Monday, April 27, 2009

Heroine Archetype - The Waif

One can't help but love the Waif. Always a damsel in distress, this character archetype is known for her innocence and purity. Naive, kind, gentle, and passive, we root for her knowing she is about to be taken advantage of. Think of the films Splash and Enchanted. Daryl Hannah and Amy Adams make perfect examples of the Waif, both victimized by the greedy.

Fairytale characters are all based on the Waif archetype - Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Cinderella. Waifs want to live happily ever after and will patiently wait for Mr. Right to come along. Maid in Manhattan with Jennifer Lopez is another example, along with Pretty Woman. Julia Roberts' character said it best, "I want the fairy tale."

Waifs bend to those around them, doing what others expect, and think nothing of it. This character doesn't realize her own potential. It's all about "him," and getting swept off her feet. And, don’t worry, she’ll wait him out. Because that’s what the Waif is best at, waiting for someone to come to her rescue.

But, let's not forget we are in the modern world. Our Waif character has evolved. Why? Because the Waif's dependent, submissive nature conflicts with today's modern woman. Screenwriters know viewers love the Waif and so they have tweaked her a bit. In Cold Mountain, Nicole Kidman's character is content to starve to death, awaiting the return of her love interest from the war, until she is pushed to take matters into her own hands.

Legally Blonde and Bridget Jones’s Diary are further examples. Both Elle and Bridget focused on their man, with nothing else in sight, until provoked to live a life independent of a fairy tale romance. Geena Davis in Thelma & Louise portrays a modern Waif archetype. Thelma portrays an obedient housewife rebelling in her opinion by taking a simple fishing trip with a friend. When unfortunate events sideline their excursion, she evolves into a free spirit with a pistol. Case in point, a modern Waif.

Who are your favorite waifs? And do you think the Waif is outdated in today's society?

Posted by: Sloan Seymour

Friday, April 24, 2009

Special Guest Alisha Paige

And now...Inspiration, Ink. and romance author Alisha Paige bring you a special peek behind the veil. Meet Vex Savaker, Alisha's latest hero...

My name is Sha-Sha Snow. See, I’m an avid reader too and I love to interview my favorite characters. I’m in London now, sipping latte on a sidewalk café, interviewing Special Detective for The Metropolitan Police, Vex Savaker, featured in Alisha Paige’s Nocturnally Vexed.

Sha-sha: Good morning, Mr. Savaker. You have a rather interesting ancestry.
Vex: Good morning, Sha-Sha. Call me Vex. I’m King of the Orgulocks, originating from Xurath.
Sha-Sha: Orgulocks? Xurath?
Vex: *deep chuckle* Aye. Xurath is a black planet, void of light, in another dimension. All blood suckers and shifter-rapts were created there by two lesser gods, Folog and Garmut. My clan, the Orgulocks are hybrids, half blood sucker/half shifter-rapt.
Sha-Sha: But haven’t the blood suckers and shifter-rapts been at war forever?
Vex: They have, my lady, but my father, Cole was captivated by an orphaned shifty, my mother, Zephyria. She’d been banished because of her uncommon beauty.
Sha-sha: So, the pairing resulted in the Orgulocks as we know them today?
Vex: It did indeed. My father was a very powerful blood sucker, the leader of his clan. They’re union changed everything on dark Xurath.
Sha-sha: Let me get this straight. You’re a vampire AND a shape-shifter?
Vex: Absobloodylutely! Except the correct term is blood sucker and shifter-rapt. Vamps and shapeshifters are only found in fiction.
Sha-sha: And you’re not fictional?
Vex: You’re here talking to me, aren’t you? Do I look real enough?
Sha-sha: Hmmm…can I touch?
Vex: *Laughs out loud* Go ahead.
Sha-sha: Mmm…nice biceps. You feel pretty solid to me.
Vex: *Sniffs the air* Good, you’re safe.
Sha-Sha: I beg your pardon?
Vex: From Jack.
Sha-Sha: Jack?
Vex: Aye. Jack the Ripper.
Sha-Sha: Whoa! Wait! Jack killed over 100 years ago. Are you saying he’s back?
Vex: He’s back.
Sha-Sha: You’re a man of few words, Vex. Good to know but how can you be sure I’m safe?
Vex: I sniffed ya. You’re clean…er…were clean…actually you’ve been sullied up a offense, miss, but I can tell you’ve…er….had men.
Sha-Sha: *Laughs nervously* Are you saying you can smell my virginity or lack of virgin snow, rather?
Vex: *Nods and grins* Orgulocks have ultra sensory powers. A most useful tool in dark Xurath. Here too. The law enforcement agencies love the services we offer. That’s why I’m working on the modern day Jack the Ripper case. I think he’s a shifty.
Sha-Sha: That would explain why he eluded the authorities all those years ago. Is it the same guy?
Vex: We know it’s the same guy. We have DNA evidence to prove it. He left a hair in the wax he sealed a letter to the police back in 1888 and we have DNA from his recent killings. They’re one and the bloody same.
Sha-Sha: Wow! But I still don’t understand why I’m safe.
Vex: You’re not a virgin. Jack is after virgins this go around.
Sha-Sha: Virgins? But he killed prostitutes in the 1800’s.
Vex: Aye. I believe he’s doing the exact opposite this time.
Sha-Sha: In order to fool the police?
Vex: Either that or for his sick kicks.
Sha-Sha: Just one more question before you go, Vex. And it’s an icky one.
Vex: Shoot.
Sha-sha: Do you feast on humans in order to survive?
Vex: I’m no blood sucker. I’m no shifter-rapt. I’m an Orgulock. We have evolved into greater creatures, keeping the better qualities of each species, honing our skills in order to survive and thrive, both here and on Xurath. Sometimes I do feast on female humans, though.
Sha-sha: Oh?
Vex: Only if they ask me too.

