#TacoTuesday

And we’re back for week 4 of building our book tacos. Check out the original post HERE for what this is all about and how you can join in. Remember, it’s never too late, just leave a pingback in the comments so I can read your post! Now, for the next layer…

Writing Menu

Cheese: Share a scene where one of your characters interacts with some kind of camera, photograph or video for any reason. If there are none, then share one of their funniest moments or dialogue pieces.

Pulling his classic beauty into the parking lot of Shades Soirée, Matt eyed the modern building with scrutiny. “Looks high end,” he remarked, as they climbed out. “Not very busy, though.”

He counted a total of five cars on their way to the entrance, which was locked.

“Nightclub only,” Zach tapped the smoky glass to the left of the doors displaying the club’s hours of operation.

“We only need to talk to staff right now, anyway.”

They found the service entrance for deliveries around the left side of the building and pressed the call button.

“Yeah?” A male voice crackled over the intercom a second later.

“MCPD, is there a manager on site?” Matt asked.

Silence followed. Zach elbowed him and thrust his chin upward. “Smile.”

Matt pulled his badge off his belt and stuck it right into the camera lens. “Cheese.”

~ Shades Soirée (Matron City Trilogy #2)

Readers Menu

Cheese: Name a favorite book/series that had to do with photography, acting, reporting or any other camera-related theme – OR – where the humor was so off the charts you found yourself ‘cheesing’ through 90% of it.

CoverNakedInDeathJDRobbI either can’t recall or have never actually read a book where the main character or theme dealt with cameras. However, one of my favorite series, the In Death series by J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts) has a sub-character who makes an appearance or two in almost every book, because she’s the only reporter the main character, Eve Dallas, trusts. Not only is Nadine Furst a memorable supporting character, her and Eve’s banter is always humorous, so I think that qualifies.

If you haven’t ventured into Nora Roberts’ alter ego, J.D. Robb, with her In Death series, I highly recommend it. You get the same amazing writing style she’s known for with a lot more edge, steamier sex scenes and a full cast of characters you’ll fall head over heels for. If you like crime novels, murder mysteries and endless snarky banter, these are definitely books for you. Although each novel is a stand alone, and each homicide case is different, I highly recommend starting from the beginning with Naked In Death, because the series deals with the same characters, whose lives and relationships continue to evolve with each new book.

Don’t forget – If you’re reading this, you’re officially tagged!

 

Next week’s ingredient: Lettuce!

Lettuce for the writer: Anytime money was used, stolen, given, exchanged or was otherwise the main topic of conversation in a significant way.

Lettuce for the reader: Share a favorite book/series where money played a significant role in dialogue, the story line, or was used as a thrilling plot twist. (The more unique the situation, the bigger the cool points).

#ReadWithMe ♥ Finding My Genre

readwithme3In celebration of National Reading Month, Ms. Felicia is hosting this amazing blog hop for all readers to spread the love and joy of this favorite pastime with the world. If you’d like to join in the fun, please click on the banner above to add your post to the linky list!

The Novel Brick Road

Every reader develops differently, but it seems that we eventually come to a specific genre that calls to us more than any other. Even if we take brief detours, we come back to the one genre that always puts a smile on our face.

My path to Erotic Romance is paved like a game of hopscotch, jumping genres back and forth and crossing wide gaps in random patterns. I’m not counting all the books I read as a kid or had to read for school. I’m talking about when I started taking control of my own reading choices.

It started off innocent enough. The reading bug coming to nestle in my brain, demanding that I find something to entertain it. My mom had a wide variety of books to choose from. She was a fan of Stephen King, Terry Brooks, Ann Rule and V.C. Andrews – I didn’t understand these were all different genres. They were just books! I read Clive Barker’s The Thief of Always and wanted to live in his brain, but it was really V.C. Andrews I became addicted to for quite some time. Luckily, my mom had plenty of her books to feed my obsession.

I went through a phase following this that I call the researching years. I wanted to know things, so my dad and I started going to the library on a regular basis. I love ancient Egypt. I have books and then I have BOOKS, as in large Coffee Table hardcovers spanning every dynasty of Ancient Egypt. I was going to become the next Howard Carter. I was 14. I was also going to be a supermodel, fashion designer and a Marine Biologist. Not necessarily in that order.

