Friday, January 20, 2012

Guest Blog by Tes Hilaire: Creating a Mythos – Birth of a Paladin Warrior

Please welcome Tes Hilaire to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. Deliver Me from Darkness, Tes' debut novel, will be published on February 7, 2012.

First off, thank you Sally for having me here today at The Qwillery. I’m very excited to be here for the start off my blog tour! And as a “thank you” to one lucky participant, I will be giving away a copy of my paranormal romance novel, Deliver Me from Darkness (US and Canada only, please).

Creating a Mythos – Birth of a Paladin Warrior

One of the biggest challenges in today’s paranormal romance market is creating a solid mythos for your world. Readers crave a story that is original and believable, yet intimately woven into a stellar romance. For me, the romance was never the issue with Deliver Me from Darkness, but I will tell you that I didn’t have a whole lot of mythos when I sat down to sketch out that first seed of an idea. My characters shape my stories and this one had a vampire hero, Roland, a heroine, Karissa, chased by a horde of evil creatures, and an honorable best friend, Logan, who’d stuck by my hero’s side after Roland became a vampire. I made it to the end of the first chapter before I had to face reality: The chemistry between my hero and heroine was good, but that alone wasn’t enough. My story wasn’t unique. Not yet at least.

Begin the brainstorming. What if Logan’s loyalty was more pronounced? What if he was some sort of hunter whose life goal was to eradicate the likes of his best friend, Roland, from the world? What if Roland had also been one of these hunters? And, oh, better, what if Logan had been assigned to kill Roland after he was turned, but hadn’t because Logan believed in his friend’s inherent goodness? What if that loyalty was now challenged because of the arrival of our heroine Karissa?

Oh, this was good. This had potential for all kinds of conflict in the story. The novel started fleshing out, little snippets of scenes, character arcs exploding on the page before me, yet, it still needed more. I needed a mythos to build my world upon.

So started my search. I’ve always been fascinated with the Crusades: the knights, the vast battles and the clash of cultures. It was a horrific time in world history and one filled with causes both noble and evil in intent. There was so much going on during this time—political, economic, and religious power plays alike—that the wealth of possibilities were endless for the basis of my mythos. I just needed to pin it down. That’s when I stumbled upon The Song of Roland. One of the oldest surviving major works of French literature, the song romanticizes the 8th century Battle of Roncevaux Pass in which Roland, commanding the rear guard of Charlemagne's army, is betrayed by Ganelon and ambushed by their enemies.

The song is embroiled in political and personal intrigue and, if taken literally, paints none of the players as angelic visages or infallible warriors, but the roots were there for something of interest to me. The song is the first literary work to mention the twelve Paladins, twelve religious warriors: a number representative of King Author’s round table, and the number of disciples in Christian scripture. I asked myself what if these men had been in this battle, not as a product of political or cultural intolerance of the time, but on their own mission. What if they were taking orders directly from a higher power, their goal to keep religious artifacts (a coveted prize often at the foundation of the Crusades) out of the hands of true evil? What if my Paladins were actually volunteer angels come down from Heaven to protect His children from Lucifer’s evil army?

Finally, I had my mythos. What’s more, the faults of the characters in The Song of Roland set the stage for taking my mythos one step farther. I turned back to the song, reading again of Ganelon and his sense of jealousy, his paranoia that Roland had set him up to be killed. The character imperfections, that I’d originally been frowning over, became useful rather than a detriment to my goal of creating a band of heroic warriors. For what is more heroic than a man who overcomes his faults when faced with the ultimate challenge of love (okay, ultimate in the romance genre ;-)? So my volunteer angels developed faults. Their conversion from angel to warrior allowed me to develop in them human foibles and emotions. And these human qualities—foreign to these volunteer angels until now but necessary to understand the war of temptation that Lucifer wages—become one of the greatest challenges they face. And something that they must learn to embrace if they have hope of winning their war against evil and finding true love.

About Deliver Me from Darkness

Deliver Me from Darkness
Paladin Warriors 1
Sourcebooks Casablanca (February 7, 2012)
Mass Market Paperback & eBook, 352 pages 

A stranger in the night…

He had once been a warrior of the Light, once of the revered Paladin. A protector. But now he live sin darkness, and the shadows are his sanctuary. Every day is a struggle to overcome the bloodlust. Especially the day Karissa shows up on his doorstep.

Comes knocking on the door…

She is light and bright everything beautiful—despite her scratches and torn clothes. Every creature of the night is after her. So is every male Paladin. Because Karissa is the last female of their kind. But she is his. He may not have a soul, but he can’t deny his heart.

