The Council Of Twelve A – Z / A For Anghariel

When it comes to writing, with four published books and the fifth in the series in line, I’m sometimes feeling a little bit like I need to keep things in my books a secret, fearfully protecting my books, because I could give away too much to the ones who haven’t read ‘The Council of Twelve’ series yet.

But aren’t the background stories, the little details ‘behind the scenes’ the interesting part of our work? There are numerous characters in these books, twelve of them the main pillars, carrying my stories.

Picture courtesy of Pixers.us

And that’s why I decided to start a new blog series about the Council of Twelve, going through the alphabet, starting with Anghariel…

Let me show you the notes I took before I started to write ‘The Council of Twelve’ series. On Anghariel’s character sheets it says:

Looks  Anghariel’s skin and hair were gray; his eyes were the purest silver. He is tall and slim, his muscle tone finely defined but not too visible. He moves elegantly like a tall cat, comparable to a cheetah    
WingsGrey, each feather surrounded by orange
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
PersonalityBubbly, humorous, playful personality. He’s a big practical joker and loves to play tricks
Special PowersWhat many don’t know is that Anghariel started as XXXXXXXXXXXX and has kept his abilities even when he became an Archangel. Additionally, Anghariel is, together with Centriel, one of the most virtuous and fast flyers amongst Angelkind.
ConsortDespite his unusual looks Anghariel is a huge women magnet and enjoys spending time with as many girlfriends as possible,XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX He hasn’t found his consort yet.
(Of course, the one or other information is X-ed out because I don’t want to give away too much information)

Now, Anghariel is an enormously strong individual, one of the younger members of ‘The Council of Twelve’, but nevertheless, powerful, compassionate, and helpful.

Anghariel has his quirks, but he’s also an Archangel and a member of ‘The Council’. Despite his bubbly nature, Anghariel has his depths and is highly sensitive. Not many know about his past, and outside of His Brotherhood, nothing is known about it.

Anghariel might be one of the few Archangels in existence, who suffers from PTSD after a severe traumatic event that turned him into the superficially laughing joking ‘buddy’ with the boyish grin. Still, deep inside, he considers himself ‘broken’.

I would recommend, starting to read the Council of Twelve series to find out more about these twelve powerful individuals and their consorts, their stories, and the eternal fight ‘Good vs. Evil’. You will fall in love with them all, I promise.

Soul Taker Secrets – Katie Goes South

Readers of ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series know that Katie, Guardian by trade, and Raphael’s consort loves to organize ‘family get-togethers’ where she cooks for the entire ‘Council of Twelve’ with their consorts (or at least, the ones who already have one). Now, Katie isn’t the best cook, to begin with, and her efforts are ‘unpredictable’ most of the time, to express it mildly. But her family loves her, and her friends help her as much as they can.

So it happens, that on occasion, the one or other family dinner succeeds, and Katie can be proud of her accomplishments. Those are the rare occasions she writes down the recipe and where she got it from. Like this one, for example:

Key West Chicken

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup lower-sodium tamari
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. grated orange zest plus 1/4 cup fresh juice (from 2 oranges), plus wedges for serving
  • 1 Tbsp. grated lime zest plus 2 Tbsp. fresh juice (from 3 limes), plus wedges for serving
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • ½ tsp. fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 large (1 1/2 oz.) shallot, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced (2 tsp.)
  • 4 (8-oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded 1/2-in. thick
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions

  1. Whisk together tamari, honey, orange zest, orange juice, lime zest, lime juice, oil, salt, pepper, shallot, and garlic in a large bowl. Add chicken, and toss to coat. Cover and chill until flavors meld, at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
  2. Preheat grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F). While grill preheats, remove chicken from marinade, and set chicken aside. Place marinade (about 3/4 cup) in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium-high. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1/2 cup, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Place chicken on oiled grates; grill, uncovered, turning and basting occasionally with marinade, until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of chicken registers 165°F, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a large plate; garnish with parsley, and serve with orange wedges and lime wedges.

(Source: https://www.southernliving.com/recipes/key-west-chicken)

Katie and the entire Council of Twelve with their consorts were delighted and loved this meal! Try it, and let me know how it is!

Picture courtesy of SouthernLiving.com

Soul Taker Secrets – Simin’s Birthday Surprise

It was Simin’s Birthday, and Katie had planned to surprise her with a meal. Zepheira told her about a dish containing chicken meat, fruit, and rice. That sounded wonderful, and Katie decided to cook that for the entire Council of Twelve and their consorts, including Sundance, of course. It wasn’t easy to keep Simin away, since she was, first of all, the best cook of the consorts, and also, to keep it secret from her. Zye decided to support Katie, while Sundance made sure, Simin was decently distracted, so she wouldn’t get suspicious.

