Relaxing on a couch with Jan Raymond

Good morning everyone! It’s lazy Saturday and I’m still in my pajamas…and Jan, well, I’m not sure if she even went to bed last night 🙂 

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Yawn…Okay, let me grab a cup of coffee before we start…Yesterday Jan had created The Lord of the Rings trivia for you, so today I’m gonna reveal the right answers! I received a lot of answers via email, so huge thanks to all who participated. Unfortunately no one knew the answers to all questions. Nice try, though 🙂

So without delays…here they are. The answers you’ve been waiting for!

  1. Anduril
  2. Gloin
  3. Evenstar
  4. The Glittering Caves
  5. Boromir
  6. Rosie Cotton
  7. Smeagol
  8. Torech ungol
  9. 111
  10. Gandalf, Aragon, Legolas, Gimli, Boromir, Frodo, Sam, Pippin and Merry
  11. Aragorn
  12. Rohan
  13. Mithril
  14. Peregrine Took
  15. Ents

I don’t know about you, but I always get thrills whilst reading (hearing, seeing…) the name Aragorn…mmhh…Oh, I think I need more coffee! Jan, please, post the follow up on your spin off while I keep tasting the name Arag…Ouch! Someone just hit me with a pillow…

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‘Where are we supposed to go?’ asked Maya, as they left the dorm, on their way to the festivities. They were all in good spirits. They had managed to win the “Gran-sdur” on their first try, after all, a feat that few teams had managed.

‘Let’s follow the pretty lights,’ said Seb, pointing at the trees.

‘There are pretty lights everywhere, Seb,’ laughed Cassie. Seb looked at her and smiled. He still couldn’t believe that she had survived. He was sure he had lost her on the last day of the games, when the poison from the blade that Carl had slashed her with, had almost killed her. His heart still raced when he thought of that day, and his desperate dash to the healers, carrying an unconscious Cassie.

He hadn’t wanted to give her to anyone when he reached the healing room. They’d had to practically pry her out from his arms. He’d stood there watching, terrified, as he’d heard someone shout, ‘She’s got no pulse.’

He’d watched them trying to revive her, her face pale, her lips blue. He’d tried to tell them that she had been poisoned, but his throat was constricted and he couldn’t make a sound.

He’d finally pulled himself together when Imran, one of the healers, had slapped him across the face and shouted, ‘Sebastian, stop crying and tell us what happened. We can help her faster.’

He’d quickly explained, and they’d left him standing there while they wheeled Cassie away. He’d still been standing there, in the middle of nowhere, the tears now dried up and an empty feeling inside, when Maya had arrived.

She’d caught his arm and turned him around, whispering, ‘Where is she?’ When she saw his tear-stained face, she’d collapsed with a scream.

This had brought a couple of the other healers out, and after one look at Maya’s bruised and battered face and body, they’d taken her away as well.

Seb had collapsed against a wall and had sat there for what had seemed like hours, with no feeling, no thought, wanting to scream but unable to. He’d been sitting like that when Ryan had raced in. He could see Ryan gesturing at him and shouting, but nothing was making sense to him. Ryan had finally left him where he was and gone away.

The next word that had penetrated Seb’s brain had been, ‘She’s alive! Mate, she’s alive,’ and he blushed even now when he thought of the way he’d shamelessly collapsed in Ryan’s arms, weeping like a baby.

Now, he knew. Every time he looked at Cassie, all he wanted to do was hold her close and make sure that she never slipped away from him again. She was laughing as she pointed down at the lake. He reluctantly pulled his eyes away from her face and looked towards the lake.

It was true, there were pretty lights everywhere. Most of the snow covered trees were uplit by blue lights. It silhouetted them, glittering off the icicles that hung from the bare branches. They crossed the garden to the edge of the clearing, from where they could see the Temple and the lake. The Temple was lit up as usual, but the lake looked spectacular. It was lit from within with coloured lights that shone through the ice, tinting it in different colours. There was a lot of activity around the lake.

‘That’s where the party’s at. Come on, we can’t be late to our own party,’ said Seb.

‘Our party?’ asked Cassie.

‘Obviously. We won the “Gran-sdur”. We’re heroes. This is a celebration of our win,’ replied Seb, joking.

They spent an enjoyable evening, dancing and mingling with people from the other communities. Seb kept trying to snatch a dance with Cassie, but as soon as she was finished with one dance, someone was there to whisk her away, before Seb got to her. Seb finally had to manhandle an admirer, to get a dance with Cassie.

‘You’re mighty popular tonight,’ he teased.

‘Shut up!’ chided Cassie, blushing.

As the song ended, Seb said softly, ‘Cas you are a beautiful girl and an amazing person. Don’t ever forget that!’

Cassie pulled back and looked up at him. ‘Why are you being so dramatic?’ she demanded.

Seb looked thoughtful. ‘I felt like I should tell you that. What if I never get the chance to?’

‘Seb, you’re being weird,’ said Cassie, looking troubled. ‘Why are you saying stuff like that?’

