When I was fourteen, my cousin, the talented R.B. Hilliard, asked me to cat-sit for her while she was out of town. Over the course of the week or so that I was on the job, I overfed the cat who was supposed to be on a diet, forgot to change the litter box and failed to mail the stack of bills I was specifically asked to take care of….Oooops.
What I did manage to accomplish during those cat-sitting days was to read the book R.B. left for me, Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon. Would it be cliché to say that I laughed; I cried; I felt tingles in unfamiliar places?
Eh, well either way, I was hooked. The dialogue was quick and witty (although I probably had no idea why the dialogue appealed to me at fourteen), the adventure was fast-paced and riveting, and the characters….oh, the characters. Claire kicked-ass first and took names later. She was strong and brave and smart and loved Jamie in a way that broke my heart.
Need I say more? He’s definitely in my top five favorite romance heroes of all time. Who doesn’t love a six-foot plus, red headed Scot who can fight and farm and horse-wrangle and lead men and love his woman like a boss?
So began my eighteen-year-long love affair with the Outlander Series (well, once I realized that I started with book two and went back and read the first book, Outlander. Which I strongly recommend, by the way, as the books make much more sense when read in order). 😛
The relationship between Jamie and Claire is so intense, realistic, compelling and heart-wrenching that it haunts me to this day. I can’t think of another series that pulls off that depth of love and devotion. One of the aspects of Jamie and Claire that I most adore is that she didn’t have to chase him or fix him or tame him. He was who he was, an imperfect human being just like the rest of us, but he loved her completely and passionately. While their lives were far from quiet, those two faced almost everything as a team. All these years later, I’m still addicted to all things Highlander. I just can’t help myself.
That’s why I jumped at the opportunity to submit a story for Delilah’s anthology, Hot Highlanders and Wild Warriors. I knew it would be a long-shot (I’m pretty green here), but I had a story in my head, and it wasn’t going to leave me alone until I put it on paper (or computer – whatever). When I received word that my story, “Wicked,” was chosen, I was incredibly poised and mature. I am a lady, after all.
Okay, that’s a lie. I jumped around my house and screamed until my four year old covered her ears and yelled, “That’s too loud, Mommy!” Oooops.
I had the chance to read through the anthology, and y’all aren’t going to believe the crazy-smart, super-smexy, uber-romantic stories these ladies created. This is one make-your-head-spin talented group of authors, and I am humbled beyond words to be included. How am I a part of this? I keep waiting for someone to call and yell “April Fools!”
So, after all these years of fan-girling over Jamie, I have a hot, loving, dangerous Highland warrior of my own about to make his debut into the world of literature. I just hope I did him justice!
Who are your favorite romance heroes? (Come on – you know you have one! Spill it!)