Category: Heroes


A Wizard’s Intro

Hey guys. I’m Caleb, Nikki’s current victim while she lets BD stew in his bitterness.

BD, I have to say, why are you inviting Nikki into your life? Has it been so long that you’ve forgotten how mena she can be to us? I think she likes to be especially cruel to us men. Like maybe she has something against us.

Yeah, I’m sure you’re thinking you want some resolution, and I guess I get that. Hell, I probably get that better than a lot of Nikki’s guys. But trust me when I say you may be getting off on the easier side.

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Invisibility…A Bitter Character’s Take

You know, there have been times in my life I’ve thought having the power to turn invisible would be cool. Lately, well a lot longer than just lately actually, I’ve been thinking I possess the power without knowing it. And I don’t like it a damn bit.

My name is BD Harte. I am one of the first characters to come into Nikki’s life and though she insists she still loves me, and she insists she has plans for me and my sexy heroine Maggie, she has yet to make me a priority. So I ask you, what does it take to get a little attention around here? Am I screwed because I don’t have some special paranormal ability? I’m not a witch or wizard or weremoose. I’m just a regular man wanting to catch a killer and find a happy ending. Does she not pay attention to me because she’s lost a fondness thanks to the shine and glitz of the new characters entering her world?

I’m thinking the reason doesn’t matter as much as her actions. Isn’t that the right cliche – actions speak louder than words? Well, I’m sick and damn tired of the lip service Nikki has been paying me. I want action. No more of the “Yes, I know you’re there” or “Just give me a little more time” and “I’m still working on my plan for you.” I’ll give you a plan, Nikki. It requires action on your part. Get to my story already. Prove you love me and Maggie. Prove your intentions behind your plans, because I’m losing faith in you.

Sincerely fed up,
BD

Five Lessons Couple Can Learn From Sitcoms

Hey guys! I’m so excited to have a new blogger here today. If you read SCENT OF PERSUASION you met Trevor Masters. If not, well you get to meet him today because he’s agreed to do a blog for me and I love what he’s done.

There isn’t much to do in a hospital bed except think and watch limited channels of television. Even in a coma that’s about the only thing to do, because trust me when I tell you coma patient’s are aware of what’s going on in their room. At least I was. I think that was the worst “rest” I ever had.

People talk. Parents try to hide the worry shaking their voices. Best friends talk about the company they’re running in your absence, and you can’t tell them if they’re doing a good or bad job. (I got lucky with Breck.) The nurses chatter and leave the TV turned on for company. It’s like they’re terrified you’re going to wake up alone and become suicidal. Or maybe they only had that fear for me since they thought suicide was my reason for being there, which is wasn’t but that’s a story for a different time. A complicated one from what I’ve heard.

I did notice the nurses seem to have some favorite shows. One nurse would actually sit in my room watching sitcoms and commenting on the truth of different interactions. She is the inspiration for this post. Well, her and my hope to one day track down the woman who continues to evade me.

So what are five lessons couples can learn from sitcoms?

1. Don’t keep score. Unless the score card is a tally of mistakes the wife makes and actually turns out to serve as the scrapbook of your time together (considering the lack of pictures after she dropped the camera in the Grand Canyon.)

2. Enjoy the arguments. Especially the ones about whether or not to tell your kids the truth of Santa, the tooth fairy or the Easter Bunny. If you think about it, a lot of arguments are pretty funny even in real life.

3. Take risks. An outrageously offensive email could be just what’s needed to discover an inner deviant, but that’s a secret best kept behind your closed door. Some of those outrageous moves can land you in a relationship you’ve been longing for. Fingers crossed my own plans work how I hope they will.

4. Be willing to admit you’re wrong. The mistake could be big or small but taking responsibility without humiliating your significant other or damaging their dignity could make you out to be the hero. I know as men we all want to be our woman’s hero. Is it really such a big deal to say “Sorry”?

