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Archive for September 11th, 2009

Blog Anniversary

I remembered a few days ago that the blog’s 2 year Anniversary was coming up next week — September 17th. 1. I can’t believe it’s been two years already and 2. I completely forgot about it so I didn’t have time to do something fun like last year’s month long Scavenger Hunt. Since it’s too late to do something like that this time around, I decided I’d do some random giveaways of books that have stood out for me so far this year. I won’t be able to include e-books in this giveaway so these will all be print books that I’ll send out to the winners.

So far this year, I’ve read about 80 books. Count is extremely lower than what I’m usually at this time of year so I’ll be lucky if I even reach 100 by the end of the year. What I want to do is showcase some of my favorites reads, books that stood out for me so far this year. Each day next week there will be a random giveaway where I’ll be giving away the book and/or books, if part of a series, that I feel the need to share about how awesome they are. *g*  I’ll be working on my posts this weekend so please check back next week and see what goodies I’m giving away. :)

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Healing LukeLadies’ man Luke Morgan has the world at his feet until a freak explosion leaves him burned and bitter. Luke’s family offers gutsy occupational therapist Abby Stanford a job facilitating Luke’s physical therapy, but Luke wants no part of his family’s schemes or Abby’s help. When sparks fly between Luke and Abby, Luke must face his deepest fears in order to claim the woman who brought his family together and taught him the real meaning of love.

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Several years ago at a writers conference, I had a meeting with an editor from a large New York publishing house. At this pitch meeting, I told her about my recently completed novel, Second Chances, now Healing Luke (in stores now!). I started describing the premise of the story—hero injured in accident, heroine alone on honeymoon hired by hero’s family to help him with his physical therapy—when the editor stops me and asks about the hero’s injuries. I’ve barely gotten the words out of my mouth that Luke loses his thumb in the accident, and part of his therapy is learning to do without his right thumb, before the editor is firmly shaking her head.

The idea of a hero with no thumb grossed her out. She couldn’t get past the idea, even long enough to read a proposal.  (A proposal request is pretty standard practice after an editor pitch meeting at a writers conference, if there’s even a chance the book will work for the publisher.) I was a little stunned by her vehemence and tried to convince her that despite his injuries, Luke is sexy. But she was firm. No thumbless heroes.

Fast forward a couple years to another conference where I’m meeting with Deb Werksman, acquisitions editor for Sourcebooks.  I’m giving my story another go in an editor pitch session, and Deb’s reaction is the other end of the spectrum. Immediately her mind jumps to our nation’s numerous hero soldiers returning from the Middle East who are missing limbs due to tragic accidents. Don’t tell me these men (and women) aren’t sexy!  They’re heroes—and courage, sacrifice and nobleness are always sexy!

Deb not only enthusiastically requested the book from that meeting, she bought what would eventually be titled Healing Luke within a month of the conference. Clearly the notion of what is sexy is subject. Different things attract different people.  We all have our hot buttons that turn us off a character. But when writing Luke’s character, with all his physical injuries (and occasional personality blemishes), my most important job was to show that my heroine found him sexy. Her attraction to Luke had to be believable, progress naturally, and resonate with the reader as well.

Healing Luke is a Beauty and the Beast story. Abby, who works with disabled patients, easily sees past Luke’s physical scars. Abby’s attraction to Luke starts with his powerful presence, his smoldering stares, and a spiritual connection she feels to him as another wounded soul, trying to find her footing in life again.  From there, she begins peeling back the layers of his protective walls to find the heart of the man she is so drawn to. Of course, Luke’s injuries aren’t so extensive that she’s not also physically attracted as well.

Based on early reviews and feedback, readers are seeing what Abby saw in Luke. Several folks have emailed me to say the book was now on their keeper shelf. I am understandably thrilled, because that big NY publishing house editor who wouldn’t even consider my proposal had me second guessing my instincts for a long time.

So what do you find sexy?

When I met my husband, I certainly found him attractive, but it was his sense of humor that really hooked me. Humor is so attractive to me. My husband is also intelligent, has integrity, and is incredibly patient with me.  What’s not to love? ;-)

I guess, like beauty, sexy is in the eye of the beholder. What turns your head or makes you fall in love with a book’s hero?

Happy reading and may all your heroes be sexy!

Beth Cornelison

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Thank you, Ms Cornelison!

Visit Ms Cornelison’s website for more on her work!

Sourcebooks is kindly sponsoring a giveaway of one copy of Healing Luke for residents of the US and Canada, so don’t forget to leave a comment to enter the drawing!

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