Holding Out For a Hero

This young man stole my heart the other day at the end of a news broadcast peopled with lowlifes.  He’s dressed all macho, secure in his manhood, and just watch what he does. 

And then there’s the firefighter giving oxygen to the kitten…

firefighterkitten

Way to melt our hearts, right?  We’ve all seen pictures like this.  We’ve seen stories like this on the nightly news.  Running into a burning building to save lives is heroic enough, but tending a tiny kitten afterward?  Now that’s heroic and downright irresistible.

Creating a hero out of thin air, you set about finding ways to show that soft underbelly—you know, without telling—and putting an animal within his reach is fairly surefire.  The best scenes stick with you long after you’ve read and re-read them.  The hero in one of my old favorites–Tom and Sharon Curtis’s Lightning That Lingers–was so sweet with little critters.  His favorite was a little owl he’d rescued.  The deeply wounded hero in Laura Kinsale’s Flowers From the Storm showered the heroine with kittens.

I love a hero who’s kind to animals, but I love him even more for being kind to vulnerable human beings, especially when he tries to distance himself (because he’s tough) but can’t bring himself to walk away.  Cleve Black Horse from This Time Forever is that kind of man.  I gave him maybe the most difficult challenge I’ve ever given a character in this regard, and seriously challenged myself into the bargain.  Early in the book Cleve goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit.  He’s aware that he’s fallen short over the years in many ways, but he doesn’t appreciate getting punished for the wrong sin.  And it really irks him when the one juror who seems to be listening—his instinct tells him just maybe she believes him—declares him guilty.  It’s enough to turn any man’s heart stone cold.  But the greatest challenge of Cleve’s  life is only beginning.  He’s going to need all the strength he can muster and then some.  The unbroken animals he’s bested in his wilder days were no test compared to the people he’s about to meet who need a champion.

Who are your most memorable fictional heroes, and what is it about them that touches you unforgettably?  I’m going to draw a name among those who comment today and send them a print copy of one of my recent books.

Oh, and guess what I just discovered?  Many of my books, including This Time Forever, are available from iTunes.  I don’t know why I didn’t know this, but my family thinks it’s the coolest.  (That’s where the singing heroes reside.)  Amazon offers a nice variety of formats of This Time Forever, and Barnes & Noble has the paperback for sale, soon to be joined by the e-book.  Just in case you were wondering…

This Time Forever - screen

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About Kathleen Eagle

Kathleen Eagle is the award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of over forty novels.
This entry was posted in Cowboys, free book, giveaway, heroes, iTunes, Kathleen Eagle. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Holding Out For a Hero

  1. I absolutely love Clay from The Last Good Man. I have read that book so many times. His interactions with Claudia and his ex wives children are so touching to me.

    • JJJ, Thank you, thank you, thank you. Clay is the ultimate caretaker, which is a bittersweet role usually left to women. I wanted to see what a man would do with it. Clay does his job and then some.

  2. laurieg72 says:

    I like the ex-military men and mercenaries in Diana Palmer’s books. They’re all independent, tough beasts who don’t think they need love but do love to protect innocents. I like it when one woman’s love brings them to their knees and they fall in love and marry. Cash Grier, Mac Kilraven, Rey Hart, Judd Dunn, Rodrigo Ramirez, Cy Parks…

  3. That video clip is so touching–such kindness in this young man…and such irony in how it turned out. And how cool that you are now in iTunes, Kathleen! Cleve is an amazing hero.

  4. Kylie Brant says:

    Another great cover, Kathleen! And I loved the firefighter photo. I had a heroine once who’d adopted a stray Tom. It looked like it had been through a few wars :) and had an ongoing battle with the hero. It was fun to write the scene where they came to terms, and show how much the two had in common…both worn and battle scarred, united in their fierce protectiveness for the heroine. Who among us hasn’t had our heart melt a little when we walk into the room and hear our own hero talking baby talk to our pet?

    • Okay, Kylie, give us the title. I can’t wait to read that coming to terms with the cat scene. The hero I live with is a dog/horse man, so my fictional heroes generally are, too. It’s so much fun when they have a secret affection for a cat. My hero in RIDE A PAINTED PONY had a cat riding shotgun. The cat had adopted the man.

  5. michelehauf says:

    Ah, yes, the hero from Flowers From The Storm. I do love a wounded hero who is saved by the heroine’s love.
    And just a note: My call for Spring yesterday was heard! It’s 45 degrees here right now and the sun is out. Nice.

  6. leannebanks says:

    Wolf Mackenzie from Mackenzie’s Mountain. I love the way he so reluctantly fell for plain spinster teacher Mary Elizabeth Potter. Of course, I also loved Mary Elizabeth Potter.:)

  7. Cindy Gerard says:

    Kathy you just named 2 of my all time favorite books. Brings back memories. I think I need to get them out and read them again.
    as for heroes being sweet and kind to animals. I was having my morning latte in the sunroom the other morning w hen I heard my hubby in the kitchen talking in this soft little high pitched voice and I couldn’t figure it out until I realized he was talking to one of the cats. they were just having the cutest (and funnies) conversation about where Sly had been and did he want his breakfast and what exactly was on his mind. LOL. THIS from a man who claims he’s not a cat fancier. Just made my heart melt.-

  8. Trish Jensen says:

    I’m a sucker for men in uniform, be it military, police, firefighter or cowboys! Which is why I’d put all of your heroes at the top of my list, Kathleen. :) Love several of Brockman’s SEALS. Definitely Kinsale’s Flowers From The Storm., one of my all-time favorite historicals. Oh, jeez, too many to list. Wounded, either physically or mentally, but with enough of a heart to grudgingly allow a woman a little wiggle room to reach in there and heal him.

  9. ghurt110@bellsouth.net says:

    My hero’s have always been cowboys. I am going to have to go with Hank from Kaki Warner’s book Open Country. Hank has always stuck in my mind ever since I read the book. There was just something about him that stayed with me.

  10. CateS says:

    So many really great hero’s.. many already mentioned above.. I do love a guy who has to learn to forgive… Thanks for sharing!!

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