5. Laugh. Even when the scores are being tallied adn the arguments are wailing in the walls. Laugh when that outrageous act turns into something great. And love when your significant other makes that gesture that brightens your day.

Love is too fleeting to hold on to the petty smallness that can wedge us apart.

A Surprise from Ian Cabrera

So, I talked last week about how I was going to miss Ian while I was out of town with Nikki. I was looking forward to the trip, but was all geared up for some bummed out moments. At the parties I would miss Ian touching me when we danced. At night I would miss him holding me in bed. At breakfast I would miss playing footsies under the table and the way his eyes spark when he laughs at something I say, but I knew he wouldn’t want to be at a Reader Appreciation Weekend with 200 women.

Or so I thought.

My man showed up a few hours after me, never having said a word about his plans to be there. Now, he didn’t hang out with us much, but what sane man would want to? Though he did miss getting to see some uber hot and sexy outfits. Not that I minded his lack of ogling. 🙂

RAW was a blast and Nikki stayed very busy entertaining her readers by dancing and laughing and riding the mechanical bull at the bar down the street. The amazing thing to many people seemed to be that she willingly acted crazy without courage from a bottle. lol

But as much fun as I had, I am thrilled my man came to be with me. His willingness to endure the giggles and squeals and screams is just another reason I love him.

Characters Can Tick You Off

I know it is normally out of character, pun intended, to just chat about our characters, but I thought I would today. I have been working on my next Harmless book, and I thought a few characters would be the first Harmelss menage story. Sadly, on my way home from THE HAPPY PLACE, I heard two songs. One was Colbie Caillat’s I Never Told You. Right there, I knew whatever story was coming to me would be a reunion story. And I realized that it was a reunion story about Devon, a character who has popped up in the present Harmless story. I thought he would be the second guy of a menage. Then, his heroine came screaming to me in Sara Evan’s new release, A Little Bit Stronger. I knew then that these two had a history and I can imagine just what it was. Devon is one of those standup guys and I have a feeling that he walked away to “save her,” but doesn’t tell her anything else. Yeah, that is going to go over so well when she runs into him again.

It pissed me off. Honestly, I was grumpy for about half an hour afterward. I wanted Devon to be part of a Jess/Zeke menage, but there is one thing I have learned through my years of writing is not to force things. I need to go with the flow of writing, what feels right, and as aggravating as it is, I am going to let it happen the way they want it to happen. I might be pissy about it for the next few days…months, but I know now that Devon’s story is one of sacrifice.

Characters have a mind of their own. Granted, it took me a few years to understand that. Being the Capricorn that I am, I like to control. I like everyone to march to my drummer, and you better do it the way I tell you! So, writing really departs from my normal control issues. It took me a few years to realize I have to allow things to happen. If you do not understand how the Capricorn mind works, that is a HUGE step. Ask my husband. As a military wife, I rarely have control over anything, so I drive him crazy over the small things I can control. But, I digress…

When I finally let my characters talk to me, allow them to lead me to where they want to go, my writing grew. I am a character driven writer. I think that you can have the best plot in the world, but it is boring as hell if the characters are boring.  Just my humble opinion. Now, do I let them have control over the plot? Hell, no. What do you take me for, a CANCER? Lord, no. But I do allow their personalities to come through. So, here is my first mini interview with Devon King.

~~~~~~~~~~

Devon King is a man with a lot to be thankful for. He is the creator of Strike Force One, the top selling computer game of 2008, and his newest release, King’s Dominion, is slated for release next spring. The presales are beating every record set before him which has will increase his wealth. With his diverse holdings, no one is quite sure how much he is worth, but it reaches into the billions. He is a gorgeous one, with dark hair, sharp blue eyes and a muscular build. At six foot, he is an imposing figure. He shows very little emotion other than cynical amusement.

ME: So, I understand you used to be in the CIA.

DEVON: Classified.

:::I roll my eyes:::

Me: I was thinking you would be part of my story of Jess and Zeke.

::: One dark eyebrow raises:::

Devon: Not that I wouldn’t join in the fun…

:::I sigh:::

Me: And just what are you holding out for? I mean, you like Jess, that much is obvious and she is definitely into you and computer games. Hell, she is turned on by the fact that you hacked into the FBI database.

:::his lip curls up on one side and I feel the power of it all the way to my toes:::

Devon: Yeah? Well, still not for me.

Me: Then who is for you?

:::Devon’s eyes flicker with regret. But it is gone in the next instant.:::

Devon: Not everyone has a soulmate.

:::With that, he leaves me and totally pisses me off:::

