I've read I don’t want to even admit how many heroes
and created seven so far in my writing career and My Kind of Hero has to be
flawed. My leading man has to have problems and imperfections. (Even my most
stereotypical alpha hero, from historical romance Unbidden, has flaws.) I want strength but I don't like domineering
men. He must be capable of respect for a woman, and forming a relationship
beyond physical attraction.
I'm currently infatuated with Boone Ramer. (My Kind
of Hero is usually whomever I’m writing at the moment.) Boone is the male lead
from my new release, Eruption. He's the second son in a family of Nebraska
cattle ranchers, and he’s a level headed, all-American nice guy. The kind of
guy a woman stares at and, even as she does it, isn't sure why. I physically
modeled him on a youthful Bailey Chase, the man who plays Branch on the TV
series "Longmire." Boone's easy on the eyes, with a nice body from
playing football, but not underwear model handsome. He's the boy you wish your
daughter would bring home instead of the unemployed goth biker dude, and confuses
my main character, Violet. She thinks she likes bad boys but develops a giant
freshman crush on Boone. (She and her BFF/roomie refer to him as Hotness!)
If he wants to reciprocate, he hides it, because
he's an RA in her dorm. A relationship with her is against school policy and,
as you've probably guessed, Boone is a rule-follower.
Holly Wilder finds some of those rules pretty difficult to follow during her boss's visits to present the Employee of the Month award. A relationship between them is prohibited, and even if it wasn't, Holly has no intention of ever falling in love again. But that doesn't stop her from craving Max's touch.
Hotel owner Max Lazzari never expected to break his own rules, especially when they are so important to him. But sexy employee Holly is too hard to resist. Their no-strings, secret arrangement fits in perfectly with his no-commitment plan. A plan to ensure that no woman will ever again have the opportunity to hurt him.
Sizzling nights together mean Holly and Max start looking forward to the monthly visits more and more. Until they are both brought down to earth with a bump—a pregnancy one!
Will rule breaking lead to broken hearts?
Content Warning: contains sensual sex and some strong language
"Alright you Primitive Screwheads, listen up! You see this? This... is my
boomstick! The twelve-gauge double-barreled Remington. S-Mart's top of
the line. You can find this in the sporting goods department. That's
right, this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Retails for
about a hundred and nine, ninety five. It's got a walnut stock, cobalt
blue steel, and a hair trigger. That's right. Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.
You got that?"
College student Tess Burke is on the verge of eviction. Her life
changed when her dad was in a bad car accident. He’s been in the hospital for
months and making little progress. Desperation is setting in. They’re about to
Successful architect Chase Carlisle has made a name for himself among
the rich and famous. His work keeps him busy, leaving little time for a social
life. When an old family friend contacts him and asks him to care for his
vibrant, sassy daughter, Chase feels obligated to take her in; Patrick Burke
had helped him when he was a troubled teenager, heading down a path of
destruction. If not for Pat, he would have never become the man he is today.
The wild child turns Chase’s world upside down, tempting him in ways he
can’t resist. The sexy younger woman shows him what he’s been missing the past
few years. Their attraction is obvious from the beginning despite Chase’s
apprehension to getting involved with Pat’s daughter. Tess wears him down but
gets caught in her own trap when she becomes the object of his deepest, darkest
Thank you so much to everyone who's participated in My Kind of Hero. The posts so far have been amazing--thoughtful, moving, and evocative. Reading them, I'm laughing, sighing, and tearing up. My guests have talked about the qualities they admire most in a hero and Sydney Jane Baily shared a truly moving recollection of her father with us. I must admit, I feel a bit guilty but I cannot tell a lie. When checking out a hunky hero, my mind goes straight to the gutter. While my fellow (far more noble) romance authors are evaluating his intelligence, courage, and compassion, I'm really checking out his ass.
Okay, maybe hate is too
strong a word. Allow me to rephrase—Edward Cullen is NOT the guy for
me. He’s too…I don’t know…perfect? Vanilla?
Mr.-I-always-say-and-do-the-right-thing? Maybe I’m difficult to please or
something, but I look for so much more than that in a man—whether he’s in my
life or in my books.
So, now that we’ve
established that I don’t want to write, read about, or cohabitate with the
“perfect guy,” what kind of guy do I want? What makes a man heroic in my
eyes and, thereby, worth my time? And why do I like Jasper so much more
than Edward or Jacob? Those are tough questions. I’ve learned (by
lots of trial and error, bless my heart) that I don’t want an easygoing,
life-is-a-breeze kind of dude. (Although, through thirteen years of
marriage, I’ve regretted that about myself more than once. Sigh.) Anyway,
let’s see if I can put into words what I feel about what makes a man a hero in
real life and on the page—
1. He must
Someone worthy of my time should not only accept
me for who I am but also challenge me to be better. (Notice I’m not
saying he should want me to change or be a different person…just encourage the
best parts of me while calling me out where and when I may suck—not that I ever
2. He also needs to
listen to me:
This doesn’t mean he has to agree with everything
I say or give me everything I want. No, he just has to try to understand
what I’m communicating to him without judgment. (Again, notice that I’m
not saying he has to agree with all the words dripping from my lips—just appreciate
their importance to me.)
