It’s An Internet Thing

Time to get critical. Use these questions to explore the less-than-lovely aspects of your character. Even the most heroic of protagonists have a couple of skeletons in their closet.

• What’s the worst thing you’ve ever wished on somebody (and who was it)?

Wade: A slow death. No names.

Mac: Oh, I wanted to kill him fast and party on his corpse.

Wade: Same person.

Mac: There were two, but you know which one. Personal grudge.

Wade: Grudge? Interesting take.

• When was the last time you lied? What made you do it?

Mac: I prefer not to lie.

Wade: Nah, you just stop talking.

Mac: That’s brilliant, coming from you. When was the last time you lied?

Wade: It’s an ongoing part of my life.

• Is there somebody you haven’t been able to forgive? What did they do? Do you want to forgive them?

Wade: There are whole groups of people, and they started the lies. There is no ‘forgive’.

Mac: I understand why they did what they did. I have no remorse, but trust is another thing. It’s not earned easily.

• Can you lie easily?

Wade: (laughs)

Mac: When it’s necessary.

• Do you handle rejection well?

Wade: I don’t know.

Mac: I suppose, I mean, what choice is there?

• Have you ever done something illegal?

Wade: I’ll have to refer you to my lawyer.

Mac: Define ‘illegal’.

• Are you more likely to ask for permission or forgiveness?

Wade: Forgiveness.

Mac: Permission.

Wade: I knew that.

Mac: Shut up.

• What terrible thing have you done that you never thought you would do?

Wade: It’s not that I didn’t think I could, but if I would. The answer is yes. If you are my enemy, if you threaten my home, I’ll hunt you down.

Mac: I couldn’t do the things Wade has done.

• What criticism would your worst enemy make of you, that you secretly agree with?

Wade: That I’m just like him. He was right.

Mac: We can’t stay hidden forever. He proved it, and here we are.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Vista is on sale for 99c, but only until Apr 9! Backlash is always 99c. Check them out now.

Outliers Pre Order & WeWriWa

First the WeWriWa! Click on the pic for more blogs about writing and books!

wewriwahttps://wewriwa.blogspot.com/

 

There’s so much new stuff in WordPress, please forgive the mess this post will be. This is the opening of Outliers, which I’m sure you’ve noticed is on pre-order now.

 * * * * * * * * * 

~I see you.~

Shannon had a bird’s-eye view of the Junction, a deadly place when the snow melted and nomads moved. Once, when there were many people, they traveled these crossroads by the thousands, to cities that held millions. Before she was born, when a World War changed everything.

Even humans.

The memory was like a nightmare, but this one was something she could manipulate and control. There was no danger. She needed to learn what they had concealed from her when she nearly died there, two years ago.

  * * * * * * * * * 

That’s it. This one if full of head games and hints of future novels and the previous trilogy. I hope it’s entertaining. It certainly kept me up many hours. On to the promo!

 

 

Outliers_promo_2a

Pre-Order now for 99¢!
Outliers: Team Two A Wildblood Novella
 
Welcome to the world of The Wildblood.
Trust is dangerous; ignorance is deadly.
 
A generation after World War Last, children of the survivors struggle to overcome the all-too-human penchant to fight with each other. The only thing more dangerous than the people you don’t know are the people you know.
Outliers: Team Two – the newly formed Team Two attempt to hide the secrets of The Vista and its Altered, the genetically enhanced humans, while remaining loyal to the oaths they swore to protect their home. The Vista is no longer alone in the world, and the world is a complicated place.
 
* * * * *
 
The Wildblood Trilogy Onewww.topaz08.com
The Vista, Renegades & Bloodlines
No one remembers what started the war, the big one. Civilization stopped, and what came next was fueled by rage and fear.
 
Twenty years on, a tiny refuge, a place called The Vista, may be one of the last vestiges of humanity. Isolated, guarded, and hiding a dark secret, the people have survived World War Last, and they are content with that. Their children, however, are not. The search for others will send them out into a world they know nothing about, where the line between enemy and ally is blurred.
 
