Saturday, October 10, 2009

Denise Rossetti asks--Are Blonds More Fun?

posted by Christine Wells
Today I'm delighted to welcome back to the lair one of our favourite friends, Denise Rossetti, who is here to talk about hot blonds and her fabulous hot fantasy romance, THIEF OF LIGHT.

Quick! Close you eyes and picture your favourite cabana boy! Okay, what colour is his hair?

There you go. Bet you said black or brown, or maybe bald and shiny if you’re a Bruce Willis groupie.

It’s the strangest thing, Romancelandia is crowded with Tall, Dark and Handsome – with the emphasis on dark. Think of all those dangerous dukes, broody vampires and buff bodyguards and I bet you’re seeing dark locks. Yes, I know there are blond heroes, but they don’t spring to mind as readily as the brunets. (Of course, Sven is the exception.)

My heroes are almost always dark, a few are gray at the temples. But even if they’re fair-ish, there’s always a hefty dollop of red - that beautiful dark red, not carrots. *sigh*


On the other hand, I have to say some men are positively improved by going all blond and flowing. Take Orlando Bloom for instance. (Form an orderly queue to the left and no pushing.) Legolas is a real knee-trembler in my opinion. I much preferred him to Will Turner from Pirates of the Caribbean. Unless it’s the pointy ears… Hmm…

Jason Isaacs is wonderful whatever he does, but there’s just something about Lucius Malfoy. He’s so cold and nasty, he’s actually hot. And those white-blond locks just make the character.

But the heroes in my books? Nope, no blonds. Nu-uh, don’t do ‘em. So when Erik Thorensen turned up inside my head and refused to leave, I was more than a little bemused. What’s more, he folded those big arms across his gorgeous chest, fixed me with a searing blue gaze and informed me he had Viking ancestors, waaaay back in the family tree. Just deal with it, woman.Uh, okay. Erik can be extraordinarily, magically persuasive. It’s that deep, beguiling voice.

What do you think? James Griffin, the cover artist, did his usual fabulous job of plucking the character right out of my head. By the way, if you’re interested in how he does it, he explains his artistic process step-by-step in an interview on my blog. I love the way Erik strides toward you out of the picture. Typical of the man.


This is Prue's (our heroine) first sight of Erik. The beard, by the way, is part of a stage costume. It comes off. So does the rest, eventually. *snork*

When the lights came up for intermission, she was still trembling on a deep, visceral level that dismayed her more than anything had in years. Erik Thorensen had come striding out of fire and brimstone and clasped the shrinking heroine to his chest. And yes, he was a marvelous-looking man, his hair loose on his shoulders like dark-spun gold under the stage lights, the neatly trimmed goatee a shade darker. His eyes were such a vivid blue they pierced Prue all the way to her soft, silly soul. He was big too—so big only the athleticism of his tall muscular frame prevented him from looking blocky. Gods, exactly the physical type she preferred, right down to the mischievous glint in his eye.

But Prue had spent almost two decades surrounded by the most beautiful people on the world of Palimpsest. She was accustomed to perfection, even to the delightful frisson of sexual dominance Erik projected so effortlessly. He was a fine actor.

But merciful Sister, that voice!

He’d glanced directly at their box and his face had lit up with a grin that had pure devil in it. Then he’d opened his mouth. From the first effortless bar, her foolish heart had tumbled into his keeping. Every note was round, rich, deeply masculine, filling the auditorium as if supported on smooth columns of air. Utterly enthralled, Prue had found herself leaning forward, her mouth hanging open, trying to breathe him in, keep him forever, hers alone. She felt feverish, tingling, her breasts tight and her sex swollen and slippery, as if he were stroking her naked body with velvet.

Even worse, the costume, in an old-fashioned style still worn only by the oligarchs on Green IV, suited him to perfection. A pair of over-the-knee boots emphasized the power of thighs and buttocks encased in tight cream breeches. Prue’s mouth watered.

Thief of Light is the second in the Four-Sided Pentacle series, following The Flame and the Shadow. Here’s a little more about the book.

In the elegant, subtropical city of Caracole, Erik the Golden is widely known as irresistible; his Voice an instrument of incredible pleasure, the stroke of velvet on bare skin. But the Voice is a curse as much as a blessing, for once Erik used it to steal a soul, and now he must pay.

Prue is the business manager for the beautiful courtesans of the Garden of Nocturnal Delights. She deals in numbers, not Magick, and when Erik turns his charms in her direction, she sees only a performer’s vanity. How is it she can resist what others can't? She's either a torment devised by the gods to drive him mad—or Erik's last hope of salvation.

Some desires are impossible to resist...

Read the first chapter.
Coming 3rd November, 2009.

And you know what? I don’t care if I’m shallow about hair. What’s the point of having a fantasy if it’s not exactly the way you want it?

So tell me, do a hero’s locks matter to you at all? Colour? Length? More to the point, can you work out why? Did you imprint on your first love’s hair, like a gosling? I know one reader who mentally converts all the blonds to brunets because she simply can’t visualize a golden-haired hero.

I’m delighted to offer a signed copy of either The Flame and the Shadow or Thief of Light to one commenter. Bring on the Hair Wars!

116 comments:

Christine Wells said...

Welcome to the lair, Denise! I'm sure many of you know that Denise is my critique partner and dear friend. Cabana boys, pay this lady some attention, please!

