“When you see him, tell the Devil he’d be smart to prepare himself for me. We’re going to rule Hell together, you and I.” ~MADISON VASSER, in Katie Jennings’ WHEN EMPIRES FALL.
Madison Vasser runs the hotel empire of the infamous Vasser family having taken over from her granddad. She’s beautiful. She’s powerful. And most people would find her intimidating but not me. OK, maybe just a little bit.
Having agreed to do the interview, we’d agreed to meet at the hotel bar for drinks. I had a little trouble planning what to wear. I mean what would be suitable? A suit would be too formal, a dress too dressy… Shaking my head at myself, I settled for my normal attire of dark blue jeans and a nice pale peach shirt. I fit my size nine high tops on and I was set. There is no way I could compete with a multi billionaire hotel empire heiress so I might as well be comfortable.
She was already seated when I got there, exquisitely dressed as always. There was a piece of paper on the table in front of her and I watched as her elegant fingers held her pen as she made notes on the sheet. I could only imagine what she was thinking.
I cleared my throat.
“Good afternoon, Ms. Vasser. I do apologise for my tardiness.”
“Nonsense. You are on time, I was early.”
She smiled at me with what I thought was an obvious attempt to put me at ease. It was working.
“Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed today. I know you must be quite busy, running the world and all…”
“If you are alluding to the unfortunate events that have befallen my family, let me just say that I am used to being in the limelight and I will do what needs to be done to handle the situation.”
Alright then, in at the deep end… In that minute she takes to answer me I can see that the lady is all business. I straighten my shoulders in an attempt to appear a bit more professional.
“Ms Vasser, you look lovely as always. In some circles it is considered impolite to ask a lady her age so I won’t but let me ask you this: If you could stay one age for all eternity, what age would you stay and why?”
“I don’t feel as though age is of any consequence. I have been empowering myself my entire life, and find my age hardly has anything to do with the scope of my success.”
“Tell me what you would consider to be the one defining moment in your life.”
She frowned a little as she replied without any hesitation at all. “Without a doubt, the defining moment of my life was when my grandfather took me under his wing as a child and confided his greatest, murderous secrets with me. From that day on, he moulded me into a version of himself, just as ruthless and ambitious as he was.”
“I guess it’s safe to say you were very close to your grandfather, Cyrus?”
“He was my anchor, and I his floating vessel. He was the single most important person in my life.”
“Are you troubled by what he did? Did it surprise you?”
“Very little troubles or surprises me. He taught me to live my life one step ahead. He had his reasons for doing what he did, and now he has entrusted me to pick up the pieces.”
I can sense the mood at the table changing so I throw in a couple of random questions to lighten the atmosphere.
“Cats or dogs?”
“Cats.” She answered with a smirk.
“They are sly and clever creatures that take orders from no one.”
“Fair enough. What is your favourite colour?”
“Blood red. It’s delightfully sinful.”
“What’s your favourite drink?”
“A nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon…nothing soothes the spirit better than a good wine.”
She took a sip from her wineglass to demonstrate. I suddenly felt a little parched. I looked round discreetly for a waiter and a glass of white wine appeared beside my elbow like magic. Or perhaps it’d been there all along and I didn’t notice. Ahh. I could get used to this.
“Where do you feel most comfortable?”
“In my hotel, among my family. It is my birthright and my greatest triumph.”
I noticed she said MY hotel. Hmm.
“Are your brothers upset that you were chosen to act as head of the company? Has it hurt your relationship with them?”
“Grant and Linc understand. Even if they didn’t, it wouldn’t matter. I’m doing what needs to be done, and nothing and no one can stand in my way.”
“So what is your plan? How are you going to rise above the scandal?”
“My grandfather left me very specific instructions on what to do. I intend to follow them.”
“And your cousins?”
“They will fall in line. She said with a dismissive wave of her hand. They don’t have a choice.”
“You haven’t mentioned Kennedy. She’d your kid sister, yes? How is she handling everything that has happened to your family?”
“I doubt Kennedy has paid much attention. If it involves me, she prefers to keep her distance”.
I sensed a little sibling rivalry simmering under the surface, so I pressed a bit deeper.
“Don’t you two get along?”
“She hates me.”
“Err, I see. Thanks for being so honest.”
I didn’t quite know what to say to that. I was running out of questions anyway so I said a quick thank you and took my leave. As I left the table I remembered I’d wanted to ask her if she was dating anyone at the moment but shrugged it off. I didn’t want to try her patience more than I already had.
Rise of the Notorious
By International Bestselling Author
Coming April 23, 2013
Meet Katie Jennings…
International bestselling Author Katie Jennings is the author of six full length novels, including the popular fantasy series The Dryad Quartet as well as the bestselling family drama series The Vasser Legacy.
She lives in sunny Southern California with her husband and cat, who both think she’s the biggest nerd ever. She’s a firm believer in happy endings and loves nothing more than a great romance novel.
You can find out more about Katie on her official website,www.katieajennings.com.