Archive for the ‘Villains’ Category

Villains, Once Upon a Time and Comic Books

(Warning this post contains spoilers from the series Once Upon a Time. Proceed with caution)


So this blog post came as inspiration after talking to my buddies Qwillia Rain and Chris Marie Green. Mondays on the Offerings Loop can be a recap of the latest Once Upon a Time episode. I recently posted a spoiler about an upcoming episode which sparked a conversation about Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold and Regina. With my friend Chris it was about whether or not Regina had become so one dimensional that she’d become predictable, which led me to think back to Heroes. Okay, stick with me. The main villain of Heroes was Sylar, to the point were it became frustrating because we were subjected to him ad nauseum, which to me really underutilized Zachery Quinto‘s performance.

I first responded to Chris’ question of whether Regina had become predictable with a yes. The proof, she’s so desperate to keep power that she’s repeating past mistakes, even going so far as using the same Poison Apple with Emma that she used on Snow White. The only change is that this time Henry, her adopted son, was the victim. The question here is: will this horrible mistake finally break through to her that she’s become her mother, who was also obsessed with power, and change her ways? I’m a little iffy on it. We know that Regina loves Henry but will his accident have the same affect that Daniels’ death did, which sparked off her obsessesion with power and magic, and make her worse?

It’s hard to tell, I suppose you could say third times the charge.

But then this opens the door to the question of who would become the new big bad be if Regina comes over to the side of good? Which leads to the Sylar debacle. If they have Regina go even deeper down the road to evil she would then be repeating the same issues that were sparked when Sylar contined to be the threat they they thought he needed to be for Heroes.To the point that he usurped the other big bads.

As we know in comic books and such, the hero(es) need more than one villain to test them. Superman didn’t just battle Lex Luthor or Brainiac all the time, nor did Batman always take on The Joker, The Fantastic Four didn’t always get it on with Dr. Doom and Spiderman didn’t always fight The Green Goblin.

In my opinion we need another new villain, which leads to an idea that was sparked by talking to Qwillia: What if Baelfire, Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold’s wayward son came home and wasn’t the same person we were introduced to? What if being in the World Without Magic had taken a sweet, well intentioned child and turned him into an evil, greedy, angry person, bitter and filled with hatred for his father? What if the new villain was Regina’s mother? Her need for power and her flagrant use of magic is well known, but we don’t know what’s happened to her. And as we know no one can leave Storybook without consequences.

Then there are the other villains we’ve only gotten glimpses of, one of which I’d be excited to see (since Disney is making a movie about her) Maleficent. I would love to see what they do to her and since we have yet to meet Sleepy Beauty (one of my favorite Disney movies) I’d love to see what twist they give that story.

There are so many ways they could go but I do hope that Regina doesn’t remain the main villain. I hope they really surprise us and give us someone new to love/hate.

So, what do you think? Can Regina change her stripes and come over to the side of good (even struggle with her new role)? Would Baelfire make an excellent foil for Emma and company? Will the writers make the Heroes mistake? Who would you like to see take on the main villain role?




Heroes, Villains and In-Between- Lexxie Couper

Can The Villain Really Be The Hero?

Of late, I’ve been a little obsessed with Megamind. Now here’s the thing about Megamind – he’s the bad guy. He’s a criminal genius determined to bring chaos and villainy to the world. Megamind is in constant battle with the hero of Metro City, Metro Man. Metro Man is the archetype hero – broad-chested, wide-shouldered, chiseled-jawed with an ego to match. Megamind is hell-bent on ridding Metro City of Metro Man and to this end, constantly kidnaps the city’s star reporter, Roxanne Ritchi (yeah, I know, it doesn’t make much sense but then, neither did Lex Luthor’s inclusion of Lois Lane in all his dastardly plans). I won’t give away the why and how of the end (for those that haven’t seen it) but Megamind become the hero and gets the girl. The villain no more.

