My Favorite Hero - Part of the Lovestruck Giveaway Hop

Chris Hemsworth bears an uncanny
resemblance to hero James Macleod
from my book, Changeling Dream --

but while I like him a lot, he's not 
my favorite!
As a romance author, I fall a little in love with each one of my heroes. It’s not a conscious or deliberate thing – it just happens, at least if I've done my job right, LOL. I feel like I know them, and I've become close to them.  I root for them, boo when bad things happen to them, and cheer loudly when they win. 

And after the book is finished, it takes me a long time to get into a new project with new characters. It's true – I suffer from PHL – Post-Hero-Letdown.

My Favorite Hero (so far...)

These wolves are siblings and
remind me a lot of the Macleods!
Oh how I missed shapeshifter Connor Macleod after I finished writing Changeling Moon! After all, I'd gotten to know how he thought, how he felt, how he moved and what he would likely do in any given situation. It’s no wonder that he naturally reappeared in Changeling Dream when his brother, James, needed a hand. And both brothers made their presence known in the third book, Changeling Dawn. Yet both were eclipsed by the unexpected hero of that story. It began like this, with the youngest sister of Connor and James.......

Kenzie Macleod belongs to a long-lived family of Changelings who can turn into wolves at will. They were forced to leave Scotland when wolves were being exterminated there, and those terrible times have left her with a serious distrust of humans....

Actor and writer Jay Tavare
Found these pics recently and was
surprised to notice he looks a great deal 
like Josh Talarkoteen  -- and it's 
total coincidence that they also 
share the same initials!!!)
That’s as far as I got when up popped Josh Talarkoteen. I’m used to it – many of my characters, including the entire Macleod clan, simply walk into my brain anytime they feel like it and start talking to me. But this guy was new. Oh sure, I got his resume – tall, handsome, wildlife expert, airforce veteran, member of the Tahltan tribe – but it was the fact that he was 100% human that caught me off guard.

“I want in on your new book,” Josh said. “I want a chance with Kenzie.”

I blinked. “I’m not sure that would work. You’re not a werewolf.”

“Your Changeling world has plenty of mixed couples.”

“Yeah, but so far the humans have been women.”

Actor Jay Tavare
“What difference does that make? They sure didn’t need any super powers in your stories – those women are strong and smart and more than a match for the werewolf men,” he said. “So why not give a regular guy a chance with a Changeling gal?”

“Look, I admit that you’re great-looking, but isn’t it going to be tough to impress a woman who can turn into a wolf? I mean, how do you compete with that?”

“You mean the fact that she’s faster, stronger and can leap tall humans in a single bound?” Josh laughed out loud. “So what? No hero worth his salt would be threatened by that. And besides, I’m looking to win her heart, not throw down with her in a cage fight.” 

Actor Jay Tavare and his dog
I did a quick mental inventory of the books on my keeper shelf – and realized that there were a few heroes I loved who were not the magically-endowed half of the couple. I’d just never written about that situation before. So Josh got his chance in CHANGELING DAWN, and I couldn’t be happier. He proved to be one determined man, and everything a hero should be.

In fact, out of all the leading men I’ve written, Josh has become my favorite. (But don’t tell James and Connor…)

Excerpt from Changeling Dawn

Kenzie laughed. “So, I’ve been good and finished all my shopping. Do I get to go to the museum now?”

The museum, the moon, anywhere you want to go. “I don’t know—I think I should inspect what you bought and make sure it’s suitable.”

She clutched the lingerie bag to her in mock horror. Maybe not so mock… He grinned. “Okay, we’ll head out to the museum. And afterward we’re going to dinner. I’m starving.”

“You’re in a food court—how is that possible?”

“I’m a fan of real food, remember? Beside, I made reservations for us at a great place.”

“Reservations is such a strong word. Sounds an awful lot like a date. Which you will remember, I said I’m not doing with you.”

“You did say that. But that was before we bonded over shopping.”

“This was not true shopping. You consulted while I purchased necessary supplies. I’m not dating you.”

“Is that your final answer? Because you’re forcing me to pull out the big guns.”

“What big guns?”

“I have a new phone number on speed dial that you might find interesting.” He rattled it off and her mouth dropped open.

“Where the hell did you get that?”

“It’s not hard. You said your brother’s a veterinarian just like Stanton—and there aren’t many animal doctors in your little hometown. Two, to be exact, and they both work at the same clinic. I’ll just bet Dr. Connor Macleod would love to hear how you turned down a date with a good-looking veteran who has a respectable government job and owns his own house. You know how family works — you’ll never hear the end of it from your big brother. Maybe you’ll get lucky and he’ll tell your other three big brothers and they’ll all gang up on you. Not to mention your big sister.”

She folded her arms then and her chin came up. “I don’t care. Go ahead and call him. I’m not going out with you.”

“And then of course, there’s Mom and Dad, the sisters-in-law, great aunt, family friends…all of them wanting their little Mackenzie to be happy.”

“I am happy, dammit.” She looked like she was starting to sweat.

In slow motion, he pulled out his cell phone and poised his finger over a button…

“Okay, okay, you win. One — just one — date. But that’s all.” She didn’t look at Josh, just stalked off toward the nearest exit. “Do you get all your dates by blackmail?”

“Nope,” he said cheerily as he easily kept pace with her. “Only the ones that matter.”




Congrats to Kate B from Australia   

Kate's won a signed copy of Changeling Dawn plus a handy book tote to put it in.

Thanks to all my readers and friends and NEW friends who came by to read this post and a special thanks to those who left a comment. I love reading them!

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