About Tes

Daphne Award-winning author and former Tennessee native Tes Hilaire doesn’t remember how old she was when she wrote her first story, but she’s pretty sure it had something to do with a boy and a girl and a happily every after. Displaced at an early age to “the north country,” her stories turned darker as she started creating whole new worlds to escape the harsh, upstate NY winters. Now back in the South, her stories remain edgy, exciting, and bring a hint of dark fantasy to paranormal romance. Best of all, no one ever has to shovel snow. For more, visit her website at

The Inner Imp (short story site)

The Giveaway


What:  One commenter will win a copy of Deliver Me from Darkness (Paladin Warriors 1) from Tes! US/Canada Only

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Do you have any favorite flawed alpha males or females?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US or Canadian mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Friday, January 27, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


  1. Hi Tes,
    WOW, fascinating how you found inspiration in an ancient song! And suddenly your simple story got complex, but so much more fun.
    Now I really can't wait to read this book!
    Also, you gave me a great way to help with plotting and research. If I'm stuck with a story idea, I'm now going to research songs. I've never really thought of that.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. So when does Deliver Me From Darkness hit the shelf? Is there a release date?

    And isn't the Roland story you discovered also used by Stephen King as inspiration for his Dark Tower Roland character? I think it is.

  3. Joshua - February 7, 2012. It's mentioned in the post. :)

  4. Theresa-I often find song lyrics inspiring me. I believe the YA I won The Sandy with was partially inspired by one ;-)

    Josh - Deliver Me hits the shelves on January 7th. It seems so far away, yet so frighteningly close too. Speaking of frightening... Stephen King! I'm going to admit I never read that one, probably because after reading IT I had nightmares for a month!

  5. Joshua - also the Wikipedia entry for The Song of Roland includes a section "Modern adaptations." It more than likely does not include every modern use, but it does include many:

  6. And finally I checked the inspiration for Roland in King's Dark Tower. Apparently it was primarily inspired by the poem "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came" by Robert Browning.

  7. Qwill - I know who I'm coming to the next time I need something researched!

    And Josh and Theresa, don't forget to tell us your favorite Alpha male with faults! Or maybe a fault that you've given to one of your own protagonists? ;-)

  8. Favorite Alpha male with faults . . . Hmmm . . . I'm blanking. That would be easier if it was multiple choice. Sorry.

  9. Okay, Theresa, I'll start the options for the multiple choice answers, maybe some other posters can give a few more!

    Roland, hero of Deliver Me from Darkness- fallen Paladin warrior turned vampire vigilante, believes his soul lost and undeserving of love. Biggest fault? (In our heroine's opinion): That he's an egotistical fool.

  10. Do you have any favorite flawed alpha males or females?

    The Daniel Craig incarnation of James Bond is one of my favorites.

    I've got Deliver Me From Darkness on preorder, can't wait till it gets here! Patricia

  11. Patricia -oh yeah, he's pretty good. Real good. ;-)

    Also, I'm pulling the blind thing today too it seems... I guess the question is male or female alphas with faults!

    So there, even easier ;-)

  12. Wonderful post! Tes, your book sounds amazing. Isn't it odd how sometimes ideas/inspirations just pop into your head right when you need them? Writing is a weird business, but I think you paranormal authors are linked into places I can't even imagine, and then do a great job of opening it up to the rest of us.

    As for flawed heroes? The one who comes to mind is Dexter. That dismemberment habit is a really big flaw, yet I keep pulling for him. Hmmm...maybe I'm the one who's flawed.

  13. Hi!
    Do you have any favorite flawed alpha males or females?
    Well I think I might said Jericho Barrons for being egoistical: since he want the book for himself, but still for a great reason! And I think Ican said the same as for Miss Lane, because she also want this book so she can find her sister murderer ??? Anyway I think every hero have flaw.... They are not perfect!!! Thanks for this giveaway, I really enjoy reading about this new author to me and now Deliver Me from Darkness is on my TBR pile for sure! This book seems to be amazing!

    Follower: Proserpine
    I tweet:!/PCravingBooks/status/160402600154509313
    I post on my blog:

  14. Kaki- Dexter definitely takes the cake for the "majorly flawed" hero. Made me laugh, thanks!

    Proserpine - Karen Marie Monings Jericcho Barrons... Oh yeah, I positively adore that egotistical jerk ;-) Great pick! And thanks for stopping in :-)

  15. I just finished Kresley Cole's Lothaire, and that is one flawed hero! Actually, several of her heroes are seriously flawed. I guess that's one of the reasons I like the series so much!

    Thanks so much for the interview and giveaway! It's fascinating to see how authors come up with ideas!

    +1 comment
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    +1 tweeted (!/RebeLovesBooks/status/160418840591867904)


  16. Very interesting post! There are several flawed heroes/heroines I like:

    1. Catwoman
    2. The Punisher
    3. Vic McKay
    4. Anita Blake

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    +1 Comment
    +1 Follower
    +1 Tweeted:!/crazymidwestgal/status/160421800537370625

    junegirl63 at gmail dot com

  17. I am a follower and email subscriber. Please enter me in contest. I won't really have a favorite but I like my character's to have some flaws.

