Monday, November 3, 2008

The Battle of the Heroes!

by Anna Campbell

It is with great pleasure that I introduce four temperamental but undoubtedly sexy heroes who will launch Harlequin's new e-book line UNDONE! These are sexy shorts, 10,000 to 15,000 words long, and they sound like just the perfect romantic pick-me-up!

As long as the heroes stop fighting each other long enough to find their heroines! The strong scent of testosterone is in the air as each of our dashing protagonists draws his weapon (ahem!) to claim his particular lady!

Also if we're lucky, we'll also meet the women behind the heroes. Michelle Willingham who has created the brawny, axe-wielding Tharand Hardrata from THE VIKING'S FORBIDDEN LOVE SLAVE. Bronwyn Scott who has created the clever, suave Julian Burke from LIBERTINE LORD, PICKPOCKET MISS. Amanda McCabe who has created the dashing, swashbuckling Carlos de Alameda from SHIPWRECKED AND SEDUCED. Nicola Cornick who has created the passionate, debonair Lord Alexander Beaumont from THE UNMASKING OF LADY LOVELACE.

Here are some photos of these OTHER women in our heroes' lives. From the top, it's Michelle, Bronwyn, Amanda and Nicola! And Nicola, it's no use trying to hide beneath that huge hat! We still recognize you and Melicent has been informed that you play an inappropriately significant role in Lord Alexander's life, you hussy! She's offering Tharand money to a hired axe! And you won't get away with looking like butter won't melt in your mouth, Bronwyn and Amanda. Or with that winsome smile, Michelle! Our heroes may be moody and magnificent, but our heroines are just as scary when they're staking their claim on their men!

So I hope you enjoy THE BATTLE OF THE HEROES. Pay attention, there will be a test afterwards and one lucky visitor to our blog today will win all FOUR UNDONE! shorts. So they can get to know our heroes in intimate detail!

Don't forget you can buy all the UNDONE! ebooks through eharlequin on http://eharlequin.com/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tharand Hardrata reached for his bronze battle-axe, staring at the other men before him. The black runes tattooed onto his forearms gleamed in the moonlight. If any of these other men dared to threaten Aisling, he'd sever their heads from their bodies.

"Why are you here?" he demanded. The others wore clothing he'd never seen before, and it made him wonder if they were evil spirits.

Carlos de Alameda drew his fine Spanish rapier, his dark eyes alight. “I have come to discover the truth about the Contessa Isabella! Where have you hidden her? From the appearance of your rough clothing, you are no nobleman. If you have harmed the lady, I will challenge you to a duel—which you are sure to lose, as I have bested the finest swordsmen in Santo Domingo.”

"I have seen no such lady." Tharand clasped the handle of his battle-axe, a faint smile spreading over his lips. "But I would be happy to meet your challenge." He swung the axe lightly, waiting for the first strike.

Steel met bronze, and Tharand grunted at the impact. Carlos stepped lightly back, smiling as he brandished his rapier. Until they were interrupted by a new arrival who, with one smooth movement interposed himself between the two duellists, beating apart their weapons with his own sword. Carlos noted that the weapon, whilst similar to his, was a longer rapier than his own. English, he guessed. He had some skill and knowledge in these things. The man who held it was very tall and moved with a nonchalant grace. Even his voice was smooth.

“Gentlemen,” he murmured, “let us not be too hasty. Perhaps we may resolve this dispute with diplomacy rather than force. I am Lord Alexander Beaumont and I seek a lady too, my wife the Lady Melicent-” He broke off as Carlos brought his rapier up to his throat.

For one long moment Tharand and Carlos exchanged a look, briefly united in their mistrust of this dark stranger who spoke peace but held his sword like an expert pugilist. Once again Tharand swung his axe, that faint smile on his lips, and then Alex stepped back, bringing his sword up to parry the thrust of Carlos’s rapier and turning immediately to meet the crushing blow of the bronze battle-axe.

How the fight might have ended was anyone’s guess, but then a fourth man stepped forward from the shadows. He thought if he had to choose between the thin blade of the rapier and the broad stroke of the axe, he’d favour the axe in this fight. But with luck, he wouldn’t have to choose at all.

