Bottom Lines

Chastity and Charity

After a bible study that featured these two elements, I couldn't help but think of how sexuality and love are such key elements in writing.

Especially in romance, readers are looking for heroes and heroines who are pure of heart. So, what does pure of heart mean? For me, this means, selflessness: doing for others first. Doing for my spouse and for my family and for friends, too. [and just so you know. I fail horribly! ALOT!]

Fitting traits of a lofty nature into your characters is part of the craft.

Let's face it, we're human and so are our characters--for the sake of this discussion, they're human. :D Can't forget those shifters, though! People are not perfect, they're possibly selfish at times, and on occasion, they're downright mean. The key is finding the glimmer of goodness within your character, your hero. Maybe he's harsh and stubborn, yet everytime that kid from down the street stops by, he can't help but give him undivided attention. By the end of the book, the goal is for the heroine to recognize the goodness because it doesn't really matter if he's still stubborn and occasionally rude. She sees the whole picture and loves him anyway.

And that's what we all hope for, someone who looks at us and sees the good in us. Love, the bottom line, the element in humanity that offers hope, and the emotion that pulls us to one person in particular.

Maybe LOVE isn't exactly or always about romance, but romance is definitely about LOVE.
Have a great weekend.

Heroes -- The Series

The Daredevil, a close relative to the Bad Boy, think Bohdi in Point Break--one because who doesn't want to think about Patrick Swayze? And two, because he kind of fits the bill. Not only does he have this extreme surfing, devil-may-care scenario, he's decided life just isn't interesting enough and becomes a thief, too.

So, let's move our Daredevil into the romance novel. He's the hero who isn't going to think twice, who might hurt the heroine before they reach the Happily Ever After, but somehow can be forgiven. Taking extremes is part of his nature.

Actually this reminds me of a story of a MotorCross [I think] racer who died, leaving his family behind. So, right... that doesn't actually represent the romance novel, but I think if we spin real life to fit into our make-believe, this is the guy you'd have. And when he dies, everyone says, "He died doing what he loved." As if that makes it better... then again, maybe it does.

See [I'm going to get philosophical on you], we all die. If you think about it that way, why not die doing something you love? Like surfing or bike racing or pirateering--okay, that one's definitely from a romance novel. As a matter of fact, read The Iron Rose by Marsha Canham. It is one of my all-time favorite romance pirate stories. The opening scene in that book IS daredevil. It's a hero with a flare for style who takes ships as a hobby... until he unwittingly takes the heroine's ship!! :D

ONE MORE DAY! Join me either tomorrow or Thursday at Penny's blog as I wrap up my series on HEROES talking about the warrior. Thanks for being here.

With Love,


Heroes -- The Series

The Tycoon
Yes, the tall, dark, handsome and RICH.

The reason I find this character so complicated is because I really don't want to like him. I know that sounds odd, but to me rich has often meant snobbish, aloof, self-centered. Perhaps that's what makes a good Tycoon hero so intriguing. The heroine has dug past the stereotypes to find something more. The more important aspect of the Tycoon is his jaded outlook on life. He's got everything money can buy...

Why can't he find someone to love him for himself?
My favorite scenario is the Tycoon in disguise. Believe me, the woman who resents all things rich and wealthy is the woman who finally falls in love with the Tycoon. And when she finds out he is rich, she dumps him like a sack of hot potatoes... which of course, proves to him he is right to be jaded. Love doesn't exist.


Great story line there. I can't help but picture Cary Grant as a Tycoon.

On Monday check out Penny's blog for the next installment, The Protector.

Heroes -- The Series

You might think that women would be tired of the Apha Hero. He's demanding. He doesn't explain himself or any of his actions. He's overprotective and hardly cares to hear if you've got a better idea....

The perfect example--Han Solo. Now I say this because heroes have become a little more complex over the last twenty years. Alphas showing signs of Beta, Betas showing signs of Tortured. Somehow, because of this I've spent the last twenty minutes wracking my brain for a good example. Han is a loner.

