Today it is my Pleasure to host Harlequin American Romance Series writer Barbara White Daille to HarlequinJunkie!
A big thank you to Sara for inviting me here today to talk about one of my favorite topics: heroes.
So Many Heroes...So Much Fun!
I'm currently wrapped up in my own favorite fictional men, all rough, tough, sexy rancher/cowboys. In this Spotlight, I'll focus on all three of them, because they give me specific examples to share with you. Besides, there's no way I could pick just one. (smile)
My latest and upcoming books involve the small town of Flagman's Folly, New Mexico, where everyone's in everybody else's business and no one's safe from the local matchmakers! Each book has a different type of hero.
Loners are usually strong, silent types who tend to keep to themselves. The fun comes when events bring them out of their self-imposed isolation. Ranch owner Sam Robertson (A RANCHER'S PRIDE) is such a hero, with a history guaranteed to make him wary of women. Unfortunately, as the book opens, he's forced to deal with not one but two females destined to turn his life...and his heart...inside-out.
He's suddenly given custody of a four-year-old girl he had never known he'd fathered—a child he can't communicate with because she's deaf. Immediately afterward, the child's aunt shows up. She does know how to talk with little Becky, and she's determined to take his daughter away from him.
Now, Sam might be the quiet type, but as with most loners, that doesn't mean he sits back and lets folks take advantage of him. And he sure as heck doesn't plan to let this woman walk off with his daughter. Yet, he's also faced with the difficulty of figuring out what's best for his child—a dilemma that's about to break him.
The Bad Boy
Bad boys are the heroes we shouldn't love but do. They usually have reputations to go along with the name. Growing up, rodeo champion Caleb Cantrell (THE RODEO MAN'S DAUGHTER) sure enough did. As a teen, he left Flagman's Folly in the dust with no intention of ever going back. But when a fall from a bull puts him and his rodeo dreams out of commission, he returns to town seeking revenge from the folks who'd made his early life a misery.
Most of all, he wants to settle a few scores with his former high-school sweetheart before he leaves her behind for good. Only, once they meet up again, he finds it hard to keep his mind—and his hands—off her.
Like many bad boys, Caleb has a lot to learn. He hides all of himself...wants, fears, vulnerability, heart...behind a heavy layer of armor. But he's not the only one with things to hide—which he discovers when he finds the key to a ten-year-old secret.
The boy-next-door hero plays a special role in fueling many of our fantasies, because he's one of the first to enter our lives. The boy from three houses over...on our school bus...in our biology class... He's the kind of hero who's always ready to give support and friendship, always willing to lend a sympathetic ear and a helping hand. That's Ben Sawyer, from the upcoming Flagman's Folly story (HONORABLE RANCHER).
Ben lost the love of his life to his own best friend, who has recently died an army hero. Now, no one in town will ever let him forget the respect he needs to maintain for his friend. The honor he needs to uphold.
Of course, this type of hero always chooses the right path, doesn't he?
But...what happens when a hero like Ben is all torn up inside? He knows what he has to do and what the whole danged town expects of him. But how can he give up this chance to fight for the woman he's always loved from afar?
As with most heroes, the boy-next-door doesn't wear his heart on his sleeve, doesn't let his feelings show. He's just there—a steady, constant, reliable presence—sometimes for much longer than the woman of his dreams ever knows. That's Ben, all right! Take a peek into his past....
Dana was no Cinderella. She hadn't left a shoe behind. Hadn't even dropped a button from that pink dress as something for him to remember her by. As if he could ever forget her.
She'd been the heroine of a story he'd once created long ago, a story he'd had to write in his head because he hadn't yet known how to spell all the words.
How did it go? Like in his niece's storybook...
Once upon a time, that was it.
Once upon a time, in the Land of Enchantment—otherwise known as the state of New Mexico—Benjamin Franklin Sawyer had high hopes and a huge crush on the girl who sat one desk over from him in their classroom every day.
No other girl in town, Ben felt sure, could beat Dana Smith, and most likely no other woman in the world could compare to her, either. In any case, without a doubt, she was the cutest of all his female friends in their kindergarten classroom.
Unfortunately, when the teacher moved his best friend, Paul Wright, to the desk on the other side of Dana's, Ben saw his hopes dashed.
The crush, however, continued. For a good long while.
Originally from the East Coast, award-winning author Barbara White Daille now lives with her husband in the warm, sunny Southwest, where they love the lizards in the front yard but could do without the scorpions in the bathroom.
From the time she was a toddler, Barbara found herself fascinated by those things her mom called "books." Once she learned the words between the covers held the magic of storytelling, she wanted to see her words in print so she could weave that spell for others.
Barbara hopes you will enjoy reading her stories and will find your own storytelling magic in them!
Her latest release is THE RODEO MAN'S DAUGHTER, with HONORABLE RANCHER upcoming in August.
She would love to have you drop by her website: www.barbarawhitedaille.com
and look for her on Twitter:
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