Julian Burke, self-styled agent for the crown, moved through the shadows he favoured. He held no weapon although he was proficient with a wide variety. But he was not without resources. In fact, he carried his weapon of choice; his wits, which he liked to think were as sharp as any rapier here and arguments able to deliver a cutting blow on par to any battle axe. That was his hope anyway.
These men looked quite formidable, men he recognized as kindred souls with himself even though he’d known them for only a handful of minutes. “Gentlemen, cease!” Julian moved fully into the light, ready to let his presence be revealed. “Can’t you see we all want the same thing?”

The three men stared, the startling statement drawing their attention momentarily. Julian made a placating gesture with his hands. The peace would not last if he did not move quickly.

“We all want Aisling?” Tharand asked, somewhat confused, then angered. “I knew it! Aisling is mine!” He raised his axe in belligerent intent.

“No!” Julian raised his voice to meet the challenge of the hovering blade, unwilling to flinch in the wake of imminent danger. “We all want love, whatever its guise or form.”

Alex Beaumont stepped up next to Julian, a smile acknowledging his recognition. He’d seen the line of logic Julian meant to take. “Precisely so. Well said, my countryman. Whether its name is Melicent….”

“Or Isabella,” Carlos joined them, sheathing his Spanish blade.

“Or Sophie,” Julian added, unable to stop the grin that spread across his face at the mere mention of his wife’s name.

Understanding dawned on Tharand’s face. He lowered the axe and gave a loud laugh. “I’ve been fighting for so long sometimes that is all I can see.” He laid down his axe.

The three other men chuckled and exchanged knowing looks. "Well, love has been known to be blind,” Carlos said congenially, slapping Tharand on the back. It was easier to be friendly now that weapons had been set aside.

Tharand thrust his fist out, the others joined their fists to his in a circle of comradeship. “To love,” Tharand shouted. The others grinned. “The only thing worth fighting for!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hear, hear, heroes! You may be formidable dudes, but you've got your priorities worked out!

One lucky commenter can win a download of all FOUR of the UNDONE! ebooks featured today, thanks to Nicola, Bronwyn, Michelle and Amanda.

So if you had to pick between a lusty Viking, a lethal Spanish pirate, an urbane Regency gentleman or a cunning Regency spy, who would you pick? What do you think makes a hero? Is there a difference between heroes from different times and places? Let's talk favorite heroes! Let the battle begin! And may the best man/woman/commenter win!

87 comments:

Elyssa Papa said...

Moi?

Elyssa Papa said...

Well, the GR apparently likes my place. And the supply of Lindt chocolates. *g*

Elyssa Papa said...

I would like to pick the sophisticated, urbane yet really bad boy rake like Sebastian St. Vincent from Lisa Kleypas' Devil in Winter. Or the raw, unbridled passion of Derek Craven from Dreaming of You. Sigh.

I think what makes a hero is not what's on the outside. (Although being attractive is always a nice plus). But to me, what makes a hero is if he respects the hero or not, or just merely disabuses her of her opinions. Luckily, 99% of romances have heroes who respect and love their heroines.

Also, I love when a hero has that dry sense of humor or knows how to laugh at himself. It's so attractive to me when a man is able to point out the funny and absurd, and not take himself so seriously.

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Ely, if there's Lindt chocs there, wouldn't you rather have me visit than the chook? Congratulations on scoring him again!

Jane said...

I've been hearing so much about the new Harlequin Undone line. If I had to choose between those four hunky types, I would go for the Regency spy. I love intrigue and espionage. What's not to love about a sexy spy? Look at James Bond. A hero has to be honorable and loyal. A sense of humor is an added plus.

Elyssa Papa said...

Anna, you know that any time you want to visit, there's a whole slew of chocolates, champagne, and Richard Armitage waiting for you. *g*

Natalie Hatch said...

Good luck with him elyssa he ate all my icecream yesterday when I was trying to drown my sorrows.
As for which man I'd take, I have to go with the Regency Spy. I know he's dangerous and probably lying to me, but he's soo sexy. And even if it is just for a short time at least I will live it up. And then have stories to tell when I'm older!

Minna said...

Well, maybe I have few drops of Viking blood in my veins, since my choise is the Viking. Besides, he's probably more CLEAN than some other men of his time -or cleaner than even some of the men who came after the Viking age was over.

Miljoonasade: Marraskuu (November):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccpaaZvDL1k

Helen said...

Congrats Elyssa you have lindt chocolate yummy no wonder he likes your place

Great post Ladies you want me to choose from one of those magnificent heros they are all yummy. I like lots of different types of heros, a couple of my favourites are Kylemore and Devil Cynster and a new one to add to my list is Donovan I have so many favourite heros (too many to name) I love them all.

