Update on THE REIGN OF DARKNESS

Guess what? I’m almost at the halfway point of The Reign of Darkness (Book Four of the Creatures of Darkness series)!

I’m not the fastest writer (the kids keep me busy 😊), but it’s getting there!

Soon!

And…

To celebrate,

Here’s our favorite Viking warrior being kind of sweet. 🖤

Kara’s fingers were still cold and wet when they found Rose’s. “If the world ends tomorrow, at least I’ll have spent my last night with you.”

Rose smiled. “You can’t use a line like that and not kiss me afterward.”

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from The Reign of Darkness

Creatures of Darkness: Book Four

©️ Britney Jackson

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Translation: Apocalypses suck and all, but… 😍

P.S. — In case you can’t tell, I wrote this scene while we were at the beach. 😂

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Character Preview (And Excerpt!)

Some of you have been asking a lot of questions about a certain unnamed character in the last scene of The Assassins of Light, so…

Character Preview! 😊❤️

Meet Princess Myrinne!

(Well, technically, if you’ve finished The Assassins of Light, you’ve already met her. You just didn’t know her name. 😁)

Princess Myrinne is a very important character in The Reign of Darkness, and I can’t share a whole lot of the why because…spoilers…but…

What I can tell you is that she’s very concerned about Rose (for some reason).

And she’s definitely not Kara’s biggest fan. But…Kara’s not entirely innocent in that. (Of course she isn’t. When is Kara ever innocent? 😂)

And…well…there’s much more to her than meets the eye…

Excerpt! ❤️

Princess Myrinne stared at Kara, her nose wrinkling at Kara’s clear lack of manners. “Uh,” she muttered, “people don’t usually lie down in my presence.”

Kara folded her arm behind her head and lifted her eyebrows. “Really?” she said, a wry grin tilting at her lips. “Do you have sex standing up, then?”

Rose stared at a random flower vase, her eyes wide. “Oh my word.”

The princess offered Rose a very forced smile. “This…is your lover?”

Rose shrugged sheepishly. “She’s…umm…an acquired taste?”

Kara snorted at that.

Princess Myrinne shot another glare at Kara—who simply smiled back at her. “I don’t see how,” she muttered. She turned to Rose. “Is the room okay?”

Rose stared blankly at her. “It could be bigger.”

“Oh,” Princess Myrinne said, straightening. “Well, I could try to find…”

“That was sarcasm,” Rose interrupted, her eyebrows high. She waved her hands at the massive bedroom. “It’s like four times the size of my apartment.”

Princess Myrinne frowned. “Oh. Then, I assume…you’re comfortable?”

Rose glanced at Kara, who was currently stretched out lazily on the bed, flipping through that strange, illegible book—that Galenos had just asked her not to touch. “Well, she’s comfortable.”

An amused smile curved at the edges of Kara’s lips, but she said nothing.

“I’m not concerned with her,” the princess said. “Are you comfortable?”

“I’m surrounded by people I don’t know, and I don’t even know where I am,” Rose said slowly, “and people keep bowing to me.” She threw up her hands. “How am I supposed to feel comfortable when everyone keeps bowing to me?!”

The vampire shrugged. “People bow to me all the time. I’m a princess.”

“Really?” Rose said, her voice thick with sarcasm. “I thought Princess was just your first name. And the tiara was some kind of new fashion or something.”

Princess Myrinne shot a wary look in Kara’s direction. “Is she joking?”

“Usually,” Kara said, flipping to the next page of the Book of Gibberish.

Princess Myrinne turned back toward Rose. “Bowing is merely a sign of respect, my Eklektos,” she said with a polite smile, “and a sign of reverence.”

“Reverence?” Rose repeated suspiciously. “Reverence for what?”

The princess turned to leave. “You’ll understand. Soon enough.”

“Oh, great. More vagueness,” Rose said. She flashed her sassiest smile. “You wouldn’t happen to be related to Erastos, by any chance, would you?”

