Saturday, November 20, 2021

Evil Characters

Evil bings
This month the topic is to describe a flawed or evil character you have used or might use in a story. How did they become so flawed? What part will they play in the story and what will happen to them?

All of my stories have evil characters, or at the least self-serving motives over friends or family, or anyone else's needs.

In Stone House Farm the rejected fiancee of the hero and an ex-husband of the heroine want retribution. Not getting what she wants (his wealth and prestige) leads the ex-fiance to try to kill the man who didn't want her, and the ex-husband tries to get more money from his ex-wife.  

In Rogue's Rules, there are two evil characters. One is Morgan Dachs, who, to save his life and ship, traded thirteen fellow crewmembers to a slaver. Morgan's uncle-in-law, Durrant Rosche, uses the powerful Dachs name, and their wealth, for his personal gain. While they were bad, in Angels Tread readers learn it was another powerful person who was controlling them. And Admiral Ries Vaughn used his rank and power to get whatever he wanted.

In Constantine's Legacy, a high-ranking priest has a fraudulent document made that says Emperor Constantine the Great gave the Church his lands in Italy when he moved the court to Byzantium. He ends up trying to kill the story's hero who knows the truth.

The judgment on the good or evil of a person depends on many things. The world's human populations are complicated as well as their history. What's good in one country can be evil in another. During their early development, people lived in tribes whose individuals helped protect each other, but often annihilated other tribes. Our history shows this tendency continues between certain populations and countries. Individuals have the same tendencies. How each person is raised and their mental outlook has a great influence on whether they are considered a good or bad person. And certainly, like the Earth, they have polar opposites that can switch from good to evil or vice-versa for their own survival.

Part of writing is showing how a character's history and his or her outlook will develop how they can become evil. 

On the other hand, I have witnessed strangers bestowing great kindness. I was once ringing up a customer's bill, but her card wouldn't cover the cost. The man in line behind her said he'd pay it. And he did—over eighty dollars. This works in writing stories, too, as it shows how a character's behavior lets the reader judge their goodness or evilness.

Please visit the following who are also discussing this topic:

Anne Stenhouse 

Dr. Bob Rich  

Connie Vines 

Skye Taylor 

Marci Baun 

Diane Bator 


Thursday, November 11, 2021

Stone House Farm released!

This is a sort-of contemporary romance novel as it is set in 2009, when I originally wrote it. It is set in Manistee, Michigan, near the shores of Lake Michigan. 

Here is an excerpt from the story's beginning:

Amanda pushed through the glass front door expecting to have to plow past secretaries and assorted office henchmen, but as luck would have it, Wade Preston stood in the reception area talking with his partner, Edward Van Haitsma. Wade’s height and dark hair made a strong contrast to his partner’s shorter frame and fair hair. Both were good looking by anyone’s standard. Wade held a stack of papers. The two men looked as if they had just finished a heated discussion.
    “Whatever you want!” Van Haitsma said as he turned and walked away, his shoes pounding an upset rhythm on the refinished, highly polished oak flooring.
    Preston’s fiancée, Melissa Rillema, stood nearby with her arms crossed. A pout marred the perfection of her face. Since only the woman’s mouth moved, without a hint of frown lines, Amanda snorted, suspecting cosmetic injections. Melissa would make a perfect wife for Wade. Two beautiful, congenial rich rats running in a social superiority maze. Melissa’s long blonde hair rippled about her shoulders as she turned her head to glance at Amanda, then back to Wade who had walked over to her.
    As she strode forward to interrupt the couple’s private interlude, Wade looked over at her, anger etching his face. She checked her step before charging ahead. Hell, he had to expect a storm after the letter he sent her. As Wade watched her approach, his face firmed into what Amanda privately called the bulldog behind the businessman’s mask. It infuriated her to have to spend her precious lunchtime taking care of this matter. This time, she would talk to Wade Preston face-to-face and make her position clear.
    “Mrs. Carter, how can I help you?”
    He recognized her? His voice and demeanor were politely bland, but remnants of anger lingered in lines around his handsome features. He called her by her married name, something she had discarded after her divorce.
    She held Preston’s gaze with determination. As a freshman teenager in high school with hormones and the idealism of innocence, Amanda’s dream world starred the senior quarterback, Wade Preston. Back then, he had been oblivious of her.
    “It’s Ms. Blanchard, now. You can help me, Mr. Preston, by accepting the fact that I do not want to sell my property. Not now, and not in the future. Furthermore, I will not let you steal it from me.” Heads turned toward the sound of her angry tones. Most looked like employees and quickly looked away when Amanda stared back at them. Wade’s face deepened in color, his mouth and jaw set, his eyes darkening.
    She waved the envelope under his nose. He took it, looked at the address, and pulled the sheets from inside. His brows scrunched lower as he read.
    “You’ve received an offer at a fair-market price,” Wade said, his voice firm, low and controlled. Her temper eased slightly seeing the wrinkle between his brows as he looked at her letter.
    Melissa smiled pityingly at Amanda. “I would think in your dire circumstances, Wade’s offer was manna from Heaven.” Her tone one of pure condescension.
    “Stay out of this,” Wade said with a fierce gaze at his fiancée. Amanda thought Melissa’s smile more smirk than compliance and doubted the woman had even heard her lover.
    “What could you possibly know about my situation?” Amanda said. “And how does any of this involve you?”
    The smile never faltered. “I understand it is a very generous offer.”
    Amanda’s rage fired anew. Melissa had no part in this, and her opinion was not only unneeded but also unwanted. “Generous if I were willing to sell out what my family has worked generations to build. I’m not.” Amanda turned back to Wade Preston, grabbed the letter from his hand, and clutched it in her fist.
    His frowning gaze turned to Amanda, his brows lowering until they nearly touched. “I don’t know what you are alleging. As I said, this is an offer at a fair market price for your property.”
    “You missed the threat of an eminent domain seizure. I don’t care what dirty tricks you try with the bank, or the county Planning Department, or the Commissioners, or the township board. I will fight you every step of the way.”
    “Then you better hire a lawyer,” Melissa cut in with a practiced tinkling sound that substituted for a laugh.
    “Melissa…” Wade’s tone held a warning and his scowl deepened.
    Amanda kept her regard on Wade, hoping her expression said I am not backing down. If not pumped with so much adrenaline, she would never have felt so defiant, but Melissa’s confidence ate at her self-assurance. Her diffident side advised retreat. Having said what she wanted, she turned on her heel and swept out of the office, escaping any further humiliation.

Imagine Amanda finding Wade a chapter later lying in her snow-covered orchard unconscious and shot!