In the paranormal genre, and especially with shapeshifters, the hero often walks a thin line between the dark and the light that leaves in in the sexy shadows of life. The dark side of sexy heroes are edgy with visceral needs and wants that go directly to the heart of what drives men to mate and ultimately to love. With my dark heroes I put my heroes through the St. Giles 4H-Test: Hard, Hot, Heroic, and a Hell of a lot!
The Hard. Think about all of your favorite heroes and most women will find that the men we are drawn to have a since of invincibility about them, an assurance that in dire moments they’ve got what it takes to go to all the way to the wall and beyond. He has the drive and solid core of courage that will stand against the world. But at the same time he has a vulnerable side, one that the heroine feels in the very depths of her heart and wants to protect.
The Hot. World wide women are often drawn to different physical attributes, but one quality that appeals no matter the race or culture is an underlying sensuality that lets every woman know he is not only comfortable with himself, but he’s also comfortable with a woman being herself. Though he might be surprised by her strength, her success, or her sensuality, he is not threatened by them but revels in them.
The Heroic. For me, though the hero walks the dark side of sexy, he either has or develops the heart and the will to choose the good and the noble no matter the cost to himself or his own personal wants or agenda.
The Hell Of A Lot. Well, LOL we all love our heroes to be just a little bit larger than life in every way. When he’s sexy we want him sexy as hell. When he’s fighting we want him hard as hell. You get the idea.
So let me hear from you who are your favorite Hard, Hot, Heroic, Hell of a Lot heroes? Doesn’t matter if they’re in literature, film, real life, where ever? Just share him with the rest of us and tell us what makes him pass the St. Giles 4-H Test!
Jennifer St. Giles
Hi all! I’m pleased to announce the winner of the ARC for Deborah Cooke is NEEDLESMITH. So if Needlesmith will please email me at email@example.com I will send your address to Deborah! Congrats!
Sorry, was supposed to post this yesterday, but the day got away from me!
So, the winner is Ann M.! Congrats Ann! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know which you want–Unbound or Guardian’s Keep!
By Teresa D’Amario
The winner is – Cathy M! Cathy, please email me and I will be happy to email you your copy of SheWolf! Congrats on your win! My email address is Desertpetiri@aol.com
Need. Lust. Burning desire. Gripped in the cusp of passion and the driving need to mate, all the outward characteristics fade until the only thing that remains is the animal attraction. The salty taste of flesh. The smooth, slick feel of skin. The smell of sex. The heavy sound of breathing.
The inner feminist in me cringes at the portrayal of women and their “need” to breed. Yes, the biological clock ticks insistently in some of us, but most women tend to be more reserved about their need to be ravished. At the same time, the dark romantic in me craves the intense mating of two people caught up in a maelstrom of desire.
In some cases males must show their worth, their dominance to win their mates affection. Who doesn’t want men fighting at the chance to prove what a wonderful lover and provider they would be? Lets face it, dominating males are sexy as hell (in fiction at least!).
Writing in the shape shifting genre gives us a unique opportunity to blend reality with fantasy. A clever writer will build their world and the uniqueness of their shifters. What traits make their book original? Do they shift in a magical burst of light? Do their animals crawl out of their skins?
Recently Lori Devoti wrote an amazing post describing some of the different “types” of shape shifters. (To read that post, click this link).
That being said, one of the best examples of shape shifting and the effect the moon has not only over the animal inside of them, but the libido as well is the Riley Jenson – Guardian series by Keri Arthur. She’s built her world in such a way that casual sex is hot, dangerous, and irresistible. Not only was there romance, there were several intense scenes that drew me inside of Riley’s world. When in the moon’s cusp, nothing matters but the need. I found it liberating and erotic to see a woman so comfortable with herself and what she wanted.
Done correctly I feel the need to mate can bring an erotic feel to the book that doesn’t overwhelm the plot. Done incorrectly, your heroine is a tramp. It can be hard to unblurr the lines of lust and love when caught in such a fevered coupling.
Where do you, as a reader, an author, draw the line between animalistic behavior and social norms?
Today win a A Wolf Puppet (donated by Rebecca York)!
For your chance to win, answer the following question in the comments. The winner will be announced one week from today.
QUESTION: What type of shapeshifter can you just not get enough of?
I started out writing the softer paranormal–psychics, ghostly entities, even in Winning the Highlander’s Heart, the heroine has glimpses of future visions and is sure she is cursed when it comes to marriage. But then after loving Dracula since I was a teen, I started writing vampire romances. Then EVERYONE was writing vampire romances. So I thought what else?
I wrote a futuristic where the heroine shapeshifts into a panther and her brother, a dragon. So that was my first shapeshifter story. But I finally decided on werewolves. In part, because I loved reading mythology and legends when I was growing up, and partly because I loved Call of the Wild and White Fang by Jack London. The images he created for me about wolves stuck with me all those years, and I didn’t even realize it until I was asked so many times, why werewolves?
Because wolves can see better, hear better, sense smells better, run better…yet in some ways are like our steadfast companion dogs. Okay, so Little Red Riding Hood comes to mind too. “All the better to see you with, my dear…” Or something to that effect.