It worked wonderfully, and Katie and Zepheira earned their praise for this meal. In case you feel like cooking it, here we go. Feel free to let me know how you like it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Onion, small, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoon Fresh Garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chili Flakes
  • 1 cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 cup Fresh Cream, (whipping cream)
  • 450 grams Half Shell Mussels, ( 1 pound )
  • Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
  • 1 Lemon, juice and zest
  • 1/2 cup Parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. .Melt the Butter in a large skillet (with a lid) – saute the Onion, Garlic and Chili Flakes until soft
  2. Add the White Wine and simmer until reduced by two thirds – add the Cream and simmer 2 – 3 minutes
  3. Add the Mussels and cover the skillet – over low heat, steam the Mussels until cooked – about 8 – 10 minutes
  4. Remove from heat – season to taste with Salt and Black Pepper – stir through the Lemon Juice, finely grated Zest and Parsley
  5. Serve as an appetizer with fresh, crusty bread slices

(Source: https://www.withablast.net/mussels-in-lemon-garlic-butter-sauce/ )

Soul Taker Secrets – A Rich Family Dinner

It was one of these days when Katie invited the family to an informal dinner. As usual, she had her head full of work and came home late. And here she was, panicking. We all know she’s not the best cook between Heaven and Earth, and being late and not having an enormous choice in the pantry, made her hyperventilate.

She was lucky to have Zepheira peeking in and finding her, almost in tears. Zye, helpful as ever, jumped in and found whatever was around. Together with Katie, she created a wonderful, rich dinner for The Council Of Twelve and their consorts:


Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken (a rotisserie chicken works great for this recipe)
  • 2 cans (10 ounces, each) cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) frozen broccoli florets OR 2 cups fresh steamed chopped broccoli
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add the cooked shredded chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Then add in all the remaining ingredients. Gently stir to combine mixture. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Spread out evenly. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with cooked rice or egg noodles! (we prefer the rice)

Soul Taker Secrets – Valentine’s Dinner A La Katie

Lately, we celebrated Valentine’s Day, the day for loved ones, and the ones that mean the most to us. Katie decided to have the Council Members over with their respective consorts. We know, our consorts love to cook together, but unfortunately, this year, the only one who had time to help Katie, was Simin. Sundance had to answer a call and Zepheira needed to take over a tracker class. That left our two consorts Simin and Katie with the dinner preparations.

They decided to take it easy and keep it light and served Easy Lemon Butter Fish with rice for dinner. Of course, the mandatory tiramisu followed the main course, but that goes without saying.

The ladies were complimented on their cooking, and the fish was excellent (because Simin made it). Since Katie took responsibility for the rice, it was a bit dry, but our Council members didn’t expect anything else and ate it like warriors do: without complaints or groaning.


(Of course, the Council of Twelve with consorts, is a group of 16 people… but this recipe I decided to show you for a group of four instead)

Ingredients

  • 4 good-sized firm white fish fillets, about 6 inches long, 1-inch thickness (cod, halibut, or mahi would work well.)
  • 3 TB melted butter (I use salted, but unsalted is fine)
  • Juice and zest from 1 medium lemon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus extra to taste
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • freshly chopped basil or parsley leaves, for garnish and flavor
  • extra lemon slices for serving

Instructions

  1. Use paper towels to thoroughly pat-dry excess moisture from fish fillets – this step is crucial for fish to brown nicely in pan. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine melted butter, lemon juice and zest, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt. Stir to combine well. Taste and add a bit more kosher salt, if desired.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 tsp kosher salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Evenly press spice mixture onto all sides of fish fillets.
  4. In a large, heavy pan over medium high heat, heat up the olive oil until hot. Once your oil is sizzling,  Cook 2 fish fillets at a time to avoid overcrowding (allows for even browning.) Cook each side just until fish becomes opaque, feels somewhat firm in the center, and is browned – lightly drizzle some of the lemon butter sauce as you cook, reserving the rest for serving. Take care not to over-cook, as that will result in a tougher texture. Season with extra kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  5. Serve fish with with remaining lemon butter sauce, basil or parsley, and lemon wedges.

Notes

** Be sure to use coarse kosher salt, not fine table salt. Kosher salt is much milder and less salty. ** The actual cook time varies, depending on type, cut, and starting temp of fish. Katie typically cooks about 3-4 minutes per side. She checks for doneness by lightly pressing fillet centers for firmness. Once it feels somewhat firm, it’s usually done. ** She served it with white lemon rice with parsley.