Denise, I tend to think of heroes as blond in some circumstances even when they're not. There's a certain flashy charmer type of hero that I always think of as blond. Eg, I had in my head that SEP's Bobby Tom from Heaven, Texas, was blond but he actually had dark hair, same with Gideon in Anne Gracie's The Perfect Rake. I suppose it's really true that readers rewrite the story in their own minds. Loooove big Erik! He could not appear in my mind as anything but a big blond Norse god. As usual, James did an amazing job in capturing the character of the hero on your cover.

It's my 3yo's birthday today and currently all the little ones are in the pool, having filled to sinking point on cake and chocolate crackles, sausage rolls and party pies. Must get back to them, but I'll return later to play.

Virginia said...

Congrats Christine on nabbing the rooster today! Have fun with him, I'm am sure he is your blond hero! Happy Birthday to you three year old!

Great post Denise, I think I kind of go for the dark hero the most! There is just something about a tall dark hero in my eyes. I can't say I always go for the dark hero, because I love Simon Baker's blond curly hair in the Mentalist, but he also has a smile to die for!

Authorness said...

Hi, Denise and Christine! Denise, you're psychic. My fantasy cabana boy has, apart from other appealing aspects, dark hair. To be honest, I don't have a preference. Even if my DH had green hair when I first met him, I still think I would have found him irresistible.

Am I alone in thinking Orlando Bloom does not look great as a blond? One hero who does strike my fancy is the naturally blond Westley from the 'Princess Bride'.

PinkPeony said...

Hi Christine and welcome Denise!

"...encased in tight cream breeches..." Whew! Gorgeous covers!

I prefer dark hair on men but as long as they have "good" hair, thick silky and healthy, it doesn't matter what color it is...but if he's got a mullet or a ponytail a la Steven Seagal or bald on top with a wisp of a ponytail, then it's a big turn off. And shaved heads are great too especially if the guy has a nicely shaped head.

Enjoy the party Christine! (what is a sausage roll?)

Denise Rossetti said...

Hiya Christine - happy birthday to Small Person! Do you think our feathered friend will enjoy the pool? *snork*

And yes, that's an interesting correlation: shiny blond = flashy charmer. My heroine, Prue - who's the sensible, grounded type - agrees with you 100%. She'll learn. heh heh

Denise Rossetti said...

Virginia, SNAP! on Simon Baker. And yes, I'm a goner for a great smile. *sigh*

Denise Rossetti said...

Hi Authorness, I've always preferred dark heroes too, so go figure about Erik. And My Beloved is blond, very blond. Like a cross between a teddy bear and a Viking. Weird. (Me, I mean, not him, the sweetie.)

OTOH, I'm still votin' for Legolas any time! *chuckle* He can put his pointy-toed elf boots under my bed any time.

Minna said...

Hero’s locks don't really matter to me. As long as he has them! But it seems that heroes most often have dark hair. And it can be blond, but I don't remember the last time I would have read about a hero with red hair.

Boy George and the Culture Club Karma Chameleon
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCuEHLiYUxA&feature=related

jo robertson said...

Hi, Denise, welcome back to the Lair. Any critique partner of our dear Christine gets the full red-carpet treatment. So, Cabana boys and drink at your fingertips, dear.

Ooooh, I can tell I'm going to love Erik Thorensen, and not for his golden locks, but for the VOICE!! Wowza, it's all about the voice for me.

Hmmm, for some reason blonde guys don't do it for me. I think maybe there's a pretty-boy, playboy kind of image that goes with the blondeness, a level of spoiledness.

I was just thinking of this in my recent book, how all my heros are black-haired. Whoa, I thought, that's a rut. So I made the hero have chocolate hair, that rich dark silky brown that you love to run your fingers through.

Lynz Pickles said...

Congrats on the GR, Christine! (Did you know The Season is accepting entries for their cover contest? Please please please won't you enter Wicked Little Game's cover? Please?)

I'm not too concerned with a hero's hair colour because if I don't agree with an author's description of it, I'll mentally edit it. I'm a naughty reader like that. If I agree with the author's choice, though, it's because they've made their blond boys look like fallen angels - *swoon* - or they've given their brunets chiseled features. I don't run into redheads too often, but the last one I came across had a laid-back personality, which made me okay with his hair colour. I was too busy thinking about him to think about his hair.

I had two first loves - this was in kindergarten and everyone was "dating" more than one person at once, so don't look at me like that! - one a blond and one a brunet. My first two big crushes in high school were split the same way. I doubt I'll ever find a redhead appealing in real life, though, because my dad's family is composed almost entirely of them, so any carrot-tones in a guy's hair tend to turn me off. Thankfully, my red was diluted by my mom's brown, so I don't have that... lovely... orange colour.

Now on to more important things... Simon Baker! Westley! Orlando Bloom, though I prefer him brunet! I'm melting from the level of heat in this conversation! (Personally, when I though about hotties, I went all-brown. Nathan Fillion, Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder, and Hugh Jackman. And then I wondered why I had no blonds, which made Jamie Johnston and blond Heath Ledger pop up. Still no redheads, though. I guess I'm not as impartial as I thought when it comes to real-life men.)

Denise Rossetti said...

