A Family of Heroes

21 09 2009

I’m sure you all know that to us writers, our characters are almost like our children. We lovingly watch them grow and change and become outstanding people. So far the tales of the Scorpion Moon Trilogy have come out as the hero’s tale. I’ve learned that hero can mean very different things in different people.

In Book 1, Widow’s Peak, I started out with a not so shiny champion. Life has not been good to Alaine de la Vierre. This medieval bad boy was one of the best assassins in Europe. Successful as a troubadour, and popular with the ladies at the court of King Henry II, Laine has the perfect cover for his nefarious profession. And the profession provides him a chance for the thing he wants most. Revenge. But like all good heroes, something makes him want out. What, you may ask could turn a deadly assassin into a hero? Why love, of course. Laine discovers that love and kindness have more to offer him than revenge. First he discovers the love of a family, then he discovers the love of a good woman. What more could a bad boy need?

In Kissed By A Rose, Book 2 in the series, my hero is the total opposite of the hero of Book 1. Sir James Barnard has always had everything in life. A member of the Norman nobility, Jamie has been raised in a loving family and given every advantage. When his father is killed in the Holy Land, Jamie determines to become what his father was, a knight of renown.  He is successful in becoming a favored knight in King Henry’s court, but finds he is missing the most important thing his father had, a fulfilling life. I’m in the process of writing Book 2, so Jamie is still making that journey toward finding fulfillment, but I know his heroine will give him what he needs. It is romance, after all.

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, from all kinds of backgrounds. Christian, the hero of Book 3, Until the End of Time, is still taking shape in my mind’s eye, but I’m sure that love will find him in the end.

WidowsPeak_w1019_680I can’t believe that the release day for Widow’s Peak is almost here! In just two more days, Amye and Laine (my heroine and hero) finally get to make their debut.  Here’s a short excerpt:

The ride from the glen up the ridge found the hunting party in good spirits. They had taken several animals, including a young boar that had been disrupting the peace of the flocks. Siward made the shot that had taken the pig. Amye liked to reward the most successful hunter with a small prize at supper.

“What reward would an unmarried knight like?” she thought to herself. Her question was interrupted by a great rustling from the trees above her. The party came to a halt as branches and leaves began to tumble to the ground.

Two men crashed through the canopy and landed with a loud thump against the forest floor. Her mount wheeled away, but Amye turned the horse back toward the melee. One of the men had risen and now looked her straight in the eyes. He seemed about to run but suddenly dropped to his knees and fell face forward into the moss of the forest floor.

Amye quickly slid from Jester’s back and hurried toward the fallen stranger. Her men, not far behind, surrounded her before she could get to the bodies. Gervais pulled her away.

“My lady, stay back. These men may be dangerous.”

“They are obviously injured,” Amye tossed back.

Gervais knelt between the men and placed two fingers against the neck of the one who had nearly run away.

“He is still alive.” He turned and checked the other. “This one, however, is dead.”

Amye sighed and made the sign of the cross over her heart. “Well, at least we can help the living,” she said.

“My lady, you know nothing about this man. He could be a thief or a murderer,” Gervais countered.

She studied the countenance of the fallen man. Though a deep purple bruise had begun to swell on his cheek, his face was quite handsome.

“I have seen him somewhere before, but I cannot think where. What if he is someone important?”

Folding his arms across his chest, Gervais looked at her with a piqued expression, but she ignored him and inched closer to get a better look at the man lying on the ground.

“From the looks of him, I don’t think he will be able to hurt us for a while yet. I do know he is injured and he is on my land. That makes me responsible for him.” She gave her old friend the look of resolve that said she had made up her mind.

Finally, he uncrossed his arms, but his face still frowned in disapproval. “William, take Lady Barnard back to the castle. Bring the cart back for them.” Gervais nodded toward the motionless bodies. “Half of you come with me. We shall search the woods to see if there are others. The rest of you wait here.”

****

Laine crawled up out of the darkness, but did not open his eyes until he felt the cool wet cloth covering them. His head ached like the devil and confusion filled his thoughts as he came to realize that he rested on a soft feather bed and not on the hard forest floor. Where am I? How have I come here?

He did recall that when he reached the manor, the gate was shut and the guards had refused entry to a lone stranger. He had returned to the forest that ran along the ridge, hoping to avoid the assassin for one more night.

He reached up, lifted the cloth, and peeked at his surroundings. A lone candle penetrated the darkness of the room. Laine rose up on his elbows to see if he could determine his situation. A bad mistake. His head ached even more and began to spin.

“Wait, lie still.” A woman’s hands reached out and helped him lie back. “You took quite a fall. You were lucky though.”

A beautiful oval face leaned close, as she pulled the bedcover up around him.

“Your companion broke his neck. I’m sorry there was nothing we could do for him. You rest. We will speak anon.”

She turned to rewet the cloth and placed it back over his forehead. The coolness helped to stop the spinning, and he breathed a deep sigh of relief. He had been able to best his opponent.

Laine closed his eyes. At least he did not have to worry about assassins for the moment. It would take some time for them to discover what happened and send someone else. For the first time in many months, he could rest easy, which he promptly did.

In a special release day contest I’m giving away three special prizes. A $10 Amazon gift certificate, an autographed copy of Widow’s Peak, and a beautiful pewter necklace I brought back from my trip to Wales last spring.  Winners will also be entered in the Super Contest that I’m holding over at my personal blog, Never Too Late For Love.

All you have to do to enter is between now and 11:59 on September 23rd, leave a comment on this post about what kind of hero you like best and why.  Do you like a knight in shining armor, or do you prefer a reformed bad boy? An action adventure hero or the nice guy next door? At Midnight on Thursday September 24th, I’ll pick three winners from the commenters.

