Saturday, March 30, 2013

Welcome Brita Addams today/Book Tour Contest

Creating the Yummy

I've read all my life, from the time I could hold a book. I love to get lost in another place, another time. I have always enjoyed the romantic in fiction. However, for many years, I was, and still am, grounded in reality. I love biographies and have literally read thousands. While I cut my teeth on Trixie Belden mysteries, I devoured bios—movie stars, presidents, first ladies. As I look back, the first biography I read was about Helen Keller, and I was hooked on reality reading.

Perhaps that is why I had such a difficult time entrenching myself in fiction. The more improbable, the less enjoyable a story is for me. I suppose that's why I have a difficult time with paranormal reading. I can't fathom it and my mind doesn't allow me to open up to shifters and werewolves. Vampires are entirely different, but they have to be loveable and of a different ilk. Go figure, huh?

When I started reading romance novels, I knew I had found my fictional niche. I don't read them to escape my life, because I have a wonderful hero of my own, to whom I've been married for a considerable number of years. Perhaps, because he is the man he is, I can lose myself in fictional romance and not wish the hero was my own.

However, to create a hero that women or men will drool over, now that is satisfying work. When I was a teenager, my walls were papered with pages torn from movie and teen music magazines. Frankie Avalon, Ricky Nelson, Dion, along with Rock Hudson, Troy Donahue, Tab Hunter, all made up my dreamboat faction. I wasn’t a big Elvis fan at that time, while my schoolmates were.

Often, when I'm creating a hero, or as some like to call them, The Yummy, I harken back to those days and snatch attributes from Frankie (his hair,) Ricky (those full lips,) or Rock (his smile.)

The rest however, is less superficial, because I've lived a few years past teenage, and I know that looks fade, but true character lives forever.

While a fictional hero needs to be above human capability, (you'd think paranormal would appeal to me more than it does,) he must have compassion, be gentlemanly to a point, caring to a fault, strong beyond measure, astute, and handsome beyond handsome. Yes, he can have flaws, and should, but he must recognize them and use them to advantage.

My characters are a composite of my ideal man. I also know, that perfection doesn't really exist, so in creating it, I must make the hero so human that the reader sees the perfection shining through.

For me, I admire a man who can cry—appropriately. Whiney or overly emotional men do not fall into the hero category for me. I have great difficulty with guys who cry at the drop of a hat or who are too clingy. But a man who can show appropriate emotion has me at Go.

Men come in all shapes and sizes, and many don't appear particularly heroic, if we use the word to describe the male lead. By definition, a hero is "someone who commits an act of remarkable bravery or has shown an admirable quality such as great courage or strength of character." Yes, that is what I'm screaming.

Strength of character. The guy doesn't have to slay dragons, but he does have to appear as though he could if called upon. He should know what he is about and face it with uncompromising courage. That could mean going after the person he wants, taking care of his family, giving more than anyone else when it comes to his job. Putting others before himself, taking a bullet for someone he cares for.

Integrity and honor. Strength of his convictions. He doesn't have to be a superhero. For me, a real life hero is someone who drags himself out of bed each day, determined to do what he must. He does it as well as he can. He smiles and has a kind word, a loving word for the person he shares his life with. He isn't too prideful to hold the hand of the one he loves, nor does he back down when challenged.

He holds his head up high and is proud of the life he's created and above all, he can take the praise he so richly deserves.

When an author writes those kinds of heroes, I'm there. I'm sold. I'm in love from page one. Add a bit of realism to the mix. Not all Yummies are tall, dark and handsome. Some are short, quiet, and graying. No less heroic, however.

Sample some of my heroes in my latest releases:

 Here's the blurb for Tarnished Gold:

In 1915, starstruck Jack Abadie strikes out for the gilded streets of the most sinful town in the country—Hollywood. With him, he takes a secret that his country hometown would never understand. 

After years of hard work and a chance invitation to a gay gentlemen's club, Jack is discovered. Soon, his talent, matinee idol good looks, and affable personality propel him to the height of stardom. But fame breeds distrust. 

Meeting Wyatt Maitland turns Jack’s life upside down. He wants to be worthy of his good fortune, but old demons haunt him. Only through Wyatt's strength can Jack face that which keeps him from being the man he wants to be. Love without trust is empty. 

As the 1920s roar, scandals rock the movie industry. Public tolerance of Hollywood's decadence has reached its limit. Under pressure to clean up its act, Jack’s studio issues an ultimatum. Either forsake the man he loves and remain a box office darling, or follow his heart and let his shining star fade to tarnished gold.