~~~

So, you can see we are going to have a bumpy road together<G>.  But, I just wanted to give you a glimpse into the life I lead with my PITA characters.

Downtown Disney Isn’t Magical For the Blind Man

I talked Ian into blogging today. When I was in Florida this week, he and Kieralyn joined me for an afternoon in downtown Disney for some shopping. And we all know men aren’t really keen on shopping to begin with. Ian seemed to be even less keen than most. He tries to blame me. It was really Kieralyn who got crazy carried away. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 

I will give Disney props for making things easier on a blind man by having a Braille map of the place, but that’s where the simplicity ended. For that, I do blame you, Nikki.

You and Kieralyn both failed to mention she was a compulsive collector of all things Disney. And why, why, would they put that Christmas store right inside the gates where they drop people off? You women LOVE Christmas. Even your friend Heather, who I’d thought would be level-headed got giddy and excited and oohed and aahed over things in that place.

The Christmas store. The hunt for anything Peter Pan. The hunt for Donald Duck. The kids running around the toy stores hopped up on the thrill of wanting another toy and another and another. The dads arguing with the moms, begging them to please not bankrupt them with yet another toy. Me begging Kieralyn to please not bankrupt us, or buy so much there was no room for us in the car.

You know she is still trying to sort out everything she bought? I can’t walk in the house without bumping into more Disney things she has spread out. And I think I’m a little grateful I can’t see the mess. I wouldn’t like it at all.

I’ll give you this much, though. You know how to pick a restaurant for lunch. That crab was amazing. And the spread they gave you with crackers? Kieralyn has made a large batch of it for us. That alone probably made the trip worthwhile. But I’m not about to go back real soon.

You’re right, Ian. That lunch was amazing. And don’t worry about the Disney goodies. Kieralyn will have them sorted out and put away soon. She’s as OCD as I am that way. And at least she’s making you that spread. That was great. And even with your torment, you were a blast to hang out with. It’s always fun to catch up with you.

SOUNDS TO DIE BY, Ian and Kieralyn’s story, releases in Print today! Buy it now!

Interview with Ian Cabrera and Kieralyn Beckett

I tried to catch up to Ian and Kieralyn for an updated interview before hitting the road to RWA Nationals, but we couldn’t all connect, so I thought I’d post this earlier interview with them. Some of you may have already seen it on my website, but they’re still fun.

Their story releases in print next Tuesday, so we’ll be meeting to come up with something fun up with them then. 🙂


Nikki
: Thank you guys for meeting with me today.
Kieralyn: It’s always fun to spend time with you.
Ian: Next time, trap me someplace public.
Kieralyn: If you weren’t so against people coming to the house I wouldn’t have had to trick you. You’re too much of a recluse.
Ian I’m not a recluse.
Kieralyn: You are when it comes to company coming over.
Ian: Just keep that in mind when you get it in your head to make friends.

And here I thought Ian was just protective of his lab. LOL I’m not fooled though. He’s no recluse. He wants to be with her. He hasn’t moved more than a foot from her side since I showed up–and not because he sees me as a threat.

