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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

#Villain, #Savior, and Romance by Beth Caudill


Please welcome my guest, Beth. We're talking villains!
Thank you for hosting me today.

The quest for my villain started with my heroine Evelyn Brooks.  She is a photographer and I wanted to play on the myth that a camera steals the souls of those who have their picture taken. After falling into the internet research hole for an afternoon, I decided on my villain being an Aztec.

Except I knew nothing of the Aztec. In order to create my villain, I needed more information.  There was little Information on the web and what was there I’d classify as sketchy. The library has some books in the children’s section but not what I wanted. Through searching Amazon, based on the blurb and reviews, I narrowed my reference material to The Aztecs by Michael E. Smith (3rd edition).

It’s a bit dry, like when it talks about the tax system of the cities. But it gives a good overview of the art, government and religious duties of the Aztec citizens. There were also city names and people presented so I had an idea on how to form names for my characters. Naming sites don’t have many entries for Aztec inspired names.

Ichtaca sees himself as a savior. The one destined to restore his people to their place in the world. The fact that he can practice human sacrifice in his pursuit of his king and wife, is a bonus he will gladly take advantage of.


He wasn’t evil, but he was an instrument of the Aztec Gods. Everyday people had forgotten about magic, about the power of celestial beings, and the dominion that comes from service. The gods may have weakened but they never left this world. He would bring them back with blood freely given in this modern time.
He would reward a select few with the honor of being the living sacrifice. The ones whose beating hearts he ripped from their chests. Those who had dormant power within them. Only then could his soul rest.
Once his king had returned and a connection to the gods was complete, he would be with his wife and live the life long denied them. Full of ritual and servants. Devotion and worship.
It had been too long since a true sacrifice had been delivered and power returned to his kin. The girl in the cabin would be the first of many. But only after her father had done Ichtaca’s bidding and retrieved the photograph.
At the turn of the twentieth century, technology had seized the attention of the world. It had been a slow build, but those who embraced the enchantments provided by the natural world retreated. Metal and the insidious creations developed from it provided the masses with new concepts to worship.
One of those contraptions that was more insidious than it seemed was the camera. For some, it simply copied an image onto a plate or film. But those who believed in Transcendence—the belief of soul energy to travel beyond our plane of existence—found themselves trapped. Their bodies empty shells that disintegrated without the host’s spirit.
In 1906, the Goddess Tlaltecuhtli split the earth in California. A small contingent of his people traveled to San Francisco to take advantage of the death and despair. They could renew their bonds with the gods by providing release to the affected populous.
No one would know of his clan’s work except the gods.
Reveling in the chaos of the event, he hadn’t noticed the change in Tiegan or his king. Not until it was too late. They’d returned home. The journey drained their lives too soon. Their people strayed without a ruler. Too many lost hope, abandoned their refuge.
He was the last of his people. The last to know the true power of the gods and how to return them to this world. His first step was to retrieve the photograph imprisoning them.

Tethered by Beth Caudill


Evelyn Brooks lives with the freedom only her kind can know—in her human form as a photographer, and in the skies as a falcon. When a stalker drives her from her home, Evelyn discovers a beautiful, wild sanctuary in North Carolina. After a bolt of magic knocks her from the sky, leaving her helpless, she realizes too late that danger invaded her refuge.

Park ranger Lawke Morgan’s day goes from bad to worse when his ex-wife unexpectedly drops off their 13-year-old daughter in the beginning of a dangerous storm. His life takes a turn for the bizarre after he finds an injured Peregrine falcon that transforms into a lovely woman.

When his daughter is kidnapped by an Aztec priest, one who should have been dead for centuries, Lawke learns that Evelyn holds the key to the priest’s demands. Together they must confront blood sacrifices, defy ancient gods and find a way to trust each other when a young girl’s life hangs in the balance. 

Can a woman used to soaring amongst the clouds embrace love with a man firmly rooted on the ground? 

Currently on sale for $0.99
January 20 – February 18, 2018

Available for Sale at:
                Amazon US –
            Amazon UK -
            Amazon DE -
            Amazon CA -
            Amazon AU -
            Kobo –

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About the Author 
Although Beth grew up in West Virginia, she currently resides in North Carolina with her husband, two sons and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who makes an excellent lap warmer. Blending the analytical and creative sides of her brain, she delights in creating fantasy worlds for others. Catch her online most days except when NCIS and Once Upon a Time air.


  1. Replies
    1. I'm glad you're here. I love writing villains and it's fun to learn about others.