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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Grumps and Curmudgeons: An Ode to the Brooding and Tortured Hero

I have a thing for a wounded hero--and no, I'm not talking about physical wounds. I'm talking about emotional scars, the sort that make a man want to build a wall of protection around himself and not allow anyone to hurt him in that way ever again.

I like to dig into his psyche, poke and prod around (yes, to the point that he reacts like an angry bear) until I see what caused him to build up the wall...and until I can figure out how to tear that wall down, brick by brick, and find a man beneath who isn't afraid to let someone come behind it with him.

Before you ask, yes, I know why I have this thing for this sort of hero. There are a lot of men in my life who are exactly like that. They lash out with a hurt-them-before-they-hurt-me mentality. They put on a cocky air, trying to convince the world that they don't need anyone or anything. They destroy everything in their lives, if given half the chance.

And I love them.

Some of these men in my life have let me get beneath the surface and discover the leveling blows that left them in such a state. You know what I've found when I do that? I've found good men, with huge hearts, who just want someone to love them. So I do.

Maybe my thing has gotten to be a bit too much. I don't know. But I do know that I have a tendency to gravitate toward this sort of hero when I'm writing.

The hero of my most recent release, SEVEN MINUTES IN DEVON, is precisely that sort of hero. He's a tortured, brooding artist. Aidan Cardiff doesn't know how to face the things that life has thrown into his path, and so he bottles it all up in his head and only lets it out in his artwork.

During a minutes-long span three years ago, their lives were forever changed when Lady Morgan Cardiff nearly drowned.

Returning to the disastrous scene for the first time, Emma Hathaway is older, wiser--and ready to move on. With her parents quickly aging, she needs a husband. Alas, she is an awkward, bookish girl with no dowry to recommend her, and she is far from being an Incomparable, or an heiress who might rouse a gentleman's interest. Her hopes of changing the ton's view of her are dashed upon the arrival of the others involved in that life-altering moment. Aidan Cardiff's perpetual glares prove he blames Emma for Morgan's scarred, blind condition. His unfounded hatred alone leaves Emma shaken, but his unbidden advances threaten to thwart her husband-hunt.

Ever since his sister's failed attempts to take her own life, Aidan Cardiff has been a loathsome, brooding artist. He's spent three years creating artwork to depict the revenge he'd like to exact against anyone, save himself, who can be blamed for Morgan's pervasive melancholy. Yet his art has been far from enough to assuage the rage he's built inside. Morgan is finally ready to live again, but Aidan fears letting her out of his sight--particularly with Emma Hathaway, the chit whose very existence sets his blood to boiling. But is the heat fueling his fire due solely to his anger, or is there something more?

SEVEN MINUTES IN DEVON is available now at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Do you like a brooding hero? Why or why not? What sort do you tend to gravitate to, whether in your reading/writing material or in real life?

I'll give 2 ebook copies of SEVEN MINUTES IN DEVON to winners in a random draw, and if the winners have a US, Canada, or Mexico mailing address, they'll also get some swag. To be entered, please respond with a relevant comment.

31 comments:

  1. I adore a wounded hero! In my reading and writing, that is. Some of my very favorite heroes are the dark and brooding type.

    In real life I'm much more partial to a funny charmer--like my dh!

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    1. I know what you mean about the charmers in real life. :) They are much easier to be around than a man who constantly lashes out. LOL.

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  2. I forgot to say, I can't wait to read Seven Minutes in Devon!

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  3. Catherine,
    You had me at grumps and curmudgeons. And then you threw angry bear on top of it, and I was all yours. ;}
    I love a wounded hero too. How can you not? It's so fun to watch the heroine chip away at their resolve--especially when it leaves them flustered and out of sorts. The best!
    I adore that cover, btw. It's simply gorgeous! Congrats on the release!

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    1. No wonder I like you so much, Andris! LOL. We're very much alike in our love of grumps, curmudgeons, and angry bears. (Of course, I think you might love Bears a little more than I do...)

      I'm in love with the cover, too! Kimberly Killion did a fantastic job with designing it for me, and I can't thank her enough. Thanks so much!

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  4. Congratulations on your newest release! I enjoy a tortured hero in stories.

