If you've read any of my blogs about my latest novel, Radiant Desire, you may have discovered that my story has a Beauty and the Beast theme. Kaia, my faerie heroine, begins the novel as the object of every man's desire. She uses her beauty to seduce - and punish - men, at the behest of her queen.
But for Kaia, as for the Beast in the classic fairy tale, pride comes before a fall. When she angers her queen for showing weakness, she is stripped of her faerie magic, and forced to live like a human.
With all the indignity that we women suffer.
(Wait, did I mention that, despite the loss of her magic, she has to find a way to make a gorgeous, powerful man fall in love with her? Yeah, that’s why they say authors torture their characters!)
Here's a taste of Kaia's attempt to adjust to her new life and restore some of her previous beauty. I think it’s a struggle we can all relate to...
In this scene, she’s talking to the queen's imp, a pesky creature who follows her around to make sure she doesn't use her magic (and to make fun of her—he’s that kind of creature!).
Kaia washed her hair several times, meticulously shaved the hair that grew back every damned day on her legs and under her arms, and sat beside a fan with a comb to try to coax some of the natural waves she had once loved back into her long mane…
"It’s rather amazing,” the imp mused, cocking his head as he watched her drying her hair.
“What?” Kaia’s hair tangled around the comb and she pulled it out with a growl.
“How boring you are. I mean, I knew humans were plain, but I’d never expected you to be quite so—how shall I put this?—ordinary?” He grinned, exposing perfect little white teeth. “I wouldn’t worry about it. I’m sure Garrett will love a boring, ordinary human woman.”
Kaia threw the comb at him and stifled a cry of frustration. She had not even realized how much of her body’s perfection was due to her magic. She had been seducing men for so long, she had unconsciously learned to shape her body to suit their needs. When men remarked that they loved her long, silky hair, her hair became long and silky forevermore. When men praised her tiny waist and exquisitely rounded hips, they became part of the body she always assumed for seduction.
But it was not natural, and it could not happen without magic. So the hair that had once curled in perfect waves around her shoulders and back would, she now realized, hang limp and lifeless to her hips. The fingernails that had in the past assumed the shape of perfect pink half-moons would be broken, uneven, and of indeterminate color. Her skin would have imperfections, her breasts would no longer bounce just so, and her underarms, unless corrective substances were applied, would generate a tremendously unappealing odor.
Humanity was not attractive.
Kaia had known this before, but she understood it now on a far deeper level.
Poor Kaia! LOL! But hopefully, you’ll see in the course of the book that Kaia manages to find something beautiful about humans.
Something worth falling in love with.
Does the indignity of being human drive you crazy?