Despite my total lack of organization over the last week or so due to my RT Convention oriented mind, I have a great character post to share today. And it’s all thanks to Toni V. Sweeney. She took hold of the reins and conducted the interview with the stars—or should I say Icy did—of her novel The Earthman’s Bride. I wish I could have sat in on this one! These guys are way too fun to miss. Their bickering alone has me wanting this book!
So, without further hold-up, I give you Toni. Or Icy. Or…well, go ahead….
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Hi, Toni V. Sweeney here. Today, in my persona as Icy Snow Blackstone, writer of contemporary, fantasy, and futuristic romance, I'm interviewing Philip Hamilcar, Junior, Governor of the planet Tusteya, who is one of the characters from my new novel, Earthman's Bride (released on April 15 by Class Act Books).
ISB: (looks over at the man sitting beside her) Thank you for agreeing to be here today, Governor.
Philip: (He's tall, drop-dead handsome, with sky-blue eyes, shoulder-length blond hair tied back in the typical men’s style of the time, and wearing a black Federation uniform) Thank you, Mistress Blackstone, or may I call you Icy Snow, if you don't think it's being too personal?
ISB: (simpers) Uh...no, of course not...in fact, just call me Icy.
Philip: Thank you... (looks deeply into her eyes and flashes a brilliant smile)...Icy...
ISB: (recovers, coughs to hide her embarrassment) Tell my readers a little about yourself, Philip. I understand you became the governor of Tusteya at the age of fifteen?
Philip: That’s correct. My father, Philip, Senior, was a lieutenant in the Federation navy and was left to govern the Tusteyans after they were accepted into the Federation. When he died, I was fifteen, and, as his son and heir, became governor in his place.
ISB: Isn’t that rather young to become the…uh…leader…of a planet?
Philip: It was a bit of a delicate situation…
Voice behind them: Oh, come on, Philip! Why don’t you tell the truth?
(Someone appears in a doorway to the left. He’s as tall as Philip, and just as good-looking, but his hair is white as floss and twisted into a waist-length braid. He’s also wearing a dark uniform.)
Stranger: It was a delicate situation, all right. None of his father’s men wanted the responsibility. So they foisted it off on a fifteen-year-old boy! As for your father being left to govern the Tusteyans…he and his men were abandoned, marooned, and forgotten by their captain! And the Tusteyans weren’t accepted into the Federation, they were invaded and their planet occupied.
ISB: Pardon me, but this is an interview…
Stranger: And it should be a truthful one.
Philip: (Reluctantly) Icy, allow me introduce Darius. He used to be my tutor…
Darius: And I tried to teach Philip the things he needed to be a gentleman and not just a governor. (he says the last word as if it’s vulgar)
ISB: So you knew Philip when he was a child, Mr…what’s your last name?
Darius: Just call me Darius. I don't have a last name...unless you wish to call me by my Maker's surname.
ISB: (frowning) Your...Maker's...name?
Darius: Dr. David Marx. He's the one who created me.
ISB: (frown deepening) I'm confused. Did you say created you? (She looks at Philip) He did say created, didn’t he?
Philip: (heaves a sigh) Darius is an android, Icy.
Darius: Allow me to introduce myself properly... Darius, Class Designation United Federation Artificial Intelligence Model AIX-501. I was created by Dr. David Marx at the California Artificial Intelligence Center, in Orange County. I served as historian at the Martian Space Library before joining the crew of the UTF Condor for its exploration voyages.
ISB: (has recovered nicely) That's certainly interesting. Most of the robots I've seen were metallic clunky critters. Please sit down, Darius. I must say you're the most handsome android I've ever met.
Darius: (sits down beside her so she is between him and Philip) Thank you, but I can't take credit for my features. You see, Earthmen have a belief that everyone has a double somewhere, so some of the roboticists at CAIC make certain of it by making their projects in their own image. I look like Dr. Marx--except in my case, I've never aged. I believe he's about seventy-four now. (leans forward as if to impart a secret) Now, both he and I have white hair! (laughs)
ISB: (joins in laughter) How old are you, if I might ask?
Darius: I spent twenty years at the Library and was thirty years on the planet Tusteya with Philip’s father.
ISB: So you're about...
Darius: I’ve been in existence about fifty-five years now.
ISB: (mutters) We should all look so good when we're fifty-five. (aloud) So you—
Philip: (petulantly) Hey, I thought this interview was about me.
ISB: I’m sorry. You’re right. (turns attention back to Philip) So Darius was your teacher?
Philip: He was my teacher and best friend for the first fifteen years of my life, but he’s been a pain in the…in my backside ever since.
ISB: Why, for goodness’ sakes?
Philip: A number of reasons…well, only one, actually. My wife, Rebeka.
ISB: (raises one eyebrow) Oh? (raises other eyebrow) Oho!
Darius: Are you going to start airing dirty uniforms in public, Philip? Not very gentlemanly.
Philip: You should talk. What gentleman lets a woman think he’s something he’s not, just so he can hang around her during indiscreet moments? (jumps to his feet)
Darius: (on his feet also) I’m programmed to hang around Rebeka during indiscreet moments!
Philip: (shakes a finger in Darius’ face) Aha! You admit it!
Darius: I’m her bodyguard. (glares) I’m supposed to be with her at all times.
Philip: Even when she bathes? (he leans toward Darius, one fist raised) I don’t think so.
Darius: (Darius raises his own fists. Icy, caught between them, cowers) Damn it, Philip, that was a bit…
Philip: And it’ll be a bit more in a minute!
