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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuesday Spotlight: Keena Kincaid

Meet Tess from TIES THAT BIND: the immovable heroine who resists Aedan’s unstoppable force

Tess, Lady of Bridswell, is independent, intelligent and brave, capable of taking care of herself and anyone she loves. But she isn’t a kick-ass heroine. She doesn’t carry a sword, take on the bad guys or sway court politics. Instead, she is a quiet, strong woman who does what she must without a lot of drama.

Like Aedan, Tess started as a secondary character in ANAM CARA. When I wrote TIES THAT BIND, I had to not only grow Tess up, but also fully flesh out her character. To understand the steps required to make Tess her own person, you need to know a little bit about her mother, Liza, and me, the writer.

I don't write spunky heroines. They are strong and stubborn and a little bit harsh, but life has battered the hippie-like optimism that heroines need to be spunky.

Tess’ mother is determined, unyielding and capable, as well as domineering, stubborn, and controlling. Tess learned early the futility of direct confrontation. So instead of being the wild, rolling water that creates new channels, she became the defiant rock in the middle of the stream. And because she's quieter, more easy-going on the surface, others assume she is acquiescent to their ever-lasting regret.

Unlike Aedan who lived the five years between stories drenched in wine, women and song, Tess spent that time keeping secrets, experiencing loss and living with heart-eroding sorrow. Few notice the gradual change, but to Aedan in TIES THAT BIND, it’s vivid.

"You are wisp-thin and pale as a cloud," he said.

Tess’ heart jolted, fiercely hammering against her chest. She should run, push him away and race to wherever it was she would be safe and free of men.

"You barely feel solid."

She closed her eyes and shivered when his fingers touched her neck, skimmed her collarbone, stopped at her ribs. Internal heat followed the trail, and then pooled deep and low, making her feel as if she would boil away if he didn’t stop.

"You feel cordoned-off, nay, hidden." He spoke softly, as if to himself. He bent closer, his breath a whispering invitation against her mouth.

"Nay."

He drew away just far enough to allow her to breathe. His hand fell away, but her skin still burned where he had touched her.
~*~*~


Tomorrow: TIES THAT BIND: Then and Now

Keena Kincaid, the author of three historical romance novels with The Wild Rose Press, is blogging all week to celebrate the release of TIES THAT BIND, the second of her Druids of Duncarnoch series. On Friday, she’ll answer your questions about her characters, her books and herself. Everyone who submits a comment or a question will be entered into a drawing for one of five prizes: a 25 percent off coupon to The Wild Rose Press bookstore (2); a copy of TIES THAT BIND (2) and a set ANAM CARA and TIES THAT BIND (1).

16 comments:

Mona Risk said...

Keena, I like Tess character. She's the rock Aedan needs. It's great that he's able to see deep in her heart and understand her emotions. Lovely short excerpt that reveals so much.

Carol Burnside said...

Hi, my hermit week friend. I enjoyed the excerpt. These two must really heat up the page. :)

StephB said...

Keena, I agree with Mona that Tess is just the right woman for Aedan. I do think she holds her own as a heroine and I've always liked her. Aedan is definately interesting because of his "magical" roots, and the whole backstory in Anam Cara is very interesting.

I'm not one for wimpy heroines, but I don't think you find them around too much anymore. They were more of a 60/70's thing. I don't like a heroine that is too aggresive either. You strike the PERFECT balance with Tess.

Looking forward to following you around on your tour!

Steph

Keena Kincaid said...

Thanks, Mona. One thing about Aedan is he's a touch psychic, reading emotions that way. I never say it as the word and concept didn't except in the middle ages, but that's why he's so touchy-feely in this scene. He's trying to figure out what's going on with her.

Keena Kincaid said...

Hi, Carol! It's great to see you here (I miss the beach, don't you?). Yes, they do heat up the page. One of my beta readers has commented on it several times, remarking how this story is much hotter than my first one. My poor mother is going to be aghast--especially since she's looking forward to this one.

Keena Kincaid said...

Hi, Steph. Glad you think I've found the right balance. It was tough. While Aedan was very loud and demanding, as a voice in my head, Tess was the quiet one. She'd just smile and say, you'll figure it out. :-)

Mary Ricksen said...

I so enjoyed the excerpt. What a grabbing short example of what is surely a fabulous book.
Good luck and may you sell a ton!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Keena,
I don't like heroines to be too feisty and in your face, on the other hand, I don't like wimpy whyining ones either, but Tess sounds just about right. Lovely excerpt.

Jane said...

Congrats on the recent release of "Ties That Bind," Keena.

LK Hunsaker said...

Hi Keena, I prefer heroines who have had to pick themselves up and are struggling with the effects. I look forward to digging into these books!

booklover0226 said...

The excerpt is great; I look forward to tomorrow's post.

Thanks,
Tracey D

Keena Kincaid said...

Thanks for the comment, Mary. Glad the excerpt grabbed you. I hope I sell a ton, too. :-)

Keena Kincaid said...

I don't mind feisty, Margaret, if that feistiness is balanced with common sense. The feisty people I've met in real life seem to be street wise, as well, but that seems to be lacking too often in the feisty heroines I've read.

Keena Kincaid said...

Thanks, Jane. I love this book...and am excited to see it in print/e-copy.

Keena Kincaid said...

Thanks, Loraine. Tess definitely has picked herself up a number of times. But she's reached the point she needs a knight in shining armor. As her friend, Ami, would say, "too bad you got Aedan." LOL!

Keena Kincaid said...

Thanks, booklover. Glad you enjoyed the post.