Monday, July 8, 2013

Gunness, Gozen…the Femme Fatale and the Femme Badass

In honor of the release of my new novel, Dark Siren, I’m featuring a post about some really dangerous ladies. I wish I could say dangerous and sexy, but only 2 out of 4 on the list qualify as the latter.

The Real Femme Fatale

female serial killers, belle gunness

Belle Gunness

This femme fatale was born in 1858. Her first husband died of convulsions in 1900. The second died two years later when a coffee grinder fell on his head.
Belle collected life insurance from both deaths.
Following the second husband’s death, Belle began advertising in the newspaper for a new husband. Many suitors answered her call, coming to Belle’s farmhouse alone and bringing their small cash fortunes. For many of those men, it would be their final first dates.
In 1908, Belle’s farmhouse burned down. In the ashes were found the bodies of her children, her niece (who had grown suspicious of Belle’s activities) and the bodies of at least 13 men. Some estimate that Belle buried over 40 men on her farm.

The Fictional Femme Fatale

female serial killers in fiction, Annie Wilkes in Misery

Annie Wilkes created by Stephen King

Also known as, “the Dragon Lady”

First, I gotta admit. I’m guilty of watching the 1990 movie starring Kathy Bates and James Caan, rather than reading the novel, Misery, by Stephen King. But no worries! It’s only been six years since college. I’m still capable of finding cliff notes.

Annie Wilkes was quite the nut job, a psychopath and a serial killer. Her victims included infants, her father, childhood neighbors, a college roommate, and a hitchhiker. In total, at least 70 people died at her hand.

Lonely and obsessed, Annie was stalking her favorite author, Paul Sheldon, when he has a car accident in a blizzard. She nursed Paul back to health, meanwhile getting him addicted to painkillers. She also employed methods of torture on her captive, using needles, soapy water, and physical maiming to punish the poor guy for bad behavior.

The Real Badass

Tomoe Gozen

Back in twelfth century Japan, training to be a samurai was a boy thing. But there were certain upper class Japanese women who learned the way of the samurai, picking up some pretty badass martial skills in the process.

Mostly, these women of the samurai class were expected to use their training to defend themselves and their dwellings whenever their homes were overrun by enemies. And then these samurai women were expected to fight to the death and die with honor.

But, some women were so skilled of fighters; they didn’t wait for the war to reach their doorsteps. These badasses went to war with the men.

Tomoe Gozen was one of those women.

"…Tomoe was especially beautiful, with white skin, long hair, and charming features. She was also a remarkably strong archer, and as a swordswoman she was a warrior worth a thousand, ready to confront a demon or a god, mounted or on foot. She handled unbroken horses with superb skill; she rode unscathed down perilous descents. Whenever a battle was imminent, Yoshinaka sent her out as his first captain, equipped with strong armor, an oversized sword, and a might bow; and she preformed more deeds of valor than any of his other warriors."
(Tale of the Heike, McCullough, pg. 291)  

The Fictional Badass

wonder woman, DC women, female badass

Wonder Woman created by William Marston

Wonder Woman was introduced to the world in 1941, and since then, has become arguably the most famous heroine of all time. Yep. She’s right up there with Batman and Superman.

Her true name is Princess Diana of Themyscira, from the immortal Amazons of Greek mythology. And there’s the connection.

I included this fictional badass because of her pedigree in Greek mythology. It ties in really well with the origins of one of the main characters, Kalista Mett/Darkesong, in my new novel, Dark Siren(Which is now available onAmazon for 99 pennies. Go get your copy now. Well, finish reading this first.Then go get your copy!)

Wonder Woman was bestowed many of her super powers from Greek gods and goddesses.

The Lasso of Truth was a gift from Olympia. Absolutely unbreakable, it burns with the fires of Hestia.
Her indestructible bracelets, another gift from Olympia, were made from Zeus’s shield, Aegis of Athena.
The superhuman strength was given to WW by Demeter (goddess of the Earth), making her as strong as the earth itself, and nearly as strong as Superman.
Both flight and superhuman speed were granted to WW by Hermes (god of the Messengers).
Her animal rapport and enhanced senses were both granted to WW by Artemis (goddess of the Hunt).

Hopefully, I’ve filled your head with some useless trivia or random conversation tidbits. OR, the next time nerds are talking in your vicinity, you’ll have something kinda cool to add!
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  1. Hi, I'm now following you back. Your blog looks right up my street :))

  2. Welcome! & Thanks for stopping by, Lorraine!


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