Another villain I am totally enamored with who balances on the line of heroism is Dr. Horrible. Dr. Horrible is a wannabe villain who recognizes the world is a mess. Of course, he just wants to rule it, but it’s only because the status is NOT quo (and I just crammed as many quotes in those three sentences as I could). The thing about Dr. Horrible is he is basically a good guy with good guy intentions and a good-guy crush on a sweet girl, but (and thar be ***spoilers*** here) the actions of the hero—one Captain Hammer (“the hammer is my penis”)—pushes him to a place so dark he becomes the villain he thought he was. But by the end of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog I can’t help but wonder if Dr. Horrible IS the hero: his bitter-sweet transformation highlights the superficial nature of society.

Professor Snape (Harry Potter’s universe) is a perfect example of a villain whose actions define him—eventually—as a hero. I won’t expand on Snape because to do so would ruin the story for those that haven’t read the books (and I’m sure there are at least a twelve people out there who haven’t read J.K. Rowling’s series yet), but the Professor is a mysterious, dark sometimes malevolent man with an ambiguous goal and equally ambiguous motives.

Villains quite often walk the tight-rope of heroisms and it is this tenuous walk that makes a large number of them so damn sexy. We never know where their actions are going to take them—we never know what they will do. They may truly be trying to bring about the end of the world, but they may just decide to leave the world alone because the girl of their dreams longs for a better place. They may however, decide to create utter anarchy when said girl misses a coffee date. You just never know.

I’ve written my fair share of villains. In fact, I once had a reviewer write, “The villain was, as always, reprehensible. Ms. Couper writes slime quite well.” Hee, I’m not sure what it says about my psyche that I’m proud of that snippet. But it does lead me to my latest villain, a bad boy I’m very very proud of: Asmodeus.

Asmodeus is very much a villain. There is little to redeem him. He is the Daemon of Lust and as such wields his power with an arrogant, charismatic charm that is capable of destroying a human’s life while giving them the most intense, never-ending orgasm of that life. Asmodeus however, has a wit sharper than a knife and a killer smile and if, one day, he truly finds the woman of his dreams (as twisted and rapacious as they may seem) he will no doubt show the worlds of man and daemon-kind alike just how damn heroic he can be. I don’t know whether that’s a good thing…or a scary thing.

Ladies and Gentleman, may I (briefly) introduce you to Asmodeus, my villain from Endless Lust

Seven Deadly Daemons, Book Two

Cate Sinclair is ruled by lust. Day and night, awake and dreaming, an unseen force plies her with pleasure to the point of pain. Each orgasm wrenched from her exhausted body stealing her energy, her very essence, until insanity seems a sweet relief.

When Eamon enters her life, Cate’s uncertain if the gorgeous, enigmatic man is her salvation…or the cause of her worst nightmares.

Reader Advisory: Our heroine endures endless amounts of forced seduction. But how do you fight advances from an enemy you can’t see?

“Now now, Xander,” a new voice uttered, smoother than melting ice—and just as cold. “Surely you’re not so weak you’ll let a mere Muse influence you?”

Eamon stiffened, his head swiveling toward the speaker. A silent curse fell from his lips, his eyes flaring golden heat, and he let Xander fall to a heap on the floor. “The Daemon Form of Lust decides to make an appearance, does he?”

Cate’s gaze was riveted on the new arrival and her stomach knotted. The man stood beside Xander’s easel, his hand playing on the canvas, long, talon-tipped fingers stroking its edge with slow caresses. A lover’s touch, intimately gentle and knowing.

Even through the gray fog of her pain, she couldn’t miss the similarity. The Lust Daemon was almost a carbon copy of Eamon.


The name whispered through the deep reaches of her mind and with each syllable, her sex constricted. Consuming her with a horrific hunger unlike anything she’d ever experienced.

Asmodeus. The creature who’d given Xander power over her body.

Hate filled her. Hate and (God save me) desperate carnal need. She was going to kill him. She was going to—

She threw herself at the Lust Daemon, a raw cry erupting from her throat.
“Cate, no!” Eamon yelled, his voice like cracking thunder.

It was too late. Her body slammed into Asmodeus, her shoulder driving into his hard gut.

