Welcome to Day #9 of
the Dark Days of Demons Blog Event
here at the Book Boost!
the Dark Days of Demons Blog Event
here at the Book Boost!
Win a copy of Pretty Souls and meet Young Adult paranormal author Julie Particka. Here's what she had to say about why she likes to cast a demon in the role of the hero...
Demons Make the Best Boyfriends
In the romance world, my favorite hero is always the bad boy with a heart of gold. You know the one, the guy who looks like he should be lurking in the dark and can mess you up in ways you’ll never forget. Muscly. Wears leather. Rides a motorcycle. Curses like a sailor. And if he has tattoos and piercings, all the better.
And I know I’m not the only one who feels that way.
So it isn’t any wonder that paranormal is hot in YA right now. Demons (vampire or otherwise) epitomize the bad boy thing. What could be more dangerous than a guy who can kill you without even needing a weapon?
Of course, the concept also has issues. Where’s the balance between the demonic urges and the human? (If we’re talking wholly demon characters, that’s a different thing, but I like my demons to more or less look human—at least most of the time.) If the demon inside urges the hero to kill the heroine, at what point does he become heroic enough to earn her love?
As counterintuitive as it seems, for me, the best demonic heroes are the ones that are human enough that they don’t have to rail against their demon for love. That it’s the one way in which the demon has no control over them.
You see, to me, love and hate are the two strongest emotions people have. If the hero can’t defeat the demon inside them for dominance when it comes to love—and pretty quickly—I have a hard time believing the love is strong enough. Even if they want to kill every other person on the planet, the heroine should be the one that calms that beast inside them.
I think that’s one of the reasons I always preferred Spike over Angel on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Angel had been cursed to have a soul, which allowed him to love Buffy, but as soon as the curse was broken, he went back to trying to kill her. His love wasn’t strong enough to beat his demon down on its own. Spike, on the other hand, wanted so badly to be worthy of Buffy’s love that he went on a quest to gain a soul so he wouldn’t be the monster anymore. He fought, and almost died, for it through his own demon-inspired hatred of her. When Angel was Angelus, he never tried to get back to Buffy, or at the very least he never came close to succeeding. Spike was always Spike—and once he realized he loved her, that was it—with or without his soul.
The bad boy with a heart of gold can’t only have a heart because someone else gave it to them. It has to be there from the beginning. This is especially true of demons. After all, if they can’t decide to kiss the heroine or eat her, how can we as readers decide if they’re truly worth our adoration?
So, give me my demons, make them hot, make them angry, but make them love the heroine enough that they can’t help but be human around her.
How about you? What makes a demon a worthy hero in your eyes?
Elle hasn’t been afraid of the things that go bump in the night since she became a werewolf. She'd happily give up her inner monster to get her family back though. Hell, she'd give up the beast for nothing. Of course her foster sister doesn't get it. After all, she doesn't battle with her own darker half, but vampire blood can do that to a person.
Their nightly patrols have become more habit than necessity—until a demon spawn comes to town, ripping souls from strangers, enemies, and friends alike. When it threatens her foster mom, Elle's peaceful life is shattered, but she's not going to give up without a fight. Fighting the beast for control at the same time is more than she can handle though. Armed with more attitude than experience, Elle and her sister have to track down the demon spawn before it collects enough souls to fulfill its birthright and open a doorway to hell.
For the first time in years, Elle is scared. She's willing to lose herself in the beast if that's what it takes, but saving the world could cost her soul.
I gave him one last concerned glance before joining Cassidy under the pine tree.
She didn’t even bother trying to hide her toothy grin. “Is he all tucked in now? Snug as a bug in a—”
While she was busy mouthing off, I lunged for one of the fearless rabbits that live in our town. It must have decided we weren’t a threat. It was wrong. With the bunny gripped in my left hand, I drove my right against Cass’s throat, slamming her back against the tree trunk. Pine needles drifted around us as I glared at her and snarled, “Are you a freaking idiot?”
“What the hell? I was just kidding.”
I wished I could believe her, but since she talked with her mouth mostly closed, I couldn’t. Besides, she couldn’t hide her eyes. Stark, inhuman blackness coated her irises. I hated those eyes. Covering the shudder that ran along my spine, I pulled her forward a few inches then slammed her back against the trunk. For a moment, as more pine needles drifted to the ground, the rabbit ceased struggling in my grip. The lack of scratching was an improvement, but I hoped I hadn’t killed it by squeezing too hard.
“I’ll ask you one more time. Are you a freaking idiot?” My voice hissed from between clenched teeth. When Cass didn’t answer that time, I took a different approach. “When was the last time you ate?”
Her lips curved into a smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes, and she spoke with deliberate slowness. “I ate dinner earlier tonight, Elle. You know that. You were there. Jen made tacos, and Eric told us all about his boring day at work.”
My body trembled, but not with fear. Cass was so far gone she had the nerve to try to play with me. I supposed I had to count myself lucky that was all she was doing. I gritted my teeth and shoved the rabbit at her face. The movement must have made its shock wear off because it began thrashing around again, claws scraping at my forearm. “Eat it.”
Her ebony eyes shifted to the rabbit then back to my face. “I’m not in the mood for rabbit tonight, Elle.” Her fake grin slipped to something more condescending.
The expression came close to making my blood run cold. Not close enough though. I was furious enough to beat her senseless. “Too bad, because I’m beyond caring what you want. You were stupid enough to come out hungry. Patrolling without feeding? I can’t trust you like this, and we aren’t leaving until you eat the rabbit.”
Cass crossed her arms and, leaning her body against the tree like she didn’t have a care in the world, blinked at me. Long and slow.
I tried not to let my human instincts take over, but I felt my heartbeat speed up. The fear almost suffocated me, but I choked it down and shoved every inch of anger into my voice. “And really, I don’t care if I have to force you.”
Cassidy gave a tiny harrumph and raised her arm. “Fine. Whatever. Hand over poor, little, innocent Thumper.” My hand still gripping her throat, I slapped the wriggling mass of bunny into her open palm. Her eyes narrowed to slits when I didn’t let her go. “Don’t you trust me, Sis?”
Exhausted with her stupid games, I sighed. “Just eat the damn rabbit so we can go home.”
At long last she raised the animal to her face and opened her mouth, revealing canines that had extended to nearly an inch long. Without another word, she plunged her fangs into the bunny’s quivering flesh. I held onto Cass until the sucking noises reached a nice steady rhythm, and the muscles that had locked into place finally loosened. Even though I let her go, her lips stayed glued to the small animal, whose struggles had long since ceased.
The drained body of the rabbit hit the ground with a quiet thump, and Cass raised an embarrassed blue gaze to me. “I’m sorry.”
I simply shook my head—too tired to do anything else. “Don’t you ever do that to me again. Neither of us may be happy with the hand life has dealt us, but whether you like it or not, you have to feed.” I spun around, stalked into the woods, and headed toward home. “And I don’t plan on ever being dinner.”
Cass could follow me, or she could sulk until dawn. I didn’t care. I still didn’t think Diego’s problem was drugs, and I just didn’t have the energy to coddle a moping bloodsucker.
Want More Julie?
Visit her website here: http://www.julieparticka.com/
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