Tag Archives: Heroes

“It’s not brave if you’re not scared.”

 PJ here. I was watching an old movie the other day with a great premise, snappy dialogue, and excellent performances from Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow. The movie was BOUNCE, cir. 2000. It’s essentially a romance, but the premise is that a young mother of two becomes a widow when her husband dies in a plane crash after exchanging tickets with an ad exec. The playboy ad exec—played by Affleck—then goes off the deep end with guilt, and in an effort to redeem himself, sets out to help the widow, never imagining he’d fall in love with her.

The movie didn’t do well at the box office, and I won’t try to convince you there were Oscar worthy performances involved, but I appreciated the nuances. The evolution of the romance was sweet and entertaining, the individual character arcs were well executed, and the black moment was satisfying—if not predictable. But my favorite line of the movie was, “It’s not brave if you’re not scared.”

Again, this isn’t a new concept or an original line, per se, but it sums up so much of what we look for in our heroes and heroines. Heroism is in admitting your fear and acting anyway. Doing the right thing and not always the easy thing. Choosing to become the person you’re meant to be, rather than a shadow of your true potential. Growth is hard. Most days, it’s downright scary.

Sometimes fear paralyzes us, but it can also be a prime motivator. It pushes us to change, to step out of our comfort zone, or maybe even forces us to face a part of ourselves we’ve been hiding from for whatever reasons. The result–when we can manage to face our fears head on–is that we become stronger…better. It is in those moments of overcoming our fear through action that we become heroes. Examples of this can be seen in almost any romance novel or movie. We lovers of the genre live for that transformation and can’t wait to see our protagonist find the courage to change from scaredy-cat to hero by the end of the story.

Have you read any books lately or seen any movies that showcase this transformation particularly well?

Speaking of heroines facing their fears, if you haven’t read WANING MOON, book one in the Chronicles of Lily Carmichael Trilogy, it’s now available for free download on all major e-retailers. Here is the blurb and links.

PJSharon_WaningMoon__200In the year 2057, in a post-apocalyptic world where a polar shift threatens the survivors of a widespread pandemic with extinction, sixteen-year-old genetically enhanced Lily Carmichael has more immediate problems. Her uncle is dying of cancer and her healing abilities are ineffective against the blood ties that bind them. In order to find a cure, Lily must leave the protection of her quiet town and journey to the trading city of Albany, all while avoiding the Industry, an agency that would like nothing better than to study and exploit her abilities.

Seventeen-year-old Will Callahan has been searching for his father since severe storms blasted through the Midwest, killing his mother and sister. When he learns that his father may be in the city, he catches a ride with Lily, a girl who has come to his rescue more than once. As the two embark on a dangerous journey, the tension between them grows. But the secrets Will’s keeping could put Lily in far more danger than traveling to the city with him, and if he was any kind of man, he would have told her to run the minute she found him.

Amazon     Amazon UK     BN     I-Book Store     Kobo      Smashwords 

Enjoy!

Peace and blessings,

PJ

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A Little Bit About Heroes

Hi friends. Sugar here. Veteran’s day has got me thinking about the heroes romance writers are so fond of writing. Cops, fire fighters and military men are seen so often in books that readers almost expect them. In my Ginger Jamison books for Harlequin all my heroes are military men. Marines to be exact. I was drawn to them because to me there’s nothing tougher than a Marine. And the thought of them being knocked on their asses by love is infinitely appealing.

Personally my favorite historical romances feature Military men back from war. Back with scars most of them invisible. Tessa Dare, Elizabeth Hoyt and Mary Balogh have done beautiful work making their heroes sexy, strong and yet sympathetic. In contemporary land Rachel Gibson and Jill Shalvis both tackled PTSD in a realistic way.

I’ll always be a fan of a man who is willing to die for his country. What about you? What do you like about military romances?

What Makes A Hero

I watched the other day as a male cardinal flew into our bird feeder, pecked at the seed and then flew up to the branch above where his female waited, and gave it to her.

That is a hero.

He put his loved one first.

