Lucynda Storey and I have been friends for a lot of years. We, along with Lena Austin, started our path into the writing world as critique partners. Tough love was our method and it helped each of us "not faint" the first time we received edits back from an editor. Quite a bit of time and lot of experiences behind us, we still support each other in our writing careers and in life.
Today, she shares her views on what makes a hero.
What makes a hero?
According to the dictionary a hero is an “illustrious warrior; a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities; one that shows great courage” (www.m-w.com). While the emphasis seems to be masculine in this day and age there are a lot of women who should be and are designated as heroines the female version of hero. Merriam-Webster has this to say about heroines: a mythological or legendary woman having the qualities of a hero; a woman admired and emulated for her achievements and qualities (www.m-w.com).
What I like about the heroine definition is the addition of the word ‘emulated’. This means heroic women are women to model ourselves after, women who could be mentors and guides as we as individual women strive to be more.
So who are these heroines? I posit they are the people you may live next door to. The school teacher, the doctor, lawyer, project manager, computer guru, the single mom raising her kids alone, the widow rebuilding her life after the death of her spouse, the waitress at the local pub putting herself through school without the benefit of alimony or child support.
Sadly, there are anti-heroes/heroines as well. The seductress who lures a husband away from his loving family; the gossip who enjoys ruining reputations and causing mischief; the backstabber who pretends to be a friend and in fact is doing all she can to ruin you or the life you’ve spent a lot of time building.
We all need heroes, be they male or female. If you’ve seen Salt with Angelina Jolie, then you’ve seen a female action hero. There is a host of male action heroes such as the crew Sylvester Stallone put together for The Expendables, and let’s forget my favorite, Bruce Willis, the guy that says (paraphrased) “I’m the guy in the wrong place at the right time willing to do something.”
When I wrote my cops, Case and Jack in Simply Irresistible and Refugee, I wrote heroes. But my women were heroes too. Stepping up to the plate and doing something that only they could do at that particular time and place. Using their brains and self-determination to do what is right and improve their lives, facing down the demons of their past, taking on roles in order to rescue the hurt and lost.
As women, we need to look for real life heroines to emulate. While its wonderful to think that our man would jump in front of a car to save us more are likely to say ‘that’s okay it will hit you first.”
We can’t count on men to be our heroes. We have to be our heroes. We have to look inside ourselves and to our closest, most trusted friends and emulate their positive qualities. And if we’re lucky, we’ll not only be heroic, but our man will be too.
ALSO: A winner will be drawn for a PDF copy of the steamy fantasy, BLIND DEVOTION (one of my favorites of her many books), from reader comments today.
Lucynda started life as the first born in an Air Force family. She traveled often going to such exotic hot spots as New Mexico, Texas, and Turkey. After a stint in Maine, her father settled down in Colorado, the location Cyn calls home.
Traveling, moving in particular, is as inherited trait for Lucynda. She's lived in Nebraska, Michigan (both east and west sides of the state), and is currently residing in her beloved Colorado.
Family life keeps Lucynda busy. Her son recently graduated, and her daughter is about to start high school. Her youngest son will be a fourth grader this fall.
Lucynda loves to travel and has visited some interesting places. She did extensive traveling in eastern Europe before the demise of the Berlin Wall. On her latest trip, she visited Ireland, the setting of two of her novels.
Lucynda shares one of her recipes with us today.
Balsamic Glazed Chicken
Yield: 4 servings
Source: “Italian Diabetic Meals in 30 Minutes - Or Less!”
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 4 (4 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1-1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and saute the chicken breasts on both sides, for a total of 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet.
Combine the vinegar and mustard and add them to the skillet, scraping up any browned bits. Boil and reduce by a third.
Pour the balsamic glaze over the chicken and top with toasted pine nuts.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (4 ounces):
Calories: 231, Fat: 10 g, Cholesterol: 69 mg, Sodium: 195 mg,
Carbohydrate: 8 g, Dietary Fiber: 1 g, Sugars: 5 g, Protein: 28 g Diabetic Exchanges: 1/2 Carbohydrate, 4 Very Lean Meat, 1-1/2 Fat
In this highly sensual tale, Azari has no idea her life is about to change irrevocably. Unwittingly, she has awakened two mythical beings intent on taking her virginity. Escaping to an isolated cabin, Azari meets an unlikely protector, Tor, the High Priest of Eiliki. Together, Azari and Tor face the greatest challenges of their lives - survival. Will Tor-s blind devotion to the Goddess prevent him from accepting the greatest gift he-s ever been given, or will the dogma of his religion and his own past keep him from making the right decision?
Excerpt: Blind Devotion
Silence reigned. Tor looked about his sparse quarters. His hutch, table, globe stand, chest, and bed were all he’d really needed or wanted. While away at the temple, he cast a spell on the wooden cabin, an enchantment to hide the building from the view of others.
He frowned as he covered her feet with the blanket. The enchantment had been in place when he returned. How, then, did this woman enter his abode? Something was amiss. Her story, the ineffective enchantments of his home allowing her entrance to his house through locked doors, left him uneasy.
“Azari,” he said gently. “I need to know if you are a virgin.”
Bright red quickly stained her cheeks. “Wwwhat?” she stammered.
If she were untouched, her state would explain the arousing of the large cat animal she suspected, the cevere. “Are you a virgin?”
Her voice continued to quake. “I am.” She ran a slender hand over her face. “But, I see not what business it is of yours.”
“According to the histories, the cevere is brought forth from its lair when it inhales the aroma of a virgin. I believe this is the animal that gave you chase.” He rubbed his hand over the stubble on his chin. “Your scent is imprinted on the cevere’s mind.”
Tor watched Azari swallow. Once more, her eyes widened. He imagined the things he told her were difficult to believe. Slowly, he continued. “Listen to me carefully. When the cevere wakes, so does the dragon.”
“A dragon?” her voiced squeaked. “I don’t understand.”
He spoke with measured words. “They will both come for you. They will wreak havoc wherever they go, and not care what they destroy. If you awakened the cevere and thus awakened the dragon, one of the two will take you.”
Also coming soon to Aspen Mountain Press: Simply Irresistible and Refugee