Character Reading: Devlin

This is a reading for a fictional character. I do these to help my fellow authors promote their books and to give you a chance to win some things. I am very pleased to have been able to read for Joey Hill’s hero from A Vampire’s Claim–the very sweet and a bit flirtatious, Devlin.

vampiresclaimDevlin is a human. Born in the early 20th century, he hails from Australia. I really enjoyed reading for him. He has some secrets that he’s not telling me here, but I am sure he reveals them in his story.

Author Joey Hill is well known for her romances.  She is an accomplished writer who writes for Ellora’s Cave as well as Berkley.  Her latest book comes out August 4, 2009. And you could win a copy for yourself.

Warning! This is a spicy love story and Dev uses some very real language. On to the reading. Don’t miss that contest at the end!

1. How do you see the people around you?
Here is the 9 of Wands, Devlin. The people around you need your leadership and protection. They may not know it, but that is your role in their life. This man willingly picks up a burning stick to protect what he sees as his.

There is a hesitancy in the way he stands though. As though he is not sure that he should take this role. But it is a role you can not refuse, is it? You were simply born to take care of others.

There is a tendency in you to try to save others. This may lead you into some problematic situations.

Devlin’s Response: A man’s supposed to protect those who need protecting, whether it’s his family, his country, or just a good bastard who’s run on some hard luck. Or a pretty sheila who thinks she doesn’t need any protecting, when you see it entirely different.

Don’t get me wrong, Lady Danny can hold her own against most anything. She’s brave as any bloke I met in the war, and I met a lot of brave lads there. She’s wicked with a saber and a fair hand with a stock whip. But sometimes that confidence gets her in hip deep, if you know what I mean. The night I met Danny, I’d come into a pub from the bush, and had nothing on my mind but popping the tops on a few stubbies. Maybe finding a soft and willing sheila to… Well, I found Danny instead. Course, she was willing, sure enough. But soft? <chuckle> She damn near killed me, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I loved every minute of it. Her rough way stirs me up, for sure.

Yeah, she was trouble, from head to toe. I could tell that before I even knew she was a vampire. But something about her…I guess I just knew she needed someone to watch her arse (and a fine arse it is), no matter how she felt about me.

You see, vampires…well, they consider humans inferior, and if you decide to fall in with one, you’re pretty much viewed as that vampire’s property. So figuring out what my place is with her has been a tough one

It’s a mess of my own making, though. No matter how intense that first night got, there were no strings attached. The day after, she took off, giving me the chance to leave it at that. But then I found out she had some pikers chasing after her, and I couldn’t just let that stand, could I? No matter how strong you think you are, when your enemies close in, you need someone to watch your back. I couldn’t see leaving her on her own, no matter how invincible she thinks she is.

2. How are you seen by the people around you?
You represent a mystery to them. They do not quite get you, do they? The HPS shows that you have some nurturing qualities as well as those protective ones we discussed. Definitely Earth material.

But there are secrets here. The woman has secrets and you have secrets.  I wonder if your secrets won’t hurt one another if you are not careful.

There seems to be a dance going on here. I wonder who is really in the power role when the HPS shows up in this spot.

Devlin’s Response: You hit a bit close to the vein, don’t you, love? Course <snort>, I don’t know a woman breathing who doesn’t have secrets. As for me, I may not feel like talking about some things – what happened to my family, the war, the way I feel about Danny – but I don’t know if that’s what you call secrets, right? I guess most of that’s not a secret to her, anyway. She has a way of drawing the truth out of a man, lancing the boil and being there to put her lips to the wounds, making it all seem far more bearable than it should be.

However, as far as the “not getting me” part, that’s sure as hell on target. She thinks because she’s an all powerful vampire, she’s supposed to be protecting me. And vampires, they have this whole domination thing going on. When you officially become a vampire’s servant, a big part of that <uncomfortable shifting>, well, it has to do with the fucking part of things. I’ve never been one to let a sheila hold the reins on me in the bed, so sometimes it’s a bit of a tussle between us, you know?

I mean, hell, right after we first met, I had to pull her out from under a burning Rover and figure out how to keep the Outback sun from broiling her like a fish. I think things like that rile her up, because she’s never supposed to be vulnerable. But there are times she’ll relax, get that soft smile on her face, and I know she’ll let me coddle her some.

3. What is your most important goal?
The Ten of Pentacles is a card about family and community. You need to belong to something. You need to know exactly where your place is with those around you.

