Guest Author: Erica Hayes

Today, I am excited to welcome back Erica Hayes, author of the fabulous new Shadowfae series. The third novel, Poison Kissed, was recently released to rave reviews.

Mina is a banshee whose greatest power lies in her siren song. She’s beholden to her boss Joey, a snake-shifter who once saved her life and now employs her as a gang enforcer. She refuses to upset the fragile balance between them by admitting that she longs for him, that his embrace is the only thing she craves more than revenge for her mother’s death…

When Mina learns that Joey may have been involved in her mother’s murder, fury threatens to spill out of her note by vicious note. She and Joey have always trusted each other to stay alive, but now she’s not sure what to believe. The evidence stacked against him—or the one man who haunts her dreams and burns her blood…

Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away a copy of Poison Kissed.
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Escaping into urban fantasy

Big thanks to Jackie for hosting me at Literary Escapism today! It’s been a crazy couple of weeks for me, since my new book Poison Kissed came out, but it’s great to be here!

The title of this blog got me thinking about escapism (duh!) and urban fantasy. What, if anything, are we seeking when we approach UF? Merely entertainment? Wish fulfilment? Or escape?

The world of urban fantasy novels is uncomplicated compared to the real world. It has good guys and bad guys, right and wrong, black and white. It’s a place where ordinary heroines have power over large-scale events – a world where little people can have control over their own lives, and take matters into their own hands. A world where the things we do matter.

So: is UF escapist fantasy? Are we reading it so we can forsake our insignificant daily lives for a world where we matter? And if so, why is so much urban fantasy so dark?

My Shadowfae series is dark and gritty with lots of steamy romance, and Poison Kissed is about Mina, a banshee enforcer in the midst of a supernatural gang war. It’s a classic tale of revenge and redemption, magical powers, inner struggle, good vs. evil. But it’s also a romance, and traditionally, romance is the genre of hope and wish fulfillment.

In paranormal romance, we write happy endings, bad boys with hearts of gold, people who make the right decision for the right reasons. Not that romances can’t be dark, or involve bad and tortured characters. Some of the best ones do! But romances reassure us that despite the darkness, so long as we stay true to what’s right, everything’s going to be okay.

In UF, everything might not be okay. We’re not guaranteed that happy ending. Still, it’d be a brave author who killed off the heroine at the end, or left her lonely and bereft of love. Even if it’s not a romance, as a reader I still want the heroine to triumph, to save the world and find happiness.

But as a writer, I have fewer rules to follow. I can write dark, dirty, flawed characters and have the audience sympathize. The heroine can be torn between a few different guys. She can make the wrong decision, or decide for the wrong reasons, and be forced to live with that. And she can keep the moral high ground, do all the right things, choose the right guy and still get her ass kicked for it.

This is the reason why my books are classified as UF, even though they’re pretty full on with the romance. Poison Kissed is the story of Mina and her snake-shifter boss, Joey – but it’s also about the value of revenge, and conquering the evil, angry beast inside us all, and Mina travels some dark and dirty roads before she finds her redemption.

In UF, there’s no magic fix. Crime pays. Love does not conquer all, and sometimes, the bad guys win. Compared to Romance Land, Urban Fantasy Town is more like the real world – but it’s a version of the real world where ordinary people have power. Average girls like us still kick ass and save the world and go out with gorgeous guys – but they do it in a place more like the world we know. So in reading UF, we can escape from reality without having to suspend too much disbelief. Kinda like paranormal romance for cynics :) just don’t tell anyone, okay?

So what do you prefer to read when you want to escape? A kick-ass UF heroine taking down the bad guys? Or a sexy paranormal romance where the heroine dates the bad guy?

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Want to purchase Erica’s novels?

Shadowfae

  1. Shadowfae at Amazon or the Book Depository
  2. Shadowglass at Amazon or the Book Depository
  3. Poison Kissed at Amazon or the Book Depository

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Poison KissedThank you Erica for visiting Literary Escapism.

