Friday, 11 November 2011

Guest post: Crafting the heroine Elise by Felicity Heaton + Giveaway

Today I am happy to welcome back to the blog Felicity Heaton who is once again on the virtual road to celebrate the release of her latest novel: Heart of Darkness! Do read on to get an introduction on the heroine (and hero) of this exciting new paranormal romance and you could also win a copy of the book. Please give a warm welcome to Felicity!

Heart of Darkness – Crafting the heroine Elise

It’s great to be back at Ex Libris for the Heart of Darkness leg of my Paranormal Pandemonium 2011 Blog Tour.

In case you’re not familiar with me, here’s a quick introduction. My name is Felicity Heaton and I write under that name and also as F E Heaton. I’m a paranormal romance author and I’ve been writing since 2005, and turned indie in 2006. In that time I have written over forty stories, including my best selling Her Angel series and my popular Vampires Realm series (which I write as F E Heaton). My paranormal romances are usually focused on vampires and werewolves, but I do also write other shape-shifters like black panthers, and also demons and witches, and a whole bunch of sexy angels.

I’ve already interviewed Elise at a previous stop in my blog tour, but only really touched on the character herself in the post. Today, I’ll be taking a more in depth look at the heroine of Heart of Darkness.

Someone asked me earlier in my tour how I made Elise a strong heroine and a match for the hero Aleksandr without going too far. I thought about it a lot when I was writing my reply and decided that I wanted to look closely at Elise in one of my tour posts and explain a little more about her and how she is strong.

I think many people equate strong heroines with the ability to kick serious ass. I wanted to show readers that a heroine can be strong in other ways, that it isn’t all about physical strength. Strength of heart is just as important and can provide a beautiful and moving love story for readers to lose themselves in. Elise is strong, she can kick butt when those she loves are in danger because she goes all out to protect them, placing herself at risk, but it’s her emotional strength that really shines and will make readers feel for her.

Elise is a guard in service of her bloodline in Prague. She was born into the family of the former commander of the guard and raised apart from other children in the bloodline. In this world, vampires are born not turned, and age at a slower rate than humans do. She grew up learning from her father who taught her all she needed to know in order to defend herself and protect others. She looked up to her father and, like so many children, aspired to follow in his footsteps. Because she joined the guard at a very young age, she had to be strong from the outset, able to prove herself against vampires far older and more experienced than she was. This made her the vampire she is today.

One very strong heroine.

When I was creating Elise, that was what I wanted for her. She is devoted to the guard and her bloodline. The death of her father changed her and she grew determined to protect those she loves so she didn’t have to watch anyone else she cared about die, and she threw herself into her duty, forsaking everything else. The guard has become her world. It’s at this point, when she has reached the height of her devotion to her position and strongly believes that she should do as people expect of her and become the next commander of the guard in order to honour her father’s name, that she meets the hero of the story, Aleksandr.

What happens when a strong independent heroine meets an equally strong hard-headed hero?

That was the question that interested me the most when I was planning Heart of Darkness. In order for me to explore it, I crafted Elise to be the woman I’ve talked about above. It was important to the book that she was independent, modern, and not about to let a man order her around. I’m not saying that she’s physically strong. It’s emotional strength that she has and that she matches in Aleksandr, the hero. He’s older, from the royal bloodline, and far more powerful than she could ever hope to be, but emotionally they’re in perfect harmony. The trouble is, Aleksandr has been out of society for four hundred years hunting and killing the kin of the man who murdered his innocent sister. When he was last in society it was at court at the palace. He was a rake, bedded female vampires as he pleased, never formed relationships, and never fell in love. His antiquated opinion and methods of pursuing Elise put them immediately at odds with each other. It’s only as the book progresses and Aleksandr learns about modern women and begins to fall in love with Elise, changing his ways in order to win her, that Elise’s guard begins to drop and her true strength shows—her desire to protect those she loves.

It’s a feeling she has in common with Aleksandr and one that opens them to each other and finally brings them together. It’s Elise’s emotional strength that saves Aleksandr in the end when he’s so close to succumbing to the darkness within him. She saves him not because she was physically strong and able to kick ass, but because she was willing to do whatever it took to bring him back to her and protect him from his darker side, even if it meant risking her own life. That’s a real strong heroine.

As you can probably tell from reading about Elise and Aleksandr, Heart of Darkness is an emotional roller coaster ride that will have you clinging to your book or e-reader, and most likely reaching for the tissues. If you want a vampire romance with a strong heroine, one who can tame the darkness in the heart of her hero and save him, then look no further. Heart of Darkness is definitely for you!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this insight into the heroine of Heart of Darkness, my new vampire romance novel. If you’d like to know more about the book, I’ve included a blurb, links to an excerpt, and buy links below. You can also follow me on my Heart of Darkness blog tour. The dates are listed at my Paranormal Pandemonium 2011 Blog Tour page at my website.

Heart of Darkness

A vampire prince on a four hundred year old mission to avenge his murdered sister...

Aleksandr Nemov won’t stop until the last of the vampire hunter’s progeny is wiped from the Earth. Each kill has stolen a piece of his humanity, pushing him towards the black abyss all vampires hold within their hearts. Now he is teetering on the edge, close to devolving into a beast, and time is running out as he tracks the last hunter to Prague. There he finds a beautiful woman who could be his one chance for salvation, but is it already too late for him?

A vampire guard who will do whatever it takes to protect those she loves...

Elise is dedicated to her duty. It’s the only thing she has left. All that changes when she meets Aleksandr in Prague and her master grants him permission to stay at her bloodline’s mansion. She knows all about Aleksandr but none of it prepares her for how she feels when the legendary prince’s hunt becomes one for her heart. Elise battles him with all of her strength but can she stop herself from falling for the handsome hunter? When he reveals the depth of the corruption in his soul, will she have the strength to face the pain in her past and do whatever it takes to save him?

Read an excerpt at Felicity's website

Available in e-book from:
Available in paperback from Amazon

Felicity Heaton is a romance author writing as both Felicity Heaton and F E Heaton. She is passionate about penning paranormal tales full of vampires, witches, werewolves, angels and shape-shifters, and has been interested in all things preternatural and fantastical since she was just a child. Her other passion is science-fiction and she likes nothing more than to immerse herself in a whole new universe and the amazing species therein. She used to while away days at school and college dreaming of vampires, werewolves and witches, or being lost in space, and used to while away evenings watching movies about them or reading gothic horror stories, science-fiction and romances.

Having tried her hand at various romance genres, it was only natural for her to turn her focus back to the paranormal, fantasy and science-fiction worlds she enjoys so much. She loves to write seductive, sexy and strong vampires, werewolves, witches, angels and alien species. The worlds she often dreams up for them are vicious, dark and dangerous, reflecting aspects of the heroines and heroes, but her characters also love deeply, laugh, cry and feel every emotion as keenly as anyone does. She makes no excuses for the darkness surrounding them, especially the paranormal creatures, and says that this is their world. She’s just honoured to write down their adventures.

If you want to know more about me, or want to get in touch, you can find me at the following places:


Felicity generously offered an ebook copy of Heart of Darkness plus a swag pack that includes signed book cover postcards, bookmarks, trading cards for Heart of Darkness and her other books.


All you have to do is:

1) leave a question/comment for either Felicity, or tell us what kind of heroine YOU like, and
2) leave me a way to contact you (e-mail address or Twitter handle, etc.)

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 18 November 2011.

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