Around the same time, I got my first taste of the paranormal from the (now famous) author L.J. Smith and her Night World series, which includes the well known Vampire Diaries and Secret Circle. This was the first author I ever purchased from a book store with my own money. It was a big accomplishment in my life as an avid reader. I had never heard of L.J. Smith before, but I suddenly had options. Lots and lots of options!

It led to more research. With the help of Francis Ford Coppola, I became extremely interested in reading everything I could get my hands on about the truth behind the myth of Dracula and the real life Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia. It eventually led to me learning about the medical condition of Porphyria, which disenchanted my research, so I returned to my fiction. I read Anno Dracula by Kim Newman. My dad never would’ve let me check it out from the library if he’d known what it entailed. A fanfiction sequel of sorts to Bram Stoker’s masterpiece with all of the dirty details a Victorian era Englishman would never dare to write.

On the hunt for new material, I found Anne Rice and never looked back. As much as I loved L.J. Smith, I couldn’t return to what I suddenly realized was very YA in comparison. More than that, Anne opened my mind up to the world at large, sating my inner traveler and historian simultaneously.

I became obsessed again, and only wanted to read Anne Rice… until I couldn’t find anymore of her books and needed another loan – mind you, this was before the wonderful invention of eBook retailers. Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey was placed in my hand with a “You have to read this,” and so I fell headlong into the mind-blowing world of epic fantasy. Now, I remembered, vaguely, The Hobbit from when I was younger and my favorite movie The Last Unicorn. It was a bit nostalgic diving back into this kind of world – only better, because it was at an adult level without losing any of the wonder of magic.

My first book idea was born on the cusp of my 18th birthday, but not yet hatched… more on this later.

Over my young adult years I read a wide variety, even some non-fiction, but mostly it was keeping up with authors I already knew, like Rice and Lackey. Then I ended up with a Nora Roberts book (honestly can’t recall how) and found myself obsessed yet again. I wasn’t alone this time, though. My friends got on the same kick and we had a grand time swapping books, buying new ones to share, putting them on our birthday and Christmas wish lists and discussing them like crazy. I think between just 3 of us we might own almost 75% of the books she’s ever written… okay, maybe 50%. Nora was my first true Romance author and not what I’d been expecting. I had never even glanced at the ‘obvious’ romance books on the shelves with the bare-chested buccaneers and Scarlett O’Hara wannabe’s.

Having children gave me the perfect excuse to return to YA with Harry Potter, Narnia and Eragon… yes, the books, not the movies (though, I love those, too). My oldest also has some of the Immortal Instruments novels, which I’m very tempted to read since watching City of Bones.

Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb unwittingly led me to my first erotica series, though it falls further under the Crime/Detective genre, the sex scenes are explicitly detailed, whereas Nora Roberts’ usually aren’t. I think she sneaks it in every once in awhile.

I went through a stint where I felt left out from a pop-culture standpoint, because I’d never read any of the ‘literary classics’. So, I attempted the Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck and found it far too dry and boring (don’t hurt me), so I moved onto The Catcher in the Rye, which was entertaining, yet 100% pointless (again no hitting). Of Mice and Men left me emotionally damaged and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is a prophetic masterpiece that’s already coming true, therefore should be reclassified as non-fiction horror.

My first BDSM novel was Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey. Again, by ignorance. I thought it was just a fantasy. I was deliciously wrong. Later, I found out that Anne Rice also had other pseudonyms… and why. Exit to Eden followed by the Sleeping Beauty Chronicles added to my Erotic-BDSM shelf, Belinda borders on taboo and I haven’t finished reading it, but I think it might be along the lines of Nabokov’s Lolita – don’t quote me on that.

The ability to read an eBook helped open up the Erotic Romance genre for me even further when I became a reviewer for a friend’s reviewing site. It wasn’t long, though, before a new bug burrowed into my brain demanding to be fed – and I started writing…

But, I will save that for the next post. 😉

Are you still reading the same genre you first fell in love with, or perhaps the second? How many genres span your most cherished collection?

Book Tag: My Life In Books

mylifeinbooks

I found this on Felicia’s page, who found it on Didi’s, but it appears to be an ongoing blog tag, and too fun to pass up. Make sure to visit the other sites to see their answers!

Find a book for each of your initials. I’ve chosen these books from my ‘Read’ list on Goodreads.

