Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Unconventional Hero

You pick up a romance novel and many times you can easily take a guess as to the type of hero you’ll get. I can name a few just off the top of my head: men with titles (duke, marquess, earl, viscount, etc), men in uniform (military or otherwise…firemen are popular), outlaws and renegades and men with power or unique characteristics such as angels, demons, vampires, werewolves, other shifters, etc. There are many others I can think of but you get the point with these few.

In listing some of these out, you can begin to see a few trends: dominance, sex appeal, strength and warriors for a cause. These men are easy for us to paint as heroes both as readers and writers because we instantly recognize the most obvious traits of a hero in them. But what about the unconventional heroes? You’d be surprised about how often they make an appearance. Who would Spiderman or Superman or Batman be without Peter Parker and Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne? Or the Hulk without Dr. Banner? Granted, Mark Ruffalo made Dr. Banner all the more appealing in The Avengers *smile*.

I know I’m using men with superhero alteregos but the point is, it may not always be the superhero alterego who is your hero. Many of you readers out there most likely know an unconventional everyday hero. In many ways, we think of our husbands, fathers, brothers and friends as these unconventional heros. They may not be saving the city of Gotham or swinging from the tallest buildings but they may be the ones holding your door open, pulling out your chair and sending you sweet love notes (and no this stuff doesn’t only happen in the movies and books). They may also be the one worrying whether they’ll have next month’s rent covered after getting their hours cut at their job. Or they may be the one stressing on how to make you proud when everything they do seems to go wrong.

The uncoventional hero is  most often not obvious but he’s also the one waving to get your attention and prove to you that he does fit the role of hero. For you writers out there, give him a try. He just might be what you need to make that next manuscript more interesting. And for  you readers, take the time to discover him within your books and outside of them. You just might be glad you did.

Now onto some more fun. Please feel free to read and leave a comment for me. One lucky winner will  be chosen on Monday night (or technically Tuesday morning) at 12 pm EST to receive a $15.00 gift card for Amazon. Don’t forget to leave your email in the comment, that is absolutely necessary to be entered into the drawing.

Here is an blurb and never before shared excerpt from my novella, Irish Dreams:


It’s one thing to resist an Irish dream, quite another to resist a dreamy Irishman.

After being traded for another woman by her fiance, Maggie decides she’s had it with men. Good thing she’s far away from him, in Ireland fulfilling her best friend’s request to be maid-of-honor. Wicklow and the Emerald Isle are more than she expects-—green, lush, and exactly what she needs. What she doesn’t need is rescuing by some emerald-eyed charmer.

Newly divorced, Ethan Moore is ready to enjoy bachelorhood. Only one problem—-the fiery-haired Maggie Christy. Unlike any woman he’s ever met, Maggie draws him close and turns him inside out. The attraction is unexpected and inconvenient, but nobody ever said true love was easy.

WARNING: Exceedingly charming Irishmen and sexually explicit scenes.


“Fine.” Reluctantly and with her stomach in knots, Maggie let her friend lead her out of the bedroom. Just a pre-wedding party. No reason for nervousness. Didn’t change her sweaty palms or weak knees, though.

“You know, all this fussing, one might actually think you wanted to look especially nice. Any reason?” Elsie said.

“What do you mean? What about looking nice for you? You’re my best friend.”

“Hmm, you didn’t look nice for me in fourth grade after you slipped and fell in a mud puddle. And you weren’t nice when I went to help you. Instead, you pulled me into it. Nor were you nice in eighth grade when you tricked me into doing the dunk tank for our school fair.”

Maggie rolled her eyes. “Now is different. You know what I mean.” She grinned. “Besides, mud is good for skin.”

As they walked down the upstairs hallways, Maggie’s heartbeat sped up its tempo. Whether she wanted to see him or not, Ethan would be there. She lifted a finger to her mouth and smoothed her bottom lip. She could almost imagine the tingle of his lips touching hers.

What was her problem? She was no better off than Elsie with her remarks–even worse because she’d kissed him.

“Hey.” Elsie paused and grabbed her arm. “Everything okay?”

“Yes, why wouldn’t it be?”

“Don’t know. You went space cadet on me. Thought you might be thinking about Rick.”

Just hearing his name made her chest constrict. “No, I wasn’t.”

“Oh honey, I’m sorry.” Elsie hugged her. “I want you happy. I thought… Never mind. Let’s go down and have fun.” Tugging her hand, Elsie pulled her over to the banister overlooking the large ballroom. “Do you see Bryan?”

She didn’t, but what she did see was magical. Renaissance era paintings of cherubs and idyllic maidens lined the walls and ornate carvings decorated the seams where they met. Golden chandeliers hung from a domed ceiling.

“It feels like we stepped back in time, somewhat,” Maggie said. At the foot of a sweeping marble staircase, uniformed wait staff wove through the crowd, effortlessly carrying silver trays lined with hors d’oeurvres and champagne. “Everything is beautiful.” Men were dressed in three-piece suits or black dinner jackets and crisp white shirts, while women wore long evening gowns and large gemstone necklaces, assuaging any fears she had about her own formal dress. “Don’t you think so?”

“Aye, I’d have to agree with you there.”

Heat crept up Maggie’s neck. Ethan’s voice. Guests moved aside. He and Bryan stepped through an opening in the crowd.

Her stomach fluttered like a school girl’s as they stood mere feet away from her and Elsie, each dashingly handsome in a tux. Slightly taller, Bryan was fairer where Ethan was darker–except for his mesmerizing eyes–and broader in the shoulders.

Ethan neared, and for an instant, Maggie let her eyes flutter closed as she inhaled his scent of fresh mountain air and soap.

“Ladies,” he said.

“Ethan.” Elsie kissed him on the cheek. “You made it.”

“Wouldn’t miss this for the world.”

“Do you like the decor?”

“Decor and more.” He rested his gaze on Maggie then strayed back to Elsie. “I’d say this party is a complete success minus a missing bride.”

“We were on our way down.” Elsie joined her fiancé and gave him a chaste kiss on his cheek. Her devilish expression promised not-so-chaste kisses later.

“Where is my kiss hello?” Ethan stepped closer.

Maggie’s breath caught in her throat. “I…”

“On the cheek.” With a lean in her direction, Ethan lightly brushed his lips along the side of her face.

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Categories: Toni Kelly, Uncategorized | 75 Comments

Heroes Blog Hop, Yippee!!!

Are you ready to hear what your favorite romance heroes have to say? Well, we authors are ready to share our hunky heroes! Starting on Friday and ending on July 31st, over 100 Authors and Bloggers will share their favorite things about romance heroes, a character post from them, and what we love about romance and men in general.

And while we do that, we are EACH doing a giveaway. Yep. There will be over 100 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger.

But that’s not all….

We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 100 times!

Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet

2nd Grand Prize: A $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

3rd Grand Prize: The following Swag Pack! 


Yep. ALL of that! Whoot! Be sure to come back here on Friday and over the weekend to enjoy some stories and facts about our favorite Romance Heroes and enter to win!

Categories: Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Toni Kelly Interview with Karen Docter

Hi, check out my interview on Karen’s website!

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