My Top 10 Literary Villains

With Halloween lurking around the next corner, I thought now would be a great time to list my top ten literary villains. Who doesn’t like a top ten list, am I right? As my readers well know, I love a good villain and not just any old antagonist will do. To make the top ten they have to be truly sinister. The kind who keep you up at night and make you wish for their demise. Generally, the more painful, the better. So, here goes my top 10 literary baddies in no particular order.

  1. Nils Bjurman – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – This guy was a piece of work, but boy did he get it in the end. He becomes the overseer of Lisbeth’s finances in the first book after her previous caregiver has a stroke. Unlike the sweet man who cared about her, Bjurman forces her to partake in sexual acts to get access to her money. Horrible, horrible man. Don’t worry, if there’s one girl you don’t want to mess with, it’s Lisbeth Salander.
  2. Nurse Ratched – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Abusive, sadistic, truly evil. I’d say that about covers it. Next time you have a nurse caring for you, just be glad it isn’t old Ratched.
  3. Mrs. Coulter from “His Dark Materials Trilogy” – She was beautiful, smart, and also the main little girl’s mother, but that didn’t stop her from destroying children by separating them from their souls or ‘daemons’.
  4. President Snow – “The Hunger Games” – This guy set up games where children kill other children to keep from having any sort of uprising. He lived like king while others starved. He wiped out an entire district and he did it all with a smile on his face and a white rose pinned to his lapel.
  5. Annie Wilkes – Misery – If you’re ever stranded on the side of the road and are found by your ‘number one fan’, might I suggest you stay on the side of the road? When the author in the story is taken in and nursed back to health by his fan, he has no idea how unstable she is, but he sure does find out. Let’s just say you will never look at a sledgehammer the same way again.
  6. Randall Flagg – “The Dark Tower” – Shows up in nine Stephen King novels including The Dark Tower series where I was first introduced to him and The Stand. You know you have an evil character when the King, no pun intended, himself uses the same character in that many horror novels.
  7. Mrs. Danvers – “Rebecca” – This is one creepy housekeeper. She manipulates a man’s new bride until she is a nervous wreck on the brink of killing herself. Why does this woman hate the new lady of the house so much? Because Mrs. Danvers is attached to the previous mistress and the house in a way that isn’t healthy. Don’t worry, this one is going down with the ship.
  8. Pennywise – “IT” – A being who was around before humankind who becomes whaITt you truly fear. Oh, and did I mention he kills kids? If the pointy teeth, clown costume, and murderous nature aren’t enough to freak you out, wait until you hear the character brought to life by Tim Curry in the film. This character will haunt me FOREVER.
  9. Professor Umbridge – “Harry Potter Series” – Okay sure, Lord Voldemort is the big baddie from the Harry Potter series, but can you honestly say Umbridge didn’t upstage him just a little? She got under my skin in a way that made me grind my teeth. When she had Harry write that sentence over and over again as it simultaneously carved into the back of his hand, I saw red. Luckily, ol’ J.K. gave her a proper end. Good riddance lady we weren’t sad to see you go and that’s no lie.
  10. Jack Randall – “Outlander Series” – For those of you familiar with this series you know who I’m talking about and you probably just got fired up reading his name. Captain Jack Randall will stop at nothing to break our hero Jamie Fraser. And by nothing I mean, rape, murder, torture, you name it, it happens. This guy is one of the worst I’ve ever come across.

Didn’t see a villain on the list who tops yours? Please share your picks below in the comment section.

Author Spotlight on Carly Jordynn

This week fellow author Carly Jordynn has stopped by to share her latest book with us and to chat about her favorite YA series. Take a moment to say hello in the comments or let her know if you too have a love for YA.

My Favorite YA Series

When I sat down to write this blog, I thought it would be a piece of cake. What is your favorite YA series and why? I had one series pop into my mind and then another and another——get the idea? This wasn’t as easy as it looked. I then decided to make a list thinking this would help narrow things down.