CoverMOTO M – Moto by M. Never
coverenslavemesweetly E – Enslave Me Sweetly by Gena Showalter
coverlasher L – Lasher (Lives of the Mayfair Witches #2) by Anne Rice
covermicemen O – Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
coverdyingforaliving D – Dying For a Living by Kory M. Shrum

 

Y – I am now challenged to add a book beginning with Y to my ‘Read’ list!

Count your age along your bookshelf: What book is it?

The 39th book on my shelf is The Vampire Armand by Anne Rice (The Vampire Chronicles #6). It’s funny one of her books would come up in a post about my life in books, since I first discovered Anne Rice in a stack of old books when I was about 17. It was a dark green paperback with a small window showing a rundown Colonial mansion in NOLA. That was about 2 years before Interview With the Vampire hit the silver screen and by then, I was already fully invested in anything Anne Rice penned.

coverarmand

Pick a book set in your city/country.

The closest major city to me is Seattle. Home to Amazon, Boeing, Microsoft and 2 absurdly popular book series I will not be naming. Therefore, I choose Possession by Ann Rule. Referred to by many as the ‘foremost true crime writer in America’, Ann Rule is a former Seattle policewoman and based this fiction novel on a real event/crime that she later wrote about in her True Crime (non-fiction) series. I was quite young and naïve when I stole this off my mom’s bookshelf and was completely unprepared for the explicit, graphic details. If you like crime-thrillers that leave you questioning the human psyche, though, you might like this.

coverpossession

Pick a book that represents a destination you’d love to travel to.

Since Middle Earth, Narnia and Hogwarts probably don’t count, I chose The Right Path by Nora Roberts. Although, I would love to travel to many places, Greece and the Greek Isles are at the very top of my list, especially Santorini. Nora goes into beautiful scene setting with this novel, plus it’s full of suspense, action and one dangerously sexy Greek Tycoon, Nicholas Gregoras. Yum.

coverrightpath

Pick a book that’s your favorite color.

No matter how girly my mom tried to make me growing up, blue has always been my favorite color. To keep with the theme of ‘Shameless Self Promotion’ my predecessors have established, I chose my own book The Zen Lounge for this one. TZL is the first full-length, standalone (no cliffhangers) novel in the Matron City Trilogy. It’s a Futuristic Erotic Romance with heavy Crime/Detective influence. You can read the first chapter for free right here: Chapter One of The Zen Lounge

The Zen Lounge.Final.niina

Which book do you have the fondest memories of?

Dawn by V.C. Andrews. I read it when I was about 12 or 13 and it was my first real taste of a ‘grownup’ book, not to be confused with ‘adult novel’. It was my first non-YA fiction and I can still remember almost every detail – actually, of all the V.C. Andrews books I’ve ever read. She was another remarkable author that inspired me from a young age, especially in regards to character depth and development.

coverdawn

Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?

The Day of the Dolphin by Robert Merle, because it had little to no punctuation marks – anywhere. It was like one long, run-on sentence. Maybe it happened when it was translated from French? It took me forever to read because of this, but I don’t often stop reading a book once I’ve started. Curiosity vs. Cat= I don’t have many lives left.

coverdayofthedolphin

Which book in your TBR pile will give you the biggest accomplishment when you finish it?

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, because I know it’s going to put me through the ringer on every level. Literary classics tend to do that to me, which is why there are so many still on my TBR list. I actually started studying the Russian language, because I was hoping to read the original, rather than a translation, but I’m not that ambitious anymore. Yet, 407 pages of emotional upheavals, dark satire and mind-altering perspectives will undoubtedly feel like a major accomplishment once I’m through… I just hope I survive the aftermath.

covermaster

If you enjoyed reading this consider yourself tagged 🙂

Dear Indie ♥ Weekly Resource Post

Independent

First, a special announcement: Last week’s Dear Indie post got 13 likes on Twitter! I have never had a tweet get that much exposure before, so this is very exciting for me and I really hope it helped at least one Indie out of the 13! 😀

After linking that post on the launch page, I noticed that my posts aren’t really coming through in any sense of order – and sometimes having a simple step-by-step guide is so much nicer than trying to pinpoint resources spread throughout various posts. So, this week I’m going to go back to the basics and approach this from the place of a beginner, an aspiring Indie with no experience. That way you all can just jump in wherever it’s relevant to your personal journey.

