My first idea for Book 2 was NOT Mother Knows Best. Not at all.
My ORIGINAL idea for Book 2 involved a powerful Other being awakened. That Other? Sekhmet.
Don't know that one?
Egyptian cat goddess. Goddess of war, goddess of the sun. Pretty bad ass, all the way around. The only reason she didn't wipe out all of Upper Egypt was because the people were clever - they created a lake of beer and blood. When the kitty went to lap it all up, she got uber drunk and passed out.
All this in mind, it occurred to me as I started the book that, if Jo met Sekhmet in Book 2... this would be an awfully short series as she'd be dead.
The girl just isn't that good!! She is NOT ready!
Book 5? Yeah. We'll do Book 5. Plenty of time to get more allies and get more training in for that one!