Monday, 25 March 2013

Guest Post & Giveaway: Hidden Under Her Heart by Rachelle Ayala

It's always a pleasure being part of a tour, helping to celebrate and promote such fabulous authors and their amazing skills is at the heart of our mission. Today we have pleasure in introducing you to Rochelle Ayala.
Enjoy her guest post, check out her amazing giveaway and be sure to treat yourself to a copy of her book 'Hidden Under Her Heart'.
Unspeakable Stories – the Trend in New Adult romances (Guest Post by Rachelle Ayala)

Rape, anorexia, self-mutilation, domestic violence, and abortion. Some may say these are inappropriate topics for a romance novel, but they are actually a perfect fit for New Adult, a coming-of-age genre geared toward darker and grittier plots with mature content. Tammara Weber’s Easy begins with the main character being raped whereas Colleen Hoover’s Hopeless delves into the effect of molestation and repressed memory. Rebecca Berto’s novella, Precise, features a psychologically abusive mother who wants her daughter to get an abortion, and Melisa Hamling’s Twenty Weeks shows the link between abuse, abortion and suicide.
So why are New Adult romances suitable for these taboo subjects? The genre features a heroine with a dark or secret trauma from the past. She strives to lead a normal life, but the unspeakable things she experienced keeps her broken and wary of romantic relationships. Along comes the hero, a similarly damaged being, a man with tattoos, piercing, and an attitude to match his stunning six-pack. The last thing he’s looking for is love, but he can’t help but be drawn into the chaos that spells heroine. If the heroine had been in an abusive relationship, the hero has been kicked out of school for beating up an abuser. If the heroine has eating disorders or engages in self-mutilation, the hero is a tough guy who rescues abandoned baby animals and hand feeds them back to health.
Love, hate, and misunderstanding intermingle with attraction and desire to add fuel to the already explosive plotline. New Adult characters also face serious moral and ethical dilemmas and the path to a happy ending is tortuous and full of detours. Even though love prevails, it is bittersweet, and both characters come through changed, gaining in maturity, but facing loss and grief.
Take the example of abortion. One out of every three women of childbearing age has experienced this. One out of every three men has been involved. It’s also a topic everyone has an opinion on. So it’s not surprising that novels that reflect our time would tackle this topic. Perhaps the heroine was forced to have an abortion by her parents when she was a teenager. Or the heroine was in an abusive relationship and ended the pregnancy for fear of being tied to the abuser by a child. On the other side, it could be the hero who has suffered the damage. How about one where a devious ex-girlfriend told the hero she aborted his baby when in reality she had given the child away for adoption? Abortion as a subplot has excellent potential for enhanced conflict and tension in an already powder keg relationship.
Edgier topics draw readers because real life is full of hard choices and real people have lived through these taboo topics. In a society of broken and dysfunctional families, violence and psychological stress, it is heartening to read stories of characters who pull through difficult storylines and prevail. So how about it? Are there taboo topics you want to read about? Is there a story you can relate to because of your personal experience? Does reading or writing about it help you with acceptance and healing?
Meet the author: 
Rachelle Ayala is the author of dramatic fiction crossing genres and boundaries featuring strong but flawed characters. She writes emotionally challenging stories and is not afraid of controversial topics. However, she is an optimist and laces her stories with romance and hope. 

Rachelle is an active member of online critique group, Critique Circle, and a volunteer for the World Literary Cafe. She is a very happy woman and lives in California with her husband. She has three children and has taught violin and made mountain dulcimers.

Stalk the Author 

Book Blurb: 
Maryanne Torres is a compassionate nurse who fails at relationships. After a string of losers, she swears off premarital sex, hoping to land a marrying type of man.

Lucas Knight, a law-school dropout, moves to California to train for the Ironman Triathlon. He's smart, sweet, and everything Maryanne wants in a man, but their relationship suffers from his dedication to the sport. Seeking consolation in the arms of a handsome preacher's son, Maryanne attends a church party where she is raped.

Maryanne is pregnant from the rape and plans to abort. But the identity of her rapist is hidden in her baby's DNA. Lucas asks Maryanne to seek alternatives and pledges to support her through the pregnancy. When Lucas becomes the prime suspect, Maryanne must clear his name and make a life changing decision.
The rapist has other ideas. In order to destroy the evidence, he offers Maryanne an illegal offshore abortion. With Maryanne's life in danger, Lucas races to save her and her baby. However, Maryanne hides a secret that threatens to tear them apart forever.

Buy links for Hidden Under Her Heart


  1. Hi Bex, thanks for having me on your blog. I love how you formatted my post and put in some pictures too. Especially like the cave people cartoon. :)

  2. Unspeakable stories. Great topic! Ayala said it well. Great subjects that are true to life, but also controversial. Especially when it comes to abortion. It's a difficult topic to write about.


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