Read an excerpt and purchase the Tarnished Gold ebook or print, signed by the author (if one of the first twenty sold.)

I also have For Men Like Us, which takes place during the Regency in England. You can find it at Dreamspinner Press. Just click the title to be magically transported.

Blurb for For Men Like Us:

After Preston Meacham’s lover dies trying to lend him aid at Salamanca, hopelessness becomes his only way of life. Despite his best efforts at starting again, he has no pride left, which leads him to sell himself for a pittance at a molly house. The mindless sex affords him his only respite from the horrors he witnessed.

The Napoleonic War left Benedict Wilmot haunted by the acts he was forced to commit and the torture he endured at the hands of a superior, a man who used the threat of a gruesome death to force Ben to do his bidding. Even sleep gives Ben no reprieve, for he can’t escape the destruction he caused.

When their paths cross, Ben feels an overwhelming need to protect Preston from his dangerous profession. As he explains, “The streets are dangerous for men like us.”

About Brita Addams:

Born in Upstate New York, Brita Addams has made her home in the sultry south for many years. Brita's home is a happy place, where she lives with her real-life hero, her husband, and a fat cat named Stormee.

She writes, for the most part, erotic historical romance, both het and m/m, which is an ideal fit, given her love of British and American history. Setting the tone for each historical is important. Research plays an indispensible part in the writing of any historical work, romance or otherwise. A great deal of reading and study goes into each work, to give the story the authenticity it deserves.

As a reader, Brita prefers historical works, romances and otherwise. She believes herself born in the wrong century, though she says she would find it difficult to live without air conditioning.

Brita and her husband love to travel, particularly cruises and long road trips. They completed a Civil War battlefield tour a couple of years ago, and have visited many places involved in the American Revolutionary War.

In May, 2013, they are going to England for two weeks, to visit the places Brita writes about in her books, including the estate that inspired the setting for her Sapphire Club series. Not the activities, just the floor plan. J

A bit of trivia – Brita pronounces her name, B-Rita, like the woman's name, and oddly, not like the famous water filter.

Please visit me at any of these online locations:

Twitter: @britaaddams


      E-book giveaways at each stop. Random commenter's choice from my backlist (Tarnished Gold excluded)
     Signed 8x10 glossies of Jack Abadie

Grand Prize is a Kindle, along with the winner's choice of five (5) of my backlist titles, sent to them by email.


Easy. Leave a comment at one or all the stops. At each stop, a random commenter will be selected to win their choice of backlist book (Tarnished Gold excluded.) This selection will be made daily throughout the tour, except where blog owners wish to extend the eligibility. Be sure to leave an email address in your comment. 

All names of commenters and their email addresses will be put into the drawing for the Kindle, even if they have won the daily drawing. The more comments you make the more chances you have to win.

Other prizes include five (5) 8x10 glossies of Jack Abadie, signed. The winners will be selected on April 10, from all the commenters at all the stops, and notified by email.

The Grand Prize winner will be selected on April 10th and notified by email. Once I have heard from the winner and obtained a shipping address, I will order the Kindle and have it shipped directly to the winner. They will also be eligible to select five (5) of my backlist titles and I will email them to the winner.

Contest valid in the United States.

Full schedule for the Tarnished Gold Virtual Book Tour


H.B. said...

Thanks for sharing the process of creating a hero. It's always fun to learn how an author starts to build their MC's.

Unknown said...

Thanks H.B. I started out thinking my heroes could never have flaws. Now, I think flaws are part of their charm, don't you?

Unknown said...

I agree I love an imperfect character. I like the flaws and quirks, but I like him to be strong and honorable as well. There's a balance. But imperfect can be perfect :D


gigi said...

Great post! Please count me in. Thanks!!!


bn100 said...

Nice info about your characters

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Juliana said...

I also love imperfect characters! I think just because a man has demons, imperfections, etc. doesn't mean he isn't worthy of getting a story with a happy ending!
OceanAkers @

Urb said...

Hi! I just devoured For Men Like Us, and truly enjoyed it! I hope you keep coming up with great stories and flawed heroes! Thank you!


Carolyn said...

I do love your definition of a hero. He has to rise up and be a person worthy of the one who loves him.

caroaz [at] ymail [dot] com

Loveless3173 said...

Really enjoyed the post! :D
Please count me in~~


Angie said...

I can't wait to read Tarnished Gold and For Men Like Us, they both sound like such good reads.

H.B. said...

Yes, Brita. I couldn't agree more there's something about flaws that make the heroes seem much more approachable and charming.

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