You might have seen a bit of buzz recently about Firelight, a gorgeous Gothic-flavored paranormal romance by newcomer Kristen Callihan. I had a chance to read this while on a plane last year, and it was one of the best flights I’ve had in a while. I met Kristen herself at RWA and invited her to blog after the release, and she agreed! (This always makes me happy because then I give away books.)
But I was SUPERHAPPY when I actually saw her post. Oh, girl. She’s after my heart.
All the world’s waiting for you,
and the power you possess.
Ah, Wonder Woman. When I found out that Meljean is a Wonder Woman fan, I loved her that much more. Not only is she a brilliant writer, she clearly has excellent taste.
Wonder Woman was my ultimate hero when I was a kid. Okay, I had a bit of an idolization thing going on. According to neighborhood lore, on a sunny day, when the weather was just right, one might chance to see a tiny blonde Wonder Woman fighting dastardly villains with mighty punches and kicks, and the toss of her yellow nylon marine rope —her golden Lasso of Truth! Many rolls of tinfoil were nobly sacrificed for the making of invincible bracelets and tiaras of justice.
I mean, what’s not to love about Wonder Woman? She kicked ass in a man’s world, always saved her man, and let’s not forget her invisible plane. Invisible plane, people! She could fly anywhere, even though she couldn’t see the dials! Totally awesome.
Wonder Woman forged in my young mind an unshakable ideal as to what a heroine could should be. She needn’t sit back and wait to be saved. She needn’t be the weakest link in the chain. She could have her own power. She could be brave.
So it was inevitable, you see, that when I wrote Miranda’s character for FIRELIGHT, she would be kicking some ass. Miranda is no cowering miss. She can light up a place and reap mass destruction –er… literally. And she’s not afraid to fight for those she loves. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t need her man. She does. In the best way.
Don’t get me wrong; there is something primordial and deeply thrilling about a big, strong hero swooping in to the rescue. And part of the intrinsic thrill of reading a good romance –at least for me- is that feeling of being swept away. But there are different ways to be saved. A hero might save his heroine simply by loving her, despite her faults. Or, even better, they might save each other.
And Meljean totally agrees with Kristen, while referring to herself in the third person! No, seriously. Here’s something that’s not-so-secret: I love heroes, but I read romances for the heroines. I love, love, LOVE strong and complicated heroines, who might be vulnerable but aren’t weak. They don’t have to kick ass but DO have to actively determine their own story, whether that story is all about adventure or love.
The hero of FIRELIGHT, Benjamin Archer, is really fantastic (and the mystery surrounding him was a total surprise to me, which hasn’t happened in a long, long time) and everything is awesomely romantic and sexy and hot … but most importantly, Miranda held her own through the story, and I love that more than I can say.
So of course I’m going to give copies away! I’ll send three copies of FIRELIGHT to random commenters below. Here’s what you have to do:
Comment below by February 27 with a question for Kristen (or if you don’t have a question, tell us about one of your favorite heroines — what is it about her that rocks your socks? Or what traits are common in your favorite heroines?)
Bonus entry if you have a picture of yourself in Underoos!
Once the flames are ignited . . .
Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities. Yet one innocent but irreversible mistake has left her family’s fortune decimated and forced her to wed London’s most nefarious nobleman.
They will burn for eternity . . .
Lord Benjamin Archer is no ordinary man. Doomed to hide his disfigured face behind masks, Archer knows it’s selfish to take Miranda as his bride. Yet he can’t help being drawn to the flame-haired beauty whose touch sparks a passion he hasn’t felt in a lifetime. When Archer is accused of a series of gruesome murders, he gives in to the beastly nature he has fought so hard to hide from the world. But the curse that haunts him cannot be denied. Now, to save his soul, Miranda will enter a world of dark magic and darker intrigue. For only she can see the man hiding behind the mask.
Also! I just read that RT Book Reviews and Kristen are giving a lucky reader the chance to have her name in Kristen’s next book, MOONGLOW. After you’ve commented here, don’t forget to head over there!
Also x 2! Kristen has romance trading cards! I know that some of you collect these awesome promo items — Here’s the link to Kristen’s site; scroll to the bottom of the page, and she tells you how to get her FIRELIGHT cards.
The contest small print: Comment by 11:59:59 PM Pacific time on 02/27/2012 for your chance to win. Three winners will be selected randomly using random.org, and their names posted on this blog 02/29/2012. Winners must provide Meljean with their mailing address by March 31, 2012 or the prize will be forfeit. Only one entry per ISP address. The contest is open to international readers. No purchase necessary to enter. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Void where prohibited.