Title: Pieces of Autumn
Author: Mara Black
Genre: Dark Romance 18 +
Publish Date: July 31, 2014
Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.
~ Book Synopsis ~
I wish I could tell you that I was stolen.
Kidnapped off the street in some third-world country, sold against my will, while a desperate family back home waited and prayed and talked about me on the news.
I wish I could tell you that, because then you might understand.
What really happened? I walked to my fate with my eyes wide open. But before you say I deserved whatever happened to me, you should know. I was desperate. I was alone. I was afraid for my life. You would have done the same thing.
I thought things couldn’t possibly get any worse.
But then, I woke up in darkness, unable to move. There was only one thing I was sure of: I wasn’t alone anymore.
“Never say that word to me.”
I had never heard his voice like that. Not once. My blood chilled in my veins. If I thought I’d ever been afraid of Tate before, it was nothing. Absolutely nothing compared to this.
I’d wanted to unnerve him, but instead, I seemed to have unhinged him. Unleashed something I didn’t understand, and didn’t want to.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered.
“Too late,” he replied, his chest rising and falling rapidly with each breath. His tone was pure venom, pure sin, pure fucking evil. “Too late for apologies.”
In that moment, I had three choices.
I could fight him.
I could run.
Or, I could tie myself to the mast and meet him, measure for measure.
I chose the storm. With the hurricane himself standing there, his pulse pounding so loud I could almost hear it, I chose to stand tall.
What was happening? What was he about to do? I had no way of knowing, no way of guessing what he’d do. How he’d ruin me.
But I knew I could survive.
His hand lashed out and grabbed mine, lifting it to his face. Eyes half-lidded, he brought my fingers to his lips, my thumb pressing past them and up against his teeth. Finding resistance, for a moment, until he parted them and suckled it into the soft, wet heat of his mouth.
Titanium: How I Wrote Autumn in "Pieces of Autumn"
Autumn Laramie is stronger than you think.
Dark romance heroines are difficult to write. Although Autumn spoke to me loud and clear when I started writing her story, I knew it would be a challenge to convey her the right away. She goes through a lot. She’s frequently in peril, and frequently afraid. But she never buckles. She bends, but she doesn’t break.
I often think of a scene in the second season of American Horror Story, when someone dubs the heroine as “one tough cookie.” She responds:
“I’m tough, but I’m no cookie.”
I’ve thought about getting that as a tattoo. It stuck in the back of my mind as I wrote Autumn, especially because of the unique nature of her strength. She is not necessarily brutal and violent, although she has her moments. Mostly, her strength is in perception. Compassion. Determination.
The hero, Tate, is deeply damaged. He is walled off, and lashes out violently from his pain. He needs someone who can see through all of that, and understand him - something that he doesn’t feel he deserves.
He needs forgiveness.
Who can forgive a man who’s done the unthinkable?
A dark romance heroine, far from being a damsel in distress, must be stronger than the hero. She must be capable of radical forgiveness. Radical acceptance. While the hero usually holds grudges, and cannot let go of his past, she must.
Although she is the “victim,” Autumn still has a moment when she understands that Tate has been a victim too:
And what was the point in ever letting someone else matter to me again? It could only end in tears.
I came close, with [my friend] Nikki. But when she left with Stoker, I felt that iron door deep inside me slam shut again. Tighter. More impenetrable than ever.
And that was why I stayed. Not just because I needed protection. Not just because of the dark flames that licked in my belly whenever he touched me.
It was because of this.
When I looked in the mirror, I saw my own reflection. But it was Tate who stared back at me.
Without making excuses, Autumn merely understands and accepts that Tate is not a monster. Just a man who’s been hurt. And while she would have the right to hate him, she chooses not to.
Like many people I’ve known, Tate is resistant to forgiveness. It’s easier to shield himself with his guilt, pretending to accept what he’s done, even as he hides from it. But when he sees that Autumn is strong enough to accept it, everything changes.
Do you have a favorite strong heroine that other people might see as weak? Do you find yourself defending her frequently, and with strong words? :) Tell me about it in the comments!
About the Author
Mara Black is a connoisseur of love that lurks in the shadows .
~ Giveaway ~
~ Signed book of Pieces of Autumn ~