You can find out more about Vex and the Orgulocks by reading Nocturnally Vexed!

Click Here to View the Trailer for Nocturnally Vexed

Alisha Paige

Monday, April 20, 2009

Heroine Archetype: The Librarian

This archetype’s title comes fairly close to summing up her personality. While you won't always find this character sorting through tomes in some musty old storage room, she will exhibit many of the same characteristics you might expect to find in an actual librarian.

The librarian is a proper lady, living her life by a strict code of ethics, possibly embedded in her by a set of quiet, respectable parents. She is typically career oriented, with brains to spare. Her behavior is beyond reproach, and from the outside looking in, it seems she wouldn't have it any other way.

However, beneath the cashmere sweaters and sensible pumps, lurks an urge to break free of her day to day doldrums. Given the opportunity, and just the right fellow, the librarian just might be tempted to peel away her inhibitions (and her clothing) to display the simmering passion she's always managed to keep so well hidden.

Such was the case when sweet-tempered, bookish Egyptologist Evelyn Carnahan met ex-soldier, turned adventurer, Rick O’Connell in Hollywood’s most recent adaptation of the classic film, The Mummy. Little Evie, who’s spent more time deciphering ancient hieroglyphics than experimenting in the dating pool, is forced to deal with more than just the resurrection of a thirty-six hundred year old corpse who’s on a mission to kill everything in sight. She must also come to terms with the unfamiliar feelings her bad-boy guide stirs in her. What girl wouldn’t want to be in her shoes? Well…minus the whole plague, mummy, end of the world thing.

Another great example is one of America’s original sweethearts – good girl gone pink, Sandy Olsson from Grease. While she is one of our all-time favorite movie characters, watch her long enough and you’ll get cavities from sugar exposure. This adorable Aussie lost her heart, and her poodle skirt, to a greaser with a heart of gold named Danny Zuko. In the end, a bad girl makeover was just what the doctor ordered, and sent Zuko a crystal clear message that “You’re the one that I want…woo-hoo-hoo.”

Speaking of classics – when we’re discussing the librarian, we can’t forget about Sgt. Sarah Brown, the prudish missionary from Guys and Dolls. Marlon Brando’s gambling character, Sky Masterson, sets out to entice the upstanding Miss Brown into accompanying him on a trip to Havana in this amusing musical. He succeeds, of course, and cool Sister Sarah is never the same. The dancing scene at the bar in Havana is one of the funniest scenes ever…but that’s another story.

The last heroine I’ll mention is probably my favorite. Perfectly prioritized Anne Osborne from The Big Easy, portrayed so eloquently by actress Ellen Barkin. Anyone who remembers this movie can tell you, you could almost feel the heat these two generated on the Bayou when this uptight attorney finally decided to let down her hair. I ask you – who could blame her? I don’t know too many women who could walk away from a smooth talking Cajun like Remy McSwain. Do you, cher?

Who are some of your favorite librarians? And what heroes have been so irresistible they’ve made you want to let down your own hair for a day?