Michelle I haven't read a viking story for a long while and I love the sound of Tharand.

Bronwyn Julian sounds just like a regency spy you gotta love them.

Amanda I love pirates Carlos sounds like he handles that rapier really well.

Nicola Lord Alexander sounds really dreamy yummo.

See I can't choose I am greedy I want them all LOL

Have Fun
Helen

Nicola Cornick said...

Me too, Helen! Why choose at all? Variety is the spice of life! And the great thing about Undone is that you can have them all for such a reasonable price!*g* I'm pleased to see all the votes for the Regency spies as I've just finished a trilogy of Regency gentlemen spies who I hope are all as dangerous, dashing and downright sexy as Natalie describes! Lovely to be here to talk about heroes - one of my all time favourite subjects, as Anna knows. Thanks for inviting the Undone ladies to your blog, Bandits!

Anna Campbell said...

Actually, Nicola, Bronwyn, Amanda and Michelle, I would love to hear how you found writing the shorter format of story. Was it easier/harder? What were the challenges/rewards?

Nicola Cornick said...

I find writing short quite a challenge. Trying to fit a fully formed and convincing story into the shorter format can be tricky. On the other hand it's good discipline to have to keep the story very concise.

Annie West said...

Fabulous post, ladies! I'm looking forward to getting my hands on those...books!

How to choose one hero among so many? Sorry, that's beyond me. I'll take all four. What? Me, greedy?

Seriously, what makes me fall for a hero is his focus on the heroine (that in itself can be so captivating) and his willingness to do what it takes to win her. Sounds a bit stalkerish I suppose, but if we team that with a man who lives by a strong code of honour too, and preferably one with a soft centre (heroes AND chocolates - I'm enjoying this)then he's on the way to being a winner.

Annie

Sue said...

Ladies,
Add me to the greedy list. I'll take any of those yummy heroes you've written, or all of them, whatever you can spare. As long as a hero is focusing all his raw and dark passion on the heroine and is making her daily life better and her sex life hotter,
Sue

Eric said...

Nicola, Bronwyn, Amanda and Michelle (and Anna). I’ve learnt something here. I didn’t know there was such a thing as undone line. I quite like short format reading so I guess you guys have cost me a few shillings. ---- Not to worry Ms Campbell has been ‘throwing my money around’ for some time. I’ve never been disappointed with her choices. ---- How can I pick a hero and Annie has mentioned the relationship thing. And I’m on a diet so chocolate isn’t a consideration. I asked my dog, she is all knowing, she said take the lusty Viking they’re more likely to be carnivores. I’ll take the lusty Viking carnivore (for Lady).

Thank you for such an interesting blog (visit). --- Eric

Donna MacMeans said...

I'd like all four, thank you very much - but if I'm forced to pick, I'll take the spy. Have to love a man who lives by his wits, and hopefully he'll have wit as well. A sense of humor is a key component for my heroes.

Lovely blog, ladies. The Undone line is off to a great start!

michellewillingham said...

Good morning, Banditas! Thanks so much for hosting us today. I'm really excited to be part of the Harlequin Historical Undone line, and I have to say, this blog entry was one of my favorites to write. It was fun writing a part of the story and passing it onto another author!

As for challenges, I found the ending to be the hardest. I wanted a satisfying, emotional ending, but that's tough when the characters haven't known each other for very long. Still, it was fun.

Elyssa--I just finished reading the Devil in Winter. Loved it!

One thing to note--even if you don't win the download, all the e-books are on sale for 89 cents! I downloaded all of them for a few dollars, and it was so easy. :)

Deb Marlowe said...

LOL! what a hoot ladies! I'm following you around the net, it seems!

I don't want to choose just one of these heroes, I want to read them all!

And I love how they are all connected to your novels, ladies! It's such fun to revisit a world you've enjoyed, and explore it again through a new format.

Did any of you guys try something new for you, while you were writing short?

Congrats!

Caren Crane said...

Welcome, ladies! Please pay no mind to Elyssa and her gloating. It's bad form to gloat over your Golden Rooster monopoly, Elyssa. *g*

Oh, my, I must choose the Spaniard (though it was tough). I've not gotten to read as many Spaniards as I have Englishmen and Vikings (though I've not read many Vikings lately). I'll take my chances with the pirate.

I hope no one expects me to climb in the rigging. My dizzy head would never allow it!

michellewillingham said...

