Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Heroes and other delights

Linda Goodnight here. Someone recently challenged me to make a list of fiction books that lingered in my mind long after I’d closed the covers. Fun challenge for a book person, so away I went.

When I completed the list, I started wondering why those particular books stuck while others fall through the sieve of memory and disappear. As a writer, I figure there’s a valuable lesson to be learned, so I examined the list carefully and discovered ONE single factor they all had in common. Here’s my list:

Abbie’s Outlaw -Victoria Bylin (Probably my all-time fav.)
Cheasapeake Bay series – Nora Roberts
Sands of Time and Stephanie - Susan May Warren
Desperado and Jackson Rule-Sharon Sala
Fireside – Susan Wiggs
The Gamble, Morning Glory, and Hummingbird–Lavyrle Spencer
Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
The Notebook – Nicolas Sparks

While I had to look up the titles for some of these, and their plots may be fuzzy, the reason I remember every one of them is the hero. Not the story. Not the female lead. The hero. The strong, protective, sacrificial hero.

Is it just me who is so affected by the male lead in a book? An inquiring mind needs to know!

So, here’s your challenge. (You knew I’d say that!) Quickly generate your own list of 5 or so fiction novels and think about what element - storyline, hero, or heroine - stands out most in each one. Which element appears most often on your list? Please share your list and your results for my very unscientific (but fun!) straw poll.


  1. Linda, I'm not near any of my books right now. But looking at your list reminded me that Hummingbird is one of the ones I've always remembered.

    But you know, it seems off the top of my head the ones I remember are the ones that have memorable heroines that I can really relate to. Interesting to think about, though. I'll have to see if I come up with more that have to do with the hero. :)

  2. I find it interesting, too, Missy, that you remember strong heroine books. I guess that's why I asked the question. Just curious to see the variety out there in our opinions of what makes a great book.

    Yes, Hummingbird was wonderful. I still have it on my keeper shelf.

  3. I could never come up with a list of just 5 books that are my favorites. Everything is always dependent upon my mood at the time. I actually parted with some of my books for the first time ever about 3 years ago, and still to this day I go on a hunt for that certain 'one' that I just have to read immediately. There are books from 15 years ago that I can't even remember the title just some of the plot and I go hunting for it (sometimes for months!). For me, it's definitely the hero that gets my attention. How he treats the heroine (once he gets over his chauvinistic issues!). I'm drawn to strong, protective, very masculine, and Godly heroes. My current favorites that I read over and over are Cheryl Wyatt's Wings of Refuge series because every one of them has the type of hero I mentioned above.

  4. Morning Glory is on my list as is Nora's Chesapeake Series. I have Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas. Catherine Anderson's My Sunshine. I also have several of yours on my keeper shelves.

    What I remember most about these books are the flaws and insecurities of the hero and heroine. How they overcome their fears, their disabilities or hidden insecurities. Probably why I liked your Redemption River books.

    Peace, Julie


  5. Ah, Sherri, a kindred spirit. That's what I like about heroes too, once they get past the macho moments. I haven't read those of Cheryl's but now you've got my curiosity up...

  6. Julie, thank you! You always know how to make me feel great. I'm brainstorming a new Redemption book right now and working on giving those characters the right balance of flaws and strengths.

    I can see I'm going to have to checkout "Dreaming of You" and "My Sunshine." Y'all are making my to be read pile grow--not a bad thing at all!


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