ISB: (looks up at the two towering above her) Gentlemen—and I’m including both of you—please! Sit. (they reluctantly obey) That’s better. Now…Philip, why are you so jealous of Darius? I mean, after all, he is a robot. (she glances at Darius who smiles) A very handsome one, but a robot, nevertheless.
Philip: (heaves a long-suffering sigh) Icy, I suppose I should say right off that I wasn’t raised around a lot of females. And I admit I’m more than a little inept in their presence…
Darius: (snorts) Inept? That’s putting it mildly. Why, he didn’t even know that—
Philip: That’s enough out of you. Can’t you keep that overly-knowledgeable mouth of your shut for a minute?
(Darius makes exaggerated motions of locking lips and placing key in his pocket. Philip rolls his eyes and tries to ignore him)
Philip: As I was saying…I suppose from the Tusteyans point of view, Tusteya was invaded…and…Earthmen occupied the planet, but it’s really a matter of semantics.
(Darius snorts loudly. Philip glares and he subsides)
Philip: Both sides had been fighting for thirty years when Rebecca was offered to me as part of a peace proposal, and… Well, it was love at first sight but because I had no concept of the idea, I mistook it for lust. Even after we were married, it was difficult for me to adjust to fact that the way I felt about her was something so romantic. And discovering that my old tutor was now her bodyguard, and was so polite and verbally adept, didn’t help. Darius might be an android but he has that blasted empathy chip—
ISB: Empathy chip?
Darius: I’m able to experience any emotion a human does, such as happiness, anger…(he pauses and smirks at Philip)…and love. I’m as close to human as an android can be (pauses, then blurts) and I know how to appreciate a woman, unlike some post-adolescents I know!
Philip: (grits his teeth briefly) --and I was so damned afraid she’d like him better than me. I had all the qualms of a newly-wed while still learning about…uh…softer emotions. Then, I discovered Darius was in love with Rebeka, too.
Darius: Damn it, Philip, you promised you wouldn’t tell.
Philip: But Rebeka didn’t know he could feel emotion, you see, so he could be around at…inappropriate times…
Darius: Keep it up and I’m going to start spilling things about you, too. Do you want people to know about all those trips you made to--
Philip: Go ahead, say it! Big mouth! If you weren’t metal and three times as strong as I am, and able to pulverize me with one hand tied behind your back, I’d challenge you to a duel. Right now!
Darius: It’s lucky for you I am so damned strong. That way you can back out of a fight without showing what a coward you are!
Philip: (looking back at Icy) This is what I have to put up with…I can’t even get respect from a walking bunch of electronics. I’m bullied by the Governor Regent. He’s the one really making the laws. My own bodyguards laugh at me behind my back because I’m such a wuss. My brother-in-law thinks I’m… Well, never mind. I apologize, Icy. I’m afraid this interview isn’t going as you planned. (glares at Darius) Thanks to certain people.
Darius: (looks abruptly apologetic) I’m sure you didn’t expect to referee a verbal fight.
ISB: I certainly didn’t! So I suggest you two act like the gentleman you’re supposed to be and let’s get back to the interview, shall we?
Philip: Here’s the important part of my story, Icy. When I was twenty, I met and married Rebeka Spearman. It was part of the truce agreement ending the war between the Earthmen and the Tusteyans, but I was under her spell from the moment I saw her, and with Rebeka’s help, I became the governor…the man…I should already have been. I love her more than life itself and as for Darius…
Darius: So do I, I’m afraid. And (he sighs heavily) I’m certain some day soon, Rebeka is going to have to make a choice.
ISB: This is beginning to sound like a soap opera…As the Satellite Rotates, or Love Among the Robots…or something. This Rebeka must really be some woman!
Philip: She is. An enchantress, a faery queen…an innocent seductress.
Darius: A jewel among women…as precious as a diamond…as delicate as a piece of crystal…
ISB: You two are getting a little sickening. How about we just invite everyone to read the book and find out all about the three of you and if Rebeka makes a choice and who she chooses?
Darius: (smirks) I already know, but I’m not telling!
Philip: Oh, yeah? You may think you know, but I’ve got inside information…
ISB: Quiet you two! That’s The Earthman’s Bride, by Icy Snow Blackstone, re-issued by Class Act Books.
I was sixteen when my brother, Taryn, and his hunting-mates killed the artificial man. They buried his body at the foot of Mount Scar, then came boasting to our village of what they’d done.
“Idiots,” my nurse Mara railed at them, turning white with fear. “Now, the Earthmen will come after us and kill us all because of your foolishness.”
Mara was right to be afraid. The war with the Earthmen had gone on for three decades and we lived every day in fear of their attacks. Nevertheless, when no one came seeking the mechanical being, we never again mentioned the act and hoped it was forgotten.
Later, Taryn took me to the spot, to allay my fears.
How could I know how important the creature buried beneath our feet would be to my life?
Get your copy HERE
Toni is giving away a free copy of either Runaway Brother, For the Love in Adler's Brain, or Gypsy Charm to a lucky commenter. Your choice! Entries will be taken through Saturday, April 21st. Be sure to leave an email address so we can get in touch with you if you win!
Thank you so much, Icy, Darius, and Philip, for being with us today! *glances at Darius’s smirk and Philip’s glower* Or maybe I should have said Philip first? *ahem* Yeah.
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Until next time, may your dreams be magical.
Posted by Charlene A. Wilson, paranormal romance author.
Cornerstone Deep Echoes