Thanks for reading...
Tracy Preston

Friday, April 17, 2009

Special Guest Jan Scarbrough


Do you own a pet? I have two dogs, both rescues, and four elderly cats. The fun part about being a writer is creating your own worlds. Often I put bits of my real world into my books by adding my family pets.

In my upcoming May release from Resplendence Publishing Kentucky Flame, I created a white English setter named Major after a dog I had rescued as a puppy from the Humane Society. The real dog, Flops, shared my life and my children’s lives for fifteen years. What better way to memorialize a faithful friend?

The first book in my Bluegrass Reunion series, Kentucky Cowboy, contains two of my current cats. Ginger, a tortoiseshell cat with a peculiar stripe down the bridge of her nose, in real life Gloria, the cat my daughter brought home from college one Thanksgiving. My husband’s cat Jester also stars in the book as Joker, the hero’s black cat. Our late Border collie, Binky, was my inspiration for the heroine’s pet. For Kentucky Woman, I borrowed my daughter’s orange tabby, and I gave the heroine’s son a big, bronze-colored fuzzy dog inspired by my current rescue, Red.

When I wrote Santa’s Kiss, I had fun giving the heroine a traveling companion named Little Bits who is the carbon copy of Lenny, my comical Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

I learned a lot about putting pets in books when I wrote Tangled Memories. Never kill a cat in a romance. I broke the rule! I’m pleased to report the gray cat Munster that met a sudden death in the book is really a domestic long-haired cat named Bugsy. This former blue ribbon winner is now seventeen and spends most of her time hiding in my office.

Do you like to read books with pets? How many family pets do you own? Are you a cat or a dog person? Leave a comment and maybe you’ll win an electronic copy of one of my books.

While you're waiting for Jan's upcoming release, Kentucky Flame, you can check out the other books in the series, including -- Kentucky Woman...available NOW! Click HERE for details.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Heroine Archetype: The Seductress

Yes, you read correctly...the archetypes are back, by popular demand. We're going to cover the heroines this time, so make sure to check in every Monday for a new type. ;-)

The Seductress

The Seductress knows how to use her beauty, her sexuality, to do two things, manipulate people, mostly men, and get what she wants. The first heroine I thought of that fits this archetype is Anne Boleyn, both in the HBO series The Tudors and the book The Other Boleyn Girl. Since there is so little known of the real Anne, we can only guess as to whether she truly seduced her way to the crown. But in the series and the book, her family drives her toward her death by encouraging her manipulative behavior.

Following that vein, her experiences as a child, and the influence of her family would play a part in the birth of a Seductress. This archetype has been told since childhood that external beauty is more important than intelligence. But the Seductress is very intelligent. She analyzes people and fashions her behavior to draw their attention. She’s a chameleon, able to take on the characteristics guaranteed to draw her target’s interest and get what she needs or desires.

The Seductress is a cynic. Since she is a student of human nature, she uses her understanding of people’s motives and responses to gain what she can from her relationships. She’s not interested in friendships, because being manipulative herself, she distrust other people’s intentions. Or if she does cultivate friendships, she’s only interested in them for what they can bring her.

Sometimes the Seductress is born out of a bad experience. Because of her beauty she might have been molested as a child or a young teenager, or had some other experience that has left her feeling vulnerable and humiliated. Instead of becoming a victim, she becomes a survivor, but it hardens her and makes her distrustful. It also makes her determined that no one will ever take advantage of her again. Such as Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind. “As God is my witness I’ll never go hungry again.” With that vow she’s grown from the spoiled, playful, flirtatious, tease looking for a husband, to the true Seductress determined to survive no matter who she steps on to do so.

The Seductress who has discovered her beauty can lead to security, power, and adventure uses her beauty as a weapon to gain it. That first taste of success becomes addictive and she wants more. Her eyes are on the prize: money, position, or fame.

The Seductress is a siren. And the siren can get any man she wants. Perhaps she’s been dirt poor and down on her luck and she’s discovered that a sway in her walk and a soft wispy laugh can wrap a man right around her little finger. And men will compete against one another, fight one another, and stab each other in the back to gain possession of her. Yet, they’ll never possess her because she may give her body, but her heart is well protected behind her defenses and her agenda.

The Seductress can be a kind of anti-heroine if the writer neglects to give her enough likeable characteristics, a touching vulnerability, or a good reason for growing into the such an archetype. She can evolve into too hard edged a character to like. But with penning the right balance she can become softer, and grow into a bigger more likeable character.

