Guest Blog and Giveaway: Hearts of Darkness by Kira Brady
Werewolves are my Weakness
I have a weakness for werewolves, I can admit it. In a death match between the Wolfman and Dracula, Lycan and vampire elder, Jacob and Edward, I’ll put my money on the living, breathing monster with fangs, fur, and claws. In paranormal romance and urban fantasy, every author plays with the mythology to make it their own–Gail Carriger’s werewolves are just as dead as the vampires and Richelle Mead’s Moroi vampires are both mortal and alive–but the majority of books keep to the original folk tales. Vampires are immortal risen corpses with supernatural strength and a thirst for human blood. Straight from Bram Stoker’s tale, they embody sex, seduction, and unnatural urges. In college I read and analyzed Dracula in a class called “Writing about Desire.” I had to write a paper on Vampire Lucy’s embodiment of twisted motherhood as she hunts children and infants, highlighting Stoker’s repetition of nursing imagery. I don’t think I ever recovered. It’s not that vampires aren’t sexy–have you seen the Bram Stoker Dracula movie??–but when I compare them to werewolves, the dead thing squicks me out. I think about cuddling a freezing dead thing, and not even Robert Pattison can cheer that mental image.
Now werewolves, on the other hand are very much alive and hot. Literally. Edward? His skin is icy cold. Jacob? He warms Bella right up. And then there’s the part I really like: pack. For werewolves, everything is about family. They live in packs, travel in packs, are fiercely overprotective of their packs. I mean, werewolves are frighteningly scary creatures too, but the truest way to my heart is a guy who loves kids. When it comes to kids and family, werewolves’ biggest problem is their domineering tendencies. As long as the heroine is strong enough to stand up to him and not be bullied, I think it’s hot. Adam from Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson series, Clay from Kelley Armstrong’s Bitten, even Brynn from Jennifer Lynn Barnes’s YA series, pack means family and the bonds are tight.
Then there are the lone wolves like my hero Hart from Hearts of Darkness. He’s been kicked out of the only family he knows–the Kivati shape shifters who, though not all wolves, have the same strong family ties that I love about most werewolf books. He’s lost the thing that is most central to his Wolf’s call and been adopted by a sick, megalomaniac dragon shifter who’s taken every notion of family and twisted it into something gruesome. Hart just wants to earn his freedom and live alone, far away from everyone who’s ever let him down or screwed him over, but once he meets Kayla, all bets are off. I love a reluctant hero, especially when I know he’s doomed.
So which do you root for? Fangs or fur? Team Jacob or Team Edward?
A native Seattleitte, Kira spent her childhood hiking the rainy forests of the Pacific Northwest and drying out by the fire with a good book and a mug of something hot. She graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania, where she met her real life Prince Charming and promptly dragged him back to sunless Seattle. She fell in love with historic, haunted cities in graduate school. Now she writes about the twisted cities of her imagination, where wraiths and shape-shifters stalk the night and love redeems even the darkest heart. When not writing, she can be found drinking inordinately large mugs of Assam tea, knitting wool socks, and raising a wee heroine-in-training. Her website is http://kirabrady.com.
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In the first of a dazzling new romantic trilogy, one woman’s courageous search plunges her into a millennia-old supernatural war—and an irresistible passion…
Nurse Kayla Friday has dedicated her life to science and reason. But for her, Seattle is a place of eerie loss and fragmented, frightening memories. And now the only clue to her sister’s murder reveals a secret battle between two ancient mythologies…and puts Kayla in the sights of lethally-sexy werewolf mercenary Hart. He’ll do whatever it takes to obtain the key to the Gate of the Land of the Dead and free what’s left of his soul. But seducing the determined Kayla is putting them at the mercy of powerful desires neither can control. And as the clock ticks down to hellish catastrophe, the untested bond between Kayla and Hart may lead to the ultimate sacrifice.