Sunday, March 24, 2013

Heather Rainier talks about Unlikely Heroes


Thank you, Pearls and Tink, for the chance to share a little of myself with your members.

The book I have in the works right now, Tangled in Divine, has been an experience I won’t forget. In my writing process, I usually have the groupings or couples for subsequent stories planned out two or three books ahead. By doing this, I have a clear idea of where the series is headed, and I enjoy giving my readers a peek at who might possibly have their story told next.

There are times when secondary characters get introduced that I didn’t necessarily intend to write a book for. Gwen Henderson from Heavenly Angel was one of those characters. Gwen charmed readers but she went on the back burner for ten books. I knew if she was meant to be, then my muse would let me know. With characters like this, it usually happens that their heroes or heroine present themselves and I clue into the connection.

Hero number one was Julian Alvarez, from Lusty, Texas. (See Julian’s crossover from Cara Covington’s Lusty Texas here: http://www.bookstrand.com/love-under-two-cowboys ). Julian was made for Gwen. I already knew exactly where I was going with him. But I write ménage.

My heart kept telling me that Chris Potter was Gwen’s other lover. But I knew nothing about him at all. Nada. It was as though he was hiding, which irritated the crap out of me. I couldn’t hear his voice, and he wouldn’t show himself. Then I met him one day and realized why.

During an unrelated Google image search, a picture of this random muscle-bound guy, in flowery swim trunks, making this ridiculous kissie-face for the camera popped up in the search results. He looked like a Jersey Shore cast member. Thick neck. Big, broad shoulders and chest. Clearly of Italian descent. I said, “No, thank you. No way. Nope. Can’t be.” Then he started talking and I knew it. Damn it. It was Chris Potter.

I showed my husband and the first words out of his mouth were, “I bet you ten bucks his name is Guido.”

I could imagine him, talking like Joey Tribbiani from Friends, when he flirts with any woman he meets. “How you doin’?”

I showed my critique partner, Corinne Davies, the picture and she said, “Huh?” Not one to pat my head, she was pretty clear. “WTF are you thinking?”

Every time I looked at his picture, I felt challenged. I started listening to Chris. I’d look at his silly kissie-face and I could almost hear him saying it. “I dare you. I double-fucking dare you to write me and convince readers to love me.”

“Challenge accepted, Guido.”

I put the picture in the book file and I have to be honest—I got a little defensive about Chris. I didn’t share the picture or even want to talk about him. He’d revealed some of his flaws to me by that time, and I was getting attached, but there was another problem. He had the body, but he’s not handsome. Not every hero has to look like a Greek god so I didn’t let that deter me…much. I began writing the book still thinking that I was screwed if I couldn’t come up with believable characterization for him. His enormous family had roots in New Jersey but I didn’t want him to become stereotypically predictable.

My husband and Corinne both thought I was insane when I sat down to watch a few episodes of Jersey Shore. Not to develop the story but because I’m from the South, and can’t relate in a family or among peers the way a Jersey boy would.

I got totally sucked in on Netflix. I had to find out what happened to the big jerk who hit Snooki! WTF? Anyway, once the marathon of shame was over, I came away with some great imagery and I knew a few new words.  

As if he knew I was committed, Chris started peeling back layers for me, and to quote him in one scene from the book, “Holy fuckity fuck!”

As the story developed, he shared his tender side with me and gradually became a classic example of what happens when a plain-looking man practically oozes personality. Looks don’t matter. I knew I was on the right track when Chris won Corinne over during one of our sprinting exercises. I shared a bit of the story with her and she flipped.

In a recent conversation regarding his nearly over the top personality, Corinne compared Chris with one of the characters I got to know in my “foray” to the Jersey Shore. I’m paraphrasing here…

Corinne: Remember, the picture you showed me of Chris? I said, “huh?” And now I want to hug him every time I see his name.
Heather: Yeah, if I was single I’d climb him like a tree.
Corinne:  It’s his personality that makes you want to climb him like a tree. That “Situation” guy from Jersey Shore should be dropped in the Atlantic with cement overshoes.
Heather: Yeah, I remember liking him at first but then he screwed up, going for the “easy lay” and I hated him.
Corinne: That’s my point. You have two men who have the same look but one makes your panties wet and the other makes you wish you had a gun license.

Chris Potter is one of the biggest, most multi-faceted heroes I’ve ever written. He’s tough as iron until he sets eyes on his woman, and then he melts like a marshmallow at a Homecoming bonfire. I love all my heroes, but when they show me as much of themselves as he did, I’m their willing captive at the keyboard. I know. I say that about all of them.

