Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Lovestruck Giveaway Hop - Swoon-worthy Heroes


Welcome to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked for the Lovestruck Giveaway Hop. I think I get the every time I come up with a new story idea because there's a hero (and a heroine) who I love, and want to know more about, and ultimately, want to torture until they get their HEA. Authors are an odd breed because we LOVE our characters, but we push and torture and beat them up so by the time they get what they deserve, they've been put through the ringer. But we love them all the same.

Many of my heroes come to me in dreams and give me a whole backstory with which to work. Darius Winterbourne, the hero of The Beltane Witch, did that to me. He came with laughing eyes edged with crow's feet, great broad shoulders wide enough to carry a large sword, and an arrogant confidence  which made me want to alternately smack him or snuggle with him. He also came with a recognizable face.

Sean Bean as Boromir from LoTR
Yes, he looked exactly like Sean Bean as Boromir from Lord of the Rings, complete with fancy over-tunic and hooded cloak. What I loved most about Darius was his relative fragility and strength. He'd been doing his job a long time and gotten so good at it, nothing challenged him anymore, and he'd grown jaded. Until he meets Sabrina Foxglove. In my dream, it was me, but the combination of confidence and strength mixed with flaws and hidden vulnerability sucked me in and had me smitten.

Here's an excerpt of The Beltane Witch from Darius's POV.

Skating turned out to be a comedy of errors and Darius found it easiest to watch Sabrina and her children from the edges of the rink. He took pleasure in exchanging the hideous skates for his comfortable boots. Bloody awful things. Holly and Tansy were masters at the sport and Darius grudgingly admitted admiration for their coordination. Sabrina floated like an angel across the wooden floor and he caught himself gaping like a fool.
Sabrina’s mahogany brown hair waved behind her in a silken tail, a few wisps escaping the band holding it at the nape of her neck. He knew the softness of those tresses and his fingers ached to trail through them again. When had she become more beautiful than most of the Fae lasses with whom he’d dallied? She didn’t have their willowy physique, her beauty more grounded in an earthy solidity he preferred. He liked her strength and resourcefulness as well as her unwillingness to bow to every one of his wishes. She represented a challenge and it interested him far more than a biddable female.
Watching her laugh with her children struck a chord in his chest and he rubbed a hand over his heart with a groan. An odd mixture of yearning and hope bloomed inside, followed swiftly by fear and despair. When had he started wanting a family? Why did this little witch affect him so strongly? Her very humanity made it impossible for them to be together. He’d outlive her by centuries—he already had—and he had his duty to the Sidhe Summer Court. He couldn’t set it all aside for one human witch.
But the yearning refused to abate when Sabrina and her daughters rolled off the rink’s floor, laughing and chattering about how fast they could go. Sabrina’s eyes sparkled with love and joy for her children, and Darius wished she’d look at him with such emotions.
Like she did in my dream. He kept strong control over his wayward cock and hoped his expression remained relaxed and pleasant.
“Mom, can we get some hot cocoa and cinnamon buns afterwards?” Tansy looked up hopefully as she worked on removing her skates.
“I don’t know.”
“Pleeeese?” Holly piped up. She tried to jump up and down, but her skates shot her feet out from under her and she toppled backwards with a frightened squeak.
“Steady, Miss Holly.” Darius caught her and cradled her in his arms. A sudden protective instinct gripped him and he squeezed her gently. “It seems wiser to take your skates off first then you may jump.”
“Okay. Thank you.” Holly’s politeness always surprised him. He’d never encountered such good-natured children.
We were never so polite until after Father left.
The old anger tried to rise again, but he stuffed it away. Holly’s and Tansy’s father had run out on them as well and he’d be damned before he left them in the lurch.
What am I thinking? I won’t be here past Beltane. But he wanted to stay for more than just their mother’s hot body. He wanted to stay to teach them about… What? What do you know more than Courtly intrigue and manipulation? He shoved the snarky voice away. He wanted to stay with Sabrina and help her raise her children. He had no idea where the certainty came from, but it left a warm spot in his chest and he smiled as he helped Holly sit down. “Would you like some help with your laces?”

See? So strong, and yet so vulnerable and lovable. Sigh...

So, want to read more? Now you have the opportunity. I'm offering a $15 Amazon giftcard to one lucky commenter who answers this question: Which hero from which book got you smitten the first time, and why?