The Divergent Series    by: Veronica Roth
The Hunger Games        by: Suzanne Collins
The Mortal Instruments by: Cassandra Clare
The Infernal Devices    by: Cassandra Clare
The Twilight Series     by: Stephenie Meyer
The Trylle Series       by: Amanda Hocking
The Belgariad Series    by: David Eddings
The Mallorean Series    by: David Eddings
The Vanishing Series    by: Meg Cabot
The Mediator Series     by: Meg Cabot
The Harry Potter Series by: J.K. Rowling
The Unearthly Series    by: Cynthia Hand

I felt better after making the list, but then I had to choose. Which one was my favorite? It’s silly, but I feel like I’m cheating on the others by choosing just one. After much fretting, I narrowed the list down to five series.

The Mortal Instruments
The Trylle Series
The Harry Potter Series
The Vanishing Series
The Belgariad/Mallorean Series (you think I’m cheating by putting both, but I’m not. The Mallorean is actually a continuation of the Belgariad series.)

I have special memories from all these books. In the Mortal Instruments, I wanted to be a Shadow Hunter. I wanted the skills and strength they possessed, but most of all, I wanted to hang out with Jace Herondale. He is one cool cat. In the Trylle series, I felt a little angry that Wendy chose Loki over Finn. I know it had to do with her position and all, but I really wanted Finn and Wendy to be together. I fell hard for the Harry Potter series, the magic, the friendships, and fantasy. It was all bloody fantastic. It was a great escape from reality. In the Vanishing series, I discovered the character of Jess. She is a cool girl who loves motorcycles, the bad boy who is really a good guy, and she’s psychic. When I want a light read with action and romance, I turn to this series. The final is the Belgariad/Mallorean series. I started reading this series back in college. I picked it because the cover was cool. It’s a ten book series, so it took ten years to read (one book per year). The characters are endearing. This is a classic good versus evil series. Although, you actually do feel a little sorry for the bad guy at the end which made this series an outstanding read.

So, after taking all that into consideration, I finally made my decision. My favorite series of these five would be The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. It has everything and more that I look for in a series. It has action, romance, magic, good versus evil, endearing characters, and lasting friendships. Cassie brings her world to life with a skill that I am frankly amazed at. Those books are huge and yet she manages to keep every detail straight throughout. She is a true storyteller.

Books by Carly


ForestoftheMist_400Lily Lavery never dreamed her homecoming night would turn out like this. She never expected to become orphaned, in a coma, and enter an alternate reality, all in one evening. She thought she would arrive at the dance to the cheers of her classmates after being crowned homecoming princess at the big game, dance the night away with her handsome boyfriend, Alex McGuire, and maybe end the night in his arms. Her heart betrayed her when she met and fell in love with Connor O’Brien in the alternate realm known as Paradise Valley. Now she must battle foes in the Dark Land and her own feelings as she struggles to return to reality.

Buy it here.


shamrock_400x600Jennifer Burke Kyle has been in a coma. Upon waking, she discovered her infant son was half-grown, has some rather unique powers, and she has been ordered by her dead husband to marry a complete stranger, Alex McGuire. As if that wasn’t enough to make her want to go back to sleep, she, along with her friends from the alternate realm Paradise Valley, must escape the government research group, PRI, and it’s agents, in order to protect the still comatose, Colin O’Brien.

Coming Summer 2015


SashaRetiredSlayer_105x158An impending war and ineffectual Slayer has seventeen-year-old Sasha, coming out of retirement. With her 167 year old vampire boyfriend, his great-great-grandson, her Watcher, and a select group of vamps, Sasha faces the monster behind the war, as well as, the battle for her heart.

Buy it here.

Find Carly around the web:


Author Spotlight on Tara Fox Hall

Everyone please help me in welcoming author Tara Fox Hall. Today she’s stopping by to talk about one of our favorite topics, bad boys. Be sure to leave a comment below so you will be entered to win a magnetic clip.