I've been truly blessed by the Cover Goddess, PinkPeony, not a doubt of it. All the way back to my Ellora's Cave books. In fact, I still refer to the cover dude for Gift of the Goddess as Mr Gorgeous. He's my screensaver to this very day. He's here on my website if you want to see.

Totally agree on the desperate wisps across the bald dome look. I'm so glad so many men now just shave it all off. It can look really good, can't it? Very virile. But not quite up to a bald hero yet. heh

Helen said...

Congrats Christine I am sure the GR is going to enjoy the birthday party I would love some chocolate crackles.

Great post Denise and how true I too always see the hero as dark haired hero although I have read some books with blondes and a couple of red heads not too many though. I tend to get a picture of the hero as I am reading the book and I go with whatever colour hair the author has given them. When I was a young teeager hanging around Bondi and Cronulla beaches blondes were all the rage the surfers always had blond hair usually with the help of peroxide or lemon juice etc but as I have matured I do love a tall dark hero lol.

I am so looking forward to Erik's story I loved The Flame and The Shadow and I know I am going to love this one as well.

Have Fun
Helen

Suzanne Welsh said...

Mmmmmmmmmmmm, Erik sounds yummy!

I'm okay with blonde's as heroes and here's why...

LEGENDS OF THE FALL...Brad Pitt as Tristan with all that long flowing hair. Sighhhhhhh

Suzanne Welsh said...

I meant blonds, not the feminine blonde, really, I did! LOL

also...another fine example...

Sean Bean as Richard Sharpe!

PinkPeony said...

Denise...

"desperate wisps" sums it up perfectly! It's almost as bad as a comb-over! Hilarious!

Denise Rossetti said...

Minna, I have to admit I'm hard-pressed to think of a true red-haired hero. Only one that comes to mind is Diana Gabaldon's Jamie.

Trey in my Gift of the Goddess has red-gold colouring and hazel eyes. And Mirry in Tailspin has hair that's a fascinating mix of warm colours. But then he's an Aetherii and his full name is Miriliel the Burnished. Which he is.

But Erik's my first real blond. I'm still surprised about that.

Denise Rossetti said...

Thanks Jo. I'll have a mimosa please. *g* Oh, and the third cabana boy from the left, the one with the dark curls and the bad-boy grin. Oops, getting distracted, back to the blog post...

Have to agree, a deep velvety voice makes me all weak at the knees. And - hoo boy! - Erik has got that in SPADES! To the nth degree, in fact. It's why I adore him.

Chocolate brown and silky-shiny sounds gorgeous. Sooo sensual. Ahh...

Denise Rossetti said...

Lynz, I have another reader who does EXACTLY what you do - she creates her own image of the hero, the way she likes him. *smile*

Doesn't bother me. In fact, unlike many authors, I can never find a picture of a real life hunk who looks like my hero (or heroine, for that matter). No one could ever be as fabulous as what's in my head. So I don't give really detailed descriptions of faces. And I like covers where you don't see the whole face.

As for redheads, do you know David Wenham? He's an Aussie actor, was Faramir in Lord of the Rings. Yum. The Thinking Woman's Crumpet. *sigh*

Denise Rossetti said...

Hey, Helen, lovely to hear from you! And thanks for the kind words about TFATS. (Still think that's a really funny abbreviation. *snork*)I really hope you'll like Thief of Light.

You made me smile remembering "surfie blonds". Though it was often all salt-encrusted and tangled. Still, the bodies weren't bad. All that swimming... *chortle*

Denise Rossetti said...

Hi Suzanne, Oooh yes, and Brad Pitt as Achilles in Troy wearing long blond hair and very little else. Was about the only thing that kept me awake in that movie. Apart from Eric Bana. heh heh

And yes, Sean Bean. I think if the hero is alpha enough and as long as he's not actually pale I cope perfectly well with blond. *snicker*

Denise Rossetti said...

Absolutely, PinkPeony. OMG, anything rather than the dreaded comb-over! Anything!

Mel Teshco said...

I'll have a chocolate crackle if they're getting passed around please Christine! (g) Happy birthday little Miss/Mr 3!
I adore dark-haired heroes and lately have leanings toward the short, spiky cut on a great looking guy (sigh) I did have a blonde villain who almost rivalled the hero in one of my older manuscripts. Like you Denise, I think blonde on a bad boy really suits =)

Eleni Konstantine said...

Yes, you're right Denise - mainly I think of darker hair. Though one of my favourite male characters is Jamie Fraser from Diana Gabaldon's series and he has red hair.

I'm not a Legolas fan sorry as much as a Will fan.

But love the cover of Thief of Light. James you have done it again! And can totally see the Norse look on Eric (intro of him in TFATS).

Minna said...

Only red head I can remember is Tommy in a Tommy and Tuppence series by Agatha Christie.

Young Einstein
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaOVeKvrEX4

http://www.offthemark.com/daily.php/?go=1254538800

http://www.offthemark.com/hair/hair.htm

mariska said...

Dark hair will be my favorite. Even sometimes i don't notice the colour of my hero :)
nice meeting you my a new author (for me) *g*
mariska

Christie Kelley said...

Hi Denise! Welcome to the lair.

And yes, send over one of the dark haired cabana boys for me. Hmm, he might have competition with my black haired husband (who at 50 still has almost no gray, it's just not right). Can you guess that I also prefer dark haired men.