Does your hero put his loved one first — especially when he hasn’t confessed yet she’s his loved one?   Does he always tell her what she doesn’t want to know (always a sure sign)?

Is he a guy who takes out the garbage without being asked, cleans the cat box, does his share of the cooking, shovels the snowed-up path to make it easier for you, makes sure you don’t trip on the curb you didn’t see, copies the NY Times crossword puzzle for you every Monday and Tuesday?

Would he do the two a.m. newborn feedings?  Carry your colicky baby around for hours?   Fix things like small electricals and minor plumbing?  Build bookcases for your ever expanding library and not complain?

Is he a problem solver?  A man of few words, a man of action?  Would he search high and low for a way to repair an almost irreparably storm damaged canoe just because you love it?

Does he have your back?  Has he seen you at your worst — and still loves you?  Is he your best friend?

Does he listen?

Does he give you space to create?

These are all the traits of my hero, and I confess, there’s a little bit of him in every male protagonist I write (don’t tell).  And he does all those small, loving things and more (except the bird part) that are much more meaningful (to me) than larger, grander gestures.

And so, reader, I married him — 46 years ago this month, and all this time later, he is still my hero, now — and forever.

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Thea Devine is the author whose books defined erotic historical romance. She’s currently working on Beyond The Night, a sequel to her June 2011 release, The Darkest Heart, to be published by Pocket Star April 2013.

Heroes We Love To Love

Thea Devine here, ruminating this week about heroes we love to love, the ones who drive us nuts, but we know we can’t have a fabulous story without them.   This is my list, in no particular order:

 The Good Guy: 

Everyone loves the good guy. He’s the renaissance man who’s just been waiting for the woman of his dreams.  Healthy childhood, no wounds, handsome, successful, willing to cook, change diapers, the best best friend when you need someone to listen.  He’s the one you lean on when your life is turned upside down;  he’s steady, gives fantastic advice, is decisive, funny, and loves his mother (always a prime point for a mother of sons).   And he’ll always fall for the woman who is in critical chaos because he’s the problem solver, the rock, the calm center, and he’ll always be the thing a woman wants most:  an anchor.

 The Bad Boy

He’s experienced, and knowing.  He’s that guy in high school that had that gleam in his eye.  He’d take one look at you, and he knew everything:  who you were, how far you’d go,  and where he’d like to take you.  He’s magnetic, a little rough, a little rakish, a leader without really wanting to lead;  strong, decisive, probably doesn’t like to talk much, especially about his feelings — but oh, man, does he ever have them.    He loves women, but no woman is ever going to tame him.  And when he falls, he takes a nosedive to eternity.

 The Wounded Hero

He’s the guy who suffers  There’s some great trauma in his past, or something in his present, something with his parents, another woman, his best friend, the war:  he is psychically damaged and  he’s not going to let any woman into his life because he can’t give her what she needs.  He’s too busy tending that crippled inner self to give anything of himself to anyone.   He doesn’t want to feel,  and he habitually picks fights, so he can chase everyone away.  He can’t share his life, can’t allow the heroine to assume his stain, his burden, his guilt.  She, of course, won’t rest till she does, so while he just wants to be off on some island, alone, nursing that part of himself that needs to be made whole, guess who’s right in the rowboat behind him?

 The Unobtainable Man

This guy seems not to like women at all.  No one gets to him.  It’s like battering at a wall.   He’s cool, logical, seemingly without emotions.  He never lets you see him sweat. He’s an island unto himself.  He’s got all the answers.  And he always reveals them first so he can cover his behind.   He doesn’t need anyone, which he won’t hesitate to tell you..  But of course, he’s the one who needs someone most of all. The heroine must storm the fortress, and if she can find his tender spot, he is hers forever.

Mr. Unflappable

Nothing rattles this guy.  He can be in the  middle of a war and crack a joke.  Nothing scares him; there’s no problem he can’t solve, no situation he can’t get out of.  He’s walking the line, but he’s got such a sense of humor and irony, nothing jolts him. He doesn’t take anything seriously, and he takes love too lightly. Forget about prising up his past. Some days the heroine can’t even get him to commit to saying hello.   He’s a pretty happy guy, probably real successful, and not in a button down kind of job;   but somewhere along the line, someone probably hurt him, so his deal is, don’t get too close too soon.  And of course, the heroine can’t get too close soon enough.