Nikki: Ian, the first time that Kieralyn came into your lair–I mean lab– what was going through your mind?
Ian: Are you kidding? I was just pissed that she’d interrupted me. The woman needs to learn her boundaries. (Ian turns and shakes his head and Kieralyn, but he’s smiling.)
Kieralyn: I need to learn boundaries? Do you not remember your inability to recognize boundaries that night we went to the jazz club?
Ian: As if you minded my hands.
Kieralyn: Not the point, and then there were your innuendos.
Ian: Again, as if you minded. Do you recall where we ended up that night?
Kieralyn: Very well, thank you. But Nikki didn’t come to hear about that.

As if I need to hear about it. One look at Kieralyn’s face tells me they ended up in bed.

Nikki: Kieralyn, what were you thinking when you first met Ian?
Ian: She was too busy thinking about how hot I am to think. (Kierlyn slaps Ian and rolls her eyes.)
Kieralyn: You know, that meeting didn’t start out so well. I wasn’t in the most accomodating of moods.
Ian: HA! That’s putting it mildly. You were insulting.
Kieralyn: And you were an arrogant jerk. (Kierlyn turns back to me.) I was certain he wasn’t going to help, and I couldn’t get a read on him. He keeps it very dark in his lab.
Ian: It’s not like I need light.
Kieralyn: True. Besides you look very sexy and sort of eerie when the lights from your control panel hit your eyes and the shadows of your face.
Ian: See, I told you she noticed I’m hot.

And he is very hot and more sexy with his scars and shaved head. He’s rugged and a bit of a scoundrel, but he’s there’s a tender heart lurking. And watching these two together, ha, it’s like watching a dueling couple in a romantic comedy. Kieralyn has a Meg Ryan sort of spunk when Ian gets her wound up. I’d bet he sets out each day looking for ways to rile her up.

Nikki: Ian, I understand that you initially rejected Kieralyn’s plea for help. What made you change your mind?
Ian: Are you kidding? There was a passionate woman in my lab who’d managed to get past Dante–something that no one else has ever managed to do.
Kieralyn: Though he didn’t help graciously.
Ian: You followed me home and then to the club.
Kieralyn: You wouldn’t have been going to the club without my recording. I wouldn’t have followed you if you hadn’t held back what you knew.
Ian: Are we going to get into that again?
Kieralyn: No need. You know you were wrong. (She bumps her shoulder against his playfully.)
Ian: That’s all right.  I still got you.

He linked his fingers with hers on the table and she glows from his attention. She scoots her chair closer to his and leans against his side. I’m not sure they could be a better match.

Nikki: Ian, the NSA spent a ot of money building you that lab. Why? What makes you so good at your job?
Ian: I’m the best.
Kieralyn: And so humble about it. Tell her what makes you the best.
Ian: Fine. You’ve heard of people with photographic memories?
Nikki: Sure.
Ian: Well, I have an audiographic memory. I hear a sound and I remember it. Each place had a distinct soundtrack if you will based on the setup, decorations, and acoustics of the place. And just like each person has a distinct voice pattern they also have a distinct sound to their heartbeat.
Nikki: Are you telling me that you can identify a person by the beat of their heart?
Ian: Yeah, but I can also tell you a little about that person’s personality.
Nikki: Then I have to ask. What does my heartbeat tell you about me? (He cocks his head to the side and concentrates for a minute.)
Ian: You’re a risk taker, and though you’re sometimes impulsive, you think a lot about your actions and what you want. You’re logical and organized. You work from your feelings which likely contributes to your creativity.
Nikki: Okay, that’s eerily accurate.
Ian: I’ve had years of practice.
Nikki:
I can imagine how good that makes you and your job. I think it also explains how you were able to walk through the crowds of Miami without hesitation or slamming into people.
Ian: Kieralyn told you that story.
Kieralyn: And how you circled around on me.

Anyone watching them would know that even in the beginning Kieralyn admired and respected Ian’s ability to do things for himself without help. He’d been lugging in boxes and moving with no hesitation when I arrived. It’s awe-inspiring to watch him. It was inspiring now to watch him sit with his fiance wrapped in his arms with love softening his face and desire darkening those captivating eyes of his.