And the second her body touched his, a ravenous lust surged through her, mind, body and soul. She screamed, her sex constricting with such force her whole body shuddered.

God, she wanted to fuck. And be fucked.

Sharp claws raked at her back, her shoulder. Long fingers knotted in her hair, yanking her head backward until she was staring up at Eamon’s smirking double. His lips curled, his eyes flashing every shade of red. “Oh she’s a responsive one, isn’t she?”

“Let her go.” Eamon’s growl stroked all of Cate’s senses, the menace in his voice making her heart thump harder and the dark lust possessing her vanish.

Asmodeus laughed, a smug, confident chortle. “Don’t think so, Muse. Her pleasure does belong to me, after all.” And with that, Cate’s body was once more on the edge of orgasm. Instantly. Painfully.

Bio –

Lexxie’s not a deviant. She just has a deviant’s imagination and a desire to entertain readers with her words. Add the two together and you get darkly erotic romances with a twist of horror, sci-fi and the paranormal!

When she’s not submerged in the worlds she creates, Lexxie’s life revolves around her family: a husband who thinks she’s insane, a pony-sized mutt who thinks he’s a lap dog, and her daughters, who both utterly captured her heart and changed her life forever.

Living in Australia makes it a bit tricky for Lexxie to pop by for coffee, but she still loves to chat! Contact her by email or find her at her website or her blog (

Heroes, Villains and In-Between- Jennifer Ashley

From Villain to Hero in One Easy Step
By Jennifer Ashley (aka Allyson James)

Villains are tough for me to write, not because I don’t like them, but because I become so fascinated by them.

I dislike books with cardboard or unbelievably evil villains—poorly constructed villains can ruin an otherwise good story. On the other hand, really “good” villains can steal the show.

The villain is the hero of his own story. He thinks he’s good and right about everything he does. He might do really awful things (murder, assault, kidnapping, plotting to end the world), but he knows that whatever he decides to do is justified.

Writing a good villain means finding solid motivation for his actions. It’s not enough that the villain does what he does because he’s inherently evil (unless you’re writing broad comedy). He has to have a reason for kidnapping the heroine and putting her naked in chains in full view of the hero. A very good reason, and it can’t be “bad” to him.

The deeper I dig into the motivations of my villains, the more I like these guys. I like them so much, I decide to go ahead and make them heroes in their own books.

I’ve done this several times in my novels with success. My first hero-to-villain was James Ardmore, villain of The Pirate Next Door and hero of The Pirate Hunter.

James Ardmore as villain wanted to hunt down and kill the pirate hero of The Pirate Next Door. Why? Because not only was James a pirate hunter, but the hero was a pirate James blamed for the death of the woman he loved.

Good motivation. I really liked James! In The Pirate Hunter, James is still hunting pirates, but he works through his problems and runs across a heroine who challenges him.

In Dragon Heat, which I wrote as Allyson James, the villain, Malcolm, a black dragon, tries to kidnap the heroine to use her latent magic. Why? Because he’s trapped in the human world and wants desperately to go back to Dragonspace.

Malcolm is pretty bad—he coerces a young witch to help him, and the witch starts to fall in love with him. So much so, that when she’s attacked in The Black Dragon, she calls on Malcolm to help her. And he steps in and becomes a hero.

Penelope and Prince Charming introduced one of my favorite villains, Grand Duke Alexander. Alexander wants the charming prince (the hero) dead. Why? Because Alexander battled all his life to save his country from the tyranny of the hero’s father. Now he fears that the hero will come home and carry on the tyranny.

I loved writing Alexander. He acts not from personal ambition but for benefit of his countrymen (well, he that and his big ego). Alexander becomes the hero of The Mad, Bad Duke, where he meets a young Englishwoman who won’t let him get away with that big ego.

With my two current series (Shifters Unbound and The Mackenzies), the hero / villain delineation is a little more complicated.

