Today, Literary Escapism is ecstatic to welcome Nalini Singh, author of fabulous novel Archangel’s Kiss.
Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux wakes from a year-long coma to find herself changed—an angel with wings the colors of midnight and dawn—but her fragile body needs time to heal before she can take flight. Her lover, the stunningly dangerous archangel Raphael, is used to being in control—even when it comes to the woman he considers his own. But Elena has never done well with authority…
They’ve barely begun to understand each other when Raphael receives an invitation to a ball from the archangel Lijuan. To refuse would be a sign of fatal weakness, so Raphael must ready Elena for the flight to Beijing—and to the nightmare that awaits them there. Ancient and without conscience, Lijuan holds a power that lies with the dead. And she has organized the most perfect and most vicious of welcomes for Elena…
Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away a copy of either Angels’ Blood or Must Love Hellhounds – winner’s choice – to one lucky individual.
I watched a low budget horror movie the other day. I’m deliberately not identifying the movie because I want to talk in generalities, but the movie was a pretty good one – great acting, setting, pace. No complaints there.
The basic plot, too, was fine. And it was one I’m sure you’re all familiar with – our hapless heroes & heroines find themselves in a dark and scary situation where a monster starts to pick them off one by one. Blood and screaming ensue.
But if I had any popcorn left by the end of the movie, I would’ve been tempted to throw it at the screen—because only one person survived…and it was the wrong person! People gave up their lives for this person to survive. And as a viewer, I didn’t feel this character deserved it.
Not only had they played a large part in precipitating the killings, but there was nothing sympathetic about this person – there was whining, and complaining, and more whining. Yes, there was one scene where the character was shown to be stronger than they seemed – but it wasn’t enough to cancel out all the other parts. Don’t get me wrong – I love flawed characters. After all, perfection tends to be boring. But to truly reach me as a viewer, there must be a balance.
This applies to books as well. If a character is really, really flawed, then the redemption must be really, really powerful—otherwise, as a reader, I’m never going to believe that this person is worth cheering for.
My hero in Angels’ Blood & Archangel’s Kiss, is definitely not the prototypical hero. Some people have called him an anti-hero. Raphael is over one thousand years old, and as he says, “Cruelty seems to be a symptom of age and power.” He thinks nothing of the most brutal punishments, nothing of using mortals as he sees fit…and yet, he is also willing to put his immortal life on the line to save a world that may never understand what it is that he has done, and he is blood-loyal to those who are his own.
Are his acts enough to inspire readers to back him and his actions? That’s up to each of you to decide, though as a writer, I sure hope so!
Today, I thought we’d talk about your favorite redeemed heroes and heroines, the ones for whom you think the author has hit it out of the ball park, making someone who started out unsympathetic, a character you ended up cheering for. I recently went on a historical reading spree, so one of my picks would be Harry Rutledge from Lisa Kleypas’s Tempt Me At Twilight. I still thought he was arrogant and a very bad man at the end of the book…but I liked him anyway. And I believed the heroine had found the right man for her.
Your turn. Who are your favorite redeemed characters?
Contest Time! Nalini has graciously offered to give away a copy of either Angels’ Blood or Must Love Hellhounds – winner’s choice – to one lucky winner. All you have to do is answer one of this question: Who are your favorite redeemed characters?
As always, there’s more ways of getting your name in the hat:
- +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 Join the Literary Escapism Facebook page and/or follow LE on Twitter
- +1 subscribe to Literary Escapism – either via a reader or email (see the RSS button at the bottom of the sidebar)
- +10 purchase for any of Nalini’s, or any print, novel through LE’s Amazon store sometime during this contest and send a copy of the receipt VIA email for your purchase to: myjaxon AT gmail DOT com. Each purchase is worth ten entries, but it has to be through the LE Amazon Link.
There is one thing I am adding to my contests now…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.
Also, I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.