Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Heroes, Quotes and Curses By Amelia Grey
I don’t know why and I can’t explain it, but I have more fun writing from the male point of view than the female. If you knew me, you would know why this seems odd. They don’t make girls more girly girl than me. I love flowers and lace, ribbons and bows. I love jewelry and perfume, and I don’t even let my mother see me without my makeup on. I wish we still wore crinolines and petticoats. I love classic movies from the fifties where ladies are glamorous and gentlemen are debonair. I could go on but you get the idea.
I once heard an editor say, “I want a hero who makes me swoon!” I think every author of romance wants to create that kind of man between the pages of her book. So in addition to giving my hero devastating sexual appeal and to die for good looks, I enjoy coming up with ways to confound him, to surprise him, to back him into a corner, and then find a way to get him out without compromising his ideals. I always let the reader know what he’s thinking and why. I like to develop something vitally important at stake for him, and then give him a worthy heroine to help him resolve it.
And one of my favorite types of hero just happens to be the guardian/bodyguard/protector hero that I created for the first book in my latest trilogy, The Rogues’ Dynasty. In A Duke To Die For Blake is also a reluctant hero. Responsibility is the last thing he is looking for when Miss Henrietta Tweed arrives at his door claiming that he is her new guardian. The carefree duke doesn’t want any part of taking care of anyone, especially the kind beautiful, young lady he would much rather seduce than protect. I love it when a man has no desire to be a protector but will step up and do it when he has to. I’m going way back here, but think of the first Die Hard movie with Bruce Willis or Romancing The Stone with Michael Douglas. They were perfect as reluctant heroes and so is the Duke of Blakewell. Having been born to power and privilege Blake doesn’t know the first thing about responsibility or boundaries. He’s never had to, of course, until he meets the heroine. His carefree lifestyle is suddenly turned upside down, and he doesn’t quite know what to make of it. It gave me a tremendous amount of pleasure to present him with an organized, orderly heroine and watch him squirm.
But I still wanted more from him so I started thinking about what I could add to the story to make Blake different from all the other heroes I’ve created. Suddenly I had it. I would give him a heroine who believed she was cursed. And why shouldn’t she? Her previous five guardians had all died mysteriously, and she believes Blake will be the next victim.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had a fascination with curses. Can someone be cursed? Can an ordinary person put a curse on someone or can it only happen by someone or something with special powers? Most of us have probably felt like we were cursed from time to time. I know I feel that way every time I step on the scales! And just maybe one or two of you will admit that, like me, there’s been one or two people in your life that you would like to put a curse on!
But I also wanted a couple of threads that I could run through all three books of the Rogues’ Dynasty Trilogy. That’s when I came up with the idea of the cousins’ deceased grandmother and her dear friend Lord Chesterfield who was noted for the long letters of advice he wrote to his son. And the cousins’ grandmother relentlessly passed his advice along to her grandsons and naturally they hated it.
This was easy for me to do because I absolutely love quotes, sayings and clichés, be they clever, inspiring, funny or too puzzling to figure out. The real fun of this was in thinking up quotes and sayings that I could attribute to Chesterfield that I know he didn’t say. An example of this in A Duke To Die For is when Blake tells Henrietta it was just bad luck that all her previous guardians had died mysterious deaths. She reminds him that all that bad luck had just landed at his doorstep. He says “if not for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all,” and he attributes it to Lord Chesterfield. Henrietta assures him Chesterfield said no such thing.
An in A Marquis To Marry, the second book of the trilogy one of the cousins quotes Chesterfield as saying “People love in haste but they detest at leisure,” when in reality that quote is actually attributed to Lord Byron. I haven’t used my favorite quote of all time yet, but hopefully I’ll find a place to use it in the last book of the trilogy, An Earl To Enchant. I found it on the movie poster of Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood. It goes like this: ‘For the love of one woman and the good of all men, he fought to uphold justice by breaking the law.’ It doesn’t get any better than that!
I didn’t mean to ramble on about so many different things in this blog, but hopefully I’ve left you with a few questions to think about; Do you like a lot of male viewpoint in your romances? Do you enjoy reading about the guardian/protector hero? Do you believe in curses? Do you have a favorite quote? I’d love to know yours so I can add it to my growing collection.
Responsibility is the last thing the carefree Duke of Blakewell is looking for when it arrives on his doorstep in the form of a beautiful young lady. In a sequence of unfortunate events, the guardianship of Miss Henrietta Tweed falls to Blake.
Blake doesn't know if he's irritated or impressed by Miss Tweed's boldness, but he can't be responsible for her. His feelings for the seductive and captivating Henrietta are far from what a guardian should feel for his ward. Finding it hard to resist his desire for her, Blake decides the only honorable thing he can do is find her a suitable husband.
Henrietta Tweed has been controlled by men since her parents died when she was a young girl. She's not interested in her roguish new guardian finding her a husband.
All of her previous five guardians have died, causing her to believe she is cursed. Not wanting the appealing Duke to die because of her, she tries to warn him off. Blake isn't one for superstitious nonsense, even though mysterious accidents are happening that put him in danger.
Blake considers possible suitors, but eventually rules them all out and concedes that Henrietta has captured his heart.
But has he pushed her away for too long?
Henrietta must find a way to escape the curse, and Blake, before he becomes the next "duke to die for."