Character Interview & Book Review: Blood Purple
Interview with Zayn and Nikole Kadin
His Royal Highness, King Zayn Kadin, walks into the room with his sister Her Royal Highness, Princess Nikole Kadin. They both command the room as soon as they enter; their posture formal and confident. The King is dressed formally in dark slacks and a button down, no tie. His dark hair a bit disheveled, as if his hands have recently pushed through it. Princess Nikole wears her standard leather pants and fitted shirt, heeled dress boots clicking on the tiles as she walks in. Her long dark hair flows down her back, face left bare; no makeup to mar her natural beauty. They are a breath taking pair to be sure.
Tevya: (smiling and bowing out of respect for royalty) Welcome, and thank you for visiting with me today. This is an interview to promote the first novel, Blood Purple, in a series about your family, The Blood Series by Ashley Nemer. I’d like to ask first if you would prefer a formal title for this interview or if you would permit the use of your first names?
Nikole: You can call me Nikole, that’s fine.
Zayn: Zayn is fine.
Tevya: (smiling again) Okay, thank you. I’m just going to jump right in here. I know you are both very busy and I’ll try not to take up too much of your time. Nikole, what was it like moving from Lebanon to Colorado? I'd imagine that it was quite the culture shock.
Nikole: Not really Tevya - You see, our culture isn't like yours. You humans now days make things very complex and difficult. You have all these layers and complicated levels of well, illusions and grandiose things in America but the Algula race isn't like that. We are very simple; we have the Royal family and then the Ghul and everyone else. Zayn and my family, we set out what happens and everyone follows. For our travels here, really the shock was more weather related. That's why we ended up in Colorado; we missed the mountains and wanted something that reminded us of home.
Tevya: Really? I can’t imagine. I think I would probably have a hard time transplanting from Louisiana to Colorado. (laughs and looks to Zayn) Zayn, you decided to give Nikole one chance to join the army, to prove that she could be a warrior. Why did it take you so long to give her that chance, and what changed your mind about it when you finally gave in?
Zayn: It took me so long because I'm her akh (brother). But I have also been the one who has raised her after our parents we're killed. I'm protective. I felt her being in the army was putting her at risk. Had she not been so incessant to try, I might never have relented. She's extremely stubborn. (smirks)
Tevya: (raising a brow at his answer) So, the ever-present, over-protective big brother syndrome? But didn't your dad let her train? How do you think he would have felt about your decision to hold her back?
Nikole: (smirking at him) Yeah ... Baba (Dad) did let me. Explain yourself Zayn!
Tevya: (looks to Zayn expectantly)
Zayn: I did the best that I could; juggling the crown and a stubborn okht (sister) is something that is challenging at best. She was all I had left. I couldn't in good judgment let her go in the front lines and risk losing her. She is strong but she still does not have discipline because she hasn't been forced to have it like I have. Without that, it can tend to make you a live wire.
Nikole: That's one man's opinion -- doesn't make it so ...just sayin.
Tevya: (laughs at the two) That being said, Nikole, what's it like living in the shadow of a protective big brother who happens to also be the King of your race?
Nikole: I assume you mean besides it being a pain in the ass?
Tevya: (laughs harder) Yes, besides that. Do you feel like you are in his shadow constantly?
Nikole: Yes - in his shadow is one way to put it. He has it made so that everywhere I go everyone is looking out for me, or at least notifying Zayn or Nasir that I'm there, or where I am going, or what I am doing. Even when I go out with Adara to the club, it's like alert the press! It's better described as 'Big Brother's Watching'. I think that's a more human way to put it.
Tevya: (swoons a little bit looking at Zayn) You know, I always wanted a big brother. I'm the oldest of 4 girls. I dreamed of a big brother who would protect me and look out for me.
Nikole: (rolls her eyes) Take him!
Zayn: You'd miss me, little okht.
Nikole: Hmmm I'll get back to you on that one....I might enjoy the silence.
Tevya: (laughs) See, this makes me want a big brother even more. (smiling softly at Zayn) On a more serious note, you had pretty big shoes to fill, Zayn. What was it like putting yourself last as you became both mother and father to your sister, King and Queen to your people?