Everyone who writes fiction is aware of the compelling nature of the “bad boy” the dark horse who emerges from the shadows to steal the heroine’s heart by most any means he can. Often misunderstood with a blackened past to match his dark good looks, this male tends to take all the attention from other men in the work with his lusty bold actions and secretive, suspicious ways. ‘Damaged goods’ is he, a tragic figure whose wounded heart most every woman reader knows she could heal, if only she were allowed the chance. Redemption is always possible through forgiveness, repentance, and love, even for the worst offender.

But is that last statement true, really? In old romances of decades past, the worst that a bad boy could do was compromise the reputation of his love interest or kiss her out of turn, ala Rhett Butler.  That was stepped up in following decades, when we saw women loving men that had stolen from them, slapped them around, cheated on them, or treated them as playthings. Now, in recent fiction, we’ve pushed the envelope a bit further, to have women getting their HEA with partners who once tried to kill them, had assaulted them, or worse. Forgiveness is a blessing, but at what point is there too much to forgive? If there such a line in our emotional sand, some act too terrible to gloss over, or not?

I’m guilty here too, I admit; I’ve got bad boys in my stories, chief among them vampire Devlin Dalcon, who golden good looks and charming ways have not stopped him from putting heroine Sarelle’s heart through the wringer several times in the first 10 books of my Promise Me Series. Although Sarelle has given Devlin back just as much angst with her actions and harsh words, she has forgiven him a hell of a lot in their transitioning relationship from mortal enemies to snuggle buddies.  Yes, Devlin¾unlike most real life bad boys¾has reformed a great deal from the pure villain he was at the start of the series. He deserves a second chance at happiness, doesn’t he?

Take into consideration that for most of those 400 years previous to Sarelle and his recent attitude overhaul, Devlin was a despicable, inhuman monster, keeping order over his kingdom with a taloned fist. Should all those he murdered or hurt just be swept into the pages of history, and locked away? I’d argue yes, forgiveness is possible providing Devlin really has changed. But I’m not sure if the past can be so easily discarded. Even if forgiveness is granted, shouldn’t there still be a punishment for past deliberately evil actions, especially ones of great magnitude?

There are many tools a writer can use to influence a reader into feeling empathy for a character whose actions have been less than pristine. I have used a great many of them to transform Devlin from a scoundrel to a sort of hero, while still keeping a few of his darker tendencies intact. My argument is that the attraction of a bad bod is that he’s edgy and sometimes unpredictable; his passion stems from wild desire that doesn’t always follow the rules. A total conversion from bad boy to stalwart reliable hero may not sit well with readers who enjoyed the anti-hero’s tribulations and trials. Does total reformation make a previous bad boy boring, or not?

Tar ain Gold

Bio: Tara Fox Hall’s writing credits include nonfiction, erotica, horror, suspense, action-adventure, children’s stories, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. She is the author of the paranormal fantasy Lash series and the paranormal romantic drama Promise Me series. Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice. All of her published children’s stories to date are free reads on

Be sure to check out her latest release. Find an excerpt below.

tempest of vengenace coverBlurb for Tempest of Vengeance, Promisce Me Series Book #11:

A chain of tragic events culminating in the shattering of the magical “dream bond” between Theo and Sar turns the lovers against one another, as Ulysses attacks from all fronts, hoping to destroy Devlin for good. The return of Lash reignites the fire between he and Sar, even as he saves her daughter Elle from certain death. Finally joined under Oath, Lash, Devlin, and Sar face the storm of Ulysses’s wrath, knowing it will take their combined strength and courage to save all they love from his tempest of vengeance.

Excerpt: It was now or never. I said a quick prayer as I slid my hand to my belt, flipping open the blade as I yanked it free. I kneed Theo as hard as I could. He let out a cry, struggling to hold me. I stuck the knife Lash had given me into his arm, and he snarled in pain, flinching back from me, but he still had me with one hand. I bit his wrist as hard as I could, then jerked free. Theo was almost fully shifted into cougar form, but he was not only injured, he was tangled in his clothes. I ran out of the room as soon as I’d unlocked the door, and upstairs to the study, the knife still in my hand.

