Where Did Summer Go?

Summer slipped by me this year and I don’t know why. In fact I don’t remember seeing my Tiger Lilies bloom. I remember when the daffodils were blooming. And I saw my Vitex go into bloom along with the Crepe Myrtles, but I don’t remember too many other plants. But already there’s a nip in the air and I noticed while driving yesterday that many of the trees have begun fading from their green color into what will eventually become golds, oranges, and reds. So just how did I miss summer?

Usually I’m writing and I have done plenty of that, but I’ve also done quite a bit of reading. Especially while my editors were busy with my tales. It was fun to read! Especially when I was reading various stories for our Christmas boxed set. But I’ve also read some other stories. Seems I never get the luxury of just finding a book and reading it. I’ve been proofreading or doing content edits for friends – that sort of thing, but I discovered something as I read. It’s the heroes.

Yes, for me, it’s about the men. If I fall in love with the hero and there’s a happy ending, I’m happy.  Yet so many authors and readers say it’s about strong women. Hmm.

A Novella Within our AoMS Boxed Set Christmas Babies on Main Street

The right man can make a woman strong and confident. Not that women don’t come that way, nor does that mean women need a man to make them strong.  In my Christmas novella, A Sister’s Christmas Gift, the heroine was strong, very strong and she didn’t need a man to complete her life. She had a perfectly good life. Put her in a domestic setting and she had no clue which end was up. She’s also going to butt heads with anyone who cops the attitude that he’s the man of the house.

I believe women have a natural inner strength, even that wallflower. I knew a woman whose husband had treated her so poorly over such a long period of time that she’d lost her inner strength. Her grown son and daughter moved her out of the house and put her someplace safe. It was a disastrous for her as she adjusted and the following year got better. Five years later, it was hard to believe that she was the same woman whose children had to rescue her from a verbally abusive marriage. She reached down, found her boot straps, and pulled herself up.

Such men would be villains in our stories because they are real life villains and poison to the women in their lives. In A Sister’s Christmas Gift, there are two men. They are not villains. They are both really great guys. One has lost his way. He’s always worked, so when he finds himself retired before he’s fifty, he doesn’t know how to fill the hours in a day. He’s no longer in the city where all the cultural things kept him occupied. Now, he’s a fish out of water. The other man is a total opposite. He’s got that confidence  and he knows exactly what to do with his spare time.  But he also is the type of man to give a woman freedom.

Maybe that’s what I like in man. The one who is not afraid to let a woman have freedom. But he’s also there to protect her, help her, support her, and share his life with her.  And if he knows how to fix plumbing or a gazillion other things around the house or car, I like that even more.

Reading gave me a chance to see other men portrayed and their women. Naturally I looked at the story lines and analyzed each one. But it’s the characters that I enjoy. Maybe I’ll never go back to just being a reader. Maybe it has something to do with being a writer that will prevent the brain from journeying backwards to just being a reader. But as I read, I discovered that I enjoyed the women who were average women. That meant they had their strong areas and that weaker side.

But those men – it’s the quiet heroes. The ones that don’t need to show off muscles to prove their strength. But can disarm another man with lightning speed. They can whip up breakfast or at least a basic meal, and carry on a real conversation. They, too, have that tender side and will stop to rescue a kitten from the busy intersection. Their skills vary but they can flash that smile and make our hearts flutter. I’ll even forgive him if he has to call the plumber. But he’s not going to say I told you so. And he isn’t going to say no, unless he can convince the heroine that whatever she’s about to do is just too risky, dangerous, or totally wrong.

What do you love about what you read? The types of stories or heroes, the heroines? Is there a particular trait that you like in the characters? And what is your favorite story line? We’d really love to know. As as the seasons change, grab your cuppa, pull up a chair, and tell us what you love.

 

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11 Responses to Where Did Summer Go?

  1. Carol says:

    I feel the same as you about characters I want to read. Nothing like a strong woman who has a weak side. And…nothing like a strong man with heart.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Carol says:

    Exactly. And…as the characters of “Christmas Babies on Main Street” portray. Counting down until release day. Only nine more days!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Can’t wait to read it! Counting down!!!
    xx
    Lizzi

    Liked by 1 person

    • E. Ayers says:

      It’s getting closer! Crossing my fingers that all goes well. Just like any other book we release, it feels the same as it did when we put our children on the school bus that very first day of school. We cross our fingers and hope the world loves our sons and daughters as we do. This time it isn’t children, it’s stories. And we’ve tossed them into the big ocean of Amazon with the hopes that everyone likes them and they don’t get eaten by those sharks. 🙂

      Like

  4. Jude Knight says:

    I love a hero who gives a woman freedom, and becomes the wind beneath her wings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • E. Ayers says:

      I think a man who can’t do that is a coward who is fearful that she will be better than him. Even within the writing world there are a ton of females who are the “breadwinners” for the family and their men love what their wife does. They will do anything to pave her way and make her day go well, at least on the home front. Whether that’s getting the children ready for school or whipping up a wonderful lunch so she doesn’t have to break concentration, he’s there doing for her. Some of these guys work with the wife as an editor, publicist, or personal accountant. And at the end of the day, she’s content to curl up in her hero’s arms and watch the flames glowing in the fireplace. Why? Because he’s there encouraging her to keep going, and proud to call her his wife.

      Like

  5. leighmorgan1 says:

    Agreed, E., summer went way too fast. I love your cover! It’s beautiful–so are the depth of your characters. I love that too. For me as well, it’s all about the men. I love strong, funny, caring men who aren’t afraid to be alone, but would rather have company. Men who love and encourage, laugh and enjoy, women. Doesn’t really matter what they do or what they look like. It does matter if they want a partner–not a pretty pet. 🙂 Congrats on this story and on all you’ve done this year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • E. Ayers says:

      Thanks, Leigh. I happen to think you are one of those few lucky ones who has a wonderful hubby. You both have busy careers and you each respect what the other does. I know your hubby is very proud of you, not just because of what you do at the office, or because you’ve raised the children to be fine adults (yes, your son is an adult), but because you write and truly enjoy it. He wants you to succeed. There’s one more thing. You share your lives, do things together. For both of you, life is an adventure that you share with each other. It’s that love, that special love, that goes into your stories and creates the happily-ever-after and characters who deserve that happiness. You know what happiness is because you live it, and you stuff that into your characters.

      Like

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