Monday, March 19, 2012

Bad Boys, Bad Boys!


I'm working on the sequels to my book LANDLOCKED. The series is titled PIRATES AT HEART. Book two will be called SMUGGLER'S BLUES and the third SAILOR'S KNOT. I'm thrilled that Ellora's Cave has chosen to contract both! Since the male lead of LANDLOCKED was my first bad boy character, he's so much fun to write about because he walks that fine line between scoundrel and hero. Spending so much time with Capt. Brett Logan Jr. has go me thinking--bad boys, why do we love them so?

Bad boys...mmm, yes, bad boys. They are a staple of literature and film, especially the romance genre. Why is it that we love them so? I think it’s the adventure the bad boy offers that draws readers to this kind of hero. A real life bad boy can be a disaster and downright dangerous so I think indulging the fantasy in fiction is a safe way to experience a rogue lover without all the real life headaches.

My favorite take on this theme is Disney’s Pirates of The Caribbean series. I’m totally enamored of Captain Jack Sparrow. Those movies are one of the reason’s I decided to create a pirate character in the first place. Though my captain is very different from the traditional movie/romance pirate, he’s still very much a bad boy who turns out to have a heart of gold beneath his gruff exterior.

Captain Brett Logan, Jr—the main character for the first two PIRATES AT HEART series—was so much fun to create. It’s no secret I have a soft spot for bad girls and this was the first time I’d undertaken a real bad boy. A pirate, smuggler and outlaw, Logan lives life on the edge, running from the ghosts of the past when he trips over a future with the only woman he’s ever dared to love. But never having created this type of character before, I had to look to other examples in fiction to help steer me in the right direction.

I took a dash of Captain Jack Sparrow from the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN series, a pinch of Raylan Givens from JUSTIFIED, a little Batman and a bit of rogue from old-fashioned romance novels and voila! Out came Brett Logan. I hope my tribute to this time honored character-type holds his own and thrills the readers as much as he thrilled me to write about.

Here’s a quick look at LANDLOCKED:

Blurb:

For ten years, Kathryn has struggled to survive in a war-torn region that used to be part of the United States. Her country ripped apart and her husband presumed dead, she and her son need a miracle to find safe passage to the West. She’s not expecting that miracle to come in the form of Captain Brett Logan when he stumbles, injured, onto her front porch.
A privateer for the Republic of Texas, Logan keeps one eye on the horizon and one hand on his sidearm, knowing the life of a modern-day pirate is often short. When an enemy bomb nearly ends him, Kathryn nurses him back to health. Against her better judgment, she’s drawn to the enigmatic man with his tattoos and battle scars.
Kate finds shelter in Logan’s arms—and his bed. The captain navigates her body with the same skill that he sails the seven seas. The heat of their passion gives way to deeper currents. But with danger surrounding them, they must struggle to stay together and survive.

Excerpt:

Saline spray rose up off the ocean and Captain Logan’s purse seiner, The Yellow Rose, carved her way through the choppy Gulf of Mexico waters. A garish vessel, painted red, white and blue, it flew the Texas flag and operated under the protection those colors afforded. Despite the blockades along the Gulf Coast and the trouble up North, his ship was rarely boarded by Reformer inspectors. The old adage still rang true—Don’t mess with Texas—a fact Captain Logan relied upon. And exploited.
His small crew did busywork to ready the ship for dock. He checked the horizon with his binoculars. Even with the maximum magnification, the island of Galveston appeared as a mere smudge in the distance. Still, they were making good time. In another hour or so, they’d make port. The sizable man sank into his seat on the bridge. Weary from over two weeks either at sea or lying low in the swamps of Gulfland, he looked forward to a few days at home. No more salt cod and flatbread or canned beef stew. He couldn’t wait to sink his teeth into an Angus burger. Or a porterhouse. Or Blanca’s barbecue brisket. His lean stomach growled and the thought of Blanca reminded him of other neglected needs.
Jacques, his first mate, peeked into the doorway. “Everything’s shipshape, mon capitaine.” The dark-skinned creole laughed at his favorite joke.
Logan did his best to crack a smile. No matter how long between ports, Jacques DuBois was always in a good mood, a quality that annoyed the captain to no end.
Is the extra cargo well sealed?”
Bien sûr. Don’t worry.” Jacques clapped an arm around his friend. “We’ve done this a couple times before.”
At this Logan did laugh. In truth, they’d done this same run along the Gulfland coast well over two hundred times, and every time they came back loaded down with silver, gold and Republic credits that would be hard to explain for a humble fishing vessel.
Pouring a shot of tequila for himself and one for Logan, the man pulled up a wooden crate to sit on. “I’m worried about you.”
The captain threw back his drink and let the burn fade before he replied, “What on earth for?”
You look tired. Not the kind of tired that a few days rest will fix, but deep down soul kind of tired. That raid last month got bloody.”
Wasn’t my blood, so what’s the big deal?”
I’m just saying, with that sort of thing hanging over his head, a man can get sloppy, make mistakes.”
Logan shrugged. Heads rolled in the course of his business. Jacques knew that as well as anyone else. And all their men came home. The same couldn’t be said for that band of Reformer troops. Oh well. Foreign bastards had invaded the United States at its weakest and torn it apart. To hell with all of them.
If you don’t want to come on the next run, that’s fine.”
Don’t get me wrong, mon ami.” Jacques rolled his glass between his thick hands. “I’m just telling you what I hear.”
So the rest of the crew has lost confidence in me too?”
Jacques got to his feet and shook his head. “You’re the most pigheaded— I’m not saying anyone’s lost confidence, but there’s a reason they call you ‘Loco Logan’. I’m saying you need to take a longer break.”
I’ll take it under advisement,” Logan said, though he had no intention of doing so. He scooted down into his chair and pulled his Stetson over his gray eyes. “Wake me when we make port.”
Aye, Captain.”
The slaps of Jacques’ boot soles against the ship’s teak deck receded as Logan gave over to the pull of sleep.

Cindy’s links:
Twitter - @cindyjacks

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