Guest Author & Giveaway: Erica Hayes

Today, I’m happy to have Erica Hayes here to talk about how she picks her heroines. Erica Hayes is the author of the dark and sensual Shadowfae Chronicles. Shadowfae, the first book, is now available and you can read my review here. Next in the series Shadowglass will be releasing this coming March, and is a book I’m very much looking forward to.

Erica has generously offered to giveaway one of her books, the details are at the end.

Howdy Erica!

How do you pick a heroine?

Urban fantasy heroines are special ladies. Not just any kick-ass paranormal chick will do. She has to be resourceful enough to survive in a magical world where all hell could break loose at any moment. She has to have goals, even if she doesn't quite know it yet, and she has to want them badly enough to persist through hellish adversity. But she needs to be vulnerable somehow, too, or she won't be very interesting – where's the fun in a heroine who takes everything in her stride? Especially when it comes to romance.

It's difficult to take those elements — strength, determination and vulnerability — and combine them into a realistic and sympathetic character. Readers have to like her. It's a fine line between sassy and bitchy, kick-ass and uber-violent, determined and annoyingly hard-headed. How many times have you put down a book or a series, not because the story was boring, but because you just didn't like the heroine? Happens to me a lot. I'm picky :)

Gosh. So many factors to consider. Luckily for me, the heroine for Shadowfae popped into my head pretty much fully formed. She's a succubus, I thought. She uses her hellish powers of seduction to entrap men and send their souls to hell. But she can't be a demon, because that'd be too easy for her… no conflict. Hmm. I know! She's a human, in thrall to a demon for a thousand years. But she's over it, see, and she's longing to escape and lead a normal life. And there's this once-off magical-sexy-ritual-thingy that will set her free, only there's this guy who wants to do it too, cause he's an incubus, and… oh, look, the hero. {fans self} I am so writing this story right now…

ShadowglassBig Ice, my book 2 heroine, is a little different. She's a fairy, and in the Shadowfae world, fairies aren't powerful or dangerous (with a few exceptions, of course… can't give too much away…). Ice is a petty thief, a nobody. So she has to work a lot harder to survive when her light fingers get her into trouble. Steal a magic mirror from a demon's lair? Great idea. Now she's only being chased by feuding demons, creepy earthbound angels, a shadowy serial killer, and a disturbingly attractive metalfairy thief.

But even though she's just an ordinary girl, Ice doesn't shrink away from the chaos she's made. She steps up. She faces her mistakes. She deals.

And that, for me, is the key to a great UF heroine. When the grunge hits the fan, she doesn't stand around wringing her hands and crying 'woe is me'. She summons all her resources—whether they're physical, intellectual, emotional or magical— and fights back.

Some heroines seek out bad guys to hunt. Others need to be dragged into the action kicking and screaming. But in the end, it's what they make of their troubles that counts.

So who's your favourite UF heroine? Mercy Thompson? Sookie Stackhouse? Riley Jenson? Do you like it when she's a human with paranormal powers? Or do you prefer your heroines to be vamps, fairies, werecats or wolves?

Places you can find Erica Hayes: Web Site | Blog | Twitter

Shadowfae Chronicles:

  1. Hellcursed – Free Prequel
  2. Shadowfae
    Steal souls. Live in hell. Never die.

    In a city infested with psychotic fairies and run by sadistic vampire mafiosi, life as a soul-sucking succubus rarely involves lacy lingerie, hot guys or great sex.

    Enslaved by a demon lord, Jade must spend her nights seducing vampire gangsters and shapeshifting thugs. After two hundred years as a succubus, she burns for freedom and longs to escape her brutal life as a trophy girl for hell's minions.

    Then, she meets Rajah, an incubus who touches her heart and intoxicates her senses. Rajah shares the same bleak fate as she, and yearns just as desperately for freedom. But the only way for Jade to break her bonds is to betray Rajah—and doom the only man she's ever loved to a lifetime in hell.
  3. Shadowglass - March 2, 2010
    A seductive magic mirror, deep in a demon's lair.

    A simple warning: don't stare at the glass.

    A light-fingered fairy who can't resist.
    For Ice, a compulsive fairy thief, life is a wild party of magical confidence scams. She's never cared for rules, so when she filches a demon's beguiling magic mirror, she can't resist a peek.

    Malicious magic strikes, and Ice can no longer tell a lie. If she can't undo the spell, she'll have to turn respectable.

    Two words: no way.

Erica, thank you for guest posting and sharing your thoughts on what makes a great heroine.

