I read and review a wide variety of genres on Linda’s Book Bag but I have never been attracted to paranormal romance. When I discovered that Caroline Cairn writes in this genre I had to invite her on the blog to tell me all about it. Caroline has written such a compelling guest blog below that she’s completely converted me!
Caroline’s latest novel Forever and One Week was published on 23rd April 2016 and, although it is the second in the Spirits of Saorodh books, is also a stand alone read. You can buy Forever and One Week on Amazon US, Amazon UK, on ITunes, from B&N and Kobo.
Introducing Paranormal Romance
A Guest Post by Caroline Cairn
What did you immediately think of? A strong, insanely gorgeous Alpha male with supernatural powers, and enough muscles to be a hand to hand combat fighter extraordinaire. He fights evil. He’s a sex God. He’s got self-confidence, arrogance, and women throw themselves at him, but he hasn’t found one who ticks all his boxes. The one who will discover the fluff hidden inside.
Enter average heroine. She might start as a mouse, but she always has a fiery side that will reveal itself because of the hero. She’s his destined mate, you see. The one who will put him in danger, the one who will be in danger and will have to be rescued, despite the fact that she’ll deny needing help, since she is a modern, witty, head strong woman. How dare he believe she can’t defend herself?
And if you thought of the Young Adult genre, I’ll bet you’d have screamed Love Triangle! before I had time to wipe the drool of my bored face. Thank you, Twilight.
So yes, you are right. Most paranormal romance stories follow a clear cut formula. The winning clichés have turned countless books into best sellers. Readers have lapped up the relationships resembling that of our primitive ancestors, with a powerful male asserting his dominance, sorry, protection, over a female who lets him do it. Sometimes with reluctance. But who could resist the six-pack and the chiselled cheekbones for more than half a book. Especially if they’re met with a jealous streak. “You’re mine,” the hero will whisper in heroine’s ear.
Also, the paranormal aspect is usually pushed to the extreme. Very few main characters are average Joes, working nine to five stocking supermarket shelves and driving a nine-year-old car. Good or bad, they’re all special, and normal humans are unaware of their existence, despite a war raging under their noses. Silly humans.
Cue some readers who maybe enjoyed the genre to start with (like yours truly), but now find themselves rolling their eyes upwards more often than an actress asked to read a script written by the producer’s fifteen-year-old nephew. To me, our world offers natural complexities without the need for hordes of shifters or vampires pushing aside every single human character. Bar our heroine of course. But even she doesn’t usually remain average for long.
More than anything, I don’t want perfect characters. No one is perfect in real life. We all have our quirks, hangs up and pet peeves. We’re not brave all the time, or weak all the time. We don’t always think of a clever comeback on the spot, or know which words our friends and family want to hear. We’re not heroes. We’re humans.
And even the non-humans should show their own multi-faceted personality.
So like a few other authors, I am trying to break the mould and explore a more “realistic” approach to paranormal romance, where those stereotypes are limited. No battle against evil. No flawless characters. No destined mate or love at first sight. Instead, expect drama, mystery, and a dash of humour.
Yes, the supernatural elements might put off some readers, but if the romantics at heart are open to step out of their comfort zone and search around, they might be pleasantly surprised at what they find.
Forever and One Week
Spirits of Saoradh Book 2
The Spirits of Saoradh, who carry the guilt of a crime they committed when they were alive, now spend their ghostly days in the Void, dark nothingness where time and space are distorted. Until they get bound to a human. As often as needed, that human can call them to the real world, ask them to grant a wish, then send them back to the Void. The Spirits also have to follow strict rules or be punished, unaware that they can earn their redemption through a selfless sacrifice.
Spirit Logan despises the obedience he has to show to his humans, and prefers the enjoyable solitude of the Void. For three years, he has managed to threaten them into severing their bond, thus having his memory wiped of their existence. Except his latest human, an emotionless woman with a secret past, isn’t scared of him. Worse, she doesn’t care about his ability to make wishes come true.
Tessa, a twenty-six-year-old nursery teacher in Fort William, Scotland, doesn’t expect a sullen ghost only she can see and touch to burst through her solid defences. Both dismayed and intrigued, she offers Logan a deal he can’t refuse: to live with her in the human world for one week, at the end of which she will agree to release him.
Slowly, Tessa braves through the safety of her detachment towards people to show Logan some kindness. But the more her feelings deepen, the more Logan increases his distance…
Spirits of Saoradh Book 1
Feisty twenty-four year old Holly, or Miss Greedy as her friends call her, receives a wooden cube as a gift from an enigmatic elderly lady, who happens to be her mother’s new neighbour in Lossiemouth, a small Scottish fishing town.
What she doesn’t expect, is for the cube to contain Blayne, a Spirit of Saoradh only she can see and touch. Blayne is a playful, headstrong ghost with no recollection of his human past and an ability to grant Holly’s wishes whenever she calls for him — as long as said wishes don’t raise any questions from the public that is. So a shiny new car might be out of the question, but the possibility of a flat stomach, a consistently spotless house or a perfect daily hairstyle more than make up for it.
Through their incessant banter, Holly and Blayne grow closer while fighting against their mutual attraction since they have no possible future together.
But when the painful reality of Blayne’s existence is revealed, Holly will realize that it’s not always the girl who needs to be saved.
Warning: contains mature scenes not intended for young readers.
Born in France, Caroline studied hotel management before spending a couple of years in England, Ireland and Belgium.
In 2001, she and her husband settled close to the Loch Ness monster in the Highlands of Scotland, and soon, two children and about thirteen fish joined them.
Dramatic scenes are her favourite to work on, which is perhaps a reminiscence of those teenage years when every single ones of her stories had to end in epic tragedy (Shakespeare had nothing on her). Thankfully, these days, she veers towards the happy-ever-after finale in a glorious orange and red sunset.