Deb--I think just the shorter format was completely new for me!

I did push the envelope a lot more on the sensuality, though.

Beth Caudill said...

I'd pick the spy. There is just something mysterious about a spy. Also they seem to be the most wounded because they have to hide who they are to stay alive.

jo robertson said...

Oh, my, what a delightful way to start the day! Great blog, Anna.

Hmmm, the lusty Viking is certainly worming his way to the top of my list.

Susan Seyfarth said...

Good morning, ladies! Lovely way to start the morning, with four gorgeous heroes! If I had to choose one (do I really have to?) I think I'd go with the urbane gentleman. I have a soft spot for the witty bon-mot in conjunction with a quiet competence with a pistol/rapier. :-) NOt the kind of thing you run across much anymore, which is probably why I like it so much in fiction.

Louisa Cornell said...

Good on you, Elyssa! A little Lindt bribery never hurts. I would fall for it for sure!

Great post, La Campbell!

So many heroes, so little time. Forget that! I'll MAKE the time cause I want 'em ALL!!

I have books by all four of you on my keeper shelves. In fact I recently acquired Michelle's latest Viking and he was one hot fella! Great read!

I have to agree that what makes a great romance hero is his concentration on the heroine AND his respect for her. If he admires those things about her that everyone else is scandalized by all the better. He has to conduct himself with honor, courage, sexiness and he must be kind to animals. That about covers it!

Bronwyn Scott said...

Hi,
I'm coming to you from Pacific Standard time so it's 5:56 AM here in Seattle. Love all the comments. I like Elyssa's comment about Derek Craven and Seb. I've read both those books and I liked the heroes there quite well. For me, obviously I love men like Julian Burke, handsome, dangerous and yet they have a fun playful side that gets to show up sometimes when the time is right. For Julian, he's not so 'dark' in terms of having issues and a jaded past, its just his whole world is one big game and he finally meets his match in Sophie DuPlessy. And in meeting her, he's got a jolt of reality--now its more than point, counterpoint, move, counter move. Now, all his gamesmanship has to matter because this time it's for real.
But I love a man with Julian's confidence. A confident man isn't afraid to take chances and he can laugh at himself when things turn out differently than he anticipated (because he's so seldom wrong, a surprise is nice). When he and Sophie play strip piquet, he loses and ends up leaving her place with his boots in his hands and his clothes barely on. He takes it in good stride. Gotta love a guy who can laugh at himself.

Kirsten said...

Mornin' folks! Ladies, that was a really fabulous blog! Ya'll are so clever! And what a great set up, Anna!

I'm with Caren -- I'd take the Spaniard. Not an easy choice, but I haven't had enough Spaniards, or rapiers, in my life recently. Besides, he made me think of Inigo Montoya and the 6-fingered man, which is always good for a smile. :-) (hope that doesn't sound like a bad thing -- I just think of Inigo when I think of Spaniards and swords!) And I personally think Mandy Patinkin is hawt! LOL.

But really, they all sound yummy, and such perfect archetypes of the romance hero. Just the right men to launch the line. Cause it's really all about the hero, right? ;-)

Bronwyn Scott said...

Here's my answer to Deb's question about trying something new. I liked that I got to try a new location. This story was set in Vienna. I've been to Vienna and I've always wanted to set a story there so it was fun to do something with a different backdrop. I had a good time researching the neighborhoods to find just the right places for Julian and Sophie to live and to figure out which church they'd run into. I have a link to the church they use towards the end of the book posted on my blog site if anyone wants to see pictures. (www.bronwynswriting.blogspot.com)I liked the new location idea so much that I am using Florence as the backdrop for my next undone short (the working title for it is The Tuscan Widow but I am sure it will have a different title when it comes out this spring.)

michellewillingham said...

Louisa--I think you may have a book by Michelle Styles, actually. This one is my first Viking. My other books were hunky Irish warriors. :)

Bronwyn--I have your e-book downloaded, and ooooh, strip piquet? Naughty, naughty. Can't wait to read!

You all have to read Amanda's pirate book. Shipwrecked and Seduced is so good! :)

Joan said...

Ahhhh....the Viking! I'll take the Viking please...pretty please?

The primal sensuality..while present in all the heroes when searching for their lady loves...just does something for me when it includes a brawny arm and an axe.

Though being partial to spies, Julian would be fine runner up.

Bronwyn Scott said...