All are available in paperback and eBookswww.topaz08.com

WeWriWa 02/23/2020

wewriwa

New snippets every weekend – pop on over to find them!  Snippet Sunday has another group of amazing authors as well.  Enjoy!

You know what happened in The Wildblood: Trilogy One, but what are the stories you don’t know? Outliers explores parts of The Wildblood world kept hidden, the stories yet to be told.

A generation after World War 3, children of the survivors struggle to overcome the all-too-human penchant to fight with each other. The only thing more dangerous than the people you don’t know, are the people you do know.

The first book follows former members of Teams Two and Three as they attempt to protect the secrets of The Vista and its Altered, the genetically engineer humans, while remaining loyal to the oaths they swore to protect their home. The Vista is no longer alone in the world, and the world is a complicated place.

This novel is a segue between The Wildblood: Trilogy One and the upcoming stand-alone novels.

For this week, we listen in on a conversation between Capt. Shannon Allen (the Altered one), and Maj. Mick Ballentyne (not his real name!)  They are about to attempt to break into a sealed Security cache that hides an old military facility.  No, they don’t have permission from anyone.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“You’ll think I’m making it up, if I tell you,” Shan answered, “because I can hear it.”

The idea of synesthesia was nothing new to him, and it was apparently prevalent among the Altered.

“You’ve seen me out at night, watching meteor showers when they have star-gazing parties in the park – I hear them as well as I see them and I can hear Rock Creek as clearly as any of us can see it, especially once we get clear of the ridge.”

“Can you hear other places?”

“Not all, or even most, but when we were staying in Estes Park, we flew in closer to Rocky Flats, and that was a whole new experience.”

“Why would you want to be close to that particular place?” he wondered.

“The point is, a few places have a particular sound and that one is null, like all the sound waves got absorbed by the blast.”

“Not to mention dangerous and possibly radioactive.”

“It was neither.”

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Because you’re this far, a sneak peek at a possible cover for Outliers.  Now I need a tagline, an ending, an editing (or 4), minor stuff like that.  The graphic is a link to my website, where you can find all my books currently available.

newcover220_01f_halfsized

WeWriWa 02/02/2020

First – check out the blog!  Writers hang out here, and show off snippets to some wonderful books.

wewriwa

I’ve been out quite a few weeks, trying to get some writing done.  I plan to have 2 and maybe 3 new releases in the 2nd half of the year.  This is from Outliers, which is a working title for the segue into another Wildblood series.  While the first trilogy books aren’t stand-alones, I plan on making future ones exactly that.  It’s a plan, we’ll see how it works out.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

You know what happened in The Wildblood: Trilogy One, but what are the stories you don’t know? Outliers explores parts of The Wildblood world kept hidden, the stories yet to be told.

A generation after World War 3, children of the survivors struggle to overcome the all-too-human penchant to fight with each other. The only thing more dangerous than the people you don’t know, are the people you do know.

The first book explores Capt. Shannon Allen and Capt. Damon Green’s efforts to protect the secrets of The Vista and its Altered, the genetically engineer humans, while remaining loyal to the oaths they swore to protect their home. The Vista is no longer alone in the world, and the world is a complicated place.

This novel is a segue between The Wildblood: Trilogy One and the upcoming stand-alone novels.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I met someone, both of his parents were Altered – he might be an ally and despite that, he scares me.  It’s a fairly simple thing for me to sense other Altered, the ability has changed too, but that isn’t the part of this that’s bad. When I ‘see’ him like that, it’s different,” Shan remembered the encounters.

Green knew who she meant, even if he wasn’t supposed to; he also knew very few things scared her. “You can’t sense him.”

It’s almost the opposite, like staring at the sun – he blots out everything else, and when I look away, the afterimage is still there, for a long time. It hurts.”

You?” he said, alarmed.

I get a blazing migraine, it fades, with the afterimage and I’ve only tread that ground twice. Honestly, Damon,” she dropped her voice to a whisper, “I’m afraid, if I tried any extended contact with him, it would kill me, or fry my brain – something painful, and permanent.”

