I NEED A HERO – CONTEST
Remember this? I sing it all the time. It’s my mantra!
I am self-sufficient. I make my own living. I don’t mind being by myself and sleeping in a quiet, lonely house. I’m not afraid of the dark. But sometimes, I get tired of fighting all my own battles.
I need a champion.
When my world turns upside down and the storms of life threaten to push me beneath the waves, I long for someone big and strong to step in front of me and block the savage winds of trouble and sorrow.
I need a hero.
This hunger for someone to sweep into my life and right the wrongs, kill the dragons and lift me up on the back of his white charger is just a dream – it’s not going to happen. Alas!
That’s why I write.
Really, I lie in the bed and fantasize about a man who is unafraid to get in the face of villains, who thinks I am the most wonderful person in the world and will whip the crap out of anyone who says differently. My hero wouldn’t have to be convinced of my worth, he’d recognize my value and place me on a pedestal that I would willingly share with him.
I’m still waiting. Ha!
I love to write about heroes. I bet you think that, like Willie, my ‘heroes have always been cowboys’, but that’s not true. My very first hero was animated; it was ‘MIGHTY MOUSE’! I found him on nickelodeon and fell in love. That mouse had upper body strength that just wouldn’t quit. After Mighty Mouse lost favor in my eyes, along came Sonny Crocket, or should I say Don Johnson. My goodness! What that made did for a white suit! He looked divine in that suit over a t-shirt and no socks! Plus he had a pet alligator named Elvis that I remembered when I created toothless Amos Moses for Beau and Harley.
About the time I was in high school, I discovered a fictional character in a series of novels by Clive Cussler. His name was Dirk Pitt. Matthew McConaughey played his character in Sahara, but I was in love with the man before Matt came into the picture. He was a cross between MacGyver, James Bond and Indiana Jones – he was everywhere, doing everything and totally sexy at every turn. I inhaled the books.
Jess has always been into superheroes – Superman, Batman, Iron Man – you name it. He spent the first ten years of his life with a towel pinned to his shoulders jumping off the couch and the porch. So, heroes have been a major part of the fabric of our lives. From the pages of books and the hours in front of the television, my idea of what a hero should be like was formed. J. R. Ewing, Magnum P. I., Clint Eastwood, even the Beast from The Beauty and the Beast with Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman – and yes, Elvis Presley – all were different – all were larger than life – and all were heroes.
These men influenced me to create Aron McCoy, Ky Landon, Eric McAlister, Beau LeBlanc and Patrick O’Rourke – to name just a few of my many guys. So, now I have some questions for you. I want to give away three copies of mine and Jess’s new book – FOR A HERO. So, I want to know what you think about a few things.
You can answer one or all of the questions and Jess will pick three random winners.
1 – Who is your favorite superhero and why?
2 – You know I’ve done everything from Texas Rangers, to Marines, to sex therapists. What type of a hero or a situation for a hero would you have me write about next?
3 – What are the three most important characteristics of a hero? Is it his sex appeal? His strength? His kindness? His sense of humor? Inform me of what it takes to put a man in the hero category for you.
Here is an excerpt from FOR A HERO and the cover and the buylink – just for fun. Thanks for reading.
“Dammit!” After pacing her floor for hours the next day without a word from David, she remembered. They still hadn’t exchanged numbers. That had to be it, right? Surely he wasn’t hurt. He fought fires all the time. Everyone called him a hero. And he definitely had a great time with her last night, didn’t he? He had seen her breasts after all, and she had great breasts she assured herself. He must be dying to see her again. ‘Oh, well I guess it’s up to me to go see him this time.’
He was the fire chief, so he would be at the fire department. ‘I will pay him a visit with something special. THAT will ensure a third date.’ Jenna looked around her house. She wanted to cook him something, but what? What did men like? What do big, burly, gorgeous, sexy, heroic firemen like? Meat! Jenna rushed to her fridge and freezer and peered in. Alas, she had just moved in days before and wasn’t even that big a fan of meat. It looked like the ASPCA’s dream. Not even a whisper of an animal in that freezer.
What does she have? ‘Hmm, I have milk, flour, eggs, chocolate. . . that’s it! I’ll make him cookies! Men love cookies! David seems like a chocolate lover.’ Jenna hadn’t ever really cooked before, and didn’t really know where to start. However, in this day and age, the internet made everything knowable.
She excitedly sat at her computer and typed in “chocolate cookie recipes.” After reading through reviews and comments, she decided on one delicious-looking picture called “Mark’s Favorite Super Soft Chocolate Chip Cookie.” Well if they’re Mark’s favorites, then they had to be good.