I have yet to create a blond hero. In fact, I have only had one blond heroine. So I guess blonds don't have more fun in my world.

PJ said...

Hi Denise! Welcome back to the lair. I usually don't buy books based on the cover but I think, if I saw Thief of Light on the store shelf, I just might have to make an exception. (grin)

I prefer dark-haired heroes, with a few notable exceptions like Johanna Lindsey's James Mallory, and usually have no compunction about mentally re-arranging their features to suit my ideal. It's ironic, really, that I prefer dark heroes when my first love, my husband and my one foray into the lifeguard/surfer pool were all blonds. Wonder what that says about me? LOL!

PJ said...

Hi Christine! Thanks for bringing Denise back to the lair. Happy Birthday to your little one! I hope the GR isn't leading the troops into too much mischief. :)

You woke up my brain this morning with the chocolate crackles and party pies. I had to go research to find out what they were. The crackles look like our Rice Krispies Treats, in a chocolate flavor. I love RK Treats! Have you had them during your visits to the US? They're great plain but sometimes I put peanut butter in mine and dip them in melted chocolate. Hmmmm. Maybe a trip to the grocery is in order.

Kirsten said...

Hey Denise! Nice to see you! Great excerpt -- I am a huge sucker for men with hot voices. I posted a blog recently about favorite Disney princes and for me it was Prince Phillip from Sleeping Beauty -- and mainly because of that gorgeous voice.

So blonde men...here's why I don't love blonde heros. How many naturally blonde men are out there right now? Not too many. So I associate blonde hair with FAKE blonde hair. And nothing is a bigger turn off for me than a guy who messes with his hair. Not manly enough, KWIM? *VBG*

Anyway, I do love true blondes, so I'll put aside my aversion for Erik -- he's blonde to his roots! And for that voice, I'd forget any sins...

Oh, but for red headed heros? Didn't Eloisa have one? Can't remember the book, but he was a big redhead from Scotland.

PJ said...

Oh, but for red headed heros? Didn't Eloisa have one? Can't remember the book, but he was a big redhead from Scotland.

Ewan, Earl of Ardmore is the hero of EJ's Kiss Me, Annabel. He's a big, red-haired Scot and one of my favorite EJ heroes. :)

Joan said...

OMG Denise...your excerpt just recreated a moment I had at the hospital several years back....

I was taking care of a lovely little old lady and her grandson (who looked just like Erik from your description) came up to the nurse's desk. He said in a deep voice "Excuse me". I turned and experienced a um, true visceral tug in my stomach.

He was a Viking God.

I was more than happy to help him and made sure he knew how much his grandmother and I got on, subconciously also saying "Wouldn't you want that in a wife? Please,please oh please."

Hospital work has never been that good again.

My BFF just called wanting to go to the bookstore. I think that call came just in time.

Joan said...

Got so caught up I forgot to welcome you to the Lair and to answer yes....I ALWAYS convert the hero's hair to black, deep chestnut brown at the outside.

Except for that Viking God at the hosptial...sigh

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hair wars! SNORK! I love it! Congrats on the chook, Christine and watch him around the birthday presents as well as the birthday pies!

*fluffs blonde hair* Of COURSE blondes are more fun! Grins.

Welcome Denise! The Lair's a great place for this kind of...ahem...scholarly discussion. I'm loving everyone's take on the matter. I love blonde men, so your Erik is right up my alley...wait, that didn't sound very nice...hmmm. Anyway, my unrequited love for Thor notwithstanding, as Jo, Christy and Kirsten mentioned, its the VOICE. I love a deep, resonant voice. Makes m'knees weak, dont'cha know. Ha!

That said, my DH's hair is salt-and-pepper w/ more salt than pepper, even tho' he's quite young. I'm good with it because as Authorness said, I was hot for him no matter his hair (or lack thereof) Snork.

Kirsten, you and I have been watching too much Disney. I thought about Phillip too. :> And the Beast as the Beast, rather than as the prince. Sigh.

I'd rather have Orly as a brunette, but CLEAN, thank you. My aversion - if any - to Will was the sweat/grease factor. :>

Oh, and the viking at the bottom of the post? He can deliver my...drinks...anytime. Snork!

Now that I've gotten all that opine-ing out of my system, I've got a baseball game to go to...my son's Beltway Bombers vs. Clarkesville's Thunder. *shakes head* (I need to be in the cave, but...)

Joan said...

Am I alone in thinking Orlando Bloom does not look great as a blond?

I agree Vanessa which reinforces the idea that it IS the pointy ears.

When that elf army marches into the fray ...um, um...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, and one more opinion, because you know I never can keep them to myself..

LOVE me some red-headed heroes. Carrots or auburn, reddish-blonde or anything in between. YUM.

Of course, I just love men. Dark-haired rates pretty well too, as does bald - Shemar Moore, anyone? Vin Diesel? Pierce Brosnan? Antonio Banderes? David (I have the Swine Flu) Boreanz?

Bring 'em on! Grins. Oh, and Karl Urban - my vote for who should play Thor in the Marvel Comics movie - I'll take him blonde a la LOTR, or dark a la Star Trek. Frankly, m'dears, I'll take him! Heehee

catslady said...