Just a note, I love the initial post on the bandits page, but I wanted to point out that if anyone should click on my name, bronwyn scott, it takes you to a mountain biking website as opposed to taking anyone to my website or my blog. Not really sure why that is, only that there's a few of us Bronwyn Scotts out there. If anyone is interested in visiting my web page, you can do that at www.bronwynnscott.com (there's two N's because I couldn't get the spelling with the single n so I added my middle initial). Hope that helps out. Sorry for the confusion on the front page link

Bronwyn Scott said...

Michelle,
Strip piquet was fun. My husband likes that scene when I read it out loud doing different voices. Oh, you'll love this since you're into hunky Irish Warriors; My husband and I are doing the cover of my college's continuing education spring schedule. They're promoting romance writing classes, celtic fiddle, Gaelic and some other Irish courses so we're posing in our Irish garb in romantic fashion on the cover. We've got our photo shoot coming up shortly. I think it's absolutely hilarious. I'll be sure to post that cover everywhere.
Nikki

Beth said...

I'm going for the Viking with the caveat that he must practice good personal hygiene ; ). I have read all of Michelle's books and have thoroughly enjoyed her Irish heroes so I have great hopes for her Vikings.

Louisa Cornell said...

My bad, Michelle. The book I just finished was HER WARRIOR SLAVE which is yours but the hero is a hot IRISHMAN! Aunty Cindy will KILL me for confusing the two! However, if your Viking is as hot as Kieran O'Brannon I'll take two of 'em!!

michellewillingham said...

Nikki/Bronwyn--ooh, the cover sounds like fun!

Louisa--ah, yes, Her Warrior Slave is the linked story to "The Viking's Forbidden Love-Slave." Remember Kieran's sister Aisling? She's the heroine if TVFLS. Hope you enjoy it!

And yes, my Vikings believe in naked swimming. Good hygiene, don't you know?

Beth--thanks!!

flchen1 said...

OK, count me in as another greedy one--if I had to choose only one, probably the Viking. And what Annie said--that single-mindedness towards his true love makes a hero so very appealing!

Congrats on the GR, Elyssa! Lindts, huh? Can I come visit? ;)

Nicola Cornick said...

Totally agree that the hero has to be kind to animals, Louisa! Fine to lay waste to the enemy but don't lay a hand on the dog!

This is a fun discussion! Deb (Hi Deb!)asked about us doing something new with the short story - well, the scene with the many and varied uses of the quill pen was certainly a first for me! I saw Bronwyn mentioned strip Piquet - I have a lot of trouble understanding the rules of Piquet when I'm writing it but who would care if it was strip Piquet!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Wow, Elyssa, you're a rocker with that Chook!

This is so fun, Anna! Welcome Ladies and Heroes, we're glad you're in the Lair! I'm off to the doc w/ my little guy but wanted to jump on and say howdy and WELCOME!

Amanda McCabe said...

"Fine to lay waste to the enemy but don't lay a hand on the dog!"

LOL--too true. I will happily read mysteries where any number of people (bad people, of course!) get killed, but throw books where dogs or cats get hurt against the wall. :)

Why choose just one hero?? I think we all need as many heroes as we can find! One for each day of the week...

I had such fun writing this story (and doing the blog, too)! I had a hard time letting go of my "High Seas Stowaway" book, so was glad to revisit the setting and some of the characters. The shorter length was an interesting challenge, too! I hope to see lots more of the Undone line in the future.

Linda Banche said...

I love this post. What a way to put all four heroes together. If I had to pick one, I would pick the suave Regency gentlemen. But I'll read all their stories because I've already bought them.

Virginia said...

I like to vary my heros and it depends on my mood as to what hero I want at the time. Sometime I would want the pirate and other times I would want the spy or the gentlemen. It just depends on what my mood is at the time.

Karen H in NC said...

All of these books sound great. Personally, I prefer the Regency Spy but an historical hero from any time period is a winner IMO.

I think heros of different time periods are shaped by the times in which they live and reflect that in their attitudes. A Viking is just a little too rough around the edges to fit well into Regency England and a Regency gentleman might not make it a day with a Viking tribe.

terrio said...

I have to go with the urbane Regency hero. All that charm and wit and that naughty gleam in his eye. Can't resist that kind of package. (Ahem, get your minds out of the gutter!)

What a great group of authors and such a cool idea. So when do we get to read the battle of the heroines? LOL!

Minna said...

What do you think makes a hero?

