Thursday, May 26, 2016

Today's Special - - Cathy Maxwell

I'm always happy when Cathy Maxwell visits us here at the Romance Dish. Not only does it mean we can look forward to an enjoyable day with one of the nicest and funniest people on the planet but it usually means she has a new book out as well. This time, the book in question is The Fairest of Them All, second in Maxwell's Marrying the Duke trilogy and it's terrific. In fact, I think it's one of the best she's ever written and, based on the early reviews, I'm not the only one of that opinion. 

You can learn more about Cathy and her books at her website and connect with her online at Facebook and Twitter.

Welcome, Cathy!


More Than Looks

              What makes a character heroic? What sets him or her apart from all others?  What makes me, as a reader, fall a little in love as I travel through the story?
              Good questions.  Here are just a few of my must haves:

Courage.  I’ve found it takes great courage to live my life on my terms.  I make mistakes but I am determined to carry on and I expect that in my Romance heroes and heroines as well.  I guess some folks would call it “spunk” or “guts” or “perseverance.”   Whatever the name, characters who refuse to give up, even when everything is going absolutely wrong, make the story for me.

Flaws.  Who wants to be perfect?  Not me.   I’d bore myself.  Plus, I don’t think flaws stop a character from being heroic.  The most interesting stories are the ones where a person rises over her flaws to succeed, especially if she learns something along the way.

Kindness.  Let me also throw in the word “generous” as well.  This one is close to my heart. My late husband was one of the kindest people I have met.  It made him easy to live with. Not only do I look for the quality in every guy I date, but since I expect my Romance novels to be that forever kind of love, well, kindness needs to be present. 



- Humor.  I could not live without laughing.  Life would be so drab.  Plus, I think the best sort of love is where we can laugh at ourselves.  Whether the humor is smart aleck or genteel or slapstick, I must have it in my characters. Otherwise, they are not believable to me.  By the way, some of the best scenes I’ve read are the ones where the characters are being completely caught up in the moment but I laugh because I recognize myself. You know, where they are done in by their own shenanigans (I love that word.)

- Health.  When the heroine has glossy hair and the hero has white straight teeth--or vice versa—what we are really talking about is health.  Healthy people can enjoy life.  I don’t want to read about a character with rotting teeth.  Awck!  Can you imagine the kiss?  (No, please don’t. I apologize for putting the idea in your head. However, I do know a great zombish joke along those lines. So, someone could make it work, right?)





Those are just some of the characteristics I’ve enjoyed being celebrated in Romance literature.  There are many more and because you are a fan of The Romance Dish and a discerning reader, I bet you have a few fave characteristics, too.  So what makes a meaningful hero or heroine for you?  What hooks you into a character?  Care to share? 

And I should tell you, that I used many of these characteristics in my latest THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL.  This is the second book of the “Marrying the Duke” series.  I’m having a great time writing this trilogy.  A DATE AT THE ALTAR will be out the end of October.  Oh, and the first book is THE MATCH OF THE CENTURY. 

Now, let’s yak about what makes characters special.







Thanks, Cathy! I love the characteristics you've mentioned. They are all must haves for me as well. Readers, as I mentioned in my intro above, Cathy's upcoming book, The Fairest of Them All will be released into the wild next Tuesday, May 31st. It's one of my favorite books of the year and one of my all-time favorites by Cathy Maxwell. Because I enjoyed it so much, I'm giving away a Kindle copy of The Fairest of Them All to one randomly chosen person who leaves a comment on today's post. Deadline for comments to be entered is 11:00 PM, Friday, May 27, 2016. 



by Cathy Maxwell 
Publisher: Avon 
Release Date: May 31, 2016
The penniless orphan of a disreputable earl, Lady Charlene Blanchard thrives on the adventure of picking the pockets of unsavory gentlemen to survive. But due to her extraordinary beauty and prized bloodlines, she is hand-chosen as a potential bride for the Duke of Baynton, who is on the hunt for a suitable wife to provide heirs. All Char has to do is act the part she was born to play and charm a duke she’s never laid eyes on into proposing. Except the duke turns out to be the tall, dark and sexy stranger who just caught her red-handed as a thief! 
Or is he? Jack Whitridge is the duke’s twin who had “gone missing” over ten years ago. Now back in England, he knows that the supposed Lady who has his brother’s love is hardly duchess material—except he needs her to save his adopted country from war. He is willing to bargain with her heart, until he finds himself falling for Char . . . 

39 comments:

  1. I think you nailed it, Cathy, with the great qualities of a hero. To me, kindness is tops. A man who can take time to talk to a child or an elderly person, or can show love and compassion for an animal is the man that makes my heart melt.

    I am looking forward to reading and reviewing your upcoming books. Congratulations on your successes and my late condolences on the loss of your wonderful husband.

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    1. Kindness and compassion are high on my list also. Hope you enjoy the book as much as I did!

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    2. Thanks, Connie. If only men understood how sexy they were showing their softer side.

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  2. I love that she has another trilogy starting. Kindness and laughter are it for me. With kindness you also get gentleness and compassion. With the laughter comes a positive outlook and lightheartedness. Thank you for the post.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. Laughter is so important, isn't it?

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  3. I have this pre-ordered and it should be in my hot little hands next week. I'm so excited!!

    Kindness is HUGE (though I also use "thoughtful" as well here--the kind of person who KNOWS you and uses that knowledge accordingly.) My dad was like that--he'd know what you needed and provided it without fanfare or expectation. And it wasn't necessarily mind-reading (because you know, guys), but it was the kind of thoughtful kind thing where what he did was LOOKING OUT or protecting you, while still letting you do your daily thing. Making sure you had gas in the car or air in the tires. He knew you planned to garden, so he'd have your tools ready for you and the plants brought to the area before you got there.

