Saturday, May 2, 2015

Heartwarming May Releases Presents Battle of the Heroes!

Hi Everyone!

Yay it's May and hopefully that means wherever you are in the world, it's starting to get at least a little warmer...Here on today's blog-it's about to get A LOT warmer;)

Catherine, Cynthia, Kate and I decided to showcase the heroes from our latest releases in a head to head battle:) All in fun of course and we'd love to hear what you love most about these fabulous men!

In case you missed them, here are the amazing May covers:



First up, we have Luke Carter from The Truth About Hope and believe me, there is so much to love about this hero.



Hero: Luke Carter

Age: 30

Height and weight: 6’ 2” 195 lbs

Physical description: Thick crop of chestnut-brown hair, expressive gold-flecked amber eyes that make Hope think of lion's eyes; a beguiling smile; he is broad-shouldered and fit from working on his ranch.

Occupation: Rancher and business man; owns Whispering Springs Ranch

Back story: Luke had never gotten entirely over his high-school sweetheart, Hope, despite the fact that she’d lied to him when she had to leave Canyon Creek as a teen, finding it easier to hide what she really felt than deal with the grief of loss. When she returns twelve years later to honor her father's last wishes, Luke has to decide if she is the girl her former hometown thinks she is or the girl he once loved—and maybe still does.

A favorite ‘Luke Moment’ in The Truth About Hope:

     Hope might have been living in California and probably hadn’t ridden in a dozen years, but she still knew how to saddle a horse and was a natural at riding.
     They rode, they talked, they laughed, and at times they silently enjoyed the peaceful scenery. Luke hadn't intended it, but they ended up at the pond on the Hawkins ranch. They dismounted and let their horses drink and graze while they sat on the large rock at the edge of the water. Luke tossed a pebble in the pond, and they watched the koi do their frenzied dance.
     Luke sensed that Hope was in a pensive mood, and he gave her the time she needed.
     He thought about their first kiss right here at this rock, a vivid memory etched indelibly in his mind, and it made him smile. His memories fast-forwarded to the day she’d told him she was leaving Canyon Creek for good, and he wondered for the millionth time if there was anything he could have said or done to change her mind. She’d chosen to make her life elsewhere and with someone other than him, and he had to accept that.
     "It doesn't seem like a dozen years have passed," she said. She must have been reminiscing, too.
     "No, it doesn't. Do you miss Monterey?" he asked.
     "Oh, I miss the rain in summertime," she said with a smile. "I miss working with the animals at the shelter."
     Odd that she hadn't said she missed Drake. He was thankful for her discretion, since that kind of remark would have soured his mood. "And what do you like most about being back?" he asked.
     Laughter burst forth. "The lack of rain in the summer," she said with a grin. "The work that I’m doing here."
     He laughed, too. "I suppose the grass is always greener on the other side," he said good-naturedly, but he couldn’t help wondering if she’d missed him at all while she was gone, and if there was any pleasure for her in seeing him again.

* * *

Hero #2 is Campbell Oakes from Firefly Nights.



Hero: Campbell Oakes

Age: 35

Height: 6’2” 

Physical description: dark brown hair, medium length, green eyes.

Back story: After serving in the Middle east with the U.S. Air Force, Campbell has returned to his roots in the Blue Ridge Mountains where his grandfather left him a rundown motel. Campbell has plans to operate an aerial photography business, but he crash lands his Cessna into a corn field, suffering bruises and broken bones. With no one to help out, Camp’s uncle, the local sheriff makes a deal with minor offenders Kitty Watley and her son to stay at the motel and care for Campbell until their debt to society is paid off. It’s small town justice at its quirkiest.

Campbell doesn’t want to accept help, but he has no choice. Yet, this down-on-her-luck runaway and her outlaw son are determined to do their best to heal him – in more ways than one. But he doesn’t make their jobs easy.

A favorite ‘Campbell Moment’ in Firefly Nights:

     Suddenly it wasn’t coffee he smelled. It was something lighter, sweeter, flowery. And it came from Kitty’s neck, or perhaps from behind her ears, or maybe ... He shut his eyes and tried not to concentrate on the scent, or the spot where it originated. No use. What little he knew about flowers was lost somewhere in a vague memory from his childhood and the very real image of the present.
     A cool hand curled over the strap of his undershirt. Fingertips pressed against the bare flesh of his shoulder. His eyes snapped open, and he drew in an audible gasp of air. “I don’t need any help,” he ground out. “I can make it to the bathroom.”
     She removed her hand but stayed close, as if she didn’t believe him. His eyes connected with hers, and what he saw in them trapped his next breath in his chest. He couldn’t look away, though he willed himself to focus on any other spot in the room. No luck. His attention remained on Kitty’s warm gaze where he saw unexpected concern, not grudging servitude, not even legal obligation.
     Could he be wrong about her? Was the artificiality he’d attributed to her only the outlandish attire and the crazy hair? The possibility almost knocked the wind out of him - as did her continued close proximity.