In each series I have some bad guys who drive the plot, but the true villains in these series are more obscure. In the Shifters books, it’s the overall situation of humans vs. Shifters (Shifters are second-class citizens made to wear Collars and live in Shiftertowns). The Shifter heroes battle to keep the others Shifters in line in order to keep the peace and let Shifters get strong enough to end their situation. (The current book is the bestselling Primal Bonds, which came out this March.)

In the Mackenzies’ books, the villains are the Mackenzies themselves.

The entire world views them as “villains” (not criminals, but dangerous and powerful). The Mackenzies do as they please, uninhibited by society’s rules, because they don’t care about the rules. They have too many other things to deal with to worry about rules.

The youngest, Ian Mackenzie (The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, re-releasing August 2011), has Asperger’s Syndrome. Ian fights that demon every day, and his choices aren’t understood by most of the world.

His oldest brother, Hart, has done what he had to do to keep his younger brothers safe, especially from their father who was obsessive, jealous, abusive, and probably a little Aspy himself.

Hart’s actions regarding his brothers (and his father), can’t always be seen as “nice,” but he sees them as necessary and justified. More of his motivations and exactly what he’s done and why will come out in the August release, The Many Sins of Lord Cameron (about the womanizing, horse-training Mackenzie brother), and Hart’s own book, which I’m working on now.

As you can tell, I love giving villains a chance to tell their own stories. I love these guys so much, I want to give them a chance to fall in love and be happy.

“Good” guys can bore me—I think I’ll keep writing my men bad!


Jennifer Ashley Bio:

Re-Release August 2011

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Jennifer Ashley has lived and traveled all over the world, and now lives in the Southwest. She writes historical, paranormal, and contemporary romance as Jennifer Ashley; mysteries as Ashley Gardner; and paranormal romance and urban fantasy as Allyson James.

Jennifer’s/Allyson’s/Ashley’s novels have won RWA’s RITA award, the Golden Quill, RT Reviewer’s Choice awards, and the Prism award, among others. Jennifer’s novels have been also been translated into nearly a dozen European and Asian languages.

Jennifer enjoys writing and reading above all else, but her hobbies include cooking, hiking, playing flute and guitar, painting, and building miniature rooms and dollhouses.

If you have any comments or questions,
e-mail Jennifer at

Heroes, Villains and In-Between- Cat Marsters

Cat Marsters—The Original Sinner: Striker

When I first wrote Striker he was going to be a villain, plain and simple. He had one function: to tempt my heroine, Chalia, away from the man she loved. Striker had varous magical powers and he wasn’t above using them to get what he wanted. When he got angry he’d explode things. Like buildings. People. Cities.

I kinda liked him.

And that was the problem. I wanted him to be the bad guy. I even tried to kill him off. But I couldn’t do it. Well, I did, but no one stays dead for long in my books. At the last count, Striker had been declared legally dead three times. He’s still walking around.

But herein lies the rub. I can’t make him a romantic hero. He kills people for fun. He once cut someone in half, vertically, with a sword made out of fire. Got angry and flattened an entire city. He explodes pickpockets. Kills people for looking at him a bit funny. He’s a psychopath. A proper unhinged nutter. He’s a villain. So why do I like him? Why does everyone else?

Well, he’s hot for one thing. A giant walking pheromone. But we’re not that shallow, are we? He’s funny, for sure—he has a very nice line in sarcasm. He can do anything. I mean quite literally, anything. Travel through time (what, like it’s hard?). Kill immortal beings. Being people back to life. Make it snow, just because Chalia says she likes it.

Is that it? Do we like him because he loves his woman? He’ll quite literally do anything for her, up to and including mass homicide (she’s never asked, but he’s waiting for the opportunity). Making it snow is nothing: when she died he brought her back to life. When she decided she wanted a baby, despite the gods attempting to keep him from procreating by making it physically impossible for the only woman he loved to carry a child (okay, so he can’t do everything—cut the guy a break, he’s a homicidal maniac, not a fertility expert) he travelled in time to change the course of history and befuddled the gods out of noticing until the baby was born.