In Kathleen Woodiwiss’ book Shanna, her heroine starts out being a spoiled, flirtatious, manipulative, tease very similar to Scarlet in Gone With The Wind. But because she grows a conscience and is finally able to look beyond herself and sincerely care for those around her, she escapes that cliché archetype. Through love she grows more as a character than Scarlet ever does, and she becomes someone the reader can pull for and respect.

Tell me about some of the Seductresses you’ve run across in movies or books-- or in real life. Was she likable? Did she have a good reason for growing into such a character? Let’s discuss it.

Write on,
Teresa Reasor

Friday, April 10, 2009

Special Guest Magdalena Scott


Many thanks to the Pink Ladies for asking me to be a guest, in spite of knowing that I’m sometimes weird..

Ahem. Now for the topic of the day.

When writers talk about their work in progress—often shortened to wip—we’re usually talking about the latest writing project.

“How’s the current wip coming?”

“Added 3,000 words to the wip today.”

“The strangest character just walked into my wip.”

I have that kind of work in progress, of course. Several wips reside in my laptop, in various states of unreadiness. *Sigh* One wip is in final edits, to be released in June, so that’s a cause for celebration.

But I am also a work in progress, even though as far as I know, people don’t call me “wip.” Of course I have been called a mess, unfocused, a failure... On the days when I wake up hearing that voice in my head telling me what a loser I am, I understand why writers drink.

Last fall I started a little blog of my own. It’s called Welcome to Magdalenaville, and the idea behind it is that I’m on a journey to reinvention, and whoever wants to come along is invited! I think we’ve made some progress on the journey, and we definitely have a good time at it. Some days it’s like a tea party with friends, some days it’s free psychoanalysis for me, and one day Spot, our amazingly cute dog, blogged. It has been pointed out that Spot got more comments than I ever have. As if I needed to hear that. Sheesh.

In my novel, The Blank Book, the heroine starts a journey to reinvention, too. Her husband has died in a hilarious (yet tragic) accident, and she examines her life and starts making changes. But when she begins to write a romance novella in a mysterious blank book, her life suddenly turns weird. A hunky movie star shows up on her doorstep in smalltown Indiana, because the story she wrote is controlling both their lives.

Well, shoot, that route to reinvention seems about perfect, right? I mean, except for the book controlling your life. That’s a bummer. And yes, like Alice and Robert, you’d have to figure out what the heck was going on, and deal with it, because otherwise everything you’d worked for was headed down the toilet.

But I don’t want to tell the whole story. Just saying, reinvention can be harder than it looks. And being a work in progress can sometimes make you feel distracted, or frustrated, or scared. But you know what the worst thing is?

When the dog, who isn’t even slightly into reinvention, gets more comments than you do.

Magdalena Scott

Friday, April 3, 2009

Special Guest: Author Judah Raine

Hey everyone! Thanks to Tracy for the opportunity to blog here – it’s always grand to have a new spot in Cyberspace, and new people to visit with.

As an author, one of the common questions I get is where I get my inspiration from, so I thought that, today, I’d share a little of my life here in South Africa, and also some background on my latest Bookstrand release, The Look, which really is, like all my books, inspired by the same things that have shaped me into the person I am today.

I grew up a farm girl in rural South Africa, with my little bare feet firmly grounded on African soil and my head sheltered by the vast African sky. I learned to shoot when I was about 8, to fish when… I can’t actually remember, but I must have been very young. I learned to milk a cow (yes, by hand) so that the froth sat a few inches thick on top (a rare thing, and one which earned the respect of the men in the cow shed!) I learned the basics of wool sorting – taking a shorn fleece and separating the various sections into grades for sending to the wool markets.

Life was an endless adventure, back then. Somehow things seemed hugely simple. We had no electricity on the farm. Everything was candles and paraffin lamps, and a great big old wood stove in the kitchen that warmed the whole house in winter. We’d pull fresh veggies out the garden, and prepared all our own meat, and even smoked our own bacon.

Growing up in such a remote community was another experience I’ll never forget. Somehow that kind of community was simply there, it was, didn’t need explanations or justifications… Everyone knew everyone, back to a few generations, who married who and how many kids they had and who those kids married. People laughed together, cried together, helped out in a crisis and generally seemed to be there when needed.

Many of those farming communities had their “town” – usually a one-shop affair (which also doubled as a post office, a filling station if you were lucky, and a farmers co-op. My parents grew up in a little place called Bolo Reserve, right in the middle of nowhere. It had the store (yes, which was the post office!) and a hotel (three whole rooms and a bar) which also doubled as a filling station. No co-op unfortunately, though they did have a police station (about twelve kilometres out of town??), a stock auction facility and, wait for it, a jail. Four cells and a cottage attached. In my memory it was empty and the postmistress lived in the cottage.

