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Book Club: Golden Lily 2

Book Club Disclaimer:
Spoilers ahead! I'm not recapping these chapters in Bloodlines and The Golden Lily, but I do refer to some things that happen in them. These posts are to give some commentary and behind-the-scenes info for people who want to read along (or re-read) with me or walk down memory lane. If you haven't read the books, you might have some surprises ruined. So maybe go grab a copy and read along as we count down to The Indigo Spell! :)

THESE POSTS ARE NOT ABOUT THE INDIGO SPELL! You're safe if you've read the first two books in the series.

The Golden Lily, Chapter 2

Remember when I said that I catch people up over a few chapters? Yesterday’s chapter went over the Alchemists, and now it’s time to learn about Sydney’s charges in Palm Springs. And what better way than through Sydney’s email? I’m particularly in love with Angeline’s all-caps forwarding and Adrian’s plaintive prison letter. I wrote that long before the recent incarnation of Les Miserables in theaters and thought maybe I was being too obscure with the 24601 reference. Now I see references like that left and right, so I guess I’ve gone mainstream.

I’m a big lover of contrasts, and you’re probably well aware by now of how my books flip between wacky and serious. It’s why the succubus series can have angels in Santa suits on one page and Georgina’s heart being ripped out in the next. After the dark tone of chapter one, I had to completely turn it around here. I love that talented, brainy Sydney, member of an elite and far-reaching organization that’s trying to save humanity, finds herself having to get Angeline out of trouble for violating the dress code with homemade jean shorts. I remember at the time, my editor worried it was too ridiculous, but I pleaded to keep that scene in because I think it’s just a great example of the humor that fills these books and offsets the hard-hitting emotional gut punches.

Oh, Angeline. Angeline, Angeline, Angeline. She’s a tricky person to write. Her potential for comic relief is off the charts. She’s a classic fish-out-of-water character, enhanced by the fact that even among her own people, she had little impulse control. She does what she wants! At the same time, I don’t want her to be completely absurd. There’s an aching vulnerability to her she hides that needs to be taken seriously. Even though she’s longed to be a part of the outside world, she’s constantly aware of how beyond her some parts of it are. She’s always trying to catch up and keep up, and that’s a frightening place to be. It lends a poignancy to her character and makes her incredibly complex.

Fun fact: I originally had her make the jean shorts with a butter knife. My editor pointed out the logistical difficulties of that, and even I had to agree. So, we went with an all-purpose knife.


( 9 comments — Tell me about it, baby! )
Jan. 23rd, 2013 12:30 am (UTC)
Wait, what? On my kindle version on the iPhone, she still uses a knife from the cafeteria ... She couldn't find scissors. :)
Jan. 23rd, 2013 04:10 am (UTC)
lol You're right! Scissors was another version (I rewrote this book a couple times), and then it finally just got changed to a regular knife because a butter one wouldn't have worked. I fixed the post. :)
Ashley Kaethe Gallego Redoncillo
Jan. 23rd, 2013 07:34 am (UTC)
The Fiery Heart
hi richelle,i'm an avid fan of your books from the philippines.could you include rose in your bloodlines book 4?we really miss her so much.thanks.
Jan. 23rd, 2013 04:21 am (UTC)
I'm glad you kept the Angeline scenes in! They were some of my favourites in the book, and is it really ridiculous when you've written element-using vampire royalty walking around in the sunlight believably?

And I adore Angeline.
Jan. 23rd, 2013 07:56 am (UTC)
Oh come on, I'm sure we've all wanted to make our own cut off denim shorts at some point in time. That's not ridiculous at all!

I have to admit I found Angeline to be really irritating at first, but by the end of this book she's really grown on me... can't wait to see what she does next :D :D
Doris Hassel-Bischof
Jan. 23rd, 2013 04:00 pm (UTC)
to me Angeline showes up as a "innocent" straigt Girl from the deepest countryside. She needs to find her way through this modern, for her mostly mind-blowing jungle struggling with all kind of unknown technology. But I do like her :D, she is so refreshing.
Obviously, Sydney herself needs this opposite kind of "normality" after her visite to the, for me verry frightening, Alchemists. It always reminds me how risky it for Sydney, become more and more familiar to her lot in Palm Springs, can be.
Jan. 23rd, 2013 10:26 pm (UTC)
I found Angeline ADORABLE. She's this strong girl outside but, really, she's just as vulnerable as our VA characters. I was so happy when you got her in the BL series. Angeline is my favorite character in the series. :)
Jan. 24th, 2013 02:58 pm (UTC)
Angeline's also my favorite in the series! I'm very excited to where her character is taken.
Feb. 25th, 2013 01:38 pm (UTC)
Urgh, sorry for commenting just now, but I finally got the Golden Lily last week and caught up with your re-red of it this week... In any case, there's a serious mistake in this chapter I felt I had to mention. Or rather, it's not that serious, but exactly due to Les Miserables having come out, people might be aware of it:
Sydney recognizes that Adrian's 'Prisoner 24601' is a reference to Les Miserables, but in a shocking mistake for her, considering her knowledge and love of history she thinks that "It was a book about the French Revolution". But of course it is not; the book begins in the last year of Napoleon's reign, quite a time after the Revolution, and its' climax and center is the June Rebellion, also known as the Paris Uprising of 1832. Just thought I'd point that out in case people hadn't, so Sydney won't be mistaken.

Lastly, a question, if I may: You've written of different books focusing on different plot threads, and the primary focus being on Sydney's and Adrian's relationship, of course. So, I wondered, will we be seeing more of Sydney's family? Because she has a fascinating family. And we haven't seen them since Bloodlines, which is odd - you'd think Sydney's father would be proud of her, since all the rest of the Alchemist's think she's been doing stupendous work. Or her mother, who loves her, you'd think they'd keep in touch. And her older sister for whom she made a deal with Ibrahim with, or her younger sister with whom she quarreled in order to protect her before leaving. There is a wealth of interesting and excellent relationships there, and I really hope we see more of them.

Edited at 2013-02-25 01:38 pm (UTC)
( 9 comments — Tell me about it, baby! )
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