Thank Goodness for Heroes.
I tried to come up with a list of qualities that represent the quintessential hero, but that was nearly impossible. We all like something different in our ideal men.
My perfect hero has a variety of characteristics, so it’s difficult for one particular man to encompass all of them. I like heroes who are dark and tortured, men who are physically or emotionally damaged, who are on a journey to redemption (whether or not they realize it). And I like those endearing bad boys, those rogues or rakes just waiting for the perfect woman to bring them to heel.
But whether they’re rogues, rakes, or troubled warriors, they need to possess a streak of sensitivity—or at least develop one. And a sense of humor. A comic who is “on” all the time can be tiring, but I think nothing is sexier than a man who has a dry wit, who can see the absurdity in life.
One who can laugh at himself. (Not others; that’s cruel.)
So many terrific authors today have wonderfully memorable heroes, it’s a challenge to choose amongst them. But one of the knights I’ve remembered with affection is Sir David, the hero of Christina Dodd’s ONCE A KNIGHT. He has many of the qualities I mentioned above.
And of course I’m partial to Sir Stephen, the hero of my new book. Only when a band of renegade knights is brought to justice can he lay down the burden of guilt he carries. And only then will he be free to love again.
What characteristics do you look for in a hero?
Do you have a favorite hero?
To celebrate my first week of release, I’m giving away a free e-copy of the book, so be sure to leave a comment!
Title: THE HEART OF THE PHOENIX
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Date Published: Sept. 3, 2014
Genre: Medieval Romance
Word Count: 88,000
Some call him a ruthless mercenary; she calls him the knight of her heart.
Lady Evelynn’s childhood hero is home—bitter, hard, tempting as sin. And haunted by secrets. A now-grown Evie offers friendship, but Sir Stephen’s cruel rejection crushes her, and she resolves to forget him. Yet when an unexpected war throws them together, she finds love isn’t so easy to dismiss. If only the king hadn’t betrothed her to another.
Can Be Cruel
Sir Stephen lives a double life while he seeks the treacherous outlaws who murdered his friends. Driven by revenge he thinks his heart is closed to love. His childhood shadow, Lady Evie, unexpectedly challenges that belief. He rebuffs her, but he can’t forget her, although he knows she’s to wed the king’s favorite.
When his drive for vengeance leads to Evie’s kidnapping, Stephen must choose between retribution and the loved he’s denied too long. Surely King John will see reason. Convict the murderers; convince the king. Simple. Until a startling revelation threatens everything.
“I don’t believe you heard me, Sir Stephen.” Evie’s words dripped honey. “I’m going home on orders of my brother. If the travelers Davy were to join haven’t appeared, then he can accompany me.” She shot a glance toward the youth, deep in conversation with the maid.
The back of Stephen’s neck tingled, and he clenched his hands. God’s blood, she made him so angry he longed to grab those soft arms and shake some sense into her.
“You are not remaining at the monastery, and you are not traveling to England.” The words came out in a growl. He stepped forward, and she tilted back her head to meet him eye to eye. “Must I tie you to that horse?”
She leaned in. “Just you try, Sir Stephen-the-Bully.”
He glared and crossed his arms against his chest, daring her to continue.
“Do as you think you must.” She echoed his stance, her crossed arms pushing her plump breasts higher.
Not that he noticed, blast her.
“I vow I will return the moment I’m free,” she added. “You have no authority over my movements, for you are no relative of mine.”
“And I thank God for it. How Henry has put up with you all these years I do not know. A more troublesome, contentious wi...woman I’ve never seen.”
“Did you call me a witch?”
In honor of the new release, my first book SILVERHAWK, is on sale for $2.99. Here are buy links for it.
Award winning author Barbara Bettis has always loved history and English. As a college freshman, she briefly considered becoming an archeologist until she realized there likely would be bugs and snakes involved. And math.
She now lives in Missouri, where by day she’s a mild-mannered English teacher, and by night she’s an intrepid plotter of tales featuring heroines to die for—and heroes to live for.