She diligently wrote the ingredients and the procedure down before heading into the kitchen. ‘Ok, Jenna, this is your first time cooking. What do you need? An apron, a cookie sheet, and oven mitts. I totally have an apron, a few sheet cake pans will serve as cookie sheets, and I’m a big girl. I don’t need oven mitts.’ She gathered her things. ‘Just like Rachel Ray.’
Jenna began reading the ingredients and checking them off of her list. ‘I don’t have butter, but I have margarine. That’s basically the same thing. Flour, I definitely have that. Vanilla extract? I have vanilla pudding; that will do. I don’t have baking soda, but I think baking powder is the same thing, right? Adding it. Finally the chocolate chips, which I will substitute with Cocoa Puffs cereal. Jenna, you are a genius.’
She whipped up her concoction, adding cinnamon and a few other spices that had big, delicious sounding names, and threw it in the oven. Ten minutes later, Jenna became the chef to her very first batch of cookies. ‘I didn’t exactly follow the recipe, so these aren’t Mark’s favorite cookies any more. They are my creation. It is my responsibility to give them a suitable name.’ She laid them on the counter and looked at them. ‘I have it! Chocolate surprise!’
David hated training. Same amount of work, but he didn’t get to save anybody while he trained. He got it, though. It was important to stay in peak physical condition and keep those fire-fighting skills sharp and at the forefront of the mind. It could save lives in the future. But he still hated it. This was a bad day for it, too. The fire last night kept them up late and it took David a while to shake off the feelings he would get, the memories, the house exploding, the car burning, the voices of his parents. ‘No, David. Focus. The sooner you finish training the boys, the sooner you can get away from Alex and get back to Jenna. Just a few more hours and you’re home free.’
David stood outside one of Austin Fire Department’s few simulated structural fire buildings. This one was right behind the fire station. David was thankful the live fire trainings didn’t have to be such an ordeal. These structures were the newest in firefighter training technology. They were lucky to have them. They created the most realistic fire-fighting experience possible short of fighting an actual fire. It was a lot safer than using a traditional burn building or an acquired vacant building because computers control the spread of the flames and the speed of the burning although the fires may not burn as hot. He watched as the men held the hose in proper position, rotated through operating the nozzle. Everything was looking good, except for Alex. He kept hogging the nozzle and not rotating quickly enough.
“Alex, it’s important that everyone get experience working the hose. Some of these guys aren’t as initiated as you are. The better they are, the more lives we save.” He always tried his best to be diplomatic, even when Alex made it difficult on him.
“Whatever you say, Chief. Some people are just better with their hoses than others.”
David elected to ignore that one; it was just a little too childish to deserve a response. Then, something happened that he couldn’t ignore.
“He’s right, you know. Alex is the best I’ve seen. Others have no restraint and hurt people with their ignorance.” Veronica approached them from the fire hall.
“Veronica, please get back to the station. We have a live fire training in progress right now. It’s not safe for you. Wait for Alex back in the dining hall; we’ll all be back in ten minutes.”
“Don’t lose control, David. You know what your aggression does to people.” That viper just couldn’t let David be mature. She couldn’t let it go.
David closed his mouth. He watched the training finish, took his notes, prepared his constructive advice for the boys and retreated back to the station without saying a word. A knocking came on his office door.
“Who is it?”
“It’s Hank, Boss.”
“Hey, Man. How do you feel?”
“No, Sourpuss. None of that. You really don’t need to take that from those idiots. You are Alex’s chief. He does behave like an arrogant imbecile. You can write that up on his personnel file and nobody would blame you for it.”
“I know, Hank, but it is my responsibility as Chief to always do what is right, it may not always be what is easy, but always I must do what is right. Alex acted like an asshole out there, but he passed the training. I’m not going to say anything.”
“You are too good of a person, Boss. I’m afraid that one day, you are going to be put in a situation where you’ll have to choose between being sensible and doing the right thing, and you are going to be that great person you are at your own expense.”
“I do every day, Hank. I’m a firefighter. And you’re one to talk, Num-nutts. You are always flying somewhere or jumping off of something.”
“That’s for fun. This is completely different. What I do is a calculated risk for nobody’s benefit but my own. No one else is involved. You should try sometime. Rock-climbing is awesome.”
“No. I’ve tried that. I think I’ll stay here on the ground. Thank you very much.”