WidowsPeak_w1019_680Widow’s Peak  Available  Now in Print  from The Wild Rose Press and at Amazon.com

Available in e-book format September 23rd from The Wild Rose Press

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23 responses

21 09 2009
Faith V. Smith

Hi Hanna, I love both types of heroes, although I do have a soft spot for a reformed
bad boy.

Hugs!

Faith

21 09 2009
lorettaC

I like them all the boy next door, a knight in shining armor, the reform bad boy, and the action adventurer.

loretta canton
lbcanton@verizon.net

21 09 2009
marcodub

I like the anti-hero. Sometimes good can not be accomplished without coming close to the line of evil; perhaps even crossing into it. The bad boy image is overrated. The ‘Superman’ hero is the fantasy of women. Just as a side note, if there ever was a superhero for women it would be Superman. The nice guy is viable only if he somehow gets into some sort of dark issues. For such an example see the TV series ‘Breaking Bad’. But who am I to comment, right?

21 09 2009
Jolan Warren Bishop

I like a nice guy next door hero–just like my husband. College math professor by day, devoted daddy to our toddler by night (and weekend, and morning, and lunch break, and . . . )–what more could a girl want?

21 09 2009
Jana Richards

I have to agree that I like all kinds of heroes as well. It all depends on the story, and the heroine.

Jana Richards

22 09 2009
Helen Hardt

Hi Hanna — first of all, congratulations on your impending release! I know how excited you must be.

Hmm, what type of hero do I like best? Honestly, I love all romance heroes. My whole blog is devoted to them, LOL. But if I had to choose, I guess I’d say the Alpha hero who is a bit tortured due to his past. He has a fierce passion and absolute love for his heroine, and she helps heal him.

22 09 2009
Gwynlyn MacKenzie

Excellent excerpt! I like strong, dynamic heroes with issues. He can be flawed, wounded, angry, heart-sore, arrogant, whatever, but he must be intrinsically strong—so my strong, determined heroine can bring him to his knees. *G*

23 09 2009
T. Hayes

I like them all as well, but I have a thing for the reformed bad boy. They seem to pull at you/your heart, making you hope and root for them throughout, and can really keep you into the story. But most of all, they are usually sexy as heck! T.

23 09 2009
Susan Borowy

I too, like them all, but if I had to pick one, it’d be the knight in shining armor (with a touch of bad boy). Your book sounds really great Hannah, congrats!!

23 09 2009
Alexis Morgan

My favorite heroes are the lost souls/wounded warrior types. The kind who are struggling to regain their honor and purpose in life. Fangs don’t hurt, either.

Alexis

23 09 2009
Alexis Morgan

Ooops, I meant to add congratulations on the release of your book–it sounds great!

Alexis

23 09 2009
Lyn

Hi Hanna – hope you had a great trip to my native Wales. although I live in England now, I miss my homeland terribly and go back whenever I can.

I love the idea of a ‘knight in shining armour.’ The guy who is brave and noble and treats a woman like a lady! (OK I’m just an old fashioned girl at heart, but I do like my heroine to be abe to stand up for herself, too.)

23 09 2009
robin devine

What a happy day! Congrats Hanna!! As for my life long heros, they have come in all forms with my day to day immagination. They rescue me from the chores of life. They capture my heart with laughter. They take my breath away. I haven’t met them yet, but one of my heros will show up someday, and I will recognize him without a moments hesitation. My hero holds my loves long journey to the happily ever after!

23 09 2009
Lia Slater

Hmm… Well, for myself I’d choose the funny guy next door who makes me laugh. For fiction, I’d choose the reformed bad boy or the bad boy who needs to be reformed. So much more intriguing! Great post!

23 09 2009
Mary Ricksen

Hanna, I suppose the answer would be different at every age for me. Right now I like the handsome guy next door, he has a good heart and he is still a mans man. He doesn’t take any nonsense, yet with me he should be always tender and loving. He’s ambitious but he knows how to play. Boy he sounds pretty good to me.

23 09 2009
HODGEPODGESPV

I would like to see a hero who while remaining masculine can be friends with and respect the mind of a woman, who can be her friend and her lover. who has ideas and respects her ideas as well. someone who knows the strengths of women.

23 09 2009
Kammie

I am a fan of the reformed bad boy heroes. I always think those bad boys make for interesting stories because you never know what they’ll do or say.

23 09 2009
sara hurt

I love the bad boys. I want them rough and tough, cause when they tumble it is so much more romantic. Now dont get me wrong I love the other types of hero too, I am a sucker for the HEA. Your book looks great and I really hope I get to read it soon.

23 09 2009
Kelly

Nice cover! Great excerpt! Congrats!

I love a guy with a sense of humor.

23 09 2009
Christine Columbus

My hero is someone who loves women (not in a sleazy way) and out of all the women-one woman he loves more… A man who know he wants a special woman by his side…A man’s man, who will take a brow beating from his buddies, walk through fire and swim an ocean just to taste the sweet lips of the woman he loves… that’s my kind of hero

23 09 2009
Abigail Maupin

Oh, I’m with Loretta: I like ’em all. I am a sucker for inner turmoil, though, at least in the stories I read—in real life, my husband is the nicest, sweetest guy in the world, and totally balances me out. ‘Cause what’s a hero without a heroine? It’s how the relationship unfolds that makes the story exciting. Doncha think?

24 09 2009
sara hurt

I think cyberspace ate my comment. I posted yesterday afternoon but do not see it up here now, bummer. anyways I love the bad boy hero. The rougher and tougher they are the harder they tumble.

24 09 2009
Patricia K

I love the kind that looks bad but really a good guy. The kind that works undercover for the cops,or other groups like that. You are drawn to them but it scares you.

horseunicornkey@aol.com

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