* * *

Hero #3 is Austin McCreary from Katia's Promise.



Hero: Austin McCreary

Height: 6 foot 1 inch

Weight: 185

Physical description: Blonde hair, blue eyes

Sport: Tennis player/Champion material

Hobby: Collects antique cars

Occupation: Owner of auto parts manufacturing plant

A favorite ‘Austin Moment’ in Katia's Promise:

     I need to talk to her,” Austin said. “I’m on my way.”
     But, Austin, there are tornado warnings. Wait till the danger has passed.”
     I can’t. She just resigned. I have to talk to her before she makes any more crazy decisions.”
     “Be careful,” Melanie called as Austin flew down the stairs and out the door.
     By the time Austin had covered the few paces to his car, the wind had kicked up to what felt like a gale force. The sky was whirling with dark clouds that dipped in funnels across a strange, sandy-pink backdrop. Austin had to strain to open the car door. As he climbed inside, it slammed shut in the wind.
     The radio was just as antique as the car itself and could only pick up AM signals, but it still worked. For years, Austin had kept the radio set to the local station, though he hardly ever bothered to tune in. Today, he was thankful that his old habits died hard. The announcer’s voice crackled, but Austin distinctly heard the warning. “A tornado has touched down in Porter County and is headed east. All Indian Lake residents are requested to remain indoors and to seek shelter.”
     Austin checked the traffic, which was stopped at the light. He edged away from the curb, made a U-turn and headed south toward his museum.
     As he sped through the yellow light at the next corner, Austin heard the air-alert siren go off across the Indian Lake Golf Course. The siren had been installed during World War II, and since then, it had been used to alert the townspeople to incoming tornadoes.
     Austin floored the accelerator. He turned up the volume on the radio, hoping for an updated report.
     If Katia had gone to the museum, he hoped she and all his personnel would have sought shelter in the underground rooms. Because the building wasn’t officially open, he feared there hadn’t been time to devise emergency drills. He would just have to pray that Katia knew what to do.
     Austin was speeding twenty miles over the limit when he heard the terrifying sound.
     Like a freight train barreling down from the sky, the funnel cloud spun and swooped across the cornfields to the right and just ahead of him. Austin put on the emergency brake and pulled over to the side of the highway. He fiddled with the radio again, but the announcer said nothing about this tornado spiraling out of the sky and touching down only a quarter of mile away.
     The sound was deafening. It was bone-chilling and eerie, as if death walked with the wind. He saw flashes of lightning in the black curtain of sky, but there was no rain. Then he heard a pounding as the funnel hit the earth and sucked up rows of early-spring soil. A tree was uprooted and then plunked down several yards away. The world closed in as twigs, dirt and sand pelted his windshield. Austin feared the top would be ripped off, so he cranked both windows a crack to allow air to pass through. The top was pelted with debris that caused a slight rip near the center. As the funnel continued to pass, he prayed he would be safe. Apparently, the tornado hadn’t damaged any homes yet, as there were no boards, vehicles, glass or even animals spinning in the storm.
     He grabbed his cell phone and dialed Katia’s cell. It rang once.
     “Come on. Come on!” he muttered.
     It rang three times before the voice mail picked up.
     “Katia! Get to the basement! Tell everyone to get to the basement. I hope you can hear this! The tornado is here!”
     He tossed the phone on the passenger seat and watched as the tornado shot across the highway, scorching the earth and ripping up concrete and asphalt, making a new trail from west to east. Then, in the blink of an eye, the impossible happened.
     The tornado spun straight for Austin’s museum.
     He shouted in fear and shifted the car into gear. Without a thought for his own safety, he hit the gas pedal and drove.
     The sounds of the siren blaring against the roar of the wind assaulted Austin’s ears. He couldn’t drive fast enough.
     If anything happens to her...
     “Katia! Katia!” he yelled, pounding the steering wheel and feeling as if the blood had drained out of him.
     He was numb. All he could see ahead was the malicious, uncaring force of nature as it tore up half of the newly paved stoned drive to his museum and then sliced off the right south side of the building as if it was serving up a piece of cake.
     It carried the section of his building away with it, like a mother snatching a newborn from its crib, possessive and wholly controlling.
     Windows were broken and bricks stuck out of the wall at jagged angles. Wires hung loose from the second and third floors and flapped in the breeze. The gutters looked like long arms reaching out toward him.
     Austin drove over the gritty chunks of asphalt and concrete. There was destruction all around him, but he didn’t think about his building or even the cars inside. He saw only one face.
     Katia.
     When he couldn’t get the car any closer, he skidded to a halt and bolted out.
     “Katia! Where are you?”