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Excuse the creative punctuation.  First draft also, but at least it’s progress.  The graphic leads to my website, FYI.  You can find the trilogy there, in single books and a box set; the prequel novella, and sneak peeks at other upcoming projects.  Thanks for stopping by.

duo_2b

09/08/19 WeWriWa

wewriwa

Another week, another 10 sentences.  Seems about my speed of writing lately.  Weirdly enough, there are 3 stories floating around waiting to get typed out.  Watching Carnival Row has made me want to write a story about the fae, too.  I know nothing about them, and if a real plotline starts, I’m afraid I’ll be in for weeks of research.  That’s how I roll.  (PS – my kids told me to never say that again.  It’s not cool.)

Oh, heck!  Check out the WeWriWa page (follow the graphic)!  There are always entertaining snippets to be found.  Snippet Sunday too.  Here’s the C&P blurb.  I need to write a real one, but those are just hideous to deal with.  So, this.

 * * * * *

This is a bit from a WIP Wildblood book yet to be named.  It follows after the trilogy, but is a stand alone novel.

The Gen En Shannon Allen, has sworn to protect her home.  After recent tragedies, she is more determined than ever to discover the secrets kept from her all her life.  Her kind, the genetically enhanced, the Altered, are being hunted, they have been since World War Last.  Venturing out into the post-apocalyptic world is dangerous.  Ignoring the truth about the Altered could be deadly.

Shannon is have a discussion, off the record, with her superior officers, determined not to show her human side, not to let them pull up tell-tale emotions.

* * * * *

Did you kill Vance?” Haines asked bluntly.

No.”

Did Cmdr. Wade?”

Has it occurred to you, the same group that ambushed us might have been fleeing Estes Park for a reason – Vance being that reason?” Shan put to them.

And you just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?” Cameron added. He didn’t want to think Wade might have done it, but he knew it was possible.

It wouldn’t be the first time,” she said.

You’re very nonchalant about this, Capt. Allen,” Haines pointed out.

It’s actually the opposite of that, Chairman Haines. Six days ago, everything in my world stopped.”

 * * * * *

So, there it is.  Working title is Outliers: A Wildblood Novel(la?).  The stories between the other stories.  It might get another name, or a number later, I’ll worry about that when it’s time to find an editor.  At the front of the line, right now; Tau Scorpii is here, and Cascadia.  Plus, if you see someone sneaking around Pinterest looking at fae art, it’s not me!

A promo.  The Vista is on sale this month.  I may actually get to move this year, so there is no set timeline now.  This is my life.  No set schedule.  I don’t mind.

99cSept_1

WeWriWa 02/24/19

Another week, seeing some progress this time.  I’m certain the other authors you can catch snippets from at WeWriWa & Snippet Sunday are posting some fantastic sneak peeks at their work – go check it out!

wewriwa

Tau Scorpii

When Taryn rescues another human from a marauding band of Caeruleum, she is reunited with clansmen long believed dead. It puts her at odds with their new chieftan, as well as her own partner, a powerful privateer. They discover, they have a more imminent problem, and must unite to survive.

The weather is changing. They’ll have to fight other species for control as migrations begin, food becomes scarce, and border wars erupt across the territories. Humans are no longer at the top of the food chain.

Tau Scorpii A, a massive red giant star in a binary cluster with Tau Scorpii B, a yellow dwarf. The solar system is populated by more than thirty planets, at least one habitable. Called Sedna by the SolTerrans that live there, named for a planet in their ancestral system. The desert is a dangerous place for alien species – and on Sedna, they’re all alien species.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Let’s rejoin Taryn, Garrett & Asher as they discuss the finer points of venturing out into the desert.  Each has a different motive, and is aware it’s not a secret.  Finding that middle ground to stand on isn’t a simple thing to accomplish.  The bad news – this is the easy part.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’m standing right here, and if you can’t discuss this with me, now, I’m not going to venture out into the desert, to be ignored.  Is it because I’m female, or because I’m clan Tycho Alles?” She had her hands on her hips, to the amusement of both men, even if neither would admit to it.

