Monday, July 26, 2010

Guest - Marilu Mann

Good morning everyone! Today's guest is Marilu Mann who brings the steaminess of the Louisiana bayous to her books but she doesn't stop there. Marilu's willing to travel to the frozen tundra of Wisconsin to heat up those northern nights and melt a little snow. She'll also circle the world to Wales, Ireland, Scotland and back just to bring you books that make you sweat.

Currently residing in Texas, Marilu is an avid armchair traveler. Her sexy shifters will set your blood to boiling in no time. Owned by one Diva Teen and various animals, Marilu keeps busy writing the novels her readers beg for.

Marilu is thrilled to be a part of the Ellora's Cave family and loves to hear from readers.


Villains. Bad Guys. Dastardly Deed Doers. Beastly Bastards. Wicked Women. Evil Witches. A Blizzard.

No matter what you call them, they are crucial to a plot. Even if your villain is the environment such as a brutal winter storm forcing the hero and heroine to work together to survive, you’ve gotta have bad. There have been some shining examples of bad throughout literary history. Grendel, anyone? Or Fagin from Oliver Twist? What about Nellie Oleson from Little House On The Prairie?

A monster, a manipulator and a total bitch.

But all three provided grist for the mill of their stories. Grendel had to die. Beowulf's quest to defeat Grendel, his mother and then that pesky dragon doesn't end so well for Beowulf but it is the stuff legends are made of!

Then there's the seemingly kind Fagin. For me, this is the worst kind of villain because the hero is fooled into trusting them. Interestingly enough, Dickens changed the earlier editions of his descriptions of Fagin as a Jew. He based the character on a criminal named Ikey Solomon who was Jewish but the Jewish people took exception to the villain being of their faith. So in the edition you read, you may have not seen that. But what a great villain he was...twisting Oliver’s feelings, forcing Nancy into betraying Oliver and making Oliver trust him that way!

Of course, one of my favorites is the nasty Nellie Oleson. I just saw that the actress who portrayed her for seven years has written a book that was released this year. Alison Arngrim titled her book "Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated." But what a great villain she was. She was nice when she needed something but would stab you in the back in a heartbeat. Who didn't love to hate Nellie?

None of those stories would have been as rich or as full without their villains. Without Nellie's continual manipulations, could we have seen how brave and strong and wonderful Laura was? We would have never rooted for Oliver half as hard without the hurt in our heart over Fagin's betrayal of his little boy trust.

Of course, there's another type of villain. Let’s call him the Ambiguous Baddie. You know he or she is a bad egg, but there's something about him you just can't help but like. Consider Erik Northman from the HBO show True Blood. He's gorgeous. He’s blonde. He's bad. He's after Bill's girl. He's ├╝ber sexy. As each episode unfolds, we see a little more of what makes Erik tick. I know I am finding him very intriguing.

In our first book (Marilu Mann is a writing team), Changing Times, our hero and heroine battle a two-person team of villains. A pair of nastier, rotten shifters you'd never want to meet. Maggie is a conniving, scheming, downright vicious Alpha bitch who wants power any way she can get it. Slade is also power-hungry and her willing partner-in-crime. Our readers have told us that they loved to hate those two.

But we threw a monkey wrench into the works. In our first book, Slade sees a moment between the hero and heroine that makes him stop and think. That moment of thought shines a small light into his heart. You can't imagine the shock our readers had when they learned that book two showed Slade's journey and transformation. One reader actually hit half of us with the book when she realized it was Slade's story.

That's a good thing. She cared enough to hate him. In our latest release, we have another villain who is very different from Slade. He's after power, but he's more of a Fagin-type. He tries to get the heroine to trust him with pretty words and smiles over a romantic dinner. Luckily she's smarter than that but then he turns into a male Morgan Le Fey—all evil spells and wickedness. We love that about him. And because of that, he is more than likely to show up in book two of the Demonae.

So what is your idea of a memorable villain? Who do you just love to hate? What about those ambiguous baddies?  What villain can you not get out of your mind? 

Sex And Trouble

Marielle has just learned she's a hereditary witch whose inheritance comes with a creepy house and a hot butler who is really a trapped sex demon. Mari doesn't believe in magick or demons. But once she sees her butler's-ahem-horns, she has to face the facts. And, he can only be released through mutual sexual pleasure.

Although Mari's sexier than anyone he's ever known, Rosier wants to go home. If that means making Mari scream in ecstasy, he'll just have to deal. It's simple. They have to unlock her powers, defeat her father's enemy and have mind-blowing the next two weeks or he's trapped forever. What's a girl to do when her inheritance leads to Sex and Trouble? Enjoy it!

