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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Pinch Of This and a Dash Of That

I have a guest blogger today and she'll be giving away a download of her book to one lucky commenter!

Trish McCallan and I have known each other for around ten years now and she was one of the people who read the draft of my first book. Back then I was pretty much only a seat of the pants writer and T was a plotter. Over the years, I've learned more about plotting (although I certainly wouldn't call myself a plotter) and then T had this dream that was a story. I happily welcomed my plotter friend to the world of pantsing. Her dream became Forged In Fire.

FIF is an awesome story! Action, adventure, romance, and a touch of paranormal. The airplane stuff? I was technical advisor. If I didn't know something, I talked to one of the engineers and these guys did have the answers. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with my bio, I work for a major US airline in Technical Operations.) But it's the characters in a story that grab me. Beth and Zane sizzle together as they try to overcome a plot involving the planned hijacking of an airplane. These characters are human and real and I cared about them.

About Forged In Fire:

Beth Brown doesn’t believe in premonitions until she dreams a sexy stranger is gunned down during the brutal hijacking of a commercial airliner. When events in her dream start coming true, she heads to the flight’s departure gate. To her shock, she recognizes the man she’d watched die the night before.

Lieutenant Commander Zane Winters comes from a bloodline of elite warriors with psychic abilities. When Zane and two of his platoon buddies arrive at Sea-Tac Airport, he has a vision of his teammates’ corpses. Then she arrives—a leggy blonde who sets off a different kind of alarm.

As Beth teams up with Zane, they discover the hijacking is the first step in a secret cartel’s deadly global agenda and that key personnel within the FBI are compromised. To survive the forces mobilizing against them, Beth will need to open herself to a psychic connection with the sexy SEAL who claims to be her soul mate.

And now, here's Trish!

A Pinch of This and a Dash of That

I love alpha heroes.
Those yummy, yummy, sexy, steamy-hot alpha heroes. Love them.
When I read, I read for the heroes. I read to sneak a peek into their minds. To wallow in their maleness. To watch their reactions as they fall in love and lose that calm rationality they show to the rest of the world. To me the alpha hero is the sexiest beast alive. It doesn’t matter whether he is a vampire, a werewolf, a demon, a Gineal troubleshooter, or a warrior from SEAL Team 7. If he’s an alpha hero, he rocks my boat
So when I read, I read for the hero. The heroine, well she is replaceable. (With me! Ha!) I’ve read hundreds of romances and the heroine rarely leaves an impression. In fact, I remember very few heroines’ names. But the hero, yeah- if he is a sexy alpha—I will remember him forever.
Take for example the first alpha hero I fell in love with. His name was Wolf Mackenzie from Mackenzie’s Mountain. Oh la la. A half Indian, hot-blooded, sex-up, bad-tempered alpha hero. I took one peek into his mind and fell into lust love. Okay- I fell into lust. I challenge anyone not to fall into lust with Wolf Mackenzie. Or Wolf and what-her-name’s sons Joe and Zane.
Even after all these years, Wolf still makes me salivate.
Then along came Suz Brockmann with her alpha SEALs. And Fiona Brand with her New Zealand hotties. And Linda Howard. Linda Howard. Linda Howard.
So sue me, I’m obsessed with Linda Howard’s heroes. Just a little. Okay, a lot.
For years nobody and I mean nobody, did sexy alpha heroes like LH. And her single title heroes were even more appealing than her category ones…okay…maybe not more appealing, but just as appealing.
Take Marc Chastain. No wait! Give him back! I’ll take Marc Chastain and Dane Hollister and Alex Trammel. (Who, btw-should have gotten his own story! Just saying.) 
For a long time I didn’t think anyone could write an alpha hero that matched Linda Howard’s. And then I stumbled across the Black Dagger Brotherhood and found a whole slew of hot-blooded, sexed-up, bad-tempered alpha heroes. Yeah, they were vampires- but heck, everyone has a character flaw, right? When it comes right down to it, I can handle a blood obsessed hero as long as he’s sexy.
And those BDB heroes are the very definition of sexy.
Of course my preference as a reader trickles into my writing and apparently I “borrow” my favorite traits from my favorite heroes. Like Wolf Mackenzie’s sexed-up hot bloodedness, Joe Mackenzie’s outer calm, Dane Hollister and Wrath’s bad temper, or Marc Chastain’s New Orleans’ charm.
I’ve been revising a book I wrote several years ago, and as I read I recognize bits and pieces of my favorite heroes—a pinch of this hero and a dash of that one. Nobody but me would be able to match the borrowed traits to the hero I borrowed them from. But I can tell, because I get an instant flashback to when I first read that hero’s book.
It’s bittersweet in a way, that vivid flash back to books I read years ago, way before I started writing, and the heroes in my past that inspired the ones in my present and future.
So how about the rest of you? Who are your favorite literary heroes? Leave a comment for a chance to win an electronic copy of my paranormal romantic suspense, Forged in Fire, which features (you’ve probably already guessed it!) a whole slew of sexy alpha heroes!

Trish McCallan has been writing for as long as she can remember.

In grade school she wrote children’s stories, illustrating them with crayons and binding the sheets together with pencil-punched holes and red yarn. She used to sell these masterpieces at her lemonade stand for a nickel a book. Surprisingly, people actually bought them. Like, all of them. Every night she would have to write a new batch for her basket.

As she got older her interest changed to boys and horses. The focus of her literary masterpieces followed this shift. Her first full length novel was written in seventh grade and featured a girl, a horse and a boy. At the end of the book the teenage heroine rode off into the sunset . . . with the horse.

These days she sticks to romantic suspense with hot alpha heroes and roller-coaster plots. Since she is a fan of all things bizarre, paranormal elements always seem to find a way into her fiction. Her current release, Forged in Fire, was the result of a Black Dagger Brotherhood reading binge, a cold, a bottle of NyQuil and a vivid dream. 

You can find Trish at

Forged In Fire can be found at:   Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Smashwords