    Humor (and wit) are another huge thing for me. You gotta make me laugh--and you gotta flirt with me. Big or small as the flirtation may be--that sort of sassy, flirty exchange gets me every time.

    Cathy just has the definitive list really. Health, kindness, humor, courage...a little broken. Of course, I also like them smart, but that's probably just me. And probably could be linked under healthy--a healthy mind, a healthy body, that sort of thing.

    I think my biggest turn on though--and it has parts of kindness, healthy, humor, courage, et al--is CAPABLE. Nothing makes me pause and go "Oh, my," than a man who steps up and takes care of something capably. And not necessarily in a "let me call AAA" way either, but looks at a situation and goes, "This is what fixes this." And does it. I think it's because so much of what I do is fixing things that when a guy does it for me, I get all melty. *LOL*

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    1. I think you'll really like this one, Hellie. Love your list!

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    2. I love that PJ calls you "Hellie." Great nickname! BTW, I do adore a handy man. And upper body strength. Love that upper body strength.

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  4. I like the cover. There's something whimsical about it.

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    1. I think the covers for this series have been great!

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    2. Thank you, Kim. The Avon Art Department is the best. I'm attracted to the colors on this cover.

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  5. This book sounds wonderful, and the cover is absolutely lovely. I agree with all of your hero must-haves. I just can't enjoy a book if I don't like the hero (or the heroine).

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    1. I can appreciate the story and the writing but if I don't like the hero or heroine I have a very difficult time loving the book. Thankfully, I've never had that problem with a Cathy Maxwell book!

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  6. I love and appreciate your comments. And I will be back to comment--but first, I'm taking my mother out for barbecue. I'm in Kansas City right now for the weekend, and that is what we eat when I'm here.

    I'll be back! (But first a little sauce!)

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    1. Have fun with your mom, Cathy. Enjoy some of that KC barbecue for me! :)

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    2. OMG, it was delicious. And then we made a trip to Kohl's because if you can't find it at Kohl's, you don't need it.

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    3. After an unofficial sampling of KC Barbecue--I vote for Rub as the best. They have displaced Jack Stacks on my list. Delicious! Just sharing . . . in case any of you wander by Olathe, KS.

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  7. I can't wait to read this book it's on my TBR thanks for the chance

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  8. Yes! Yes! To everything she said, specially the flawed character. A perfectly flawed character is what makes it so likable and relatable.

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  9. I love Cathy Maxwell books! I agree with all her hero characteristics and would add humility. I do not like conceited, arrogant, over bearing, over the top alpha male heroes. I have quit reading a few authors who have heroes like that. I prefer heroes to be characters I can actually like and respect and would like to spend time with. Also, honesty, integrity, and compassion. I married my real life hero. My husband has all of these characteristics-if I didn't settle for less in real life I am not going to settle for less in my reading!

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    1. Yes, Darh . . . humility is a wonderful quality. However, I do like a bit of conceit. Not vanity. I admire people who have a purpose and a bit of value about oneself is necessary. Of course, it is easy to over do it. One must be careful--in fiction and real life.

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  10. Oh boy, another great trilogy from one of my favorite authors. I have always been intrigued by heroines who have to hide their true natures just to fit in. The best part is when the hero sees right through the fake façade and sees the real person inside and it doesn't matter. He is confident in himself to allow her to be the person she really is. And of course, he has issues that only the heroine can help him overcome. In the end, they are meant to be together.

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  11. This is so exciting! Thanks for sharing!

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  12. Flaws, Kindness and Humor are what make relationships "keepers," I believe. Flaws because we are human after all and pretending to be other than who we are in a relationship makes it a false relationship. Kindness because there is already enough meanness in the world and it takes courage at times to be kind because of our egos. And humor because laughing at the absurdities in life helps us cope and relaxes any hidden bits of hostility in those we encounter. I think these three characteristics in a hero would make me a "goner" for that hero! Thanks for this interview post. jdh2690@gmail.com

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    1. Thank you for your great response, Janice.

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  13. that is a very accurate list and exactly what I look for too! Congrats on the new release and thanks for sharing :)

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  14. I love a hero who is strong and tender, loyal and honest, cares deeply even if he doesn't show it to everyone.

    denise

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  15. The most important characteristics for me are kindness, honor, inner strength, and a sense of humor. They serve both a hero and heroine well.
    I hope the release of THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL is a great success. It certainly sounds good.

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  16. I love love love Cathy's books but even more, I absolutely salivate over the covers. Seriously, some of my favorite covers are from Cathy's books. So looking forward to reading this! For me, I love a strong character, not physically but strong in will. The type of person that stands up for others, speaks for the little people, they always get to me first. And always a sense of humour is always welcome in heroes and heroines :)

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    1. Strength of will . . . a good choice--because it can work for and against a person.

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  17. I enjoy characters who can laugh at themselves, be open-minded. And I love characters that are loyal even if it's to their detriment! So looking forward to reading The Fairest of Them All!

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  18. Love the covers. I plan on reading this series. I usually do Kindle fire but I think I will get the books this time just so I can enjoy those covers more. As a woman married to a cowboy I think loyalty is important in a hero.

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  19. Two for loyalty and I agree. Love can't thrive when there is distrust.

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  20. PJ, did you ever pick a winner for this giveaway?

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    1. Apparently not! Looks like it slipped through the cracks. Thanks, Cheryl! I'll post a winner tonight. ~PJ

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