Asher waited a moment, then added, “Two of his warlords are Tycho Alles.”

I know,” she snapped at him.

Asher shrugged, leaving Garrett on his own.

Garrett considered it, being out in the Far Desert with her, and a rowdy band of warriors; some would be Asher’s men, others were his. She’d be in no danger from any of them, due in part to the fact Skye would kill anyone that looked sideways at her, clan affiliations or not. He suspected she could handle most situations, even without Skye, and their dual run-ins with the Caerule enforced that thought.

Because you’re female,” he told her.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Well, then.  Garrett certainly knows how to get on her good side.  Since this is a love story folded into a sci-fi, next week might be some mushy stuff, but that’s been my plan all along!

The Wildblood series – or at least this story arc – is finally complete.  Naturally, I’ll be releasing a box set this summer, after I get moved.  (No one mentioned how difficult it is to find the house you really want!)  All three novels and the novella are available in eBook and paperback.  If you’d like to join my newsletter, I will be having a contest for signed books, after The Move.  Follow the graphic to my site.

WeWriWa 12/16/18

While I’ve got you here – check out the WeWriWa blog & Snippet Sunday page for a whole batch of amazing authors, willing to share stories with you.

wewriwa

Great!  With the upcoming release of Bloodlines: Book 3 of The Wildblood, I’m rolling it back to grab a snippet from Backlash, the prequel novella.  In this scene, Shannon’s training officer has just asked her what she thinks about the world outside The Vista, knowing full-well, it’s a loaded question.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

  “I think there’s more to the world than just us. I think our parents have forgotten that.” Barely seventeen, she had a lot of opinions. Being very smart as well, Shannon was aware not all of those opinions would pan out to be correct. “Someday,” she said, throwing her pack in the back seat and taking the opportunity to stretch. “Some of us should go find out. Unofficially, if we have to.” Tall for a girl, she was lithe and more than pretty; dark hair, fair-skinned with eyes that looked green and occasionally gray. Any day she was on-duty, she carried a pair of Sig Sauer 9mms, left hip and right shoulder.

Are you going to bring that up to Security Command?” Ballentyne wondered, amused.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Of course, things get more and more complicated from there.  I’m expecting a release date the first half of January, unless all my editors & readers get back with me, like tomorrow.  Anyway.  Backlash is free, The Vista & Renegades are 99c each, through the end of the year.  Naturally, I’d love reviews if you’ve read them.  Promo below.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Wildblood Series

Twenty years after civilization stopped, a tiny refuge, a place called The Vista, may be one of the last vestiges of humanity. Isolated, guarded, and hiding a dark secret, the people have survived World War Last, and they are content with that. Their children, however, are not. The search for others will send them out into a land they know nothing about, where the line between enemy and ally is blurred.

The Vista: Book 1 of The Wildblood
What would you do, to protect your home?
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00W6R8WNM
Renegades: Book 2 of The Wildblood
Uncontrollable. Unpredictable. Dangerous. The Wildblood.
Now, Team Three know what they are.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LYNY774
Before Team Three, there was The Blackout.
Backlash, prequel to The Wildblood 
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0104VMFI4
Bloodlines: Book 3 of The Wildblood coming soon! Catch up on the series now.
Learning the truth about the Altered, and the legacy of The Vista, is the first priority of Team Three. It may earn them exile from their home. They know this. Failure is not an option.

All are available in paperback and eBooks – http://www.topaz08.com

WeWriWa 12/02/18

WeWriWa and Snippet Sunday – check them out if you like books.  You won’t be sorry.

wewriwa

Holy cow, Batman, did that week fly by.  The bad news is – there are parts of Tau Scorpii I won’t share on the blog, and that’s where I am right now.  The good news – it’s moving right along.  So, this week is a snippet from Bloodlines, currently out with an editor.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Wildblood – No one remembers what started the war, the big one. Civilization stopped, and what came next was fueled by rage and fear.