A Step-by-Step Timeline for Self-Publishing

You’re an aspiring author with amazing stories to tell, filled with characters the world needs to meet. Right now, you think your only job is to write the first draft of that manuscript and then you’ll worry about everything else. – As one who has already made this mistake, I’m here to tell you that 90% of the work that needs to be done in order for your book to have the best chance at success, has to start right this instant.

Pre-Publication 101 (while you are still writing your masterpiece):

Step 1: Decide on your Author name and stick with it. How many famous authors do you know have multiple pseudonyms? Eventually, it gets out and their original author name ends up becoming the “Selling” name posted on their books. ex: Anne Rice writing as Anne Rampling. Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb. Always, their original name is in larger print on the cover than their second pen-name, because they’ve already established a fan base for the original, so it has become their “Brand” name. Most marketing experts today advise to stick with just one name and let it carry your books all the way through. Unless you’re writing both Childrens books and BDSM Erotica, there’s really no legitimate reason to use more than one name or have more than one website/blog – plus balancing multiple names and sites is simply more time you’re taking away from your writing!

  • Write your Author Bio and decide how you want to represent yourself. My best advice is to just be yourself, as lame as that sounds, people can generally spot a fake from a mile away. You don’t have to divulge your true identity to give people your genuine personality, if you’d rather stay anonymous. Just remember that your Author Name is the same as a company name, so how you conduct yourself online is how you are representing your company and your product (aka your books).
    • Authors of Fiction: Stick with what you’re selling and leave the rest for your ‘real identity’ pages. You do not have to share your views about sensitive topics on your author page in order to remain true to yourself. The people visiting your page are looking for the author of the books they love – not an update on the presidential campaign. If you need to rant or address something relating to your genre, the writing craft, etc. then by all means that would be better received by your followers. Just remember, your site is the professional place to promote your product – it’s not a soapbox.
    • Authors of Non-Fiction: If you’re writing about sensitive topics, politics, religion and/or current events, then soapbox away! That is what your author name and product is all about and the people coming to your page already know that, so have it!
    • ALL Authors: Never slander another author/book/genre on your page. It’s just bad form and possible career suicide.

Step 2: Once you have your name and bio in hand, your immediate next step is to start building your author platform. Your author name, whether legal or a pseudonym, is now your Brand. A Brand is a professionally marketed product. It is both who you are, and what you’re selling. The best part about this step is that it’s 100% FREE.

  • Start a Blog or Website: WordPress is the #1 blog site for writers with BlogSpot coming in 2nd, but there are new platforms on the rise like Wix.com. I don’t recommend Weebly, because it is practically unsearchable. If you don’t have your own domain name, the URL to your blog is a long string of numbers and letters that have nothing to do with your Author Name so won’t come up in the search results on Google or Bing. Spend time exploring to discover the best fit for you. If you want to own your domain right away, Godaddy is still the most popular place to purchase from.
    • The best way to get traffic to your blog is to cut out time each week or day for visiting other people’s blogs. Like, follow and comment on blogs and you might get followers and likes in return, but please don’t go on a Like-Spree just to get followers, be genuine! Most bloggers feel the same way about their time as you do and they’re not going to keep up with someone who doesn’t put any effort into the relationship. Just like in real life – you may never meet these people, but online, they are your friends and should be treated as such.
    • WordPress posts can be written in advance and scheduled to publish whenever you like, so you don’t have to be active on your blog 24/7 to be productive and keep your readers’ appetites fed. It doesn’t have to take a huge chunk out of your writing time.
  • Create an Author “Fan Page” on Facebook – this is different than a normal Facebook account/page, but very easy to set up.
  • Join Twitter and Instagram (the rest of the social media options are left up to you and how many you want to try to juggle.)
    • The rule of thumb for Twitter is to follow everyone back who follows you – but you will get hit with a lot of ‘fake’ accounts just looking to sell something, so take the time to look at their profile and make sure they’re a real person before following them back, or your Tweet feed will be filled with spam.
  • Sign into Crowdfire with your Twitter and/or Instagram account and use it to manage your social media without spending every second of every day trying to keep up – this program allows you to create as many Tweets and Instagram posts as you want in advance and assign them to a posting schedule, so you don’t feel pressured into pausing in your writing or guilty for your absence on social media. *Your personal preferences are your own, but I personally still respond to each and every follow or comment I get, I don’t have an ‘auto response’ set up, but that may be an option with this program, too. You’ll have to check.