Your security comes from what you have. Maybe not a house and land and all that, but from your skills that you have. Those can’t be taken from you, can they, Devlin?

You worry about who is going to watch your family when you are gone. There is a need to be there for them forever if you can but can you really?

Prosperity figures into this as well. Something about never being broke again. Not sure where I am getting that from. But this is about your place in your community. How you fit.

Devlin’s Response: I’m not much on possessions, you’re right about that. I was raised part of my life by Aborigines, and I tend to agree with their take on property. If a man needs a thing, he uses it, then when he’s done with it, he lays it down for the next bloke who needs it. I have a pack of things, like my stockwhip and my billies for cooking, and that’s pretty much all I brought with me when I took up with Lady Danny.

I admit, I can be a little possessive about her, but then, I expect I’m always going to need her – don’t think I want to lay her down for some other bludger. Of course, she tends to see me as her possession, even though she’s a little more open than most vampires about the whole “humans are inferior” nonsense. Still, she and I do run into a bit of trouble with “my place”. I’m her third-marked servant, but it wasn’t by my choice. There were some things going on, she thought I was going to get killed if I didn’t have some extra protection, so she tricked me into the marking.

I’m not saying I’m not fine staying by her side for the next 300 years, but she needs to be more about the asking rather than the telling. I’m always going to be at her side – that’s my place, and she shouldn’t try to shake me from it. A couple times we almost went our separate ways, but that didn’t work out so well for us. We came to the conclusion we’d rather spend a couple centuries arguing about my proper place than spending it without one another. Guess in that regard, I don’t mind calling it “belonging to her”. Just wish she wouldn’t be so stubborn about that shoe fitting both feet.

As far as skills, I’m a fair stock hand, good with horses and sheep, and I can do pretty much anything with a stockwhip. My lady Danny likes that about me – the first night we met she challenged me to give her a kiss with the end of it without leaving a mark. After that, things got pretty interesting… I know a lot about the bush, and that’s helped me keep my lady out of trouble more than once. So though some of those skills were hard won, I’m glad I have them, and that they’ve come in handy. I also went to Oxford, and learned some poetry that softens her up at times (wink).

Yeah, I worry about her losing me. You know, she can live about as long as she needs to. As her servant, I’ll live about 300 years, which most folks would consider not worth complaining about, since they might get a third of that. But I think of her having to get along without me, and it rubs me wrong She doesn’t trust easy, and though she pretends it’s otherwise, I know she counts on me to be the person she can let into her head, you know?

Death doesn’t really care about our feelings on the matter, though. I just need to take good care of her while I’m breathing and above ground. As far as prosperity, I’ve always thought being part of a family was the best wealth there is, so if that means prosperity, yeah, I’d do a lot to keep from being without that again.

4. Where do you get your strength from?
Ah, the Ace of Pentacles is the seed of earth energy. Your strength comes from your own steadfastness although some might call it bullheaded stubbornness. Yet this gives you the strength to do what you do.

You simply know the right thing to do sometimes. By believing in that, you are able to generate what you need in terms of strength and energy.

In your lowest times, you know how to dig dig dig deep until you find that one seemingly last piece of strength. And then you get the job done.

I pity the person who thinks they can break you. With the Ace of Pentacles in your back pocket, that’s going to be very hard to do.

Devlin’s Response: My lady came in to listen to this and now she’s giving me that eye you sheilas do, telling me that she thinks you’re dead on. Bullheaded stubbornness? That brought a smile to her pretty lips – course, if she went head to head with one of our steers, I’d have an ice pack handy for the poor fella’s head when she was done with him. Ow…<grunt> She just gave me a right smart pinch.

I don’t know about always knowing the right thing. I see something a certain way, and my gut tells me that’s the way I’ve got to go, no matter what, right? Life’s hard. During the war, there were times you thought—there’s no way I can hold it together through this—but you just do, because you don’t get that choice. You’re the front line, and behind you is home. You’re the only thing standing between the enemy and everything that matters to you. Without a home, you’ve got nothing. I’ve been there, and it’s a lonely place.

There’ve been times I worried I wouldn’t have that last piece of strength you mentioned. But when I think I’m about to hit that bottom, I think of Danny needing me, and that’s that.

