Monday, May 18, 2009

Heroine Archetype - The Nurturer

I chose to blog about the Nurturer because she’s the opposite of my first heroine archetype The Seductress. And I love doing opposites.

The Nurturer loves to be needed. Actually needs to be needed. That’s what fulfills her. Like Michelle Pfeiffer in The Witches of Eastwick, she has five children, makes her own soap, and cooks for everyone.

The Nurturer is forever an optimist. Everything is going to be all right, no matter how bad the crisis. She believes that if you focus long enough, anything can be accomplished. Like Renee Zelwegger in Jerry Maquire. She gives up her job to follow a man she hardly knows but insists that things will be just fine. She believes in Jerry. Supports him and he finally becomes the man she thought he would be by the end of the movie. That’s some serious optimism.

The Nurturer keeps her head in an emergency. Altruistic by nature, she puts others’ needs ahead of her own. And doesn’t know how to say no. She is long suffering and will never give up trying to fix a situation she feels is harmful to others. Like Glenn Close in The Safety of Objects. She nurses her comatose son and attempts to win a car for her daughter by doing a marathon touch fest with the vehicle at the mall.

The Nurturer is a wonderful listener. If you just broke up with your boyfriend or lost your job, call her and she’ll listen to you for hours. She knows what’s important and focuses more on the emotional well-being, rather than the inconsequential. Like Gloria Johnson, aka. Loretta Devine, in Waiting to Exhale. She cares for her son, runs a beauty shop and still has time to give Angela Bassett advice when her husband dumps her. And feeds her, too.

I’ve saved the best Nurturer for last. She’s focused, caring, a born mother and caregiver. Can cook and sew, and is fun with the kids. She’s Maria Von Trap in the sound of music. She faces a grouchy widower with ten kids, a femme fatale who wants to take the man she loves, and the Nazis, and still manages to smile. Who wouldn’t love this paragon of style, talent, virtue, and optimism? People just naturally gravitate to her and want to be around her. Because she’s so generous giving her love. Others just naturally want to love her back. And the best thing is—her story is based on a true person.

Share your views about the nurturer. If you know of any books or movies you recognize this character from, please share them with us.

Write on,
Teresa Reasor

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Contest Winner

The writers of Inspiration, Ink. are proud to announce the winner of our latest romance inspired giveaway -- Michelle Bertholf! Congratulations to you and your mom, Michelle!!

And a special thank you to all our entrants for your inspiring stories of strength overcoming adversity. We appreciate you all (and your wonderful mothers). ;o)

Michelle, please contact me privately at: to claim your prize. Thanks!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

You know that old saying, “I want to be just like my mother.” Well, I do.

My mother is a very strong person. When I was growing up, my father, who was a career Marine, was overseas a lot. Every time he received orders to leave the country, she had to run our household on her own. If the car had to be worked on, if we had to be taken to the doctor, if the furnace had to be repaired, she dealt with it.

She was the boss. And each time Daddy came home she had to convince him of that. So, while he was on the base he was boss, but at home, he got to take orders or take things easy.

Hum—maybe he didn’t just let her have her way, maybe he planned it that way all along.

When I was six, and my brother and I were both in school, my mother extended her education to get her Cosmetology license. She juggled kids, still ran the household, and finished her degree to be a beautician. She wanted more for herself than just being a house wife. Good thing. With the demands of two kids and two adults hinging on the small income of a Gunnery Sergeant in the Marine Corp, things were tight.

She took on the added responsibility because she had to, but also because it fulfilled her as a person knowing she was more than June Cleaver. So, she wore another hat to go along with Mom and Wife. If you needed your hair done, a manicure, your ears pierced, she was, and still is, your girl.

My father died ten years ago. And while he was sick, he depended on her for everything, looked to her for support and comfort. And seeing him and my mother together during that time, as awful and painful as it was, I saw what devotion and love really was between two people.

My mother is the cog around which the whole family gravitates. Not just to us but to other people in the family. If someone is sick, they call mom. Have a problem that they don’t know the solution for, call mom. Have a crisis and need help, call mom.

She’s always set a wonderful example for me, and the rest of my family. I can only hope to be as strong as she is one day. I love and admire her a great deal. I guess you can tell that. And I don’t know what I’d do without her.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

And to all of you.

Teresa Reasor


Thirty years ago, or was it longer, I found this delightful book entitled I Am My Mommy. If you turned the book over, upside down it became I Am My Daddy. I loved to read the story to my children. I think I enjoyed it more though. The premise of the story was that for one day the little girl or little boy switched places and became the parent. It never occurred to me that one day I would grow up and become that little girl.