Step 3: Create an account on Goodreads. As I stated in a previous post, Goodreads is the #1 spot for Indie support and resources. Take time to search through their groups and join those that fit your genre, as well as the Author and Indie Support groups. The combination will give you an endless supply of honest feedback, exposure and connections with professionals you may not find anywhere else. I found my best Beta Readers and my Editor on Goodreads – really, the sky is the limit on that site. Get critiques on your blurbs, bios, book covers, book trailers, anything and everything you may need a hand with! It is designed to help writers through the entire writing and publishing process, not just a place to promote your books after they’re already for sale.

  • Here is the direct link for the Goodreads Author Program. You can create a page for your upcoming books, it doesn’t have to already be published. Goodreads will generate a “Coming Soon” book icon for you.

Step 4: Let go of your Fears. Every new writer has the same exact fear as you about sharing their work with others. Let me explain to you why it is vitally important to let these following fears go:

  • It’s Still Rough / No One Will Like It: We are our #1 worst critic and #1 fan simultaneously, but getting feedback and constructive criticism on your novel is IMPERATIVE to your book’s success. You cannot see the forest through the trees, my friend – only an outsider can. Critique groups, Beta Readers and platforms like Wattpad can take your story from mediocre to spectacular in ways you can’t do on your own. You just have to let go of your fear of criticism and realize that it’s a necessary tool for your book. You want your story to be the absolute best it can be, right? The only way you’ll find out if it’s up to your reader’s expectations is to have them read it and give you that important feedback.
  • My Work/Idea Will Get Stolen: No, it won’t. First off, your idea is not original, I don’t care what you think – it’s already been done before. A famous trilogy about vampires that sparkle in the daylight is just a ‘new’ take on a non-original idea. It is not an ‘Original’ idea (vampire and werewolf stories are a dime a dozen). No one knows how well your story is going to sell, so why would they want to put the money and time out to edit, cover art, interior layout, publish and market your book as their own? Most Copyright cases that end up in court are only after an author has become a huge success, not before. And your work is 100% copyrighted from the moment you create it – registering it only protects you if you do wind up in court. But you probably have a better chance at winning the lottery than ever being taken to court over a copyright issue.
  • My Novel Will Get Pirated: Yep. It probably will and there’s nothing you can do about it, but guess what – that’s exposure you didn’t have to spend any of your marketing budget on so just take it as par for the course. Maybe it robbed you of a couple dollars worth of royalties, it just as likely saved you $50 on advertising. Say that person liked your book so much they came looking for more and were willing to spend this time around – what if they liked it so much, they told all of their friends about it and those people came looking to buy your books as a result? Whether you like it or not, piracy happens – so rather than fearing it – look at it as free marketing and exposure to audiences your book wouldn’t otherwise reach without dishing out money on ads.

Well, my friends, that is all I have for the very basic, preliminary steps. Next week, we’ll move onto the Post-Rough Draft/Pre-Publication phase. But first, here’s an additional resource I’d like to share:

The Best Article Ever Written About Twitter – Twitter for Authors, by T.K. Elliott: What it is, how it works and how best to use it to help build up your author platform!

Weekly Accomplishment: Collar Me Foxy has had 8 sample downloads from Smashwords! Thank you to all who have taken advantage of that feature! What are you celebrating this week? Let us know in the comment section below. 😀

Mind-Fracking

TAGFrackT-Shirt

Is it morphing or word-inventification?

Perhaps a year has passed since I responded to a Daily Prompt, but this one got me thinking.  The WP Guru’s want us to morph a common word into something new (in other words, add another slang word to the Urban Dictionary).  I get the process and as a writer, creating new slang can be so much fun, it’s downright distracting.  I’ve also seen it while reading the SciFi/Futuristic genres.  J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts) has characters that use “Frosty” or “Frosted” or “Iced” instead of plain ol’ “cool.”

