"A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle" - Father James Keller

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Guest Post with Trish McCallan Author of "Forged in Fire" Comment to Win!


Who Do You Read For?

A special thank you to Kiki Howell for hosting this stop along my blog tour!


And now I have a confession to make.

I read romantic fiction for the heroes. It’s all about the men for me. Preferably, alpha warrior men. I love the way they think, the way they talk, their heroism and sex appeal. I love getting deep inside their minds, ease dropping on their thoughts, watching the way they interact with each other, watching their reactions as they fall in love. I love everything about our alpha heroes. 

The heroines? Yeah, not so much. I don’t read for the women in the books, most of the time I can’t even remember the heroine’s name. In fact, there are very few heroines that make an impact on me, unless they take on a TSTL role, or there is something to really set her apart, most heroines just blend together in my mind.

One of the main complaints I’ve heard about the JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series is that the women are weak. I wouldn’t know, because I don’t notice them. I’m reading for those mouth watering, sexy-as-hell warriors. The women are placeholders. I know, that’s awful, isn’t it. Shame on me! But still- I’m reading for the men.

So, if you give me a whole mess of secondary heroes to drool over, I’m happy as a clam. If you make these secondary heroes alpha warriors bound together by bonds of brotherhood, loyalty and integrity I’ll read your series forever. But the heroines in your series? Yeah, don’t expect me to remember their names.

Of course, this focus on the hero makes it difficult for me when it comes to my own work. The hero always comes in fully fleshed, three dimensional. The heroine? Not so much. She takes a lot more work.

For one thing, I am not a fan of the kick-butt heroine who seems to be so popular these days. In fact, I’ve gotten rather tired of the kick-butt heroine. Oh don’t get me wrong, I don’t want a weak heroine. But I don’t want someone who is competing with the hero when it comes to kick-butt worthiness either. Instead, I want someone who uses intelligence rather than physical prowess to save the day. I want someone who relies on common sense. Who analyzes the situation and then reacts. I don’t want TSTL behavior; I don’t want someone too stubborn to ask for help when they need it. I want a smart heroine, one willing to stand up for herself and others. A capable heroine—but one who recognizes her limitations and acts within her capabilities. 
I want the hero to kick butt and the heroine to save the day with her intelligence and common sense.

So tell me, who do you read for? Do you read for the hero or the heroine? Or do you read for both? Do you have a favorite heroine? What was it you loved about her? Drop me a comment for a chance to win Forged in Fire, my debut paranormal romantic suspense.  


Forged in Fire
By Trish McCallan
Genre: paranormal romantic suspense

Beth Brown doesn’t believe in premonitions until she dreams a sexy stranger is gunned down during the brutal hijacking of a commercial airliner. When events in her dream start coming true, she heads to the flight’s departure gate. To her shock, she recognizes the man she’d watched die the night before.

Lieutenant Commander Zane Winters comes from a bloodline of elite warriors with psychic abilities. When Zane and two of his platoon buddies arrive at Sea-Tac Airport, he has a vision of his teammates’ corpses. Then she arrives—a leggy blonde who sets off a different kind of alarm.

As Beth teams up with Zane, they discover the hijacking is the first step in a secret cartel’s deadly global agenda and that key personnel within the FBI are compromised. To survive the forces mobilizing against them, Beth will need to open herself to a psychic connection with the sexy SEAL who claims to be her soul mate.

"Forged In Fire is a smoking hot adventure with an irresistible alpha hero. Danger, action, suspense, and a steamy romance make a story that's impossible to put down!" ~Patti O'Shea, National Bestselling Author of Through a Crimson Veil