They also had a tennis club/library, which had a huge hall. The Bolo dances were rowdy, festive affairs, drawing people from other districts. Parents would take their kids, and we’d play outside until it was too dark. Mattresses would be placed under the tables and gradually the kids would crawl in under there and go to sleep. One of our favourite games was peering out under the tablecloths and trying to guess which of the shoes that danced by belonged to who. Then we’d wake up in the car driving home, the sun just creeping over the horizon…

This is the type of world my sassy, streetwise heroine from The Look, Morgan Slater encounters when she heads off into the back of beyond. She’s looking for facts. What she finds is a truth far deeper than anything she’d ever imagined, and which challenges all her assumptions, perceptions and accepted norms. She also encounters the one man in the universe who has the ability to talk to her without needing words, whose uncanny ability to see into her soul creates a conflict and an excitement she never knew existed.

I thoroughly enjoyed writing this book, because it explores the layers – in people, in situations, and in our assumptions about life and about truth and how they all fit together. Morgan's courage lies in allowing the process stripping-away to become a process of adding-to, an intriguing journey that I think almost all of us can relate to.

Here’s the blurb:

With a secret that makes her pretty much a walking time-bomb with the potential to turn her own life and a whole lot of others inside-out, Morgan Slater's plans definitely don't include the suspicions of the determined and dynamic Blake Thornton.

She heads out to the back of beyond on a simple Quest for the Truth, but her first meeting with Blake draws the battle lines for a persistent confrontation that makes focusing on her real reason for being there extremely difficult. Worse, he has this uncanny instinct and a way of seeing beyond her sassy, street-wise confidence that makes their ongoing conflict more than simply a battle of wills.

But Morgan has also not anticipated a lot of other complications and, as she struggles to keep her secret and protect herself and others in a world of shifting boundaries and increasingly difficult emotional situations, The Look rapidly becomes...

You can find The Look at:

I’d love you to visit me on my website at or on my blogs at and

Thanks so much for having me here!

Happy reading,

Judah Raine

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Special Guest Maddie James

Glad you could join us at Inspiration, Ink. today cause you're in for a real treat. We're excited to welcome special guest, Resplendence Publishing author Maddie James. But you'd better remember -- Nobody puts Maddie in a closet! Uhhh....unless it's Maddie??

Move Over Maddie

Move over, Maddie, there is another chick in town.

What, you say? You were expecting Maddie James? Well forget about that because she’s not showing up today. Why? Because I told her to stay home. Yes, That’s right. She’s been hogging the spotlight lately all over the ‘net and for once, I’m taking charge.

And oh, how I love to take charge.

With cuffs. Ropes. Silk scarves. A leather riding crop… And usually with more than one man. That’s right. I said more than one. Threesome. More?


You didn’t expect that? Well, of course not. Although Maddie can dish out some pretty spicy sex herself, I, on the other hand, like to push the envelope further and further and…well, definitely to the edge and back again.

So who am I?

I’m Mia. Maddie’s kinky sister, so to speak. Mia Jae, to be exact. Maybe I’m an alter-ego. Who knows for sure? All I know is that I go places that Maddie hasn’t dared to go…

And guess what? I’m soooo glad about that. Hey, I don’t need the competition. Maddie does pretty well for herself in her own right, but me? Mia? I wanna make my own name.

So that’s why I’m limiting myself in some respects. I love ménage a trios relationships. I’m into ropes and cuffs and bondage and stuff. Sometimes I like to be submissive and at times, I like to be dominant. One thing is for sure, I love men.


So here is the deal. I’m just moving into the erotica scene here, you know? I’ve got one story already floating around out there. It’s a holiday story but let me tell you, it’s a scorcher for any time of the year. You can find out about it on my website, at Just look for my story called, Nice and Naughty.

I know what you are thinking, huh? That I’ve pulled the old April Fool’s joke on you? Oh no, forget that. Mia Jae is alive and well, and ready to make a name for herself. No stopping me now.

Maddie? Oh. Yeah. I’ll go let her out of the closet now.

Both Mia AND Maddie's books are available now. Click here for more info on Mia Jae's Nice and Naughty; and here for details about Maddie James's Perfectly Matched (Book 1 in The Matchmaking Chef Series).
~ Inspiration, Ink. ~ © 2007 Template feito por Áurea R.C.