I do tend to like the darker hair but I'm not against blonds in my books lol. More important is that I like long hair in my heros - always had a thing about that. Of course I married someone with spare hair lol (but one of my daughters has been gonig with someone with extremely long dark hair - hmmmm wonder if she got that from me lol).

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Christine, you got the CHOOK!!!! When was the last time you got the chook? Must be ages ago. He'll be so excited to be back with you and the kids and the dog and... Snork!

Denise, welcome back to the lair! This book sounds delicious. As you know, I adore a man who can sing. I imagine Bryn Terfel's voice when I read about Erik's singing - and believe me that makes me go weak at the knees whatever his hair is like!

There must be something in the air. After a whole stack of definite tall, dark and handsomes, my next guy is going to be a blonde too. Well, a tawny blonde, that leonine look. He was mean to be based on David Boreanaz but nup, it was exactly as you said, this fair guy took up residence in my brain and wouldn't shift in favor of the dark and brooding type. So he's leonine and brooding. I think I can live with that!

Loved The Flame and the Shadow. Can't wait for the next instalment! Congratulations on your great books and all your success.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Denise - Great topic! I hadn't given much thought to the prevalence of dark headed heros - guess my interests lie lower (big grin) but I must confess I prefer darker hair to blonde - even to Orlando Bloom's locks. My husband has dark hair - the hair that is left (sorry, dear) so maybe that is the reason for my preference... or as I come from a family of blondes, maybe blonde heros remind me of my brothers and I DON"T want to go there.

Love the new cover as well as the excerpt. A deep luscious voice is a must for any hero and yours has it in spades. This sounds like a keeper.

Cybercliper said...

Hi Denise - Color or length of locks doesn't matter to me, although I prefer the long and black variety - but, I hate when an author tries to describe some strange "designer" type of hair cut. I've read books where the author has described the hair right down to the shaved neck on the hero and I still couldn't picture it. It seemed his hair kept changing from shaved sides to now falling across his eyes. It became a distraction. Maybe it's just me, but when I run into that particular problem, I just sub in one of my favorite cabana boys :-)

I love The Flame and the Shadow and have been waiting for Thief of Light. Congrats on the release!

Becke Davis said...

I've got THE FLAME AND THE SHADOW in my TBR pile -- the cover is absolutely gorgeous! I'll have to get the new one and read them one after the other.

Christine -- have fun with the birthday celebrations!

Christine Wells said...

Hi Virginia, thanks for the birthday wishes! Sorry I snaffled the bird, but I had to welcome Denise before resuming the party duties:)

Oh, Simon Baker is tres hawt, I agree! I also love Matthew McConaghy (sp?)

Christine Wells said...

Oh, Vanessa, Westley is a great choice. I think it's his personality that's so charming and debonair. And of course the amazing dialogue in the movie.

Christine Wells said...

Hi Jen! A sausage roll is sausage meat encased in pastry--very fattening but also tasty, especially with tomato sauce. Yes, I agree about 'good hair'.

Christine Wells said...

Minna, I feel so sorry for men with red hair. They get such a bad rap, don't they?

Christine Wells said...

Jo, I so agree that a sexy voice is a great asset! You would love Thief of Light. Erik's voice plays a huge part in the story.

Christine Wells said...

Lynz, thanks for letting me know about the cover contest. I'll certainly enter Wicked Little Game.

You know, I really don't mind reading about a carroty-headed hero. Facial hair, now... I have a real problem with facial hair.

Christine Wells said...

Hi Helen, if they traveled well, I'd post you some chocolate crackles but I think they'd be a gooey mess by the time they arrived! I haven't had the rooster for a long time, but he and I are getting a little better acquainted. The Golden One is unconcerned about disparagement of blonds--he knows he stands in a class apart!

Christine Wells said...

Oh, Suz, yes, Brad Pitt is a great blond both in Troy and Legends. And Sean Bean is that rare blond who is very hard and edgy but also hot!

Christine Wells said...

Denise, Jenny Crusie's hero in Manhunt had a moustache--many of her readers mentally edited that bit out. I just thought of him as like Magnum PI and was OK with it.

Christine Wells said...

Hi, Mel! I've sent a cabana boy with chocolate crackles over to you. Hope you enjoy them!

Christine Wells said...

Hi Eleni, lovely to see you here. Coincidentally, Denise and I have the same cover artist. He's very versatile!

Deb said...

When I first met my husband, his hair was longer than at present. It touched the collar of his shirt. He has brown hair with some red glints and he has blue eyes. Now, his hair is short--military-style short. Ooh, he was sexy then and he still is. Mmmmm.

Christine Wells said...

Looks like PJ, Mariska and Christie all prefer dark-haired heroes. I realized I haven't written a hero that isn't dark-haired yet. Even thinking about changing the hair colour means a hero would be a completely different person in my mind.

So it begs the question--does hair colour influence personality?

Christine Wells said...

Ohhhh, PJ, you are so naughty! How do you remain so trim when you make things like Rice Krispy treats with PB and dipped in chocolate? You must have iron willpower, that's all I can say. I haven't tried them but they sound divine!

Christine Wells said...

Kirsten wrote:
nothing is a bigger turn off for me than a guy who messes with his hair

I've noticed it's the fashion now for young guys to look like they just got out of bed (or had a fright)--only it's a very artfully achieved style, not unlike the Regency windswept, actually.LOL So you're not into metrosexuals, then, I take it, Kirsten?

