Happy Birthday, Dexter and Porter! And… a lot of other characters 😅
To celebrate, I’m including an excerpt from Pack below the bump. I’ll also give you the list of all the characters who celebrate a birthday today in the Sci-fi, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, “Horroromance” world of The Blades of Janus (it’s LONG!).
One of my favorite characters in my worlds is also pretty much the hardest to talk about. His existence is a big reveal for Pack. I know that book has been out for a long time, but I keep thinking of readers who are new to the series. Just in case that’s you and you don’t like spoilers…
For everyone else, read on!
Every Blades base is run by a set of twins. Some of the Blades know about this. Very few have actually seen more than one set. If they did… Well, the secret would be out.
See, the people who run the Blades of Janus have a very personal interest in promoting peaceful co-existence between humans and dwellers (hybrids created from alien creatures colonizing or mutating Earth life forms). The founders are dwellers—they’re part of a hydra. Specifically, they’re replicants of a single progenitor, and he’s the spoiler-riffic character.
Tessa goes through most of Pack believing that her brother, Brock, died years ago. He didn’t. On his eighteenth birthday, his dweller nature manifested and he “split”, forming his first replicant. Which then split again, creating the beings known as Dexter and Porter.
Every three years on his birthday, Brock splits again—an excruciating process that the replicant then has to undergo as they form their “twin”. Until recently, the replicants were all psychically linked through Brock, with each set actually being a single consciousness housed in two separate bodies.
Lots of stuff happened in Progenitor. You should check it out 😉
As of this time in the Blades universe, there are nine different replicants running around. The original pair, Dexter and Porter, then Brad and Lee, Zach, Mal and Colm, and (spoiler alert for Progenitor) Jon and Nathan.
The first replicants took Brock by surprise and he named them without much thought (Dexter being the twin on the right and Porter—as in port side of a boat—being the one on the left). Afterwards, Brock gave his replicants names that could be used separately or combined, to make it easier to differentiate when they were talking about a specific body or the single consciousness behind them, i.e. Bradley runs Brad and Lee, Malcolm runs Mal and Colm, and Zachary… Well, let’s just say, when Zach gets out of his stasis chamber, he’s going to have a heck of an identity crisis.
The Blades are…complicated. That’s why it takes so long to write these books!
But I’m still moving ahead with the next one, and getting more and more eager to share it with you. There is so much I have planned in this world already. It’s rich and dark and so engrossing. I hope you love your time in this world and with these characters as much as I do.
So, Happy Birthday, Brock! And Dexter and Porter and Brad and Lee and Zach (and I’m sorry about Carey!) and Mal and Colm and … Jon and Nathan, even though you’re both creepy AF!
Let’s celebrate by looking back on the moment when Tessa meets Porter and Dexter for the first time and gets shaken up so bad, she turns to a werewolf for support.
(THE BLADES OF JANUS, Book One)
Copyright © 2016 Cassandra Chandler
All rights reserved
Vaughn was holding a stack of black clothing and glancing back and forth between Porter and Dexter—who was still sitting on his motorcycle. The whole situation must be making Vaughn really nervous. He looked over at Marcus, as if searching for help, but then noticed Tessa and frowned.
Marcus kicked out the stand for his bike and killed the engine. He stood, lifting Tessa from the bike as he did. The moment she was clear, she shoved against his chest. He humored her and set her down. She took a few steps away from him, keeping her distance from the others as well.
“Nice place—” She froze mid-snark.
When she caught sight of Porter, her expression completely transformed. Even her posture changed—her guarded stance relaxing. She looked stunned.
Her eyes widened, then filled with tears. She smiled and took a step toward him.
What the hell kind of chemistry did they have going on?
Porter’s scent changed. The slight mustiness he put off growing stronger. It seemed like it was coming from everywhere. Maybe Dexter was putting it off, too?
Marcus didn’t dare let himself try to keep her from going to Porter. Not when they were standing so close to Dexter—who was always armed with silver.
Dexter threw his leg over the back of the bike and walked to Porter’s side. Tessa didn’t seem to even notice him. She was too fixated on Porter.
Her voice was weak and thready when she spoke. “Brock?”
“Interesting,” his dweller thought.
“I would have gone with, ‘What the hell?’”
Dexter took off his helmet. Tessa finally noticed him. Her gaze flicked back and forth between the two identical men.
She looked like she’d been slapped. Her shoulders crumpled forward as she sucked in a stuttering breath. She shook her head, hard, then stepped back again—toward Marcus. He took a careful step closer, letting her feel him at her back.
Talking about their brothers, they had both stirred up ghosts. Porter and Dexter must resemble Brock, although that baffled Marcus. She looked nothing like them. Either way, he doubted Brock had been a twin.
“My mistake,” she said.
His heart pounded as Marcus felt her pain. If he thought he’d seen Danny, even for a moment…
Marcus dared to reach out to her, resting his hands on her arms. She didn’t pull away.
The greatest danger lurks beneath their skin.
Tessa has been as good as dead for seven years—ever since the dweller that killed her family decided to turn her into one of its kind. She’s kept the infection at bay while taking out as many dwellers as possible, but knows her time is almost up. Going out fighting was always her plan, until she meets a man with golden eyes and a touch that makes her want to change her destiny. A touch surely too gentle to belong to a werewolf…
Marcus has dedicated his life to the Blades of Janus, hoping to build peace between humans and dwellers and find a place for himself in the process. He’s used the strength, speed, and heightened senses of his own dweller nature with that single-minded focus—but when Tessa Rhodes storms into his life, all he can focus on is her.
Tessa’s arrival upsets the balance among all the Blades in Providence, awakening an urge Marcus has fought since he was turned—the longing for a pack. If he can convince her not to kill him, to let him fight at her side, they stand a chance against the dweller who infected her—and maybe a chance at something more.