ABOUT THE BOOK
The Smoky Blues Book 9
by Emily Mims
Genre: Contemporary Romance
CAN’T GET HER…
Deke Gregory has a type – petite, feminine, pliable. His ex-wife was his ideal, but she wasn’t his, obviously. Faced with the realities of joint custody and a family “village” raising his son, Deke sets out to find a woman who ticks all his boxes and thinks he walks on water. Enter Doctor Taylor De Witt: tall, strong, willful, opinionated, and too busy to be bothered with soothing his rough edges. Imagine his surprise when he falls for her – hard.
OUT OF HIS HEART
Taylor De Witt knew she would be a heart surgeon since college. Now a single mother with a schedule that requires roller blades, she has little time for her family, never mind a social life. When she meets Deke Gregory she thinks he’s a Neanderthal – yummy, but from a different era. Little does she know what their mutual attraction will bring, including examining her life to include an everlasting love.
Amethyst is the 9th book in The Smokey Blues series
Amethyst is AVAILABLE in print or ebook
Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/895388
Deke found Charlie sitting by himself staring at his phone. The boy took one look at the dress and shoes and his shoulders sagged. “Brian’s in a bad way, isn’t he?”
Deke sank down beside him. “Yeah, he is. But your mom said she can fix him.” “She probably can. But sometimes…” He trailed off.
Deke choked back his terror. Charlie spoke the truth. There were no guarantees. “I know that. But let’s think positive. If anybody can fix Brian, it’s your mom. She’s the best. Okay, buddy?” “Okay.” Charlie nodded.
Deke looked down at the shoes. “Will your mother have to operate barefooted?”
“Nah, she keeps a change of clothes and tennis shoes in her locker.”
“Speaking of clothes, you need to call your grandmother to come get you and the dress.”
“I already did when I saw them hand the dress to the lady at the desk. Grandma’s pissed.” “Is she?”
Too damn bad.
“You better believe it. She said Mom’s letting Kelly down and that Kelly won’t ever speak to Mom again.”
“It couldn’t be helped. Don’t they know how sick Brian is?”
Charlie looked at him shrewdly. “That doesn’t always matter if you’re the one she’s letting down.”
Deke winced. At that moment Beatrice Gentry, dressed in a mother-of-the-bride outfit almost as gaudy as Taylor’s, blasted through the emergency room doors practically vibrating with fury. She looked around the waiting room, finally zeroing in on Charlie and Deke sitting beside him. She marched up to them and yanked the dress and shoes out of Deke’s arms. “Come on, Charlie, we’ve got to get moving. Damn your mother’s hide, anyway,” she snarled as Charlie stood up. “One damned day we asked for. One damned day she needed to have someone cover for her. One damned day for her little sister. Do we get it? Nooo, she’s buried in an OR and Kelly’s down her maid of honor. She’ll be lucky if your aunt ever speaks to her again.”
Deke rose to his feet, barely able to leash his ire. “Mrs. Gentry, that’s enough. I’m sorry about the wedding. But Brian’s in a bad way this morning and she’s in there trying to save him.
That’s more important than a wedding, I don’t care how disappointed her sister is.” Beatrice eyed him like a turd on her shoe. “Tough shit. We asked her for one day.”
“Damn it, don’t you understand?” Deke trembled with fury. He was almost yelling and didn’t care. “It’s Brian in there. The wedding’s not that important. That’s my son. She’s trying to save the boy I love.”
“I understand all too well.” Beatrice lowered her voice and looked at him with contempt. “It’s okay for her to miss Kelly’s wedding to save your kid, but when she missed your shindig to save Gina Harker’s life, she was all wrong and you broke up with her for it. That nameless, faceless single mother of three teenagers that Taylor stayed behind to help that afternoon is my best friend’s daughter. Taylor saved her life. Did you give a damn about that? No, you didn’t. You came out and said so. You told her you didn’t care who it was, that you were tired of never coming first. You decided you didn’t matter to her and you kicked her to the curb.”
Beatrice stopped and took a breath. “Yes, I’m angry and I’m disappointed. But Kelly and I will forgive her, which is more than you were willing to do.” She looked him up and down.
“How does it feel now that the shoe’s on the other foot?” Like crap. It felt like crap.
Deke stumbled backward as Beatrice’s tirade sunk in. Taylor had made the same decision the afternoon she was supposed to fly to Washington that she had today. She’d opted to stay behind and save a life. She’d chosen to do the best thing she could for her patient.
She’d chosen to put her patient first.
And he’d broken up with her for it. And yet today, it was perfectly well and good for her to do the same thing, because today it was his child whose life was in danger. And she’d asked him that very thing standing in his living room with tears in her eyes.
Yeah, he was a real shit.