Danny marked me when I was about forty. I’ve seen a lot of things happen since then, and I know that there’s a lot of touchy-feely stuff that goes on with blokes now, them wanting to be sensitive. That’s all well and fine – they can cry like sheilas if they have to, but they still need to be men when the moment calls for it.

5. Why do you want to be remembered?
This is another card about community. Family seems to be important to you although I feel like it is your found or chosen family rather than blood family.

The Four of Pentacles tells me that you want to be remembered as the man who gave of himself. You want to be seen not as a selfish miser but as someone who did what needed to be done.

The community will thrive and survive because of your sacrifices. That is important to you. You want to be remembered for putting them before you.

Devlin’s Response: Well, I don’t know about all that. That makes me sound pretty noble. I want to be there when Danny needs me, and the rest of the folks at her station. We’ve got people there that depend on us, with families, and of course on top of the daily hardships of making a life in the bush, we’ve always got some vampires in the territory stirring up trouble that Danny has to deal with.

Guess I’m glad I popped open a cold one before we started, love, because you sure stir some old ghosts. Danny – or ‘my lady’, since she’s around to hear and might decide to get all high brow with me – doesn’t care for me drinking, because she says the beer stirs up those old ghosts a bit too much. But sometimes it’s a comfort to a man, you know? Probably the same way you sheilas feel about chocolate when you’re having a sad day.

Yeah, well, I lost my first family, my wife and son, back before the war. They’re why I joined up, trying to find something to do with everything boiling inside of me about that. I never wanted to be one of those blokes that went to the moon or invented some great new contraption. I wanted to watch my boy grow up, go to bed with my wife every night, grow old with her while we ran a modest station. Guess that dream wasn’t meant for me.

Danny… She wasn’t my idea of a family, but that’s the way life works. I think of her that way now, and even more. She’s why I get up and breathe every day. Sometimes, when night falls and she starts to stir, it’s like…well I know taking care of her and making sure the family and people of our world are safe and well, that’s what I’m meant to do. The best times are when we’ll lie in the front bedroom at night, and I’ll hold her in my arms. I know in those moments, listening to the night sounds and the wind through the curtains, that we’re as close as two people can get, and nothing else needs to be said.

Strewth, you get a man to thinking too much. Why don’t you put your pretty cards away and have a cold one with us? Maybe we’ll play something on the jukebox and sing along. Life’s too short for a man to be thinking this much, love.<wink>


Lady Daniela has never taken a full human servant. At two hundred years, she’s always put it off, having a bachelor’s attitude toward bonding with another, even an inferior human. However, on her return to her sheep station in Western Australia in 1953, she meets Dev, a war veteran and laconic bushman, who has the talents to help her reclaim her station from her mother’s lover, who usurped her position there forty years before.

But after she takes care of that nasty bit of business, she’s also intending to rid Western Australia of a corrupt Region Master who is 500 years old and therefore over twice her age and strength. While a full human servant, particularly one with Dev’s unique talents, can augment her skills and resources, the more she gets to know him, the more reluctant she is to bind him to her in a way that might get him killed. But Dev has his own thoughts on the matter, and she will soon find it’s easier for a vampire to survive in the desert sun than for her to survive without him by her side.

Want to read more about Devlin and Danny? For an excerpt from Vampire’s Claim, and all the books in the Vampire Queen series, you can go to Joey Hill’s site and choose Vampire Queen series or click here.

But what about the contest?

Coming 8/4/2009
Coming 8/4/2009

I’m getting to that, greedy Gerts!  Make a comment on this posting and Joey will choose a winner at random to receive a signed copy of the reader’s choice of any of her titles, including the newest release, Beloved Vampire coming from Berkley August 4, 2009! I’ll notify the winner in a week, on July 31.

So, get to commenting! If you are a Joey Hill fan already, tell me why you love her work. I have to admit, I’ve not read a single Joey Hill book. I am going to fix that this weekend though! Doing this reading for Dev made me want to read this story. And you know me, I can’t start in the middle! I have to read the first one first. It’s the OCD in me.

Don’t forget! Next Friday is the last day to sign up for tmy Hero’s Journey workshop. Learn more here.

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25 thoughts on “Character Reading: Devlin”

  1. Arwen,
    Run, don’t walk to get the first in this series. Joey is one of my absolute favorites. Her characters make you feel deep down in your soul. Their connections are primal and Joey’s prose makes me weep. Your reading was fantastic. I loved hearing Dev’s voice again. He’s a real kick. (wave to Joey if she’s reading this) And I know Beloved Vampire will be just as great as all of her others.

