Tags: beth cornelison

Interviews galore!

As I type, my lunch is in the microwave (what, me cook?), my puppy is licking my knee and I'm sipping on a venti iced latte.  Life is good.

A few interviews I missed mentioning yesterday:

The fabulous, Rita-Award-winning Rosemary Clement on Body Count Blogging.

Me on NINC
.  (Note, on Monday, September 7th I'll be up on Romance University with some of the dos and don'ts for approaching editors and agents.)

Romantic suspense author Beth Cornelison on "Bodies: Heavenly and Human"

Beth Cornelison and the tortured hero

  Beth Cornelison is the author of ten novels of romantic suspense thus far.  She's been honored with many awards, including the Golden Heart and, most recently the Grand Prize in the Lories Best Published Contest for her novel UNDER FIRE.  She's here today talking about her newest release, HEALING LUKE.

Thanks, Lucienne, for the opportunity to share a bit about one of my favorite character types– the tortured hero.

This week marks the release of my contemporary romance, HEALING LUKE. You could call HEALING LUKE a modern Beauty and the Beast, because the hero, Luke, is recovering from an accident that left him scarred both physically and mentally. His wounds are far from hideous, but his behavior could be considered beastly. The story is about healing, internal and external, and finding the courage to face our deepest fears. But before she'll find her happily ever after, the heroine, Abby, must find the prince hiding beneath the monstrous mask Luke presents to the world.

Luke is the epitome of the tortured hero, so as HEALING LUKE releases this week, I've been giving the appeal of the tortured hero a good bit of thought. Tortured heroes have been a favorite romance hook almost as long as romances have been hooking readers. Heathcliff, from Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights is another classic example of this mysterious, brooding man. But what is the allure of the tortured hero? Why do so many romance readers delight in the suffering of the brooding hero? It seems incredibly mean-spirited to enjoy the mental or physical pain of the man the reader is asked to fall in love with.

I admit that I love to read about a tortured hero as much as anyone. The darker his angst, the better. Yet I consider myself kind-hearted, sympathetic and nurturing, not twisted or mean. The same could be said for most romance readers I know. So what's the deal?

The answers I've come up with aren't anything startling or new, but they highlight a fact about romance readers that is universal. We love happy endings.

First, the hero's pain engages the readers emotions, and romance books are all about emotion. When I meet that hero with the dark wounded soul, my initial reaction is not sadistic delight in his pain, but rather a sympathetic ache, a burning desire to help, to heal, and to ease his suffering. While there is nothing I, the reader, can do for this poor hurting man, I put my faith in the love of the heroine to rescue the hero from his pit of despair.

The hero's inner pain also adds another layer of conflict to the story. More conflict usually translates to more emotion for the reader, a bigger stake in the outcome of the romance. Not only must the heroine resolve the external conflict she faces to reach her goal, but in order to find true love, she must help the hero find resolution and peace from his inner demons. This theme of redemption resounds with us because we all have, to some extent, past sins, past pain and lingering heartache from which we want to be freed.

When, after many trials and tribulations, the heroine's love does heal the hero's hurting soul and bring him to new levels of joy and inner-peace, the reader basks in the glow of another happily ever after. Love has prevailed, even against the dark pain and angst the hero suffered when the book opened. The deeper the hero's pain, the greater the victory for true love. So is that the allure of the tortured hero— the payoff that soft-hearted romantics like myself find so appealing? Are we drawn to the victory when the heroine's love, faith and devotion conquer even the hero's personal demons? Or is there more to it?

A tortured hero does have an element of danger about him. What dark secret is he hiding? What is at the root of his pain, and will his pain suck the heroine in and ruin her as well? Danger has a titillating allure that stirs our adrenaline.

Plus, brooding men are sexy. How many cologne and underwear ads have you seen where the male model is practically snarling at the camera? Plenty. Light-hearted humor is generally considered feminine or child-like, while serious introspection and toughness are traditionally masculine traits, connoting virility, competence, strength and sexual prowess. The alpha male. The tortured hero takes this serious brooding to an extreme, and when the heroine manages to break through the tortured hero's pain and protective walls to find the charming prince that lies beneath, she claims the best of both worlds. Tough and tender. Macho alpha outside with a gooey marshmallow center. No wonder a romantic's heart flutters for the tortured hero!

Find more information about my tortured hero, Luke, at my website- www.bethcornelison.com.

Happy reading, Beth Cornelison


Beth Cornelison
UNDER FIRE- Samhain Publishing- On sale now!
TALL DARK DEFENDER- Silhouette Romantic Suspense- June 2009
HEALING LUKE- Sourcebooks-September 2009
THE CHRISTMAS STRANGER- October 2009- Silhouette Romantic Suspense
BLACKOUT AT CHRISTMAS "Stranded With The Bridesmaid" - SRS Nov 2009
www.bethcornelison.com   www.myspace.com/bethcornelison

September releases

Hard to see summer come to an end, but not with these September releases to look forward to - romance, fantasy, YA, fangs, fair folk...you name it, we've got it!

Release date 9/1:

LORD OF SIN by Susan Krinard (HQN mass market)
Nuala is descended from ancient witch folk, eternally bound to help others find love. But after the death of her husband, she harbors no such dreams for herself. Then she meets Sinjin, the Earl of Donnington, and feels something stir within her for the first time in centuries….