While I was working at this place (yeah, that place) during a rare snowy winter for this area, I entered the building with red-tipped everything, my teeth chattering so hard that when my coworker asked the ridiculous question if it was cold outside, I couldn’t get the word “freezing” out of my mouth, so opted for “frigid.” It’s shorter.  In here lies the problem with creating new slang… my coworker just happened to be English and apparently, while not exclusively British slang, there is only one use for the word “frigid” in the UK.  She gasped at me like I’d shouted something not as politically correct as PENIS, then with red cheeks informed me that Frigid is a girl who’s like a cold fish in bed (yes, that kind of “in bed”).  That’s it, end of story, no exceptions.  I refrained from pointing out that we weren’t in the UK when I chattered the word through very frigid teeth and gums.

On top of potentially morphing a word that has already been reassigned various meanings in countless foreign lands, I personally enjoy the creative process of just making shit up – or at least using combos never heard before within my personal realm.  So, in answer (at long last) to today’s prompt: I nominate Mind-Fracking.  More likely word-inventification than morphing, unless you take into consideration that it morphs two words into one fabulous replacement for Gobsmacked, Mind-F*cked or Flabbergasted.

But which kind of Fracking, you ask?   Frack (Frak) as in the profanity replacement for F*ck made most famous in shows like Battlestar Galactica, Babylon 5 & Eureka (Fargo’s fave) – don’t judge me, I’m totally that geeky girl – OR – Fracking, as in “hydraulic fracturing” used during oil drilling?

D) All of the above.  Either way works, because when you’re that über “MIND-FRACKED” it feels like your hamster wheel’s been pulverized by something that drills a hole first before releasing potentially dangerous, pressurized liquid into it.

Happy TGIF!

Throwback Thursday With a Twist

On this day, one year ago, I wrote this post Into the Darkside which talked about the different types of villains.  Today, I’d like to talk about the different types of heroes.  It used to be that heroes were set in stone in the romance genre.  They had to be benevolent, compassionate, understanding, well endowed and most importantly, suffering from ‘White Knight’ syndrome.  The ones that really made us vomit swoon, were those that could fight off a whole army single-handedly while spouting poetry!  I really do not miss those guys!

Nowadays when you pick up a romance novel, especially of the erotic variety, you’re more likely to get a hero with more baggage, scars, and possible bounties on their heads, than the heroine.  They’re still Alpha males, some even more so than their predecessors, but they’re gritty, vulgar, twisted and either emotionally cut off or just closed mouthed – as in, they don’t want to burden their girl with their garbage, thus tend to screw everything up, because they’re too afraid to share.  In other words, more realistic.

Of course, our heroines have seen their own evolution from damsels in distress to independent damsels in really bad situations they’re determined to get themselves out of, if only the hero would stop distracting them with their naughty charm, hawt bods and bad-boy attitudes!  Gaw, fer realz dude, can you just go away for a second?

So, the following are my views on the different types of Heroes in the modern romance era:

The Guy Next Door Hero

Tribute

Cilla & Ford Sawyer from the Lifetime Movie “Tribute” based off the novel by Nora Roberts. RIP Brittany Murphy 😦 (Read the book! The movie was not the same!) image source: http://www.ew.com

Think Ford Sawyer from Nora Roberts’ novel Tribute (if you haven’t read it, dew it now).  He’s kind of handy, mostly  geeky, just as bashful as he is persistent.  His jokes can be cheesy, but his mind is quick and witty.  He’s always coming up with a new plan to get the heroine’s attention, which is either a complete disaster or absolutely charming.  He doesn’t have a lot of baggage, and usually gets along great with his family except for maybe that one cousin.  He loves kids, dogs and knows how to man a grill.  Everyone in town knows him and loves him, the heroine will have no choice but to fall for this guy, because let’s face it, there’s nothing about this hero that doesn’t absolutely rock in all of the best ways.  The sweet, steadily smoldering ways – oh and did I mention that all of that goofy, smiling, steak-maestro awesomeness is actually hiding a pornstar in bed?  Yeah… it’s always the quiet ones.

The Rustic / Cowboy Hero

Let’s face it, there is NOTHING this guy can’t do!  He can climb mountains, build shelters in the woods with his bare hands and survive by only his endless knowledge of the wilderness.  He can track, hunt, wrestle anacondas and perform better first aid than most EMT’s, with none of their supplies.  He’s the new model upgrade of MacGyver, he’s the Jason Bourne of the wild.  On a ranch, he is the master, the cattle bow at his boots at feeding time.  He wrestles steers with the same perfection he wrestles his cowgirl into bed – or into the hay, whichever!  He is never clumsy, never wrong, always consistent and sturdy – yet, never prepared for the one who’ll knock him out of his saddle and leave him begging for more.

