I recently had the privilege and pleasure of reading (or I should say devouring!) one of the best books I have read in years. The Frontiersman's Daughter by Laura Franz is a debut novel that seems anything but. Seldom has a historical romance captured me like this one--gorgeous prose, flesh-and-blood characters who haunt you long after the last page, and a plot so unique and compelling, I spent most of my time with a sagging jaw. As a historical author myself, I appreciate novels like this where the setting is so well researched and written, that it almost becomes another character, deep and richly drawn. And the romantic tension? Sigh ... it's some of the best in Christian romance today, rivaling the likes of Liz Curtis Higgs and Francine Rivers, in my humble opinion. I suggest we all keep an eye on Laura Frantz--she's not just a rising star in the Christian market, but a shooting star who will go straight to the top.
Laura’s blog today is entitled “Heart-stopping Heroes,” and I know that all of my lavish praise is probably embarrassing her to tears, because that’s how Laura is, but I want to go on record right now as saying this girl knows how to write heart-stopping heroes and then some. And to prove it, Laura is offering a signed copy of The Frontiersman’s Daughter as a giveaway, so be sure to leave your e-mail address (spelling out the @ and . please in order to avoid spammers). Without further ado … I give you Laura Frantz.
What makes a hero heart-stopping? The kind of man that makes it hard for you to put a book down? Being a southern girl, my first hero was Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind. I didn’t think he was all that handsome (he looked kind of slick to me) but I sure liked his no-nonsense approach to Scarlett. In my college years I fell hard for Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre. He was kind of dark and broody with a passionate streak that made that old book sizzle. Recently I was smitten with Daniel in Love’s Pursuit and Mitch in A Passion Redeemed.
As an author, I know I’ve gotten my hero just right if I’ve fallen in love with him by novel’s end. Chances are if the author is smitten with their hero, the reader will be, too. I’m not advocating hero worship here as there is only One who is worthy of worship. But I do love an unforgettable hero and there are so many awaiting us between the pages of good books!
Hero worship n. (1774) 1: veneration of a hero 2: foolish or excessive adulation for an individual.
I was happy to find that this term comes to us from my very favorite historical period. The 18th –century is the setting for my books and the time period I research most heavily. Back then there were plenty of swoon-worthy heroes – men like George Washington and Daniel Boone and George Rogers Clark to name just a few. Then and now, women love romantic heroes. But just what makes a woman lose her heart to a man? Even a fictitious one?
Recently, my blog readers had a lively discussion on what makes a hero heart-stopping. Take a peek and see if you agree:
~ He’s not perfect. He’s flawed, has faults to overcome, emotions to master, and is in need of redemption.
~ He’s confident. Not cocky. He does what is right and doesn’t care what someone else thinks.
~ He’s passionate. Not in a sensual way but in his spirit. He has fervor, drive, devotion.
~ He’s tough. A tough guy with a tender soul.
~ He’s vulnerable. He takes the risk of loving passionately.
~ He has an obstacle to overcome. This involves a believable inner struggle.
~ He’s honest. No game playing or manipulating, please!
~ He’s kind. He must have a core of kindness.
~ He has a sense of humor and doesn’t take himself too seriously.
~ He has integrity.
~He connects with the heroine and there are *sparks*!
~ He loves children and animals.
~ He’s spiritual and open to the leading of the Lord in his life (at least eventually).
~ He’s loyal. Fiercely so.
~ He’s intelligent.
~ He’s unselfish. He places others, especially God and family, above himself without losing himself in the process.
Can you add to the list? Have you met a hero onscreen or in a book that is heart-stopping for you? Or are you writing about such a hero?
A very special thanks to Julie Lessman for inviting me to be a guest today. Julie creates some of the most heart-stopping heroes out there!
Bio: Laura Frantz credits her grandmother as being the catalyst for her fascination with Kentucky history. Frantz’s family followed Daniel Boone into Kentucky in the late 18th-century and settled in Madison County where her family still resides. A graduate of Denison University in English, she is a member of the Kentucky Historical Society, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America. She currently lives in the misty woods of northwest Washington State with her husband and two sons. She can be reached at http://laurafrantz.blogspot.com