Let me show you just a little of what I’m talking about…from Tangled in Divine:
_______

EXCERPT

Chris hummed along with Gary Allan as he sang “Right Where I Need To Be” on the radio, while pulling into the drive-thru at Divine Drip. He had a hankering for a snack, and one of Cassie’s kolaches and a fresh cup of coffee would do the trick. He eased past the decrepit horse trailer and truck that were double-parked in the parking lot and shook his head. It looked like moving day for someone, since the horse trailer was filled to the roof with plastic bags, boxes and dropcloth-covered furniture.
“Damn, I’d hate to be moving on Christmas Eve.”
The rig had crud caked to the wheel wells and fenders like it had come a great distance through snow, salt, mud, and ice, which was slowly melting into great clods on the ground around the tires. It was cold as a well digger’s ass in Divine but wherever that rig had come from it was even colder.
He pulled up to the drive-thru window and greeted Cassie when she ran up and opened it, gathering her sweater around her to ward of the frigid blast of air.
“Hey, Chris! I just pulled some fresh sausage kolaches from the oven! Want some coffee too?”
Chris grinned at the vivacious woman. “How you doin’, Cass? I’ll take a couple of those kolaches and the biggest cup of coffee you got.”
Cassie blushed as she set to work putting his order together and called out, “Cream and four sugars, coming up! You all ready for Christmas? Seeing family tomorrow?”
“No, I spent Saturday night at home with them and came back yesterday. Got to see my folks, my brothers and sisters, cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles—you name it, I saw it.”
“You’re from Junction, right? That must be nice to have so much family, and for them to be not too far away.”
“Yeah, it’s nice,” he said with a nod as she handed him his order of kolaches in a white paper bag. “But a little loud when we’re all talking, which is all the time. My ears are still ringing.”
“I can imagine! I put an extra kolache in there for you. Merry Christmas!” He returned her wishes and began to roll forward as Cassie called out. “Wait, Chris! Don’t forget your coffee!”
Chris stopped the truck with a jolt, and laughed as Cassie leaned out of the window with his big cup of coffee and he met her in the middle. “Merry Christmas to you too, Cass!”
He winked and rolled forward as she blew him a cheeky kiss. He heard a frightened yelp and a soft thump on the hood of the Dodge, and his heart lurched with fear.
Holy shit! Engage brain before accelerator!
He squinted out the windshield and his heart did a double take when he saw the frightened little face peeking out from the fuzzy Elmer Fudd hat that was just inches above the truck hood.
Oh God! Did I hit her?
He shifted into park and sat there, glued to his seat, staring like a dumbass, watching as the fear and pain left her deep blue eyes and was replaced by absolute fury.
She slammed her bare hand down on the hood and began shouting at him. Firing obscenities at him until the air practically turned blue, she was the most stupendously, majestically beautiful angry woman he’d ever seen in his life.
 ________

 How to Find Heather Rainier books

Heather Rainier writes erotic romance exclusively for Siren Publishing at http://www.bookstrand.com/heather-rainier  Tangled in Divine, the fourteenth book in The Divine Creek Ranch Collection, is scheduled for release on April 19, 2013. 

Visit her website and blog at www.heatherrainier.com and on Facebook.

       Discuss her books on our forum at  http://innergoddess.freeforums.org/heather-rainier-s-divine-creek-ranch-f93.html and on our Goodreads group at http://www.goodreads.com/topic/group_folder/131267?group_id=71973
_________

 

Contest

Thanks for visiting Divine with me and thanks again, Pearls and Tink, for welcoming me at Inner Goddess. I love hearing from readers. 

 Leave a comment here sharing a memory of someone you’ve known who was the classic Teddy bear or Gentle Giant type and I’ll enter your name in a drawing to take place at the end of this week, on March 30th. The winner will receive a free digital copy of Tangled in Divine when it releases on April 19, 2013. **Make sure to leave an e-mail address so I can contact the winner.**



63 comments:

  1. My husband is my Gentle Giant. I am 5'1" and he is 6'3". He doesn't like to be around large groups, so we tend to have more private moments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Pearls. :) He sounds like a sweetheart and private moments sounds Divine!

      Delete
    2. oops forgot to put my email addy: pearlsatinnergoddess @ gmail .com

      Delete
  2. I have a friend named Lynn who is 6'7 and 290 who reminds me of a Gentle Giant. His wife is only 5'4 and they are so cute together ..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tiffany, don't forget to leave an email address

      Delete
  3. My brother is a Gentle Giant, he is 6'7" tall and his wife is about 5'2". He is such a kind gentleman, with his family he is even more so. He isn't afraid to show his sons the love that they need to see and feel. While growing up our father was an alcoholic and Mom wasn't that straight forward with her affection. But Michael can be the scary one too if you anger him, or say anything against his family. If there was someone out there like him, I wouldn't still be single, he is kind and gentle but won't let you pull any shit with him, which I respect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't forget to leave an email contact!