  18. One of my favorite flawed alpha males is Zsadist from the BDB series by J.R. Ward. I tend to like alpha heroes and heroines to have flaws in some way.

    I'm a GFC follower.

  19. I like Bond as the flawed characters, although I'd say Batman has his issues, too. I really like Catwoman as a flawed alpha female.

    Here's a question: What's your opinion on the difference between paranormal romance and urban fantasy?

  20. My fav flawed Alpha male is Z from the BDB series... he's probably a fav of alot of readers. I can't think of a fav flawed female.

    Great post! Would love to read Deliver Me from Darkness... thanks for the giveaway!!!

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  21. Do you have any favorite flawed alpha males or females?

    I do! I absolutely love Zsadist from J.R. Ward's BDB series. He is scarred, both physically and emotionally. I don't want to say anything else (in case anyone is interested in reading the series). but at the end I really liked him.

    +1 comment
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    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  22. Oh! Some great ones popping up!

    Rebe - I am going to have to check out Kresley Cole's Lothaire. I've seen the series on the shelf and heard awesome things about it but haven't, as of yet, gotten around to picking them up. (Any family/friends out there, hint, hint for b-day presents!)

    Tore - Entered! Thanks for stopping in!

    Marie D. and Josh - Now Catwoman is a very interesting alpha female. As is Batman as her male opposite. How would you two rank them?

    Na, yadkny, and booklover0226, I completely agree with you about Zadist. He has some serious issues and to overcome those and be willing to face his own fears of love and intimacy for Bella is the ultimate act of heroism.

  23. Dark Lover. Wrath and Beth by J. R. Ward.
    Well any of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.
    srbagby 50 @ gmail dot com

  24. Sounds like a great book, Tes, and what a yummy cover! ;)
    My favorite flawed heroine right now is Charley Davidson from Darynda Jones' First Grave Series. She is the funniest grim reaper ever. And her "boyfriend" Reyes? Quite an interestingly flawed bad boy!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    +1 comment
    +1 email follower

    debbie at burdeen dot com

  25. I tweeted.
    I follow.
    Wrath..... Dark Lover (really all) of the heroes of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. J. R. Ward

  26. Hi Tes! Deliver Me From Darkness sounds really good! Do I have any favorite flawed male or female characters? My favorite flawed characters are Erik and Bill who are both vampires in Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series.

    +1 comment

    +1 tweet

    +1 GFC follower

  27. Thanks for a wonderful post! It was wonderful reading about your inspiration. To have an idea like that and be able to shape and flesh it out is amazing to me!

    I'd have to say that one of my favorite flawed heros would have to be Japhrimel from Lilith Saintcrow's Dante Valentine Series. He's a full demon that falls in love with Dante Valentine and isn't shy about doing whatever it takes to protect her, whether she wants it or not.

    Thanks again for the wonderful post and giveaway!

    +1 gfc: erin
    +1 comment

  28. Josh - For me the the biggest difference between Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance is the balance of the world build and the romance. In fact, you can find many Urban Fantasies out there with little to no romances. The UF also doesn't have to have any sort of HAE that is pretty much required in a romance and the UF can end on either a cliffhanger or simply the end of the current plot ARC. Least, that is what I see. How about all of you?

  29. And some more great ideas. (How is that multiple choice decision coming Theresa? ;-)

    Shelly B., Cathy P, Erin - Great favs and thanks for stopping in!

  30. Orchid7 - I love Darynda's First Grave on the Right. Sounds like I'm behind and need to catch up though! As a tangent of Josh's question, would you consider her series paranormal romance, urban fantasy, or what?

  31. My favorite alpha male with faults would be Ranger from the Stephanie Plum series! He has major trust issues I would imagine from what I've read!

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    jwitt33 at live dot com

  32. Julie W - I agree... and on the topic of Ranger... Ranger or Morelli? And what do you think of them making book one into a movie?

  33. Tore mentioned that she liked her characters to have flaws. I'd like to take that a stretch further and say that EVERY character should have flaws, hero, heroine, villain, etc. I try to make certain all of the characters in my books, especially my "good guys" have flaws. Without flaws, I don't think the characters would be real and believable enough for readers. I know I can't stand characters in other books who are always right or always good and never make mistakes.

  34. Josh - You have a good point. I think that without flaws in our characters that there is no room for a good character arc and without the character arc, so often the plot falls flat. If I remember correctly, Colin, from your Well and Leaves books, though definitely a strong protagonist, has a number of flawed moments that help move the plot forward.

