Parsons’ new book in his historic fiction thriller series is Baden-Powell’s Beads: AKSUM
BADEN-POWELL’S BEAD’S is a story that took me four books and four years to tell and spans the history of mankind and three continents. (The fourth book is planned for release later this year.) A story this broad has room for more than one villain. Lij Mered, the self-proclaimed Emperor of Ethiopia in the series’ setting of 2005, is evil enough to have carried this burden alone. He is the mastermind behind the plot to obtain all of the original twenty-four Zulu beads recovered by Captain Baden-Powell in South Africa in 1888. But the opportunity to create a villainess to play into the tale was irresistible.
Cheri Hassan is the beautiful temptress who appears in book two, BADEN-POWELL’S BEADS: LONDON, hired, by an agent working within Scotland Yard to obtain four Zulu beads known to be in the United States. She’s also in my new book, BADEN-POWELL’S BEADS: AKSUM. A remorseless killer, she uses her sexuality and influence to obtain money to support her lifestyle and thus becomes the ideal person for this dangerous task, provided she’s paid enough. Creating this character to interest both male and female readers was not easy. But it was a lot of fun. I knew I’d done a respectable job when my wife confessed she wanted me to have something really bad happen to Cheri. She hates her. I’ve also heard from male readers expressing similar emotions, though for different reasons.
The women hate her because on the surface she’s beautiful, sexy, strong and powerful. She is the perfect woman that many women want to be….or believe they want to be.
The men hate her because she’s evil. She breaks men with her unbridled sexuality or if necessary, with lethal force. She cannot be tamed, possessed or controlled.
Yet both sets of readers can’t wait to see what she does next. It’s almost too much to hope that there is a good side to Cheri and that life will work out just the way she wants it. Surely something terrible will happen to her before the story concludes in the fourth book. What is it about her that makes our male protagonist, Homeland Security Agent Patrick Dartson, feel she’s important as to how events will ultimately play out and therefore save her life more than once?
I enjoyed creating Cheri Hassan. I’m frequently asked who, in real life, did I pattern Cheri after. The answer to that, of course, is no one…or at least no ONE. I’ve been married more than once and have the scars to prove it, so some would argue I’m projecting some unresolved issues onto the page. Or that I need serious counseling. I’ll not argue either of these assertions. But I know you, as the reader, will be entertained coming to your own conclusions.
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