Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Guest Post and Giveaway: Twilight Hunter by Kait Ballenger


Welcome to Enchantress of Books Kait Ballenger!!

5 Rules to Create Strong Heroines

As someone who spent a good majority of her time and money in her undergraduate career studying Woman and Gender Studies, I consider myself to be a self-proclaimed third-wave feminist. One of the many ways I find myself enacting these beliefs is within my writing. In a recent email exchange with Vivianna, the Enchantress of Books, the trend of “I need a man” heroines was mentioned. I try my hardest to write heroines that are not only realistic, but strong, so I thought I would share five steadfast rules I have for writing the heroines of the Execution Underground with you.

1. A powerful paranormal romance heroine can never be entirely dependent on her man. I think an important distinction needs to be made here. Any realistic character won’t be able to do everything on their own; so there will be times when a heroine might need the help of her hunky hero. The difference is the level of her need. Does she need assistance every once in a while, or is she constantly relying on the hero? The street also goes both ways. Just like a heroine sometimes needs help, to be truly as realistic in portrayal as possible, a hero will sometimes need assistance as well. I make it a point to try and make my heroes and heroines need each other in some way. For example, in Twilight Hunter, my debut novel which releases on August 27th, heroine and werewolf packmaster, Frankie Amato, needs the help of Jace McCannon, the hero of the novel and werewolf hunter—in other words, the help of her adversary. With his half wolf bloodline, Jace is immune to some of the weaknesses other werewolves have—an example being that Jace is not affected by silver—and unfortunately for Frankie, so is the killer on the loose that she’s working to catch to ensure the safety of her pack. However, at the same time, Jace, who is working to catch the same killer, also needs Frankie. In order to defeat the sadistic sexual sadist they’re after, Jace is going to have to shift for the very first time, something he’s never done before. That’s where his need for Frankie comes in. As packmaster of the Rochester werewolf pack, she can teach him what he needs to know. Both the hero and heroine benefit from each other’s help, rather than just the heroine being aided or rescued by the hero.

2. The heroine’s level of sexual experience has nothing to do with their personality and the way they should be portrayed outside the bedroom. I think the biggest trend I’ve seen in paranormal romance lately is heroines who are sexually inexperienced, and as a result, are portrayed as meek. Well, I’m here to tell you there is nothing wrong with virgin heroines, or heroines of any level of sexual experience or orientation for that matter. However, the level of self-confidence in a character’s non-sexual abilities, their strength as both a woman and a person, and their personality are not dependent upon their sexuality. Being sexually experienced doesn’t make a person a more powerful woman outside of the bedroom, just as being sexually inexperienced doesn’t make a person a weak, meek, or shy personality. The trend lately has been to treat these two aspects of a heroine as mutually exclusive, as if a heroine can’t be a virgin and a strong, independent person at the same time. That’s bogus. I’ve made certain to put this to practice in my own work. In Twilight Hunter, Frankie is both experienced sexually and a powerful female character. However, the in prequel novella which proceeds the first book in the series, Shadow Hunter, heroine Tiffany Solow is a virgin, but that doesn’t make her weak. She’s a badass vampire hunter who can hold her own in a fight and doesn’t need the hero’s help in protecting her.

3. No damsels in distress. I’m not saying that a heroine can never been in a position where she needs to be saved, but at the very least, she must play an active role in saving herself as well. For example, in Twilight Hunter at the climax of the novel, Frankie finds herself in the hands of the sadistic killer she’s been fighting alongside Jace. Who needs to save her? Well, Jace, of course. But is she a damsel in distress? No. Here’s why: before Jace arrives, Frankie does everything in her power to try to escape Robert’s clutches, and once Jace shows up to finish the battle, Frankie works and works until she finally busts loose from the demeaning cage the killer has placed her in. Does she run to safety and leave Jace to finish the job? Nope. She runs into battle to help Jace finish the jerk off.

4. Being strong does not mean having no vulnerabilities. This is a little like number #2 in that the trend in paranormal romance is heroines who are either super women (who never ever need the help of anyone, let alone a man, and are pretty much perfect capable females in every way, kind of like a lot of heroines in urban fantasy) or damsels in distress (who are always in need of saving). Neither of these is realistic. Just like in real life, strong female characters need to have vulnerabilities and flaws that make them believable, and so should a hero. No character in a novel should be invincible, but being vulnerable and not perfect, doesn’t mean they should be portrayed as weak. Frankie’s vulnerability: despite being the only female packmaster Rochester has ever seen, she worries about living up to the demands of that role and must constantly fight to keep her position as the female alpha werewolf over a pack comprised of many alpha males. Jace’s vulnerability: he’s never shifted into wolf form, so doing so in order to fight the killer places him at a major disadvantage, one in which he needs Frankie’s help for. Jace also has some serious emotional issues he has to sort out before he can truly embrace that half-wolf nature that he needs in order to save the day.

So what does this all mean for paranormal romance readers?
It means that when you open a Kait Ballenger novel, you can expect to see heroines who follow the above rules. In other words: I don’t write weak heroines and have no intention of ever doing so. Thanks for reading!