Rose had meant it as a joke, but as soon as she mentioned the name Erastos, the strange, tiara-wearing vampire froze, her slender shoulders stiffening.

Kara must have noticed it, too, because at that moment, her intense, blue gaze darted toward the princess—but only briefly. Rose noticed Kara smooth her hand over her shirt—in the exact spot where she usually hid her throwing knives.

But when Princess Myrinne turned back toward Rose, she looked completely at ease again, as if nothing had ever happened. “He’s my uncle.”

Rose blinked in shock. “Oh,” she sputtered. It took her a few moments to regain her composure enough to respond. “Then, does that mean he’s…here?”

Princess Myrinne frowned at the strange question. “His memorial is.”

“His…memorial?” Rose repeated bewilderedly.

“He died,” Princess Myrinne told her, “ten thousand years ago.”

From my upcoming book, The Reign of Darkness,

Book Four of the Creatures of Darkness Series.

©️ Britney Jackson

Family Trip

I haven’t been updating much lately because I’ve been really busy, but you can expect at least two new updates today and a few more later this week. 😊

Oh, and one of the posts today will include a character preview and excerpt from The Reign of Darkness! So, keep an eye out for that! ❤️

I spent most of last week in Orange Beach, Alabama, spending time with family and getting a ton of inspiration for the ocean scenes in The Reign of Darkness.

I got horribly sick my first night there because I’m a redhead, and the sun hates me. (No wonder I write about vampires. I basically am one.)

So, I wound up having to spend the second day inside, recovering.

But I got back out there the third day….

…And had a horrible reaction to a jellyfish sting because my skin hates me, too. 😂

I have the worst luck, guys. 😂

But it was all worth it because the ocean was so beautiful. 💙💙💙

The sky and water were this perfect, matching shade of cotton-candy blue, at first.

And then an awesome, darker blue, later. 💙

Pictures don’t really do it justice, but…

Seriously, it was just….gorgeous.

The dolphins came close to shore while we were swimming, which was absolutely amazing.

And most importantly, the kids loved it. ❤️❤️❤️

That’s my youngest son, Rowan (1), in the first picture, and my oldest son, Tucker (6), in the second picture, by the way. 😊

The trip also inspired me to add a beach scene (that I hadn’t planned) to The Reign of Darkness, and I’m now absolutely in love with it. I hope you guys will like it, too. ❤️

P.S. – If you’ve finished The Assassins of Light and are curious about that mysterious, unnamed character in the last scene, you’re going to want to keep an eye out for the excerpt I’m posting later. 😉

Aesthetic: Rose Foster

“She’s Darkness in the flesh, and you thought it’d be a good idea to piss her off?”

I made this a couple of weeks ago for the Thursday Aesthetic thing on Twitter, and I forgot to share it here. The theme for that week was “protagonist,” so I made this one for Rose. ❤️

Some of you already know Rose pretty well, either because: 1) you’ve been reading the series ❤️, or 2) you see me ramble obsessively about my books all of the time. 😂

But just in case you don’t…

Here’s your basic introduction to the protagonist of the Creatures of Darkness Series: ❤️

She’s brilliant, bisexual, and perpetually sarcastic.

She’s shy and awkward.

She loves books, comics, and…well, she used to love coffee…until she died. Now, all she drinks is blood.

On the surface, she’s kind and gentle. Beneath the surface, however, she’s something much…Darker…

…Oh, and the quote in the aesthetic is from The Reign of Darkness, by the way… 😉

A Fourth of July Surprise!

Well, not a surprise, exactly, because I kind of warned everyone on Facebook about it a few days ago. (Shhh. 😂) But…Fourth-of-July-themed-teaser!

AND…an excerpt! ❤️

Happy Fourth of July, and I hope you enjoy the teaser/excerpt! ❤️❤️❤️

Excerpt:

“Have you ever experienced that?”

