The Woman in the Mirror: How we see ourselves in the heroines we read


It’s important to me that my heroines reflect a wide variety of women. Julija, from Dark Illusion, is more powerful than she knows. She thinks things about herself and about love that is filtered through some terrible life experiences. She was taught from an early age not to trust Carpathian males. So, when she meets Isai things don’t go smoothly.

I’ve had people ask me why I write heroines who sometimes fight becoming a lifemate. Let’s face it, if it all went easy there’d not be a lot to write about. There’s always conflict in new relationships and Carpathians have to deal with that like everyone else. Especially the men. Especially the ancient ones who know little of modern women.


In my real life I am a 3rd degree black belt and earned my instructor’s license to teach martial arts. I love martial arts, though I’m retired now, but I did that for 20 years. I taught special women’s classes. This was for battered, abused women. Some had had very horrible things done to them and they needed to fuel their courage. I say “fuel” and not “find” because all women have courage. Sometimes they just need to be reminded or lifted up. Learning self-defense can help with that.


So, I’ve met all kinds of women throughout my life. Some who are quiet, some who speak up and out and aren’t afraid to tell you what they think or how they feel. Some don’t want to be noticed, but prefer to stay in the background. Some want to fight anyone and everyone they feel needs it. Large women, petite women, every ethnicity, social background, walk of life, they all matter to me. I want all of them to have a happy ever after. Whatever that means to them.

When I started writing the Dark Series I wanted a woman who could accept an unusual man. Raven, from Dark Prince, was psychic and so she already knew there were unusual people in the world. She was one. As a couple Mikhail and Raven were a great example light and darkness. Raven is brilliant, confident and accepting. Mikhail lucked out!

Not all women are accepting. Gabrielle from Dark Promises certainly didn’t start out wanting her lifemate. Trixie (also from Dark Promises) tried to kill her future lifemate even as she admitted to herself that he’s hot.

Ivory Malinov fromDark Slayer is a formidable warrior. Emeline from Dark Legacy was timid and vulnerable in a way even though she certainly had courage.


Julija is a fighter. Unfortunately, her need to fight doesn’t always serve her well when it comes to love. She has courage. But, I love that she has a vulnerability at her core that helps us empathize with her and love her.

Of all of the Dark series heroines I’ve written, which do you feel you’re most like? Which one would you want to be most like?


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Published on September 04, 2019 16:14 Tags: carpathian-series, dark-illusion, dark-series, dark-slayer, female-warriors, heroines, vampire
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message 1: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Gianinio I love Alexandria and Julija. But felt a connection with Lara, too. Would love to be like Lorraine. Id have a long way to go.

message 2: by AlwaysV (last edited Sep 07, 2019 07:37AM) (new)

AlwaysV Ivory has always been and will be my favorite. I love her the most and would love to be like her. I own three editions of Dark Slayer ➡️ kindle, paperback, & hard cover 💖 Just to show how much I love both Ivory & Razvan 💕

Wondering : Was Ivory the first Carpathian female who experienced the force of meeting/recognizing the lifemate? I only remember Carpathian males did that.

And Isai's lifemate recognized him as hers, too. So she was the second female after Ivory?

message 3: by Melanie (new)

Melanie Jaxon, in Dark Guardian, is one of my favorites. Even through all her traumas, she fights. To protect, survive and live. Yes, she fought against her lifemate. But then she fought for him. Just hit home.

message 4: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Tweddle I like all the heroines in your books, even the ones I want to strangle for a while, or slap for their stubbornness. Their strengths keep the going and get them to accept the inevitable in the end.

message 5: by Kellie (new)

Kellie I like all the women you've portrayed but the two that have touched me the most have and will always be Ivory and Destiny. Such strong names for some strong women. Both have suffered greatly in their lives and have come out stronger and better from that suffering. I would like to think that in my core self that I would be able to persevere like they both have.

message 6: by Jacquelyn (new)

Jacquelyn Smith I love all the women in your books that what makes them do exciting to read!!!

message 7: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Adams Ivory, Destiny, Branislava, Skylar, and Lara are the women I most strongly identify with. They have all persevered through life's tragedies and have come out the other side stronger and more secure in their ability to deal with further difficulties. I respect their steadfast resilience and tenacity, and their dedication to their lifemates to be the best version of themselves they can be.

message 8: by Carol L (new)

Carol L Cridge Relationships require some work, compromises. I don't know of anyone who has a perfectly easy one. The special ladies in your books have many great qualities and we, well I, can only hope I have some of what they've got. A glimmer of hope that I can become a better person daily and make another man happy after losing the love of my life? Yes, I find that kind of strength in all your heroines. Never give up. Fighting with your mate over things is inevitable but don't let it end you. Ivory was one of my favorites too!

message 9: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Dye I would say I'm more like Jaxxon from Dark Guardian. even though she has been through so much she still wants to protect those she loves. she is willing to fight for herself and her family. she is a very strong woman and deserves respect.

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