swallowed audibly. “They were taken, and there are going to be people asking questions. About your dad, about…”

Kyle and his father were the only people other than my parents who knew what I was. Because they were magic users, too. What the hell had they been doing? Who had taken our fathers? Where were they? What was going to happen to them? The questions battered at my skull, and I clenched my hands into tight fists.

“Fuck, Dee!” Kyle grabbed my arm and hauled me to the side, off the road and into the cover of the surrounding forest. “You need to pull it in.”

I followed his gaze, looked down, and saw my hands glowing as my emotions spiraled out of control.

“Where are they?” I gasped.

“I don’t know. They told me to run, and I did. I ran. I didn’t even try to–”

His shame bore down on me, heavy and suffocating. I shoved through the worry and fear and wrapped my arms around his waist. He was just sixteen – a year older than me. If someone had managed to take down both his and my dads, Kyle wouldn’t have stood a chance.

“They said run, you run. That’s the rules,” I said softly.

“We have to go home now.” His voice was flat and dull as he held me tightly. “And when questions are asked – ”

“I know nothing,” I finished, pulling back and looking at him. Before he could see what I was doing, I whispered the spell and touched my fingers to the cut on his head. When he opened his mouth to protest, I spoke first. “They’ll ask more questions if you’re injured.”

He nodded reluctantly. “Yeah, they would. Come on.” He grabbed my hand and started pulling me through the trees toward our homes, rather than along the road.

“You tell me what happened, right? What you were doing?” I asked quietly as we stumbled along in the dark.

“Yeah, I’ll tell you everything I know,” he assured. “When it’s safe.”

It was quiet, except for the sound of our feet in the brush, for several minutes. Then, I could taken it anymore.

“They’re gone, aren’t they? Our dads, I mean. They’re not coming back.”

Kyle tripped slightly ahead of me, and he glanced back, face pale, still streaked with blood. And his blue eyes shining with tears. “I don’t know, Dee. I really don’t know.”


 Be sure to check out the other peices inspired by this month’s photo!
Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease Jessica De La Rosa
Kayleigh Jones | Kris Norris | Paige Prince

MERLIN CLUB: The Drawing of the Dark

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MERLIN CLUB: THE DRAWING OF THE DARK
Or the One that Royally Pisses Me Off

RECAP – I write this as I’m sitting at the parents. Meaning my attention is super divided, so it’s going to be long story short. But luckily, this episode is fairly straightforward.

Merlin, Arthur and the knights are in the woods and come across a Camelot patrol – they’re dead. Arthur figures it’s the work of Saxons. Mordred sees someone running away and follows. She’s revealed to be a yound woman, and he clearly recognizes her. He calls her Kara and orders her to run as the rest of the the men catch up. She gets away, and Merlin is very distrustful – for good reason, but it’s magnified because…Mordred.

Back in Camelot, Merlin shares his worries with Gaius, who blows him off, saying the Druid boy means no harm. *sigh* The two go off to treat a patient, and Mordred sneaks in and steals some medicine. Later that night, he goes into the forest and finds Kara and helps her with her wounds. Apparenlty the two have known each other for years and are very much in love.

When Mordred returns, Merlin confronts him. Mordred tells him what is happening and asks him not to tell Arthur. Later, Merlin and Arthur are off in the forest, and follow Mordred’s trail (really, sir knight? Cover your tracks!) and come across Kara – who tries to kill Arthur, but is thwarted by Merlin’s magic. She is arrest and taken to Camelot. She admits to killing the Camelot patrol and wishes she had succeeded in killing  Arthur. Arthur sentences her to death.

Mordred goes to Arthur and pleads for Kara’s life. Arthur refuses, feeling he has no choice but to uphold the laws of Camelot. Mordred leaves but plans to break Kara out and escape. As this goes down, Kara shocks Mordred by killng one of the guards.

The alarm is raised and there is a chase through the woods. Cornered, Mordred says they will leave and never return if Arthur lets them go. Kara telepathically urges Mordred to kill Arthur with his magic. Mordred hesitates and says they are his friends. Before he can act either way, Percival knocks him out. Back to Camelot they go, and Mordred and Kara are thrown in cells while gallows are built.

Merlin asks Arthur to reconsider, mostly because he feels bad. Arthur calls Kara before him and says he will spare her life if she repents for the murders she has committed. She refuses, saying Arthur and Camelot must be destroyed. She is hanged to death. Grief-stricken, Mordred escapes by blasting the doors off the cells magically. He goes straight to Morgana and tells her what she’s been wanting to know all this time – Who Emrys is. And she is shocked when she hears it is Merlin.

If I’d written this episode, I would have changedIt drives me nuts that they threw Mordred being in love in at the last minute. I’d have have this relationship shown MUCH earlier. Developed it so it was believeable. Because I think Mordred betraying Arthur because of love is a good move, but the way it was done was far too rushed and I didn’t feel much for Kara at all. So when she died, it didn’t hit me in the feels at all, and I certainly didn’t by the depth of Mordred’s grief – that he would go straight to Morgana and betray Arthur and Camelot and Emrys/Merlin, who he looked up to so much. 

Thing(s) I loved about this episode

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And I had such dirty thoughts during this scene. I should be ashamed of myself.

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Thing(s) I hated about this episode—Kara. I just didn’t like her as a character. She was badass and committed, yes, but I did not connect with her. Again, could have been remedied had she been introduced earlier. If we could have seen her relationship with Mordred, maybe I’d have felt something. As it is, it really was just her manipulating Mordred and turning him against Arthur/Camelot. 

Also, Arthur didn’t have much of a choice. She killed a Camelot patrol and a guard. She tried to kill him – the king. He wasn’t putting her to death because she had magic or used magic or was a Druid, she tried to kill the freaking king. It’s not a surprise she was put to death. I know that Mordred was supposedly acting from a place of emotion and grief, but when we don’t see that relationship for longer than half an hour, it falls flat.

Something I never noticed about this episode before— This.

Becasue it’s true. SO TRUE.

OH! Also, this… Merlin confonts Mordred…tumblr_mjipufDcUk1qh1obbo5_1280tumblr_mjipufDcUk1qh1obbo1_1280And Merlin denies it, but… Oh Merlin, bubby, think back, really hard….tumblr_mjipufDcUk1qh1obbo4_1280 tumblr_mjipufDcUk1qh1obbo2_1280

Proof of some head canon I’ve created—Have nothing this week. 

Favorite costume—Arthur’s white tunic. Rowr5x11-The-Drawing-of-the-Dark-merlin-and-arthur-33400616-1280-720

What would Bron steal from Camelot in this episode? The pic does double duty… Not the handsome with a hint of chest, but the pitcher and goblet in front of him. I feel Bron would like those. 5x11-The-Drawing-of-the-Dark-merlin-and-arthur-33400616-1280-720

What made Jen lose her shit (in a good or bad way) in this episode? I think the rushed love story for Mordred. And the lack of consistency of the sentences given for crimes in Camelot. 

Bron’s Take on “The Drawing of the Dark” | Jen’s Take on “The Drawing of the Dark”

NOTE: We will NOT be Merlin Clubbing next week, with the Easter holiday and some of us travellng. We’ll be back the following week to wrap up Merlin Club… For good. *sniffle

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So, in TWO WEEKS, on 4/13 at 8pm EST, we’ll be watching the final TWO EPISODES S05E12-13 “Diamond of the Day”. We’ll be on Twitter with the hastag #MerlinClub