Evelyn Chartres Author
Evelyn Chartres – Page 3

A Quick Revision Update

Since Revision 3 was completed on 22 Jan 2018, three more revisions were completed for the Van Helsing Paradox. These revisions all aimed at improving the overall readability of the manuscript.

Of note there were 1827 revisions and a averaged 38 words between corrections for Revision 3. This followed the trends noted during my review of the Grand and that remains true with this project. The particulars of the cycles are as follows:

Revision 4

  • Revisions – 928
  • Revisions per Word – 70

Revision 5

  • Revisions – 825
  • Revisions per Word – 78

Revision 6

  • Revisions – 788
  • Revisions per Word – 147

The Revisions per Word metric is the most telling, every additional revision leads to fewer corrections to make. While corrections do tend to be grouped together in the manuscript, I can now read pages at a time without making any notes. This trend is expected to continue until the Revisions to make number under 100. That’s normally my cue to send it off to my editor for polish prior to release.

 

Crying Lamb

Featured - Crying LambCrying lamb is said to have its origins from communities that used shared ovens. The meat is cooked above the vegetables absorbing any drippings which adds to this meals distinctive flavour.

This ready-to-serve recipe is sure to attract some attention during its preparation and cooking. It’s great for family gatherings and has a traditional feel that is sometimes missing from modern dishes.

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces (285 g) of potatoes cut into small cubes
  • 8 ounces (225 g) of parsnips or carrots cut into small slices
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) of finely chopped onions
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) of sliced red peppers
  • 2 cloves (5-10 mg) of pressed garlic
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of olive oil
  • 2 pounds (900 mg) of lamb shanks
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of thyme
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of dill
  • 4 tablespoons (15 ml) of lemon juice (divided)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. In a large bag or sealable container, mix all ingredients up to and including the olive oil.  Mix until contents are evenly coated before placing them in an oiled stoneware container.
  3. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes to soften potatoes and parsnips.
  4. Remove from oven and stir contents.
  5. Mix thyme, dill and lemon juice into a small container. Cover lamb shanks in mixture and set aside.
  6. Using an oiled skillet sear the lamb shanks on every side for a minute or so.
  7. Top stoneware with a grill and place the lamb shanks overtop to make sure that any drippings will pour onto the vegetables.
  8. Return to the oven and cook for about an hour until the internal temperature has reached 160°F (71°C) for medium or 170°F (77°C) for well-done.
  9. Remove from oven, let stand for 5-10 minutes.
  10. Meal is ready-to-serve.

Les Filles de Jeanne D’Arc – Part I

Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!

Clara had no idea what to expect once she got back to the Tower. Full-fledged hunters with years of experience often disappeared without a trace, so for an acolyte to return where so many had failed? Now that was bound to get some attention.

Clara knew that her credibility would be questioned. Others had claimed kills that were not their own to progress through the ranks. Such a lie would be far more plausible than returning as the victor after walking into a trap.

Clara took a deep breath while focusing on the door leading into the Tower. While this area had no defences beyond obfuscation, Clara was certain that something would happen once she opened that door. The question was what?

Clara closed her eyes, let out her breath and recited a prayer. With one push of her hand the door gave way and she crossed the threshold.

~ ~ ~ ~

Blinding white light greeted her on the other side, Clara struggled in vain to keep her eyes open. Even during that brief attempt her vision was marred with deep purple streaks.

So that particular door led to other destinations? Clara had suspected that direct and unfettered access to the Tower would pose a security risk. In a way, it was reassuring to learn that the Tower had a few more secrets left, especially those which favoured self-preservation.

Clara did not move, because she felt the sharp edge of a blade touch her skin. A thin rivulet of blood ran down her neck but she was not worried. This had been a warning, if they wanted her dead, Clara would have never known what hit her.

“There are very few ways to trigger the Tower’s defences,” Edith said.
Clara said nothing, since speaking would only worsen the bleeding. If Edith was interested in an answer, she would have to permit it.

“Traitors are not welcome here,” Edith said. “So why are you still alive,” she asked.

The blade remained firmly in place. Chances were that Edith had expected Clara to be a smouldering heap of ash right now.

“I wonder if that would the best time to cook a marshmallow,” Clara thought.

At this moment Clara was in Limbo, caught in a state between life and death. Clara needed to convince Edith that she was not here to betray them.

Clara reached into her pocket in a slow and deliberate manner. She then found her prize and dropped them onto the floor. The two bloodied fangs made no more sound than a pin drop. Wherever they were it had to be spacious to dampen the sound to this extent.

“Where did you get those,” Edith asked while she sheathed her blade.

Clara turned around and felt something being dropped into her hands. Her fingers probed the metallic, glass and leather device. Without a second thought she slipped them over her head to protect her eyes. Now she had the opportunity to take a look at where she was.