He does what everyone SHOULD do but many people won't do for one reason or another, like jump in the sea to save someone who's drowning, defend a bullied person, etc.

michellewillingham said...

Terrio--actually, we ARE doing a battle of the heroines, over on Romance Vagabonds. Stop by on Tuesday, November 11th, and you'll see what happens when four heroines take tea.

Since my heroine throws knives, I er...had some fun with this one. :)

terrio said...

Hey, Michelle! I have a dentist appointment that day so I'm going to need something to cheer me up when I get home. LOL! A knife throwing heroine. Oh, that sounds like so much fun.

Anna Campbell said...

Ely, I agree it matters what's on the inside. Although a yummy outside does no harm at all! And hon, if you've got RA waiting for me, we can eschew the chocolates and champagne! I'm there with bells on (although if you insist upon plying me with champagne and chocs...).

Jane, I absolutely loved Daniel Craig in the last James Bond. I thought he was so compelling. I think the idea of sexy shorts in eformat is a great idea. Thanks for popping by!

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Natalie, sorry to hear you've had some sorrows. I hope it's nothing too serious and the ice-cream helped. Or at least the small amount you managed to snaffle back from the GR! Another spy fan! I must admit I'm a hero tart - they all seem pretty hot to me! ;-)

Hey, Minna, a Viking girl, huh? We should have known that! And I'm all for clean in a hero - that's why I liked it when Mr. Darcy dived into the pond in the BBC series. Yeah, right. The wet shirt hardly registered with me at all!

Anna Campbell said...

Helen, I hope you don't mind me saying this, but you sound like a hero tart too! ;-) Also sounds like you appreciate them dark and difficult!

Nicola, lovely to have you back here. You were such a wonderful and popular guest when you blogged with us back when you were touting the fabulous Lord Jack Kestrel in THE LAST RAKE IN LONDON (great read, everyone, and set in the Edwardian era which was huge fun). By the way, I knew you were a hero tart already, dear!

Anna Campbell said...

Nicola, thanks for answering my question. As regulars know, I've had to push out a few short stories recently and I find them excruciating. But they've been great for my writing discipline. If every word has to count, you really only put the important ones in, don't you?

Anna Campbell said...

Annie, what a great response. Thanks so much for dropping by. Hmm, yet ANOTHER hero tart. I think all four boys have their appeal, don't you? And how!

Sue, you and Annie brought up a really interesting point. I agree - I think one of the things that really makes me go for a hero is when he's completely fixated on the heroine. All that passion, oh, my!

Anna Campbell said...

Eric, thanks for popping by! Sounds like the dog is giving you excellent advice. Actually sometimes something short is just what I feel like - I usually have a couple of anthologies on the bookshelf for those moments. The Undone line sounds like just what the doctor ordered!

Donna, they really have fired off the big guns to launch the Undone line, haven't they? And these stories sound like so much fun!

Anna Campbell said...

89 cents??!!! Michelle, that's the bargain of the century. I'm going right over to get them now. Thanks for doing such a fun post for us. I always enjoy it when our bloggers think a little outside the box - not that I don't enjoy the interview formats which are always so informative. What have you got coming up for us?

Anna Campbell said...

Michelle, interesting what you say about the ending. Of course, you guys have considerably more room to develop emotional punch than I do in a short story but you're right. You still have to give the reader that 'ah' moment.

Deb, are you going to be involved in the Undone program? I'd love it if you were! And I knew you were a hero tart too ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Caren, the Spaniard with the rapier (ahem!) was pretty darn sexy, wasn't he? Actually I think it's lovely that there's such a lovely buffet for us to choose from!

Ooh, Michelle, interesting on pushing the sensuality! Actually a b it more of this, and you'll find the really hot stuff is second nature. ;-)

MsHellion said...

The pirate, of course. I have to root for the home team.

Though the urbane Regency guy (I'm thinking Alan Rickman here, younger, but with that drawl) is a close second.

Helen said...

Definitely a hero tart I love them all LOL.
Each author writes them a little differently and their attitudes can be swayed by the heroines in the stories.

But yah you gotta love them all

Have Fun
Helen

Anna Campbell said...

Beth, another spy girl! James Bond has a lot to answer for! ;-)

Jo, sounds like you and Minna have a battle royal on your hands. My money's on Minna!

Susan, I must admit for a soft spot for the man who uses his wits before he pulls out his sword (oh, man, I have to stop writing dirty books - this blog is just full of chances to act like a dirty schoolboy!). That's one of the things I adore about the Scarlet Pimpernel!