3. This man should
Whether he’s on a battlefield, in a classroom, or
atop the corporate ladder, a man worth loving has got to be fierce about
something besides me—while still being totally crazy about me. (There’s
room for all of that, right?)
4. He’s got to have
flaws, too, dang it:
If my guy were perfect, he wouldn’t need
me. What would I bring to the relationship if I couldn’t challenge
him? I’d feel useless, weak, and superfluous. And, honestly, a girl
needs to be the hero at least once in a while (okay, maybe most of the while).
5. Dark and twisty
(metaphorically speaking) is the only way to go:
The undamaged soul is beautiful and rare.
It’s also not what I’m looking for. I’m not interested in a guy who
doesn’t know what it is to suffer or fight to survive. Those (mostly
healed) scrapes and bruises are what make him worthwhile and let me know that,
come what may, he’ll stand by my side armed with the experience necessary to
fight all that comes at us. Battle scarred men have won wars and lived to
deal with the aftermath. They won’t melt into a puddle of blubbering goo
when life hands us a crappy deal, leaving me to do all the fighting alone.
So, now that I’m done
pretending all my heroines are me and bored everyone to tears with my list of
demands concerning what both fictional and non-fictional males should be, what
is it you HATE to see in a hero? (Oh, and please don’t tell me it’s all
of the stuff on my list because…well…then you’d have no reason to buy my books,
seeing as every one of my precious men is damaged, tough, and
so-easy-yet-so-hard to love. And that would make me sad. Very, very
Title: THE BROKEN
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Published: January 18, 2014
Genre: YA Paranormal
Born into a family of
Guardians—extraordinarily gifted humans who battle demons to protect mortal
souls—seventeen year old Rose Kazin is relieved that she shows no signs of
being blessed with her family’s supernatural talents. When she and her father figure, an age old
celestial Warrior, are horribly wounded in a demonic ambush, Rose awakens to
find a younger Warrior, Ouriel, has volunteered to stand in as her
protector. She rails against his
presence, but Ouriel seems interested in only one thing—teaching Rose how to
protect herself from the demons she was never supposed to fight.
didn’t notice the demons until one had his arm clamped around my throat.
Choking, I looked around and saw we were surrounded.
thinking, I reached for the knife at my back. Instinct and training took over,
and I slammed the blade into the abdomen of the demon holding me. He dropped to
the ground. I turned to stab him a few more times, to keep him out of the fight
a bit longer, and ran for Miriam and Ouriel. My sister was rapidly firing off arrow
after arrow, sinking as many as left her quiver into demon flesh.
more kept popping in all around us.
can’t say how many demons I cut and sliced with my knife and nails to get to my
sister and my Warrior, but I got through enough to guard their backs. Finally,
the three of us stood together, facing down the enemy. Ouriel slipped me his
knife, and both of my hands became deadly. Behind me and out of breath, he
shouted, “Miriam, get Rose out of here! Run for Ishmael’s house. I will cover
way!” I yelled back. “I’m not leaving you!”
decapitated two more of the demons rushing him. “You must.”
I screamed and took down one of my own, kicking and jabbing her into a bloody
can’t hold them all off,” Miriam panted. “And I have to save you at all costs.”
spun and, in one fluid move, gored a demon and pushed me through the opening
toward Ishmael’s house.
Joseph taught Theatre for nine years in Texas middle and high schools, where
she wrote and produced three original plays for her students. In 2011, Joseph left teaching to devote all
of her energy to her own children and to writing a novel. She earned her B. A. in English Literature
and Language with a focus in Drama from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio,
spends most of her free time reading, writing, and chauffeuring her kids
between activities. She lives happily
with her husband and two children wherever the Army happens to station them.
Heros. There are songs dedicated to them. Quite a few songs
actually. Everyone loves a hero.
But I strongly suspect how we define a hero varies from person
Sometimes a hero is the boy who tells his friends to stop
picking on his next door neighbor just because he has a lisp. Or maybe it’s the
young man who asks the girl who’s clinging to the shadows if she’d like to
dance even though her dress isn’t this year’s fashion. Then again it might be
the man who helps repair the roof on his elderly aunt’s roof so it doesn’t leak
In fiction, particularly a romance, a hero is often created with
a much stronger story line. They are men who rescue people or animals from
raging fires, doctors who save lives every day or scientists who discover cures
to horrific diseases that might affect thousands. Or they’re the characters who
were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the heroine or a city of
people by disabling a ticking bomb or stepping in front of a bullet.