The sudden question startled Rose so much that she dropped the book in the floor. Rose winced as Zosime’s dark gaze shifted toward the leather-bound book—that didn’t belong to Rose. “I wasn’t snooping!” Rose said quickly. “I was just,” she paused, her voice lowering to a mumble, “looking through your things.”

Zosime knelt and picked up the book.

“Which is the definition of…snooping,” Rose added under her breath.

One corner of Zosime’s lips quirked up. “These are just my notes for the garden,” she said, holding up the book. “It isn’t the book you were looking for.”

Rose’s mouth fell open. “You’ve known all along,” she realized, “haven’t you?” When Zosime smiled, Rose rolled her eyes. “Of course you have. I’m an idiot.”

“Not really,” Zosime said. “You were looking in the right place, after all.”

Rose’s eyes widened. “I was?” she said, glancing at the shelf. She didn’t see another book that fit the description, but it didn’t matter, anyway. She knew that Zosime would never let her take it. “I assume you’ll call the princess now?”

“You assume wrong,” Zosime said with a smile. She set her notes on the desk and turned toward Rose. “If you answer my question, I’ll give you the book.”

“You’ll give me something that no one wants me to have,” Rose said, “in exchange for a…conversation?” She frowned suspiciously. “What’s the catch?”

“There isn’t one,” Zosime said, curiosity burning in her brown eyes. “So, tell me: have you ever experienced that,” she asked, “with anyone you’ve dated?”

Rose lifted her eyebrows. “I think you’re overestimating the amount of people I’ve dated.”

“With Kara, then,” Zosime said. “Have you ever felt like that with her?”

“Kara?” Rose said. Her brows furrowed, as she thought about it. “No.”

“Really?” Zosime said, her brows high. “Never?”

“My feelings for Kara have never been that…simple,” Rose explained. She felt a sudden urge to smile, as she shrugged shyly. “With Kara, everything always feels so…bright and explosive.”

Zosime smiled. “You mean like…fireworks?”

“Well, I was thinking more like an exploding star,” Rose muttered, frowning, “but yours sounds sweeter.”

from my upcoming book, The Reign of Darkness

Book Four of the Creatures of Darkness Series

©️Britney Jackson

Rainbow Aesthetic

“When I think about her, I’m immensely happy.” – Rose

❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

There’s this Thursday Aesthetic thing that writers do on Twitter… (I’m always like seventeen years behind on everything, so you probably know more about it than I do. 😂)

Anyway, the theme for this last week was rainbow (which is kind of perfect). So, I made this one for Rose and Kara. ❤️

And I figured I’d share it with you guys, too. 😊❤️

P.S. – If you’ve read The Assassins of Light, you probably recognize that quote. 😉

Rollercoaster-y

 

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Just a forewarning: The Reign of Darkness (Book 4 of the Creatures of Darkness  series) is going to be an emotional-rollercoaster. And this teaser is from one of the rollercoasteriest (I’m allowed to invent words, right?) scenes of the book.

That’s all I can tell you without giving away any spoilers. But I sincerely love this moment of the book, and I hope you do, too. ❤️

I hope you all have an awesome weekend! ❤️❤️❤️

Character Interviews

Last month, a few of my readers came up with some interview questions for their favorite characters from the Creatures of Darkness series. Well, Rose Foster, Kara Unnarsdóttir, and Erik Olafsson have answered your questions! 😊 (No one asked Kallias any questions. Poor guy. 😂)

I hope you enjoy! ❤️

P.S — I apologize ahead of time for Rose’s sarcasm, but…well…you knew it was coming. 😂

ROSE FOSTER:

Question: “Rose, have you ever played any kind of sport?”

Rose’s Answer: “Does Mathletes count? No? I didn’t think so. What part of nerd do you not understand?”

Question: “Rose, we missed your first few weeks of being a vampire. What was that like?”

Rose’s Answer: “Amazing. Agonizing hunger for blood, out-of-control power, and a strained relationship with my boyfriend. What’s not to like?”

