Monday, March 11, 2013

Nancy Northcott Brings her Protector To The Ship

Our guest Nancy Nortcott is not only gracing us with her presence today, she's brought a friend along with her. I know this crew is always happy to see another hottie walking the decks, but this hunky hero isn't the wild child type ready to toss back the rum. The line to loosen him up starts on the quarterdeck. Take it away, Nancy. 

Any chance Josh Campbell, the hero of my paranormal romantic suspense novella Protector, might’ve had to sow wild oats evaporated with his mother’s death. Josh was eight when his mom, a deputy sheriff, was killed in a drug bust gone bad. Within a couple of years, his father was drinking heavily, dumping all responsibility for the family, including Josh’s two younger sisters, onto Josh.

Desperate to keep his family together, he managed to keep himself and his sisters fed and clothed and in school, and he even managed to teach his siblings a little about magic. When he was sixteen, his aunt learned what had been happening and stepped in. She and her husband gave Josh and his sisters the safety and security he’d thought were gone forever.

After two tours of duty as an Army helicopter pilot in Afghanistan, he took a job flying for a helitack crew, a group of firefighters using a helicopter to fight wildfires. There he met a gutsy blonde, Edie Lang, who instantly attracted him. Unfortunately, Edie was a firefighter on the same crew, a woman in a very dangerous job.

After what he and his sisters had gone through after their mom’s death, there was no chance Josh would get involved with a woman who regularly risked her life. No way, no how. Not gonna happen. 

Except it almost did. One night, drawn by grief for fallen comrades, he and Edie almost got together. But Josh backed away--came to his senses, as he would put it. Edie wasn’t made for flings, and she didn’t fit his long-term plans. His kids would have the safe, stable home life he’d longed for.

Now Josh flies combat missions and medevac for the southeastern mages in their battle against their deadly ghoul enemies. Dark magic users, ghouls can’t breed among themselves or eat anything other than fresh kill.  They kidnap mages and Mundanes, or normal humans, for breeding purposes--and occasionally as snacks, though they keep animals for food.

Josh’s life is rolling along just fine until a wildfire roars through the nearby Okefenokee Swamp.  The helicopter contracted for firefighting there is battling another blaze, so the mages’ council lends the firefighters Josh, along with a Huey fitted out for water drops and medevac.

When he picks up a paramedic for transport to an injured firefighter, he’s dismayed to discover the paramedic is Edie.  Worse, he’s as attracted to her as he ever was.

Their reunion doesn’t thrill her any more than it does him.  When a guy promises he’ll come back after answering an emergency page, she expects him to do it.  And her continuing attraction to him, after three years of not seeing each other, truly aggravates her.

As though all that weren’t enough, answering the injury call brings them both under attack by dark magic that saps not only their powers but their life energy.  With death looming, will they realize what they truly mean to each other?  And if they do, can they live long enough for their feelings to matter?

Do you like Mr. Responsibility, or do you go for Wild Man?  Of the responsible heroes you’ve read about or seen on TV or in the movies, which is your favorite, and why? 

Bosun again. Nancy is offering up a signed ARC or, where available, an electronic download of Protector to one commenter. Interested in reading more before you buy? Check out an excerpt here


Marnee Bailey said...

This sounds wonderful! I actually love both kinds of heroes. I love the responsible one who lets loose, and the wild one who has a responsible streak he didn't know about--especially when the heroine is the one who makes them see this other side of themselves.

Welcome, Nancy! And thanks for bringing your handsome fellow!

Anna Sugden said...

Ahoy Revengers! Pass the rum!

No fair, Nancy, tempting me to tuck into my copy of Protector before I've finished my proposal! Josh sounds yummy - I can't wait to meet him. You know how much I loved Griff from Renegade and Stefan (also from Renegade, but due to get his own book later this year, Guardian - woohoo!).

I like combinations of the two - Mr Responsibility, who has an inner Wild Man and vice versa. *g*. Peter and Neil from White Collar are great examples of this.

MsHellion said...

I don't know if I like either straight up. I think I like a hybrid--apparently I like the unpredictability if he's going to handle the situation or shrug it off as no big deal.