* * *

And finally, Hero #4 is Noah Parks from Fighting for Keeps.



Hero: Noah Parks

Occupation: MMA fighter/volunteer firefighter

Height: 6'0

Weight: 185 lbs.

Special fact: He runs an at-risk youth program at the Brookhollow community hall

A favorite ‘Noah Moment’ in Fighting for Keeps:

     “You’re not even supposed to be in here...”
     Noah reached for her and pulled her closer. Taking her soda from her, he took a sip and set the can on the counter behind him. “I won’t tell anyone if you don’t,” he murmured against her ear.
     A shiver danced down her spine and her entire body came alive. “Noah...I don’t know what you think you’re doing...”
     “I’m going to kiss you again. Isn’t it obvious from the way I’m whispering against your ear...?” he whispered. “The way I’m tightening my grip on your hips to keep you in my arms...” His grip tightened. “And the way I’m lowering my head toward yours...”
     Lindsay swallowed hard when his gaze locked with hers, his lips an inch above hers. She closed her eyes slowly, waiting in anticipation of a kiss she didn’t want to fight. Blame it on weeks of turmoil and life-changing events or the way he smelled faintly of the promise of summer—it didn’t matter. She wanted this kiss...from him...right now.
     So where was it?
     She opened her eyes and frowned as she saw him still standing there, staring at her, his lips a fraction of an inch away but still not touching hers.
     “Noah. Are you going to kiss me or not?”
     “Why don’t you help me out here, Lindsay? I’ve come as far as I go, the rest is up to you,”
     

So, there you have it-your weekend dose of hotness;) We would love to hear your thoughts on our heroes and we'd love for you to read our books:)

Finally, please visit our blog tomorrow for the kickoff of our exciting Mother's Day giveaway of books, a brunch or spa gift certificate, and Harlequin My Rewards points!


Big hug from,

Jen, Kate, Cynthia and Catherine

26 comments:

  1. All of these heroes sound good to me!! That Noah gets the heart racing a little faster. Enough said about him.
    I can imagine that 6-pack that Luke must have from working that ranch. And bonus, he seems to have a heart for love.
    Is Campbell more of the strong, silent type? Sounds like he'll be okay once he learns to swallow his pride and accept the help that he needs, and possibly attain a little love along with it.
    Austin sounds brave - the kind of man who makes you feel safe and secure when you're with him. When you're in his arms everything is okay. It doesn't hurt that he has that blonde hair and blue eyes. I'd say they're all swoon worthy. Great job Heartwarming ladies.

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    1. It's hard not to love them all, isn't it, Laurie?! Thank you for your comments about our heros.

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    2. Noah certainly had my heart racing writing him. Thanks for commenting Laurie!

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    3. An occupational hazard, falling for your own hero, Jen?!

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    4. Seriously! lol. Happens every time lol:)

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    5. Thanks so much, Laurie ! I agree all are swoon worthy!

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  2. What a fun post, ladies! And my goodness what a way to start off a Saturday morning.... Congratulations to you all. Looking forward to reading each one of these!

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  3. Whoa. Ladies. Nice work. I'm going to have to pick that tease Noah for now. But everyone else is a very close second. I also feel like I need to read Katia's Promise immediately because I need to know what happened!! I have a thing for tornados :)

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    1. Amy-I promise Noah will not disappoint lol;) And fyi-I pushed the boundaries a little to include a shirtless scene;)

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    2. Amy! Thanks for your comment. I am such a huge Simon Baker fan. I'm dying that Mentalist is no more. And yes being from the Chicago area, tornadoes

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    3. Are a part of our lives! Sorry I lost communication and my phone dropped out!!

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  4. I would fall for Campbell myself:)

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  5. I have this gut feeling ill be reading Campbell's story more than once. Sigh!

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    1. . . . and three lucky winners will be able to read some of these books free, with our Mother's Day giveaway starting tomorrow!

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  6. I can't possibly choose. Each hero sounds like a man made for life's journey. I know four husbands is illegal, but I'm willing to be an outlaw.

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    1. You always have the perfect answers, Muriel, but would't that make five husbands in total for you? But with your wonderful husband, why would you want another? :-)

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    2. That's why I'm a writer and not a math teacher! Yes, 5 husbands. Ron's a honey, but a collection of men for all life's demanding jobs has real appeal, don't you think?

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    3. Hmm . . . I better stay silent on that, Muriel!

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  7. Wow! These are all heroes to dream about. It would be impossible to choose!

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  8. WOW! This is so awesome! What a great opportunity. Thank you!
    Who would not want to win?!?

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