One randomly chosen commenter will receive a 5 Card Universe Tarot reading By Arwen (  To be eligible, leave a comment here AND send an email to with the words Star-Crossed Romance in the subject line. The drawing will be closed at noon on Friday July 30 and the winner announced here on Star-Crossed Romance shortly after. ( (group blog) (very low traffic) (Buy Link)
Blurb: Sex And Trouble


-- Lynda Again

Make sure you read all the way down so you can see information on a new drawing for Newsletter Members Only. 

Great News! If you buy Heartstone through the Mundania site, you can use the code
LSCOTT10 at checkout and receive a 10% discount on your total

Trade Paperback
240 pages


Eric d'Ebrur is out of time. He must find the legendary Heartstone and
fulfill the ancient Gar'Ja bond he shares with the Stonebearer. But
when he finds her, he discovers that love can be more dangerous than
the Gawan threat. Eric can defeat the mind-controlling Gawan but will
it cost him the woman he loves?

After terrifying episodes of hypersensitivity, Keriam Norton thinks
she's losing her mind. When handsome shapeshifter Eric d'Ebrur saves
her from the monstrous Gawan, she's sure of it. But insane or not,
she'll find the Heartstone and, if she's lucky, a love to last a

Coming soon for Newsletter Members Only! A drawing for a Heartstone necklace of your own. Tell your friends and family so they can participate too. Starting today and lasting until August 20, I'll email one member for a snail mail address. You must reply in order to be included in the drawing. On August 21, I'll put all the name/addresses in the gift box and have my feline helper, Wookie,  select the winner.

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Pauline B Jones said...

Jasper Fforde does some great villains. I'm torn between Acheron Hades and the Gingerbread Man.

I will admit that some of my villains are easier to spend time with than others. But in the end? Definitely worth it to kick a story into high.

Tarot By Arwen said...

Half of Marilu here. I think uncomfortable villains are the most fun. I love the ones that make me squirm just a bit. I am not a horror fan but I do love romantic suspense.

Oh and series where the darn villain just won't die! :)

Debra Glass said...

I love a great villain who has a well developed GMC. Two of my all time favorites are Jason Isaacs in The Patriot and of course, Hannibal Lecter. I adore writing villains. My favorites are Blackbeard in Watchkeeper and my co-villains in Badcock.

Tarot By Arwen said...

Debra, dual villains? That sounds like an interesting book!

Lynda K. Scott said...

LOL, I have a villain who just won't die in 'Heartstone'. If the book is popular enough, I might reform/remake him into a hero in a later sequel.

But I agree with you all. A villain can make or break a story.

Thanks for being with us, Arwen, and everyone - Don't forget to leave a comment and send Arwen an email with Star-Crossed Romance in the subject line so you'll be eligible to enter the drawing for the Tarot reading. It sounds like fun!

Rachel Kenley said...

I love the actor who portrays Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies. He's so icy yet... mesmorizing. Always thought he should play a villan in the James Bond series.

Lisa Kessler said...

My all-time favorite villain is teh Evil Queen from Snow White! She was cold, calculating, and willing to do teh dirty work herself when push came to shove.

Without her obsession there wouldn't have been a story behind Snow White. The Queen propelled everything forward...

Gotta love a girl with a plan, right? LOL

Great blog!

Lisa :)

Tarot By Arwen said...

Lynda, reforming the bad boy is fun but work! We had to rewrite book 1 a bit once we realized Slade needed his own story. He was much worse before. LOL

Rachel, did you know that actor played Peagreen in The Borrowers? He's an amazingly gifted actor.

Lisa, I love her but I would have thought you would have picked Cruella! Hee

Controlling Myself said...

How about a villain who wasnt a villain but over the years, she became one? The Baba Yaga is my precious "villain"...her archetype conjured up the witch from the Hansel and Gretel story. She was the evil witch who lived in the woods and kidnapped small children who got lost in the woods and ate them after she fattened them up! Actually, she was the woman of the woods, who left the village as the new order religion took hold amongst the people (Xtianity). Children were told not to go into the forest because of the real dangers there, of wild animals and a good chance they might get lost. When Baba Yaga found them, she consoled them with good food, let them rest and then took them to the edge of the woods so they could scramble home to momma and poppa who would have been mad at them for not listening by going into the woods. But the children told them of the "old hag" who fed them to fatten them up and was going to keep them until she ate them, but they broke away and ran home. In reality, the old woman of the woods was a kind benevolant person. People just feared her!