Zayn: It was a feeling I do not believe words could ever capture. I wasn't ready for the role I filled. My abb (father) hadn't trained me; everyone was under the illusion that 'we had time'. So when the day came, I felt like a child that you see in those pictures wearing the adult fireman outfit. The crown was too big, the shoes too big. Even after all this time, I don't believe I do my people justice like my abb did. I have had to make very unpopular choices both for my people and my okht. I didn't have the luxury to kick back and enjoy life. I have always been in a spotlight, when I walk into a room, our people bow or kneel. To know you hold that power is a heady combination.
Tevya: (looks to Nikole with a sappy expression) How could you be hard on him, knowing that?
Nikole: I lost my parents that day too. My omm (mother) raised us to both rule. Zayn doesn't realize I do stuff for our people as well. He just sees the fact I want to fight but he doesn’t see that I help the youth and the parents. Our parents raised us to rule together. But he is right, he's had to wear most of the burden because he's the oldest, and because he's King. And I'll love him always for it. But -- Being hard on him comes with the territory.
Tevya: (blinking back a sudden rush of emotion) Okay, I have to say right now, that this is my favorite part of y'all's story. I love the family dynamic, the connection between the two of you. Totally tugged at my heart strings. That being said, and this question is for you both, if you could change one thing about your relationship, what would it be?
Nikole: I'll let His Highness go first.
Zayn: Dammit, I was waiting for you!
Nikole: Well in that case, I'd have to say, if I could change one thing about us it would be to let Zayn's blinders drop just for a day. So he could see me like Nasir sees me, or how Kevin saw me. Or how Baba saw me. I’m a warrior - Zayn just has to believe in me.
Tevya: (looks to Zayn) And you, Zayn?
Zayn: Well, I think our greatest struggle in our brother/sister relationship is that she's so pig headed. She challenges me with every step. The things she does for our people, though very important, don’t reach how far I reach, or have to reach. My wish to change between us is that she could actually see just how heavy this crown actually is. It isn't an easy task.
(Nods with a thoughtful smile) I do believe in you little okht, I just also believe that the dangers against our family and our race are just as real. I can't lose you.
Tevya: (looks at the readers) And that, ladies, is just one of the many things that will make you fall for the sexy King.
Nikole: Am I not sexy too?
Nikole: (crosses arms) Well?
Tevya: (laughs) Yes, Nikole, you are very sexy. Our male readers will be lining up at your door.
Nikole: Oh you have male readers? What do they like in their women?
Tevya: (grinning at Nikole) We don't have many male readers, but I have no doubt that you are exactly what they would look for in a female, Princess. And speaking of love and attraction, Nikole, some very strong feelings developed between your best friend, Adara, and your brother while you were gone. How did you feel about this? Do you think you could share your best friend with your brother, your brother with your best friend?
Nikole: (crossing my arms) I don't know if I want to talk about this Tevya. I'm still feeling pretty betrayed. Have you ever listened to your akh and best friend make love?
Tevya: (biting back a laugh at her petulance) No, I think we've already established that I don't have a brother. I have another question for you Nikole, but first, Zayn. (looking to him again) How has adding Adara to your inner circle, to those you care about and worry over, affected your relationship with your sister?
Zayn: It has strained it immensely. The heart doesn't always get to decide who we love. She doesn't understand that. I didn't decide to love Adara. I didn't do it to hurt her, she doesn't see that. She's being selfish. I have never allowed myself to love someone and she sees herself. I suppose she may feel betrayed but if she looked at maybe how lonely it always was being King and how unavailable I have always been she may not have walked away from me.
Nikole: I'm sorry, I'm being selfish? Hardly, let’s look at it from my point of view for just one bloody minute---I was kidnapped, I was beaten, I was tortured and you were off sleeping around!
Tevya: (sits back, the tension in the air thick)
Nikole: So, excuse me if you think I am being selfish. (looks to Tevya) See this is why I left with Alec. He doesn't get it; he's too thick skinned to see he left me with THEM to be hurt while he was with HER - my best friend!!!
Zayn: And she is too absorbed in betrayal to see that I was overwhelmed with fear that my nightmare of losing her was realized. Adara saved me. She pulled me back. Nothing I did was to hurt you. It never has been.
Nikole: Okay, yeah I get that -- but you still hurt me.
Zayn: And when things didn't go your way, you left me. I have never left you Nikole. Never.
Nikole: Not like I moved across the world. I'm ten minutes away...I needed space.