I think I like the guy who works hard and plays harder--you know? When it's down to business and making a paycheck, he's reliable, does his share; but his life isn't his job either. When Friday comes, he's ready to kick back and have some fun. He knows how to use his vacation. He doesn't check his phone every 30 seconds to see if there is something urgent from work. for this hero, he's very yummy, and I'd be very happy to give up a dangerous profession to stay home and raise his kiddos. *LOL* But then again, I'm not into dangerous professions (unless writing is dangerous?)and am clearly a poor match for an energetic guy like that. :)

Terri Osburn said...

Welcome back, Nancy! I so love this blog. You tell us everything we need to know to swoon for your hero, and still leave us drooling to read the story. And such a tough question.

I think I have to go with Mr. Responsible, but he has to be witty and charming and able to make me laugh. I could never tolerate a wild child. I'd take a frying pan to his head in no time.

As to my fiction, I'm leaning toward the same answer, though there are exceptions. (There are ALWAYS exceptions. LOL!) The hero of Lani Diane Rich's THE COMEBACK KISS is a total wild child, but I loved him. I once saw where the author said he'd be her least favorite, and I was crushed. So even a wild child can win me over.

Donna MacMeans said...

As I'm buried under tax returns at the moment, I could use a little wild man in my life to take me away, but deep down I know I'm too conservative to love the guy. I'm all over Mr. Responsible (with an occasional wild side that only I see in the bedroom).

Congrats on the new release. Josh can protect me all he wants!

Nancy Northcott said...

Marnee, thanks! I'm glad to be here. I like both kinds of heroes, too. Romance heroes and heroines tend to change each other, and I think that's part of the genre's appeal.

A wilder character, usually the hero and often a rake, even if he's contemporary, generally settles down while one who's more rigid tends to loosen up. The evolution of the characters through their relationship is the heart of the story.

Nancy Northcott said...

Anna, thank you! I'm so glad you liked Griff. Peter and Neil are great examples of contrasting guys. I've been intrigued by this season's exploration of Neil's background.

I think being truly disconnected, not checking that pager or email or phone all the time, is important. I don't see how someone can relax while constantly tied to work.

Good luck with your revisions! Can't wait to read A Perfect Distraction!

Nancy Northcott said...

Ms. Hellion--Oops! I accidentally put part of what should've been your response in my reply to Anna. Sorry!

I do think someone who works hard should play hard and that disconnecting from work is key to true relaxation. I like both kinds of heroes in the books I read. And I think a true hero is always responsible when it matters, though he can certainly have a wild side, too.

Nancy Northcott said...

Terri, thanks for having me! I'm delighted to be here and glad you liked the blog post. I also tend to prefer Mr. Responsible though I enjoy both kinds of heroes. I wouldn't marry a wild child unless he showed me he could focus where it mattered.

I haven't read The Comeback Kiss, but I can see how that would be disillusioning. The author of a mystery series I enjoyed a lot has now moved on to other types of books and totally disavows that series. That's like smacking readers who loved it upside the head.

Nancy Northcott said...

Donna, thanks, and good luck with the tax returns! I grinned at your comment. Yes, even Mr. Responsible needs to cut loose now and again.

May said...

What a great story! Sounds great. I think I like both... Depends on how the writer shape the hero.

Terri Osburn said...

Welcome aboard, May! I think you have the right answer. No one should have to choose when it comes to heroes. :)

Maureen said...

I already have Mr. Responsible....I could probably use some Wild Child. Where is the poor lad Terrio laid waste with a frying pan...?

Welcome aboard Nancy, may I get ya some rum!?

Nancy Northcott said...

May, thanks! I think there's something to be said for both kinds of heroes, and I agree a lot hinges on presentation. The Wild Child can be great if he's responsible about the things that really matter.

Nancy Northcott said...

Terri, I think there's room for all kinds.

Nancy Northcott said...

Maureen, I hope you get that dose of Wild Child. Sometimes Mr. Responsible needs to loosen up a bit. :-)

Maureen said...

Thanks, Nance!

I do think when I write, I do the undercover Mr. Responsible, who uses his Wild Child as a facade.

I suddenly had this image of two versions of a hero, doing the slapping hands fight of siblings... Where is my coffee?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Ooooh, Helloooo Josh!! You're right up there with Matthew from Anna Campbell's Untouched for my fav hero. Grins.

Hey Nancy! AHOOOOOOY, Revengers!!!!

So great to see you over here today! I love, love, love the Renegade, adore the Protector and can't wait to get my hands on Guardian! :>

As to Mr. Responsibility vs. Wild Child, I married Mr. Responsibility, and adore that type - think Steve Rogers/Capt. America - SLURP!! Not that they don't have what it takes to take out the bad guy, but they use their brains as well as brawn. Grins. Gotta love that. A Wild Child as a break, now and again - Tony Stark, anyone? - would be fun, but a steady diet? Nope, I'll take the Steady.


