The REAL Wendy Drew–aka, I killed my friend – by Jade Lee – guest blog and giveaway

Leave a comment for a chance to win a print copy of WHAT THE GROOM WANTS (US/Canada  only)

The REAL Wendy Drew–aka, I killed my friend – by Jade Lee


2_11 jade lee wendydrewThere’s this woman I know. She owns an independent bookstore in O’Fallon, MO. She loves romance and has the largest selection of new and used romance in…possibly the world. Plus, she’s an amazing woman whom I adore. Here’s a picture of us together at a Hot Damn Design’s event. And here’s her website:

Once upon a time, I did a speech (with puppets!) at MORWA where she’s a member. Right afterwards, I had a signing at her store. I think it was the puppets really, that started our friendship. It’s hard not to like someone who helps you do kinky things with puppets in front of a crowd. Here’s the youtube link to some of that speech. (She’s behind the camera at this part)

Anyway, we were talking about my next series–one with four women running a bridal salon in Regency England–and she teasingly asked for one of the characters to be named after her. No problem, I said. I’ll make you the seamstress and co-owner of the shop. After all, I’m terrible at naming characters, so here was one less to name.

Then it came time to write Wendy’s book. What did I know about the character? The real Wendy enjoys gamblimg, has a wild streak in her personality and her hair, and loves to laugh. Okay, so I’ll do that, I thought. Except people in Regency England didn’t put red streaks in their hair, my editor hated the idea of the heroine gambling, and the hero was the happy one (relatively speaking), so the heroine couldn’t be equally happy-go-lucky.

So much for the base of the character. Were there more problems?  You bet. Because I know the real Wendy, I couldn’t give my character flaws. The real Wendy doesn’t brood. She doesn’t look at life as a series of bargains or manipulations. And she sure as hell isn’t trapped into a dangerous situation with the head of a criminal organization. In short, I couldn’t make her an interesting character because the real woman was my friend.

Oops. My first attempt at the book was boring. Wendy wasn’t real or interesting; she was just my cool friend transposed to England. Which is when it happened: I had to kill her (metaphorically speaking). I had to put the knife in all those pages of my amazing friend and create someone wholly alive on her own. Can you say, HARD?

So there you have the dirty secret. Wendy Drew the character is a woman who survives by bargaining. She can only get through the day with a series of: I’ll give you this, if you give me that negotiations. Which works until Radley shows up to show her a different way. Through his love, she beings to believe in something else. And then together, they defeat the most appealing and complicated villain I’ve ever written.

2_11 jade lee coverWhich is all very exciting and emotional and lovingly real. Sadly, it has very little to do with the true Wendy Drew who is, I repeat, a really cool and awesome woman. Thank God I never tried to write the real Harvey. That’s him on the cover of The Groom’s Gamble. He’s a great guy too, but his name won’t appear in any of my books. Sorry Harvey!





2_11 Jade Lee What the Groom Wants CoverAn honest love…

Radley Lyncott has been in love with Wendy Drew as long as he can remember. When he went to sea, she was too young to court. Now that he’s returned to take up his Welsh title, he is appalled to find that debt has ruined the Drew family, and—even worse—Wendy is being courted by another man.

Or a dangerous attraction?

Family comes first for seamstress Wendy Drew, who is forced to settle her brother’s debt by working nights at a notorious gambling den. But her double-life hasn’t gone unnoticed—she has captivated none other than Demon Damon, a nefarious rake who understands Wendy’s darkest desires and is hell bent on luring her into his arms.


2_11 Jade Lee Author PhotoUSA Today bestselling author Jade Lee has been scripting love stories since she first picked up a set of paper dolls. Ball gowns and rakish lords caught her attention early (thank you Georgette Heyer), and her fascination with the Regency began. An author of more than 30 romance novels and winner of dozens of industry awards, she finally gets to play in the best girl-heaven place of all: a Bridal Salon! In her new series, four women find love as they dress the most beautiful brides in England. Lee lives in Champaign, Illinois.


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  1. I love your sense of humor, Jade. As for Harvey, I guess we all have to have a flaw.

  2. I love Jade Lee’s Bridal series and I am fascinated with the character Wendy. Awesome premiss

  3. How sad to have to kill your friend. At least it was just in a book and not for real.

  4. So I’m DEAD to you!!! Oh, the shame!!! 🙂
    WHAT THE GROOM WANTS is seriously fabulous! The ending is to “die” for (boy, there sure is a whole lot of dyin’ going on around here)!
    And, BTW, you don’t KNOW if I’m not some scandalous, dangerous situation with the head of a criminal organization… *pfft* Please, girl! You don’t know everything about me…oh, wait…ya kind of do. 🙂 Love ya, girl! Great job, not only with “me” but with the entire series (including the four novellas…I think ENGAGED IN PASSION was my fav of the novellas). Can’t wait to text ya again at 1am again. LOL!!!

  5. You are just so funny and on top of that wild which is great Jade. Love your books and can’t wait to read What the Groom Wants. Sometimes we all would love to slap our friends in fun that is not sure about kill.

  6. You write it, I’ll read it. So your friend is dead. How could you do such a thing? Such a nice person–farewell. Think Karma, Jade. I, too, love your sense of humor, your great books and your beautiful covers. Happy Valentine’s Day!!

  7. Interesting character

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  8. Glittergirl says:

    Loved the voice of this post. You just chatted away with friends. Love that you are so friendly and approachable. Thanks for the giveaway as I’d love to win a copy.

  9. Barbara Elness says:

    I loved the post, and I think it’s funny how Wendy Drew evolved. I think your friend Wendy won’t mind that the character isn’t just like her, it might be fun to have an alter ego. 😀

    • It IS fun to have an alter ego…I keep telling my husband he now has to refer to me as “Your Grace” but alas, he suffers from the debilitating problem of selective hearing so I have yet to hear it from his lips. 😉

  10. Wendy sounds like an interesting character. I look forward to reading all about her.


  11. Janie McGaugh says:

    That was a fun post, especially since I’ve actually met (briefly) the real Wendy. The book sounds like it will be a great read.
    jmcgaugh (at) semo (dot) edu

  12. I have often wondered how author’s come up with the characters’ names. I read A Groom’s Gamble and the “outtakes” a few days ago. I really enjoyed it and I am anxious to read What the Groom Wants. I really liked Wendy Drew. We all need a friend like Wendy.

  13. What the Groom Wants sounds like a great read!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  14. Isn’t the real Wendy a kick? See why I wanted to write about her? And her husband totally ought to call her Your Grace. Anyway, thanks everyone for the nice thoughts. And HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! I hope you enjoy the book as much as I loved writing it…after I killed my friend!

  15. Chelsea K. says:

    Thanks for the giveaway as well as for sharing with us here today. Hope you have a great day.

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