Available at      Amazon     B&N     Smashwords 
Excerpt: Chapter One


Lieutenant Commander Zane Winters shifted uneasily against the grungy white wall across from gate C18’s ticket counter. He felt naked without his Glock. Exposed. An itchy, irritating prickle of vulnerability tightened his skin and cramped his muscles. Which was fucking ridiculous. They were on leave, for Christ’s sake, booked on a civilian flight. Yeah, he and Cosky and Rawls had to check their weapons with their luggage, but so what? They weren’t going wheels-up, facing deployment to some godforsaken foreign jungle or burning swath of sand.
“Did they have to pick Hawaii? We have the same blue sky and warm weather in Coronado. And without the tourists.”
Zane barely heard Cosky’s disgusted mutter through the drone of excited voices surrounding them. With a grunt, he massaged the back of his neck and surveyed the growing crowd. More passengers were arriving by the minute. Shit, there were already too many people to keep an eye on. Too many jackets and pockets and purses. Too many places to conceal a weapon.
A stacked brunette across the gate area caught his gaze and offered a sultry smile. Zane turned away.
“Jesus.” Rawls’ lazy grin was a slash of white in his sun-bronzed face. “You two need to get off base more often. You’re as hinky as a pair of hounds during tick season. Those are civilians y’all are glaring at, not a room full of tangos.” Bright blue eyes zeroed in on the brunette across the room. “What you need is some of that. Sun, sand and sex. All the fixin’s for a memorable vacation.”
Cosky shot his teammate a derisive glance. “When did you become so fond of sand and sun? Sure as hell not last month, judging by your nonstop bitching.”
Rawls flipped him the finger. “It’s that third “s”, Cos. Makes all the difference. You should try it sometime, but without that blow-up Barbie you keep stashed beneath your bunk.”
Shrill laughter erupted across the room. Zane tracked the sound, skimming an abandoned stroller and clusters of luggage. When the brunette tried to catch his eye again, he swore beneath his breath. Shifting against the wall, he gave her his back.
“See? This is why I like hanging with you, skipper,” Rawls drawled, a grin twitching the edges of his mouth. “You attract the little darlin’s over, and when you turn that cold shoulder on ‘em, they start buzzin’ round Cosky and me.”
“Leave me out of it,” Cosky said. “Unlike you, I don’t need to surf Zane’s wake for a hookup.”
“A hookup?” Rawls shook his head and smirked. “Is that any way to talk about your hand?” Bracing his elbows against the wall behind them, he tilted his head and studied Zane’s face. “Seriously, skipper, you should take her up on that offer. It’s not like—” He broke off to scan Zane’s face more intently. Suddenly he frowned. “You’re shittin’ me. That’s some prime real estate over there, and you don’t have any interest in her? None at all? That just ain’t… natural.”
Hell, Rawls was right. She was prime time. A real looker. Long, thick mahogany hair. A tight, curvy ass. Stacked across the chest. Enough flare through the hips to hold onto. She was the kind of woman who’d give wet dreams to any straight male between puberty and death.
Which must mean he was dead. Because he was way past puberty, yet he didn’t feel even a twitch of interest. No chills. No thrills. No goose bumps.
She could be his great-grandmother, for all the attraction he felt.
Every year the numbness dug a little deeper, spread a little further. He’d been warned about this particular side effect of the family gift—or curse, depending on who was talking. But knowing about it, and living with it, were completely different animals.
“Let’s hope that woman of yours shows up ASAP. Much more of this drought and you won’t remember what to do with her.” With a flash of white teeth, Rawls reached over to punch Zane’s shoulder.
The moment Rawls’ fist made contact, every muscle in Zane’s body clenched. He froze, his breath locked in his throat. His vision blurred.
Click.
It was a subtle sound. A switch flipping inside his head. An image flashed through his mind. Quick. Brutal. Ugly.
Rawls sprawled across a bank of narrow seats. His blue t-shirt splotched with black. Blood dripping from limp fingers. A fixed stare glazing his blue eyes.
The vision vanished.
“Son of a bitch.” Sheer disgust vibrated in Cosky’s gritty voice. “We’re on stand-down. This is a civilian flight. Regardless of that all-too-familiar look on your face, we cannot be in any goddamn danger.”
But he didn’t dislodge the hand Zane clamped around his bicep.
This time Zane was expecting the vision. He tensed anyway, his body contracting into one giant charley horse.
Click.
He strained to capture as many details as possible as the new vision flashed through his mind.
Gray eyes locked and empty, already filming with the unmistakable haze of death. Black hair saturated with blood. Hands clenched. He was splayed across a narrow aisle, dark blue upholstered seats rising on either side of his head.
When the image vanished, he released Cosky’s arm and wrestled air back into his lungs.
“Tell me this is a joke,” Cosky demanded.
