Friday, February 7, 2014

Guest Post & Giveaway ~*~ Kain by Brie McGill

Kain: Shy Guys & Inverting the Bodice Ripper

It’s becoming less politically correct to refer to a certain style of romance novels as bodice rippers, but as a huge personal fan of corsets, handsome men, and corsets being ripped away in the heat of passion with a handsome man, I’ll admit it: I will greedily devour any and all the bodice-ripping I can get.

So what constitutes a bodice ripper? Traditionally, the bodice ripper, which gained popularity during the ‘70s, is a romance (often Gothic/historical) in which the heroine is taken--by force--in at least one scene of unrestrained passion with a rough and hunky man, who rips right through her bodice in the process of getting down to it.

When taking romance into the realm of erotic fantasy, I believe the spirit of the bodice ripper is alive and well. Being completely overpowered by unbridled masculine power--shifter books are insanely popular at the moment, and I think they are a permutation of this same archetype.

Anyway, this archetype--I love it. However, when I sat down to write Kain, I decided to take the bodice ripper trope and turn it on its head. In terms of physical power alone, Lukian, the hero, is absolutely that alpha male. But, the circumstances under which he developed his incredible physique are tragic--a supersoldier created by the government, he was used for many terrible things against his will.

Lukian managed to escape with his life--barely. His real problems are about figuring out how to pick up the pieces of his broken mind, the life he never had, and figure out how to learn to live again, to live on his own. While in a fist fight, he could give Jason Bourne a run for his money, but in reality, Lukian is too busy buying horrendous clothes from the thrift shop, stumbling over his words in the presence of beautiful women, and trying to figure out how to peel an orange, because while he was being exploited by the military, these are all things he never once had the chance to do.

Naoko is a feisty woman who caves to Lukian’s smoldering physique and delicate personality. She finally decides that if Lukian is way too socially inept to go ahead and make a move, she’ll snap him up and make the first move herself. Lukian never had the time or the space to contemplate what it means to be a man--a complete and developed human--because he had been created to be used as a brainwashed, disposeable pawn.

But Naoko will teach him, show him personally what it means to be a man. She teaches him while she pins him down, holds his hands above his head... and rips off her own corset like a savage she-beast. Naoko always takes the lead--and every time she takes the lead, an article of clothing rips.

While the passion in Kain is only playfully forced (Lukian’s inner quest is about learning that no one can overpower him physically, mentally, spiritually), it very much plays on the dynamic of taking and being taken, which is prevalent in all the original bodice rippers. It’s a fun twist on the trope, and it does invite the inner growth of Lukian growing more confident with himself and his sensuality by the end.

And unlike many of the red-hot action/romances that involve the lame death of a heroine at the beginning of the sequel to make room for the new book’s new girlfriend, Lukian, Naoko, and their heap of shredded corsets will be around for many installments in the series to come.

Sex, Drugs and Cyberpunk Book One
By: Brie McGill

Beaten to a pulp, drugged into a daze, and brainwashed into oblivion, human experiment Lukian Valentin gambles his life to evade another eviscerating afternoon with his trigger-happy superiors. Fifty stories of a maximum-security building and hundreds of trained special operatives can’t hold a candle to his will to escape. Beyond the laser bars of his holding cell, Lukian must surmount the even greater challenges of repairing the fragments of his broken mind, forgiving himself for his unwilling involvement with the Empire, and learning what it means to live on his own.

The sassy and commanding Naoko Nai wonders just what to do with the soft-spoken, socially awkward, and totally ripped guy she was assigned to train for employment. She knows nothing else about him, other than the fact he was granted asylum, is great with a knife, and his little white apron gives her distinctly unprofessional thoughts.

When the Empire comes to collect, Naoko unwittingly provides the perfect bait to reel Lukian back to headquarters for a fresh series of brain implants and repair.

To save the woman he loves, Lukian must summon the deadly powers implanted in him by the Empire—powers he fears he can’t control, powers he struggled to forgive himself for using, powers that may drive Naoko away forever—because no ordinary man has struck a blow against the Empire and lived to tell the tale. To save Naoko, Lukian must emerge victorious from the battle against himself.

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Author Info
Doctors suspect Brie developed an overactive imagination during childhood to cope with the expansive corn maze known as rural Pennsylvania. Unable to afford an operation to have the stories surgically removed from her brain, she opted instead to write them down.

Brie currently lives in British Columbia with her boyfriend and naughty black cat, somewhere not too far from the sea. She enjoys trips to the local farm, chatting with her long-distance friends on a rotary phone, and roflstomping video games from the nineties.

Brie’s favorite storytellers include Anne Rice, George Orwell, and Hunter S. Thompson.

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