But when I was creating my werewolf world, I wanted something that was as believable as a shapeshifter novel could get–and sexy. So lupus (Latin for wolves) garou (the French version is loup garou for werewolves) were born. And in this world, the werewolves are sexual creatures, they keep their shapeshifting abilities secret, and they have what I love to create most of all in my stories–a love for their mate that is for all time.
If you were made a goddess or god for the day and were asked to create a new shapeshifter creature, what would it be, and why?
Terry Spear, www.terryspear.com, Author of Heart of the Wolf, Don’t Cry Wolf, Betrayal of the Wolf, Allure of the Wolf
Today win a copy of Tempting Sin by AJ Hampton (eBook)!
For your chance to win, answer the following question in the comments. The winner will be announced one week from today.
QUESTION: Historical, contemporary or futuristic? What setting do you like for shapeshifter novels–and why?
Posted by Teresa D’Amario
Not too long ago a friend sent me a book and said “Read this, you’ll like it.” I put it on the top of my to be read list (This person knows me well) and I am very glad I did. The Book? Kiss of Fire by Deborah Cooke. And I am pleased to present MS. Deborah Cooke as our first Guest Author:
So without further ado, I turn you over to Deborah Cooke, author of Kiss of Fire.
I love dragons. Always have. Their appearance in a story means adventure and action are on the menu. If there are dragons, there’ll be fighting and fireworks. Even better, there’ll be a hunky hero to challenge the dragon. The stakes will be high – the pair will fight to the death. The eye candy is fabulous, too – imagine the dragon, streaking through the night sky, scales gleaming as he breathes fire.
The hero isn’t all bad to look at either, standing on the village walls in chain mail, sword raised, defiant even though the odds are against him. Who’s a girl to cheer for?
The dragon, after all, is a formidable fighting machine. All lean sinewy strength. All power. Fire is a formidable weapon, and dragons are reputed to be clever, too. They’re supposed to like riddles, to collect hoard, to admire women, to have deep throaty laughs. Dragons are reputed to be able to cast spells on humans and beguile them. If you were a damsel captured by a dragon, trapped in his treasure hoard while he tried to charm you, would you have a chance against him? These powerful creatures are said to have a hidden vulnerability, too, a missing scale that leaves their skin unprotected in one spot. That’s the only spot where they can be wounded. What’s not to love about an apparently invincible creature with a secret vulnerability?
No doubt about it – there’s something dangerous and sexy about dragons.
But then, the hero is powerful and sexy, too. There’s something great about a man willing to die in defense of his fellows. What’s not to love about a man who knows he can’t win, but enters the fray anyway, just because it’s the right thing to do? The best heroes, as we all know, have secrets, too. They have a weakness or an injury from the past that hampers them in gaining the triumph they deserve. Secrets make heroes dimensional, sympathetic, more human.
Maybe we don’t have to choose whether we should cheer on dragons or heroes. Because, even though the hero and the dragon are rivals, they have a lot in common. They each fight for a principle, believing in it enough to fight to the death. They’re both powerful, principled fighting machines. They’re both dangerous – they can and do kill – but they fight for the cause they believe to be right. They both have strengths and vulnerabilities, hopes and fears.
What if the two traditional opponents were two sides of the same man?
What if the hero’s secret was that he was a dragon?
He’d have to be a dragon shape shifter – and his would be one whopper
of a secret.
Meet the Pyr of my Dragonfire series. These are the guys I cheer for!
I’ve written about shape shifter heroes before. In ENCHANTED, the hero was cursed to take the form of a wolf half of the time. Only love could break the curse, but he didn’t believe in love. In THE MAGICIAN’S QUEST, the hero had a hereditary ability to change into a panther. His changes were triggered by passion – playing with the old motif of the man conquering the beast within himself – so the heroine’s presence was challenging to him. Both of these titles are out of print. I really enjoyed writing about
shape shifters – those men with their secrets! – but I really fell in
love with the idea of dragon shape shifters.
My Pyr are dragon shape shifters – their ability is passed genetically in the male line. They live a long time, although they are not immortal, and they each have – at most – one chance to conceive an heir. Their mating sign is called the firestorm – quite literally, sparks fly between the Pyr hero and his destined mate. Major firestorms are signalled by an eclipse and they last only until the next eclipse. In each book, a Pyr meets his mate and his match, and needs to consummate his firestorm to make more Pyr. Most of them would prefer to not surrender their secrets in exchange – but all of my human heroines demand more information than that! They’re smart, demanding women who know what they want, the perfect matches for men with this kind of a secret, and they each challenge their Pyr to become more than what he already is.
Meanwhile, they’re fighting against bad dragons – Slayers – in a last
ditch effort to save the world. Action and adventure are indeed on the
The first Dragonfire book is KISS OF FIRE which was released in February
2008. The second book is Donovan’s book, KISS OF FURY which will be released in August 2008. Book three is Erik’s book, KISS OF FATE, which will be released in February 2009.
You can win an Advanced Reading Copy of KISS OF FURY here today, just by commenting on this post. Tell me why you like dragons (if you do) or why you like shape shifter heroes. Let’s talk about men with big