Please welcome M. S. Kaye. I love her take on kick ass heroines in her paranormal romance novels!
Celisse Blalock, the heroine of Fight Princess, is my ultimate tough-ass chick. A big part of that, of course, is the fact that she’s an underground fighter. However, writing a character this strong can be tricky. She needed to be extraordinary and yet believable. Here’s what I focused on to create a character who lives up to what I envisioned:
- Realistic fighting abilities. Women can be very capable fighters, but they are not men. That doesn’t mean they are inferior; it means they’re different. The average woman has less physical strength than the average man. But she can have just as much speed, knowledge, and intelligence, if not more. If you have a woman out-wrestle a man, the reader won’t buy it, but have her kick him in the head, and she’s freaking awesome.
- Pretty but not flashy. Typically, prissy girls are not interested in physical exertion beyond what they have to do to stay in shape. But that doesn’t mean a very physical woman has to be unattractive or even plain. She can be interested in looking nice but perhaps chooses clothing that allows ease of movement—just in case she has to kick some ass.
- Strong and yet vulnerable. The best way I’ve found to show a perfect mixture of strength and vulnerability is simply to stay out of the character’s head as much as possible. If she thinks about how emotionally broken she is, she will quickly be dismissed as whiny, but if you don’t let her emotional side show at least a little, she’ll come off as cold. Let her show who she is through her actions.
I hope readers enjoy getting to know Celisse as much as I did.
Blurb for Fight Princess:
Things aren’t what they seem. Don’t get involved.
Celisse is too headstrong to listen. Her best friend’s boyfriend is dead, and she does not heed Cullen’s warning, slipped to her in a note as he’s being arrested for the murder.
Cullen tries to keep Celisse out of danger and also tries to avoid her, both unsuccessfully. He can’t deny his feelings for her anymore, but he knows he can’t have her. If she ever discovered the truth about his past, she’d surely hate him.
While struggling with her intense feelings for Cullen, Celisse uses her skills as an ex-prosecutor to investigate, all while continuing to fight for Ogden, the organizer of an underground fight ring. She eventually realizes things are connected—the ring, Ogden, Cullen, the murder, and herself. She races to uncover the truth before she’s arrested or becomes the next victim—or perhaps, the next culprit.
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1abP1LC
Liquid Silver Books (publisher – all formats): http://bit.ly/172SszA
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
M. S. Kaye is a 4th degree black belt and certified instructor of Songahm Taekwondo. A transplant from Ohio, she resides with her husband Corey in Jacksonville, FL, where she does her best not to melt in the sun.
Enjoy this excerpt!
Through the peephole she saw Cullen staring her down, as if he could see through the door. “I know you’re in there, Celisse. Your car’s outside.”
Celisse grumbled under her breath. Then she spoke loud enough for him to hear. “How do you know where I live?”
“It’s not that hard to get a person’s address—as you damn well know.”
Crap. How did he know? “What are you talking about?”
“You made it downtown so quickly because you were already in my apartment.” His jaw flexed as he continued to glare at the door. She was almost impressed he was able to maintain that intense, pissed-off posture and expression when she saw in his eyes that he was barely hanging on through the exhaustion. Like riding a bike, if he stopped, he would probably fall down.
She turned the bolt and opened the door. “How would I have gotten in your apartment—and why would I want to?”
“You flashed a beautiful smile at Alfie. Don’t tell me you don’t know exactly what you’re doing.”
Celisse hesitated. Hearing him say that… She wasn’t sure how to react.
He pushed the door open a bit further and slid past her into the apartment. She didn’t think to stop him until he was already past her. She turned and looked at him standing in the middle of her little living room, like a storm cloud in her usually calm and cloudless space. This small, cheap apartment was the first place she had ever lived where she felt completely comfortable.
She realized he was looking at her, not at her eyes. She crossed her arms over her chest. “What do you want?”
His jaw tightened again, and he met her eyes like lightning flashing across the sky. “Don’t ask me why in the hell you’d want to be in my apartment.”
It took her a second to realize he was answering her previous question.
“What did you think you’d find?” he asked.
“Certainly not stacks of hundred-dollar bills.”
“It’s none of your goddamn concern how much money I have and why. Stay out of my business.”
“My best friend’s boyfriend was murdered, and then the accused slips me a note that says things aren’t what they seem. What did you think I was going to do?”
He paused, and the glare in his expression that had about blinded her a few seconds ago dulled to the glower of the moon in a clouded sky. He turned and looked around her apartment—her TV stand with a couple movies on top, the potted plant next to the sliding glass doors, her one pathetic attempt at gardening, and then over to the bookshelf where he started reading titles.
She stood next to him. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“Does it annoy you?” He took a book from the shelf and flipped through its pages. “Someone going through your things, invading your privacy?”
Celisse snatched the book out of his hand, before he realized what it was.
“Are you pissed yet?” he asked.
“I wonder how it would look to the court if the police were called on you the same day you posted bail.”
He took a step toward her, and she backed up with her hands in guard position.
He stopped, and his voice was inside out from what it had been. “I would never hurt you.”
“You were arrested for murder today.”
His expression sobered, like fog pulling across a jagged cliff face. “I’m sorry. I never meant to scare you.” He walked across her living room, out the door, and down the stairs.