Twenty years on, a tiny refuge, a place called The Vista, may be one of the last vestiges of humanity. Isolated, guarded, and hiding a dark secret, the people have survived World War Last, and they are content with that. Their children, however, are not. The search for others will send them out into a world they know nothing about, where the line between enemy and ally is blurred.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This is Hunter and Shannon, having a conversation.  All hell is about to break loose.  He’s always suspected the secrets of Team Three and the Altered were darker than anyone cared to admit.  The team has gotten themselves exiled from The Vista because of their refusal to cooperate with Council.  Things are about to get even more complicated than they were.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Everyone has goals, it’s not a bad thing,” Hunter said.

I agree, as long as the Altered status in The Vista isn’t at risk.”

Do you think it is?”

You saw how Council was. I wanted to tell them, but I won’t, I can’t. They need to go on thinking . . .” Shan trailed off, never having said it, to anyone.

“Thinking what, tell them what?” Hunter asked.

She shook her head.

You said that you wished everyone knew they were like you – is it true?”

Torn, Shan didn’t want to answer, knowing he wouldn’t give up without one. “Not in the way you think.” 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Yikes!  I really hope I wrap this up as well as I want.  Its been interesting.  I can’t swear I won’t wander back to this world at some point.  For now, Tau Scorpii is next.  Then, who knows?  Gratuitous promo next.  The books are mostly on sale for now.  They won’t be, when I release Bloodlines, FYI.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Backlash, prequel to The Wildblood
Before Team Three, there was The Blackout.

Free in most areas (sorry, Amazon does what it wants).
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
The Vista: Book 1 of The Wildblood
What would you do, to protect your home?

99¢ !!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
Renegades: Book 2 of The Wildblood
Uncontrollable. Unpredictable. Dangerous. The Wildblood. Now, Team Three know what they are.

99¢ !!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Bloodlines:Book 3 of The Wildblood
Failure is not an option.
Coming Soon!
http://www.topaz08.com/Bloodlines.html

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Other eBook and paperback retailers – 
http://www.topaz08.com

Holiday Promo – The Wildblood

Happy Holidays to anyone celebrating this week, and to everyone else, have a safe & enjoyable time!  Tau Scorpii is in progress, Bloodlines is in edits.  Wish me luck.  While the covers are done, blurbs and such are not.  Fun times!  

 

The WildbloodNo one remembers what started the war, the big one. Civilization stopped, and what came next was fueled by rage and fear.

Twenty years on, a tiny refuge, a place called The Vista, may be one of the last vestiges of humanity. Isolated, guarded, and hiding a dark secret, the people have survived World War Last, and they are content with that. Their children, however, are not. The search for others will send them out into a world they know nothing about, where the line between enemy and ally is blurred.

The Vista: Book 1 of The Wildblood

What happens, after the end of civilization?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00W6R8WNM

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-vista

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1012282167

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-vista-s-a-hoag/1126903613

https://www.books2read.com/u/3nkaPm

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/686260

http://www.topaz08.com/TheVista.html

Renegades: Book 2 of The Wildblood
Uncontrollable. Unpredictable. Dangerous. The Wildblood.
Now, Team Three know what they are.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LYNY774

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/renegades-15

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1162143226

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/renegades-s-a-hoag/1126903604

https://www.books2read.com/u/bzpepn

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/686275

http://www.topaz08.com/Renegades.html

Bloodlines:Book 3 of The Wildblood

Failure is not an option.

Coming Soon!

http://www.topaz08.com/Bloodlines.html

Asphalt road and dark storm clouds over it

Before Team Three, there was The Blackout.
Backlash, prequel to The Wildblood.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0104VMFI4

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/backlash-39

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1012444527

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/backlash-s-a-hoag/1127070486

https://www.books2read.com/u/3JBdB3

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/686270

http://www.topaz08.com/Backlash.html


All are available in paperback and eBooks www.topaz08.com

Excerpt (Backlash: Prequel to The WIldblood)

“Shannon,” her radio crackled static, snapping her out of a restless sleep. It was Wade on his private channel.

“Go ahead,” she answered groggily. Her watch read 9:30 pm and she was supposed to go on duty at 2:00 am. An hour – she’d been asleep an hour.