The Serve & Protect Hero

firemen

image source: pinterest.com

Calling all Firefighters!  What’s not to love about these guys?  They have their own calendar for the love of Pete!  (I think Pete was April?) Anyway, these guys might be a little haunted, there might have been that one house fire they couldn’t get to in time that ended tragically, or they lost someone in a fire, which is what inspired them to run down to the local station and volunteer.  Nine times out of ten, they come from a long line of firefighters, it’s a family thing.  They’re honorable and loyal to a fault, and come with an entire group of friends their love interest has to adopt like an extended family.  They’re the beer-chugging, sport’s loving, hanging out at the local pub kind of guy that has ‘kicked back’ and ‘level-headed’ down to a science.  But they’re hawt and fearlessly driven and don’t take no for an answer in the pursuit of the one that catches their eye.

policeman

Mmm anyone remember him as Mason Lockwood? I sure do! image source: pinterest.com

Hellooooo, Mr. Police Officer.  Like their firefighter counterparts, these heroes are honorable and loyal, but their dedication runs in different directions.  They can also be far more haunted from the things they’ve seen out on the streets, dealing with the darker sides of humanity, the monsters that roam around with pretty faces.  They’re tenacious and highly intuitive, not much gets past their super cop senses.  They can be loners, just as easily as they can be family-oriented, but they have no qualms taking down one of their own that’s gone off the lawful path.  Justice is their single-minded pursuit, even after their love interest enters the picture.  They’re just as protective as they are guarded, hardheaded and closed-mouthed, they usually struggle with letting their love interest into their lives.

The Military Hero

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image source: pinterest.com

There are two types of military hero, but no matter which branch he’s from, he’s usually got some memory haunting him.  The first type is the ever-loyal to his brother’s and sister’s in arms hero.  He still believes in the cause, may even be a war hero of some kind, though probably suffers from survivor’s guilt.  He might specialize in something, like flying medevac choppers or doing recon, but he’s a hero to just about everyone who knows him and when he finds his love interest, they’ll complete his life and give him the happiness and peace he needs to feel balanced.

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Call of Duty: Ghosts (the gamer in me couldn’t resist) image source: pinterest.com

The second type of military hero is the Black Ops or some other elite military security one that doesn’t necessarily play by anyone’s rules.  He’s got ‘damaged goods’ written all over him.  There are horrors he can’t scrub out of his mind, no matter how many bottles of Jack he goes through, or how many successful ops he runs that actually saves lives, nothing will erase the ghosts of his past.  He’ll fight falling in love tooth and nail, because he doesn’t believe he deserves it and most of all, doesn’t want all of his sins tainting the perfection of his love interest.  He usually takes out all of his pain and aggression on some poor sap in an underground UFC arena and can withstand any amount of torture, because he’s already been there, done that and feels dead inside.  His love interest will save him from the murky abyss of his misery.

The Supernatural Hero

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Demon Dean Winchester image source: pinterest.com

This hero can come from anywhere and from any mythos ever known to man.  He can be a demon or an angel, a vampire or a werewolf, can shift into a dragon or control peoples minds telepathically.  He’s a God or a demigod, an elemental spirit or the son of the boogieman.  There is no limit to what the supernatural hero can be or do, but he is undoubtedly right in the midst of a battle between good and evil that could possibly destroy the world as we know it, when he stumbles upon his love interest, who by some mythical force of nature is either his ‘mate’ or harbors some dormant supernatural gene that will ensure they end up together for all eternity.  If he’s a vampire, he’ll change his beloved, but only when their life is on the line, because he would never inflict someone he loves with his damned curse.  There are far too many variations to the supernatural hero to list them all, but one thing is usually typical with these guys and that’s that they kick major booty, have supremely gorgeous features and physiques, and usually have to deal with the trauma of their love interest being introduced to a supernatural world their brains are trying to deny being possible.

