Get ready to enter a world of warlocks, demons–and an alternate universe more dark and dangerous than our own in Cara Lynn Shultz‘s new series from Harlequin TEEN, The Dark World (on sale May 27). We’re thrilled to be the latest stop in The Dark World blog tour, and author Cara Lynn joins us today to talk about key elements for crafting a believable romantic relationship despite a supernatural setting. Read on for her guest post plus a giveaway!
Let’s face it: Relationships are hard. They take work. And I’m not only talking about romantic ones. Relationships with parents, siblings, friends—they all take work. They are all vulnerable to pressures and stress and expectations.
And that’s without adding in monsters.
Writing any kind of relationship in a paranormal setting can be tricky. Writers tend to write what they know—but who among us can draw on that time they met a fire demon for inspiration? (And if you’re out there, I really want to meet you.)
But there are some universal truths—even in a paranormal, fantastic setting—that provide the baseline for my characters’ reactions. Does it have to do with a broken trust? Unreasonable expectations? Facing your own fears?
I want these characters, and their struggles to be relatable. Take The Dark World heroine Paige Kelly’s conflict with her parents, for example. She can talk to ghosts and open portals between worlds. Her parents, however, think she’s more than a little unbalanced. (She’s talking to a spirit; they see her talking to a tree. What good parent wouldn’t worry?) So she uses a magic sword and a sharp sense of humor to tackle her problems. Otherworldly details aside, her conflict with her parents touches on accessible themes, especially for teenagers: that desire to be respected as your own person. That need to be trusted to make the right decisions.
The same goes for Paige’s romance with demonslayer Logan: Sure, they’re in an extraordinary situation, but at their cores, Paige and Logan are just people approaching a relationship with their own issues and challenges and trying to find their way through. The questions Paige has to ask herself apply in both a normal and paranormal world: Does I trust him? What does he truly want from me? And, of course, the big billion-dollar question: Will someone accept me when they see me for who I truly am? And that’s a worry any teenager, demonslayer or regular ol’ person can understand.
Paige Kelly is used to weird–in fact, she probably corners the market on weird, considering that her best friend, Dottie, has been dead since the 1950s. But when a fire demon attacks Paige in detention, she has to admit that things have gotten out of her league.
Luckily, the cute new boy in school, Logan Bradley, is a practiced demon slayer-and he isn’t fazed by Paige’s propensity to chat with the dead. Suddenly, Paige is smack in the middle of a centuries-old battle between warlocks and demons, learning to fight with a magic sword so that she can defend herself. And if she makes one wrong move, she’ll be pulled into the Dark World, an alternate version of our world that’s overrun by demons–and she might never make it home.
Want to win a copy of The Dark World? Leave a comment below telling us what your favorite YA paranormal romance book is to enter to win!
Contest closes May 22 at 11:59pm ET. One will be drawn from all eligible comments and announced May 23. Open to residents of US and Canada. For full official rules, click here. Good luck!
UPDATE: The giveaway is now closed. Please check the comments to see who won.
Check out the rest of The Dark World blog tour for more blog posts, character interviews and giveaways:
Monday May 12th – The Irish Banana Review
Wednesday May 14th – Step Into Fiction
Friday May 16th – All Things Urban Fantasy
Monday May 19th – Swoony Boys Podcast
Wednesday May 21st – A Dream Within A Dream
Friday May 23rd – a GREAT read