Before I reached the top step I heard a throaty purr, and heard clawed feet scrabbling on the stairs as they bounded up them after me. I got into the study just in time to slam the door and lock it, hoping to God Danial hadn’t moved the gun he had kept here since the attacks by Manir more than a year ago. Because I was running to a dead end with no way out, if what Theo had told me about teleporting was true. But I’d never have made it out the front door before he was on me. I tried to teleport immediately, and nothing happened. I tried the phone to call Terian, and got only static. An extension had to be off the hook somewhere.


The office door shuddered under Theo’s assault. He roared, and hit it again. Danial, however, had put this door on after the assault by Manir. The reinforced steel and oak creaked, but it held.

I wiped the knife off on my pants and folded it up, clipping it back to my belt loop, thanking God I’d put it on tonight. Unlocked the hidden safe in the wall, I retrieved a gun and bullets from inside, swearing because it was a regular silenced gun, not an explosive bullets gun. At least the rounds were jacketed hollow points. I had just gotten the first bullet into the chamber when I heard a key in the lock.

The door opened, and Theo stood there, nude, his blue eyes determined, a key in his hand. His arm where I cut him was still bleeding. “I’m not healing, Sarelle. You have werepoison on your blade,” he growled, advancing slowly. “That’s Lash’s knife clipped to your belt! I recognize it!”

I trained the gun on him, holding it with both hands so it didn’t shake too much.

“That’s a regular .38. You shoot me, you’d better hit my heart,” Theo growled. “Because you miss, and I’ll be on you in a second. This little chase you’ve led me on is over! Terian isn’t here to save you! Danial and Lash aren’t here to save you! And Devlin will be too late!”

“You have one chance to leave,” I said in a hard voice. “Or I will shoot you, Theo.”

Theo looked at me for a few moments, and then he lunged for me with a roar.


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Author Spotlight on Valerie J. Clarizio

On this thrilling Thursday, please help me welcome fellow author and friend Valerie Clarizio. Today is release day for her third Nick Spinelli Mystery novella. What’s even more exciting is that after you read all about her and check out a few excerpts from Crazed Reckoning, you can pick up the first Spinelli book Covert Exposure, for free starting March 6th through March 20th, and the 2nd Spinelli book Craving Vengeance @ $.99 from March 6 through the 15th. It’s going up to $2.99 from the 16th through the 20th so take advantage and grab your copies today.


After experiencing a murderous Christmas and Valentine’s Day with love interest Shannon O’Hara, Detective Nick Spinelli assumed Saint Patrick’s Day couldn’t be any worse.

He was wrong.

While out on a geocaching adventure in Door County, Shannon and her friend Anna find more than a clue in the cache box. When Shannon disappears, Spinelli is sent racing to find her. Amidst the chaos of an unruly Irish celebration, and a decades-old Irish family feud, he must rescue her from the hands of a madman.

Teaser 1

“Let me get this right. You’re telling me your dead father’s finger showed up in a cache box in Door County, over forty years after your father died.”

Teaser 2

Shannon opened her eyes to a pitch-black room. Her dry throat itched. She swallowed and ran her tongue over her teeth. What is that awful metallic taste? Her tongue gravitated to her teeth again; the taste grew stronger. When she inhaled, her eyes instantly watered like she’d just inhaled flames. Her right hand moved toward her nose but jerked to a halt inches from her face. What the heck? She tried to move her hand closer to her face but it wouldn’t budge. With her other hand, she came across a thin rope wrapped around her wrist. The opposite end was fastened to the bedpost.

A low groan echoed in the blackness. Shannon sprang off the bed nearly jerking her shoulder out of its socket. The small length of rope didn’t let her go too far. Another breathy moan penetrated the incredibly thick air. Shannon fumbled around the nightstand next to the bed for a lamp. She nearly knocked it over before she located the toggle switch at the base. The now dimly lit room allowed her to focus on the body in the bed. It was Anna. Her left wrist was bound to the bedpost on the opposite side of the bed.

