Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Strong Secondary Characters Rock

Tawny Weber is my guest today. She tells fun stories with lots of little extras that make the story feel real. One of the things I enjoy in any book is good secondary characters. Tawny discusses her view of secondary characters and why they are important to a story.

Writing a new book always means getting to know a lot of characters.  Not only the hero and heroine, but all the rest of the cast that creates their world.  In my February Blaze, A SEAL’s Seduction, Blake and Alexia are clearly the stars.   They were two characters who came, fully formed, into my head.  Both with distinct emotional baggage, with strong personalities and even stronger opinions.  But oftentimes I think it’s the secondary characters who provide the most interesting contrasts for our stars.

Secondary characters are the means to which readers get to know our stars.  Through those friendships, family relationships, adversarial jousts, etc, the reader sees first hand who this person is and how they handle life.  Which is one reason I often include pets in my stories.  I think how a person reacts and interacts with animals, small children and the elderly shows more about their character than pages of introspection.
A SEAL’s Seduction is peppered with strong secondary characters.  Michael, Alexia’s brother is so fun. The only son of an Admiral, he’s the headliner of a gay burlesque show and male model.  And he’s a sweetie.  Cute and upbeat, he’s faced the similar emotional challenges as his sister, but he has a very different way of dealing with them.  He is a wonderful contrast for Alexia, and works really well to show her soft side and help the reader understand why she’d make the decisions she did growing up.

 And then there are the Admiral and Mrs. Pierce.  They were SO fun to write.  Uptight and rigid on the surface, with a deep love of their children that both the reader, and their children, don’t see at first.  As is often the case with parents, it’s their behavior, both past and present, which define the heroine’s beliefs.  Her rules, her fears and her standards come from the history she has with her parents.
But my absolute favorite of all the secondary characters in A SEAL’s Seduction is Lieutenant Commander Cade Sullivan, Call sign: Slick.  Cade’s hot.  He’s sexy and sweet, he’s a leader.  He’s the high school football quarterback, prom king, class president and sweetie who tutored young kids on the downlow.  Like most SEALs, he’s driven.  Powerful and strong, with a clear view of his purpose in life and a devotion to duty that’s unbeatable.  And did I mention that he’s hot?  Whew!  So hot.
Cade is technically Blake’s boss.  He, Blake and Phil were best friends since their BUDs training days, nicknamed the Three Amigos because they were always together.  They even ended up a part of the same SEAL team.   It was while Cade was leading a standard mission that Phil was killed.  Like Blake, the loss of his best friend hits Cade hard.  And like Blake, that loss becomes a major driving force in how Cade views his career, his life and his choices.
There was such a wonderful contrast between these two heroes, yet they are so much alike.  Both are emotionally wounded from their childhood, both are gorgeous and sexy and both are SEALs.  Powerful, strong and determined.
So while I really did love so many of the other secondary characters in A SEAL’s Seduction, Cade is definitely my favorite.  Which comes in handy, as I wrote him his very own love story as soon as I finished A SEAL’s Seduction.  Titled A SEAL’s Surrender, is out in just about a week (March, 2013). 
  • How often do you read a story and fall for one of the secondary characters?  Are there some that you just HAVE to read their story?

Subject: Navy SEAL Lieutenant Blake Landon
Current Status: Two weeks of enforced leave
Mission: Distract himself in any way possible
Obstacle: A woman who tempts him to break the rules…
including his own! 
Navy SEAL Blake Landon (a.k.a. “Boy Scout”) knows the rulebook inside and out. Checked. Rechecked. But when a mission ends badly, his entire team is ordered on leave. And that’s when Blake sees the tall redhead whose dark eyes suggest that the rules— especially those in bed—are made to be broken. 
Scientist Alexia Lane has sex on the brain—partly for work, but mostly because she needs a man who makes her girly parts do the happy dance. Her only no-no? No military dudes. But Blake’s rockin’ bod promises delicious pleasures, and Alexia is halfway to sexual Nirvana before she can find out he’s actually a Navy SEAL. 
And where one rule is broken, more are sure to follow…. Excerpt 
Tawny Weber has been writing sassy, sexy romances since her first Harlequin Blaze hit the shelves in 2007.  A fan of Johnny Depp, cupcakes and color coordination, she spends a lot of her time shopping for cute shoes, scrapbooking, and hanging out on Facebook.
Readers can check out Tawny’s books at her website or join her Red Hot Readers Club for goodies like free reads, first chapter excerpts, recipes, insider story info and much more.  And for a limited time, she has a few open spots on her Street Team!  

Monday, February 18, 2013


Family is different things to different people. Some are close to their families and others not. For me, my family is my primal pool of being and identity. It’s a base from which I learned the rules, decided where my boundaries were, and grew the courage to face not only myself, but to define and tackled the mountains of the world.

My family, good, bad, and ugly (and we can be parts of all three), gave me my first friends and playmates. They were my high adventure buddies and the ones I shared hopes and dreams with, held talkfests where we solved the world’s problems—or at least our problems in our small corner.

None of us have remained static because life isn't  It’s an ever-changing process of growth and change. Still, when we get together, the love and security remains bedrock. I can just be me without artifice. I love the freedom of that.

I haven’t been able to visit my family as much as I would like, for various reasons, this winter. It’s not that I’m a huge distance away—my family all live about fifty miles from me. Still, I've missed the warmth and laughter. And yes, the gossip. J

There’s something special about going home and visiting my mom. Sitting in the kitchen during the ritual of making the coffee and setting up the tray with my favorite cookies (my mom feeds everything cookies from critters, kids, and adults) or snacks. We talk about everything under the sun. As we settle into comfortable chairs in the living room I love the feeling of dropping my role of wife and mother and pull on the comfortable role of just being a daughter. We talk about books and since my mother is a woman of strong faith, we easily slide into discussions on biblical passages, culture, history we've read. There is an easy flow of conversation. We don’t miss out on sharing tidbits of family, kids, our animals, and our mates.

Afterward, I headed over to visit with my sister and we sat around telling jokes and sharing fun and goofiness. It was a long day but so much fun and very relaxing. Between the two visits, I left refreshed and relaxed. I enjoyed the state of being sister and daughter and putting everything else out of my mind. I was now ready to pick up the mantle of wife, mother, and job for another week.

  • So, how was your weekend. What do you do to relax and renew yourself to face day to day life?