Thursday, April 21
While going through my shelves of books trying to downsize my keepers to a more manageable level (which hasn't worked btw) I came to a not so startling realization. The books that I consider keepers have one thing in common. It's not the covers, it's not necessarily an author, or even a certain type of story....it all revolves around one thing for me...the characters, but I really should say character...as in THE HERO. No matter what subgenre of romance it is, a story earns a place on my keeper bookshelf because of the hero. Period.
Oftentimes I find myself trying to remember certain aspects of a story that I read and I find that usually, at least most times, the heroine is a fuzzy blur...she is almost interchangeable. I don't remember much about most of them, a sad, but true fact. And I sometimes forget details about the plot, but if it was a book that I loved and has earned a "keeper" status, I almost always remember the hero and what I loved about him. I remember parts of the book as it relates to the Hero...i.e., I am a Hero reader. The Hero in a romance will make or break a story for me. He can be dastardly as long as he is redeemable, a rake as long as he can commit to the woman he loves, or even commit what appears to be unforgivable sins as long as he is repentant or his reasons were justifiable in the end. I can forgive almost anything in a Hero that I love.
Author Kris Kennedy is my guest today to share her upcoming Medieval romance, Defiant, as well as a little bit about what she thinks makes a Hero great...and keeper worthy :) Read and enjoy!
I have an admission, first off: I stole this idea from the lovely Maggie Robinson and her Romance Bandits blog. But I stole it because I needed it. Desperately. I love this idea, and thought I’d share it here today.
I think we can all agree we read romance for the character, for the romantic conflict between hero and heroine. Yes, we need a plot, some of us more than others. And of course we love strong world-building, so we can get lost in it, be it a fictional town U.S. town in 2011 or a medieval castle in 1153. We need tension, tough choices, sensual energy. But all this is in the service of characters we can totally, utterly fall in love with. And those often become the ‘keepers.’
Basically, heroes and heroines in Keepers have to be spectacular. They need to be remarkable—worthy of being remarked upon. So they don't need to be doing bigger-than-life things all the time, they need to be fascinating, intriguing, compelling.
Heroes, I think, have the biggest part of the load. I hear readers all the time say they didn’t so much dig the heroine, but the hero was rocking hot, so the story worked for them . I rarely hear it the other way. Sometimes, yes. But not so common.
Clearly, we love our heroes.
In my May release DEFIANT, the hero and heroine are doing both pretty remarkable things. The hero, Jamie, is a lieutenant for King John. Yes, that King John. The King John of Robin Hood legends. The King John whose paranoid, cunning and mercurial leadership prompted the barons to rise up and demand Magna Carta. And yes, the hero serves him. The reasons are complicated. The appearance of the heroine, Eva, who happens to want the very thing he wants (and steals it away) makes things even more complicated.
Poor guy. :-)
So, let's do our own little Mad Libs on those great heroes. How would you answer this fill-in-the-blank question?
Heroes should always _________ and should never _________.
My answer: A hero should always be capable of mayhem, and should never use it on the heroine.
Let’s hear yours! One commenter wins a signed copy of my new release, DEFIANT!
A warrior with questionable intentions . . .
Jamie Lost is the king's most renowned commander, a fearless lieutenant ordered to kidnap an exiled priest before rebel forces close in. The mission is simple—until he meets a mysterious thief who will steal his quarry and then his heart.
A lady of remarkable courage . . .
Beautiful Eva is also seeking Father Peter, but she intends to protect him from a secret that could cost him his life. She senses that she, too, should fear Jamie—not just for his wickedly sharp sword and dangerously muscular body, but for the powerful longing he ignites within her.
A secret that could overthrow the king.
When a band of mercenaries abducts the priest, Jamie and Eva must form a volatile alliance. As civil war unfolds around them, they embark on an epic journey that betrays the truth about their hidden identities, their unexpected loyalties, and the simmering attraction that could seal their fates forever.
Congratulations Kris on your upcoming release of DEFIANT! I just love that title :) The official release date is Tuesday April 26th, and having just gotten my copy in the mail, I can honestly say that the cover is worth a trip to the store alone...add in the even better "hot, sweeping" historical romance in between, and I can understand why her medieval romances come so highly recommended.
If you'd like to learn more about Kris Kennedy and the books she writes you can find her at her website www.kriskennedy.net, Facebook, and Twitter.
To celebrate the upcoming release of her new historical romance, the author would like to giveaway a signed copy of DEFIANT to one lucky Musings follower. Here's how you can enter to win...
Ways to earn entries:
- Mandatory: Complete the "Hero Mad Lib" sentence Kris asked readers to finish in her post AND please show her some comment love by including a comment or question for her about her book. (good for 1 entry)
- Mandatory: You MUST be a Google Friend Connect (GFC) follower in order to be eligible to win (unfortunately an email subscriber, or subscription in Google reader, and a follower are not the same thing so make sure you are signed up as a follower if you'd like to win this book)
- If you have a blog, or even if you don't, you can earn extra entries by telling your friends. If they successfully enter to win and mention that you sent them you can each earn extra entries. You can blog about it with a link to this post, post it on Facebook, Twitter, email...or even word of mouth (good for 5 entries for the referrer and the commenter for each friend) . Please note that to earn the points they must mention your GFC name so that I can match you.
- Purchase any item from the Seductive Musings Amazon store by using this link, or the Amazon widget contained within this post and email a copy of your purchase receipt to me no later than the deadline to enter (email available in sidebar). Sorry purchases made prior to this date do not apply, and link contained in this post must be used. No faxes or snail mail copies are allowed. No purchases are necessary to win. (good for 25 entries, or 50 entries if a purchase is made from the featured author's available titles)
How to enter:
- You can choose to enter as many different ways that you want, but please place all of your entries in ONE comment
Rules and disclaimers:
- This contest is open to US addresses only
- You must be at least 18 years or older, or of legal age in your country
- The contest will end on April 25th at 11:59 pm EST and winner will be posted after they have been selected
- Winner(s) will be selected using Random.org
- The winner(s) will have THREE days from the date they are posted to provide a mailing address. If you do not contact me within three days a replacement winner will be selected. NO EXCEPTIONS
- The book(s) will be mailed directly from the publisher or author and no substitutions are allowed
- Winners will be subject to one copy per household, which means that if you win the same title in two or more contests, that you will only receive one copy of the title in the mail
- Seductive Musings is not responsible for prizes that are not honored, distributed in a timely manner, lost, stolen, or damaged during transit
- All giveaways are subject to change/cancellation without prior written notice
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