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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Man vs. Monster

Hello there! Don't forget to check out my contest for a free download of Motor City Fae: click here for more information! And read below to hear a little about my newest release, Eagle's Redemption. By the way, Eagle's Redemption is now up for Book of the Week at the Romance Studio. Click here to vote!

Somewhere in the last decade or so, vampires stopped being scary. In fact, sometimes they even sparkle. Modern fiction, particularly paranormal romance and prime-time television, have taken many of the monsters of historical legend and turned them into romantic heroes and heroines. Vampires, werewolves, demons and dragons, you can walk through the romance section in any bookstore and find stories featuring each of these and more. More interesting still, almost each author creates a slightly new spin on the legend, keeping some elements, replacing others. So some vampires burn to death in the sunlight, while others only get sunburnt badly, and others, yes, sparkle. Some kill without a conscience, while others are simply people with a very specialized diet. Heck, some can even eat regular food, while others can get pregnant and have babies. You’ve come a long way, vamp-boy.

Werewolves mythologies, like vampires, go back thousands of years, and many cultures, all over the world, had their own ideas on the subject. Modern authors (including yours truly!) have had a field day with these, too. Do werewolves live in packs, or are they solitary? Are they forced to change only on the full moon, or is their shape-shifting under their conscious control? Can the ability/curse be passed by a bite, or are baby werewolves born to werewolf parents? And what about other were-creatures? Jaguars, lions, tigers, even birds, snakes and dragons. They’re all out there on the bookshelves, just waiting for us to discover them.

Would Bram Stoker roll over in his grave if he read a book by Stephanie Myer or would he smile, knowing his work has become such a component of modern culture that hundreds of new authors are working frantically to create a new spin on these enduring legends? As an author, my preference would be the latter. To come back to Earth after a century and find out that people were still talking about my books? That’s pretty much a writer’s ultimate dream, though I do know other authors who would be upset by having their creations “altered.”

Me? I’m as guilty as any other author of plundering the ancient legends. My favorite thing to do is mix it up. Why just have a werewolf falling for another werewolf, when you can have more fun tossing him together with a hereditary witch or a shy vampire?

(Curses and Exploring Ari, respectively.) How about a demon and an elf? Or even two elves? (Three for All) and then there are dragons…happy sigh. Gotta love those dragons. I’ve only just begun to explore all the fun an author can have with those.

So what is it about these former monsters that keep readers coming back for more, even now that they’re not as scary as they were on the Late Late Show? I have a few ideas. To start with, let’s face it, romance novels are about fantasy. Even those with no paranormal elements are a bit idealized, a way to escape from the harsh realities of life. While I firmly believe in happily ever after, even in real life, it’s not exactly ever after, is it? We all know life is short. In paranormal romance, the happily-ever-after can literally be forever. That’s an awfully powerful fantasy. Also, we’re looking at heroes with pretty much unlimited strength, wisdom, and machismo. Sigh. That’s kinda yummy too, isn’t it? In many cases, the heroine is also powerful, if not at the beginning of the book than by the end. So the female reader gets to feel empowered and drool over a hot immortal. That’s just a win-win situation!

So while my most recent release, Eagle’s Refuge, is a contemporary erotic romance with just a HINT of paranormal at Ellora’s Cave, I’ve by no means given up on my love of all things paranormal. You can watch for Sporting Wood, about a werewolf and a dryad, a Free Read coming soon from Ellora’s Cave, and Motor City Witch (Book 2 in my Urban Arcana series) coming later this year from Carina Press. As for what’s after that? Who knows? There’s a lot more mythology left to mess with!
Catch Eagle’s Redemption
Cindy Spencer Pape
Book 2 in the Texas Passions series, but can be read as a standalone story.
Out now from Ellora’s Cave
Praise: 5 Hearts from The Romance Studio: “This is definitely one I'll read over and over again.” You can click here for the rest of the review.
Dash Hyde is a former Chicago cop, scarred both inside and out. When he inherits a share in a Texas ranch, the last thing he expects is to meet a woman who can see past the scars to his very soul—even though she’s nearly blind.

Carmen Whitefeather loves taking care of wildlife, but the damaged man she finds on her doorstep with an injured eagle fascinates her even more. The spark between them is instant and overwhelming, and she’s determined to enjoy every second.
As Carmen and Dash explore the passion they find in each other’s arms, they both take the risk of getting burned. When an old enemy of Dash’s targets Carmen, Dash will have to face his deepest fears and walk into the flames to fight for the woman he loves.


Chasidy Jean said...

The possibilities are endless.

Linda Kage said...

Love the blurb. Thanks for sharing.

I think we should all thank Anne Rice too for writing "Interview with a Vampire" otherwise a lot of these books you're talking about wouldn't have come out...and I just ADORE a lot of these books that have come out.

Paranormal Romance rocks!!!

Paris said...

Great job with Motor City Fae and I can't wait for the next book in the series. Yum:-)

And I agree with Chasidy, the possibilities are endless. Perhaps because today's reader is open to them or the authors are just so wonderful at creating new and different worlds. I can't wait to see what you'll come up with next:-)

Anonymous said...

Poverty is stranger to industry.............................................................

Katalina Leon said...

Great post Cindy!
I think Vampires and Werewolves are a great tool for women to openly explore their animal and darker desires. It's heartening to me that the female population has quickly brought these "once monsters" into line with decent loving values without losing the wild side attractiveness.
Poor Bram Stoker was an official member of the "Anti-Erotica League" He was genuinely obvious to how voluptuously he was describing Count Dracula's domineering manipulation and the nocturnal attacks by Count Dracula's Brides... His vision spawned an erotic industry, which was clearly not his conscious intention but the erotica is there in his writing none the less.
PS I voted! Best wishes to you.

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Thanks to Chasidy, and Linda for visiting. Linda, Anne Rice was certainly a pioneer in the genre, and a woman of phenomenal talent.

Paris I think you're right about women being so open to the possibilities. Kat, you probably hit it dead on with the exploration. A lot of romance, especially erotic romance is there because it's a safe way to explore our fantasies and ideas.

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

I love your redeemed darksiders. Paranormal, fantasy, sci fi - my favorite genres - such great escapism!
Thanks, Cindy.

Jean Hart STewart said...

Fun to read, and I'd guess fun to write. Love your stuff, Cindy. Jean

Tina Donahue said...

Eagle's Redemption sounds awesome, Cindy - congrats on your great releases!

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Julia, Tina, and Jean--thanks!

Judy said...

Enjoyed your post!! Eagle's Redemption looks like a great read!!

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Thank you, Judy!

Angela Kay Austin said...

Cindy, it is interesting to see how many different twists people can put on classics. There are so many possibilities...that's what makes it so great when you pick up one more book or watch one more movie.

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