      Delete
  4. My husband is m big teddy bear he is 6'4 and very quite works hard and doesn't like to go out to resturants. He also has a sexy accent. Some people look at him and go wow because he is huge or because they are scared(this will come in handy when our daughters start dating LOL) but my hubby is my teddy bear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tracy, don't forget to leave an email address

      Delete
  5. I have a friend ,Byron 6'2" 280lbs, we played rugby together for 8 years, he is a giant teddy bear. What is even more amazing is he is a pediatric nurse, the kids adore him. We also work together, I work ger and he is in peds,the minute he walks onto the ward the kids all want his attention. I moved, I really miss our walks on the beach, we stayed friends and keep in contact regularly!

    ReplyDelete
  6. My brother-in-law was such a big teddy bear. He was a tall, large man who had such a heart of gold. He loved his wife and children with all of his heart, and he loved the foster children who shared their home with all of his heart also. He was quiet, kind, and gentle with all souls. I miss him every day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't forget to leave an email address.

      Delete
    2. nancy.swisher@gmail.com

      Delete
  7. I would have to say my dad had to be one of the original Gentle Giants. He was 6'5 1/2 and my mom was not quite 5'4. He absolutely worshiped the ground she walked on for 41+ years they were together before he died and she worshiped him right back! He showed physical affection openly to both mom and me and both of my brothers (who are 6'3 and 6'9, lol). He was a perfect example for ALL men to follow. Love and miss you daddy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't forget to leave an email address

      Delete
  8. I have a good friend who is my gentle giant. He is 6'5 and muscled while being a bit hefty. He is a rough biker dude, who you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley, but I never feel safer than when I'm close to him. He always calls me 'Lady' with that soft southern drawl that can give you a shiver down your spine every time. He can be the roughest, toughest, colour the air blue with language, when around the guys, but I have never heard him swear in front of a woman yet. He is never afraid to show his gentle side and has loaned me his shoulder to cry on many times, and has even shed a tear or two with me, just because he doesn't like to see me sad. He is more than my gentle giant, he is my best friend. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Saundra, don't forget to leave an email address

      Delete
  9. My son is 6 ft and his adorable blonde wife is about 5ft 2 in. She takes no nonsense from him and will think nothing of "giving it to him" shaking finger and all!! I sit back and laugh my head off. He just rolls his eyes and nods his head. He usually deserves everything he gets. Poetic justice!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda, don't forget to put an email address

      Delete
  10. My husband is the PERFECT Teddy Bear type! He is big, hairy but has a sweet heart, unless you mess with his loved ones! He can be a flirt, a tease, a snuggle bear, and he can talk your head off too! He LOVES to joke, have fun, and easy going but he also has a tendency to slam his fist in the fridge of the door (not like i ever seen him do that *wink*) )when he is in a temper, but he would NEVER hit a woman. He is MY teddy bear and makes the BEST snuggler EVER! He is my very own Big foot. (that is his nickname around here bc he is so big and hairy in a very cute way) Im REALLY looking forward to April 19th and Tangled In Divine!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marie, don't forget to put an email address

      Delete
  11. My husband (Roel Cardoza) was my Teddy Bear. He was the one to cheer me up when I needed cheering. He would warm me up when I was cold. He would hold me when I would cry and most of all he was soft and cuddly just like a Teddy Bear.
    mgcardoza78@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Unfortunately, I don't know any teddy bears or gentle giants. :( I am looking forward to reading this book so I can "meet" Chris, who seems to be a teddy bear!

    tomzgurl821@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. My youngest is 6'4" and such a sweetie. Always listened to his mom. He's now out of the house and on his own, but always does what he can when his mom calls.

