My guest today is paranormal romance author Dianne Duvall. The first book in her new Immortal Guardians series, Darkness Dawns, recently hit bookshelves on February 1, 2011. Please join me in welcoming Dianne here today to Dark Faerie Tales. You can read an excerpt of the book here.
One lucky commenter will have a chance to win a copy of Darkness Dawns. As always, details are listed at the end of the post.
Dianne also have an amazing Kindle giveaway to celebrate the release of Darkness Dawn. Click here or visit her Contest page for details on how to enter.
Born in Houston, TX, Dianne Duvall earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of St. Thomas, where she studied fiction writing, playwriting and poetry writing. Darkness Dawns, the first book in her Immortal Guardians paranormal romance series, is scheduled for publication in late 2011, courtesy of Kensington (Zebra Imprint). Darkness Dawns won first place in the 2009 Indiana Golden Opportunity contest, then was chosen as the Best of the Best. It also won second place in The Emily and fifth place in the Golden Acorn Excellence in Writing contest. The second book in the series has tentatively been scheduled for release in December 2011.
Dianne has completed two other paranormal romance novels that are stand alone prequels to Darkness Dawns. A Sorceress of His Own is a medieval romance with paranormal elements that won awards in the Lone Star, Where the Magic Begins, Southern Heat, Picture This, Book of Your Heart and Suzannah national writing competitions. Rendezvous With Yesterday is a time travel romance and won second place in the Picture This writing contest.
In addition to writing romance, Dianne has completed a one-act play (comedy) and teamed up with an award-wining screenwriter to write a spec script for a new situation comedy. Several of her poems have also been published in anthologies.
When she isn’t writing, Dianne is very active in the independent film industry. She edits films, constructs movie trailers and designs movie posters. One of the short films she edited, a surreal drama, won an award at the Jamerican International Film and Music Festival. She also participates in preproduction and production and has done so in varying capacities for several years. Some of the functions she has performed in the past are script editor, special effects make-up artist, shooting scheduler, special effects creator, casting coordinator, production assistant, movie extra and web site designer.
Strong Heroines Ready to Meet the Paranormal Challenge
by Dianne Duvall
Heroines in paranormal romances generally tend to fall into one of three categories. Some have been preternatural beings for centuries, if not millennia, and revel in the power and strength they wield. Cocky and sure, they’re always up for a fight, suffer no qualms or second thoughts when it comes to destroying their enemies and rival alpha males in their determination to call the shots . . . or seduce. These heroines don’t wait for heroes to fight battles for them. These heroines instigate the battles themselves. They also were fairly rare in the early days of paranormal romance, but have become far more prevalent today.
Other heroines are new to the preternatural state, either born into it and just coming into their powers or recently transformed. These heroines are still adjusting to their new state of being. They also often possess the same insecurities and uncertainties we humans suffer, but are no less strong than the heroines in the above category. While challenge after challenge buffets them, often threatening their lives or the lives of those they love, these heroines hone their new abilities, toughen their resolve and come into their own in an impressive way, fighting side by side with the hero . . . even coming to his rescue.
And then there are the human heroines. Frequently in paranormal romances, human heroines are thrust into the preternatural realm without warning and find themselves facing beings they thought only existed in fictional tales. Lacking the power, speed and special abilities so prevalent in this frightening world, they are at a distinct disadvantage. These ladies should by no means be considered weak, however. As the story progresses and they adapt, they find within themselves previously undiscovered or unexplored sources of strength that can lead to them turning the tables and aiding paranormal heroes in defeating their enemies.
Sarah Bingham, the heroine in Darkness Dawns (the first book in my Immortal Guardians paranormal romance series), falls into the last category. A music theory professor, she longs only for peace and quiet and plenty of relaxation at the end of a particularly stressful spring semester. Instead, she finds immortal Roland Warbrook being tortured just before sunrise, rescues him and becomes the target of a vampire army bent on Roland’s — and the other Immortal Guardians’ — destruction. Yanked out of her element, she doesn’t flounder in this new, terrifying world, but quickly rises to the occasion and displays extraordinary strength and valor.
Here’s a peek at her introduction to Roland:
The trees weren’t as thick here as she had thought. After just a few steps, Sarah stood at the edge (with any luck, still concealed by their branches) and peered anxiously into the next field.
A whiff of rank body odor struck her.
There were three men. One, whose face was hidden from view, lay on the ground on his back, what she could see of him bare. His arms had been pulled away from his sides and appeared to be held down by something she couldn’t glimpse through the tall grasses. Closer to her, his ankles had been lashed together with . . . rope? The weeds obscured them too much to tell. But they, too, were held down, judging by the way his thigh muscles continually flexed and strained.
A blond in faded jeans and a yellow T-shirt straddled the man’s thighs, his back to Sarah. A second with brown hair stood beside him, mostly turned away, gaping down at the naked man.
Though she only caught a quick impression of their faces, Sarah guessed the assailants were around twenty years old.
The blond suddenly raised both hands above his head, his fingers curled around the grip of a pocketknife, then slammed them down.
The naked man jerked and grunted with pain.
The brunette yelled, “Dude! Awesome!”
Sickened, terrified, trembling uncontrollably, Sarah stepped out of the trees, skulked forward and swung the shovel.
The blond looked up at his accomplice. “You wanna–”
Yellow Shirt slumped sideways, hit the ground and lay still.
The second man gaped at his friend in stupefaction, then spun toward Sarah . . . just as she swung again.
Right between the eyes.
Staggering back a step, he swore profusely, blinked hard several times, then frowned.
That did it. His pale eyes rolled back in his head as he sank bonelessly to the ground.
When Sarah turned her attention to the naked man, her stomach lurched and she thought for a moment she might be sick.
He had indeed been restrained. Thick, rough rope stained with blood bound his ankles and had rubbed his skin raw. A T-shaped metal spike as thick as her thumb had been driven into the ground between them, immobilizing him and cutting deep grooves into his flesh. Identical spikes had been driven through the palm of each hand, pinning his arms to the ground.
It was as if they had wanted to crucify him but, lacking the necessary lumber, had staked him to the ground instead.
“Oh sh**.” The whisper escaped her involuntarily.
If the stakes weren’t enough, two stab wounds marred his abdomen, courtesy of the blond. Deep gashes, weeping copious amounts of blood, scored the man’s muscled arms, chest and legs.
As she fought back nausea, Sarah directed her gaze to his face.
He was perhaps in his mid-thirties and handsome, despite the clenched jaw and lines of pain that bracketed his mouth and eyes. Short, jet black hair. Matching brows. Straight nose. Piercing, dark brown eyes that caught and held hers as she unlocked her stiff limbs and forced herself to move forward.
One lucky commenter will have a chance to win a copy of Darkness Dawns.
To enter, leave a comment below answering the following question:
Are your favorite paranormal romance heroines human or preternatural? Mortal or immortal?
1. +1 entry for answering the question (required).
2. +2 entries for becoming a follower of this blog and Dark Faerie Tales on Twitter.
3. +3 entries for tweeting about this contest, blogging about it, linking via your sidebar etc…(please tell me where!).
4. Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada residents only.
5. Please include your email address in your comment.
6. Giveaway ends Wednesday, March 2nd at 11:59 PM EST.
7. The winner will be picked with the help of Random.org.
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