Characters in Context – 14th August 2014

I have recently been invited to take part in a “Character Blog Tour”  so watch this space, for when I publish this at a later date.

With characters on the brain, it struck me (as I am editing my 3rd novel ‘Pleasures’) that in the current chapter, a lot of characters are featured. This is unusual. It is a multi-stranded tale, with a huge cast of characters from both Books 1 and 2, where chapter, by chapter, the book tends to focus on one group, in particular. 

It seems odd, how so many have converged in this chapter – on the other hand, it is 1989, the story is about to hot up, as both sides prepare for war. So this is where I am at; and a great opportunity to blog about characters. For a change, I thought I’d list them as they appear throughout this chapter. I am not going  to describe them fully, but feature a book snippet for each one of them, to create a first impression.

Forest Scene:

Joshua Merriman (music journalist from London, now living in Aldwyck)

Joshua pulled up his hood and set off on foot. He strode along the woodland path – secure in the knowledge, the cloak of trees would conceal him, until finally, Westbourne House slid into view.

Toby Baxter (gentleman farmer)

“His original plan was to demolish the walled garden, to make way for a conference centre; but there was an outcry. Planning permission was refused.”


Pub Scene: 

Joshua, his girlfriend, Lucy, along with the locals, including Toby’s father, Herbert and the pub landlord, Boris.

Joshua and Lucy squeezed into a corner, close to the bar – choosing one of the upright barrels, which served as a makeshift table. In some ways, Joshua hoped they were sufficiently hidden behind Herbert’s vast bulk, as he propped up the bar, still crowing over their victory.
“I swore to those kids, we’d keep an eye on that place!” he smirked, raising his beer glass, “get straight onto the council, if there was ever a hint he was trying to ruin it!”
“That was after ‘J’s’ funeral,” Boris reflected dreamily. “It seems, you kept your pledge, Herbert.”

Perry (ambitious property developer)

Rowena (his haughty wife)

Elliot (their long suffering butler)

Without warning, Perry strutted into the pub. His cold eyes swept around the room like searchlights, piercing into each one of them in turn. Rowena wandered in after him and to Boris’s even greater surprise, Elliot ambled submissively at the rear. Herbert stood his ground, turning on his heel, resolute in protecting Joshua from his probing eyes. Toby was quick to follow his lead – wary, the couple had already been given some hassle – and without knowing why, they suddenly felt nervous for them.

Caravan Scene:

Nathan, Perry’s security guard.

She opened her mouth as if to speak – when the angry roar of a motorbike burst through the silence. Joshua backed away – clocking the leather clad figure, straddling a Harley Davidson, now rolling towards the caravan.

Community Centre Scene:


Rowena, Elliot 

Deep down, Rowena knew otherwise. She knew what demons lay in Perry’s past and it was an admission which turned her cold.

“Would you like me to enquire on your behalf?” Elliot suggested.

Peter (counsellor and manager Community Centre manager)

Peter stroked his chin, careful not to ask too much – unsure how much Elliot knew.
“And what sort of advice is Rowena hoping I can give you?” he frowned.

Eleanor (heroine of the story: nurse, mother, community volunteer)

Eleanor turned – she almost dropped her tray of cups, as he ambled, smiling towards her. “What are you doing here?” she breathed.

Avalon (aristocratic 19 year old, who works as an antique dealer)

Avalon found herself drifting towards the Community Centre, then froze. Her eyes stopped dead, as a familiar black Jaguar shimmered in the sunlight – her father’s old car? It couldn’t be! She found herself backing away, unable to make sense of it.

Avalon’s Dinner Party:

Avalon, Peter, William (Avalon’s brother, currently a sixth former)

By the time William came bounding into the room, he had changed into his denim jeans and a T-shirt, bearing a yellow smiley face and caption ‘Acid is Music, not Drugs.’
“So, tell me about Elliot!” he breathed, grabbing a beer from the kitchen. “You say, you saw him outside the Community Centre? With Rowena Hampton!”

Richard, Avalon’s boyfriend

For a moment, she studied his arrogant face – the small beard, which in some way, enhanced his pained expression and something inside her flipped.
“Avalon, for God’s sake!” he whined. “We need to talk…”

Village Scene:


I could finish without mentioning the kids of the story, as they visit Aldwyck Village. Avalon and William, joined by:

Elijah (Eleanor’s 15 year old son, a visionary and an artist) 

Almost on cue, Elijah wandered into view. Ben smiled, clocking his appealing young face, the sweep of his long, slender brows, above those mysterious eyes. He might have sprung a little taller, but his looks hadn’t changed. Even the reddish gleam of his hair was discernible, despite the persistent gloom which sapped all the colour from the landscape.

Andrew (Elijah’s older step brother)

Andrew was impressed. He had only ever met Joshua very briefly. Yet he too, was captivated by this couple – loving their eclectic lifestyle, their slightly hippy style, as well as Joshua’s dedication to music. “You get to travel to gigs and interview bands?” he mused. “That sounds cool!”

Margaret (Elijah’s younger step sister)

Yet, no-one appeared to notice, that Margaret had said very little – her eyes dreamy, as they drifted beyond the window, where the allotments lay under a mantle of drizzle.

Matt and Angel (friends of Andrew)

Moments later, Elijah clambered into Joshua’s land rover, followed by two boys he didn’t recognise: one slightly hippy-like, with long, mousy hair tied in a ponytail – the other, some laid-back, West Indian boy, who’s long, loping strides reminded him of a panther.

Finally, Perry’s son Ben Hampton spies on them, accompanied by Nathan

“So, what do you supposed they’re up to?” he muttered, as if thinking out loud.
“What, other than surveying their precious land?” Ben sneered. He snatched back the binoculars, assessing the situation. “You’re right, this does seem a little odd. My guess is, they’re plotting something – though, I can’t imagine what.”

(Note: whenever an initial was used, I didn’t want to reveal who this character was)


About Helen J. Christmas

I am an English author and have written a series of novels, titled 'Same Face Different Place. Beginnings is a gangland thriller set in the criminal underworld of 1970s London. The second Book 'Visions' is a psychological thriller, set in Kent; a mystery that ensnares the owners of an historic, English Country House. Book 3 Pleasures contains suspense, thrills and YA romance, set in a backdrop of organised crime and at the advent of the British rave culture. There are 2 final books in the series, Retribution (Phase One) and Retribution (End Game) where the saga reaches its dramatic conclusion.
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