    I can't wait for Tangled in Divine. I adore this series!

    bridgetw3@cox.net

    ReplyDelete
  14. My hubby of 28 years is my teddy bear. In fact, for the first 15 or so years of our marriage, I called him Tbear (short for teddy bear). He is my furry man (I adore chest hair!) and has a wonderful soul. He treats me like a queen. And at 6', he is has a little presence. I learn new things about him all the time, which is saying something considering we have been together 30 years.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I forgot to add that Heather, I loved your blog post! I was a huge fan of Joey - the 'How you doin' line cracked me up. The book looks great!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow, this takes me back.....When I was stationed at NAS Bermuda (1978-1979), I worked part time at the Enlisted Club as a bartender. My favorite bouncer was a 6"8" CB (Naval Construction Battalion)who weighed in at 280. His real name was Blake but, wait for it.....his nickname was Tiny. This man was the sweetest, gentle giant (he actually came to mind when reading Rachel and Eli's story) who I never saw lose his cool once. He didn't have to...his size was enough to deter any rowdy sailors or marines! His wife became a best friend and she was 5'1" and maybe weighed 100 lbs soaking wet. He treated all women with respect and became our "big" brother who looked out for us ladies whether working, hanging out or partying.

    linvaliant@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm so excited to hear what happens next. The tease was pretty good. I would say that my younger cousin is a gentle giant. I'm 8 hears older than him and he's almost 7 ft. tall. He the sweetest young man whose is a full time student in college, works full time and just bought his own little house. I'm so proud of my big sweet cousin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ashleyd, don't forget to leave your email address in case you win!

      Delete
  18. Heather,

    Like many of the women had said, I think my teddybear is my wonderful husband of 28 years. I know that if I am ever in the need of a big bear hug then he is the man. We have been through quite a bit together and have changed and grown up together since we were married very young. He has taught our boys to love their wives and sets an incredible example to them. I can't wait to read, Tangled in Divine.

    phillipsr3sons@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. My husband is my gentle giant. He is a big man and is very gentle. We don't have children of our own but lots of nieces and nephews. The babies just love him.

    Robyn
    pgpoohbear@mygrande.net

    ReplyDelete
  20. My teddybear is my old boyfriend Jim. Oh man was he something! He was 6'4" and bald but hair everywhere else! I loved it. He loved to cuddle and I loved to cuddle with him! I miss him, we were friends before we started dating and were together for 2 years. He moved away, then i met my husband :) Im excitd for Tangled in Divine, I already planned a quited weekend to read it!
    jah4334@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have to set my hubby us my gentle giant. I'm 5'2" and he is 6'5". He is a great and loving husband and a wonderful father. He never seems so worry about anything and always does his best to reassure me that all will be good. I have spent the last 21 year's with my best friend and am looking forward to many more.

    Can't wait for this book.

    Robin
    jtscheermom@Verizon.net

    ReplyDelete
  22. I have a friend who's nickname is Dozer. He's 6'4" and built like a linebacker with a bald head. He really is intimidating to look at. He is the kindest, gentlest soul that I have ever met. He's just a darling to know if you can get past his initial look. I love him to death.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RoseRaven, don't forget to leave your email addie for when you win.

      Delete
  23. My brother is a teddy bear though he doesn't have the height. He does have the muscles at first you see this man walking all serious and after you meet him you find out what a marshmallow he is with his family and friends.
    Jeann830@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Im so glad you made it thru your marathon of shame from Netflix and it sounds like you came away with an amazing character! I cant wait to read Gwen's story and get to know Chris!! I love all of the Divine Creek books and I know this will be an awesome addition!

    But I have to always give my xoxo's to Ethan, Jack and Eli!

    Hugs Angie R

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Angie R. don't forget to leave your email addie for when you win.

      Delete
  25. I had a good friend who passed away. He was the biggest baddest man around but to me and those that he loved he was the biggest teddy Bear around. Always helping those in need and giving whatever he had. At 6'7" and over 300 lbs all muscle he was a sight to see.

    meingee@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. My gentle giant is my uncle who is 6'5. When I find a guy I hope he is just like him. In the 44 years I've known him he has never yelled or cursed. He treats my aunt like a queen. He is always there if I need him to talk to or a hug. When my car broke down for good he found me a great car and bought it letting me pay him back what I could afford.
    wynde23@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. My husband is my gentle giant. When he was in high school he was fondly known as "Lurch". He's over 6 ft. and has the shoulders of a football player and no neck. But he has the kindest heart and gentlest touch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marianne, don't forget to leave your email addie

      Delete
  28. My husband is a gentle giant with that thread of steel that says, "If you hurt my family, you will pay." We will celebrate our 21st anniversary on April 25th and he always stands for what he believes is right.

    dlynda72@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. I know 2 gentle giants, my dad (rip) and my uncle Harold. And my son, the 6'4", Marine, aka Semper Fi, is a teddy bear. He can mess around with his grown cousins or the youngest who is 8, and not hurt him. He's a good son.
    Thank you Heather.
    grburton@samford.edu

    ReplyDelete
  30. Not many in my family or circle are tall. We generally top out at most at 6'0". While my husband (5'7") is the love of my life, I'd have to say my dad. He's 5'9" or 10" but he seems to take control of a room when he's in it. But not with bravado, he does it with respect and humor. My dad reminds me a lot of Bill Cosby.