Christine Wells said...

LOL, Joanie, love your story about your blond Viking with the Voice!

Christine Wells said...

Jeanne, I love a deep, resonant voice, too. In fact, if I hear the voice first, I'm always a bit reluctant to see the face as the face is so often a disappointment!

Christine Wells said...

PS, Jeanne, hope your boy won the day!

Joan said...

Minna, I feel so sorry for men with red hair.

Hey! The first three guys I had crushes on from 5th through 8th grade were redheads!

I'm not keen on facial hair on too many guys either but love me some scruff

Christine Wells said...

Catslady--long hair, eh? Interesting! My next hero has long-ish hair. How long are we talking, I wonder?

Christine Wells said...

LOL, Anna, there were MANY kids and TWO dogs at my house yesterday, so poor Rooster... But of course, he handled it all with his usual aplomb.

Love the idea of the leonine hero! YUM!

Christine Wells said...

Donna, I think blond heroes are slightly problematic in Regency and Victorian because to be truly hot blonds do need a bit of a tan, don't you think? And having a tan was pretty unusual for English aristocrats. Not impossible--you can always make excuses, eg they've spent time in India, or in Africa, exploring, or whatever--but difficult!

Christine Wells said...

...when I run into that particular problem, I just sub in one of my favorite cabana boys :-)

Haha, Cybercliper, I love it!

Actually, it just goes to show that you can give too much detail in your description of characters. I think some writers are control freaks and want you to see the hero exactly as you see him. I'm trying to step back a bit and let the reader fill in the blanks.

Christine Wells said...

Hi Becke, you'll love TFATS! Thanks, we had a lot of fun at our party:)

Christine Wells said...

Deb, in real life, the hair colour doesn't really matter, does it? I think for me it's the same in books. If the character is utterly compelling his hair colour doesn't matter.

Christine Wells said...

Joanie, my first BF (Grade One) had the brightest carrot top you've ever seen:)

Susan Sey said...

Hi, Denise!

You know I was going to say I prefer brunets. (is it only women who'd qualify for the 'brunette' spelling, btw? Do you call dark haired men brunets?)

Then I read your excerpt featuring Erik there & I think I changed my mind. Wow. I'm totally going to waiting at the book store counter for that one. :-)

Denise Rossetti said...

Hi Mel, my friend! *waves* Pass a chocolate crackle! Wonder if there's fairy bread? Makes the porridge I'm having for breakfast look a trifle lacklustre. ;-)

The short spiky cut is fine with me - as long as there's enough of it to even see the colour. Some of those buzz cuts are so short everything goes a sort of indeterminate sandy shade.

Denise Rossetti said...

Hi Eleni! *waves* Thanks for dropping in when you're so busy with your Eleni-fest.

Looks like I'm the only Legolas standout then. Ah well. Tough work, but someone has to do it... *giggle*

And yes, James Griffin is totally amazing. He also told me that the model is a real person - he's walking around somewhere looking like that . Heavens! We may all feel truly blessed.

Denise Rossetti said...

Gosh, Minna. Tommy and Tuppence? That takes me back...

Denise Rossetti said...

Nice to meet you too, Mariska. *smile*

The Bandits' Lair is a gold mine for discovering new authors. Also for turning your TBR pile into a tottering mountain. *happy sigh*

Denise Rossetti said...

Thanks for the welcome, Christie. Gives me the pip how men age so well. Gray? It just makes them look distinguished. Or, like your DH, it doesn't appear. My Beloved is blond so his gray just make s him look blonder. *cue grinding of teeth*

The heroine I'm currently writing is blonde. I must be on a roll. *grin*

Denise Rossetti said...

PJ, I'm EXACTLY the same - prefer dark-haired men, but My Beloved is blond. Go figure. *grin*

As for covers... I always think it's the cover artist's job to get you to pick up the book in the store. After that, it's up to me and my words. Takes about 30 seconds. Maybe less.

Oooh... Scary thought.

Nancy said...

Christine--the rooster? It has been a while, hasn't it? Maybe helping at the party will keep him out of trouble. And all best wishes to the birthday child!

Denise, welcome! What a fabulous excerpt.

I tend to think of tall (being tall myself) and dark, though the hero's hair color doesn't really matter much to me. I totally agree about Orlando Bloom as Legolas--a fabulous look for him. A bookstore clerk told me, after Fellowship came out, that they sold more Legolas bookmarks than any other LOTR ones, and primarily to teenaged girls.

Jason Isaacs, as you note, makes a terrific blond also.

And my dh is blond. And just a shade taller than I am (which no one is to tell him I conceded, as this is a running dispute), so I suppose we need to say I'm open-minded on hero looks. :-)

But for me, hero voice means a lot. Gregory Peck had a fabulous voice. I've never heard a movie star with better.

Nancy said...

Joan, you know, Mr. Spock had pointy ears, too, and just look at his female following!

Denise Rossetti said...

Hi Kirsten! You are oh-so-right about Erik - he's no bottle blond. There's something about obvious fake blonding that's a real turn-off, isn't there? Something brassy. Erik's definitely a little vain - he's a performer after all and his looks are part of his stock in trade, but he's not stupid about it. I like that.