Question: “Rose, your brother didn’t act too surprised by your relationship with Kara. It made me curious: did you ever ‘come out’ to him as bisexual? Have you had other girlfriends?”

Rose’s Answer: “Ummm, define ‘come out?’ I mean, basically, when I was a kid, I wanted to marry Wonder Woman, and he figured it out on his own. Also, define ‘girlfriends?’ You’ve met me, right? I’m really bad at the dating thing. Blushing and stammering, on the other hand, I do very well.”

KARA UNNARSDÓTTIR:

Question: “Kara, how old were you when you first became a warrior?”

Kara’s Answer: “I always thought of myself as a warrior, but my first actual battle was when I was sixteen. Do you remember the scar I showed Rose in The Tomb of Blood? That was from my first battle. At that point, I was still inexperienced and naïve, but within a few years, I became the most dangerous warrior on the battlefield. 😊 Practice makes perfect. Well, that, and a bit of trickery. 😉”

Question: “Kara, did you use a battle-axe when you were human?”

Kara’s Answer: “Ha. No. Battle-axes are actually very heavy, and compared to the men I usually fought, I was small. If I’d fought with a battle-axe, it would’ve slowed me down too much. I was trained to use one, but in battle, I usually used a sword and shield, like most warriors. I didn’t start using a battle-axe until I became a vampire. As a vampire, I have supernatural strength, so I can wield one easily. And they’re a lot of fun to use. 😁”

Question: “Kara, I was wondering: why do you get so close to Rose when you’re trying to seduce her? Is that just something you like to do, or does it have something to do with her being a vampire?”

Kara’s Answer: “Nice observation! Yes, it very much has to do with her being a vampire. Vampires are intensely affected by scent—specifically, the scent of blood. And obviously, the closer someone is, the more the scent of blood affects us. It makes it harder to think, and our instincts start to take over. I knew that Rose wanted to be with me, but I also knew she overthinks and overanalyzes everything. So, I hoped, if I could get her to think just a little less…well…you saw what happened. 😉”

Question: “Kara, who originally wrote that poem you recited to Rose in The Assassins of Light? Is it a real Old Norse poem?”

Kara’s Answer: “Haha, well, uh…for the sake of the story, let’s just say it was a commonly-known poem during the Viking Age. Maybe commonly quoted at weddings? (In real life, it may have been written by this really weird, modern writer by name of Britney Jackson??? She’s pretty unknown, so you probably haven’t heard of her. 😁)”

ERIK OLAFSSON:

Question: “Erik, did you and Kara hate each other when you first met?”

Erik’s Answer: “Eh, well, I don’t think she was too fond of me when we first met, but she warmed up to me, I think. Maybe? The fact of the matter is…I’d just died. I’d lost everything familiar to me, and I’d unwittingly fallen in love with a sociopath who would manipulate me for the rest of the eternity. And then, there was Kara—a fellow Norse warrior who’d done the exact same thing. We understood each other. And as much as she might act like she has no sympathy for me, the truth is…she saved me from a lot of the situations that Alana put me in. I don’t know what I would’ve done without her. So, while, no, we weren’t always as close as we are today, we were always kind of friends. I mean, she nearly killed me every time I looked at her wrong or said anything disrespectful, but…that’s just how Kara makes friends, I think. 😂”

Question: “Erik, who’s the better warrior: you or Kara?”

Erik’s Answer: (Looks over his shoulder for Kara) “Are you trying to get me killed?!!! I mean, look, I’d like to say that I’m the better warrior (for the sake of my ego), but then, she’d kill me, just to prove a point. So, let’s just forget this conversation ever happened, okay? Okay?! Please?!!!”

Question: “Erik, which friend would you call your best friend: Kallias or Kara?”