The Billionaire Hero

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One of the most popular heroes in the erotic romance genre these days, he’s suave, arrogant, business savvy, filthy farkin’ rich and always gets what he wants, because… duh, he can afford it.  This hero has major trust issues, because everyone in his life is utterly shallow, so he’s emotionally closed off, but very active in his pursuit for pleasure.  Everything is done on his terms and he tends to be an adrenaline junkie.  He wants satisfaction frequently and quickly.  His love interest will be far off his normal type, though he’ll pursue them with the same tenacity he would pursue a much desired business transaction.  Usually, their heart will go to someone who comes from a completely different background and is able to give them something real, rather than more Botox-injected falseness, but it will take them awhile to trust any of it.  They’ve been scorned before and refuse to be suckered again.  On the other side, some billionaire heroes fall fast, but have no idea how to win their love interest over, because all of their typical tactics aren’t working.  Nine times out of ten, their beloved can’t be persuaded by fancy baubles or expensive dinners, they not only don’t care about their hero’s riches, they’re intimidated by it and would rather it not even be such an enormous division between them.

The Alien Hero

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Hey, he’s an alien AND a superhero, every girl’s wildest dream… right? image source: answerbag.com

Like their villain counterpart, this is fairly self-explanatory, and about as endlessly diverse as the supernatural hero.  He comes from a planet not of our own and while humanoid in appearance – or even human by some science fiction explanation – he comes equipped with abilities and/or technology we measly Earthlings don’t have.  And he’s hawt, cuz it just wouldn’t be a romance novel if he wasn’t.

The Dominant Hero

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Mmm… one of my personal favorites.  The Dom hero has nearly as many choices as the supernatural and alien heroes, because these guys tend to come from many different backgrounds and found themselves in the BDSM lifestyle for all different kinds of reasons. He may or may not carry the burden of some past scars, he may or may not be a billionaire, and he may or may not be a sadist.  The “bedroom only” Dom likes to add a little bondage and spanking to spice up his lover’s pleasure, but is otherwise a fairly typical guy during the rest of the story.

The Ultimate Dominant hero is the epitome of self-controlled, highly confident, eerily intuitive and wickedly creative.  He is in control of the situation at all times and lives by a strict list of rules and/or ethics he never breaks.  Despite his outward appearance, he still has a sense of humor and loves to laugh, but he lives for introducing his beloved to the kinkier sides of pleasure and amps “possessive” up to a whole new, non-negotiable level.  No matter how much they need to feel in control at all times, their heart usually goes to the one that makes them feel completely out of it.  They also have an arsenal of naughty tricks up their sleeves that they waste no time using against their prey ‘sub’ in order to ruin them for any future lovers.  Their pleasure knows no bounds and they know exactly how to use it as a weapon, just as much as a tool to get what they want.  But just any other hero, when they fall, it’s usually wrapped around their beloved’s heart and mind, more than their bodies.

And last, but not least:

The Villain Hero

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Ex-con, jewel thief, pretend Sheriff, ex-Ukrainian mob thug, always blurring the lines between right and wrong… what’s not to love? Lucas Hood on Cinemax’s series: Banshee

Yes, the other side of the coin for the Hero Villain that I listed in my original post.  The Villain Hero is a genuine lost cause.  He has so many flaws, scars, emotional baggage, he is only one step lower than the second military hero described above, because he has done many, many horrible things that he’s either not proud of, or doesn’t care either way, because it was all part of his plot of vengeance for some greater crime committed against him or someone he loved.  And love is definitely not an emotion he believes in.  He knows he’s gonna go down swinging and he’s ready for it, but not until his plans have been completed.  He is on a mission and will do everything in his power to ignore, sidestep or get rid of his love interest, so they can’t distract him from his path.  His love interest will be one of two types: the one that is just as damaged as he is and they find some kind of solace in their missions together – or – the one that makes him uncomfortable with his own sins and offers him some kind of hope for redemption.  One way or another, the Villain Hero will alter his Devil May Care attitude and eventually allow himself the possibility for love, but every time he tries to do something right, it ends up being wrong, either by his own misstep or some outside force.  It’s a long, treacherous road ahead for this ragged hero.

Well, there it is folks, my take on the modern romance hero.  I purposely left out the Historical Romance Hero, because I have no idea how those fellas have evolved over the decades, as I don’t typically read that genre, but anyone who’d like to leave their own description in the comments below are more than welcome!  Also, I apologize if I left out your personal favorite type of hero, but feel free to add him to the list!

No matter what your favorite hero’s type is, there’s one thing for certain: getting over a book boyfriend is such as hard thing to do!

Happy Throwback Thursday!