Cross-posted from Witchy Chicks
I’ve talked before about how sometimes stories come easily to me and sometimes they’re harder to write. One of the hardest books for me to write was Jeweled, which just released a couple of weeks ago. Its sequel, Jaded, flowed like water even though it’s a similar book in tone and set in the same world.
Why was Jeweled was so difficult? I think several factors combined to make it so, but the major factor was Evangeline, my heroine. She was the inspiration for the novel, but she was also one of the hardest characters I’ve ever written.
Evangeline has not experienced her own emotion since she was a child. Her magickal gift is stealing emotion from others, trading it, and “manufacturing” feeling in others. A part of her gift is the ability to build strong walls against emotion for herself and after a very traumatic experience as a child, she did just that.
But when the palace where Evangeline lives is taken over by a mob during a bloody revolution and she’s turned out into the street, penniless, all her walls coming tumbling down and Evangeline is forced to learn how to feel again.
There to help her is Anatol, an adept of light and illusion. He is also a “Jeweled,” one of those with enough magick to earn him a precious jewel set into his flesh and be considered good breeding material for the royal family, (that, over the years, has bled out all the magick from their line through inbreeding).
The backlash of Anatol’s gift of being able to sculpt illusion is the ability to see truth. He sees that Evangeline is a very special person, but she needs lots love and support to get through the sudden changes in her life. He has loved for her for a very long time and is willing to give her anything she needs.
Anatol loves Evangeline because he can see through to the truth of her. If a person can’t do that, it’s hard to find affection for her in the beginning of the book. Until those walls holding back her emotion fall, she is a petty, selfish, cold-hearted person. Once the walls fall, she’s vulnerable and, really, a mess. Primarily, Jeweled is Evangeline’s story about how she finds love and also finds her true self.
Complicating matters is Gregorio Vihkin, the scholarly mastermind behind the revolution that has disrupted Anatol and Evangeline’s lives. When the upheaval in the streets threatens Anatol and Evangeline’s lives, he takes them in.
At first Evangeline hates Gregorio for what he’s done, but when she gets to know him and sees the truth behind their former pampered lifestyles and how it hurt the rest of the people, her feelings for Gregorio warm. Warm a little too much for Anatol’s taste. Soon both men are in love with Evangeline and Evangeline has more than she can handle.
Together, in a world gone mad, they must find a way to come together.
Jeweled, like Jaded, is a very emotional book. It was Evangeline, a very complex character with a complicated arc of development, that made this one a bear for me to write. But I like a challenge, so I enjoyed every minute of it. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.