Nikki: Okay, so Kieralyn, has Ian changed since you met him?
Kieralyn: No. He’s still as cocky as he was that first day.
Ian: And you’re still a pain in the ass.
Kieralyn: But you love me.
Ian: Good thing for you.
Kieralyn: As if you’re doing me a favor. You’re lucky I was willing to take you on.
Ian: Please. Any woman would kill to be with me.
Kieralyn: Which explains why you were still single when I met you. You see what I mean, Nikki, about the cockiness?
Nikki: Um, I think I’ll stay out of this one, but I do have another question for you guys.

Assuming they can focus their mushy I’m-in-love-faces on me. Things are starting to heat up in the kitchen, and it has nothing to do with an argument if you know what I mean.

Ian: Ask fast.
His hand is traveling under the table now and her cheeks are turning pink. Good lord. This man has no problem with people. He just doesn’t want anyone intruding on his time with her.
Nikki: When did you know that you loved each other?
Ian: I started falling the first time I heard her heartbeat, though it took me a little longer to realize it. She’s dedicated. Passionate.
Okay. There was a heavy emphasis on that passionate mention. I’m not sure I want–or need–more details.
Kieralyn: I knew when I woke up in the hospital and saw a bouquet of balloons and cookies instead of flowers. He’d pulled me from a burning building, facing his greatest fear. It’s hard not to love a man willing to do that for you.

Kieralyn trails off and turns to Ian. I think I’ll leave it to the imagination what happens next, because I’m hightailing it out of here. These two create flames.

Adaptation from Ian Cabrera’s POV

Nikki blogged yesterday about a new fave show of hers. I have to say, I too love the show.

Yes, I watch TV, though more accurately I listen to TV. This is a smartly written show. It’s fun. And like Nikki mentioned, I have a few things in common with a character.

I also enjoy how it breaks the stereotypical mindset that blind people, or other people with a handicap, are somehow “less”.  It’s like I tole Kieralyn when we first met. A disability doesn’t have to slow a person down. Think about it. People get along every day with broken legs or broken arms or eye injuries requiring an eye patch. Why would a loss of any one be any different? We learn to adapt.

Even my Kieralyn is adapting. Since being around me, her hearing and her sense of smell is sharper. She picks up on changes in a room much faster than before. Of course, I can only be grateful for that because it’s unsettling to kiss my fiancee good-bye every morning and worry about what she’ll face during her day. I don’t allow myself to dwell on the worry, but it’s there. It’s something else I’ve learned to adapt to.

What makes a hero? Are they real?

You may remember Kieralyn’s best friend Lana from SOUNDS TO DIE BY, where she got herself kidnapped, or from A KILLING CUPID, where she became the bait to catch a serial killer. She’s bold and daring and an award winning reporter. She’s also a teeny bit cynical, so brace yourself for whatever she’s come up with.

Thanks for inviting me here, Nikki. First off, let me clarify something. I’m not cynical. I’m a realist. Especially when it comes to men.

*chuckles*

Mel’s Mila talked a few weeks ago about her theme song. She even included a few videos and one got me to thinking. You guessed it. The one with women dancing around and singing about looking for a hero. I mean, what is a hero? Is there such a thing? And why do women think they need to be saved by a man? Men are what they are. And they’re complicated, secretive, emotionally unavailable creatures who are only interested in sex.

Fine, so Kieralyn would argue Ian isn’t that way. Kami would argue Breck isn’t that way most days. And they aren’t. With Kieralyn and Kami. So why can’t they behave the same way with everyone else? It’s not only me who thinks men act different with a woman they’re committed to than with a woman they are dating or sleeping with. And they again act different with their buddies and coworkers. Where is the consistency?

