OK, so I'm rarely in jeopardy, but I write woman-in-jeopardy novels—otherwise called "Modern Gothics"—and this is my blog. It will probably have lots of time between posts, but I'll try not to bore you. Welcome.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Hero vs. Hero Smackdown: The Firebird

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Full disclosure: I have Awesome Writer Friends. Not only in the sense that they are awesome writers (which they are) but in the sense that they themselves are awesome.

In that long, self-doubting stretch of time between the day I finish edits for a book, and that book's publication day—which can be months and months away—I sometimes sneak a copy to my friends. The more I love a book, the more I need their reassurance. With The Firebird, I was very, very needy.

What I didn't expect was that this advance reading would set off a good-natured, rather amusing debate between two of my friends on the subject of which of my heroes is hotter.

Deanna Raybourn became a vocal champion of the modern day hero, Rob McMorran, a Scottish policeman who hails from the Borders and balances work with his volunteer shifts as a Lifeboat crew member, both jobs helped along by the fact he's a psychic. When I asked Deanna what her favourite scene was in the book, she wrote back: "Anything with Rob ;-)"



Molly O'Keefe, on the other hand, much preferred Edmund O'Connor, the plain-spoken Irishman living in exile in Russia in 1725, born—as he tells uswith "cards in my hands and my fists up", who shows skills at both, though he'll not cheat an honest man. "Perfect," was what Molly tweeted to me after reading the book. "He was perfect."

And that was the start of the rivalry.

Given that the three of us interact just about daily on Twitter, I couldn't help noticing they kept it up even after my back was turned, as in this little exchange that I captured on Storify.

© Anthony Bowen | Dreamstime.com
So, in the interest of clearing the air, I invited them here for a smackdown refined conversation. And here's how it went: 


Me: Hi, guys. Toss of the coin to start. Who calls heads?

Deanna: HEADS!

Me: [tossing coin] It's heads. Right then, whenever you're ready. 

Deanna: There is no contest here. While Edmund is delicious—and totally deserving of adoration—he is simply outmanned by Rob. Rob is dark, brooding, sexy as hell, oh, and did I mention, HE CAN READ YOUR MIND? And he rescues people for a living. Susanna did not miss a trick in crafting a hero who is completely swoon-worthy.

Molly: Yeah...Rob can READ YOUR MIND! Where is the mystery? (though I will say that first scene when they sort of accidentally mentally brush up against each other—DELISH!) However, back to why Edmund is a far more sexy and intriguing hero—he's all mystery. Nothing but drama and scarred hands. And heroic? He saves birds! Come on, I got you there Raybourn.

© Suto Norbert | Dreamstime.com

Deanna: The mystery? The mystery is never knowing when or how he's going to read your thoughts. And the straight-up knee-knocking lusciousness comes from the incredible restraint he shows in NOT abusing his abilities. The slow tease of having him read something, then pull back? Intoxicating. And speaking of intoxication, I offer Exhibit A—the hallway clinch where Rob knows EXACTLY what she wants, how, and when. WHUF. Oh, and your guy saves birds. My guy saves mammals. Advantage, Raybourn.

Molly:  Exhibit A is good. I will grant you—very good. But if the question is noble restraint? Edmund wins hands down. I mean, did you even READ that scene on the boat? I gasped. I clutched my e-reader. So satisfying. So dramatic.


Deanna: Yes, Edmund is a very worthy hero, but if we're going to talk self-sacrifice, Rob can more than hold his own. When the woman he KNOWS is meant for him can't handle the connection, he doesn't stalk her or sulk or badger her. He gives her space, patiently biding his time until she's ready. He's confident enough that he doesn't have to prove himself. And when she does finally come to him for help, he's encouraging and patient and MASTERFUL while still respecting her autonomy. He pushes her, gently but firmly, to test her own boundaries and he provides the safety net she needs to do it.
And Exhibit B? How adorable is it when he tries to speak Russian?

© Martin Brayley | Dreamstime.com

Molly: Patience, smatience...give me Edmund who argues with Anna, forces her to understand her place in this new world and to see her value as HE sees her value. He is not happy until she sees herself as he sees her, beautiful noble and brave.
Edmund Exhibit C—which really after the scene in the boat and the scene when he saves the bird I can't believe I even need—the eggs.

© Sharpshot | Dreamstime.com
Deanna: Exactly—Edmund insists on making his point, while Rob would rather encourage her to discover her power and beauty for herself. Game, set, match. ;-)

Molly: Either way readers can't lose—both heroes are amazing (even if one is so patient he nearly loses the love of his life twice).



