Happy Friday! I know your used to my Fresh Face Friday editions, but I am gonna flip things around today. Today I have a wonderful guest post from Melissa Snark. She will be talking about writing an abused heroine. With Melissa stopping by today she is also sharing with us her tour giveaway that I will post at the end. Also, with a Friday comes my review of A Cat’s Tale. So like all other days keep reading and you will find out my thoughts on A Cat’s Tale. So without any further adieu here is Melissa Snark.
How to Write an Abused Heroine
Heroines who have been the victims of emotional or physical abuse are common in romance novels. Her suffering provides an immediate conflict to be overcome and also makes her empathetic to readers. However, handling such a profound topic with sensitivity and realism is a challenging task. Inevitably, there is a reader out there who will challenge any expression of sexual desire in a heroine who has been raped, or call a heroine who cries a whiner.
The author wants to portray her in a sympathetic light without crossing the line into “annoying” or “whiny”. If she was raped, then approach love scenes with great care for how she overcomes her fear of being hurt again. The same delicate approach should apply to a heroine who has been emotionally abused. Trust will certainly be the #1 challenge facing the hero and heroine, so how the hero handles the heroine’s vulnerability is just as important as how she reacts to it.
In A Cat’s Tale, my heroine, Josephine Young, is a Siamese werecat who has spent the last three years of her life in a vampire’s dungeon as a blood slave. She is forced to do terrible things, including luring Alpha werewolf, Jared Kohl, into a trap. When they are forced into a cage together, her betrayal serves to drive the tension for the rest of the story.
While fleshing Josephine out, I drew on real life experience to give her dimension. In my twenties, I volunteered to work at an animal rescue and observed cats that had come from abusive homes. Often, they would hiss, scratch, or claw despite having been placed in a nurturing environment where only kindness was offered. Once an adult cat experiences cruelty, it takes a long time to gain her trust.
Throughout much of the story, Josephine desperately wants to trust Jared but is unable to because of her victimization. More than once, she lashes out and scratches him, seeking to provoke a violent reaction. Hers is a battle of hope versus hurt. Jared, in turn, recognizes that she has been abused and desires to get past her barriers and gain her cooperation so they can both escape alive.
So does the wolf win the kitty’s trust? You’ll have to read A CAT’S TALE to find out…
Alpha werewolf, Jared Kohl, wakes up in a vampire’s dungeon, swearing revenge upon the wily Siamese werecat who lured him there with her sultry lips and the sweetest tail. To escape his undead captor, all he has to do is seduce the skittish puss and show her that trust is often a hot and hard lesson to learn.
Enslaved feline shifter, Josephine Young, has learned the hard way not to believe in anything or anyone—not men, not love, and certainly not the blood-sucking mistress who tossed her into the cage with the hungry beast she’d betrayed. But Josephine does what she must to survive, including tempting the dominant werewolf to give her more than promises.
Imprisoned for their blood, Jared and Josephine fight for survival and discover a passion that neither can walk away from. Can these two predators survive long enough to prove that cats and dogs can be more than enemies?
All Jared wants when he walks into the dark bar is a beer and some burgers. What he finds is in his opinion much better. The sexy werecat, Josephine, approaches the sexy werewolf with a proposition he can’t dismiss. Unfortunately, that lands him in the clutches of a vampire that was using Josie to get a new blood pet. Once Jared is trapped he realizes that Josie is trapped also and bargains with the vampire to keep Josie in his cage with him. As he plots to get out of the trap his tumultuous relationship begins to grow into more with Josie. But sadly with one last betrayal Josie is left wondering if she was being abandoned yet again or will her werewolf live up to the promises he made?
This was yet another great read by Melissa Snark. This story had lots of sensuality along with the paranormal romance. Though this is shorter novel it is quite thorough in its character and story development. Jared and Josie are wonderful especially when they are snipping at one another. This is definitely steamy read. I was reading this at work and kept looking around wondering if anyone saw my screen steaming up. Overall, this is a great, quick, spicy novel that will leave you wanting more Jared and Josie.
Fast Facts About Melissa Snark:
- Melissa Snark is published with The Wild Rose Press & as an Indie author with four different titles.
- Her Loki’s Wolves series includes THE CHILD THIEF, HUNGER MOON AND BATTLE CRY (to be released June 2014).
- Her novel THE MATING GAME, an erotic paranormal title will be released in Spring 2014.
- She lives in the San Francisco bay area with her husband, three children and a glaring of cats.
- She blogs about books and writing on The Snarkology.
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