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I had a lot of fun writing Blood Cursed. My Shadowfae series is set in a dark and violent paranormal world ruled by demons and their ruthless vampire gangsters, and the most recent book, Poison Kissed, featured an angry, kick-ass heroine. I love her, but I wanted to try something different.
So I thought: what if this heroine isn't kick-ass, at least not on the outside? What if she's a girl who's always relied on her beauty and charm to get ahead, simply because she doesn't have great physical strength or magical powers – and now she's in a situation where all the beauty in the world can't save her? Where she has to learn to be kick-ass, or die?
So I came up with Ember, a beautiful bloodfae girl. Her magical blood is irresistible to vampires, and worth a fortune on the black market. So she relies on her charming but intimidating gangster boyfriend to protect her from amorous bloodsuckers. He's rich, generous and fun-loving, and gives her everything she wants. No matter that he makes her feel small and worthless, and asks her to do sordid things in return for his protection: it's better than being dead.
Needless to say, I didn't let that situation last! Soon, he betrays her, and she's on her own, just a pretty girl in a hungry world that's out to get her. Add to that the small matter of a debt to an all-powerful demon – bring him three damned souls, or die screaming in hell herself – and Ember's really in trouble.
And to make things even more difficult for her, I had a hero ready-made :) Diamond, flashy glassfae gangster and one of the shady not-entirely-good guys from Poison Kissed. He needs Ember's magical vampire-bait blood to lure his evil bloodsucker boss to a nasty death. So he promises to help Ember with her demon problem, intending all along to betray her.
Diamond was a fun character to write. On the outside, he's cocky, charming, reckless, a bit of a show-off. Everyone thinks he's as ruthless as they come, and that suits him fine. But on the inside it's a different story. He's got this big bleeding heart that just won't let him ignore his conscience. No matter how hard he tries – and despite the fact that last time, all it got him was a broken heart – he can't resist a pretty girl in trouble.
But as far as Ember's concerned, Diamond is just like her abusive, lying boyfriend – only worse. She's vowed never again to rely on a man for help. This time, she's determined to get the job done on her own, and Diamond is just the kind of charming, dangerous guy she should avoid.
So Blood Cursed is the story of a heroine who believes she's worthless, yet finds the strength to escape – and a hero who wants desperately to extinguish the last spark of compassion in his heart, but finds that he can't. It's a story of hope that grows from despair, and love that transcends darkness. I hope you enjoy it!
- Erica Hayes
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