Friday, August 05, 2011

Guest Blog - Dark romance: we've never had it so good by Erica Hayes & Giveaway

Please welcome Erica Hayes to The Qwillery. Blood Cursed, the 4th in Erica's Shadowfae Chronicles, was published on August 2, 2011.

Dark romance: we've never had it so good

There's been a genre explosion in dark paranormal romance (or dark fantasy) over the past couple of years. But what does 'dark' mean? How 'dark' can a romance get? And why do we like it so much?

For me, a dark fantasy is set in a world that's gone to hell. The forces of evil are all-powerful, and the good guys are fighting a losing battle – if they haven't already been defeated. The world of my Shadowfae series is such a place: a city ruled by a demon prince, shadowy and gritty and steeped in danger. The good guys, if there ever were any, surrendered a long time ago. If you're lucky, the demon hasn't already taken your soul – but it's only a matter of time, so we might as well throw one hell of a party on the way down.

At first, such an atmosphere of desolation and frantic hopelessness might seem incompatible with romance – but I think it's the perfect place for love. A romance set in a damned world is a story of redemption and hope against all odds – the characters might find love together, but the world has still gone to hell. Or, to put a positive spin on it: life might be hell, but love is still beautiful.

For instance, the heroine of my book BLOOD CURSED, Ember, is literally living on borrowed time. If she doesn't do the demon lord's murderous bidding by tomorrow night, she's headed straight for hell. And the only person who can help her kill the people who need killing – for of course, the demon won't let her off easy – is a guy who's just as likely to sell her soul himself as help her save it. Loving him will surely end in tragedy.

So you can imagine she struggles through some black emotions before she sees the light – because that's what the forces of evil want. Fear, disgust, rage, forbidden lust are all tools that evil uses to make us want the things we shouldn't – to lure us to the dark side. And only hope and belief, in ourselves as well as in the possibility of a better future – in other words, love – only love can pull us back from the precipice.

And I think that's why 'dark' romances are so popular. They're the ultimate message of hope in a hopeless world, and readers want that. Especially in today's climate, where so many people feel at the mercy of real-life forces of evil, whether it's a failing economy, seemingly endless wars, terrorists or whatever. The optimistic ending of a romance, where love triumphs over evil no matter the odds, gives us a fresh sense of hope.

After all, these characters have it much worse than we do. Our world isn't conquered by aliens, devastated by global warming, taken over by evil corporations or at the mercy of hungry vampire hordes, at least not yet. So how bad can it be? If these guys can find love in the midst of disaster, then surely there's a chance for us? Right? Hell, I feel better already :)

About Erica's Books

Blood Cursed
Shadowfae Chronicles 4
(St. Martins Press, August 2, 2011)
To a vampire, nothing is sweeter than bloodfairy essence—and Ember is the most sought-after fairy on the underworld circuit. Selling her blood to the highest bidder—and robbing her clients in the process—Ember has unwittingly become a target of dark and dangerous forces. Her enemies are everywhere. And if she hopes to survive, she needs protection…

Diamond is a glassfairy who, for better or worse, knows his way around the vampire underworld. Smooth as silk and tougher than trolls, Diamond is Ember’s only chance to keep her magical blood inside her body, where it belongs. But he also poses a threat to Ember, a strange kind of danger she’s never experienced before: She’s falling in love with him…

Amazon: Barnes & Noble : Book Depository

Poison Kissed
Shadowfae Chronicles 3
(St. Martins Press, September 28, 2010)
Mina is a banshee whose greatest power lies in her siren song. She’s beholden to her boss Joey, a snake-shifter who once saved her life and now employs her as a gang enforcer. She refuses to upset the fragile balance between them by admitting that she longs for him, that his embrace is the only thing she craves more than revenge for her mother’s death…

When Mina learns that Joey may have been involved in her mother’s murder, fury threatens to spill out of her note by vicious note. She and Joey have always trusted each other to stay alive, but now she’s not sure what to believe. The evidence stacked against him—or the one man who haunts her dreams and burns her blood…

Amazon: Barnes & Noble : Book Depository

Shadowfae Chronicles 2
(St. Martins Press, March 2, 2010)
Welcome to secret world hidden behind shadowy fairy glamour, where thieving spriggans rob you blind, beautiful banshees mesmerize you with their song, big green trolls kick heads at nightclubs and vampire Mafiosi rule the streets. Here a seductive magic mirror lies hidden deep in a demon’s lair, with a simple warning: don’t stare at the glass…

Ice is a light-fingered fairy who can’t resist a look at the powerful mirror. She and her fairy friends run confidence games, pretending to be fortune tellers and bedazzling customers with their glamour. But Ice longs for more—she wants a real life, a respectable job and something to strive for. The mirror offers her a chance to achieve everything she’s ever dreamed of. But when she pilfers it, she discovers that its power comes with a price: the mirror is a gateway to obsession and madness... and it will take every trick in her arsenal just to survive.