  35. Hi Tes - I'm so excited to read your book! May this be just the beginning of a long and wildly successful career!

  36. Becke - Thank you so much! And thanks for stopping in to say Hi :-)

  37. My favorite flawed hero alpha hero is Wraith from Larissa Ione's Demonica series. He's such a no good you know what but comes around when he finds Serena.
    GFC as Victoria

    Thanks you so much.

  38. Colin in WELL OF SORROWS certainly has his flaws, yes. He is a "good guy" in most respects, but he occasionally can't take it any more and lashes out. He's also sometimes blind to how evil other people can be; he just can't see it until it happens, usually to him.

    What about your book? What would you say the flaws are of each of the three main characters? Or would that give away too much about the book?

  39. Victoria - Thanks for stopping in, Victoria! Also thanks for providing another great flawed alpha for Theresa to pick from (jk, Theresa, you know I love ya lady ;-)

    Josh- You know... I just had to kill off a character for that...being too blind to evil. Thing is, unlike Colin, she was just TSTL.

  40. Hi Tes! I have heard some really wonderful things about Deliver Me From Darkness! I have it on my TBB list. You know, there are so many flawed characters in the books that I have read that I can't name one in particular. I'm currently reading Alexandra Ivy's Bound in Darkness, and that series has quite a few flawed hero/heroines in it. I love it! Thanks for the opportunity to win. Qwill - Love the blog and I just signed up for the e-mails.

  41. Barb P- That's great to hear! I hope you enjoy Deliver Me as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thanks for stopping in!

  42. I have several favorite flawed alpha females - their flaws just make them more human, even though they might not actually be human - Jennifer Estep's Gin Blanco, Keri Arthur's Riley Jenson and Faith Hunter's Jane Yellowrock.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  43. Great source for inspiration. It truly can come from anywhere. You just have to recognize it,
    There was a flawed hero I really liked. He did not want to be happy but some how could not help himself.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  44. I would say any of Kresley Cole's characters, like Chase and Lothaire.

    Your book sounds very good. I'm looking forward to reading it.

    Thanks for the giveaway.


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  45. My goal for 2012 is to read more paranormals, & since I also love the crusades & a series, this looks like a good choice.
    I thinks all characters (& people have flaws) that's what can make them interesting. I love Lauren Danes Brown Sibling characters - they all have issues to overcome.
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  46. Barbara E, Debby, bn100, Di - Thanks for stopping in and saying Hi!

    To everyone who posted, thanks for the support and keeping me company today. Good luck on the contest! I believe it last through midnight tonight, so if anyone stops in be sure to leave a comment so you can be entered in the drawing, but I'm off for the evening so if you want a direct response please check out my website for ways to contact me :-)

    Thanks again!

    Tes Hilaire

  47. Every one of the flawed alphas and females that I have ever read are a favorite I love them all lol
    GFC follower wanda f
    email follower
    posted to my blog

  48. The very first flawed male that comes to mind is Jericho Barrons. He's a prime example. Another one of my favorite flawed male alphas is from television-Dr. Gregory House-you can't get more flawed than him but he still manages to run his team and save most of his patients.

    GFC: ML

    mljfoland AT hotmail DOT com

  49. First of all, your story sounds really intriguing. I think one of the most flawed characters I have read about was Louis in Interview with the Vampire. He just cant reconcile who and what he has become with what he has lost......
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  50. Max Savoie from Nancy Gideon's series.

    GFC Anne38

  51. Do the two heros of True Blood count since that is who I am thinking of. Just have to find the time to watch season 1 on DVD.
    linze_e at

  52. *Appreciate Giveaway! Helps those like me on fixed income/SSI {am perm multi disabled: wheelchair/home-bound} who need & enjoy reading, attain books can't otherwise afford!

    *Hurray, another new one! After read Blog/Review & it certainly whet my appetite! Look forward to escaping to follow romance & adventures, in journey thru magickal paranormal world created!

    *Acheron P {of Dark Hunters by Sherrilyn Kenyon} is my favorite Flawed Alpha Male! {Heck, been in Lust/Luv with him since the 1st... Hope Simi won't decide to use her BBQ sauce on me, if she hears this}

    +1 Comment
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    *Don't have blog or site of my own


    )0( Warmest Blessings )0(

    *Paranormal Romance is Magickal*

  53. Hello Tes!
    My all-time favorite flawed Alpha hero would be Bruce Wayne/Batman. He was scarred by his childhood and can't get over it. He will always be a tortured hero.

    geishasmom73 AT yahoo DOT com

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  54. A favourite flawed alpha male would be "Eli Fagan" of GLASS BOYS by Nicole Lundrigan and a favourite flawed alpha female would be "Zenia" from THE ROBBER BRIDE by Margaret Atwood.

    I am a follower of Qwillery +1
    And I mentioned the giveaway on Twitter +1!/ZaraAlexis/status/163110941930684416

    On Twitter: @ZaraAlexis