Zane shook his head and gripped the back of his neck with both hands.
“What did you see?” Rawls finally asked.
Zane drew a shallow breath. “You dead. Cosky dead.”
“From boredom?” Cosky asked dryly, one black-as-sin eyebrow arching. “We are going to a wedding.” A quick glance at Zane’s face, and a glint of steel darkened his gray eyes. “Where’s this going down?”
“On the bird.” Zane frowned. “Couldn’t tell whether she was in flight. Didn’t get a good enough look.”
Cosky turned to study the boisterous crowd. “When do you ever?”
Zane scrubbed his palms down his face and forced back a surge of frustration. The flashes never lasted long. No more than two or three seconds. Just enough to warn, without giving details. Just enough to raise guards, but not enough to mitigate the danger.
“Which bird? Over or back?” Cosky braced his hands on his hips and studied Zane’s face. “Either fits the three-day window for those flashes of yours.”
“Today.” Zane nodded toward Rawls’ blue-clad chest. “Same clothes.”
Cosky grunted. “I don’t suppose you saw who killed us?”
“When have these damn things ever been that accommodating?”
“Fuck.” With a disgusted shake of his head, Cosky dropped his chin and scowled at the worn carpet. “What about the wounds?”
“Lots of blood. Could be a gun. Or a knife.”
“A crash?” Rawls broke in quietly.
“Doubtful. Neither of you were burned. We’re looking at some kind of weapon.”
Cosky frowned. “It would be easier to smuggle a blade through security, but few people are good enough to take us on with a knife. Chances are it’s a gun.”
Zane pushed away from the wall. “Whatever’s going to happen is bad enough to take the three of us out.” The flashes never centered on him, but if Cosky and Rawls were in danger, he was as well. “We need to get hold of Mac.”
As the OIC of SEAL Team 7, Commander Jace Mackenzie had the pull to get the plane grounded and the passengers searched.
“Question.” Cosky’s attention zeroed in on Zane’s face. “What are we going to tell him? We don’t know what’s going to happen, who’s behind it, or what kind of weapons will be used. If Mac gets this bird grounded, only to have nothing show during the search, the backlash is gonna be a bitch.”
“What are you suggesting?” Zane cocked an eyebrow. “That we skip the wedding, keep our mouths shut and let events play out?”
“Don’t be an ass. I’m saying it would be handy to have some solid intel to pass on for a change. Why can’t you ever pick up more information if you touch us again?”
Zane shrugged. Just because he suffered through the visions didn’t mean he understood their properties. “We’ve got some time before boarding. Maybe one of the passengers will jump out at us.”
A wave of heat suddenly rolled through him. It started at his scalp and flowed down—a tide of molten fire that left chills in its wake. A tingling, numbing sensation followed, as though he’d been hit with a high-voltage electrical shock.
“What’s wrong?” Cosky’s question came from a distance. Muted and warped.
Zane turned, searching for… something. The gate area spun in slow motion. That strange, electrical tingling raised the hair on his arms and down the back of his neck.
He found her in the mouth of the waiting room. She was blond, slender. Perfect. Her cream-colored slacks and ivory blouse glowed beneath the harsh fluorescent lights, as though she stood squarely in a spotlight—lit up to catch his attention.
Her chin lifted, their eyes connected and that strange, pulsating current shot straight to his cock. Electrified him. His libido, numb for years, reared up and howled. He took one long step toward her.
Cosky grabbed his arm and hauled him back. “Goddamn it, Zane. What’s wrong?”
Zane shook his head, tried to clear the fog from his mind. The tug toward her was incredibly strong, like she was a magnet and his bones were metal. He took another step forward, his body vibrating at some strange frequency.
Cosky’s hand tightened with brutal force around his forearm, piercing the primal urge to claim her.
Zane froze and drew a shaky breath. His muscles were rigid. A vicious ache had seized his groin. His skin must have shrunk at least three sizes.
Holy shit.
It had to be her.
After all these years of searching, of waiting… this had to be her.
To go from nada to nuclear in the blink of an eye… yeah. He drew a slow, burning breath, grappling to drag his body back under control. This had to be her.
From listening to his brothers’ stories about meeting their mates, he’d expected a strong reaction, but nothing like this whirlpool of hunger.
And he hadn’t even touched her yet.
“Who is she?” Cosky demanded. “Did you see her in one of your flashes?”
The question snapped the world back into focus. The memory of those damn visions flooded his brain.
He watched, frozen, while she headed toward one of the plastic benches strewn throughout the waiting room. She was apparently booked on his flight.
A marked flight.
His chest seized. His skin started to crawl. Christ, he couldn’t breathe.
Of all the bad timing.
He’d finally found her. His soul mate. At a time when he couldn’t afford the distraction. When the slightest mistake could get her killed.

