posted by Christine Wells
My dear friend and critique partner, Denise Rossetti is with us in the Lair today and she is giving away a signed ARC of her November 4 release, THE FLAME AND THE SHADOW. You don't want to miss this wonderfully sexy, dark, angsty fantasy romance. Hmm, can I think of any more adjectives? Yes, I believe I can! Superb!
But here is the delightful Denise in a less dark and angsty mood, musing and amusing about heroes...
I’ve always been intrigued by missing socks. I mean, where do they go, the little devils? Must be the same place wire coat hangers go to breed. I’m convinced there’s another dimension – beyond the paltry three we know. Or perhaps a fold in the time-space continuum, a wrinkle.
For want of a better term, I’m calling it The Hero Dimension.
You have to admit, it’s a really cool idea and it explains so many of life’s little mysteries - like why all heroes are totally buff.
Come on, can you remember a romance with a hero who wasn’t hard-bodied? I can’t. Our dude might be massive and muscly, or lithe and compact, but I guarantee, there won’t be an ounce of fat on him.
And guess what? The Hunkalicious Quotient isn’t affected by what our hero does for a living! Sure, he could be a special ops guy like a Navy SEAL – I’ll give you that one - but he could equally well be the CEO of some vast international corporation, or the guy next door, or a Pink of the Ton.
He’ll spend the book living a mile a minute, rushing from pillar to post, with no breath to spare between beating up bad guys and having mad, monkey sex with the heroine. We mere readers never get to see him working on his fitness, those chiseled abs are just…there. Same with movie action heroes. Cap’n Jack Sparrow pumping iron? Ridiculous! Though the rowing machine might be a possibility…
At this point, I’m pausing to think about the men in my life. You can too, if you like.
See? Developing a six pack takes hours and hours of sweat and dedication. Just ask Sven.
So, what I want to know is this: Given his packed program between the book covers, when does our hero get to the gym, hmm?
There’s only one answer – he goes to the gym in The Hero Dimension! It’s the special place where the beefcake gathers to bake itself to the perfect muscly consistency.
Amid idle conversation, and possibly a few beers afterwards.
Can you imagine being a fly on the wall? Ooooh…
There’s Sven, bouncing on one of those big exercise balls, happy as a Swedish clam, totally in his element. Mr Darcy is looking down his aristocratic nose at the hunky dudes from the Black Dagger Brotherhood. “My dear fellows,” he drawls, loosening his cravat, “I generally advise removal of sh*tkickers prior to exertion.”
I really do ponder the logistics of all this, honest. Actually, I think about the male physique a good deal, but only in the line of duty. (And I have a bridge to sell you.)
Gray from THE FLAME AND THE SHADOW (out 4 November from Berkley Ace) is partly a musician, partly an adventurer. He’s one dangerous dude, a mysterious sorcerer of shadows, all internally tormented and stuff. *happy sigh* In terms of studliness, he’s of the lean and mean variety. I made him a former mercenary and a deadly swordsman. (And I did give him a partner to practice with.) This short scene is our heroine’s first sight of him. Let’s just say he makes an impression. *grin*.
The singer’s accompanist sat on a stool in the furthest corner. Because he wore a black shirt and trews, he merged with the shadows as if he were part of them, scarcely there, his face a pale blur marked by dark brows. But the light washed over elegant, long-fingered hands, the lap harp he played gleaming with the rich patina of old wood and pearl inlay.
Dark and dangerous, as Krys had promised. Cenda dragged a breath in and didn’t let it out.
He’d rolled up his sleeves and she focused on the strong wrists, the muscle flexing in his forearms, the delicate precision of his movements. The extraordinary feelings that had washed over her in front of the fireplace returned in full force. Abruptly, her skin felt too tight for her body, as though she were netted in fire.
And a few pages later…
She’d thought his eyes must be as dark as his hair, but this close, they were a clear, limpid gray. Long-lidded eyes, full of secrets, shielded with extravagant lashes, surely the gift of some besotted goddess. His brows were strongly marked, with an upward slant at the corners. They gave him a sardonic air that went well with his lithe, self-contained grace.
“Mistress, may I sit?” he asked patiently, obviously not for the first time.
At her nod, he slid onto the bench beside her, bringing with him a wave of body heat, the clean, earthy scent of healthy male. His shadow wavered behind him, dark as slate. All the hair rose on the back of Cenda’s neck.
Aaaah, mine too.
I can imagine Gray out at night, running endlessly, padding in and out of the shadows of the street lights. He’s rather a solitary type – most of those dark, tortured, heroes are. No team sports. In terms of the gym, he’d be very interested in martial arts and possibly yoga.
What (or who) would you send off to this special dimension, if you could? Remember, you might not see it (or them) again!
What sort of sport or fitness training would your favourite hero be doing at the heroes’ gym? Would you like a job in The Hero Dimension? And if so, as what?
One commenter wins a signed Advance Review Copy of THE FLAME AND THE SHADOW!
I wonder what they do with all those single socks? *wicked chuckle*
THE FLAME AND THE SHADOW, coming 4 November, 2008 from Berkley Ace. For more information check out Denise's website.
And a quick heads-up: Denise will be interviewing James Griffin, the artist who created the magnificent cover for THE FLAME AND THE SHADOW (and, incidentally, the covers for THE DANGEROUS DUKE and SCANDAL'S DAUGHTER), on her blog on Friday 24th October (23rd here in Oz). Come along and find out how it’s done. We’ll be giving away more books!