Anna Campbell said...

Louisa, it is a fun blog, isn't it? Actually what makes me laugh is that heroes MUST be kind to animals but not necessarily to the heroine!

OOOOOOH, Bronwyn! Strip picquet! That's gotta be worth 89 cents. Thanks so much for joining us on the Banditas today and giving us such a fun blog! What is coming up for you?

Anna Campbell said...

Kirsten, interesting you think it's all about the hero. I know the fabulous Laura Kinsale agrees with you there 100%. I'm not sure - I've had at least as much mail about Verity as about Kylemore, for example. Although I must say in Untouched, Matthew really did take center stage (mmmm....). Yeah, I've always found Mandy Patinkin attractive too. Loved it when he was on Chicago Hope. He's got that sort of ugly/interesting face like Alan Rickman.

Anna Campbell said...

Bronwyn, how fantastic that the book is set in Vienna. I've read hardly any historicals set there - there was an old Barbara Cartland set during the Congress of Vienna and a stack of the Eva Ibbotsons. I kinda used Vienna in TEMPT THE DEVIL. My hero is a diplomat who has returned to London from Vienna - so it's kind of a setting!

Well, one of the reasons I want to read Amanda's pirate book, Michelle, is that I've ADORED her last two books and this is a continuation with one of my very favorite characters. Yum!

Anna Campbell said...

Joan, your love life involves an axe? I'm sorry - I'm just not going there girlfriend! Anyway, I thought you were strictly a gladius gal!

Oops, Bronwyn, that was my fault. I did look up your website but must have done a typo. Blushing... I'll fix it up right now.

Anna Campbell said...

OK, all fixed now. Again, Bronwyn, apologies!

Anna Campbell said...

Bronwyn, the cover sounds great!

Beth, Michelle's Irish heroes are great, aren't they? Looking forward to meeting her Vikings. And Minna assures us that the Viking will smell like a rose!

See? And Michelle concurs with the personal hygiene thing ;-)

Nicola Cornick said...

I think one of the things I love the most about these four books is that they do have such different and interesting backgrounds. And Harlequin are very good at giving authors the scope to set their books in different time periods and eras. (Thanks for the mention of my Edwardian, Anna!)

I hope you'll be doing an Undone book as well, Deb! I know that Louise Allen has a scorchingly sexy highwayman story in the offing.

Anna Campbell said...

Fedora, I really do think that absolute focus on the woman he loves makes a hero! I'm with you, hon!

Nicola, a quill??!!! My imagination is going wild! I absolutely have to fork out my 89 cents!

Jeanne, thanks for dropping by!

Anna Campbell said...

Amanda, welcome! Thanks for coming back to the Bandits. I hope you'll come and visit us again soon too - you're always such fun to have here. And it sounds like Undone! has hit the world with a bang and you're selling like hotcakes!

Hey, Linda, thanks for popping by. Sounds like you've got some interesting reading ahead of you, what with 'historically accurate nooky on shipboard' (TM Anna Campbell), strip picquet, naked bathing and roaming quill pens!

Anna Campbell said...

Virginia, sounds like these short books would exactly suit you. You can get just a taste of each hero and then move onto the next one that takes your fancy!

Karen, interesting comment on the setting shaping the hero. I think you're 100% right! Thanks for coming by!

Anna Campbell said...

Terrio, a battle of the heroines would be huge fun, wouldn't it? We'll have to do this again some time and give the girls their say!

Minna, great thoughts on the hero. You're right - he should be that exceptional individual.

Hey, Michelle, excellent news about the tea party at the Vagabonds. I LOVE the Vagabonds!

Their addy (and I KNOW I've got this right!) is:

www.romancevagabonds.com

Anna Campbell said...

Hellion! Alan Rickman as a Regency rake? What a fabulous idea! And the pirate is amazing - he appears in Amanda's recent books and he's fantastic!

Nicola, a scorching highwayman? Yum! I can see the 89 cents are going to start adding up! And you know I ADORED your Edwardian book. Although having recently read UNMASKED, I've just decided I love all your books and leave it at that! UNMASKED was absolutely amazing - such deep, emotional conflict, I couldn't put it down. Yeah, I know, I sound like a fan girl!

Anna Campbell said...

OK, I've caught up.

The question might have got lost in all the answers - we're having a great party here while those blokes battle it out outside. But I wanted to know what you've all got coming up, Undone girls!