‘I’m just telling you the truth, beautiful.’ He kissed her on the top of her head as the song ended and led her off the dance floor, where she was immediately claimed by another admirer.

They were tired and made their way back to their dorm soon after. Seb felt like his head had just touched the pillow, when he felt himself being roughly shaken.

‘Get ready! We have to go to the Temple,’ Sam whispered. He could make out that something was wrong from Sam’s tone. They got ready and raced out behind Sam. As they were making their way to the Temple, running noiselessly down the slope, Sam raised his hand and said, ‘Hide!’

They melted into the shadows of the trees. Tall, dark figures were moving through the trees towards their dorm.

‘Seb!’ He swung around, startled at the urgency and alarm in Sam’s voice. The image of the cave where the archery event was held in during the games, flashed across his mind.

‘Run!’ ordered Sam. Seb immediately looked at Cassie, torn. He had to obey Sam’s command, he had promised, but every fibre in his being rebelled at the thought of leaving Cassie. He knew that the others were all in danger. But he had taken an oath. With a last, desperate look at Cassie, he turned and raced away.




Seb wondered what the others were doing. He didn’t know if they were even alive. He couldn’t sense them. At first, his only thought had been to get the Ancient Book away, and he’d run flat out, till he had put enough distance between himself and Pha-yul. Then, he’d started stopping at small, one horse towns along the way.

It was three weeks since he’d last seen his team. He missed them, especially Cassie. He missed her bossiness, her ebullient smile, the mass of unruly, red locks. He realised how much he missed her only now, when he didn’t know whether he’d ever see her again. His heart gave an unnatural squeeze and he felt an actual ache when he thought of her. He’d never felt this way before; it was new to him. He had to acknowledge to himself that what he felt for Cassie was more than concern. Somewhere along the way, he’d fallen in love with that bossy, know-it-all. He hoped she was fine. If he ever made it back, he promised himself that he would never let go of her again.

He was working at a bar in another small town when he heard the call in his head. Come home! It was safe for him to go back. It was the middle of the night but he didn’t wait. He couldn’t. He grabbed the Ancient Book and set off. Running home, back to Cassie.

It took him three days of ceaseless running, before he finally reached Skallen. It was late in the night as he jogged up the main street, his feet automatically turning, taking him towards Cassie’s house. The snow swirled around him and he could hardly see through the gloom. He stopped at the kerb beneath the streetlamp and looked up at her window. He gathered some snow, made it into a ball and launched it at her window. It hit the window, rattling it and slowly melted down the glass. He threw another ball.

He bent down and picked up more snow and lifted his hand to throw it. The arm stopped mid-throw and the snow dropped from Seb’s hand when he saw the open window, the curtains flapping wildly. He peered, puzzled. There was no one at the window. It had been shut seconds back when he had thrown the last handful of snow. Before he could figure it out, the front door burst open, and Cassie and Sam came tearing out. They threw themselves at him and he fell over on the snow, laughing, wrapping his arms around the two.

It took them a couple of minutes to disentangle themselves and even then Cassie wouldn’t let go of his arm. They sat up, unmindful of the snow and the cold, looking at one another, overwhelmed. Tears spilled down Cassie’s face. Seb felt a lump in his throat and he blinked back tears as he gazed back at her. She was fine; she was alive. He wanted to take her in his arms and hold her tight. But he held back. This wasn’t the time or the place.

Seb slept the entire day. Through the haze of sleep, he heard Maya’s voice, and Ryan’s, and he wanted to tell them how glad he was to see them, and to know that they were safe, but every time he tried to waken, fatigue pulled him under. And right through it all, he felt Cassie’s calming presence. By his side, holding his hand, stroking his hair, just lying silently beside him.

Don’t miss out the last chapter of Jan Raymond’s spin off. Stay tuned…

Cheers and happy lazy Saturday!

Jen x




About jenniferloiske

Jennifer Loiske lives in Finland in Naantali, which is a small sunny town on the southwest coast. She is a pre-school teacher by profession but she stayed at home when her youngest daughter suffered brain fever, which developed severe epilepsy in 2004. She is a workaholic Teen/Young Adult author, who loves dark fantasy, teen movies, chips and candies and warm sunny days. She’s also very keen on charity work and a big part of her royalties goes to the charity; mainly to help families with epileptic children but also to the epilepsy units in the hospitals. As a huge fan of dark novels Jennifer's bookshelf is full of books from L.J. Smith, Alyson Noel, Stephanie Meyer, Chloe Neill, Michelle Rowen, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Amanda Hocking and Lauren Kate. She’s also a huge fan of music from Evanescence, Linkin Park, Within Temptation, OneRepublic and Disturbed. But her hunger for music is endless and depend on what mood she’s in or what kind of book she’s working on. She can be pretty much an omnivore when it comes to music.
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1 Response to Relaxing on a couch with Jan Raymond

  1. janraymond says:

    Reblogged this on Learning as I write and commented:
    I’m sad! It’s almost over!

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