Please welcome today’s guest host, Kinley Baker, author of Denied!
The review of Denied that inspired this guest post: “A simply fantastic novel–moving, relevant, and smart. The writing is superb, the imagery shocking.” –Author Louann Carroll
Denied is the story of Tabitha, a woman who wants to be the first accepted female guard in her kingdom. She was born a Warrior by her bloodline, and she believes absolutely, it is her right to fight. Now, this doesn’t directly relate to modern times. Women can fight if they aspire to. Many women throughout our world fight for their countries. Their service is honored. Equality isn’t just a legend or a dream, but a thing we’re actively striving to achieve. Sometimes I wonder if we’ll always be fighting. We’ve won some battles, but will we ever win the war?
While it was never my intention to give Denied a message, this is a story about a woman who fights for her rights. She fights for herself and I think a lot of us can relate to her struggle. Especially now-a-days. There are some strange things out there now, rights that still remain out of our grasp, perceptions that will be challenging to change.
Tabitha wars against society’s expectation, her accepted gender roles, and a whole kingdom’s judgment. She’s smashing down barriers and taking names in her historic realm where the Ancestor gods rule supreme. But in the end, she’s only fighting for her dreams. We’ve all been there. Working toward the seemingly impossible. This is a romance and Tabitha is only one side of the story. To really escalate Tabitha’s plight, I had to throw in a tall, muscular man (readers have called him a gentle giant), who only wants to protect her. He wants to save her from herself. But in the end, who saves who?
The thing I love about Caleb, the hero, and his place in the story is that he’s from a realm that reveres women. He honors them above all else. When he lost the women and children of his race, the Varner, in a brutal invasion two years before the story starts, it tore out the heart of his people. Through the Varner’s aimless wandering, they find the Realm of Shadows, the first realm where they can find their arohas, their destined mates. Everything is different here: their culture, their beliefs, their gods. Caleb is forced to question what reverence means. Yes, they treasured their women in their home realm and no one can deny that. But did the men of Varner coddle their women? Did they place their women up on perfect pedestals? In the end, was this a disservice because they didn’t know how to protect themselves? These are questions that can only be asked in the aftermath of devastation. And then only, in an effort to rebuild. Caleb doesn’t throw himself against the wall questioning the foundation of his race, but he must understand the Varner’s failures in order to move forward and have a successful relationship with Tabitha. Caleb’s main goal throughout the book is to provide a future for his men, a race that will perish if he can’t solve the conundrum of their destined mate bonds. He ends up finding the unexpected.
As Tabitha and Caleb battle wits and blades, they discover that together they are stronger. They can both survive on their own. But together, they can be so much more. Tabitha learns not to risk her life just for the sake of a fight. Caleb learns that women can be masters with weapons. He fights against his instincts to protect, until he finds something that sets all his men free. It sets everyone free.
We all have our own ways of fighting. Tabitha chose a sword. I chose a keyboard. What’s a weapon one of your favorite heroines in a book or movie chose? Do you have something you use on a daily basis?
DENIED; Shadowed Love, Book Two
By Kinley Baker
When invaders brutally massacred the women and children of the Varner, Caleb witnessed loss and destruction on a scale few can comprehend. As the leader of a race on the brink of extinction, his only hope for survival is gaining acceptance into the Shadow Shifter Kingdom. Struggling with new customs, he meets Tabitha, a woman who challenges his limits.
Refused the right to join the king’s guard because of her gender, Tabitha must be stronger than the men to prove she deserves to be the first accepted female Warrior in the kingdom. She believes Caleb will help improve her abilities, until she learns her goals conflict with the foundation of his culture.
When the realm is attacked, Tabitha and Caleb must come together not only to fight, but to find the strength to win against an evil with the potential to destroy everything they revere most–including each other.
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About the Author:
Kinley Baker is the author of the fantasy romance series, Shadowed Love. She read her first romance at the age of thirteen and immediately fell in love with the hero and the genre.
She lives with her husband, Benjamin, and her dog, Joker, in the Pacific Northwest. Ruined, Denied, and Freed are all available now from Crescent Moon Press.
Look for a new paranormal romance series in 2013. As a firm supporter of all supernatural lifestyles, she writes fantasy, paranormal, and futuristic romances.
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