You must leave a valid email address or Twitter handle in your comments to be entered in the drawing. If you can't wait that long read more of the story, you can find The Beltane Witch at All Romance Ebooks, Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, and Kobo Books.

The giveaway runs from August 14 2013 to 11:59 pm August 20 2013 Pacific time. You must be 18 or older to win and the giveaway is open internationally. Please void where prohibited. I will announce the winner here on the blog after randomly choosing a comment. And don't forget to visit all the blogs on the linky list. Over 130 chances to win great goodies.

Good luck, thanks for stopping by, and happy reading! :)

90 comments:

  1. I have so many "book boyfriends" I'd be sitting here all day listing them. Darius in on the list. Definitely! Loved THE BELTANE WITCH. And I guess if I had to pick, I'd have to ultimately put Roark from JD Robb's In Death series as #1. From the moment I read NAKED IN DEATH, I was in love. ;)

    @SilverJames_

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    1. I know what you mean, Silver. I think I still drool over Sgt. Maj. Ian McIntire of your Blood Moon, but I'm a big fan of Brian Black from Karla Doyle's Body of Work. Sigh. Nothing like a sexy Scotsman. Thanks for commenting.

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  2. For me it was Edward from Twilight, but now #1 is Damian from Lux series :)
    swordlily_girl(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Those vampires are surely a sexy bunch. I think it's the sneaky mysteriousness. Thanks so much for commenting, Swordlily. :)

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  3. Edward from Twilight got me smitten the first time because he captivated me. My twitter handle is: @OmimaAsghar

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    1. Edward is definitely a favorite. I would have chosen him over Jacob, that's for sure. Thanks for stopping by, Omima. :)

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  4. Edward from Twilight got me smitten

    parisfan_ca@yahoo.com

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    1. I think a lot of folks loved Edward. Thanks for commenting, Laurie. :)

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  5. My first was Ranger in the Stephanie Plum books! Until I started reading those, I had not read for a very long time!! n.kuhn.acn@gmail.com

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    1. Oh, that's a great reason to love Ranger. He made you read. Definitely swoon-worth, Nicole. Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  6. I have quite a few. I love all the chinooks hockey player heros in Rachel Gibson's books.

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

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    1. What's not to love about hot guys on skates? Hockey is my favorite sport, by the way. ;) Thanks for commenting, Shannon.

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  7. Thanks for the giveaway! This is a hard question because there are so many, like Aragon or Boromir. <3 I also like Will from A YA book Clockwork Angel. <3
    caliwillette(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Ohy, yeah, Aragorn is pretty hot, I'll grant you, Cali. I'd seen Clockwork Angel, but have never read it. Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  8. I would have to go with Acheron from the Dark Hunter series.

    vampiremistress2010(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Ooh, yeah, good choice! Thanks so much for commenting. :)

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  9. Louis from Interview With a vampire was my very first book (paranormal) love! Thank you! heather1974 at gmail dot com

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    1. I really liked his innocence to start, Heather. Thanks so much for commenting. :)

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  10. I would have to say Chaol Westfall from Throne of Glass because he first appears as a cold, unmoving guy as the Captain of the Guard, but he's actually quite dynamic and caring. Can't wait to read Crown of Midnight!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    xsweeteternityx (at) hotmail (dot) com

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    1. The bad boys on the outside, soft on the inside get me, too, Debbie. Thanks so much for commenting. :)

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  11. Aiden from the Covenant series by Jennifer L Armentrout

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    1. Thanks so much for commenting, Allie. :)

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  12. Sorry! Forgot my email...
    iheartmemorethanyou at yahoo dot com

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  13. The first time would be Aeron from The Darkest Passion by Gena Showalter. I love the Lords and my cheeks were burning throughout reading that series cause they were SO hot!