Contest Time! Erica has graciously offered to give away a copy of Poison Kissed.  All you have to do is answer Erica’s question: What do you prefer to read when you want to escape? A kick-ass UF heroine taking down the bad guys? Or a sexy paranormal romance where the heroine dates the bad guy?

As always, there’s more ways of getting your name in the hat (remember, these aren’t mandatory to enter, just extra entries):

  • +1 for each place you post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer.
  • +1 to any review you comment on, however, comments must be meaningful. Just give me the title of the review and I’ll be able to figure it out from there.
  • +1 If you are a follower of Literary Escapism on Facebook and/or Twitter
  • +10 Purchase any of Erica’s novels (listed above) or any novel through LE’s Amazon store or the Book Depository sometime during this contest and send a copy of the receipt VIA email for your purchase to: jackie AT literaryescapism DOT com. Each purchase is worth ten entries.

The winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.

The contest will stay open until November 4th, at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the Research Randomizer and the List Randomizer.

About Jackie 3273 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.

13 Comments

  1. 2 points for me!

    I *love the kick-ass heroine beating the bad guy and also getting a little some-thing, some-thing on the side . I like my UF dark too. This series is definitely on my TBR list. I don’t need a HEA ending in all the books of a series, but I do like to see the heroine get what she wants by the time a series ends.

  2. I prefer my heroines kick-ass, but there is an invisible line that can get crossed into ‘too kick-ass’, where you just want to roll your eyes because they’ve gone so far beyond the abilities they should have.

    I follow LE on fb (Bethany Cardone) and twitter bcardoo79
    tweeted http://twitter.com/#!/bcardoo79/status/28994755553

    b(dot)cardone(at)hotmail(dot)com

  3. That’s a hard question to answer, I love both genres and I can escape by reading either one. I guess it would depend on my mood, if I wanted to just read dark and gritty with bad guys getting their asses kicked or something with some great romance between the heroine and a bad boy.

    Barbed1951(at)aol(dot)com

  4. I love both genre’s so it is hard to choose. I guess I would choose a sexy paranormal romance where the heroine dates the bad guy.
    I am a facebook follower.

    Crystal816[at]hotmail[dot}com

  5. Hi :)
    Thank you for having Erica here today.
    I love to escape into a great UF novel, and I prefer kick-ass heroines.
    (Like Erica’s Jade or Jennifer Estep’s Gin)
    All the best,
    RKCharron

    +10

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  6. I pretty much prefer the kick ass heroine taking down the bad guy in a UF book. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the occasional PR book, but I love UF more, besides who’s to say the kick ass UF heroine isn’t going to have a super hot man assisting her in some way, and compared to the villain this guy is usually smokin! ;)

    jessbess2505[at]yahoo[dot]com

  7. I read the kick ass heroine that takes down the bad guys and and the one that falls in love/lust with the bad and takes him on in other ways. Also like where both the heroine and hero are bad asses that take down the bad guys lol.
    I follow your blog and on twitter
    +2 for me.
    scrtsbal at yahoo dot com

  8. congrats on your newest release, Erica! I’ve read the first book in the series Shadowfae and it was very interesting and fascinating!

    to answer your question, I don’t have a preference, it depends on my mood if I need more feeling or more kick-ass ;)

  9. I prefer the kick ass heroine taking down the bad guys now if something develops with one of the bad guys…..

  10. I prefer it when the kick ass heroine goes against the bad guy, and if the bad guy comes to respect and desire her, then all the best! :-D

    +1 tweeted: http://twitter.com/Stella_ExLibris/status/29380069746

    +1 posted on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=174397739240314&id=100000899165880

    +1 I’m a follower of Literary Escapism on Facebook

    +1 I’m a follower of Literary Escapism on Twitter too (@Stella_ExLibris)

    Thanks for the great post Erica!:-)

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

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