Erik’s Answer: “Do I have to pick one? Kallias and I have been friends for many centuries. We understand what each other needs. He’s a thinker, not a feeler, and I’m a feeler, not a thinker. He tells me when I’m being rash and sensitive, and I tell him when he’s being a jerk. It’s a very important kind of friendship. But where Kallias and I are different, Kara and I are similar. She understands me in ways no one else does. Not to mention, we were both manipulated by Alana. No one else knows what that’s like. I can talk to Kara about things that I know Kallias wouldn’t understand. So, you see, I need both friendships. They’re both my best friends.”

That’s all we have for now! Thank you for the awesome questions! Love you guys! ❤

New Teaser/Excerpt for THE REIGN OF DARKNESS

I tried to resist. But then, I had good writing days, and I got excited and…oops! Teaser! 😂 I hope you like it! ❤️

Talulah stormed into the room, her long coat swaying around her figure. “Could someone explain to me why there are dismembered bodies outside my colony?” She froze as soon as she saw Rose and Kara. She glanced at the blood-soaked battle-axe in Kara’s hands and rolled her eyes. “Oh. I should’ve known.”

Kara flashed a cocky smirk at her. “You’re welcome.”

“Since we killed their scouts, they’ll probably send an army,” Rose warned Talulah.

“Hopefully just one army,” Kara muttered, “and not…all of them.”

“So, we should probably get everyone into the tunnels,” Rose added.

Talulah sighed, “I can’t tell whether you two CAUSE trouble or just attract it.”

“I think,” Rose said with a thoughtful frown, “I attract it. She causes it.”

Talulah lifted her eyebrows. “Please, tell me you AT LEAST have a plan.”

Rose smiled. “I do, actually.”

“She also brought an army,” Kara added.

Talulah glanced back and forth between them. “Wait. What?”

from my upcoming book, The Reign of Darkness

Book Four of the Creatures of Darkness Series

©️ Britney Jackson

Teaser/Excerpt from THE REIGN OF DARKNESS

For my Game of Thrones fans. 😉

Excerpt:

“You…want to be my date to a wedding?” Rose sputtered, her eyes wide.

Kara faced away from Rose as she finished getting dressed. “You’ll need protection.”

“I can kill people with my mind,” Rose muttered. “I can protect myself.”

Kara turned toward her. “Do you not want me as your date, Rose?”

“Of course I do,” Rose said. “I just didn’t think you’d want to come.”

Kara strode toward her with sure, purposeful steps, and Rose took a step back, startled, as Kara invaded her space. But Kara just smiled and reached past Rose, snatching up the weapon belt from the bed. “Why?” Kara said. Her black and blue hair fell over one shoulder as she tilted her head to the side, lifting her eyebrows at Rose. “Because I’m scared of commitment and emotional intimacy?”

Rose stepped back, wincing a little. “I…never said that.”

Kara just shrugged. “You didn’t have to.”

Rose sighed, “Okay.” She straightened, blushing, as she asked, “Kara, will you be my date? At a weird wedding. In a weird place. With weird people.”

Kara crossed her arms, her intense, light blue eyes flashing with mischief. “Rose, you just insulted me. You’ll have to be more persuasive than that.”

Rose blinked in shock. “Umm…”

Kara laughed, “I’m kidding! Just let me grab some weapons.”

“Yep,” Rose mumbled, watching as Kara returned to the dresser, where she’d left all of her weapons. “I’m sure that’s what everyone says before a date.”

Kara glanced back at Rose. “How many weapons do you have?”

“I have my dagger. So, one,” Rose said. “Two, if you count telekinesis.”

Kara laughed, “Your telekinesis counts as like fifteen weapons by itself.”

“Oh,” Rose said. “Well, sixteen, then.”

Kara grabbed a few extra daggers. “You’ll need more.”

“More than sixteen?” Rose asked incredulously. “For a wedding?”

Kara held out a handful of regular-sized daggers. “Here. Take these.”

“Ooh, like flowers. Except sharper,” Rose said dryly. “You know, Kara, I think they just want us to attend the wedding. Not kill the wedding party.”

Kara shrugged one shoulder. “I’m always prepared to kill someone.”