Sheer panic ripped through her. Where were they? How did they end up here? And who tied them to the bed?

Buy it here.

Get book 1 here and book 2 here.

Clarizio Photo (1) About Valerie

Valerie is a writer of romantic suspense, contemporary romance, and women’s fiction novels.  She lives in beautiful Door County Wisconsin with her husband and two very spoiled cats.  She loves to read, write, and spend time at her cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  She’s lived her life surrounded by men, three brothers, a husband, and a male Siamese cat who required his own instruction manual.  Keeping up with all the men in her life has turned her into a successful hunter and fisherwoman.

She is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Wisconsin Romance Writers of America. Additionally, she was a finalist in the 2011 Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, Novellas Need Love, Too! Contest.

Find Valerie: Website Facebook Twitter Goodreads

Author Spotlight on Kim Hotzon

On this week’s Author Spotlight I would like to welcome Kim Hotzon, author of Hands Full of Ashes. She stopped by to tell us a little bit about herself and her debut novel. Be sure to check it out.

HandsFullofAshesI am excited to be releasing my debut novel, Hands Full of Ashes! My book was contracted with Soul Mate Publishing in August 2014 and officially published on January 14, 2015.

The story was inspired by my trip to Rwanda in October 2012. It is a romantic suspense story that follows one woman as she promises her dying husband that she will scatter his ashes around the world.

Olivia’s journey takes her to Africa, where she begins volunteering at an orphanage in Uganda. As she falls in love with the children, and the culture, the director of the orphanage develops a passion for her.

Just as time begins to heal Olivia’s broken heart, she learns about her husband’s unimaginable betrayal. Fleeing to Rwanda, her soul is reawakened with a new love. Olivia realizes that love always comes with a price, however, when she is faced with a decision she thought she would never have to make.

Hands Full of Ashes is available on Amazon.


Born in beautiful British Columbia, Kim developed a passion for writing at an early age. Her interest in people led her all over the globe, including a two year stay in Japan and a humanitarian trip to Rwanda.

She loves to write romance stories with a twist, usually involving a dangerous and dramatic backdrop. Her first novel, Hands Full of Ashes, was inspired by her trip to Africa.

Kim spent many years teaching young adults with learning disabilities at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and she currently resides in the sunny Okanagan with her husband and two children. When not writing, she can be found plying the local ski hills, or getting lost in her kayak in the surrounding lakes.

Connect with Kim Hotzon:





LinkedIn:          Kim Hotzon | LinkedIn

Meet the Author

Meet the Author

It’s release day for fellow author Meda White and if you haven’t read one of her Southland romances, now’s your chance. Read on to learn about Meda’s latest release, including an excerpt and how to find out more about the author herself.


Traumatized by her past, former police officer Jane Dillon gets a new start in Los Angeles as a bodyguard. If she weren’t so good at saving people, she might seek a new career. At least when she moonlights as a dance teacher, no one shoots at her. One impossible-to-please macho boss, one hunk of manly hot action hero, and one oversized Southern family set her on a course she never saw coming.

Former Navy SEAL, Danny Baker, has a lot to deal with between his dad’s health, his sister’s public breakup, and figuring out how to get rid of a female employee without getting a sexual discrimination suit filed against him. He’s always believed it to be his duty to protect women and children, but seeing the beautiful and lethal Jane in action turns his worldview upside down. He’d almost rather go back to the jungle, except the dance floors of L.A. and the woods of Georgia are providing plenty of excitement.

If they can overcome their differences, Danny’s family, and Jane’s past, they might find that they make the perfect team.


“What about you?” Danny asked. “Who taught you to dance?”

“My grandfather, sort of,” Jane said. “He put me in karate and dancing when I started kindergarten. He didn’t know what to do with a little girl. I guess he tried to find balance for me.”

“Thanks to him, you can kick my ass and dance circles around me,” he said over his shoulder as he did a merengue step in place, while she literally danced around him. “I’ll have to thank him if I ever meet him.”