Hello again, romance readers! This Stormy Vixen and I am so excited to have Emily Mims join us as she tells us how to create a believable villain.
Emily, welcome and thanks so much for joining us and sharing your insight on such a spectacular subject.
Creating a Believable Villain
Moriarty. Iago. Lex Luther. Hannibal Lecter. The Wicked Witch of the West. Just the sound of their names brings the thought of evil to mind. These are some of the more memorable of the numerous villains, or ‘bad guys’ if you will, created by skilled authors to pit against the heroes or ‘good guys’ of the story. Villains appear in many different literary genres, from political thrillers to science fiction to mystery to romantic suspense to serious literary work. They can be supposed friend or former friend turned enemy, an ideological opponent, a thug or a psychopath with a bone to pick. They can be a lone wolf or the tip of a much bigger iceberg.
They can be thieving or murderous or diabolical. Their ire can be personal or they can hate what the hero stands for. They can be out to destroy the hero personally, financially, or by destroying what our hero loves most. They all have one thing in common-they are up to no good. But they are a necessary foil to the goodness of our heroes and heroines, and a carefully crafted, well-written villain can be just as memorable as the hero or heroine they are created to challenge.
Back in the early days of my career I wasn’t overly worried about creating a good villain. Most of my books were straight romances, and while there was the occasional rotten apple I was not creating true villains in that genre. Even the books with a slightly suspenseful theme did not have a villain as such. But when I decided I wanted to add the elements of danger and suspense into my stories I had to sit down and think about what made an effective villain in literature and how to bring that villain to life. And then I had to figure out how to bring that character into the story in such a way that neither the hero, heroine, or reader knows until the end who their nemesis is nor why they are doing the things they do. This takes some careful plotting-no flying by the seat of one’s pants-and occasionally it takes going back into the story and adding hints and clues that were not included in the first draft.
So what makes a villain in a romantic suspense novel believable? I try to make sure that my villain first and foremost is a villain, not a hero who does bad things or antiheroes such as the Corleones in the Godfather series. My villains have to be doing something evil, something that is going to bring harm to my protagonists or others in the story and they are not to be admired for it. However, it is very important that the villain have a reason for doing what they do. Sometimes having them a thug or a greedy titan is enough, especially if our hero or heroine gets in the villain’s way, but it is infinitely better if the villain has a specific bone to pick with his or her victims. That issue might seem unreasonable to everyone but the villain, but it has to be reasonable to him or her. And it is never enough, at least in a suspense novel, just to declare the villain psychopathic or ‘crazy’. There has to be a reason the villain is what he is and doing what he does.
So what else do I include when I craft the bad guy of the piece? My villains are all smart-scary smart in some cases, and I make sure that they would have the skills to carry out whatever crimes they commit in the course of the story. In an early version of ‘Solomon’s Choice’ my villain Cissy was a vindictive but weak alcoholic dependent on someone else to carry out her nefarious plans. After it was pointed out to me that Cissy as I had portrayed her could not have carried out the crimes she is guilty of I turned her into a cunning, manipulative loner who by guile got others to do her bidding. I make sure the villain has the skill set to carry out the crimes they are perpetrating. (I would not, for example, have a mild-mannered chemistry teacher shooting someone from a hundred yards away or strangling them with her bare hands, but I could and did have her poisoning people with chemicals from her stock room.) A careful matching of character to skill set not only makes the story and the villain more believable but also provides valuable clues to the good guys trying to track them down.
Should a villain have a conscience? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. My villains in ‘Solomon’s Choice’ and ‘Daughter of Valor’ did not. They loved and they grieved and in their minds that made their heinous behavior acceptable. My villains in ‘Never and Always’, on the other hand, do have consciences. They know that they are hurting innocent people and even come out and say that to one another, but make the decision to go ahead and deliberately do things to innocent people in order to destroy the woman they hate. Either scenario works, depending on the context of the story, and in the hands of the right author it’s great fun to watch a villain with a conscience destroyed by his own actions.
A strong hero and heroine deserve an interesting, believable, bad guy, a villain worth besting in the end, and I always do my best to make sure that they get one.
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Author of eighteen romance novels under the pseudonym 'Emily Elliott', Emily Mims combined her writing career with a career in public education until leaving the classroom to write full time. 'Solomon's Choice' is her first romantic suspense and the first novel she has published under her own name. The mother of two sons, she and her husband Charles split their time between Central Texas and eastern Tennessee. For relaxation she plays the piano, organ, dulcimer, and ukulele. She says, "I love to write romances because I believe in them. Romance happened to me and it can happen to any woman-if she'll just let it."
Website - http://www.emilymims.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/EmilyMimsAuthor
Twitter - https://twitter.com/emilymimsauthor
THANKS FOR VISITING!