Edith stood before her while sporting spectacles fitted with onyx coloured lenses. They looked a bit like welders glasses and assumed she had been given an identical pair.

“Jack surrendered them,” Clara said.

“Jack,” Edith asked with a hint of confusion.

Clara nodded before she said, “Must have been turned a couple of years back.”

“Jack? We had no intelligence on this,” Edith said.

Clara pulled out the folded canvas portrait which contained the list of girls killed. The portrait had the same effect on Edith as it had for Clara.

“He was careful on who to ambush and when,” Clara said. “He even painted a tableau mort for every one of those poor girls,” she added.

“You got the better on him,” Edith asked.

“I got lucky,” Clara said. “So what now,” she asked.

Edith focused intently on Clara’s facial features. In that moment her fate was being decided based on very little evidence. Clara hoped that this glimpse at the truth was enough.

“Follow me,” Edith said.

They walked away from the blinding light until the levels dropped to a manageable level. Both Edith and Clara removed their glasses and hung them against a whitewashed wall. It took a moment, but Edith found a hidden latch which enabled her to push away a portion of the wall.

Clara had visited many fortifications as part of her training. She saw arrow slits in the rock and larger openings that would permit a small cannon loaded with grapeshot to fire salvos. Simply put, this was a killing field designed to prevent entry.

At the end of the tunnel there were heavy steel doors reinforced with massive rivets. Clara had never seen those doors before. Once they walked through, Clara found herself safely within the confines of the Terminus.

“A pocket of reality to keep undesirables away,” Edith said.

That was a detail that Jack would have wanted to get his hands on, so Clara would have died for nothing. Another reason why Clara should have been thankful that her strategy had worked out after all.

A moment later they were back in the Main Hall. No one seemed to be paying her any particular attention so no alarms had been raised. Edith moved at a frightening pace, so Clara did her best to keep up even while they made their way up to the Reverend Mother’s office.

Clara had been to see her before, to clear up some misunderstandings. Old habits did die hard after all, but this time there would be a lot of explaining to do.

Two Ships Passing in the Night – Part V

Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!

Clara sat at a table by her favourite café. She observed the morning crowd flow while they made their way to work or school. There was a certain sense of satisfaction for not being bound by the clock.


Busy sipping on a latté, Clara closed her eyes and relaxed. While she was not bound by time, she knew someone whose time was about to come at an abrupt end.

The first break in flow started with a few hushed voices. With every passing second, the crowd grew larger until people began to panic.

“Fire! Fire,” a man exclaimed marking it as the first coherent statement yet.

Hurried footsteps passed by, close enough that clara felt the rush of air pass by. Within five minutes she heard sirens approaching in the distance.

Clara opened her eyes and saw a mob surrounding the bistro. She feigned curiosity but knew exactly that was going on.

“Sir,” Clara asked in an alarmed voice. “What is going on,” she asked.

“The Cabaret down the street is on fire,” the man replied without taking his eyes off the carnage.

“A shame,” Clara thought, seeing how that would delay breakfast.
“Is anyone hurt,” Clara asked, but was ignored.

For the next several hours the crowd grew and contracted like the tide. Men fought hard to save the building but the fire ultimately claimed its prize. Eventually the stone structure was reduced to a smouldering heap of broken brick and stone.

“That should take care of all evidence nicely,” Clara thought.

She got up from the table, paid her tab with a generous tip and melted into the crowd. Today was a new day and seeing that traitorous bastard burn made things right as rain.

She thought back over one of Professor Stephen’s lectures. Many of the students had chosen to ignore his wisdom, discounting it as a work of fantasy.

Clara had known better and paid close attention to the lecture on the effects of daylight for these creatures. Direct light could sear flesh or during longer exposures cause the body to erupt in a fiery inferno. In that moment, she knew that their bodies could easily be disposed of.

All she needed was a clear head and a little forethought. That knowledge had certainly done the trick this morning.

The Portrait has Usurped the Grand

The Grand has performed well since its release. When it was classified as Horror on Amazon.com, the Portrait traditionally received roughly half the downloads.

Ever since I switched the genre to Dark/Urban Fantasy that trend has reversed. Since March the Portrait has been listed at least twice as one of top five-thousand free books on Amazon.com. This was the ranking for the Portrait taken on 1 April 2018.

  • No. 4,299 Free in Kindle Store
  • No. 145 in Fantasy -> Paranormal
  • No. 236 in Fantasy -> Urban

Whereas The Grand had the following:

  • No. 20,442 Free in Kindle Store
  • No. 406 in Fantasy -> Paranormal
  • No. 624 in Fantasy -> Urban

On the plus side, both books are seeing more traffic. So for me, that’s certainly good news!