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Guest Post and Giveaway: Our Love of the Tortured Hero by Rachel L. Demeter, Author of Finding Gabriel

Monday, September 07, 2015

Today, I'm hosting this guest post by author Rachel L. Demeter as a part of the blurb blitz for her recent historical romance release, Finding Gabriel, a story set in France, 1815. I hope you enjoyed this guest post as much as I did. I mean, who doesn't like a tortured hero... is that even a question? *raises both hands and feet!* LOL

Rachel L. Demeter will be awarding a Momentum bundle of 3 romance titles chosen by the winner to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour
Our Love of the Tortured Hero

“If I am the phantom, it is because man's hatred has made me so. If I am to be saved it is because your love redeems me.”
― Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera

Ever since I was a child, I have been fascinated by the tortured hero. I fell deeply in love with poignant, Gothic stories such as The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables, and Wuthering Heights. I remember watching The Phantom of the Opera stage play at age seven with a mixture of horror and shared pain. Later, in my teen years, I read Gaston Leroux’s Gothic novel in a single night and found myself falling in love all over again.

Something about the vulnerability, desperation, and raw yearnings of these dark protagonists opened my eyes and forever touched my soul. They were much more than mere characters or elaborate passages in a book; through their fatal flaws they had transformed into living, breathing human beings . . . people who I knew intimately, people who ached to reach out and heal. I identified with Erik’s loneliness and his need for companionship. I understood Jean Valjean’s hunger for redemption, for a second chance. I, too, saw Fantine’s dream shatter into a million pieces . . .  and I wept on behalf of Heathcliff’s wretched beginnings and his unrequited love for his Cathy. These individuals and their tragic plights continue to fuel my inspiration and have made a lasting impact on my own stories.

This led me to ask myself the following question: what is about the tortured hero that leaves a lasting imprint on our minds and hearts? In spite of their damning choices, cynicism, and oftentimes cruel nature, why do we continually find ourselves rooting for these damaged men and women? What draws us in—mind, body, and soul—in spite of their every imperfection?

There is something genuinely captivating about a damaged hero or heroine.

He is much more than a Gothic personality once found in the pages of literary classics. The tortured hero is still very much alive and well. “Antiheros” are currently on the rise—something which is evidenced by the abundance of dark romance novels and edgy television series (a warm nod to my two personal favorites, the phenomenal Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones).

I think one of the strongest reasons, or attractions, is our ability to identify with the tortured hero’s flaws and imperfections.  In the realm of storytelling, identifying with a character is everything.

By definition, tortured heroes contain at least one fatal flaw. These imperfections dictate their personalities, fears, and desires. These defects can appear in a variety of forms: physical scars, internal scars, severe emotional damage, and heavy burdens or baggage. By exploring the things that make the tortured hero tormented, we gain an understanding of how they evolved into their current personalities.

This is a very intimate venture, as the reader is granted access into the most private, vulnerable, and painful crevices of their being. And when we gain a true understanding of a character, we are much more likely to connect with their plight. We know the agony they’ve endured, we recognize the reasons why they might appear cruel, callous, or cynical—and we ache to see them overcome these shortcomings and become whole.

Furthermore, tragic flaws oftentimes embody universal fears. For example, nearly every person fears being alone. Because of his disfigurement, The Phantom has been cast out of society and sentenced to a life of darkness and solitude. As readers, we personally relate to his isolation and need for companionship.
In short, we recognize the tortured hero’s shortcomings and either subconsciously or consciously utilize them as a personal, internal mirror.

Finding Gabriel
Rachel L. Demeter
Published: August 27, 2015 by Momentum Books

Colonel Gabriel de Laurent departed for the war intending to die.

After a decade of bloodstained battlegrounds while fighting in Napoleon's army, Gabriel returns to the streets of Paris a shattered and haunted soul. Plagued by inner demons, he swallows the barrel of his flintlock pistol and pulls the trigger.

But fate has a different plan.

Ariah Larochelle is a survivor. Orphaned at twelve and victim to a devastating crime, she has learned to keep her back to walls and to trust no one. But when she finds a gravely injured soldier washed up on the River Seine, she's moved by compassion. In spite of her reservations, she rescues him from the icy water and brings him into her home.

Now scarred inside and out, Gabriel discovers a kindred spirit in Ariah – and feelings he imagined lost forever reawaken as he observes her strength in the face of adversity. But when Ariah's own lethal secrets unfold, their new love is threatened by ancient ghosts. Can Gabriel and Ariah find hope in the wreckage of their pasts – or will the cycle of history repeat again?

Perfect for fans of Gaelen Foley's Lord of Ice and Judith James's Broken Wing, Finding Gabriel features all the dark romance, searing passion, and historical intrigue of The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables.

Buy Links:
An Excerpt from Finding Gabriel:

Ariah grew heady, weak at the knees. Gabriel’s kiss was bruising. Unyielding and desperate. Their tongues dueled an erotic tango. Murmuring into her mouth, he slanted his face and deepened their kiss to impossible limits. He possessed her. Drank in her very spirit. She yielded to the passionate onslaught, surrendering mind, body, and soul – if only for this moment.

It seemed that Gabriel was lost to a primitive hunger . . . a hunger to claim what was rightfully his. He ravished her without restriction, allowing his darker side – the side she’d fallen for nearly a month prior – to take over. He kissed her with purpose, with every grain of passion, branding her forever.

He kissed her with the intention of winning her soul.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
About the Author:

Rachel L. Demeter lives in the beautiful hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, her goofy lowland sheepdog, and high school sweetheart of ten years. She enjoys writing dark, edgy romances that challenge the reader’s emotions and examine the redeeming power of love.

Imagining stories and characters has been Rachel’s passion for longer than she can remember. Before learning how to read or write, she would dictate stories while her mom would jot them down for her. She has a special affinity for the tortured hero and unconventional romances. Whether sculpting the protagonist or antagonist, she always ensures that every character is given a soul.

Rachel endeavors to defy conventions by blending elements of romance, suspense, and horror. Some themes her stories never stray too far from: forbidden romance, soul mates, the power of love to redeem, mend all wounds, and triumph over darkness. Her dream is to move readers and leave an emotional impact through her words.
Brought to YOU by:

(Note: I received this guest post, promo+giveaway info from Goddess Fish Promotions. ~Punya)


Rachel L. Demeter said...

Thank you so much for the lovely post! I'm thrilled to be on your blog today! And hello there, readers!! :-)

Rachel L. Demeter said...

Thank you so much for the lovely post! I'm thrilled to be on your blog today! And hello there, readers!! :-)

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Nicole Laverdure said...

Hi Rachel, I really enjoyed this book, and I hope you write another beautiful story!

Punya said...

Hi Rachel, glad to have you back on my blog! :)

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