The Assignment by Jade A. Waters
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Healed, Confident, Content…
A Reflection on Maya Clery From The Assignment
by Jade A. Waters
I like my heroines damaged. Always have, always will. I don’t want them to be broken-down and helpless, or caricatures of women who are distressed and ruined for life over the plights they’ve encountered. But, I do want my female protagonists to be real women. I want them to have lived through the worst of it, and to have come through the other side ready to face the world, whatever it may bring, and no matter how hard it may be.
This requirement burns strongly in me because I want my female leads to be a reflection of many incredible women I’ve connected with in real life: women who have seen the worst and survived. Women who have overcome pain. Women who lived, and who are beautiful because of every scar, every mark on their personal path, and every wound they’ve ever bled through. The power these women carry—gorgeous, strong, extraordinary power—must be a part of the characters I write.
This is why I’m pleased to introduce you to Maya Clery, the heroine of The Assignment. She is one of these women. She’s got a troubled past that she’s worked through, and though she’s healed now, like most women who have been through the worst of it, the reality is that her history has in some way shaped her identity. This isn’t to say she’s broken in any way; she is confident, happy, bold, sassy, and strong. She’s got an active life in her hometown of Alameda, California, which includes a gift for piano and a lifetime running habit. She’s also a loyal friend, a lover of people and their stories, and a caretaker for the domestic violence sufferers she works with in her advocate position at Women Organized for Change. At 32, she’s seen it all, both in her profession and with her terrifying ex-boyfriend. And while she has scars from what she’s been through, she’s made it through to the other side. She’s found her freedom, and she’s content and proud. She also knows what she wants, which includes a happening sex life—something she’s not afraid to act on or reveal to the world.
But Maya also knows something is buried. It’s an interest piqued long ago in an exploration that came with hefty risks, and it’s raised inhibitions in her that she hasn’t bothered to—or been interested in—facing again… Until she meets Dean Sova.
Dean is everything Maya’s usually drawn to, but more. He’s urbane, sexy, and direct. That direct piece, she particularly likes. He’s not afraid of going after what he wants, or expressing fantasies that others might scoff at. And it’s that directness that sparks all sorts of buried desires in Maya, inspiring her to know him even more. In time, her journey through their relationship includes an exploration of who she really is, and that is why I had so much fun writing her. Maya’s relationship with Dean forces her to tap not just old urges, but old fears. She’s got to summon courage and strength to face the dark feelings she’s done so well to push aside for all this time.
But, like the women I know in real life who have been through pain like Maya has, deep down, she knows she has all the power she needs to work through these fears and feelings. That’s why I enjoyed writing her so much. I hope that when you read The Assignment, you will enjoy Maya’s journey, too.
If you’re a visual person, please be sure to check out my Maya Pinterest board for some images inspired by her life and style.
And of course, happy reading to all!
A giant thank you to Alpha Book Club for hosting me today!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jade A. Waters is an erotica author in Northern California. Author of the Lessons in Control series, releasing from Carina Press beginning December 2016.