    Janhvi
    justjanhvi at gmail dot com

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    1. I love the Lords, too, Janhvi. I think my favorite is Maddox, Violence. He just warmed my heart from the moment I met him. Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  14. My first hero was Ash from L. J. Smith's Night World series. I loved it that he was actually a bad boy at first, but love changed him.

    spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

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    1. I agree, Dovile. That is what attracts me, too. Thanks for commenting. :)

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  15. I think way back when Rhett Butler seemed like a really stand up guy. When I first started reading romance books, I liked Steven Morgan in Rosemary Rogers SWEET SAVAGE LOVE. He was a hero bigger than life to me and that book kept me reading Romance books. I only have 6 on my keeper shelf and that is one of them.
    JWIsley(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Wow, only six keepers, JW? That makes them pretty special indeed. Thanks for sharing and stopping by. :)

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  16. I know it sounds silly, but it was Edward from Twilight. He was just so in love with Bella, it showed in all he did.

    ncprincess96 at yahoo dot com

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    1. I love heroes who would do anything for their ladies. Thanks for commenting, HH. :)

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  17. Which hero from which book got you smitten the first time, and why?
    Well; it was Zach from Pack Challenge by Shelly Laurenston because, he wasn't sweet, or nice. He considered himself to be an asshole. But he loved Sarah and did everything he could to help her when she didn't even know she was a shifter. Thanks for being part of the hop and for the chance to win. <^_^>
    reneebennett35 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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    1. So he didn't really know himself all that well until Sarah showed him? Nice, Renee. Thanks so much for visiting. :)

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  18. Oh,wow! The very first one? Hmmm, I believe that would be Brandon Birmingham from Kathleen Woodiwiss' The Flame and the Flower. (Old much?)

    blueshedevil32 AT gmail DOT com

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    1. Hahaha, yes, sometimes the choice of hero dates us, Sebella. I really loved Prince Damien from Jennifer Ashley's Penelope and Prince Charming. I just loved the magic surrounding him. Thanks for commenting. :)

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  19. I'd have to say Jean Claude from Anita Blake series.. I know Anita is the hero.. but Jean Claude was mine.. always there to protect her through out most of the series..and you could get pissed at him but you also melted.

    vals_hemi at yahoo dot com

    Thanks for amazing giveaway chance...

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    1. I LOVED Jean-Claude from that series, at least at the beginning. He was the perfect mix of sexy, mysterious, and remarkably compassionate. Great choice, Valerie. Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  20. Ehm....I'm in love with Mr.Darcy from Pride & Prejudice since I was 10 (the first time I read that book).

    And yeah, of course Aragorn from Lord of the ring.

    Thanks for the giveaway. My twitter account is @asdewi

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    1. The brooding and thoughtful hero always grabs me, too, AS. Thanks so much for commenting. :)

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  21. I can't remember that far...but I read Sherlock Holmes in my childhood and I admit I got a bit sapiosexual.

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    1. He does have a certain elegant and handsome quality with all the heavy intelligence. Thanks for commenting, Satchmo. :)

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  22. I can't remember my first "adult" romance, but I remember reading the Chronicles of Narnia in the second grade and thinking that Peter was a mighty fine hero. my Twitter handle is @willms_m; michelle_willms@yahoo.com

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    1. Peter was a great hero, and I liked Prince Caspian, especially in the recent movie adaptation. Thanks for commenting, Michelle. :)

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  23. I loved Dragos from Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison. He is just such a yummy alpha! Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. That is on my TBR list and I'm a huge fan of dragons anyway. I will definitely take a look at Dragos, Krista. Thanks for commenting. :)

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    2. pinkbonanza{ AT }gmail{ DOT }com

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  24. Mr. Grey from 50 shades, probably because it was the first erotic book that I've read.
    botezatu_paula at yahoo dot com

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    1. I'm so glad he gave you a start to more erotic books, Paula. Thanks for joining the hop. :)

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  25. Lucian from Dark Guardian because he's powerful and protective. Love the book cover too.
    bituin76 at hotmail dot com

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    1. Powerful and protective are some of the best qualities of a hero and grab me, too, Jan. Thanks for visiting. :)

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  26. Travis Maddox from Beautiful Disaster.

    pjmillion (at)comcast (dot)net

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  27. Zsadist from the BDB series for the letter he wrote

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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    1. Oh, a man who writes letters is definitely a wonderful one. Good choice. Thanks for commenting.

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  28. Edward from Twilight, I was obsessed with that series.
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

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    1. Edward definitely seems to have grabbed so many people with his devotion to Bella. Thanks for commenting, Natasha. :)

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  29. Roarke from J.D. Robb's In Death series, Severn from Michelle Sagara's Chronicles of Elantra series, Curran from Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series and Terrible from Stacia Kane's Downside Ghosts series.