And lovely to find another voice-groupie. Really does it for me. I'm listening to Stephen Fry read Harry Potter right now and I'm in awe. Wow. Just...wow!

Denise Rossetti said...

Oh Joan, I LOVE your story about the Viking God at the hospital! How particularly delightful that he came to see his grandmother too. Makes him even yummier.

And yes, I could cope with deep chestnut brown. Maybe red highlights in the sun... Hey, we have a hero who's NOT a vampire!

Denise Rossetti said...

Hi Jeanne. Insert graceful curtsey here. *wobble*

Right. Totally agree on the impact of the voice. If it's beautiful enough, deep enough, a good baritone makes all the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I'll close my eyes if the visual picture doesn't match the aural one.

At least with Erik, that is NO problem at all! The looks and the voice are all one gorgeous package. Ah...

Denise Rossetti said...

Joan, I lurve pointy ears! My Aetherii heroes (Phoenix Rising series for Ellora's Cave) have pointy ears. Also magnificent wings and wicked feathery tails.

Oh my.

Joan said...

James Griffin is totally amazing. He also told me that the model is a real person - he's walking around somewhere looking like that .

OMG!!!! Quick (before I click on his link) does James live in America? Perchance KENTUCKY where yanno....the MODEL MIGHT LIVE??!!!!

Joan said...

Also magnificent wings and wicked feathery tails.

I'm not going to even ASK about the tails.....VBG

Caren Crane said...

Oh, Denise, welcome back! Sorry to be so late to the party, but Duty, Church and Family called. (Don't I sound a right Puritan? *g*)

As to hair color, if asked I would automatically say I prefer my men dark-haired. My favorites tend to have dark hair (yes, I DO mean Oded Fehr!). However, my first real love had gorgeous blond hair. My husband? A dark blond. My can't-resist Hollywood hunk? Kurt Russell, another blond. There is something about a tall, square-jawed blond I can't resist. *sigh*

I'm excited about Erik's book!

Caren Crane said...

Christine, Happy Birthday to the "baby". Is it possible he is three already? Yikes! I really am getting old...

Christine Wells said...

Posh, yes, it seems a very short time ago that the little one arrived. He had a lovely day and is a very tired small person this morning.

You will love Erik! Thanks for popping in.

And can I just say that the viking in that post bears a remarkable resemblance to Denise's Beloved? I hope she won't mind my saying...

filifelicia said...

to tell you the truth it all depends. I love the blond hair blue hair characters. When I visualize them they are always the hot ones that can destroy anything they touch whether that is good or bad. My heros in my mind are over six feet tall with a eight pack and huge muscles. I really don't know whether there hair should be long or short I like both. I really like blond heros though and really approve of you putting the blonds guys in your stories.

Joan said...

remarkable resemblance to Denise's Beloved? I hope she won't mind my saying...

THUNK

Denise Rossetti said...

Oh yes, Catslady, I love long hair too. Every time my son gets his bizz cut, I mourn. My Beloved had had hair longer than mine when we met - thick golden wavy locks, to die for, truly. Ans he still has longer hair than me.

And that gives you a pretty good idea of how old we are. LOL Went to a Leonard Cohen concert a few months back and the place was packed with long gray ponytails and biker boots. *snork* I enjoyed the audience almost as much as the amazing Leonard.

Denise Rossetti said...

Hi Anna! Hmm... Tawny and leonine hey? Hubba, hubba! Can't wait!

And yep, Erik's voice is Bryn Terfel and Teddy Tahu Rhodes and every gorgeous velvety baritone you've ever heard rolled into one. *shivers*

Denise Rossetti said...

Donna, you slay me! Somewhere lower indeed! *snork*

I can't imagine what it would be like to come from a blond family, but I can see why you wouldn't want to revisit your brothers in Romancelandia. Erk. LOL

Denise Rossetti said...

Thanks for the kind words on TFATS , Cybercliper. Hope you enjoy Erik and Prue. It's one of those irresistable forces and immovable object type relationships. I had such fun with them - but then I'm evil. *cackle*

I know what you mean about those detailed escriptions, which is why I don't do 'em. Every reader builds her own image of the characters in her head and it's so much better that way for all concerned. IMO.

Denise Rossetti said...

Gosh, Becke, you'll be all Rossetti-ed out! But hey, I'd love it if you did read them both one after the other. Talk about immersed in a world!

Denise Rossetti said...

Christine, this is probably TMI, but I have never seen My Beloved's upper lip in the nude. Not sure I want to either.

Denise Rossetti said...

Aw, Deb, you are sooo stuck on your husband. *smile* Gorgeous! Actually, he sounds totally yummy. Lucky you...

Denise Rossetti said...

Christine, I hate that gel stuff. Went to ruffle son's hair in a careless gesture of maternal affection and almost got super-glued. Blech!

Denise Rossetti said...

Christine, my uncle used to say kissing a man without a moustache was like eating an egg without salt. My aunt wisely said nothing. Guess who had the facial fungus? LOL

Denise Rossetti said...

Hi Susan! I actually looked it up because brunet looked so strange on the page. But it's correct as the masculine form, brunette for women.

Thanks for the kind words. Erik really did it for me, which is the first essential step I guess!

Denise Rossetti said...

Ah Nancy, that's so interesting about the Legolas bookmarks. I rest my case! And ditto on Gregory peck. he had a beautiful voice.