Amazon: Barnes & Noble : Book Depository

Shadowfae Chronicles 1
(St. Martins Press, October 13, 2009)
Imagine a secret world veiled in fairy glamour and brimming with unearthly delights. A city swarming with half-mad fairies, where thieving spriggans rob you blind, beautiful banshees mesmerize you with their song, and big green trolls bust heads at nightclubs. And once you’re in, there’s no escape…

Enslaved by a demon lord, Jade is forced to spend her nights seducing vampire gangsters and shapeshifting thugs. After two hundred years as a succubus, she burns for freedom and longs to escape her brutal life as a trophy girl for hell’s minions. Then she meets Rajah, an incubus who touches her heart and intoxicates her senses. Rajah shares the same bleak fate as she, and yearns just as desperately for freedom. But the only way for Jade to break her bonds is to betray Rajah—and doom the only man she’s ever loved to a lifetime in hell.

Amazon: Barnes & Noble : Book Depository

About Erica

Erica Hayes is the author of the Shadowfae Chronicles, a dark urban fantasy/romance series. Set in a demon-haunted city infested with psychotic fairies and bloodthirsty vampire gangsters, her books feature tough, smart heroines and colorful heroes with dark secrets. She lives in Australia, where she drifts from city to city, leaving a trail of chaos behind her. You can find her on the web at

Erica's Links:

The Giveaway


What:  One commenter will win a Mass Market paperback copy of Blood Cursed (Shadowfae Chronicles 4) from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Do you like your paranormal romance dark, light, or 
it doesn't matter as long as there's an HEA (Happily Ever After)?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2) Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Friday, August 12, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


  1. I definitely prefer dark...but I like a hea too. Sometimes the 'light' ones are a little too cute for me.
    I'm a gfc follower.


  2. GFC Krystal Larson edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom I would prefer dark, I do love HEA though! I don't like to depress myself too much when I read ;)!/profile.php?id=100000547840483 facebooked

  3. I like both and I do perfer a happy ending :)

    I am a follower

    sariahwalters at gmail dot com

  4. I like both and I do like happy endings. Please enter me in contest.

  5. i like both light and dark paranormal romance but it really all depends on the happy endings for me.what can i say,i'm a sucker for happy endings:)

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC-Janhvi Jagtap

    justjanhvi at gmail dot com

  6. I like both. It totally depends on my mood at the moment as to which one I will grab. If I had to lean towards one or the other, I would probably lean towards dark, though :)

    GFC follower

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  7. I definitelly prefer the dark kind of PR, but it don't have to have happy end :) I love them anyway :)

    +1 comment
    +1 follower as mikki-mano
    +1 tweet:!/mikkimano/status/99541523963707393

    Thanks for the chance to win,

  8. Thank you for the interesting post today and giveaway opportunity. I have not heard of this series before and I just love a good series :) I enjoy dark and light, I want the dark to have moments of ironic humor or something to break the tension, but I want those corners to have shadows LOL
    I follow GFC / email sub.
    tweeter thingy name ZDz59001


  9. I like both. It really depends on my mood, at the time, but a HEA is a must.
    GFC follower

  10. I like my paranormal romance mostly dark, but I occasionally like it light for a change of pace. As long as there's an HEA I'm happy, even if it doesn't happen for a few books into a series. As long as there's a satisfactory ending and things seem to be going in the right direction at the end of a book, I'm good.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com
    GFC follower

  11. I prefer my paranormal stories to be dark but I am warming up to the light ones. HEA is appreciated but more than that is great journey.

    I am a GFC follower.

  12. I like them light and dark as long as I get my HEA its a perfect read either way .
    I follow via gfc
    wanda l flanagan
    posted t0 my blog
    shared to facebook!/profile.php?id=535516088

  13. If it's not meant to be humorous then I want dark. That's the whole point for me. I want a satisfactory ending. I don't always need HEA.

    GFC: Mary Preston


  14. Thanks for the giveaway ! I think i prefer dark paranormal romance, it's more surprising than the light. But from time to time, it's nice to read some light too.

    I'm a gfc follower : Melliane


  15. I pretty much like mine both ways and a HEA is always nice!

    I'm a follower (booklover0226)

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  16. I love the post. Great topic, and I hope that there is light in the dark after the way things look these day we need to find that. I just couldn't agree more Erica. I've got all your books on my my gotta have list.
    As always I love coming over here and finding new authors I haven't read before.

    1+ Already a Follower of The Qwillery Blog
    1+ My Facebook
    1+ My Twitter!/Pommawolf/status/100069417731375104
    1+ My Little Blog Pommawolf's Place

    Thank you for the contest!

  17. I enjoyed reading the post.
    I like light and dark.It depends on what I feel like reading at that time.But I do want a HEA.




  18. I like paranormal romance dark with a good happy ending because I like something more sensual, erotic, dominating and dark. It's more exciting


  19. I prefer both as long as there's a happy ending somewhere, doesn't have to be in the 1st or 2nd book but soon.



  20. Do you like your paranormal romance dark, light, or
    it doesn't matter as long as there's an HEA (Happily Ever After)?

    I don't mind between dark or light, but I like the romance and there doesn't have to be a happy ending, the ones that don't have one are the ones that get stuck in my head for weeks.

    smileess_ox at hotmail dot com

  21. I would be supportive on all of your articles and blogs because they are just upto the mark.pandoras box vin dicarlo