    Thanks for the amazing excerpt & giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com

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    1. You gotta love a man with a name like "Terrible". Thanks so much for commenting, Elizabeth. :)

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  30. I have to go with Rhett Butler. Who wouldn't fall in love with a dashing blockade runner who could look at you like he knew what you looked like without your skivvies on?

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

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    1. And who's strong enough to know when to walk away. Great choice, Karen. Thanks for commenting. :)

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  31. Vishous from the Black Dagger Brotherhood sold it for me. Talk about sexy! :)

    Thank you for an awesome giveaway! :)

    Marie
    songbird1613 at yahoo dot com

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    1. I've heard great things about Vishous before. Thanks for commenting, Marie. :)

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  32. My first ever hero was Gabriel MacBain from Julie Garwood's Saving Grace. That has been and will always be my go-to book!

    Thanks for being part of the blog!
    ahui89 at hotmail dot com

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    1. I love heroes (and books) like that, Ada. Thank you so much for stopping by. :)

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  33. Mine were the heroes from Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series, but more specifically Colin Bridgerton. He just epitomizes everything I love.

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    1. He sounds perfect, which is what a swoon-worthy hero is, Anita. Thank you for commenting. :)

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  34. I am smitten with Ash from The Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon. He has a wicked sense of humor and even though he had a sad and tragic past he is capable of loving not only his chosen lady but humankind.

    jmesparza821 at gmail dot com

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    1. He sounds like the perfect hero, and certainly swoon-worthy, Juana. Thanks for commenting. :)

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  35. I was in 7th or 8th grade when I read Gone With The Wind, so my hero would be Rhett Butler because he was my first read that I really thought about a hero, so yeah :)

    butterflypetals7(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. What a cool memory, Marissa. Thanks so much for commenting. :)

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  36. Hmmm... I think Julian from Dark Hunters series :D
    alinutza4u2004[at]yahoo[dot]co[dot]uk

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  37. Damien from Maggie Shayne's Twilight series. I am still smitten with him. Thanks for sharing the hop and the giveaway. evamillien at gmail dot com

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    1. I love the heroes that live in your memory long after you've read their story, Eva. Thanks for commenting. :)

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  38. My first hero was Jacob from twilight,well ,I really adored the whole protective friend part!
    cookiesmasher5@yahoo.com

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    1. I love the protective friend, too, Karin. Thanks for commenting. :)

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  39. Acheron from the Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Wrath from the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward
    Thanks for the great giveaway!
    bhometchko(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Acheron seems to definitely be a favorite. Thanks for stopping by, Booklady. :)

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  40. Bones from Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series. I am still completely smitten. He is strong, has a sexy accent and when he loves, he loves with his whole being. *sigh*
    Thanks for the great giveaway!

    ehaney578 at aol dot com

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    1. Oh, I love the ones who give their all for the heroine. Great choice, Elizabeth. Thanks for commenting. :)

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  41. I fell in love with Valerius from Seize the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon from the first time I read about him. He sounded so sexy and I felt bad for how his family and everyone else treated him.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

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    1. Underdogs are the hardest to love and yet they always grab a very loyal following. Great choice, Sherry. Thanks for commenting. :)

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  42. It would be Faramir in the Lord of the Rings.

    strive4bst(AT) yahoo(Dot) com

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    1. What I loved about Faramir is he had such great strength even if it was overshadowed by his brother. Thanks for commenting, JB. :)

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  43. It's been way to long to remember which one, but it would have been one of Georgette Heyer's heroes.
    jmcgaugh (at) semo (dot) edu

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  44. my firs book crush was Skywise from the Wolfriders series by Richard and Wendi Pini

    he was the best friend of the main character "Cutter blood of ten chiefs" and yet he always seemed to be on the outside of the story spinning a tale of his own at the same time.

    tammy ramey
    trvlagnt1t@yahoo.com

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    1. I love it when secondary characters take on a life of their own. They often end up with their own story because of it. Thanks so much for commenting, Tammy. :)

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  45. Who won the $15 Amazon giftcard?

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  46. Congratutlations, Sebella Blue! You've won the $15 Amazon Gift Card. Thank you to everyone who stopped by on this hop. It was a pleasure to read your responses. :)

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Comments are on moderation, so they'll become visible once I've read them. Words, words, words. I love them. Have you a few to lend?

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