About the Author:

Trish McCallan has been writing for as long as she can remember.

In grade school she wrote children’s stories, illustrating them with crayons and binding the sheets together with pencil-punched holes and red yarn.  She used to sell these masterpieces at her lemonade stand for a nickel a book. Surprisingly, people actually bought them. Like, all of them. Every night she would have to write a new batch for her basket.

As she got older her interest changed to boys and horses. The focus of her literary masterpieces followed this shift. Her first full length novel was written in seventh grade by pencil in a notebook and featured a girl, a horse and a boy. At the end of the book the teenage heroine rode off into the sunset . . . with the horse.

These days she sticks to romantic suspense with hot alpha heroes and roller-coaster plots. Since she is a fan of all things bizarre, paranormal elements always seem to find a way into her fiction. Her current release, Forged in Fire, was the result of a Black Dagger Brotherhood reading binge, a cold, a bottle of NyQuil and a vivid dream. 

Find Trish Online:




 Make sure that you comment on this post for a chance to win a copy of Forged in Fire. Winner will be chosen on Friday, Nov 4th and notified by email. So, please include your email in your comment :)

8 comments:

  1. Ok I usually dislike romance novels but this one has caught my attention. Sounds like a thriller killer read!

    Lmbrunken at gmail dot com

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  2. Forged in Fire has been called fast-paced and a roller-coaster ride, but at heart it remains a romance. Only a romance with lots of action. lol

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  3. I enjoyed reading this and would love to continue now :) Thanks for sharing and the opportunity.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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  4. Great excerpt. I loved chapter 1, not have to read the rest of the book. You are a new author for me, and always looking for new books and authors to check out.
    I love to read. I have a few favorites like Paranormal-Laurell K Hamilton, Jeaniene Frost, JR Ward, and Charlaine Harris. Romance-Kat Martin, Christina Dodd, and Lauren Dane. Historical-Sabrina Jeffries, Jillian Hunter, Kieran Kramer, and Tessa Dare. I love the hero more, but love a strong heroine like Cat Crawford and Anita Blake. I love that they a strong, sexy, great fighters, and have smart mouths, but can back it up.
    I would love to win and read this book. I love the cover. Very sexy back and nice butt.
    Thanks for the chance to win.
    christinebails@yahoo.com

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  5. Trish, I'm new to your writing--thanks for the intro, and I'm looking forward to giving Forged in Fire a read!

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

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  6. Hi Carol,

    I'm glad you enjoyed the first chapter. Good luck in the drawing!

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  7. Chris,

    I have all of the Anita Blake books sitting on my TBR shelf, someday I'm going to sit down and just start reading.

    The cover models is pretty fine, isn't he. *bg* Love those muscles!

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  8. Hi flchen1,

    Very nice to meet you too, good luck in the drawing!

    ReplyDelete

In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kiki Howell of An Author's Musings, would like to advise that in addition to purchasing my own books to review, I also receive books, and/or promotional materials, free of charge in return for an honest review, as do any guest reviewers.