Tevya: (looks back to Nikole with a quiet whisper) Nikole, do you think you'll ever be able to forgive Adara? I think it's obvious that you still hold some resentment towards your brother, but you don't hate him. I'm feeling hatred toward Adara.
Nikole: You don't hate your true friends. They are too hard to come by. My siti (grandmother) taught me that.
Tevya: So, you will forgive her? You will be able to accept her as your sister?
Nikole: One day .... Right this moment? No, I need space.
Tevya: Zayn, how does that make you feel? The two women who mean the most to you at odds, knowing how close they use to be to each other?
Zayn: I feel like a leech. The last thing on my mind was falling in love with Adara. I can't help that it happened, but I also refuse to try and change it.
Tevya: (nodding slowly) I'm really sorry I had to ask these difficult questions. Do either of you have anything to add before we get to the lightning round? (grinning because I know this is the ladies' favorite part and I hadn't given Zayn time to prepare for it)
Nikole: Nah I'm good. (shrugging off the emotion)
Zayn: Same here. Carry on. (winks)
Tevya: (shifting in her seat and blushing) Okay, Zayn. Lightning round. First thought, honest answers. Ready?
Tevya: Boxers or briefs?
Zayn: Boxers and sometimes nothing. (stares at his sister and laughs) This is borderline TMI for her.
Tevya: (blushes again) Sex or Romance?
Zayn: I believe there has to be both.
Nikole: (rolls eyes and mumbles) Idiot!
Tevya: (laughs) Beach or Pool?
Zayn: For a King, pool. Easy to contain.
Tevya: (sighs) So much for fun. I suppose that answers the next one too. Party or quiet evening at home?
Zayn: I could give you the King’s answer, but perhaps I'll just answer to what I'd prefer. I'd prefer a party, on the beach. You might want to ask the sex and romance question again as well. (chuckles)
Tevya: (grins) I believe I will. Sex or Romance?
Zayn: Well again, it’s both. But here is why. Women want to be romanced, but they get bored with soft and sweet. They want hard, sweaty, loud sex too. You gotta have both to keep the fires going. You're looking a little hot, you alright there? (smirks)
Nikole: (rolls eyes)
Tevya: (fans herself and reaches for a glass of water) Yes, I'm fine. (takes a moment to compose herself) And on that note, Zayn. If you had a daughter, would you let her date a man like you?
Nikole: (busts out laughing)
Zayn: (runs my hand through my hair) Yes and no. I'm married to the crown. That is my priority first. But with that I would treat a girl right.
Tevya: Crown aside, just the man. Same answer?
Zayn: If I had a bent (daughter), I wouldn't want her to date period. I'd probably lock her in her room. (laughs) All kidding aside, I would. I believe I'm a man or morals.
Tevya: (smiling) From what I've learned of you through this interview, I'd have to agree with you. (looking to Nikole) Do you agree?
Nikole: Yes - I do. I'd never trade him; he's the perfect kinda akh and man.
Zayn: (nudges Tevya) See.
Tevya: (blushes again) Absolutely. And I think our readers will see it as well. Thank you both for the time. I really appreciate it, as do our readers.
Zayn: It was our pleasure. (nods)
Nikole: Anything for the fans.
(The Blood Series #1)
By: Ashley Nemer
Published by: XoXo Publishing
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Format: ebook, 105 pages
Genre: Paranormal Fiction, Clean Adult
Blood Purple is not only the first book in The Blood Series, but it is also author Ashley Nemer's debut novel. It took a little bit for me to get into the book because of the background and history in the beginning, but I was glad I had read that as it helped me understand the story better. Once I actually got into the first chapter, the story moved very well for me. Ms. Nemer has created a whole new breed of vampire, the Algula, from Lebanon. The story centers around royal siblings, Nikole and Zayn Kadin. Theirs is a tale of a war within a family, two sides of one family fighting for control of the crown. While the story has it all, action, suspense, and romance, my favorite aspect was the family dynamic. If you are looking for a new twist on the vampire genre, and want more than just another tale of blood-sucking teen romance, Blood Purple is a great choice.
In a world we think we know, live other races entirely hidden from the mortal perspective. Creatures of legend, of fable and myth, their very history and nature have allowed them to walk side by side with humans since time immemorial. They are warriors, they are hunters, and they are Algula. Vampire. And in their own midst, a battle is brewing for supremacy, for dominance, that can and will affect all around them. Old hatred never dies and vengeance is a fiery sword that cuts a bloody swath.