Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Why I Love Wounded Heroes

Hi Everyone, Sandra Orchard here.

And...I'm soooo excited, because Critical Condition, the third book in my Undercover Cops series, releases today!

I have been waiting forever to tell Zach's story. He was the sidekick of the hero in my first book, and quickly took over my heart.

What I figured out by the end of that first book, but only hinted at to my readers was that Zach was a widower.

Here's the exchange in the final chapter of Deep Cover where Zach tries to talk some sense into his thick-headed partner:

    “Listen to me, because I’m only going to say this once. A love like Ginny’s comes around once in a lifetime, and you’d better cling to it with everything you’ve got, because one day you’re going to wake up and realize God wanted to give you so much more than you were willing to let Him. And you threw it away.”

   “It’s easy to dispense advice when it’s somebody else’s life on the line,” Rick snapped. “Have you ever even had a serious relationship?”

   Zach sucked in a breath, as if he’d been punched in the gut. As if maybe he knew what he was talking about … from experience.

I love wounded heroes, the kind who resist love, not because they've been burned by it, but because they've experienced love in all its sweetness, endured its loss, and can't imagine being twice blessed.

I love them because they recognize that love is a gift to be cherished. And because they've proven that they're in for the long haul no matter what. 

 In the opening of Critical Condition, Zach finds himself working undercover as an IT consultant in the last place he wants to be. Here:

He followed Barb into the happy hum of staff sharing cake and juice with patients—smiling patients, clothed in bathrobes and brightly colored caps. The kind of caps that masked chemo-razed hair.

  His stomach knotted into a hard, tight ball.

  He’d held his palm to spurting bullet wounds, wrestled drug-crazed addicts, immobilized the fractured bones of abused wives. But not one of those encounters had hit him like this, with this unnerving sense that if he looked one of these patients in the eyes, his grip on his emotions would completely unravel. 

 Thanks to the suspicions of a nurse on the cancer ward, Josh has been tasked with figuring out if a sudden rash of inexplicable deaths are the work of a killer. To protect Tara, Zach lets her in on his secret, and unwittingly into his heart. She and her three-year-old daughter are like the family he lost years before. And Zach will risk everything to keep them safe.

Ahh, I love him. He has flaws as every good hero must, but he cherishes the women he loves. And he doesn't back down from calling other men to task when they don't, as he did with one no-good ex-husband: 

"You vowed to honor and protect her. Cherish her. Do you even know the meaning of the word?"

And in case you were wondering, besides the romance, the story has an "edge of your seat" mystery, too... at least that's how one book club member described it on my FB page. ~grin~ 

I hope you'll agree!!

Your Turn: What's your favorite kind of hero?

P.S. If you'd like to follow a side discussion about alternative treatments, inspired by the suspense plot in Critical Condition, please "like" my Facebook Page or visit my Conversations About Characters blog, where I'm inviting readers to share favorite remedies all month.


  1. I love the title of this book and really want to read it now too.
    happy release day.

  2. Beautiful cover, Sandra! I love wounded heroes, too. Zach sounds like a great one. :)

  3. Your book sounds wonderful, Sandra! I love wounded heroes too, especially when they're all tough on the outside but sweet as can be on the inside.

  4. Hi Sandra:

    You wrote… “but because they've experienced love in all its sweetness, endured its loss, and can't imagine being twice blessed.”

    I wish more stories on this theme would take this approach. What I object to is when the party suffering the loss won’t commit again because a second loss would be too painful. This means they love their own feelings more than they love the other party. That’s not love to me. It may be desire but it’s not real love.

    Just think of the Bible quote about ‘no greater love’.

    BTW: What chance does a normal healthy guy have with all these heroines running after the wounded dudes with hang-ups and other problems? Are all the well balanced positive thinking guys left only with wounded heroines? Have we all been watching too many ‘fix-it-up-and-get-a-much-better-house- than-you-could-otherwise-afford’ tv shows? : )

    I know it’s just fiction. GMC.

    It makes me think of the old story of the groom who told his bride on their wedding night: “I love you very much but, to be honest, you do have your faults.”

    The bride said, “I know dear, it was those very faults that prevented me from getting a better husband.” A double fixer-upper!

  5. Oh, you've hooked me. Sounds great!

  6. Vince,
    You made me laugh. I didn't marry a wounded hero although I dated one at the same time as I was dating the hero I married.

  7. LOL, Vince. I had one of those don't-won't-to-get-hurt-again heroes in the book I'm currently working on, and finally threw the ms against the wall and told him to get over it already and stop being a woose. Your comment today is confirmation I made the right choice even if I only have a month left to implement the changes! Ack!

  8. I love those kind of book,sounds like it going to be a great book. Thank you and God bless you.

  9. Hi Sandra,
    Sorry I'm stopping by so late this evening. You've hooked me! I want to read your story and will look for it in my local book store.

    I love wounded heroes and guys in uniform! Double fun for the writer and reader.

    Waving to Vince! Cute joke.

  10. Sandra, I love your hero before I've even read the book! Congratulations on your latest release!!! When and where do I get my signed copy ;)

  11. Pamela, your comment to Vince perked my interest - any chance of a book being written about that? :)

  12. It would be a short book, Eva LOL

  13. Congratulations Sandra on your new release. Loved your recent newsletter. :)

    Jodie Wolfe


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