  2. I loved A Vampire’s Claim. You never know what to expect from Joey W. Hill when it comes to plot, although you know the heat level will be high!

    Great post. 🙂

  3. So far everything Joey has written and released has been AWESOME….I have books from all her series and ALL her characters are great, but I especially love Ice Queen & Mirror of My Soul…….

  4. I simply adore Joey’s books. I love the way she chooses alpha men who are capable of submitting to a strong alpha female. Granted they have to challenge themselves to do so, but well worth it for everyone involved.

    You seemed to have read Dev quite well. The cards did indeed tell him about his nurturing side. You can see that in great detail in A Vampire’s Claim.

    Jacob is my favorite, then Dev, Mac and Tyler. Although Tyler isn’t submissive; there is something to be said about to a dominant man knowing when he’s met his match in a strong woman with equal skill, passion and love. I can go on and on. Like I said, I ADORE JOEY!

    Goddess M.

    1. Welcome everyone! I am delighted to see you all here. 🙂

      KZ, I read for characters the same way I read for my clients. I want to know a date of birth and a name. For these character readings, I add in genre which just helps me know if I know it is a futuristic, contemporary, paranormal, etc. But I do not read the excerpts. I would rather know very little about who I am reading for. I feel that by knowing too much I may put my own opinion in rather than just read the cards. I do read the blurb but that is it.

      Doing these readings for characters is very challenging and very fun for me. I also do these (and other spreads) for writers who want to know their characters a bit more. That workshop I am doing in August is a good way to go more in-depth on characters and plot as well.

  5. KZ, hey there! I’d like Arwen’s further take on this, though I can say she asked me for Dev’s approximate date of birth, the genre of the book, and the blurb.

    Michelle – I’m waving back! You guys are making me blush in twelve different ways. Thanks for such great compliments. I can say it makes it much easier to take risks on your characters when you know the readers want you to delve deep into them. So thank you all for that feedback.

  6. Wow, Arwen, great reading, especially for having never read any of Joey’s books. Hoo boy are you in for a treat! I am like you, I have to start at the beginning of a series and work my way through. I started with Joey’s earlier EC work — the Nature of Desire series — so when you are done with the vampires you definitely have to check these out! Joey is a special writer who doesn’t sacrifice character and plot for steam (yummilicious)! I haven’t read the mermaids yet, but that’s what I’m looking forward to next.

    Enjoy and thanks for the contest!

  7. I said on my fan group this morning that Arwen kind of freaked me AND Dev out by how accurately she described him – for those of you who’ve read the book, you know she’s hit specifics that you couldn’t have picked up from the blurb. Very cool. I can only imagine how well she’d do on her “this reality” people. (I”ve never been able to think of my characters as make believe. I prefer to think of them in another reality. Sort of like I continue to firmly believe the stuffed animals I had as a child were real, imbued with spirit by virtue of my unwavering belief that it is so – lol)

    Bella, thank you for that! Yes, I’m kind of a series nazi myself (Arwen, the OCD thing is an epidemic), preferring to start at the beginning when I read. That’s why I also try never to fudge about it – Witch’s Beauty and Mermaid’s Kiss could be read in any order for those who aren’t as obsessive as we are (smile) , but I think you’d need to read both of those to get full enjoyment of the upcoming Mermaid’s Ransom. For the vampires, the first two of course have to be in order, because they’re essentially one book broken into two, but Vampire’s Claim and Beloved Vampire can be read at any point, separate from the full series – again, if you’re not really emphatic about reading a series in order, because of course there are guest appearances by previous characters in these books!

  8. Arwen, you have been missing out by not having read Joey’s books! They are so wonderful! I love them because all of her heros and heroines are flawed… or maybe I should say, not perfect in a very realistic way, but don’t play out like victims, or whine about “how they were done wrong”. They simply firm up their resolve and get on with fixing things.

    Did I mention that the heat in her books is off the charts? I think that the reason why Joey’s books are so sexy is because she understands that the most important sex organ is the brain. The sex scenes are lush and fully fleshed out with emotions and thought, instead of just discribing “tab A into slot B”.

    Sexy men, with their own code of honor that they uphold through situations where other men would break. Strong women, whether they are wielding the whip, or beautiful in their submission.