~*~*~*~*~*~* This giveaway is now closed ~*~*~*~*~*~*


Thanks to Erica’s generosity one lucky commenter will win a copy of Shadowfae*. But if the winner already has this book, Erica will pre-order a copy of Shadowglass instead. Here’s how to enter:

  1. Answer one of Erica’s questions at the end of her post in the comments.
  2. For an extra entry, spread the word about this giveaway: Blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. - leave a link in the comments.
  3. Leave your email with your comment ONLY IF it is NOT part of your profile.
  4. This giveaway is open to Everyone.
  5. Giveaway ends on Wednesday, January 27th at 8PM CST.

*I had Shadowfever listed here but it should have been Shadowfae. Sorry for the typo.

Good Luck!


Blodeuedd said...

Hm who is my fav, I do love Mercy, but I will go with Elena from Kelley Armstrongs books cos she is so cool, and she has Clay and I mmmmmm.

No difference on what they are but I do like shifters heroines :)

cfisher1504 said...

I love Mercy Thompson but my fav is Anita BlakeStackhouse? I like heroines to be human with an extra punch...but I also like them 'other'. cfisher1504 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Favorite UF heroine at the moment is Jill Kismet in Lilith Saintcrow's series because she is a human with paranormal powers, ie Hellbreed strength and healing. I am happy to say have a copy of Shadowfae from Erica and would love the Shadowglass sequel, this series is so much fun for me to read as it is not my usual dark reading fare!
Thanks for the nice interview Erica and Donna, always like to find out more about the back story on book series that I am reading....

Link on profile at :
Tweeted link at:
Link on Right sidebar at:
Link posted at:

jackie b central texas

Froggy said...

wow..hard questions!!

I too love Mercy but i have to say my favorite is Cat from Jeanienne Frost's Night Huntress Books..I just love Cat and Bones!!

Thanks for the chance to win, the book looks amazing!

Unknown said...

So who's your favourite UF heroine?
I think Sookie Stackhouse! She feels very real to me.

Which leads me to the other question.
I prefer my heroines to be human with supernatural powers. Again, they seem more natural to me compared to the other supernatural beings.


many thanks for this opportunity, my email addy is in my profile. thanks!

Wicked Walker said...

I do love Mercy...but I also like Mac from KMM's fever series. I actually am not sure I have a preference if they are human with powers or some type of "creature" lol Just make them kick ass...that's all that matters!

I can't wait to read this book!


INCiDeNT (Kayleigh) said...

Favourite UF heroine would have to be Elena from Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter series (Angel's Blood and the upcoming Archangel's Kiss). Close after that comes Cat from Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series. Judging from this I'm thinking I like the heroine to evolve in their own ways from something they once were already. Neither Elana or Cat were human at the beginning but they both started of as more than human.

+ 1 - sidebar:

+ 1 - Tweet:

Kewl Giveaway.

Victoria said...

So far Elena from Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series is my favorite heroine. She is kick ass and takes NO crap from anyone.

Jen D. @ Not Now...I'm Reading! said...

Thanks for stopping by Erica.

My favorite UF heroine is Riley Jenson. I like that she is both were and vamp. Nothing against super powered humans...I just like my characters with a little added bonus.


tetewa said...

I'm really enjoying the Riley Jensen series!

throuthehaze said...

Elena from the Women of the Otherworld sereis by Kelley Armstron is my fave UF heroine. I love her attitude and she knows how to kick some butt. I usually like when a human has paranormal powers, I think it is more interesting.

elaing8 said...

I like Riley Jensen (Keri Arthur) she's tough,strong willed and no matter whats throw her way she works through it. Cat(Jeaniene frost) and Elena(Kelley Armstrong) are also favorites


Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

Can I say that I am a Charles & Anna Fan... Cry Wolf, the second series from -->> Mercy Thompson! And it does matter what kind of skill my heroine has, as long as she is true to herself and a kick butt chick!!!
Thanks for the chance to win!!!
As soon as I get home I will put this up on my side bar! I will be back with that link!!!
Have a great day!

misskallie2000 said...

I want my heroines to be human with paranormal powers? But I don't object to them being vamps, fairies, werecats or wolves either.
Thanks for the great giveaway.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

SandyG265 said...

My favorite UF heroine is Joanne Walker from C.E. Murphy's the Walker Papers series. I don't care if a heroine is a human with powers or a supe as long as the character and story are well written

kalynnick said...

My favorite heroin is Dorina Basarab..she is a Dhampir, which a perosn is human mixed with Vampire. For me it doesn't matter if she is a human with paranomral power or not as long as she likable and strong!

kalynnick AT yahoo DOT com

Rosie said...

I'm a diehard . . . my favorite is still Anita Blake.

rosie0512 @ hotmail . com

doreen lamoureux said...

