Rhys is fessing up and answers some hard-hitting questions.
I sat down with Rhys a few days ago to get some answers to some questions we're all dying to ask. I met him in a coffee shop in downtown Evergreen, CO, catching him in a rare moment away from his woman.
First and foremost, everyone asks me how to say your name, can you school these peeps?
It is pronounced like Reece – like Reece’s Pieces. It’s just the Welsh spelling, which if you’ve ever been to Wales, you know there are random letters in pretty much every single word.
Okay, that was an easy one. Now for the hard stuff.
Uh-oh. Be gentle.
Have you met me? Where do you think Aurelia gets her sass from?
Okay… Deep breath.
Why did you put so much effort to be there for Aurelia when you knew she hated you? Why did you torture yourself with the pain of her rejection?
Wow. Starting off evil, I see… Well, the bonding process for a Phoenix changes the very fabric of who we are. It changes the way we think; the way we act. It is why so many Oracles and Soldiers end up husband and wife – because if you had to be near someone for the rest of forever, if you cared more for their life than you did your own, if you felt in your soul when they were sad or angry or happy or content, wouldn’t you want to make sure that they had the very best protection? Wouldn’t it be your life mission to make sure they were safe? Happy?
Do you think you were punishing yourself a bit? Because you knew she wasn’t happy?
Maybe a little. I took quite a bit away from her to make her hate me. I’d always known this was Iva’s intention, but I did try to tell Aurelia my side of the story. It didn’t work, but I did try. I think I needed absolution from Aurelia, so yes, I think punishing myself was a part of it.
You’ve been following Aurelia around for over a century. In that time, what has been your favorite place to live?
England and Scotland have been my favorites, but I need to go back to get a gauge of them now that things have changed. When we lived there before, Aurelia and I were at odds, so my experience will most likely be very different now that we are together and not me stalking her all over the globe. I have a serious love for greasy pub food and Guinness, so the UK is the place for me.
Do you have any hobbies that we’re not aware of?
I have a closet affection for reality TV shows of the home improvement variety. I like watching how they take something completely awful and make it better. I especially love the ones where they rehab older properties. And if you tell my woman I like watching "Fixer Upper," I will end you.
My lips are sealed. So, Rhys, you’ve been around for quite a while. What are some of your favorite moments in history?
I loved the first space shuttle launch and Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon. I felt like it was the humans getting that much closer to the Ethereal - close to the magic of the supernatural world that they walk past on any given day.
Well, I think I've taken up enough of your time. Rhys, thank you so much for talking with me! Until next time!!
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Ashes to Ashes
Guilt is something I live with on a daily basis, but it gets worse on days like today. Today I get to play stalker to a woman I’ve been in love with for roughly one hundred and seventy years.
A woman I cannot have.
A woman who hates me with every single fiber of her being.
As her Soldier, I’ve been bound to Aurelia for one hundred and sixty years. I thought as a young man I knew what love was. The inane notion I assumed was love as a boy is nothing compared to the iron chain tying her to me now. I’ll never love another woman. The bond assures that.
It also ensures that as long as she hates me, I’ll never be happy. Because that’s what a Soldier is.
A guardian, a lover, a husband.
And as long as she hates me, I’ll never be what I’m meant to be. But at least I can keep the wolves at bay.
I scratch my scruff and use the rearview mirror to keep an eye on the door to the gallery. It’s an awkward angle, and the collar of my shirt is digging into my neck.
I don’t know why I put on the damn thing. I never go into the building. Every single time I come to her openings, I hide in the car and watch the door like a damn pussy. Usually, I borrow a car from a friend, but tonight, I’m stuck in my rusted-out shit-box of a truck with no AC, and I’m in a Goddamn suit. I really should trade up, but this old girl’s been with me for twenty years.
Letting women go hasn’t been my strong suit.
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The Ashes to Ashes Series
Aurelia Constantine is having a rough century. Plagued by visions of murder, death and destruction, she has resigned herself to the nightmare her life has become. When an enemy from her past comes to her rescue, she must let go of old wounds and heal the breach so she may survive the evil poisoning her mind.
Rhys Stevens is guilty. Murder. Betrayal. Treason. Take your pick; he’s guilty of them all. On the path of redemption, he must beg for forgiveness from the one person he fought to save - the woman he has always loved.
Thrown together in the trenches of war, they must work as a team to stop a monstrous puppet master from pulling their strings.
Ashes, ashes. We all fall down.
Get ready to burn.
Mena Constantine is pissed off. Finally freed from her fifty-year imprisonment by a maniacal leader, she is desperately trying to recover and get her life back. Problem is, the life she had is long gone. Struggling under the weight of her memories and healing from the wounds of her captivity, she can't seem to catch a break. Every waking moment, death seems like a relief she would welcome.
Asher Crane is a dead man. As a Guardian to the King, his only purpose in life is to keep the King alive. And he's failing. Miserably. With the King ill, the Queen dying, and zero plans for a successor, he's pretty much screwed. Because if the King dies, the law says Asher dies, too.
As these two wounded souls collide in a series of bloody and unfortunate events, they will clutch to the last shreds of life before death beats down their door.
West Carmichael is not my real name. It is the name I pulled from thin air over five hundred years ago. I don’t come from royalty—I come from the dregs of the ethereal. As the King’s assassin, I have more blood on my hands than most. I don’t deserve her. I don’t deserve anyone. But I will keep her safe. Even if I die trying.
Evangeline Black. My name sounds like the heroine of a historical romance novel – not that I read those or anything. My life so far: Dead parents? Check. Broken heart? Check. Evil mistress of darkness, hell-bent on power and thirsty for my death? Big. Honking. Check. But this mess won’t get cleaned up by itself. I’ve got a job to do. As these two reluctant hearts fight their pull, they must decide if they want to fall apart in the midst of the chaos swarming around them or yield to their hearts…