Don’t get me wrong. I like men, but I don’t understand women who act like they need to be saved. That only sets us up for disappointment. It feeds already oversized egos. Take Aidan.  Second in command of his FBI unit, he’s got skills. He would have to. He’s good looking if you like the Irish type. He’s also got several personalities. The “I’m with the guys” one. The “She’s a good friend” one. The “I want to see her panties” one. And then the “How can I make your life a confused mess with my bi-polar treatment” one.

See, from the first moment we met, Aidan has done nothing but give me grief. He treated me kindly until he knew I would survive my injuries from the kidnapping and then he turned into a domineering ass. He stuck with the domineering act all the way through the sting to catch a serial killer last Valentine’s Day. When that was over, he kissed me like a starved man. But I tasted fear and worry. He poured on the sweet “I want to see her panties” persona and when he’d gotten what he wanted… You guessed it. He didn’t call again. And if we were in the same room, thanks to shared friends, he would make damn sure he stayed on the other side of the room. Shoves his hands in his pockets, glares holes into me, and stays far away. I don’t get it. It’s not like I played the “Oh, you’re so strong and I can’t live without you” card.

Come on. This is a man who is viewed by women as a hero. Sure, he saves lives through his job, but how is that heroic? And how does his treatment of women make him any different from the masses of men who behave this way?

I wonder what his Irish mother would say if she knew about his behavior. Mine would be appalled.

I didn’t ask for his on again off again interest, and I will not fall for it again, but he does make me wonder if there are real heroes. Heroes who are strong, but willing to be a stable man and accept the love of a woman. Heroes who are smart, but willing to be with a woman equally as smart. Heroes who are tender, but willing to show that sweet side outside the bedroom.

Is that really so much to ask for? What do you think?

Character Interview: Ren Morello

Today I wanted to feature the hero from my first ever released book Grace Under Pressure. Ren is the local sheriff of a small Texas town with a wicked sense of humor and a bone deep goodness that makes a girl all gooey, especially our heroine Grace. He meets me in Cannon’s busiest restaurant, the Wagon Wheel. He is wearing snug fitting jeans and a blue denim shirt. He’s a tall man, most of it leg, with chocolate brown eyes and short, military cut black hair.

Mel: Thanks for taking time off today. I know being a small town sheriff keeps you hopping.

REN: smiles Yeah, I thought it would be easy to step into the job, easy work. But, when you are the head cop in a small town, everyone knows your name. And, unfortunately, your phone number.

Mel: It must have been a big change after working with big city crime.

REN: Yeah. I pretty much know everyone’s name here, so not much happens I don’t know about. Of course, that is a pro and con all wrapped up into one thing.

Mel: How so?

REN: The pro is that I recognize a stranger, someone out of place. When I lived in the city, everyone was a stranger. But then, that can be good in certain areas. Here, they know where I live, know my cell, and I know entirely too much about their personal lives.

Mel: Personal lives?

REN: You cannot be the sherriff and not know who is doing whom, if you get my drift.

Mel: I laugh Believe me, I understand that completely. So, what has been going on with you and Grace since you got married.

REN: Not much. Grace’s book about the whole situation that brought us together was a USA Today best seller for nonfiction. And, we are expecting our first kiddo, due in August.

Mel: August?

REN: nodding Yeah, I got read the riot act on that one. August, hot and right when school starts. But, I don’t think she really cares. She is a fat and happy pregnant woman.

Mel: Oh, you just called her fat.

REN: She’s pregnant.

Mel: I cross my arms and smirk You think she will care.

REN: Damn. I bet you’re right. I’ll just make sure she doesn’t read this.

Mel: Really, you think you can keep her from getting online?

REN: Smiles and winks at me. I have my ways of distracting her, believe me.

Mel: I laugh Well, I will let you get back to work, I can imagine you have a lot to do.

REN: Nods Yep, and soon Mrs Janey will be calling I’m sure.

Mel: Thanks for meeting with me.

REN: Anytime darling.

You can read all about Ren and Grace in Grace Under Pressure, from Samhain Publishing.