Picture courtesy of ‘Chew Out Loud’. Full link below

(Recipe Source: https://www.chewoutloud.com/easy-lemon-butter-fish-15-minutes/)

Soul Taker Secrets – Exotic Salad For Busy Council Members

In the past ‘Soul Taker Secret’ posts, we learned that Katie loves cooking, not only for Raphael but all Council members with their consorts. Now, Katie is an enthusiastic cook, but not a particularly good one, even though she made progress by constant learning and her consort friends’ help.

With the help of her ‘sisters,’ Katie developed an exotic salad for the busy members of the ‘Council of Twelve.’

I heard they all loved it – and so do I.


Ingredients:

  – 1 1/3 cups brown rice

  – 5.29 ounces salmon (steamed)

-   2 slices fresh pineapple

-   1 mozzarella (ball)

 – 1 bunch fresh thyme

 – grated lemon peel (as needed)

 – salt

  – ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Cook the rice in a stockpot full of boiling salted water for approximately 45 to 50 minutes.
  2. Drain the rice and allow it to cool.
  3. While the rice cools, prepare the dressing by steaming the salmon with lemon peel and thyme.
  4. Cook the salmon for approximately 10 minutes, let it cool slightly, then break it up delicately into small pieces.
  5. Next cut up the mozzarella into cubes and place it on a paper towel for 10 minutes.
  6. Peel the pineapple and cut two slices into small cubes.
  7. Plate the salad by placing the cooled rice in a large bowl, add the salmon pieces, the diced mozzarella and pineapple, some grated lemon peel, salt and pepper to taste, and the fresh thyme.
  8. Refrigerate the salad for a few hours before serving.

Picture courtesy of: Yummly.com

(Source: https://www.yummly.com/recipe/Exotic-Salmon_-Mozzarella_-and-Pineapple-Salad-632343)

Soul Taker Secrets – An Angelic Dish

Katie and her consort-sisters grew. They developed as a group, as a family, as strong independent powerful women.

While in the beginning, the ‘Council of Twelve’ mainly was that, a ‘council,’ the members of ‘the brotherhood’ how they called it, merely met when they had a problem to solve, work out together, regroup the troops, or some other business challenge coming up. Rarely did they meet just for fun. Of course, when you’re a brotherhood of a dozen enormously strong creatures working together, you start knowing each other. However, they barely met anywhere else than in the Great Hall, the arena, or a battlefield.

Once Katie and Raphael fell in love, the entire Council met for dinner once a month in their house. Katie was known as one of the most incapable chefs of all times, but not even one council member had the heart (or the guts) to tell her that. She knew she wasn’t that good a cook and got herself help and support. But she constantly learned. Not even Sundance could help much. Sundance was a warrior and usually ate either in the warrior common dining hall or cooked for herself. Her kitchen knowledge was limited to mostly oatmeal, coffee, or cereal.

With Zepheira and Simin, two more consorts showed up, and their knowledge and willingness to learn made the monthly meetings much more enjoyable.

The longer the consorts knew each other, the closer their connection was. They started to open up to all council members. Even though they seemed intimidating at first, the consorts included them in their circles, and the ‘brotherhood’ slowly turned into a family—a family who deeply cared for each other. The Great Hall was not only for the Council Meetings anymore, but the consorts often gathered there with the council members to support a crisis.

In an earlier blog post, we learned about the favorite ‘Council of Twelve’ dessert.

Today we find out that the Great Hall does have a small kitchen attached. In case of a crisis, it was much easier to whip something up right there than cooking in one of the houses and carrying the food for sixteen people over.

They stocked the kitchen with long-lasting nutrition, such as cereal, the ingredients for oatmeal, coffee, tea, dried ice tea concentrate, rice, dried mushrooms, raisins, nuts,  cinnamon, pasta, and vegetable and fruit cans.

Our consorts found out pretty quickly that it was easy to ‘whip up’ some oatmeal and that all council members loved it. Occasionally, if there was plenty of time, one of the consorts decided to get some fresh fruit to pimp it up a bit.

Let’s see how Katie’s basic oatmeal recipe looks like.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (such as Quaker Oats Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Desired toppings (such as sliced almonds, peanut butter, or fresh fruit)

How to Make It

Step 1

Combine oats, milk, water, salt, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.

Step 2

Simmer uncovered for 3 to 5 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Step 3

Divide equally between two bowls. Drizzle each serving with 1/2 teaspoon honey. Add additional desired toppings and serve.

Chef’s Notes

For dairy-free oatmeal, substitute your favorite nut milk. 