Or do we feel sympathy for the devil? Striker was, after all, once an ordinary person. A very good-looking, smart, rich, and mischeivous person, but with no more inclination to mass murder than you or me. And then a random accident got him stranded in an alien world for twelve years, all alone and with just a few magical powers lent to him in order to survive. Telling himself every day he’d get back to the woman he’d left behind. Thinking of the one and only night they spent together. Pickling in his own madness. By the time he returned he was lean and hard and strange and cold, and he might still have turned into something resembling a human being were it not for the fact that his One True Love had buggered off and got engaged to someone else, and told him in no uncertain terms that she wanted him out of her life.

So he flattened a city. As you do.

The thing is, he does love Chalia, but that’s about his only redeeming feature. And it’s not much of one. He loves her selfishly, like a child loves. He doesn’t want to share her. It’s kind of hard to figure out whether he really loves his daughter or not—even I’m not entirely sure if he does, or if he just takes care of her because Chalia wants him to. I wrote about Striker’s relationship with his daughter, Chance, in my first Ellora’s Cave book, Almost Human. She doesn’t know what to make of it, and neither does he.

She knows her father is the most evil man in history. That’s going to give a girl quite a complex.

Excerpt from Mad, Bad & Dangerous, available now ffrom Ellora’s Cave.

Was this how Striker had become so terrible, so powerful and so dangerous? Was this why he’d rampaged through Euskara twenty years ago, murdering Magi and stealing their power, flattening cities, roasting people alive—just to mirror his own pain?
What the hell could have hurt such an inhuman man so badly?
He found himself on the ground, back in his human body, staring at the scryer in his palm. It glowed red then the face resolved into Striker’s visage.
“Who the fuck are you?” he asked.
The same shock of fear and disgust ran through Bael, but far less powerfully than it had before. “Why did you do it?” he asked.
“Do what? Who are you?”
“Kett’s— I’m…a friend of Kett’s,” Bael said through the bad taste in his mouth.
“Oh yeah.” Striker’s mouth twisted cruelly. “You ran away.”
“You murdered hundreds of my people.”
Striker shrugged, as if he couldn’t see what the two things had to do with each other.
“Why did you do it? You flattened the city of Vaticano twenty years ago. You stole power and tortured innocent people. Why did you do it?”
Striker shrugged again. “What are you, a groupie? I did it ’cos I wanted to, kid. I enjoyed it. I’d do it again—”
“No, you bloody wouldn’t,” came a female voice, the voice of the brunette at Nuala’s house. Chalia. Chance’s mother…
Understanding stabbed Bael in the heart.
“You did it for her,” he said slowly. “Because she hurt you.” With every word he became more certain, the knowledge creeping into him like fog.
Striker’s face turned to granite.
“Because she did something to you,” Bael went on. “Because she hurt you so badly it screamed inside you, and all you wanted to do was make everyone else feel as much pain as you. To hurt and maim and burn and slash and kill, because that’s what she did to you. And she never stopped you. She stops you now but she didn’t then. And you went on sucking power out of people so you could destroy more and more, bigger and bigger, until you’d destroyed a city and killed thousands—”
A jolt of power suddenly surged through the scryer, like the shock from ungrounded metal, making Bael flinch and lose his thread.
The view on his scryer tilted, as if someone else had taken hold of the device, and Chalia’s face appeared, pale and shocked.
“It was you,” Bael said, and her lovely dark eyes swam with fear and guilt and pain.
“What did you do?” Bael asked her.
Her hand went to her throat, lovely and unlined even twenty years after Striker had burned and destroyed cities in her name.
“I got engaged to someone else,” she said distantly. “Who are you?”
“Baelvar.” The world had narrowed to the scryer in his hand and the anger pulsing through him.
Chalia regarded him through the scryer. “You’re Kett’s mate, yes? The Nasc. With power.”
Bael clenched his fist and looked away.
Striker laughed softly. “What did she do?”
“Someone else,” Bael said.


