Blog Archive

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Hero's Hop: What's the recipe for the perfect hero? #HeroHop

Hey beautiful people!

It's my second blog hop, and the first of Carrie Ann's in which I am taking part. Totally stoked and absolutely excited to be joining the 128 other authors who signed up for this hop... and also to meet all the readers and visitors who will be doing the rounds. Welcome to my place, peeps!

So, what's the hope about? Heroes. As simple as that. *are you sure?* Nope, not that simple, as you'll see when you browse all the posts that will be going up. Come read what everyone of us authors conjures up in her mind when we heard the magic word "hero".

129 authors = 129 chances to win the Grand Prizes!

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A magnificent swag pack you can check on the official hop page

AND there will be giveaways at every stop on the tour! So that means, 129 chances for you to win more goodies!

Want to enter to win in my giveaway? Then, let's get rolling with the post!

*****

Immediately when I think "hero", I imagine coming up with the perfect hero for each book. But is there a recipe for that?

Got me thinking – how do I go about creating the perfect hero in each of my books?

First of all – the hero 'works off' the heroine, and vice versa. I'm not a hard-core feminist; when I say "a woman doesn't need a man to be happy", I mean it. But I also say that, "a woman doesn't miss a man until he walks into her life", and that's when things change...

So based on these notions, I set out to imagine the perfect hero. And like a good dish (forgive me here – I am so not a cook and as far from domestic goddess Nigella Lawson as you can get!), you need some set ingredients:

Sugar
Spice
And all things nice!

Simple, innit? Not so much. Let's elaborate.

Sugar – we all agree; the hero is the foil of the heroine. He is her "good times", her "rock", her "anchor", the one she runs to. Faced with a box of Godiva chocolates and a plate of lime slices, which one would you choose? The Godiva, of course! And that's sugar...

But too much sugar gives you a high and then makes you crash; it's also bad for your teeth! In the same way, a hero who's too nice/good/sweet/awesome is bad for you. Yes, we women are masochists, and we love nothing more than a roller coaster ride of emotion... which you won't get with someone, well, too nice...

So what you do then, is spice things up a bit!

Anyone know what a jaffa cake is? If not, I'll wait until you Google it! A jaffa cake is a slice of heaven brought to earth for us common mortals, to allow us to know what decadence and indulgence are all about. Imagine a crackly shell of smooth, dark chocolate; slightly bitter, hard under your teeth, a hint of sugar that nevertheless gives you a total rush... Then you get to a fine layer of orange-flavoured jelly; tangy, and this jolts your taste buds, makes you sit up and notice; another little rush of sugar, a brush of coolness on your tongue... And finally, you sink your teeth into the softest, moistest, crumbliest sponge cake layer ever; feeling it melt in your mouth, that elusive hint of cake, and another layer of vanilla-like sweetness...

To think that so far you've just taken a bite! Now, go on, and actually eat the jaffa cake... An explosion of tastes, of sweetness, of tart orange tang, of rich chocolatey smoothness...

What's a jaffa cake, you may ask? It's sugar, and spice, and all things nice... exactly what your hero should be! Layers, contrasts, that merge to form a whole that is decadent and indulgent, and oh so good for you!

That's a hero, people! There's a subtle hint in this makeup, like a jaffa cake's, that stops the whole deal from giving you sugar and sweetness on all levels. There's a dose of spice, of tang, of a contrasting taste, that ramps up the sugar rush and gives you an experiment from a different dimension. Your hero is human; give him some flaws, some 'humanness", that all men have (dirty towels on the bathroom floor, anyone? *grin*)

And as for the "all things nice", what would they be?

Well, as I like to say, your hero can be anything in any time – a rogue, a cad, a doctor next door, a quiet best friend, a dangerous cop, a con man, a geek, a nerd, a secret agent, a starship captain – but one thing he always, always, is: Noble!

What's noble to you? And what's noble in your heroine's eyes?

Another thing in this "all things nice" category – good manners! Let me list a few here, grabbed from Gentleman Etiquette posts on Esquire.com, to give you an idea:

- a gentleman always stands up when a woman is coming to the table or leaving it.
- a gentleman always pays for a date.
- a gentleman sits on the men bench when he takes his lady shopping, and uses the time to reply emails on his Blackberry, but never to talk on the phone in public places.
- a gentleman takes his mother out for dinner a few times a year.

So there you have my recipe for the perfect hero! I'm curious to know what ingredients go into making yours! Why don't you leave me a comment and tell me about it?

