Clean & Wholesome Heroes Can be Very Macho

My heroes are mainly honorable, tough, and able to handle problems, but there the similarity ends. I’ve had some heroes who refuse to crack a joke, and others where the quips just keep coming and I can hardly write them down fast enough. Ryan, the computer security expert in Stolen Secrets, is almost tongue-tied around women, while Hugo, the CIA hero of Scorpion’s Trail, is the opposite, and has women chasing after him. My Trahern men are mainly men of courage and honor, but one committed a crime while he was a teen, and had been on the run ever since, until becoming The Tallest Man in Texas.

I’ve found with each book I write, that the characters are revealed as the story progresses. I don’t plan them; they just tell me who they are as the story goes along. Now when I wrote A Horse for Cinderella, I knew that the hero would be a prince, but I didn’t know that he rode show horses until the story developed, or that he really wanted his older brother to become the next king. The hero of The Holiday is a professional chef who owns a series of restaurants, while many of my others can barely cook at all.

Of all my heroes, Hugo (Scorpion’s Trail) is my favorite. This man is first described by his boss as, “The best friend a man could ever have.” He drops everything to help, going undercover as four different people. He’s been doing them long enough to keep them straight, but it gets confusing to those around him.

The main one, Hugo, is smooth talking, protective, and full of gentle humor. Hugo doesn’t particularly like the way women pursue him, as it gets in the way of his undercover activities. He also doesn’t like another of his characters, Donnegal, but he sort of got trapped into doing him after Donnegal became famous and made him a lot of money, as well as being a perfect undercover role. Another character, Joe, is deadly serious as they search for the Scorpion—a known assassin.

The trail leads to Mazatlan and the failure after failure of their plans. They must have a traitor in their midst, but who can it be? Hugo knows it is none of the characters he plays, but the heroine who is falling in love with both Joe and Hugo doesn’t know that. The bad guys also try trolling Hugo at the end of a fishing line. Yes, I did have fun with this story.

Scorpion’s Trail is part of our Authors’ Billboard collection called Unforgettable Power, now on preorder at Amazon. At 99¢ it’s a real bargain, or you can grab it at KU for free.



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Nancy Radke

About Nancy Radke

A USA Today bestselling author, Nancy Radke grew up on a wheat and cattle ranch in SE Washinton State. She attended a one-room country school through the eighth grade. She learned to ride bareback at age 3 (Really! It was a common practice.) and when she got off or fell off, she would pull her horse's nose to the ground, get on behind its ears, and the horse would lift its head so she could scoot down onto its back. Nancy spent most of her childhood exploring the Blue Mountain trails that bordered the ranchlands. She and a friend once took a trail that turned out to be a two day trip. They always rode with matches and pocket knives, so made camp and returned the next day. These long rides worried her parents, but provided plenty of time to make up stories. Her first novel was set in the Blues, and is entitled APPALOOSA BLUES. TURNAGAIN LOVE was the first one published. It rated a four star review from Affaire de Coeur. Scribes World said "Turnagain Love has some fascinating twists and turns, unexpected complications, and charming scenes." It is light and humorous. Nancy currently has over 30 books written, both modern and western. All her stories are sweet and wholesome.  View website

13 Replies to “Clean & Wholesome Heroes Can be Very Macho”

  1. Nancy –

    Loved your post about different kinds of heroes. Scorpion’s Trail and the whole boxed set, Unforgettable Power, sounded great. Just bought it an can’t wait to read ’em all.

    Binnie Syril Braunstein

    • The set has a wide variety in it, so I expect you will enjoy reading it. I know Scorpion’s Trail was really fun to write. Just remember the different roles Hugo adopts, and you won’t get confused. He mainly does just Hugo and Joe.

    • Yes, they are, Traci. And sometimes they surprise me. What I like about writing with no plot is that it is almost like I’m reading the story too. So things happen that are totally unexpected to me.

  2. I enjoy your books, Jacquie. Our authors have a wide range of backgrounds, that show up in their books. I keep all of mine clean and wholesome just because that’s what I want to read. Also why I’m an indie author, as my editor kept wanting me to add sex scenes, so I left that publishing house.

    • I just read where the category of clean and wholesome is gaining momentum at Amazon. I need to go back through my book descriptions and make sure they all have that on them.

    • Hi Betty. Thanks for being such a great fan. I keep thinking I’ll run out of heroes (or ideas for heroes) but they just keep coming. My latest book, Trouble Never Knocks, is sort of on the grim side, but the Cinderella one goes light again. Depends upon where the hero and heroine take the plot. I have a new one coming soon, of the new Brothers series, called Terminal Pursuit. Hope you like that one as well.

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