“Not sure that’s a good thing, but okay,” Rose said under her breath. She sighed, “I don’t even know why they want me there. I don’t know these people.”

“Well, they know you,” Kara told her.

“No,” Rose corrected, as she shoved Kara’s daggers into her backpack—because where else was she going to put them? “They don’t know me. They’ve never met me. They just know someone who has glowing, red eyes and godlike power.”

Kara turned toward her, raising an eyebrow. “Yeah, that’s you.”

Rose shrugged. “They say that, at any given time, there are seven people in the world who look exactly like you. Maybe there are others who fit the description.”

“You think there are seven people in the world with eyes that glow red, and the power to do pretty much anything they want with their minds?” Kara said.

Rose shrugged—with a little less confidence this time. “Maybe?”

“No,” Kara said simply. “If there were anyone else in the world like you, they’d already be dead. Because I would have killed them. On Aaron’s orders.”

“You didn’t kill me,” Rose pointed out.

“Because we needed your help with Alana,” Kara said easily.

Rose gave her a skeptical look. “That’s the only reason?”

Kara’s icy blue gaze shifted toward Rose. “I’m just saying,” she said, her lips curving, “if you take away Alana, the war, the impending apocalypse, and all of those odd, little things you did that made me fall in love with you, you have a totally different situation. I would’ve sliced off your head and been done with it.”

Rose frowned. “You just slipped a declaration of love inside a speech about decapitating me, and you call me odd?”

Kara stepped closer to Rose, her light blue eyes sparkling. “And for the record, nothing scares me,” Kara said with a smile. “Not even weddings.”

“Clearly, you haven’t read anything by George R.R. Martin,” Rose muttered.

from my upcoming book, The Reign of Darkness

Book Four of the Creatures of Darkness series

© Britney Jackson

First Teaser for THE REIGN OF DARKNESS

Kara doesn’t always make the best first impressions. 😂

ALSO….first teaser for The Reign of Darkness! ❤❤❤

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(from my upcoming book, The Reign of Darkness,

Book Four of the Creatures of Darkness series.)

Depression and Writing

I posted this about a week ago on Facebook, and I’m in a slightly better place emotionally (just slightly, not much). But I decided to post it here, too, because a friend suggested that it might encourage someone else who is feeling the same way. So, if you, like me, have MDD (major depressive disorder) or any other form of depression, you’re not alone. ❤️ We’re going to get through this. We’re going to find our healing. We just have to keep fighting. ❤️

Here’s the original post:

I know I’ve probably mentioned this plenty of times before, but I love quotes. I have notebooks full of my favorite quotes everywhere. Well, I have this one in almost every writing notebook I own because it’s one of my absolute favorites. And I like to look at it, especially when I’m hurting.

You guys know I don’t like to talk about this. It usually takes me until after I’m starting to come out of it to find courage to tell anyone. But I’ve been fighting through a particularly rough patch of depression for the last month or so. And when I say “particularly rough,” I don’t say that lightly. Even after so many years, there’s still so much shame around mental illness and suicidal thoughts that I can’t bring myself to reach out to people, even when I know I should. My books are helping me work through that shame—but still, it’s a lot easier to say that a character is feeling a certain way than to admit that you are.

There were a couple of weeks this month when I thought I was coming out of it, but every time, I’d just wind up plummeting back to where I was before. I’ve been feeling a little better today, and I’ve been writing surprisingly well today. (And good writing days have been very hard to come by lately.) So, I’m really hoping this isn’t another one of those false alarms—where I’m just going to fall into that dark place again before the end of the night. But for now, I’m just going to keep hoping really hard and keep writing. And wait for the writing to heal me, like it always does. ❤️

And just in case you can’t read my handwriting, here’s the quote:

“I think writing really helps you heal yourself. I think, if you write long enough, you will be a healthy person. That is, if you write what you need to write, as opposed to what will make money, or what will make fame.” – Alice Walker (author of The Color Purple)