When Tigris asked me if I wanted to be a part of her Fearless Female lineup, I immediately said yes, and then freaked because I had no idea who I was going to write about. I mean, I’m a bibliophile AND I read for a living, my days are filled with kickass heroines and women who overcome adversity and their fatal flaws. Plus, I’ve personally battled multiple types of cancer and more, my mom had a hard life, my friends kick their own personal demons to the curb daily. My life is FULL of fearless females. So who in the world was I going to write about? And then it hit me…I would write about someone that only I (and Tigris) have met. At least…yet.
Now, she’s not your typical leather-bustier-wearing, Glock-9-toting, mixed-martial-arts-mastering fantasy heroine. Her strength comes from a different place. A deeper place. A place borne of loss and betrayal and self-discovery. Who am I talking about? Ellys Merveille of our Curiosity Chronicles series, of course (for those of you who don’t know, The Curiosity Chronicles is the Dark Fantasy series that Tigris and I will be writing as Chelle Eden. Book #1, Ellys in Faeryland, will be available for your reading pleasure in 2017).
O.K, so, Ellys… Her very name means “wonder.” At least her surname. But while she did use her imagination to escape at times, she preferred to face things head-on. Though not always well.
As an infant, she was abandoned. Cast aside by those who should have loved her. She never knew her family. She was raised in the system and while it wasn’t as bad as it was for some, she didn’t have it easy. She was shuffled around from home to home, and the only thing she had as a somewhat constant, was her best friend Madison Cape. Madi. Luckily, no matter where the State sent her, somehow, he was always either there ahead of her or soon to follow. She learned not to question the hows or whys, to just grasp it with both hands and not let go. Madi was her rock. He stability. Despite the fact that he was probably the weirdest boy she had ever met.
As the years progressed, she changed so many times she could have given someone whiplash. But she really had no idea who she was. And sometimes, the hardest demons to battle are those in your own mind, those that whisper that you’re not good enough, not smart enough, not “right” for the world around you. So when she had those doubts, she simply donned a new veneer and tried that one out on the world. Madi learned to take it in stride, and usually spurred her on by giving her some pop culture reference that she could use to merge into her look of the week. But through it all, she still felt as if she had this hole inside her. Something that could never be filled.
When she turned sixteen, her life was turned upside down again. Madi aged out of the system and was forced to leave her. For just shy of two years, she shuffled through each day in a fog, her one tether to the real world having been stripped from her, leaving her bloody and raw on the inside. But still she battled through. She faced each day, never giving up, knowing that she would one day, hopefully, find him again.
When she turned eighteen, she was shoved out the door into a world she had never experienced. Never knew. Like so many of the other children at the home who didn’t adapt well, she was homeschooled, never allowed to attend a public school or interact with children not in the home. Her sheltered upbringing lent to her higher than average intellect but her social skills were virtually non-existent. And she learned, with startling quickness and vicious clarity the reality that is human nature in the “real world.” Too overcome, she changed yet again. And all the while, she searched for her dear friend, Madi. For years this went on…
When she finally found him, she discovered he was literally living his dream—owner of his own tattoo shop at a young age and one of the most sought after artists in the city. And she faced yet another obstacle. Jealousy. The green-eyed monster is one that can eat you alive and leave you nothing more than metaphorical chewed up pieces spit out on a dirty and trodden path. She didn’t want to feel the things she did, especially not about Madi, but she couldn’t help herself. And add in to the mix the fact that he gave her a job at the shop and she couldn’t help but shake the feeling that he’d done it out of pity, and she was in a bad spot. Again.
But the strongest people are those that realize that the smallest things in life are a gift. Those who look each bad situation in the face and laugh—sometimes literally. Those who take every bad thing that happens in their life and use it as a way to grow, to persevere. And Ellys was one of those people. She realized that without everything that had happened in her life, she wouldn’t be who she was. Even if she didn’t always know exactly who that was.
When things in Ellys’s life got really crazy and she ended up going through a portal into a world she’d thought only existed in her imagination, she had to adapt once more. This time, taking on the persona of explorer, adventurer, and warrior. The only hope for some, the downfall of others. And still she embraced it. Because Ellys Merveille is a fearless female, and she can overcome anything.