    Arwen, I think you did a wonderful reading for Dev! I’ll have to look at the others you’ve done and hopefully find some more books to read while I’m waiting for “Beloved Vampire” to come out.

  9. There is erotic fiction that is fun to read and then there is erotic that is well written and fun to read. Joey falls into the latter category. The good quality keeps me coming back. That and Joey is heaps of fun!

    For a quick fun read I suggest Chance of a Lifetime. For a more intense read I strongly suggest Ice Queen.

    Arwen, I love that you do readings for characters! I wonder how many you will do after reading more of Joey’s work? Thank you for a nifty blog.
    .-= ThatBrunette´s last blog ..Birthday Party at Chuck E. Cheese =-.

  10. Boy, Arwen, this is scary impressive! You really nailed Dev. It was so much fun hearing his voice again. He’s the quintessential Aussie hero and a great bloke.

    Though I can’t believe you haven’t read Joey’s books. You are missing out, woman – big time!

    I love this whole character-reading concept. Hmmm. Thinks deeply about future releases.

    .-= Denise Rossetti´s last blog ..A Twofer – Yeehah!! =-.

  11. Wow to Arwen and all the commenters. Joey Hill has been on my TBR pile for a long time but I’ve never gotten around to buying anything of hers. After reading all this, believe me, she just moved to the top of the list. Thanks to all for such glowing comments.

  12. It really is uncanny, Arwen,how spot on your reading was about Dev. Devlin was one of my favorite characters, and I absolutely love this series. Joey’s stories are wonderfully dark and sexy, complicated, emotional, and I count them as some of the best erotic romance out there. She is one of my top auto-buy authors and I can’t wait to read Beloved Vampire.

  13. Checked in early this morning before I have to run to Wilmington to buy shirts – you guys are making me glow (and I hope making Arwen glow as well, with your very well deserved praise of her reading – she’s an author too, did you know? Marilu Mann, over at Ellora’s Cave. Right?) Anyhow, I’ll be back later with specific comments, but wanted to wish you a cheery good morning!

    1. Aw, thanks, Joey! Yep, I’m half of Marilu Mann (paranormal romance) at EC. My goal this weekend is to order the first in this Vampire Queen series. And I love the look of “Mermaid’s Kiss” so who knows! My bank account may take a series hit this weekend because of you. 🙂

  14. Hi Arwen, I’ve really enjoyed your stories too. Hope you get a chance to read one of Joey’s stories this weekend. You can’t miss with either series, it just depends what you might be in the mood for.

    The Mermaid series is definitely more fantasy themed, and I would say is less dark as far as the romance goes than the Vampire series. Joey really pushes the envelope with some of her sex scenes, and man are they hot! But ultimately, they are all amazing erotic romance stories with a HEA, written in a wonderfully unique style that just works for me.

  15. Bobbi – I loved this – “don’t play out like victims, or whine about “how they were done wrong”. They simply firm up their resolve and get on with fixing things”. That’s my biggest problem when I read some other books – good heavens, there is a difference between angst and whining! Geez louise. It’s why I always dislike the “oh woe is me, I’m a physically perfect, immortal and invincible vampire…could my life suck any worse?” Puhlease… Thank you for those incredible compliments, though – I know I say that over and over, but you all always make my day when you say great things about my characters.

    And of course I second that to you, Cathy M and That Brunette! Good recommendations as well, TB (smile).

    CJ said: Okay, Arwen, I owe you a virtual drink! (beaming) CJ, I hope you enjoy whatever you choose. All my readers know I welcome feedback, good or bad, so don’t hesitate to let me know if it disappoints. You all help keep me on track.

    Denise, I’d love to have her read Fort from Strongman! Yeah, yeah, backlist title, not a future release, but still…I just love Fort and Griff. Oh hey, here’s one – Walker would be perfect, the hero of your upcoming third book in the Five Pentacle series (I know I’ve misremembered the name of that series, but it’s great – everyone should read Flame and the Shadow). You said you were trying to delve deep into his soul…maybe Arwen can help (grin).

    Arwen, you are too kind! Hope the books turn out to be worth the expense (wink) – you can bill me if they don’t, lol.

  16. My bad, guys!! I misunderstood how the winner was going to be announced (fault all on my side) and dropped the ball. The winner of the random drawing is KZ Snow! Congratulations, KZ! If you see this before I email you directly, just send me your snail mail address at [email protected]. Thanks again, everyone. It was delightful to be a part of this. :>

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