Birth of a Complex Villain… – 5 Star Review for Born of Magic #Book Review


born of magic cover bigArms dealer, Bakari al-Sharif selects a quaint cafe in Amsterdam to close his biggest deal ever–only to have his celebration clouded by his brothers’ warnings about Djeserit. Is she an Egyptian sorceress offering wisdom and power? Or a manipulative con-artist seeking only to help herself? What does she want from Bakari? Almost twenty years later the secret is revealed, but the truth only leads to more chaos. Another great addition to the Mata Hari series!

J Reads, Amazon site, October 2, 2015




lovin' danger largeLovin’ the Mata Hari Series – 5 Star Review for Lovin’ Danger

A spy’s life isn’t easy. Old and new enemies, including a Greek millionaire with a flair for technology, decide to target Sadie Stewart’s loved ones in order to get close enough to the beautiful super spy and kill her. Complications increase when Sadie discovers being a spy runs in her family. Next-door neighbor Beatrice adds loads of flair to an already diverse and intriguing cast. And then there’s the sexy giant of a Dutch man who’s a perfect match for Sadie… I hope this series never ends!

J. Reads, on Amazon, September 9th, 2015

3 Key Points From Allison Brennan About Villains (2014 RWA Nationals)

Allison BrennanI hate to make a sound-bite out of a comprehensive hour long workshop, but I like to think of this post as an appetizer. Check out the tape from the conference to get the full meal deal.

How do you make a really good bad-guy? You need to know:

One – Every villain is a hero of his own journey.

Allison quoted Christopher Vogler (The Writers Journey) who says that every villain believes himself to be the hero of his own journey. When you create villains this way it makes them believable, and far more interesting.

Two – Every villain has GMC (Goal, Motivation and Conflict)

A well developed villain like every other character in the book has to have a goal, clearly stated motivation and internal and external conflict. Make them real.

Three – Every villain has an epic moment of choice.

Like the hero, the villain has an epic moment of choice in his life. It might come before the story even begins, but we need to know it to understand what makes them tick.

Bottom Line – Make three dimensional villains that have some humanity. Make them real. They will, “make or break your story.”


I love developing interesting bad guys. Maybe that says something about me. I don’t know, but I find cardboard evil villains fall flat. As Brennan says a good villain challenges the hero and the hero needs to be worthy of the villain. His badness is pivotal.

What do you think?

Whose your favorite bad guy? Any opinions on villains?

One of Allison Brennan’s latest releases, Dead Heat, can be be found here on Amazon.