Over the course of my writing career, I've written different sorts of heroines. Some have been human, some werewolf, and some...well, I guess I'll go with "supernatural mutt" to describe them. All of them have been capable and strong, since weakness is my biggest pet peeve in a heroine. But with the release of Shadow Rising, the newest book in my Dark Dynasties series, I've written a heroine who differs from the rest in a couple of important ways.
Ariane is a vampire. But more importantly, she carries an arsenal of swords and daggers, and she knows how to use them.
Okay, so probably my excitement over the sword thing has a lot to do with the fantasy geek inside me. Still, I've never written a heroine who carried weaponry. And with Ariane, the scimitar she wields is a lot like her—beautiful, old-fashioned, and extremely dangerous. She's a woman out of time, leaping into the modern world after almost a thousand years hidden away in the desert compound of her bloodline, the Grigori. Despite her age and unusual background, I found her weirdly easy to relate to. Ariane might be old in number of years lived, but in so many ways, she's young. Her hero, Damien, likens her at one point to a fairy tale princess (this disgruntles him, but you'd have to know Damien). I suppose Ariane does have that fairy tale quality to her, with her ethereal looks and relative innocence. But Cinderella wouldn't have dreamed of chasing Prince Charming with a sword, and...well, let's just say that Ariane has no such reservations!
Ariane needed to be unusual because, honestly, there aren't many women who could handle her hero. Damien Tremaine is...a jerk. He's an immortal assassin with a sharp tongue whose main concern is saving his own skin. A human couldn't have survived his lifestyle, and a normal vampire wouldn't have interested him, even if she'd been inclined to try and deal with his multiple issues. But Ariane's openness and lack of cynicism allow her to see Damien in a way that no one else does. Her resilience, honed by years of being hidden away and told she was without value, gives her a high tolerance for his particular brand of BS. And her skill with weapons allows her to hold her own at Damien's side in battle. She is, in short, perfect for him. And watching the sparks fly as each of them struggled with this was one of the best parts of writing this book.
I hope you'll check out my sword-wielding heroine in Shadow Rising! I have a signed copy to give away to one commenter today, so please be sure to say hello. I'll be hanging out here all day! So tell me, what are your favorite qualities in a heroine?
Thanks so much to Stephanie and Athenna for having me here today to celebrate my new release!
Kendra Leigh Castle is the author of the Dark Dynasties series, as well as several other paranormal romances. She lives in Maryland with her husband, three kids, and menagerie of pets. Kendra can be found at http://www.kendraleighcastle.com/, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
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