Me: OK, so clearly this isn't a battle discussion that's going to end soon. But it IS a good excuse for me to hold a little giveaway in honour of The Firebird's publication here in Canada next week. 

I've got one set of paperback copies of each of our latest books: Molly's Crazy Thing Called Love, Deanna's A Spear of Summer Grass, and mine, and I'll send them to anywhere, worldwide.

To enter, just comment and tell my two friends here whose team you think you'd be on—Edmund's, or Rob's? If you want to get a glimpse of both the heroes, you can read a short excerpt with Edmund here, and with Rob here.

You have till Sunday, April 28th, to leave a comment. I'll announce the winner Monday. Best of luck.      

62 comments:

  1. Both sound dreamy,but I think if I had to choose one I would side with Rob. I love that he's a rescuer and that he encourages his love interest to find her own path and grow. I'm not sure how I feel about the fact he can read my mind, but I think he'd be my first choice, although I wouldn't complain one bit if I got Edmund either :)

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  2. Rob. I fell for him when he was a mere child, and no one can budge that.

    (Can't wait to read it!)

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  3. Sorry y'all - it's ROB, hands down... clever, thoughtful (pun intended) and hunky as hell. What's not to love!?

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  4. Team Rob for me too, although Molly did put forward a very good case for Edmund!

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  5. As a fellow Nicola, I'm voting for Keen'Een as well. Deanna's got it right!

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  6. First, loved the tete-a-tete with these authors. Delicious fun.

    Rob, hands down. He uses his abilities to help others. I too, adored his character in Shadowy Horses and add a Scots brogue to the mix of patient, yet determined, dark, and broody? I'm unabashedly lost....

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  7. Rob! Also, so happy to find a new author!

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  8. I'm going to go with Edmund...I don't need ANYONE reading my mind, thank you kindly!

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  9. I think I'd definitely go with Rob - I can't stay away from a Scotsman!

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  10. Rob all the way! He's a Scot, he knows what I want (which is a good thing, because I don't always know that myself), he can hug me non-physically and oh, he's a Scot! Oh, did I already say that? :D

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  11. Oh heck... I like a guy who can take control...sounds like Edmund would be my man...but honestly I would have to read the book to really know.

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  12. I have to side with Deanna and go Team Rob on this one. I think Edmund is a fabulous character and what drama he add to the story, but there is just _something_ absolutely compelling about Rob. ...sigh.... I think it's the Scotsman and the possibility he just might wear a kilt one day - just for me. LOL

    Have to say this I am thrilled about this smackdown because I now have 2 more authors to add to my reading list!

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Donna

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  13. I am predisposed to go with Rob, since he was such an adorable little guy in "The Shadowy Horses". Plus, I love the whole mind reading connection they have going. I can't wait to read this book!

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  14. Elaine Cohoon MillerApril 22, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    I have to go with Deanna on this one. Rob sounds like my kind of man. And I can't wait for these BOOKS!!!!!

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  15. I have to go with Rob as well - men in uniform are sexy, plus that mindreading thing is awesome.

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  16. Gotta go with my girl Deanna and Team Rob!! Plus the idea of restrained mind reading is intriguing.

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  17. I've read Firebird, and while Rob is all very well and fine, I am firmly in the Team Edmund camp. As Molly says, he argues with Anna. He's a little broody and mysterious. He risks his life and fights for a noble cause. And -- this is a big one for me -- he's good with kids.

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  18. I think I would have to go with Edmund. He's cheeky, Irish, and good with kids. Pretty adorable!

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  19. Rob!!! No question!

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  20. Just from reading the two excerpts...I would go with Edmund. There is an intensity between Edmund and Anna that makes him very appealing... and he is good with Katie.

    I discovered your books last year and read them all. I started with The Winter Sea, and loved it. Each book was so different and I enjoyed each one.

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  21. Wow, this was quite the match, but I am gonna have to go with Rob. Who wouldn't want a man who could read your mind, good things and bad! Rob all the way!!!

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  22. The egg, the egg, oh so great! I'm sorry Deanna, I'm going with Team Edmund.

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  23. Rob all the way! He's a Scot. End of story.

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  24. Wow, hard call! I think I have to go with Deanna on this one, though. There is something completely alluring (a definite tease) about a man who holds back and waits. Also I really love a handsome Scot (aren't they all? ;) ).