(Source: The Only Basic Oatmeal Recipe You’ll Ever Need | Cooking Light)

Soul Taker Secrets – Who Would I Cast For My Female Characters? (I)

In August 2019 I published a post about a group of actors who I would pick for my ‘Council Of Twelve’ characters. At that time the only known consort was Katie, who I included in the list.

Today, May 2021, almost two years later, four books are published, and even though I introduced three consorts to the readers, there are couple more characters in these books, who I’d like to turn into a known face.

Let’s see, why not introducing the characters by book?

Soul Taker

Katie – Arielle Kebbel
Aylah, Katie’s warrior friend – Chloe Grace Moretz

Sundance

Sundance – Lucy Hale
Bluerose – Millie Bobby Brown

Demon Tracker

Zepheira – Gemma Arterton

Bounty Hunter

Simin Arnatt – Ashley Greene

I know, compared to the other post, where I tried to find actors for ‘The Council of Twelve’, I had a few characters more than here. But with the growth of the series, I promise, I will extend this list. (And you never know, I might exchange the one or other actress or actor. We will see.

If you read the book, do you have any better suggestions? Fire away here in the comments. I’m prepared!

The Council Of Twelve Series – Picking Fashion For My Female Characters I

Today I decided to dress my ladies.

The Council of Twelve series has four books out now. And my female characters are three wonderful, beautiful, and completely different ladies. The ones of you who have read the books know what I’m talking about. Now, in all of my books, the characters’ wardrobe is playing only a minor role. None of my characters has an extended closet and mainly dresses for work or dresses up for a formal occasion.

Naturally, the characters have different tastes and styles to dress. Of course, we cannot forget Teddy, but if you would like to know who that is, please read the books, Teddy is hard to describe, and it certainly needs more than only one paragraph.

Let’s have a look at Katie. She’s a Guardian and therefore can relax a bit in the way she dresses. She tells herself she mainly likes to be comfortable, and those are two of her favorite outfits.

 

Picture courtesy of Google.com

Picture courtesy of Google.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a formal occasion, Katie can dress up in an official robe and look stunning in this turquoise gown:

Picture courtesy of Google.com


Sundance is an essential leading character in ‘The Council of Twelve’ series. Even though as young as she is, she is an exceptional warrior and therefore dressed accordingly. (Most of the time).

Picture courtesy of Google.com

Picture courtesy of Google.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a protege of the ‘Council’ members and, in particular, the Council leader, she already has official tasks and duties to fulfill, and a formal dress for her can look like this:

Picture courtesy of Google.com


The consort in book three, Demon Tracker, is Zepheira. Her unusual looks, her horns, her unique character and behavior, and her extraordinary abilities make her one of my many reader’s favorite characters in the books. She permits herself to dress in an extravagant style and can easily allow herself that freedom.

Picture courtesy of Google.com

Picture courtesy of Google.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But even to Zye, how she’s called by her friends and family, formal means formal, and her consort insist on the traditional way in such a case. That doesn’t mean Zepheira always follows all the rules. A tiny sexy detail would be just like her… Dressed for an official occasion for Zepheira could look like that:

Picture courtesy of Google.com


Authors: Do you dress your characters in your books? Is the outfit for you important, and do you spend pages describing it? Do you imagine how your characters look and are dressed? Let me hear it.

Readers: Do you want to read about the outfits your characters are wearing? Or is it sometimes too much for you?

I’d be happy to read your comments.

The Council Of Twelve Series – What Should Be Next?

The Council of Twelve series so far includes the first three books in the series.

You can find them here:

Katie is the sweetest angel we can imagine, a fantastic consort, emotionally stable, and still responsible, helpful, and caring. She’s Raphael’s perfect second half.

Sundance is the second female angel we meet in the series. She’s an exceptional angel in many ways, the first warrior angel in three centuries, she is blessed with many gifts and talented beyond her young age.

Zepheira is a strong-willed, stubborn woman, so far the fiercest female character in the series. As a half-angel, she is a raw diamond, and due to her nature, the only one holding Uriel’s fire.

During the entire series, we will recognize recurring characters and meeting new ones; in particular, are we going to meet ‘The Council of Twelve,’ including the twelve most powerful individuals existing, each one of them holding unique talents and powers.

Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, Uriel, Benadrel, Zachariel, Deonur, Tsechirel, Santanael, Centriel, Anghariel, and Simael.

The fight Good vs. Evil is present within each book, the tension climbs higher with each story.

In your opinion, what should happen next? Tell me in the comment. If you have an idea, want to write a short story that you think might fit the series, write it, please and send it to me: aurorajean.alexander@aol.com. Write ‘The Council of Twelve series on Writer’s Treasure Chest’ in the subject line.

I look forward to your emails.