         Handsome and scandalously tempting, Sinjin has never met a woman he couldn't seduce. Yet from the moment he sees the stunning young widow, he knows he wants more than just one night of sin—and even the discovery of the dark secret they share won't stop him from trying to possess her forever. But first he must free her from her immortal bondage, which means robbing her of her magic for all time….

“Darkly intense, intricately plotted, and chilling, this sexy tale skillfully interweaves several time periods, revealing key past elements with perfect timing but keeping the reader firmly in the novel's "present" social scene.” – Library Journal

DARK ROAD RISING by P.N. Elrod (Ace hardcover)

Vampire PI Jack Fleming’s wounded partner is on the critical list, his starstruck girlfriend is tempted by the siren song of Hollywood, and he’s got his hands full running the Nightcrawler Club.  The last thing he needs is to play babysitter to Gabriel “Whitey” Kroun, a dangerously unstable mobster—and newly created vampire—with deadly secrets to hide.
         As Jack tried to unravel the mystery surrounding Kroun’s undead state, he gets caught between his charge’s violent outbursts and some syndicate torpedoes looking to rub them both out, leaving him vulnerable to an even deadlier threat—the return of an old enemy desperate to unlock the secrets of Jack’s vampire immortality. (Try before you buy link)

“I love getting into bed with Jack Fleming.  Vampires, Chicago, jazz, and mystery—nobody does it better than P.N. Elrod.” – Lilith Saintcrow, author of the Jill Kismet series

HEALING LUKE by Beth Cornelison (Sourcebooks Casablanca mass market)
A wonderfully emotional contemporary romance. Ladies' man Luke Morgan has the world at his feet until a freak explosion leaves him burned and bitter. Luke's family offers gutsy occupational therapist Abby Stanford a job facilitating Luke's physical therapy, but Luke wants no part of his family's schemes or Abby's help. When sparks fly between Luke and Abby, Luke must face his deepest fears in order to claim the woman who brought his family together and taught him the real meaning of love.

"Healing Luke is a modern day retelling of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast.  It's quick and lighthearted with a few gems revealed towards the end on love and relationships." - Love Romance Passion Reviews

Release date 9/8:

HELL WEEK, Maggie Quinn: Girl versus Evil Book 2, by Rosemary Clement-Moore (Delacorte trade paperback reissue of hardcover)
Maggie Quinn is determined to make her mark as a journalist. The only problem? The Ranger Report does not take freshmen on staff.
        Rules are rules. But when has that ever stopped Maggie?
        After facing hellfire, infiltrating sorority rush should be easy. It’s no Woodward and Bernstein, but going undercover as the Phantom Pledge will allow her to write her exposé. Then she can make a stealth exit before initiation. But when she finds a group of girls who are after way more than “sisterhood,” all her instincts say there’s something rotten on Greek Row. And when Hell Week rolls around, there may be no turning back.
       If there is such a thing as a sorority from hell, you can bet that Maggie Quinn will be the one to stumble into it.

“This reader has found a new series to love. The first book was a great start, and this installment is top-notch fun and a satisfying follow-up for older teens. Great dialogue and smart, interesting relationships that grow and change make both books a joy to read. There is endless potential in these characters and in their lives.” - VOYA

THE SPLENDOR FALLS by Rosemary Clement-Moore (Delacorte hardcover) Sylvie Davis is a ballerina who can’t dance. She’s still  reeling from her father’s death, her mother has remarried, and Sylvie is shipped off to stay with relatives in the back of beyond in  Alabama. She expects to be miserable, but when she sees echoes of the  past repeating patterns of love, loss, and greed, she wonders what’s true, and what is her imagination. Sylvie’s lost nearly everything—is she starting to lose her mind as well?

“Long, satisfying and just chilling enough, this will please a wide audience and leave readers hoping for more.” – Kirkus Reviews

Disney and author visit

It was a beautiful weekend here in Florida, not the least of which because my author Michele Lang (NETHERWOOD and the forthcoming LADY LAZARUS series of fabulous historical fantasies) and her beautiful family came to visit.  Or rather, we met them over at Disney and had a wonderful time!  My son adopted her sons (or vice versa).  We practically had to pry them from each others' sides when it was time to part.  See above: picture of Michele and I, lionfish from "The Seas" at Epcot, tree that I just thought was cool. 

My family and I also visited the Tampa Renaissance Fair on Sunday and had a great time there as well.  Ty, of course, went as a very period Jedi.  Pete was a pirate in the coat I bought for him last year which was just made for him.  Every time I let him wander loose he was stopped by three or four women to have his picture taken.  Of course, he hated every second of it!

And yes, of course, I worked as well.  Six and a half partials read, one manuscript begun.

In other news, one of my other authors, Beth Cornelison, is a finalist in the New England RWA Chapter's Bean Pot Readers Choice contest.  Winners will be announced at the end of March. Go, Beth!

New and exciting in July!

I know I'd mentioned I'd make the first Friday of every month my new and exciting releases day, but since I'll be away next Friday, I'm posting a little early. 

THE IRON HUNT by Marjorie M. Liu (Ace mass market – urban fantasy)

SHOW AND TELL by Jasmine Haynes (Berkley sensation – erotic romance)

DUTY TO PROTECT by Beth Cornelison (Silhouette Romantic Suspense)

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!