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  25. I don't understand. Why do we have to choose? There's plenty of time to appreciate both of them!!!

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  26. I think I would be on Team Rob!!!!

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  27. The psychic part sounds intriguing, so I'll vote for Rob.

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  28. #teamrob and this is why: "When I’d first met him I’d thought he looked French from his bone structure—straight nose and boldly drawn eyebrows and deep-set blue eyes, and that sensual mouth that could suddenly change from its serious line to a quick boyish smile more in keeping with the black unruly hair that always flopped onto his forehead." I'm a sucker for boyish smiles...

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  29. This is a tough question, but I'm going to say...Edmund--just because! Definitely want to read all 3 books!

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  30. Rob can't go wrong with a Scottish accent :)

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  31. I'm going to go with Edmund on this one, although it's a tough choice.

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  32. You had me at Scotsman.......my vote would be for Team Rob :)

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  33. I have a feeling I'd be Team Edmund and Team Rob. Both guys have different strengths and belong to different times. it's like comparing apples to oranges. Granted they both sound absolutely delicious. I can't render a final decision until after reading the book. :)

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  34. I'd date both of them and then let you know. Can't wait to read the book!

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  35. I already have a soft spot for Rob, having met him as a child. However, knowing how well Susanna crafts her men, I know I'll have a hard time deciding once I actually read the book.

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  36. I think I'm team Rob. A Scot in uniform. :-)

    Melanie

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  37. Solely based on my fondness for Robbie in The Shadowy Horses, I am team Rob.

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  38. I loved Robbie in the Shadowy Horses, and I would hate to get in a fight with Deanna... I'm pretty sure she could take me. So. TEAM ROB!

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  39. I really like both of them but I'm going to have to go with team Edmund!

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  40. I am so relieved I agree with the beloved Ms. Raybourn. I am Team Rob!

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  41. Both men have so much to offer, but I have to say being able to read your beloved's mind as well as everyone else's makes it so much easier to cut to the chase in bed and out. I'm team Rob!

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  42. This is a tough one, but I have to go with Team Edmund!

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  43. Dang! I have to read this book! Based on just the excerpts I would go with Edmund. I do like rascals.

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  44. The thought of someone being able to read my mind creeps me out, and always has. Edmund please.

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  45. I don't need anyone being able to read my mind, thanks much. I vote team Edmund!

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  46. I am definitely Team Rob!

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  47. I love Rob and can't wait to meet up with him again BUT I'm joining team Edmund on this one!

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    Replies
    1. Congratulations, Melisa! You've won the giveaway. Please email me at susanna(underscore)kearsley(at)yahoo(dot)ca with your mailing address and we'll get the books sent out to you!

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  48. Oh dear - both?

    I think I'll go Team Edmund, though, from the excerpts :)

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  49. My own man is dark and brooding so I must also go with Rob. What a precocious little boy he was! I'm also excited to read two "new-to-me" authors.
    cathy at mikestovall dot com

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  50. Maybe Edmund, but I'm sure the other one is great too.

    catbooks(at)rocketmail(dot)com

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  51. Hmmm...not having met Edmund and meeting Rob only as Robbie a few short weeks ago - I have to throw my hat in Rob's ring. I can't ignore the tug on the heart of that little boy and the Sentinel - who I hope is still looking after him.
    adrewicki@yahoo.ca

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  52. 100% unabashedly TEAM ROB. Delicious.

    (although Edmund is lovely too).

    But...Rob.

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  53. Rob. Edmund is nothing to sneeze at either, but Rob.

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  54. I'm with those who knew Rob as Robbie. I feel quite loyal. From what little I've read of the adult Rob, I think he's a keeper.

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  55. Oh, my. Do I really have to choose? Hmmm. Well, I suppose I would go with Edmund, just because I love a man who's a good mystery, in fiction at least. :) Seriously, cannot wait to read The Firebird. But it doesn't release in the US until June 1st. Arrgh!

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  56. Rob is just so.. well Rob. Maybe I haven't read enough about Edmund yet but.. I think Rob wins.

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  57. Oh, my gosh! Choices, choices. But I will have to go with Rob - a man who can give a woman space. (But actually, I'd take either one).
    Joan

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  58. Wow, this is hard. Really hard. I'm going to go with Team Rob b/c I think I prefer the Scottish over the Irish accent. Too many other variables to decide!

    Sarah from Facebook

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