Joan said...

Anyway, I thought you were strictly a gladius gal!

It's not the weapon my dear Anna, but the muscled arm gripping and swinging it.....

:-)

Cassondra said...

Uhm....could I test drive the selection to see which one I'd like to take home?

I'm just sayin...(whistles and looks innocent.)

Anna Campbell said...

Sorry, not fooled, Miss C! We know exactly where you're coming from!

Annie West said...

Anna, did you notice Louisa Nicola's point about the hero not hurting animals? I thought that was a small but telling point - all about that soft centred honourable man. Sigh.

Annie

Minna said...

...And I do know someone who jumped in the ocean in order to save someones life: my Swedish & English teacher in elementary school did just on his holiday.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I am with some of the others, I will just take them all. But, if I absolutely have to choose, the urbane regency gentleman would work. What they all have in common is they love their women, you just gotta love that in a man.

michellewillingham said...

Anna! There you are. This time difference makes it tricky for you, doesn't it?

What's coming up? Well, I have a book on the shelves right now that's tied to "The Viking's Forbidden Love-Slave." It features Aisling's brother Kieran O'Brannon. He's a sexy woodcarver who sells himself into slavery and falls in love with a woman he can never have (his master's betrothed).

After that, I will have my very first Victorian release. It's tentatively scheduled for October '09 and the title (right now) is Wedded to the Enemy. I am 0 for 5 on titles (Viking included), so I have every confidence that the title will change! :)

Anna Campbell said...

Michelle, it sure does make the blogging thing tough! I'm around until about 6am your time and then not until the early afternoon (unless I'm having a bad night, which sadly is a regular occurrence!). That explains the millions of AC entries in a lump!

Hey, love the sound of the forbidden love story! Laughed at the titles thing - I'm currently going through that back and forth process with my editor. I thought I'd come up with a great title for this latest book but it is not to be. The problem with writing dark historicals, too, is that all my titles sound like paranormals. Paranormals seem to have a monopoly on words like 'magic' and 'shadows' and 'dark'. Sigh. Perhaps I should start writing vampires instead!

Anna Campbell said...

Dianna, I think a hero is defined by how powerfully he loves. You are so right!

Minna, what a brave man your teacher was! Yay, him!

Annie, I think one of the reasons people LOVED Matthew so much in Untouched was his relationship with Wolfram, not the heroine! Isn't that hilarious? But I swear Wolfram got fan mail! Seriously thinking of bringing him back as a secondary character (beast?) in some future story!

Cassondra said...

Hey, my intentions are ABSOLUTELY altruistic here. I'm only trying to make an informed decision....

(scuffs toe in dirt, acts casual)

Anna Campbell said...

Nuh, still not convinced, m'dear!

Nancy said...

Elyssa, congratulations! If you dose the bird on chocolate, does he get a sugar high?

Welcome to the lair, ladies. What cool heroes you've brought us. If I had to pick, I think I'd go wtih the Regency spy--just because I have a weakness for spies. That's really the deciding factor since they all sound wonderful to me.

Anna, thanks for hosting this battle.

Amanda McCabe said...

"Well, one of the reasons I want to read Amanda's pirate book, Michelle, is that I've ADORED her last two books and this is a continuation with one of my very favorite characters."

Ahem, yes, your check is in the mail, Publicist Anna. LOL!

It's true this story is tied to my January book "High Seas Stowaway," which stars Balthazar Grattiano as the hero (I DO love Italians--and Spaniards. And Brits, and Frenchmen...). He only gets a mention in S&S, but his time is soon!

Oooh, and highwaymen! I like highwaymen, too. :)

Amanda McCabe said...

Oh, and I like Australian men, too! (Just saw a commercial for the movie "Australia" with Hugh Jackman...)

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, they are a fascinating lot, aren't they?

Amanda, um, how BIG is this check going to be???!!!!

Cassondra said...

I won't race the engine or anything. I promise, you'll never even know I've kicked the tires.....

REALLY.

They'll all be just as good as new when I'm done....er....once I've checked them out...er...inspected...uhm...

RESEARCHED them. Yeah. That's it. Research.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Undone girls! Thanks for a great day in the lair. Hope you've had a wonderful time. We've certainly enjoyed having you and getting to know your heroes!

Thanks to everyone who came by to say hi. And don't forget to check back in the next day or so to see who won the Undone downloads! Good luck!