And let me introduce you to my heroes:

Gerard Besson: Former undercover cop, recently promoted to the status of police commissaire in the French city of Marseille. Behind the appearance of the efficient cop, hides a beaten soul... because he lost the one woman who managed to worm her way into his cold heart. 7 months later, when a suspicious woman starts to trail him, Gerard is intrigued, because she reminds him of that woman who died... Who is she? And what does she want with him?
Get the book, currently FREE:  https://www.nobleromance.com/Books/304/Walking-the-Edge



Ash Gilfoy: Ministry of Defence cop turned paramedic, Ash hides a deep, dark secret - he killed a man. Investigation cleared him as he acted in self-defense, but Ash knows he's always wanted to murder the abusive man who ended up killing his wife when she tried to leave him, at Ash's behest. The prospect of hope, and a new beginning, of salvation, appears when Rayne Cheltham, his childhood best friend, walks into his life again. A humanitarian worker who's been away for 17 years, Rayne is everything good and bright in this world... Or is she? Because she seems to be hiding secrets, too, and they just might be deeper and darker than Ash could ever imagine...
Buy Link: https://www.nobleromance.com/Books/420/Before-the-Morning


Jamie Gillespie: A 29 years old trauma doctor, Jamie turns his back on the life his money-hungry father wants him to pursue when he comes to Surrey to fill in for his sick uncle. But just as he is settling, his uncle calls, to say he will not be coming back to his rural practice - it's Jamie's decision now to stay and embrace the life of a country doctor, or go a more lucrative private practice in the heart of London. But then the decision to stay becomes clear when forensic pathologist Margo Nolan and her headstrong tween daughter, Emma, settle into the other half of Jamie's house. Older than Jamie, cold and uptight, Margo is an Ice Queen. Or is she...? Jamie sees the woman in her, the struggling mother, the lonely heart. Can he convince Margo they could have a future together, and form a family?
Buy Link: https://www.nobleromance.com/Books/369/Calling-Home


Lars Rutherford: Half-British, half-Swedish expatriate living on the island of Mauritius as the regional director for his best friend's shipping company. Lars is not looking for love, and certainly not in this land that seems stuck in Austen times where marriage and trysts are concerned. His best friend, Magnus, convinces him he's in "dire need of a shag" and contacts Madame Eve's 1NightStand agency to arrange a date for Lars. Who will he find on that blind date? What woman will agree to spend that one night with him, no strings attached? Could everything be so simple? Lars does indeed find out that nothing is so simple, because Simmi, his date, awakens protective, lustful, and dare he admit it - loving! - instincts in him. Has he found his woman, here, on this island labelled as paradise on earth?
Buy Link: http://www.decadentpublishing.com/product_info.php?products_id=553&osCsid=joff4lkh610umgtpmk3mg4qvr4


MY GIVEAWAY: Leave me a comment, along with your email address, about what "ingredients" go into making your perfect hero, and let me know which one of my heroes wins your attention - you could win an ecopy of his book (in case I didn't spell that right *sorry, hormone-brain* I'm offering a random commentor a copy of the book of her choice from my releases, based on which hero is her favourite).

Thank you for hopping over here today, and don't forget to check the other 128 participants! Here's the link to view the whole list http://carrieannbloghops.blogspot.com/p/a-heros-hop.html

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Link Thursday: 7 Ways To Tell If He's A Good Match Or Not

Hey beautiful people!

I'm having a crazy somewhat-delusional week (yes, somebody please fling the dreaded H word. You know, it goes like h-o-r-m-o-n-blahblahblah) and I badly need a laugh, or at least, a chuckle. Figured you too could use one, so here we go for this week's linked post.

I suppose we all already know the following info, but it never hurts to stress the point. :) And yes, there's a chuckle or two in there. I'll settle for that right now.

Don't forget - authors: do not template your hero off this Bad Match list. Real gals: these are the signs you need to look out for where Mr. Possibly Right is concerned.

The article can be viewed in its original form online here.

Enjoy!

***
7 Ways to Tell If He's a Good Match - Or Not
 
How can you tell whether he's a good match for you? We've got seven ways to help you figure it out. Get those smartphones ready!
Updated on July 16, 2012, 9:11 am ET

Dating in the digital age sure can get complicated, can’t it? People used to complain about having to wait by the phone -- at least they didn’t have to try to decipher text-message, glean the hidden meaning behind Facebook updates, and get rejected before even meeting each other in person!

What’s a gal to do? Have no fear: We can help! We’ve put together a handy-dandy guide of seven tech-savvy ways you can your technology to tell if you’re latest guy is a good match—or if you should give him a good, old-fashioned kick to the curb.

1. Good match: He looks like his online dating profile photo! Bad match: His photo looks like Brad Pitt; he looks like Mr. Bean.

2. Good match: On a date, he only texts to let you know he’s on his way. Bad match: He texts other people all the way through your date.

3. Good match: He uses his smartphone to actually call you. Bad match: He never turns off the ringer, and answers his smartphone constantly ... no matter WHAT you're doing!

4. Good match: His phone has apps for great date suggestions like Picksies and he asks you your opinion. Bad match: He has the Fake Girlfriend app.

5. Good match: He uses Facebook to show off adorable pics of the two of you. Bad match: He uses Facebook to keep track of his exes, upload embarrassing photos of you, and/or get tagged in pics with other girls.

6. Good match: He's interested in your Pinterest boards (even the ones about cupcakes and overly intricate nail art). Bad match: He's competitive about your Pinterest boards and is trying out "pin" you.

7. Good match: If he's out and spots something cute, he sends you a photo of the puppy or kitten or funny sign he sees. Bad match: He accidentally includes you on a mass text forward of Octomom's latest pin-up photo.

Happy dating!

XO

***

From Mauritius with love,

Zee