Caution - spoilers for Quickening ahead! Do not read any further if you don't want to be spoiled!
All right. Scroll a bit more....
If you're still here I guess you either don't mind spoilers or have already read Quickening. Here are a few thoughts about the ending.
In my 'how this story came to be' about Bodyguards, I mentioned how the very first incarnation of the story included a pair of vampire brothers and how I'd decided to make one of them a magic user instead. What I did not mention - what can I say, I didn't want to show my hand too early! - was that I had not changed my mind about having two vamps. I'd only changed my mind about how we would get to that point.
I knew when I first started writing Brad's character that he'd end up with fangs. I also knew Aedan would turn him. What I didn't know was that it'd happen so soon. In my original series outline, his siring didn't happen until the end of book 3, so I was rather surprised when it came up a full book early.
I should know better by now, but what can I say: I tried to fight it. This wasn't what I'd planned, and letting it go forward means the rest of the series needs to be changed in big and not so big ways. I battled the story for weeks, trying to steer it back toward what I had planned.
Of course, it didn't work. When does it ever? At some point I'll learn and recognize that if a story gets a life of its own, going along is the best thing I can do. And indeed, once I stopped fighting, I realized that this turn of events was exactly what was needed right at that moment. In the first book, Anabel's death was a big jolt for Vivien and caused her to take her first step onto the path to reclaim the throne. Something just as big was needed for her to stop playing nice. Brad's death - or at least, his death as far as she knew - provided that impetus.
So, what does it mean for the rest of the series? I'm still working on figuring that out. With things going faster than planned, I might end up with one less book than I first believed. And that's fine, really. Better one less book than an unneeded installment.
Now to go ahead and write part 3...