Ari and Janco are back. Janco has tackled and manacled Yelena, grumpy that she gave them the slip all day.  Yelena meets their captain and Nix, two more potential troublemakers.

This chapter, Yelena also gets an assignment from the Commander.  He’s acknowledged her intelligence and has gone beyond thinking of her as just the food taster.  Doing research about the mystery pods and beans, also gives her an excuse to look for more information about magic.

With all these troubles mounting for Yelena, I’d thought the poor girl needed some friends besides Rand.  And that’s where Ari and Janco become more than the guys in the woods.

Ari and Janco are opposites, both in appearance and personality, but they’ve been friends forever (or so it seems).  They started out as the stereotypical solider buddies who add humor to tense situations. I remember watching the original Battlestar Galactica back when Lorne Greene, Richard Hatch, Dirk Benedict, and Rick Springfield were in it! (yes, I know I’m dating myself – here’s a link:  The relationship between Apollo and Starbuck always resonated with me – I longed for a friend like that and that is probably the spark for Ari and Janco.

However, Ari and Janco deepened beyond the stereotype.  Ari morphed into more of an older brother toward Yelena and is the “smart one.”  The logical voice of reason to counter Janco’s irreverent flippant demeanor.  Ari is the older brother I wish I had.  I didn’t have any brothers, but when I was bullied in middle school, I imagined I had an older brother who was built like a football player.  He’d be sweet to me, but if anyone picked on me, he’d pound them into the ground.  This character type is in all my books (Belen, Cog, Nic).  I can’t help it.

Another bonus with Yelena making friends with Ari and Janco is that they can also teach her how to defend herself.

I think it’s very important for all woman to learn how to defend themselves.  I grew up in Philadelphia and my neighborhood wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t the safest either and I had a couple scares over the years.  I started learning karate in high school and enjoyed the self-defense sessions the most—they were practical and useful. I quickly learned that I wasn’t going to be able to exchange blows with a male opponent. Guys are strong and one good punch can do a lot of damage. Real street fights are NOTHING like the movies and TV.  As my karate instructor always said, “Hit and git.”

Question 16 - How many lives has Poison Study saved?

Don't answer this question in the comments!! This is another chance to win! There will be 31 questions for each chapter note published. Collect the answers to ALL the questions (or your best guess) and then enter to win a T-shirt at the end of the month (I'll post the Rafflecopter on the 31st).


  1. I just love books with strong females and that is one of the reasons I love your books soooo much and I also do karate as well so I understand what you mean when you read fighting that would just never happen.


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