Friday, April 22, 2016

S is for Syd: Blogging the #AtoZchallenge

Meet My Imaginary Friends: Syd Jupiter

Syd Jupiter is a complete mystery. He is a huge half-Creole, former NFL football player from New Orleans. He is also a convicted killer who spent fifteen years in prison for shooting his brother-in-law, Raven Silver. Now on parole, Syd has returned to Hathor, the island estate his fifteen year old daughter has inherited upon the death of her great-grandfather. As he tries to adjust to life outside of prison, being a father, and managing his daughter's considerable fortune, he discovers that Storm Watson, a muckraking journalist, is trying to stir up trouble. In this excerpt from Depraved Heart: A Novel, Syd decides to pay Watson a visit.

As Storm entered his office he realized that the reason for the darkness was the size of the man who stood, his back to the room, gazing out the window. He was close to a foot taller than Watson and twice as wide.
Can I help you?” Watson asked.
The man turned slowly, swept him with dark blue eyes, and in a quiet, lightly-accented voice said, “I thought perhaps it was I who could help you.”
Watson’s knees went weak. “Syd Jupiter,” he stammered.
Syd extended his hand and said, “How do you do.”
Nobody, Watson thought, said ‘how do you do’ anymore. But he extended his hand and watched it disappear into the enormous hand that closed around it.
What do you want?” Watson asked.
Syd seated himself in the solitary chrome and faux-leather chair across from the desk, crossed his long legs, and folded his hands on his thigh. Watson placed his Dunkin Donuts styrofoam cup on his desk and scurried into the chair behind it. Jupiter wore a perfectly tailored dove-gray silk suit with a dark gray shirt and an exceptionally expensive looking wine-colored tie. That tie, Watson thought, probably cost more than everything he himself wore, including his shoes. His annoyance grew proportionally.
I asked what you want.”
Syd raised one heavy black eyebrow. “I think it is more a matter of what you want. Since you seem so interested in my life and that of my family, I thought I’d drop by and provide you with the opportunity to ask any questions you might have. Perhaps I can spare you hours of idle speculation.”
Watson shifted uncomfortably. “You read my blog. I guess I should be flattered.”
I read everything my lawyers forward to me.”
Watson opened his mouth, but his voice seemed to have disappeared.
If you want to write about us, perhaps you would like to get the facts rather than indulge in fantasy.”
Hey, I have a right to ask any questions I want to ask.”
You most certainly do. Which is why I am here to answer them.”
Okay, answer this then. Why the hell did Old Man Ravenscroft leave a multi-billion dollar estate to the man who murdered his only grandson?”
Much to Watson’s disappointment, Jupiter didn’t bat an eye.
Once both of his grandchildren were gone and he had only his great-granddaughter as an heir, he decided that the most prudent thing to do would be to leave the estate in the control of the person who loved Anjelica the most.”
That doesn’t make sense. He knew you had another ten years to serve in prison. Why would he put a prison inmate in charge of billions?”
Syd kept his gaze level and direct and did not betray even a hint of emotion. “He knew I was due to be paroled and that my conduct in prison had been exemplary. If it had been in his power I would have been paroled years earlier.”
Do you think I believe that? You killed his only grandson.”
I’m not proud of what happened that night, but Grandfather Ravenscroft knew it was an accident, and once he recovered from the grief, we were able to reconcile and make amends.” Jupiter raised his eyebrows. “I wouldn’t expect you to understand.”
Watson closed his mouth. He knew there was an insult in that but he wasn’t quite sure what the nature of it was.


  1. The variety and backgrounds of all the characters in these blogs is really fun to read about.

  2. Bloggers. Always stirring up trouble... :D

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    The Multicolored Diary

  3. I like that he actually went up to the guy and said "perhaps you would like to get the facts rather than indulge in fantasy." Happy Friday!! :D

  4. Hi Kathleen!

    I love this excerpt! Very well done. I got a cold chill when I was reading it. I would NOT want to be in Watson's shoes.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and reading! Enjoy the rest of the challenge :)


  5. Thanks for all the visits and kind comments. Syd doesn't back down from anything. He's one of my favorite characters.

  6. Syd is a fascinating character. Prison seems to have honed his character into a compact essence. Fine writing. :-)

  7. That was an interesting encounter between Syd and Watson. I'm curious about the scene between Syd and Grandfather Ravenscroft. That has to be emotionally charged.

  8. Roland, you are correct but as you get to know his background you see more of how he came to be who he is.

    Yes, Lee, Syd and Grandfather Ravenscroft have an interesting relationship. Ravenscroft is a smart and perceptive man and he has long been disappointed that his two grandchildren were so irresponsible so when his granddaughter married Syd he finally had the heir he wanted.

  9. Wow - that's some character you've created!

    Susan A Eames from
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

  10. That's an interesting familial connection. I'm sure it makes sense in the story.

  11. This is another good scene. I have purchased Depraved Heart, The Old Mermaid's Tale and Each Angel Burns in the collection series. When I start reading your books, I think I will start with Depraved Heart. I like your half Creole character and would like to know how you developed him.

    Visiting from the A to Z Blog Challenge.

    Patricia @ EverythingMustChange

  12. You had me at half-Creole and former NFL player! :)

    Michele at Angels Bark

  13. Thank you for all the kind comments. Syd is a very, very extraordinary man. I would fall in love with him in a heartbeat.

  14. I like the way Watson tried to stand up to Syd. False bravado indeed.

  15. Poor Storm got more than he bargained for.

  16. Storm may have bit off more than one can chew

  17. Yep, Watson made a bad decision messing with Syd's family.

  18. Glad their lives are more complicated than mine! Phew! What a tangled tale...Maui Jungalow

  19. You create the most diverse and interesting characters!

  20. Hi Kathleen, love the name Syd... And again, a fabulous blog. I'm off to explore your books on Amazon now. Catch up soon, Caz at @CazsBooks

  21. Seems like Syd is a very straight forward kind of person who looks at problems head on. Hope it turns out okay for him.
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

  22. Have no fear, Tasha, Syd knows how to handle things.


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