Terri Osburn said...

Love when the Bandits invade! (And I get to invade the lair in a couple months. Looking forward to that!)

I may be biased. Where y'all were smart enough to marry Mr. Responsible, my past includes 2 musicians. I had to learn the hard way. LOL!

Cassondra Murray said...

Hi Nancy, Ahoy Pirates!

Just stopping by to say I've read this novella and y'all are going to love it.

As to the question...I'm drawn to Mr. Wild Man of course. I married Mr. Responsible, but he's former Special Forces, so I guess maybe he has a bit of both? I dunno..

I'm like Maureen when I write--wild man underneath, mantle of responsibility cast over it. In fact, I like to torture them with the crimes of their former wildness, making them squish their inner wild man. Of course...that never works for long...ahem.

Cassondra Murray said...

Hellion said:

I don't know if I like either straight up. I think I like a hybrid--

Me too! You said it better than I did, Hellion.

Maureen said...

Yeah, Cassandra, though I like to take Mr. Responsible and cover him in the yummy goodness of Wild Child... ;-)

Nancy Northcott said...

Maureen wrote: "I do think when I write, I do the undercover Mr. Responsible, who uses his Wild Child as a facade. "

I love that description!

Nancy Northcott said...

Jeanne, that's high praise! Thank you.

I love the Captain America/Tony Stark contrast. They're great examples.

Nancy Northcott said...

Terri, I'll bet those musicians kept things lively around your house! My dh is a Mr. Responsible. I didn't have very good luck with the Wild Children.

Nancy Northcott said...

Cassondra, thank you! You wrote: "In fact, I like to torture them with the crimes of their former wildness, making them squish their inner wild man."

And I just see boatloads of angst, fabulous, romance-y angst!

Jo Robertson said...

Congratulations on this new release, Nancy. I just downloaded THE PROTECTOR yesterday, so I'm eager to read it.

I always go for Mr. Responsibility. Mr. Wild might be good for the short term, but for the long haul I've gotta have someone I can trust and lean on completely when needed.

quantum said...

Hi Nancy.

As a male scientist I like symmetry in fiction and for every Wild Man there can be a Wild Woman.

Edie is the character who interests me most .... she sounds like Miss Responsibility.
I think its good if the heroine also has a streak of Wild Woman to push the hero to his limits.

From the description I'm not clear whether there is a HEA, or whether this story is part of a series where the HEA is deferred.

I must have a HEA if I'm to enjoy my paranormal .... I hate dystopian novels or gloomy depressing endings.

Can I be reassured on this point without spoilers?
Is there an e-book version available in the UK ... couldn't find it on Amazon.

Nancy Northcott said...

Hi, Jo--

Thanks for picking up Protector! I hope you enjoy it.

Yes, over the long haul, dependability is critical.

Nancy Northcott said...

Hi, Quantum--

There's a lot to be said for relationship symmetry and for people pushing each other to grow. Edie is very responsible but not as restricted by that trait as Josh is.

There absolutely is HEA in this story. I won't say more lest I spoil it. This series is published as a romance, so there will be a romantic HEA in every book or novella, though some threads of the larger plot will continue.

I'm sorry to say that Protector will be released only as an ebook and, for now, only in the US and Canada. The handful of print ARCs I have to give out are the only print copies, as far as I know.

The first book, Renegade, is available in a print on demand edition in the UK from The Book Depository.

I assume the other full-length books in the series also will be. I wish there were wider availability and am hoping for that if the series overall does well. Thank you very much for checking on it!

Terri Osburn said...

Q - If you don't have the first book in the series, definitely get your hands on it. I have never been a reader of paranormal books but Nancy won me over.

Nancy Northcott said...

Terri, thank you! I'm so glad you liked Renegade.

Kate Carlisle said...

Yippee!! Just downloaded PROTECTOR and can't wait to sink my e-teeth into it! ;-)

Hmm ... Mr. Responsibility vs. Mr. Wild Child? I'm not picky. I just want that hunky guy on the cover! Congrats on another beauty, Nancy!

Nancy Northcott said...

Kate, thanks! I hope you'll enjoy Protector. And yes, the cover model has been a huge hit.