Blurb: 
Hunters of the supernatural, the Execution Underground are an elite group tasked with protecting humanity…but what happens when danger collides with desire?  

Jace McCannon has one loyalty: the Execution Underground. Despite his mixed blood, his hatred for the werewolves he hunts is legendary. But in his search for a sadistic killer, Jace finds himself face-to-face with a stunningly seductive packmaster…and longing for a night with his mortal enemy. 

Nothing can stop Frankie Amato from defending her kind—or catching the rogue responsible for killing women in her territory. For that, this alpha female needs Jace's skills more than she wants to admit. But as their investigation exposes evil truths, need burns into a passion that dare not be fulfilled. For to do so will have deadly consequences for them both….




Available to purchase at

         



About the Author

Kait Ballenger is a full-time paranormal romance author, wife, bellydancer, graduate student, and soon-to-be-professor. She is the multi-published, award-winning author of the Execution Underground paranormal romance series. With a B.A in English from Stetson University, Kait is currently earning an M.F.A in Writing. Kait believes anything is possible with hard work and dedication. One day, she hopes to be a bestseller and to see her novels on the big screen. Look for the next two books in her page-turning Execution Underground series: Twilight Hunter, book one (August 2013) and Immortal Hunter, book two (January 2014), and don’t forget to check out Shadow Hunter, a prequel novella to the series featured in the After Dark anthology along NYT Bestseller Gena Showalter—now available in trade paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats.




      


Check out "Shadow Hunter" by Kait Ballenger, a prequel novella to Twilight Hunter. You can find my review for "Shadow Hunter" here

Shadow Hunter
by Kait Ballenger

Blurb: 
Vampire hunter Damon Brock's first assignment with the Execution Underground is Rochester, New York, a city crawling with the undead. But he isn't the only hunter in town gunning for vamp blood. 

Tiffany Solow is fierce and ruthless when it comes to slaying the monsters that destroyed her family-and she works solo. But being alone is no longer so desirable when she meets the mysterious hunter who wants more than just her turf. As they work to massacre the local covens, the line between good and evil blurs when they are forced to decide between their lifelong beliefs... and their new found hearts.




Available for purchase at 
   



Kait is giving away a signed copy of "Twilight Hunter"!
Have you read either "Shadow Hunter" or "Twilight Hunter"? What did you think?
If you haven't read it, doesn't it sound interesting? Make sure to add it to your WANT TO READ shelf on Goodreads.

To enter, leave a comment and please leave your email address within the comment!! 

21 comments:

  1. I would to win and read this book ofcourse if giveaway open international

    eli_y83@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Eli! Thanks for your interest in my series! Unfortunately, this giveaway is US and Canada only, but I have a couple international giveaways coming up soon. You can find all the dates on my website www.kaitballenger.com

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  2. I have not read either stories yet but they sound so good! I love the Montague and Capulet thing going on between Jace and Frankie. I love strong female characters and I can't wait to find out more!

    Thanks for the chance to win!

    ehaney578 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have read Shadow Hunter and it was fantastic. The act that she doesn't write weak and weepy heroines was one of the main reasons I loved it. To me the best stories feature women who are independent but also know that sometimes having a strong Alpha male around to help is ok. Loved your rules, fully agree.

    fsteph55(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Stephanie! So glad you enjoyed Shadow Hunter! =D

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  4. I would love to read this! I keep coming back to these books. Fingered crossed! Thanks for the chance to win!

    evening_star1986@Yahoo.com

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  5. I already have this on my tbr on goodreads. So many books so little time. First time here thanks for chance.

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  6. I have read Shadow Hunter by Kait and loved it. The character development was great. I would love and cherish a signed copy of Twilight Hunter. Crossing fingers.

    KristineLR23(AT)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, thanks Kristine! So glad you enjoyed Shadow Hunter! I hope you enjoy Twilight Hunter just as much! =D

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  7. Good luck to everyone! We'll pick a winner by random drawing =)

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  8. OMG! I fell in love with Damon and Tiffany! Tiffany sure wasn't looking for anyone to protect her! Your characters are awesome Kait!!!!! MORE!!!!!!

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  9. I have After Dark in my TBR pile. I've added Twilight Hunter to my Want to Read shelf on Goodreads.
    jmcgaugh (at) semo (dot) edu

    ReplyDelete
  10. I haven't read it, but I love the synopsis. I just added it to my goodreads to-read list. Thanks for the giveaway. dsr002(at)gmail(dot)com

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  11. I haven't read it yet, but I hope to really soon!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have not read this series. But it sounds amazing. I mean come on who doesnt love sexy vampire hunters and vampires :) I know I sure do.. Thank you for giving us this chance!

    my email is robertson_sueellen@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I haven't yet, but they are on my TBR list and the more I read about them they more I can't wait. thanks for the giveaway. davis7579@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  14. I haven't read either book but they sound interesting and I want to start. Thanks for the giveaway :)you


    jesicafico@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. Have not read neither but would love to read both they sound great. joehawkshaw@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have not read either and would love the chance!

    Kassandra
    sionedkla@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  18. I have not read this series yet, but am excited to read it soon! Thank you for the chance to win!! :)

    Original post didn't have email... Here it is:

    hb0201(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete

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