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Would a shuttle driver make a good romance hero? with Rebecca E. Grant

My special guest today is fellow Carina Press author, Rebecca E. Grant. If you enjoy a contemporary cowboy romance, check out her latest release, Liberty Starr. Today Rebecca is talking about one of my favorite things–the romance hero. Tall, dark and a shuttle driver?

What do you think—would a shuttle driver make a good romance hero?

I hope you’ll leave a comment about your idea of a good romance hero here on Shelley’s blog today. All commenters will be included in the drawing for a free copy of my contemporary cowboy romance, LIBERTY STARR.

While you’re thinking about that question, last week I was taking an 8:00 AM shuttle bus from the Walt Disney Dolphin Hotel in Orlando where the Romance Writers of America conference had just wrapped up, to the airport. It was crammed full of romance writers. I should have been exhausted—we all should have been exhausted. But the energy on that bus was high—even though the temp topped out at over 100—the humidity was beastly, and the hour was early, after a late night—all because it was a great conference, and romance writers love what they do!

Even the ride to the airport was fantastic. I had the best seat on the bus—first seat on the passenger’s side with a bird’s eye view of our driver—a fabulously sexy, man from the Caribbean with amazing eyes, a tall, slender body and the sexiest…well, you know…sexiest everything!

I will admit I was unabashed about staring blatantly at him because physically, he was the perfect model for a romantic hero. He must have felt me watching him because he turned around and gave me a slow smile.

“Hot,” he said.

Too bad he was talking about the weather.

“Yes.” I agreed. “And that was a lot of luggage you slung under the bus.”

He ripped a paper towel off a roll he took from under the seat and wiped his forehead and the back of his neck. “I’ve never seen so much luggage. Must’ve been a lot of free giveaways at this conference.”

I smiled and nodded, seriously not trusting my voice—he was that good looking. He turned away and picked up a gallon jug of water, snapped the cap off and took a long pull. I watched the way his mouth fit over the opening of the jug—the undulations of his throat as he swallowed, and couldn’t help but imagine what his mouth would feel like—taste like.

He caught my eye in the mirror, lowered the jug and said, “Vodka.” He winked.

I chuckled. It wasn’t original, but it was entertaining. Encouraged, he picked up the microphone and treated us to a running diatribe of interesting facts and stories about the area. He was so engaging, someone called out from the middle of the bus, “you should do stand-up.”

He smiled at me through the mirror and said, “What do you think this is?”

About half-way to the airport he asked me, “What conference was this?”

This time I grinned—I haven’t met anyone yet who is indifferent to a romance writer. “Romance Writers of America.”

He reached for his jug, swallowed spectacularly again for me, and asked, “All of you are romance writers?”

I nodded.

“How do you conduct your research?” He asked. Again, not original—what romance writer hasn’t heard that one? But he was beyond sexy. He was compelling.

I decided to play with him a little. “Exactly as you imagine.”

He took another swallow and was momentarily quiet. I could see his mind working. Finally, he picked up the microphone and began to talk again, this time tailoring all his fun facts and stories to romance writers. Much of it centered around how romance authors conduct their research—and where. He was just short of crossing the line, with extraordinary timing, and an engaging laugh.

Needless to say, it was a fast ride to the airport, and I’m confident his tips attested to the fact that not only was he relentlessly sexy, he had a razor-sharp wit.

So, back to my original question. Do you think a shuttle bus driver would make a good hero?

When I got off the bus he asked, “Where do you get your ideas?” (only slightly different from the research question, but this time I knew he was serious).

I was serious too, when I answered, “Sometimes they come to me in dreams. Sometimes they just show up when I put my fingers to the keyboard. And sometimes,” I grinned, “it happens when I’m taking a shuttle to the airport.”

“Really? I could be a character in one of your books?”

“Trust me,” I told him. “You already are!”

Liberty StarrThanks for joining me at Shelley’s blog today. Don’t forget to leave a comment about your idea of a compelling hero, and why. You might just be the lucky winner of a free copy of LIBERTY STARR.

Click here for an excerpt from LIBERTY STARR
Click here to read reviews of LIBERTY STARR

Visit my website to read excerpts from books coming soon.

All the best to you,
Rebecca E. Grant

Love is Unstoppable!
follow me on Twitter: @RebeccaEGrant
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Negative Traits for Heroes

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Negative Traits For Heroes

I’m pondering book nine in my Middlemarch Mates series and the heroes in particular. Of course, it goes without saying that the heroine will love her two heroes to bits and think they’re the best thing since the invention of sliced bread (maybe even chocolate) but they need to be well-rounded. They need to be human. They need faults along with their positive traits. So, here are thirteen possibles for my heroes.

1. Overbearing.

2. Too flirtatious with other females.

3. Smug or boastful.

4. Too arrogant.

5. Possessive or prone to jealousy.

6. Selfish.

7. Moody – prone to dark moods or temperamental.

8. No sense of humor.

9. Impractical.

10. Manipulative.

11. Impatient.

12. Restless or quickly bored.

13. Fails to plan adequately.

Of course, these traits can be applied to women as well. I could also include things like obsessed with sex, speeds in car, leaves dirty clothes all over the floor, gambles or smokes, swears too much, burps or farts in public, hogs conversation.

Which vices/negative traits do you think are good for heroes in novels and in particular in romances? Do you have more suggestions for me? Do you like heroes to have large faults or do small ones work better for you?

Country Boy or City Sophistication?

So this track was playing on my iPod while Scotty and I wandered at our old-dog pace around the reserve this morning. It made me start thinking. Possibly a bad thing, but follow along…

I’m a country girl at heart, and my husband also grew up on a farm. The farming background gives us a lot in common. But I’ve also lived in towns and cities and met city boys. Their idea of dates are different for a start. A country man might take you to a rodeo, to an agricultural show or stock sales. Dinner out might be at the local pub and jeans are fine. In the city, dates are to nightclubs, nice restaurants or maybe a walk in a park. There are art galleries and museums and sexy dresses. Spiky heels that áre in no danger of sinking halfway to China when you walk beside your man. Try that in the country and see what happens!

In most of my writing, and especially in my Middlemarch series, the heroes are all country boys. Strong, capable farmers who don’t need to work out in a gym. An exception to this rule would be PLAYING TO WIN where my hero is a professional rugby player and businessman. He does a lot of promotion and charity work and is at home wearing a suit. While my Middlemarch men could do the suit thing, they’re more at home in the wide open spaces.

I like to read about both types of heroes, but I have a real soft spot for a cowboy, country male type. I like them because they’re independent, capable, usually emotionally strong and can turn their hand to anything. They’re not generally full of themselves. Maybe they’re not quite as good at romance, but we know the right woman can smooth the rough edges.

What do you think about real life – country man or a city man and why? And in fiction – which do you choose? Is your answer different and why?

This year Harlequin is celebrating sixty years of romance. They’re giving away free downloads of sixteen titles that represent most of their lines. If you haven’t checked out their free offer yet, run straight over and download the titles that grab your interest. I’ve already downloaded my share.
Here’s the link.