I love it when she's a human with paranormal powers. In fact, I insist that I have some too.

dorcontest at gmail dot com

buddyt said...

I prefer them to be human with paranormal powers.

Sometimes I think authors just go too far with mythical beast like werewolves, vampies etc.



Carol said...

I do love Mercy.
I don't really care if she's human or vampire or were-wolf, etc, as long as she's a good character.

carolsnotebook at yahoo dot com

Sara M said...

My favorite UF heroine is Kelley Armstrong's Elena. I also love Richelle Mead's Georgina, but that series is a little more PNR. I tend to like heroines that have some sort of paranormal quality... They can be a paranormal creature or have powers. I do like heroines that are human and just thrown into the paranormal craziness, just not as much.

I enjoyed Shadowfae and am definitely looking forward to Shadowglass!

Sara M
sara_UFblog [at] yahoo [dot] com

VampFanGirl said...

Great guest post Erica! I love learning how authors create their main characters.

Let's see, my fave UF heroine (at the moment that is) is Merit from Chloe Neill's Chicagoland Vampire series. I love how Merit's found this previously unknown mental and physical strength after being turned into a vampire. This love stems, I believe, from my own wish to have greater inner and physical strength. :)

I also love how Chloe leaves off her books with dozens of questions. Not like she has plot holes but questions over little but important things like the reason for Merit's name choice.

Chloe always leaves you thirsty for more.

:) VampFanGirl

Kathryn said...

I like heroines who are human with paranormal powers. My current favourite is Ilona Andrew's Kate Daniels: great world building, and just enough info about her in each book to keep you coming back for more!

Shadowfae looks great! Can't wait to read it!

CallMeKayla said...

Riely is pretty awesome! I' have to say she is my fav..

mariska said...

I'm so intrigued by your book Erica ! it's so Great to know a new author for me !

My favorite will be Evangeline "Evy" Stone from Kelly Meding's Three days to Dead.
I like the heroine has the paranormal power as well as If she's a vamps, werewolves.

i tweet'd here :

uniquas at ymail dot com

Van Pham said...

I really like humans with paranormal powers. My favorite has to be Charlie from 'The better part of Darkness' by Kelly Gay and Kate from the magic novels by Ilona Andrews.

thanks for the giveaway!


jeanette8042 said...

I love Mercy Thompson! And I just have an affinity for the paranormal so I guess I would prefer the heroines to be shifters or vamps.

Sweet Vernal Zephyr said...

My fav UF heroine is Anita Blake... not quite human but fighting herself and everyone else every step of the way.

I've spotlighted this contest in my daily blog post HERE and added it to my side bar (1/27 • Shadowglass)


E.J. Stevens said...

Great interview and giveaway!

My favorite UF heroine is Rachel Morgan from The Hollows series.[at]gmail[dot]com

LSUReader said...

Today, I am going to say my favorite is Riley Jenson of Keri Arthur's Guardian Series. But this is such a tough question. I do so love Sookie Stackhouse, Anita Blake, Merry Gentry, Elena Michaels (and more heroines of Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld Series,)Rachel Morgan and Ivy Tamwood. Thanks for the interesting post.

D Q said...

Sookie Stackhouse is my favorite at the moment.

I prefer them to be human with paranormal powers.

Patti (@TheLoveJunkee) said...

"She steps up. She faces her mistakes. She deals." Good advice for real life too.

My fave UF heroine changes, currently it's Faythe Sanders from Rachel Vincent's Shifter series - she's a shifter who's kick-a$$ but also has regular problems and tries to do the right thing.

I already own Shadowfae, would love to win Shadowglass...Thanks!

+1 contest sidebar here

A Buckeye Girl Reads said...

I already won a copy of ShawdowFae and can't wait to read it. This interview makes me even more excited for it to arrive in the mail. Great interview! :)

Renee said...

Mercy is my favorite uf heroine, but the "flavor" of uf heroine matters less to me than that I can identify with/root for her on some level.

I like the sound of this series!

CrystalGB said...

Riley Jenson is my favorite uf heroine. Your books sounds great. Love the covers.

Ina said...

Hi Erica!
oh, I love the covers of your books - they catched my interest in the first way!

*hiding* I've never read a book about Mercy or Sookie...I will go with Jackie B and Jill Kismet - she's a great character and I love her scence of humor!

thanks for the fantastic give-away *hugs*
greetings, Ina

Tina said...

Heroine's I luv ... Mercy Thompson, Eugienia (Dark Swan), Faythe (Shifters), Kate Daniels, Merit (Chicagoland). Hope I'm not missing any kick @ss ladies.

I have no preference if the heroines is a werecat of vamp but I do like her to have some special paranormal ability.

tinaigne[at]yahoo[dot]com - not sure if my email is in my profile.