Almost six years ago, I moved in with my mom. After storing my "stuff" for months, I realized I was exactly where I needed to be and made the commitment to stay for the long haul. I emptied the storage units and filled my daughter's house. I still see my "stuff" when I visit, but I have long since lost that emotional attachment to things.

Annie Lyle Poe Lowry was born October 1, 1926 in a small town in South Carolina. After spending her adult life in Kentucky, she still sounds like where she came from. I call her accent a glass of sweet ice tea. When she was seventeen she was a passenger in a car hit by a train. Her boyfriend was killed and she was injured to such an extent that she was told she would never have children. Guess what! She had five, and four were born in six years.

She had her first heart attack in her early sixties. By-pass surgery, multiple stents, occluded carotid arteries, ovarian cancer, ruptured disks, whatever life threw at her she remained strong in her faith. It was her prayer for a long term solution for her care that brought me back home. Of all the things that have happened in her life she has remained faithful, optimistic, positive and most importantly a die-heart Democrat! But, her hardest struggle has been the loss of her vision from Macular Degeneration because it took away her independence. The way she's endured the procedures to treat her Macular has been awe inspiring. It reminds me constantly of how blessed I am to have the gift of health.

For the past two Mother's Days, my siblings and I have felt this could be her last one, but she surprises us with the gift of one more year. And would you believe the biggest joy in her life is listening daily to romance novels, after visits from her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of course. But love stories keep her entertained and engaged in life.

On this Mother's Day I send my love and heartfelt thanks to a woman who is my role model, an inspiration, and a long tall glass of sweet ice tea. Happy Mother's Day - Annie Lyle Poe - my mom!

Katherine Lowry Logan


Ten reasons why my mom rocks!

10. She has the patience of a turtle - something I truly lack.
9. She works like a dog - and has taught me to do the same.
8. She’s the only one who attempts to teach me how to cook.
7. She manages to keep a tan year around.
6. She’s as healthy as a horse.
5. She introduced me to horses when I was seven years old.
4. She loves all my animals as much as I do.
3. She’s the best babysitter in the world.
2. She gave me two sisters and a brother.
1. She manages to love me no matter what.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Sloan Seymour


I tossed around the idea of writing about what it means to me to be a mother for my Mother’s Day entry. But when I sat down to write, I found words could not adequately express how I feel about my son, nor could I compress it into a few tightly knit paragraphs. (What’s the literary equivalent to long-winded??)

As for my mom, Kim Carnes' raspy rendition of Betty Davis Eyes still echoes in my mind to this day. (Coincidentally, nail polish bottles make the best pretend microphones for little hands!) And when I couldn't sleep, probably because I was afraid of something under my bed, she'd scratch my back until I couldn't hold my eyes open.

Later on, when I was a teenager, I'll never forget the late night gab sessions after dad went to bed. They meant the world to me. Even then, she was my best friend.

I remember the look of pride in her eyes when I was getting ready for prom. She stood in the driveway and watched us drive away until we were completely out of site.

I have tons of memories like those, and for that there aren't enough words of gratitude. I dedicated my first book to her in a small way of thanking her for the difference she's made in my life. I wouldn't be the person I am today if not for her.

I love you mom. I'm glad I got to be your baby.

(Yeah, it was the 70's! lol)

Now (*clears throat and reaches for tissue*), here's a simple little poem I found floating around in cyberspace that I thought was sweet. Have a beautiful Mother’s Day everyone!

Tracy Preston


You filled my days with rainbow lights,
fairytales and sweet dream nights,
A kiss to wipe away my tears,
Gingerbread to ease my fears.
You gave the gift of life to me,
And then in love, you set me free.
I thank you for your tender care,
for deep warm hugs and being there.
I hope that when you think of me,
A part of you, you'll always see.

~Author Unknown~

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Deal A Story

The Pink Ladies and I have been blogging about the Hero and Heroine Archetypes for several weeks now on Inspiration Ink. I just wanted to give credit where credit was due for the information we’ve devised our blogs from. The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes and Heroines, Sixteen Master Archetypes written by Tami D. Cowden, Caro LaFever and Sue Viders. In 2004, I attended the Smoky Mountain Romance Writers conference in Knoxville Tennessee. They had an area set up where writers could purchase books by the local authors and buy books on writing craft. I honed in on the book and purchased it.

