Meet Beauty

I was tagged last Monday in the Meet My Main Character blog tour by the lovely and sometimes hilariously inappropriate Sonya Craig, and of course jumped at the opportunity. Sonya is the author of the Outbound sci-fi series, and you can check out more about her and her kickass protagonist here. If any of you are regulars here (hello, crickets!), you probably know that Sonya is one of my dearest Twitter BFFs, and one of the most real, down-to-earth, amazing, beautiful, caring, and funny people I know.

My main character? As most of you know, my paranormal romance coming next month from Swoon Romance (HEMLOCK VEILS) is a modern-day Beauty and the Beast retelling for adult audiences. In this adaption, the Beauty of this story is twenty-nine-year-old Elizabeth Ashton.

My inspiration for Elizabeth: Kate Beckinsale (image from Everybody's Fine). And she is drinking coffee, of course. Because...Elizabeth.

1. Is she a fictional or historical person? 

As much as I'd love to believe that Elizabeth is a real person, she is in fact a product of my imagination.

2. When and where is the story set?

The story is set in our current time, in a small forest town, Hemlock Veils, located in Mt. Hood National Forest about an hour southeast of Portland, Oregon. Though the surrounding areas are very real, down to roads and landmarks, the town itself is also a product of my imagination. And existing within this world is a Magical Realm, one not known to most the human population. The book opens to Elizabeth discovering those forests and that town for the first time, after she has left her life-long home of Los Angeles, California.

3. What should we know about her?

Elizabeth is tough. She is selfless. She has had an extremely trying life and has experienced loss beyond what most people have (the reasons for that will be explored more in Book 2, VEIL OF THE ROSE, which releases in April of next year). She would do absolutely anything for the people she loves. Also, she has a keen ability to see people and things for what they truly are.

In this story, it isn't just the Beast who has secrets and demons. Elizabeth holds the weight of her own secrets as well, and in some ways thinks of herself as a monster.

4. What is the main conflict? What messes up her life?

That's a hard question to answer, especially because the thing(s) to "mess up her life" aren't explored until VEIL OF THE ROSE. But what messes it up in HEMLOCK VEILS? Her life is an utter mess when the story opens. Her brother, who was her only remaining family, had just been murdered, and Elizabeth's dark secrets tie her to it. But that is just what brings her to our setting. What messes things up for her when starting her new life in Hemlock Veils is that the terrifying monster who has cursed the town intrigues her rather than frightens her. She befriends this beast, and discovers his secret and who he really is, which at first puts her at odds with him, and later with the town. Both her and the beast struggle to accept their inner monsters and she helps him find the beauty in himself, while learning that the one who cursed him is a source of evil that desires to take lives in order to prevent his curse from being broken.

5. What is the personal goal of the character?

First, Elizabeth's personal goal is to make Hemlock Veils her new home, since it's the first place she feels she truly belongs. Then her goal is getting down to the bottom of the Beast's secrets. Eventually, her goal is to help him see his own beauty and forgive himself for his past, and in turn she learns to do the same thing for herself.

6. Is there a working title for this novel and can we read more about it?

I'm pretty sure I don't need to answer this one, because...see above. And everywhere else on this blog.

7. When can we expect the book to be published?

Not that I need to answer this either, but...NOVEMBER 25!!!

Next up, I'm tagging the infamous (because that means MORE than famous--just ask the Three Amigos) Matt King. Matt is a superhero. I think. Or maybe he just writes about them. I'm not even sure he's real, actually. He might be a robot. Anyway, Matt is one of the best writers I know (and I'm not even being biased), and one of my greatest friends. If you're on Twitter, you should definitely follow him. You will laugh, a LOT. Plus, he has a creepy stalker at his local Starbucks, hates cloth napkins, and always knows the latest on any Marvel news. He's just awesome, okay? And so is his main character, whom he will be introducing.


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