“Gear up. I’ll be there in five minutes to get you.”

“What’s going on?” she wondered, rubbing her eyes.

“Don’t ask, just do.”

He didn’t sound like they might be playing wargames. Shan moved.

Her mother was in the kitchen. Deirdre Allen was five foot three, with pale blond hair, hazel eyes, and was one of The Vista’s actual doctors. She’d been twenty-nine when civilization ended. “The hospital just called me in,” she announced. “Are you on-call?”

“I am now. Wade didn’t tell me why.”

“War games?”

“No,” Shan told her. “Not this time. I know you don’t like carrying, but I think this is serious. Take a sidearm, Mom, please.”

Deirdre nodded. “For your peace of mind I will.” She knew how to use it; she’d been forced to in the past and hoped she never would again. “Whatever it is, be careful.”

“I am, and Wade wouldn’t let me get away with anything else.”

She hugged her. “I mean it.”

“I’ll see you in the morning,” Shan said, hearing a car. “That’s Wade. If he tells me it’s practice, I’ll let you know.” She didn’t think it was likely, but he’d fooled her before.

The moment she dropped into the passenger seat, she knew it was real. “Can you tell me now?” She’d dressed in winter camos with body armor, both Sigs and a boot gun, clips in all her pockets, plus an array of knives. Her pack held spare ammo, food rations and various bits of survival equipment.

He glanced sideways at her, heading towards Station Two with a purpose. “We lost a Scout at Wisdom about an hour ago.”

“Lost?” she repeated, not expecting it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

#8Sunday 07/16/17 WeWriWa

The WeWriwa page. Check it out. I find a lot of new books here!


shade

I missed a week, sorry about that. Writing. You know how that goes.

This is a bit further into the book, where Team Three are meeting people they weren’t even certain were real. Urban legends make the rounds, even after WW3. You’ve heard that saying – Be careful what you wish for. Not a final draft, so subject to revisions. Or, the dreaded ‘Delete’ button, if it really annoys me. So far, so good.

Bloodlines: Book 3 of The Wildblood, autumn 2017!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Both of my biological parents were Altered,” Kaden told them what they suspected, what they couldn’t prove.

Shannon resisted the urge to look at Mac. He’d been right about offspring, and genetics, all along.

“And that is the single reason some Altered are called The Sixth, but where the name originated is anyone’s guess.” DeTessa gestured gracefully, and Shan wondered if anything she did was uncoordinated, or unsteady. “It eventually came to be associated with the clansmen that keep the status quo along the trade routes, the ones descended from Altered.”

“A Sixth would have Altered parents,” Wade repeated, for clarity.

“The majority of The Sixth, being children of Altered, were also Wildblood, one lending to the other,” DeTessa surmised for them.

Putting a hand up, Shan steadied herself on Kaden’s shoulder, closing her eyes for a moment. For clarity.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Aha! I see what I did there! It’s taken me one novella, two full novels, and now a third, a quarter million words, to get here. I don’t know how Stephen King and GRRM do it. So, links to books. These are to Amazon but they’re available at all the major publishers & as paperbacks. Go to my website by clicking the first picture.

Thank you all for reading.


newpromo_v1a

Bloodlines: Book 3 of The Wildblood will be available this autumn. Catch up on the series now.

The Vista: Book 1 of The Wildblood
What would you do, to protect your home?

Renegades: Book 2 of The Wildblood
Uncontrollable. Unpredictable. Dangerous. The Wildblood.
Now, Team Three know what they are.

99¢ always
Before Team Three, there was The Blackout.
Backlash, prequel to The Wildblood.

All are available in paperback and eBooks – http://www.topaz08.com

~~~~
The Wildblood Series

Twenty years after civilization stopped, a tiny refuge, a place called The Vista, may be one of the last vestiges of humanity. Isolated, guarded, and hiding a dark secret, the people have survived World War Last, and they are content with that. Their children, however, are not. The search for others will send them out into a land they know nothing about, where the line between enemy and ally is blurred.