Friday, June 18, 2010

Guest Blogger: Jessa Slade!!!

If you read this blog, you know Monica Kaye appreciates a fine hero. So I thought I’d share some of my inspiration for my dark heroes, written and unwritten.

I love tortured heroes. Dark pasts. Broken hearts. Wounded souls. With honed and burnished bodies, of course, although a few scars are unavoidable, what with the torturing and all.

This picture works for almost all my heroes. And not just because of the chest. I’ve always liked black and white photography. I took a b&w photography class (back in the days of dark room development) and the instructor told us a good print had at least one point of true black and a point of purest white. Sounds like a perfect dark hero, doesn’t it? Black and whites can be so stark, yet so revealing. Just like the best dark heroes. Despite the shadows in a dark hero, you always know exactly what you’re getting: a man...

Oh, sorry, lost my train of thought for a moment. You get a man who doesn’t give up, doesn’t give in, doesn’t give a damn...until he meets you—I mean, the heroine. In the heroine, he meets his match. And by match, I mean the woman who challenges him and who is his other half and who sets him on fire.

Well, those sexy scars had to come from somewhere.

Looking through my stash of eye candy, I found a lot of pix with deep shadows. Not surprising, I guess, since my books are all about shadows. The heroes of my Marked Souls books, SEDUCED BY SHADOWS (Book 1) and FORGED OF SHADOWS (Book 2, out this month) are alpha male warriors possessed by repentant demons. So yeah, they’re shadowed, inside and out.

They walk a sharp line between damnation and redemption and carry sharp blades to ensure they always end up on the right side of that line. If occasionally the line gets a little blurry, that’s just because of all the malignant demon guts on the edge of the blade.

Not that all my pictures are dark. See? This one has all sorts of sunlight behind him.But he still has those wonderful dark locks and dark, dark eyes and OMG actual dark chest hair (but not too much)! Swoon!

But he’s not facing the light. Nope, my dark heroes are resistant to the light. They’re like SPF 101. But love has a way of sneaking through the cracks in their armor. Or maybe just the cracks in their shirts. Dark heroes frequently have unbuttoned shirts.It’s a syndrome or something.

Lighting a dark hero—like properly lighting a photographic subject—can be tricky. A little firelight, or should I say firefight, shows them in action. A little candlelight shows them in a moment of romantic passion. The misty light of the moon gives them mystery while the cold, hard light of day reveals them. Or maybe they show best by flashlight, reading a book under the covers late at night.

All my dark heroes get their day in the sun, of course. That’s what happy endings are for. And speaking of happy endings, doesn’t Liam have a cute butt?

Who is your favorite dark hero and why? Leave a comment and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a copy of Book 1 or Book 2 of the Marked Souls. Not sure which one you want? You can read the opening chapters of both books at


Talina Perkins said...

Hi Jessa, I actually agree with you on what makes a hero worth writing. The pictures you use really do provide you with a thousand in the case of a writer, oh , about 90,000 words.

I have read so many books this year and it is hard to recall a lot of the heros. One that does stick out in my mind though would be Adrik Wilder in Christina Dodd's Into the Shadow. Out of all the Darkness chosen Series, he was the darkest. It was what attracted me. He needed saving and the heroine was the perfect counterpart that pulled him back from the pits of hell. Literally.
Now that I know you carry the same love for a wounded hero as I do, I can't wait to read your Seduced by's already in my nook!
Thanks for the chance to win!!!

Talina Perkins said...

Oh, and great covers!!! They are great eye candy!;-)

TJ Brown said...

I like that one guy from Lost... the picture you have. Nummy!

Jessa Slade said...

Talina, if pictures were worth 90K, I'd write sooo much faster :) How cool Archer is already living in your nook! I love knowing he's going to loving homes.

Jessa Slade said...

TJ, yeah, I know salt water gives my hair that sexy rumpled look too, but Naveen has me beat by a long shot. Wouldn't he make a fabulous merman, rising from the ocean? Would have to lose the shirt entirely, of course... ;)

Linda Poitevin said...

Ooh, that first pic I recognize...from the Highlander TV series, right? I think Duncan MacLeod is my all-time favorite dark hero...well, unless we count Michael Keaton as Batman...or maybe Castiel in Supernatural...or -- oh, heck, are you sure I can pick only one? :)

Congrats on the second book, Jessa...haven't picked it up yet, but I expect to enjoy it as much as I did the first. And yes, Liam does indeed have a happy ending!!

Jessa Slade said...

Hey, Linda! Good to see you here. You are hereby allowed to have as many dark heroes as you can wrap your arms around. Or as can wrap their arms around you ;)

The first pic is actually Johnny Depp. I know, weird, right? I wouldn't have guessed. I sent it to a hard-core JD fan for random inspiration and she already had it :) It's such a free & open gesture compared to most of his body language.

But then, who isn't free & open under a tropical waterfall with Johnny Depp?

tetewa said...

Love your covers and I'm always looking for new series to read! These sound good!

Jessa Slade said...

Hello, Tetewa! Thanks for being willing to try out us newbies :)

Monica Kaye said...

Thank so much, Jessa for being on my blog. I love a tortured heroes! My favorite is an oldie but goodie, Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre. He just always strikes me as crazy sexy.

Jessa Slade said...

Why, Monica, I had no idea you were such a traditionalist ;)

Monica Kaye said...

I know! I only read that book a couple years ago but I love it Have you seen the new PBS movie version of it? Talk about sexy!

Lynne Roberts said...

Gorgeous! Thank you!

I agree that the tortured heroes are the best. They're somehow more appealing, especially when they have the sculpted abs, the dreamy eyes... ; )