Before she returned to face him, she flared her fingers as she ran her hand across his back, feeling the taught muscles there. She tore her gaze from the fluid movement of his hips to see his eyes twinkling with laughter.

What had he been saying? Oh yeah, Grandfather.

Jane didn’t have the heart to tell him her grandfather had passed. Because it reminded her of how alone she was in the world, she didn’t like to think about it.

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medaMeda White writes sweet, sultry, and southern contemporary and new adult romance. Born with Georgia clay running through her veins, she continues to enjoy the Southern lifestyle with her husband, a very spoiled Collie, and a stray cat who adopted the family. When not writing, you might find her making music, shooting zombie targets, teaching yoga, or explaining the meaning of her unusual first name.

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The Writing Process Blog Hop

typewriter My critique partner invited me to take part in the Writing Process Blog Hop so naturally, I jumped at the chance. It’s always interesting to see what process other authors follow because it’s never exactly the same way from author to author. While some are ‘pansters’, others plot out in great detail. And then there are those of us who fall somewhere in the middle.

If you’re a newbie writer looking to see how it’s done or a reader who’s curious as to how those long novels you love come to fruition, you can see several different approaches thanks to this blog hop. Meda White’s answers can be found here and the author who started the hop, Susan Kicklighter, has her answers here.

Below are my answers to the process questions:

1. What are you working on right now?

I’m a quarter of the way into my second Warm Springs novel set to come out sometime next year. What do you need to know about it you ask? Hot professional baseball player returns home to make amends to the woman he left behind. Problem is, she’s not in a forgiving mood.

The first book in the trilogy will be released at the beginning of 2015 and it’s my debut, so on top of being over-the-moon excited, I’m working on edits and marketing plans. (Who knew that stuff I learned in college would actually be something I needed?) In other words if you need to find me, I’ll be the crazy looking one, who may or may not have showered that day.

2. How does your work differ from others in the genre?

The obvious answer is that it’s mine. No two writers are exactly alike. That’s what makes reading and writing exciting. I chose the small town of Warm Springs, Georgia because I love it and I was going for the whole ‘write what you know’ thing when I started. Even if a hundred other authors write about the same city or town or choose a familiar trope, we all see things differently and every author has their own ideas when it comes to how the story unfolds. I just hope readers will find my books and enjoy the story. As a writer that’s all I can hope for.

3. Why do you write?

This might be the hardest question to answer because there have been different stages and different feelings while I’ve been chasing my dream. In the beginning, I wanted to see if I could write a novel. A crazy notion, but I tried nonetheless and eventually finished my first novel. (But man was it bad.) I was so green. I had no idea how the process of getting published worked *hangs head in shame*, and by the time I started learning the process, other characters and ideas were crowding together inside my head demanding their own story. It got to the point where if I didn’t write some each day, I felt like I hadn’t accomplished anything. And now, I’ve caught the bug. I want it all. I want to write until my muse keels over from exhaustion. So, the short answer is, I write because I have to.

4. How does your writing process work?

It’s true what they say. It is different for every author and for me; sometimes it’s a little different for each book. To start, I have a brilliant idea (and by brilliant, I mean a half-thought that maybe could be something). After the idea hits me, usually while I’m in the shower, I get organized (Side note: it’s the shower because I have small children and that’s the only time it’s quiet enough to hear myself think.)

I use a good old three-ring binder with three tabs: characters, story ideas, book itself. For the characters, I go to the writer toolkit website, print off the free character worksheets and fill them out. They are brilliant and if you’d like, they have some other worksheets for setting. Under the story ideas tab it’s a bunch of jotted down notes. Sometimes I jot down key dialogue or scenes or events that I want to refer back to because sometimes said muse has her own ideas about structure. Aside from those few ideas and maybe a scribbled down timeline, I start writing and let the characters lead the way.

To read about more interesting practices, you can hop on over to Rebecca Heflin and Alina K. Field’s pages.