    In my working life, some of my favorite patients have started out as "grumpy old men". Little by little, they grew to trust me and opened up. When that has happened, those relationships have tended to have a different depth to them than others.

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    1. Thanks, Samantha! And I think what you're describing is exactly the sort of relationship that has always drawn me to those curmudgeons. It may take a while to get them to really start to talk about why they're so closed off, but if you manage it, then you've won their heart forever. :) And typically, they will have also won yours.

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  5. I love all types of hero. I tend to favor the really jerky hero and you go dude your such an a-hole. However, that would be in books, because I would snap like a twig if I chose the a-hole type. Congrats on the new book.
    countessofmar(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Thanks, Melody! If you've liked my other heroes who've been "a-holes," then I think this one will be right up your alley. LOL.

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  6. I think a wounded hero can be the most heartbreaking, but also the most satisfying when they find their HEA :). You already know how much I love this book- I know readers will too!!

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    1. So true about how satisfying the endings can be, when they let go of all of their hurt and anger and decide to trust again. :) I can only hope others love it like you do!

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  7. I do like a wounded hero, one who feels his life is done and he has nothing to contribute to society, and is just waiting till the end. The woman who rescues him from his self pity is a total heroine.
    smulholland62@msn.com

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    1. Sheila, isn't that the truth about the heroines? LOL. These ladies have to put up with a lot to get to the huge heart underneath all of the lashing out. Thanks for joining us today!

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  8. I do love a wounded, tortured, arrogant, no-good-attitude of a hero--as long as I know he has a reason and it's not his natural personality. And it's swoon worthy when he allows the woman he's falling for to see the real him or at least glimpses.
    Congrats on the new release, Catherine. I adore the cover and can't wait to read it.

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    1. Thanks, Marquita! In my volunteer work, I've come to realize that these men always have a reason for their attitude. So it's my job, as a writer, to discover what is behind their attitudes. :) Which is exhausting, but so well worth it.

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  9. Brooding heroes are the best kind. They are the most unexpected and surprising. It feels like they pack so much hurt and anger and what not and it makes for an interesting dynamic.

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    1. Welcome to Lady Scribes, Annah. The dynamic between these men and the people around them, specifically the heroine, is almost always what draws me in too.

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  10. I'm partial to wounded heroes! I love to see them open up and realize they deserve love too! BTW, you had me intrigued at 'brooding artist'!

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    1. LOL, Julie. I think you and I have both written our fair share of this sort of hero. :)

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  11. Thanks for a great post and congrats on the new release! I love a wounded hero b/c I think I get more invested in their growth and HEA.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Erin! It is very easy to get invested in them, isn't it? You just want to see them overcome whatever it is.

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  12. I *love, love, LOVE* a brooding hero and a tortured hero. I used to really love a good rake, but these days, I find I'm gravitating more towards nice heroes. (And I'm sure it has everything to do with my personal life at the moment.)

    Good luck with your release. I've read *most* of it and it is GENIUS!

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    1. I tend to go back and forth with what I write. I think about half of my heroes are nice guys, and about half are the brooding/tortured sort. And then I had one who was somehow both brooding/tortured, AND nice. I don't know how he came out that way. LOL.

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  13. A wounded hero tends to be more closed off butg can become sensitive to the needs of others - the book sounds like a great read!

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    1. Thanks, cmgren! If you pick it up, I hope you enjoy it.

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  14. Love the wounded hero! I love it when he initially tries to resist succumbing to feelings to the heroine & fails! and slowly comes out of his shell all for the love of the heroine.

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    1. Linda, isn't it such a joy to follow how these guys become vulnerable? *sigh*

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  15. I do like a brooding hero, because they have had events happen that have caused all that brooding and it's fun to see them lighten up during the course of the story. I tend to like the tortured hero who's had a rough life - I guess it just makes me happy to see them get the life they deserve after all their hardships.

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    1. Thanks for joining us, Barbara. It's definitely interesting to look into their past and learn why they've become the way they are. :)

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  16. Congratulations to cmgren and Linda! You've each one a copy of Seven Minutes in Devon. Check the Contest Winners page above for how to receive your prize.

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