The Scoundrel

He was badly hurt by a woman sometime in his murky past.  So he loves ’em and leaves ’em, uses ’em and loses ’em.  Takes out his anger on all womenkind, especially the heroine, and particularly because she gets to him and he doesn’t want to be gotten to.  But she’s under his skin and before you know it, he’s protecting, defending and loving her, protesting his misogynist nature to the very end.

 The Outlaw

He’s been convicted of murder or some other heinous crime that he didn’t really commit.  But they’re after him.  He’s a loner.  He may be on the run. but he’s always got a reason, and it’s always plausible as hell.   He’s going to protect the woman he loves by NOT letting her into his life, and by reappearing in hers often enough to drive them both crazy.  And she can’t stay away.  Truth to tell, he doesn’t want her to, but he’ll never tell her that either.  It’s always her choice, and she believes in him in spite of all evidence to the contrary.  She’s so loyal, she’ll go on run with him, or be the first one to ferret out the clues that will vindicate him.   She knows what she’s letting herself in for — and she always believes he is worth the effort, because in the end, she will make him vulnerable — and hers.

And, isn’t that the ending we strive for, in fiction, and in life?

 

So who’s the hero you love to love? Any of these guys sound like your husband/boyfriend/significant other?  (My theory is all romance authors are married to the same man — and he’s usually an engineer or should be one.)  Any of them sound like anyone you know?

Thea Devine’s latest book, The Darkest Heart, was a June 2011 release from Gallery Books.  She’s currently at work on a sequel.

The Man I Love…

Sigh… I fall in love twice a year. That day dreamy, can’t- stop- thinking- about- him, long- to- see- his- face kind of love. You really should meet him. He’s strong and tall. Sensitive but in a manly way. And sexy. He’s got a killer smile and eyes that seems to pierce the soul. Oh sure, he’s got flaws but they are so gosh darn adorable they only make him more lovable.  And it’s only through a cruel twist in fate that we cannot be together.

Much to my mother’s disappointment the man I love doesn’t exist. Sigh… (No grandbabies this year.) That’s because the man I love is my hero. The one I spent months creating and he belongs to somebody else.

One of my best friends says that I’m so picky when it comes to men because I read too many romance novels.(I disagree!!!!) But there is some truth in that statement. It takes me a long time to fall in love with my hero. When I first start writing a book it’s a little like a first date. I meet my hero. I find out that he’s kind of cute and he’s got a cool job and his bottom looks super fine in a pair of jeans. Dates two and three are like chapters five and six. I find out a little more about him. Stuff that is slightly more personal, like he’s got a fear of cats and a dimple appears on his left cheek when he laughs. Then after a couple of months I learn that maybe his relationship is not so good with his mother and that his 5 o’clock shadow appears around 7:30. And despite the fact that he never puts away his shoes he still a really good guy.

It’s a this point I’m in love with him.

As a romance writer I have to be in love with the guy I’m writing or my book is not going to work. I’m not sure how it is for writers of other genres but I have to love my hero because I am giving him to my heroine. And she’s a girl that I really like. She’s is somebody I would want to be friends with if we ever met.

I have to know them both inside and out. Their favorite colors, what they smell like, what they look like when they wake up in the morning. What makes them afraid. It’s why for me, writing those first few chapters is so torturous. It’s like a first date, nerve-racking, anxiety producing torture. First chapters and first dates are where you make first impressions. For singles it’s when you decide if you want to see them again and for readers it’s the time you decided whether you want to continue with the book.

So do you see why I have to love him? Because I can’t expect my heroine and more importantly my readers to. Non-writers might think I’m nuts but Scribes fan you understand me, don’t you?”

And since Valentine’s Day is tomorrow I thought I’d ask you: Have you ever fallen in love with your hero? Are you friends with your heroine? Do you get what I’m saying? Do you feel the love? Any and all comments are welcome. Chocolate and roses are too!