    And BTW Heather? In our family, "Guido" is the name for all the ex's in the family! rofl!!!

    lisakc68@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. My husband is my gentle giant. He may not be a giant in height but he has a giant heart. I feel safe, protected, and cherished as his wife. He makes me feel like the most beautiful, sexy, desirable woman in the world. He is my dragon slayer and my best friend!

    Heather, you give me hope that there just might be "Divine" men left in this world for my girls!
    Thanks for writing these wonderful books!
    Angie J.

    grmajones@live.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. My father was my "Gentle Giant" He was the best father ever! All ways ready to give a helping hand to someone in need. I loved to suggle on his lap, even when I got older I loved to snuggle up to him an watch a movie. I sure do miss him.

    Shirley R.
    d_rhinehardt@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. My teddybear is my son anthony. He tries his best to calm me down when this are crazy at our home. Makes me look at the bright side of things. love him! Love the series can't wait!

    email:josiea@videotron.ca

    ReplyDelete
  34. My best friend’s dad was a "Gentle Giant". If you can picture a 6'2" man about 320 pounds, full beard, tattooed, leather wearing, wallet on a chain kind of teddy bear. He had the kindest heart and the gentlest face with big blue eyes. However if you did not know him and saw him coming towards you on the sidewalk you would cross the street to the other side, but he probably would have waved as he passed and told you to watch for traffic. He gave his heart and soul for his family. He worked were he could manage to get a job as he was severely dyslexic and could not read or write well. You would never know it though it embarrassed him a great deal. In the 10yr I knew this man I never once heard an unkind word or act from him and latter had come to find out that he was actually my best friend’s step-dad. I never would have known any different because he would have gladly given his life for the only daughter that he called his own.
    Email: shaneanreed2@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. My grandfather was 6'7" and was the sweetest, most gentle man I knew.

    ReplyDelete
  36. My Papa Ackley was the most loving man imaginable. He and my Nana were never able to have children of their own. They took in my mother when she was three and they were almost sixty. I can still remember his gentle voice and strong arms around me. I still can hear him saying, "I love you a bushel and a peck, and a hug aroud the neck!" I love you too, Papa.
    mgsmith@roadrunner.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. I once dated a man who was a supervisor for an oil well servicing company. 6'3" and 230 lbs of pure hell in the field. When he came home, he would touch me like I was a breakable and play with my infant son like he was afraid of snapping him in half. I secretly thought if the guys in the oilfield could see him, they'd fall off the platform laughing. He was wonderful to us and I still miss him everyday. He taught me to trust.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I knew a gentle giant in junior college. He was a 6'3" football who was the big brother I never had. He took a group of girls under his wing and looked out for us. I lost track of him after I graduated but I never forgot him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ooops football player* is what I meant to say. email: ljones0366@aol.com

      Delete
  39. I knew a gentle giant in high school. Big burly guy who you weren't sure you wanted to talk to until you did. Nicest, sweetest guy ever!! email: mich81266@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hi Heather. Cant wait for the next Divine book! I love all the folks in Divine and wish I could move there.

    My sweetie is a gentle giant. He is 6'6" that looks so sexy and hot in a kilt! Yes, he loves kilts and wears them often. I am just surprised that he has not flashed anyone when riding is Harley.

    You should see how he can clear a sidewalk when we are out wandering in a small town which is one of our favorite things to do. we walk hand in hand and the crowd before us parts like the Red Sea. what a hoot! People seem to think he is a big bad-assed biker when he is much more that that. This is a man that holds my hand, kisses my fingertips and calls me kitten. LOVE it!
    Kathy
    remembers1@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I have a sweety of a husband and he is 6'2" tall. He is my gentle giant.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I forgot to post my email... LOL mamabear5420002yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  44. My husband is my gentle giant and I love him dearly.
    Email is ca1siciliano@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hello Heather! I can't wait for this book to come!!! Love your books and can't get enough, I hope you never stop writing :D
    My son's Godfather is a gentle giant, he is 6'5" and is the funniest, gentlest guy I met. We haven't seen him in a while, he lives in Bermuda and we miss him.
    seelk67 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  46. I have picked winners for the e-book drawing but first, I want to thank all the readers who left replies to my question. Some of your memories and stories brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing from your hearts with me. Now onto business...(drumroll please!) The winners in the drawing are: Shirley R and Miss Jones. I have your email addresses and will be contacting you soon. Congratulations and thanks again to everyone who took the time to comment.

    ReplyDelete