Cat Marsters lives in Essex and belongs to a pride of adored cats. On occasion she can be persuaded to admit ownership of a demon puppy (but not if you suspect your flowers have been trampled). She enjoys watching TV and films that showcase the looks and talents of Richard Armitage, David Tennant and Hugh Jackman, reading books that make her laugh, dyeing her hair, and talking about herself in the third person.
Cat has been writing all her life, but in order to keep herself rich in shoes and chocolate, she’s also worked as an airline check-in agent, video rental clerk, stationery shop assistant, and laboratory technician. She’s still aiming for the fairytale cottage of her childhood dreams, and asks all potential Prince Charmings to apply in writing with pictures of themselves and their Aston Martins.

Buy link:

Heroes, Villains and In-Between- Katie MacAlister

Out Now!

Villains! I love the little devils. Not because I’m secretly a sadist who likes to see all her happy little characters tormented by some nasty villain…well, OK, maybe I do, but mostly I love villains because in them, I see the opportunity of redemption.

There’s nothing that chimes my bells more than a bad boy character, a person who at some point in his life, made a choice that led him into a path of no return. Mind you, I don’t like characters who were born bad—Magoth, a demon lord in my dragon books, is one of my favorite characters, but despite wishing I could turn him around and make him a hero, I know in my heart I can’t because he never truly was ever good to begin with—but give me a man who made some bad choices and was damned because of them, and I’m on the spot ready to bring him back to the fold.

That’s one reason why Baltic, one of my dragon heroes, is my favorite of all the dragons. He started out as the villain, a man who had committed acts so heinous, everyone feared him. So far as anyone knew, he was a psychopathic murderer bent on the destruction of everyone and everything. He remained that way through the three silver dragon books, with only a hint in the last one that perhaps there was more to him than was obvious.

Coming to NAL Signet May 3,2011

I knew the moment I first wrote the words “dread wyvern Baltic” that some day, I was going to take this uber-villain, and turn him into a hero. I couldn’t resist—he was just so bad, so apparently focused on everyone’s destruction, I had to find out what had made him that way, what forces had driven him to become the most hated character in all of dragon history, and spin him around.

It turned out the force that had sent him on a spiral of villainhood had been love. Baltic loved and lost, and that loss drove him more or less insane with grief. The depths of his love, the power it held over his mind, and how it forced him into choices that others would never have made is what intrigued me. I loved exploring just how far his vengeance would take him simply because I knew how much pain he suffered every single moment of his existence.

The joy, of course, was when it came time to write Baltic’s books. Redemption, how sweet thy name! I reveled in the opportunity of taking a villain that readers had despised for three books, and finding a way to not only make them love him, but more importantly, make him whole again. The answer was again love—what once destroyed him, now could make him a warm, funny, loving person, one who still had enough naughty quirks to satisfy my bad-boy lust, but who could now be free to conduct heroic acts…even if they were done with a villainous flair.

Heroes are well and fine, but give me an angsty, tormented villain, and I’ll happily plot his redemption, glorying in his badness every step of the way.

For an Excerpt from the upcoming The Unbearable Lightness of Dragons Click Here.

To Pre-Order (print): Amazon,B-A-M,  Barnes & Noble, Book Depository,  Borders, Chapters, Indie Bound, PenguinPowell’s

To Pre-Order (eBook): Kindle,  Nook

Katie’s page:


For as long as she can remember, Katie MacAlister has loved reading. Growing up in a family where a weekly visit to the library was a given, Katie spent much of her time with her nose buried in a book. Despite her love for novels, she didn’t think of writing them until she was contracted to write a non-fiction book about software. Since her editor refused to allow her to include either witty dialogue or love scenes in the software book, Katie swiftly resolved to switch to fiction, where she could indulge in world building, tormenting characters, and falling madly in love with all her heroes.

Two years after she started writing novels, Katie sold her first romance, Noble Intentions. More than thirty books later, her novels have been translated into numerous languages, been recorded as audiobooks, received several awards, and are regulars on the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. She also writes for the young adult audience as Katie Maxwell.

Katie lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and dogs, and can often be found lurking around online.