Darlene said...

No need to enter me. Just popping in to say this is posted at Win a Book for you.

BookHounds said...

My favorite UF heroine is Kitty from Carrie Vaughn's series. I love any character that has a sense of humor.

Maryinhb at

Anonymous said...

Wow, there is no question as to what your strength is as a writer. Your characters - even the process - sounds fantastic!

Let's see... For me, I don't care if the heroine is human or creature so long as there is some sort of human element I can identify with. If it's all foreign, it might be interesting enough to read from an observer's perspective... but the observer's perspective isn't what sucked me into my favourite books of all time.

Thank you for the chance to win this book. Crossing fingers. :)

justpeachy36 said...

Please enter me in the giveaway.

My favorite UF heroine is Chasidah Bergren from Linnea Sinclair's book, Gabriel's Ghost.

Spav said...

My favourite UF heroines are Kate Daniels and Mercy Thompson. I don't really care how they got their powers or what species are.

+1 Tweet:

Pamk said...

love those ones you named but my favorites are Dorina Basarab from Karen Chances books, Rose Drayton from Ilona Andrews on the Edge, and last but not least Elena Deveraux from Nalini Angel series.
I posted about this contest on my sidebar at

Julie S said...

I like when the heroine is a human with paranormal powers, like Sookie.

Count me in the giveaway please. juliecookies(at)

Jenny N. said...

I really like Sookie Stackhouse. I've read most of the books and watch the TV show too.

+1 Tweeted:

Reading said...

I just love Sookie. I can't decide if I like humans with something extra or a paranormal. I have enjoyed books with both.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

heatwave16 said...

Hmmm...tough call. I love Rachel Morgan from Kim Harrison's Hollows series, but for true butt kicking its Anita Blake.

Plus, I love my heroine's to have their own powers..vamps, witches, weres are all good choices.

tweeted -


Unknown said...

Hi Erica and Donna!

My favorite many of them...but I'll probably have to say Rachel Morgan because it was Kim Harrison's books I discovered and that brought UF to my attention several years back. Urban fantasy was something new to me then, and I haven't been able to get enough since. In Rachel Morgan's case, she's a witch who lives with a vampire, gargoyle, pixies, and currently, a used to be ghost resurrected by a demon. I think that about covers almost all the paranormal aspects. LOL I'm eagerly anticipating what happens next!!

Thanks for a great guest post!

Dottie :)

Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews said...

Hi Erica and Donna!

My favorite heroine at the moment is Anita Blake from Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series.

Great post and thanks for the cool giveaway!

EVA SB said...

My favourite UF heroine, at present, is Sookie Stackhouse?

I prefer my heroines human as then it's easier for me to imagine that I their long lost twin sister ready and primed to make an appearance in the next 'episode' of the series.

I tweeted

Linda Henderson said...

I do like Anita Blake. I think human with paranormal powers would be what I would choose.

seriousreader at live dot com

Tamsyn said...

Difficult to name one. I prefer the heroine to be a human with supernatural powers - a witch or psychic, etc.
tamsyn5 at yahoo dot com

baileythebookworm said...

Although Sookie Stackhouse is definitely up there on my list, I'd say my favorite heroine from a fantasy series is Candy Quackenbush from the Abarat books by Clive Barker. :)

baileythebookworm at gmail dot com

Katrina said...

I won't deny it...I just love the heroine like Sookie Stackhouse....just love it

ykatrina at hotmail dot com

Nastassia said...

I love Mercy Thompson , but I also love Anita Blake, Jean Claude and Merry Gentry. I like my heroines to be vamps , werecats or wolves,but I like humans with powers too.
+1 Facebook -

Anonymous said...

I actually like when heroines are not human, it makes it even more interesting! It's like creating a whole new world. =)

Erica-> I cannot wait for Shadowglass!! I loved Jade, she is on my top fictional characters list! ^.^

SusiSunshine said...

My favorite UF heroine is definitely Kate Daniels. Love her, she is so witty and funny. But the best thing is that she is not perfect.
I don't mind if the heroine is human or supernatural, her character must be good or better said, something I can relate too.
The books sound really good. I've been eying them for a while now.

Jamie said...

My favorite UF heroine was Anita Blake, but only in the first 9 books and then I was over her. I like my heroines to be regular girls who become fabulous.

Persephone said...

Cool contest!

My favorite new UF heroine is October Daye. My fav heroine's don't have to have special powers for me love them, but it does add an extra fun element if they do.

+ 1 Tweeted (

Lilixtreme said...

I would have to say I'd like the heroine to be paranormal already but have subtle powers that when detected could set off major destruction.

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