Scott burst into the room. “Sorry to interrupt, guys. Chief, you have someone, ahem, special here to see you.” He put his hand up to his mouth as if to keep a secret. “It’s a girl.”
Hank elbowed his friend in the ribs. “Ooooh. You’ve got a girl here to see you. I bet she is going to give you a very special thank you for being her hero.” Hank raised and daintied his voice. “Hey Chief. Thanks for saving my life. Here is my body and virtue for your besmirching.” He ripped his shirt open, pretending to show his ample bosom to David in thanks for a job well done.
“That’s enough, Fellas.” Just a shadow of a laugh broke through in David’s voice and that was enough for Hank.
“Alright, Boss. Let’s go see this girl of yours.” He jumped up and Scott and he ran back to the front door.
David stood. “Who could it be?” The thought crossed his mind that it may be Jenna, but he didn’t remember his luck being that good. He joined the others.
There she stood, like a little princess. Within an instant all of the stress of the day melted away. He involuntarily grinned and strode toward her. He began to realize that the guys were surrounding her. He loved Hank and Scott and the others but they were men, and his Jenna was a perfect-figured, flawless faced, heaven-sent treasure. He sped up a little.
“Hey Jenna. What are you doing here?” David stepped through the guys, puffing his chest out a tad. He hugged her and stood near her after. The guys noticed.
“Hey Baby! I just thought I’d stop by and bring you a treat! You went off to save some people last night and had to leave me so soon. I thought you could use some cheering up. Here!” She held out a plate, wrapped in plastic, and covered in the most obtuse-looking chocolate chip cookies he had ever seen.
“I didn’t even have one because I was saving them all for you! Your nice friends can share if you like.”
David took the plate. “My nice friends, huh?”
“Yes, this nice one was just telling me how valiant you were last night.” She, glad to have her hands empty again, wrapped her arms around David’s arm.
Hank spoke up quickly. “Scott does say things like that about David. We think he has a little man-crush.”
“This is Hank, and this is Scott. Fellas, this is Jenna.”
Hank stepped out first and extended his hand in greeting. “Nice to meet you, Ma’am. We have noticed David’s improved humor the past few days. No doubt that had something to do with you.”
Scott followed. “Yes Ma’am. Forgive our rudeness. We should have introduced ourselves to you already.”
Jenna looked at the three men. All of them were tall and broad-shouldered, muscular and lean. Hank was almost as tall as David. His hair was browner and lighter and his eyes were the most wicked shade of green. She could see a devil-may-care attitude in him but also noticed the same giving spirit of David. Scott was shorter than the other two, though still taller than the average man. His hair was golden, like lightning. His eyes were a hazel that was closer to red. She could tell Scott was a sweetheart. He probably made some girl-next-door a very happy woman. Then she looked up at David. He was clearly their leader. He towered over them in presence and stature. His bravery and power had been seen by the other men, and they told of it loudly in the respect they gave him just through body language. She felt so lucky.
“Dig in, Guys!”
David unwrapped the plate and pulled a cookie into his grip. It reminded him of a discus that had been melted down. His fingers noticed how impregnably hard the pastry was and his teeth winced. He bit into it, if you could call it that. His teeth didn’t sink all the way to the bottom. It was like finding a bone in a piece of chicken. Worst of all, it tasted like soap.
David closed his eyes, using leagues of strength he didn’t know he had to protect Jenna from the knowledge of exactly how dreadful her cookie was.
Jenna watched David close his eyes. “Oh, you like it! Wonderful! I call it chocolate surprise!”
His eyes popped open. The guys! He spun his head around just in time to see them wincing and moaning.
Hank shouted. “Oh my god! What the hell is in this?”
David caught his eyes in his stare and lowered his brow. He made a most commanding face, took another bite from the wretched baked good and silently and inconspicuously told Hank and Scott everything they needed to know.
Hank continued to shout. “Like I said! What is in this? Manna from Heaven? Crack cocaine? Blood diamonds? Why is it SO GOOD? I am dying from the quality of this treat!” A tear streamed down his cheek.
Scott, with a full mouth, (refusing to swallow) patted Jenna on the shoulder and said, “Thank you, Jenna. They are wonderful.”
Scott and Hank walked quickly into the men’s bathroom.
David forced his down. “Thank you, Honey. You didn’t have to do that.”
“I know, but I thought it would be nice to pay you back for such a wonderful time last night. Speaking of that.” She moved into his neck and whispered. “I have something else I need to pay you back for.”
She leaned back and enjoyed the fluster on David’s face . . . .