An Interview With Dr. Exeter
Thanks for having me! One of my favorite things to do when I’m on book tour, is to interview my characters about the new release, as well as ask them questions about things that don’t really come up in the usual course of writing a novel. I always learn something new about them, so here goes:
Jillian: “Good day, Baron de Roos, Dr. Asa Exeter, or Jason as you like to be called. How shall I address you?”
Jillian: “All right, Jason. In book one, we met your father, Baron de Roos on his death bed, and learned some rather gruesome and startling facts about him, but you rarely speak about your mother, who was Persian––a princess, no less. Could you tell us a little something about her? A bit of history, perhaps, about how she came to be your mother.”
Dr. Exeter: “During the Anglo-Persian War, my father, an officer with the 2nd Company Bombay Sappers & Miners, led an expedition up the Shatt al Arab waterway. He found my mother and her servant hiding in a date grove. She had been separated from her family as they fled the ancient fortress city of Khurram Shahr. Her Persian name was Fatemeh Yasaman Azar bin Mardo. Father called her Jasmine, and was fond of describing their first meeting as contentious. Apparently she was as beautiful and fiery as her name.
“Mother died rather suddenly of pneumonia. I was away at school, by the time I returned home, she had entered heaven––or paradise. I’m sure either bastion of afterlife welcomed her––she was a kind and loving woman. Father and I were devastated by her loss––the baron was never the same after she died.
“When we took in Mia and Mr. Tandi, things improved considerably. Mia brought new life into the house. Her presence cheered the late baron considerably.”
Jillian: “Yes, tell us a bit about how you came to be Mia’s guardian.”
Dr. Exeter: “It was a summer afternoon, just before I began my studies at medical college. A waif of a child and a tall, stately African man announced themselves at our doorstep. Mr. Tandi introduced the little girl as Miss Anatolia Chadwick, a distant relation of my Father’s lineage. As I recall, he and Mia recounted quite a harrowing tale over tea and biscuits.
“It seems, Mia’s parent’s owned a sizable interest in a diamond mine operation in South Africa, near Kimberley. They were killed in an uprising of some sort––possibly foul play by their business partners. Wearing the clothes on their backs and carrying a hidden pouch of diamonds, Mr. Tandi and Mia made their way to Cape Town, sold a few gems and booked passage on the first ship bound for London.”
Jillian: “I have to say, adventure seems to follow you and your family where ever you go.”
Dr. Exeter (shakes head softly) “I can’t say I ask for it. Misadventure might be just as apt a description.”
Jillian: “In , you certainly seem to be involved in plenty of mishaps, as well as intrigues––between helping Mia adjust to her panther side, and helping to rescue Phaeton Black in an alternate world Paris.”
Dr. Exeter: “Indeed.”
Jillian: (pushing Exeter a bit) “...perhaps the most delicate and dangerous task of all was pleasuring Mia––to help her learn to control her animal urges.
(Dr. Exeter stared at me with those piercing eyes of his.)
Jillian: “I just thought...” (swallows uncomfortably)
Mia: “Well, if Exeter isn’t going to answer, I might be able to at least allude to some of the intimacies we shared.”
Jillian: (smiling) “Hello Mia.”
Jillian: “Yes, that was in book two, , when the first shift takes place.”
Mia: (nods) “I didn’t have the foggiest clue how to handle her. She would come and go as she pleased––and at the most inconvenient times! Exeter was desperate to help me find a way to control the shifts, and as it turned out, the very fastest way for me to learn the subtle art of shifting was by experiencing a paroxysm––that’s 1890 talk for an orgasm.” (At this point, Mia slants her gaze toward Exeter. I can almost see her pupils contract into slits.)
Dr. Exeter: (after clearing his throat) “Looking back, I should like say I was cleverly coerced into this erotic tableau by my lovely ward, but that would not be the truth––the truth is I love Mia as the lovely young woman she has grown up to be.”
Jillian: So it took this rather arousing misadventure to make you realize that?”
Mia: “In the beginning, I threw myself at Exeter unmercifully, having loved him from afar for so many years––first as a child, then growing more bestial in nature as the cat emerged. When I went away to do my university studies, I yearned for him so deeply, I believe I brought on the first shift. One evening, after attending a musical, I awoke in a wood near the college grounds––stark naked, and slightly delirious. Exeter brought me home, and took me to several specialists as well as a few interesting witch doctors...”
Dr. Exeter: “It became obvious what afflicted Mia was not of this world, exactly.”
Jillian: Care to elaborate about Mia’s therapy?
Exeter: (frowning) “No.”
Mia: “I believe I might say this much: Exeter tried so very hard to keep things...clinical. And I didn’t help matters, as I wanted very much to touch him in return...and was rather brazen about it.” Mia sighed. “I suppose that anyone who is interested in our story can find out for themselves by reading The Miss Education of Dr. Exeter.”
Jillian: “Just out of curiosity, when you visit the Outremer, in twenty-first century London or Paris, have you ever watched television? Do you have a favorite TV show?”
Dr. Exeter: I believe Phaeton watches football. World Cup soccer or some such thing––he calls it the dog’s bullocks––bloody fantastic.”
Jillian: And what of Phaeton Black? Were you able to find and rescue Phaeton in Paris?
Dr. Exeter smiles at Mia, who gives him the nod: “Now, that would make us a couple of spoilers, wouldn’t it?”
Plunge deeper into the curious world of the deadly Nightshades.
The Moonstone is having a destabilizing effect on the time/space membrane leaving Phaeton trapped in a parallel mirror world where everything is opposite or upside down, yet oddly the same. He is held captive by Domina Valour and tested sorely in this darkly sensual third episode of the Phaeton Black series.
Gaspar Sinclair can't go after Phaeton. His physical body is unraveling before everyone's eyes. America Jones is large with child, but only she has the preternatural ability to locate Phaeton and bring him back. And Doctor Exeter's beautiful charge, Mia, has her claws in him. Quite literally.
To accomplish Phaeton's rescue, the doctor must let loose forces he hasn't the foggiest clue how to control, including his attraction to Mia.
While in the dimension of magnetic opposites, the doctor and Miss Jones attempt to reverse polarity to retrieve Phaeton and stop Gaspar from unraveling. Can America and Phaeton find a way to return together, or will this final test rip them apart forever?
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