According to, an alpha male, upon entering a room, will assume high status, take on the role of the leader (or at least one of the leaders) and simply expect others to follow him and show him respect. Oh hey! I think I married one of these!!! :D Although, like a good leader, mine will look for the one who is ACTUALLY in charge instead of being an ass. One of the aspects that separates my hubby from being a beta is that he'll leave if he doesn't like what the other leader is demanding. A beta would NOT do this. :D

Look to your books for the best examples of a true Alpha Male. Elizabeth Lowell and Christina Dodd write alpha males that any romance reader can appreciate. Read about Archer Donovan in Lowell's Pearl Cove or Jasha Wilde(yes, we heard about him yesterday at Penny's blog, too) in Dodd's Scent of Darkness. You won't be sorry.

Heroes -- The Series

The Bad Boy Hero

I can't do this post without featuring James Dean.

The original bad boy hero.

The idea behind behind the bad boy is that there's a kernal of good. Right?

Somehow the combination of that smidgen of good is just enough to force the bad boy into the Knight in Shining Armor.

My theory, though is that the bad boy is more misunderstood than really bad. I mean, come on. Is your heroine going to fall in love with a coldhearted killer? A deadbeat, wino, drugdealer? No.

The thing about that heroine that makes her special is her understanding of the hero. He doesn't trust it at first because there's been no one else, but of course, in the length of the novel, the Bad Boy Hero finally finds contentment and peace...and love. :D Yay love!

My all time favorite Bad Boy?

Ren McCormack. He's defiant. He's goodlooking. He can dance... :D

For what it's worth, the bad boy can be combined with any of the other hero types we in our list. The bad boy might be a beta or an alpha, tortured or a tycoon....

Because of characters played by James Dean, the bad boy has earned his own label.

Don't forget to visit Penny Dune's blog, A Lifetime to Love where she's going to talk about the Paranormal Hero.

Heroes -- The Series

Doing a series about heroes will be a gas, so I've teamed up with writing friend and partner, Penny Dune, to highlight the best of what makes a hero and to share some of our own writingly insights.

"So what," you say?

There will be PICTURES! :D

I'm starting with my favorite, The Tortured Hero. Keira at Romance Love Passion calls him the Brooding Hero, but I like tortured better. When I hear the word brood, I think sulky and Maximus Decimus Meridias was NOT a sulker. :D

The storyteller for Gladiator immediately wraps every woman around his finger by opening the story in Max's home. The heartfelt goodbye, the noble duty... and finally the agony. I mean, what woman doesn't want to think that if she is dead, her lover will wreak vengeance on everyone involved? It's so romantic. [okay, yes, i'm chuckling a little, but we all have our fantasies. *wink*]

William Wallace gave us this in Braveheart, another movie that just pulls on all the right strings. Course, Gibson is no where near as nice looking as Crowe, but... since this isn't a blog post about looks, I'll move on. :D

Okay, one more picture of a tortured hero. Though not a main character, Gabriel Martin's story held my attention in this epic saga about the Civil War. The thing is, you're actually glad when the tortured hero dies... I think that's a key element in all of these movies. Though it isn't the death I'm wishing for, it's the a tradedy, they can't always be separated.

It's the emotion that a tortured hero evokes that leaves that mark in our minds. I think we want to do that in our books, as well. Nora Roberts did this in Public Secrets. Her primary, secondary--really the story was intricate, there were actually two heroes--hero, Brian was a tortured mess! I LOVED IT! Still my all time favorite book.

Check out Penny's blog in another day or two, and she'll be featuring the next hero in our series... The Beta Hero--everybody loves a nerd at least once in their life.

I should ASK

When I was growing up, my mom would move all the furniture in one room, all by herself. Sometimes twice in one task in order to get the desired effect. Maybe this is why I almost never ask for help. Carrying laundry baskets, moving furniture, changing diapers, emptying the seasonal bins... I do all! Not to be bragging, because it's not a brag, and it's not exclusive, either. Matt does his share of the same tasks.

This morning, I carried a bin sized load of laundry downstairs to the washer and dryer. A few seconds later Matt pops his head down and says, "If you want help carrying the laundry basket--"

"I'll ask," I said. Funny thing is, I thought to ask, but didn't. I mean, I'm going down anyway, right? On the other hand, how can my hubby serve me, honor me if I don't give him a chance? So, remember ladies, sometimes we can be strong and independent, and sometimes, strength means giving up our indepence, too.