This was a Christmas present from my husband (aka, The Best Husband In The Universe). I’ve wanted this piece since I first started writing, when it was just Stenne and I. However, our girl gang has grown by three a (until I think up another series and we grow by one more). I’d love to introduce you to by leading ladies, from left to right!
Project: Cooper & Parrish
Blonde hair, blue eyes, and a questionable fashion sense for a late 19th-century single woman are the first three things every townsperson in Billetsby, England sees when they spy Anna Cooper running like a mad woman through town, brandishing weapons and screaming in a foreign language. Usually trailing behind her in a reserved (and embarrassed) manner is Dr. James Parrish with his phials of swirling blue liquid and disapproving frown. Unfortunately for both Anna and James, they are the only two in Billetsby capable of saving the town from the mysterious evil forces that are slowing converging, and therefore must defy danger on perilous adventures together.
Anna is never seen without her precious blue-flamed katana and ornate revolvers. Like any decent English woman, her favorite beverage is tea. Her wardrobe is an eclectic blend of 19th century English fashion, tribal wear from her adventures abroad, and pieces from her late grandmother’s jewelry collection.
An Excerpt from Cooper & Parrish:
“Would you like me to escort you home?”
“Do I look incapable of getting there by myself?” I snaps.
“Is that a trick question?” The man asks without missing a beat. “Yes, you do. That’s why I offered to walk you home. I just saved you from an attack you weren’t able to fend off yourself.”
“Excuse me, sir,” I scoff. “I had it under control.”
“Under control? Are you daft, woman? That thing—”
“Nearly killed me. I heard you the first time,” I cut him off. “I would say thank you, but I’m not grateful to a pompous ass who refuses to acknowledge that I can handle myself against a simple forest daemon.”
“Tiyanak,” he corrects.
“You’re entitled to your wrong opinion, but I’m telling you, it’s not a tiyanak,” I shoot back. “Now if you don’t mind I’ll be on my way, by myself, thank you very much.”
Project: The Last McNary
Bridie doesn’t remember much about her parents, nor does she care to. After all, they’re the ones who abandoned their 10-year-old in the Bloat nearly fifteen years ago. Now 25, Bridie struggles to survive in a city where her blood is her only asset and harrowing ghosts stalk her trail.
Zenith runs on blood, literally. Bridie has spent her life dodging cops intent on capturing her to make her a bloodslave—someone kept by the city’s hospitals and forcibly drained of blood. Bridie remains uncaught until a chance meeting with a young girl lands both girls in even more perilous situations.
Bridie is nearly always covered in some sort of mud, dirt, or muck. She suffers from anemia and trades her blood for daily iron tablets (pretty counter-intuitive, right?). Though fierce and vicious to strangers, she’s kind and forgiving to those she cares about. It’s tough to get on her good side and when you do, only a truly devastating betrayal will cut you off from her forever.
An Excerpt from The Last McNary:
“I’m leaving, Marv.”
While his eyes snap to my face, he makes no sound. I bite my lip and continue.
“I found a blood card this morning on a corpse… she was O-Neg. I deposited some blood into her account and I’m catching a bus in 10 minutes before GIH or the hospitals get wise to her death. I brought these,” I say, pulling a handful of vials out of my pocket. “It should keep you going for a while. Can you tell Zugs I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye?”
Several emotions cloud Marv’s face when I confess my plan—from surprise, to anger, to hurt. He nods slowly but doesn’t offer a verbal response.
“You okay?” I ask, poking the unmoving lunk. “No monologue to try to convince me to stay?”
“Ten minutes, you say?” he responds in a gruff tone, pushing himself off the counter beside me and walking toward the supply room. “Who knows if you’ll still be alive by then.”
Me! (Katarina Betterton)
Hey there! I’m the author of all these ladies. I grew up on the East Coast, have been writing on and off since the fourth grade, and married the love of my life in June 2018. We have an adorably mischievous puppy named Ledger.
Jump over to my About page if you’d like to learn more about me!
Stenne believes she’s a “nobody;” just another insignificant person in the last civilization on Earth.
As per Commune instruction, Stenne is never not in her uniform: a black v-neck t-shirt and dark grey industrial cargo pants. She’s scared of pretty much everything, but her worst fear is failing. Stenne doesn’t have ambition besides earning as many points as possible for her Haven. She has a hard time admitting her faults (as she sees every fault as a failure), but knows she can be a rash decision maker, quick to fly off the handle, and completely lacking in common sense at times. Much greater than her faults, though, are her strengths: her kindness, her bravery, her optimism, and her smile.
An Excerpt from 33:
There are eight statements about myself I know to be utterly true—eight tenets by which I’ve thrived for the last 23 years and 362 days.
I am the Commune.
I am safe.
I am liked.
I am capable.
I have a purpose.
I want my Haven.
I am not special.
As the only female captain with an all-female crew, Eta is the fiercest pirate sailing the six seas of Ondur.
She’s also a mermaid; a part of herself she’s hid from her land-walking counterparts for six years, as Ondurians loathe the scales and magic lurking in the watery depths of Undor.
Eta is a regal being without the need to prove her royalty. She’s automatically respected when she walks into a room because of the air of grace and power she carries with her at all times. She’s sure of herself, strong-willed, and a fighter for justice. She the practice of doing something the same way because ‘it’s tradition.’
On land, she has blonde hair, blue eyes, and tanned skin thanks to the bright sun. Under the waves, she’s a vision of iridescent lilac.
An Excerpt from mErTAle:
“I don’t understand, though. If you’re so kind, why be a pirate at all?” He asks, honest curiosity in his voice.
“There aren’t many roles in the world where women have freedom,” I state plainly. “My crew is made up of women—only women—whose old life offered nothing but painful confines. Wives beaten within an inch of their lives by the husbands. Widows who can’t support themselves. Spinsters cast aside. Prostitutes sold into slavery. Any woman who doesn’t have anywhere else to go has a place on my ship.”
And There You Have It!
You’ve now met all my leading ladies. Who’s story interests you the most?
Feel free to follow me on Instagram as I make my way through writing these wonderful women at @iamgirlofwords!