As many of you know, the third book in the St. James Family Series, Kiss of Life, is coming this fall.
Pretty exciting, right?
The book will feature wild child Vivica St. James, the cousin of Annata and Toni. I figured since it’s been awhile, I’d do a little refresher course on Vivvy, because I love her (and she’s Granny’s favorite, shhh don’t tell). She’s such a fun character to write – bad-ass, vulnerable, womanly, and childlike all at the same time. I see her as Annata’s kindred spirit, but I doubt Annie would appreciate the comparison! She loves and lives hard, but she also makes some very bad decisions along the way. So let’s dive in, shall we?
10 THINGS ABOUT VIVICA ST. JAMES
1. She hasn’t seen her family in years, but now she’s back.
At the beginning of Kiss of Ice, Annata reveals she hasn’t seen her cousin in over five years and she rarely calls home. It was revealed in Kiss of Fire that Toni hasn’t seen Viv since she was a teenager. Vivica hasn’t talked to her brother Holland in years and didn’t even call home when he was injured overseas while serving in the military. Vivica has been angry with her brother for a long time because she feels he abandoned her when she needed him most. The only person she talks to semi-regularly is Granny.
2. She was once a successful print and runway model… but she’s not working as much as she used to.
In Kiss of Ice, it’s revealed that Vivica has been on billboard ads in Times Square. In Kiss of Fire, Toni reveals that for years, she’s bought fashion mags to thumb through and look for pictures of her cousin. However, pictures of Vivica are appearing less and less. When Toni makes a surprise trip home to Louisiana, she’s surprised to find Vivica hiding out at Granny’s house, looking very unmodel-like in a pair of men’s overalls. She’s also 27 and aging out of a profession that feeds on young girls.
3. She smokes like a chimney.
Vivica is a chain smoker in her teenage years. Not sexy, but realistic to the kind of person she is. She also has an addictive personality and tends to overdo drugs and alcohol. By the end of Kiss of Life, she’s clean and sober, but it’s a long road she has to travel.
4. She’s been in love with the same boy since she was 17.
Despite dating suave and sophisticated men from all over the world (she’s partial to rich Italians), she’s only ever loved one boy – Niko Hernandez, a half Puerto-Rican, half Samoan kid from Brooklyn Heights. The two met in high school and she’s never forgotten him. Especially since he’s the one she gave her virginity to… very willingly.
5. Her mother Cassandra has been missing since she was 17.
Alcoholic Cassandra St. James has been AWOL under mysterious circumstances since Vivica first left home. Vivica and Holland have never been particularly interested in digging up their mother from whatever hole she fell into, but that will change in Kiss of Life.
6. Vivica is half-Vietnamese.
Cassandra, her mother, is Vietnamese, and her father, Richard, was black. Unlike the rest of the St. James clan, she inherited her mother’s black eyes instead of her father’s golden-brown eyes. She is described as ‘alien-like’ in Breaking the Ice and is not traditionally pretty. Her high school nickname was ‘Ugly’ and, according to O’Donovan in Kiss of Fire, she’s not exactly attractive… but there’s something about her that catches the eye and holds it.
7. She’s friends with rock star Cee from The Burning One.
I’ve mentioned before that The Burning One was supposed to be a spin-off of Kiss of Life, but I jumped the gun on Cee’s story. Well, in Kiss of Life, we’ll catch up with Cee and Indira and see how those two crazy cats are dealing with wedded bliss.
8. She’s a liar.
Vivica is a liar who will say anything to get what she wants. She will also blackmail, cheat, and steal and has no qualms about it. She comes from a very hardscrabble childhood and she’s convinced that if she doesn’t take what she wants, she’ll never get it. Obviously, she has a huge hill to climb if she’s ever going to be honest with herself and admit what she really needs from Niko and her family.
9. Her father died under mysterious circumstances.
Richard St. James died when Vivica was very young and what happened on the night of his death remains a mystery. The only thing everyone knows for sure – Cassandra was at his side the night of the car accident that took his life. Cassandra’s the only one who knows the truth, but she’s not talking.
10. Her favorite cereal is Cocoa Puffs, but she’ll settle for Lucky Charms.
Vivica can often be found with her hand in a box of dry cereal, munching away as if her life depended on it. Vivica grew up in a house where there was often nothing but dry cereal to eat, so to her, there’s nothing more comforting than a handful of Cocoa Puffs. She’s eaten in some of the finest restaurants in the world, but give her a box of cereal and she’s set.
So there you have it. My girl Vivvy is one tough nut to crack, but it’s going to be so fun to finish her and Niko’s story! I can’t wait!