Denise Rossetti said...

Joan, on the whereabouts of the model... James does all his setup photos in a New York studio, so I guess my Erik's walking the streets of the Big Apple, women falling at his feet like ninepins. ;-)

Denise Rossetti said...

Aw go on, Joan, ask about the tails! So um, handy, to have an extra appendage. Funnily enough, I kept forgetting them and having to go back and write them in. Must be because I'm tail-deprived myself.

Denise Rossetti said...

Hi Caren, don't worry about being late - here I am, fingers flying, one eye on the clock! Yes, dark blond is good - especially with a bit of a tan. That golden leonine look Anna's on about. Hmmm...

Denise Rossetti said...

OMG, Christine - a remarkable resemblance to My Beloved!!!!

*snort, choke, gasp*

He's a darling man, and yes, he's blond and broad, long hair and beard. But I always think he's like a cross between a teddy bear and a Viking, with the emphasis on the cuddly bit. *smile*

Denise Rossetti said...

Ah Filifelicia, you've made my day! Sounds like Erik's the perfect man for you - over six foot, lovely muscles, sea blue eyes and that hair. I definitely recommend him!

Lynz Pickles said...

Christine: Facial hair, now... I have a real problem with facial hair.

Ugh, yes! I totally agree! The fastest way to guarantee that I won't find your hero attractive is to give him facial hair. I mean serious facial hair, not a five o'clock shadow. I actually stopped reading one author's books because every single one of her heroes had serious facial hair. That's just not sexy, not to me at least. You give a hero a beard, I think of Santa Claus. And I can't force that image out of my head, no matter how hard I try. It buuuuurns!

MsHellion said...

I am a fan of dark hair. I don't usually pick up books with blond heroes; however, I do think Lucius Malfoy is HAWT--he puts the HAWT in Haughty.

I'm not sure if my love of dark hair is an imprinting thing--my dad did have dark hair, but he's now bald (though I do find Vin Diesel wildly attractive). When I was a kid I *LOVED* Bo Duke, who was a blond. I loved blondes when I was younger; but when I was younger I also loved the sweet and noble prince. Now I'm a fan of the bad boy, and bad boys almost always have dark hair. (I can think of a few notable exceptions.)

So I think that's why I like dark hair. It's that medieval church thing. Dark hair=dark soul and blond hair=heavenly soul. I prefer the dark souls--bigger redemption.

Christine Wells said...

Hellion wrote: he puts the HAWT in Haughty

Snork! I love it:)

Denise, I can't imagine your Beloved having a nude upper lip!

Thanks so much for being with us today, we had a lot of fun!

Sharon Archer said...

Hi Denise and Christine and Bandits

I'm late to the party which is typical! :-p

I have to say you get seriously GORGEOUS covers, Denise! I have a fondness for the TDH hero but blond, T & H is great too! I'm easy to please! ;)

And I'm really looking forward to reading Erik's story!

Sharon

Denise Rossetti said...

Lynz, you've got me giggling here. It buuurns huh? Okay, I'll spare you the recollections of my first interactions with My Beloved. *snort, cackle*

Denise Rossetti said...

MsHellion, that's a really interesting take on the whole light and dark thing. Angels are often portrayed as blond and ethereal, aren't they?

OTOH, you're right - the more flawed the personality, the more interesting it is. It's a shame that being nice can be boring. Funnily enough, I'm currently challenging myself with a hero who is a truly good man - all the way through and then some. Want to see if I can fall in love with him, because then the reader will too.

It's fun being a writer sometimes!

Denise Rossetti said...

Hey there, Sharon, great to seee you! *waves* And yes, whatever I did in a former life to earn such wonderful cover karma, it must have been really REALLY good! ;-)

Denise Rossetti said...

Christine and the Bandits, THANK YOU!

I had such a great time and the cabana boys were so nice to me. It wasn't um, precisely what I was after, but there you go. Can't be having Viking Beloveds and too many cabana boys all at once. Blood spatters are hell to get out of the drapes.

{{{Hugs}}}
Denise
*about to totter off for a restorative cuppa because she's not as young as she used to be*

Christina Phillips said...

Ack! I'm late again. I don't think I had Sunday this week!!

Congrats on the release of THIEF OF LIGHT, Denise!

As for blond heroes, my heroes are *always* dark haired. Except for the one I've just finished with tonight... he's got long golden locks and is so gorgeous I really didn't want to let him go at all!!

Linda Henderson said...

Believe it or not it's one of the first things I notice about a guy. I do tend to like darker hair on a guy, or hero, but don't have anything against fair hair. Also have seen some great looking men with no hair.

ddurance said...

I've always loved long hair on men, particularly blond hair, because it is so rare. Few men wear their hair that way anymore and the day of the 80s hair band is gone. I miss it!

Deidre

Denise Rossetti said...

Hi Christina, don't worry about being late - it's lovely to hear from you! Glad you enjoyed your own golden haired hero. I think a change is a Very Good Thing!

Denise Rossetti said...

Hi Linda, yes, I always notice hair too - among other things. ;-) And I still find it amazing that a bald guy can be sexy, but it's true.

Denise Rossetti said...

Ah Deidre, you don't see hair like that any more. Sad, but true. OTOH, you should have been at the Leonard Cohen concert with me - more gray pony tails than you could jump over! *g*