So this week I published the final book in my Wicked Women trilogy. I'm pretty excited because I never thought of my self as a person who'd write book series, but now that I've managed to link three books together I like the idea and I start work on a new series very soon!
But let me tell you about my Wicked Women.
It started with Jennifer Tiel in Lies In Chance.
Lies in Chance is, first and foremost, a romance about an heiress, Shara Brandt, and a school teacher, Bryan Jacobs. But there's Jennifer, Bryan's ex-wife and the woman rivaling Shara for the affections of Shara's fiance, Richard. (Are you still with me?) On the surface, Jennifer is a sex-driven villain who blames Shara for all the troubles in her own life. But that's just on the surface.
In writing Jennifer, I tapped into the question most women ask themselves: What would I do for love? What would I do for money? What would I do to survive?
The answers surprised me.
While a woman using her "wiles" isn't a new theme, I think Jennifer takes it to a new height. There are scenes where she has other weapons, but her weapon of choice, the one that serves her purposes and gives her pleasure at the same time, is sex. She is beautiful, charming, and lethal. On the surface she's simply a pretty face with a bad attitude, but deep down she's a woman fighting to claim what's hers.
Don't feel sympathy for Jennifer Tiel. She won't thank you for it, and she'll probably destroy you.
Then there was Serena Shipley Chapman, in Fresh Ice.
Fresh Ice brings together former Olympic caliber skater Isabella "Izzy" Marks and former NHL Bad Boy Quinn Murray. But Serena Shipley Chapman is the cloud that hangs over an otherwise ideal romance. One part Southern Belle, one part gritty Midwest athlete, Serena might be the most bitter of my villains. Cheated out of love and glory by Izzy, Serena knows revenge is a dish best served cold. She is ruthless, she is powerful, and she is patient. She has never wanted for power, wealth, or privilege, but she wants something more and will stop at nothing to break whomever stands in her way.
Like Jennifer, Serena knows how to use her beauty to her advantage, but unlike Jennifer, Serena doesn't let pleasure get in her way of her single minded focus on her enemy. There is no plan B for Serena. She must destroy Izzy at all costs, even when it costs her a chance at happiness.
There are many words to describe Serena Shipley Chapman...but don't use "crazy" as one of them. Call her crazy and she'll hurt you just enough to make you wish you were dead.
Finally, meet the newest member of the Wicked Women Club, Madelyn Pierce Anderson in A Hero's Spark.
A Hero's Spark focuses on two people who are hardly heroes: Collier James and Mira Pierce. Collier has a lack of confidence after losing the love of his life and his band. Mira has a wealth of issues that create a canyon of self-loathing for her. Madelyn, Mira's older sister, blames a troubled family history and her own social shortcomings on Mira, who suffers daily for the sins Madelyn won't forget.
Madelyn is not beautiful, and she has no interest in sexual pleasure...for herself. She understands a man's drive for pleasure, though she views the need as a weakness to be exploited. Her goal is power and money and she will stop at nothing to get exactly what she wants. Her intellect is her biggest weapon and she is the coldest, most calculating villain of my Wicked Women.
Blood might be thicker than water, but nothing is thick enough to keep her from her goals. Prim, proper, and traditional on the surface, she breaks all society's rules and mores to gain power and influence.
Stay out of her way...or pay the price.
If these three women sat down to lunch, I doubt they'd have much to talk about. As similar as the world might view them, all three see themselves as originals and none would thank you for trying to make them be friends.
Honestly, I'm a little afraid of all of them.