I read it a few days later. Rather I consumed it. It gave me an insight into building characters that I hadn’t experienced before. For weeks afterward, I found myself analyzing every character in every book I read and every movie I watched. And it was fun to figure them out. It also gave me food for thought when I created my own characters. I attempted to keep my characters evolving from one archetype to another as they traveled through my stories. What makes characters interesting is the growth they go through while traveling the paths they’ve chosen. I’m not sure I understood that until I read this book and started analyzing characters.

By chance, Sue Viders, one of the authors of the archetype book, read the Pink Ladies’ blogs and emailed me. She’s created a card game named Deal a Story based on the archetypes. She offered to send me a set of the cards to try them. Well I was thrilled. So, of course I said YES!

I have to tell you, I’ve had a blast with them. There are sixteen cards for the Hero, Heroine, Villain, Flaw, Plot, and Genre. There are five Wild Cards in case you get stuck. But the chances are very slim. You deal out one card for all but the flaws. You deal out three of those, one each for your hero, heroine, and the villain. (Because the flaws your characters have will affect the choices they make.)

So, I’m going to deal myself a story right now and see where it takes me. By the way, each flaw card has several options to choose from, so you’re not limited.

Alright, my hero is a Daredevil. He likes to leap before he looks and take enormous risks. He never looks back. He loves to achieve his goals through flamboyant methods. His flaw is emotions. He has an anger management problem. He does not like to be challenged.

My heroine is The Innocent. She is naïve, yet resilient. She lacks experience and street smarts. Everyone wants to save her because she doesn’t look capable of saving herself and she doesn’t fight back. She’s a clinging vine. Her flaw is she’s afraid of being buried alive.

My villain is a Femme Fatale. She uses her beauty and her body to get what she wants, money, power, knowledge. She is strong, manipulative, and irresistible to men. Her flaw is arrogance.

My Genre is a Thriller. A thriller usually has a time element that plays a part in upping the stakes. Like a virus effecting the world population or a ticking bomb about to blow up the world.

My Plot is The Relationship Plot. This involves two protagonists who are being given a second chance at overcoming obstacles created by social mores or taboos. This can include race, religion, social status, personality conflicts, and etc.

So, what if my Daredevil, my Innocent, and my Femme Fatale, all work at a facility that does biological studies on plants to make them more resilient to pests and diseases. Daredevil has earned a certain notoriety/fame for taking plant gene therapy to a whole new level. He’s taken some dangerous genetic chances, but they’ve paid off. In fact, he’s created a sweet potato plant whose leaves and vines are too tough for potato bugs to eat. He’s also made the plant so resistant to mold or blight that we’ll never have to worry about a sweet potato famine ever again.

Innocent had a brief relationship with the Daredevil, but being the Innocent, he found her too clingy and dropped her after just a few dates. I have an idea that Innocent is going to have to do the most growing in my story. She is also low girl in the lab, and gets the busy work. She doesn’t complain or stand up for herself, so everyone dumps on her. But being a junior lab worker doesn’t keep her from being smart. She discovers something weird going on with the sweet potato plants--the blooms are emitting a strange scent that draws bees to pollinate them, but it also affects people, making them dizzy and nauseous. She goes to Daredevil to tell him about it.

Daredevil doesn’t believe her. It’s sour grapes because he cut off their relationship. And his anger keeps him from acknowledging there might actually be a problem.

In the meantime, some secondary character workers have been instructed to go out into the field and cut back some of the vines that are encroaching on neighboring private property. A housing development with accompanied swimming pools, golf courses and etc. With the first cut the vines spray the men with a toxin that paralyzes them and they die a slow agonizing death. Their bodies are discovered, but the reason for their demise isn’t known. Their bodies are sent to be autopsied.

Enter Femme Fatale. She’s the public relations person for the corporation, and has been building a huge publicity campaign about the sweet potato plants. Whole sections of the desert have already been cultivated to grow the sweet potato plants. Because they can be used for food and also to create fuel for all sorts of vehicles, she has built an entire network of people interested in this new technology and it’s going to be BIG. And she’s going to be rich along with everyone else who has invested in it. She doesn’t want to hear anything about problems. And she doesn’t want the death of the workers to taint the campaign she’s organized.

Also, Femme Fatale sees Daredevil as an up and coming mega scientist and she wants to ride his success (as well as other things) to bigger and better opportunities. She’s used her beauty and her brains to start up a romantic relationship with him.

Innocent, believing she’s on to something, conducts some experiments in the lab and discovers that any threat to the plants causes them to trigger a deadly defense. Animals find the vines impossible to resist. And her poor little goats, intent on eating the vines, are attacked with a deadly vapor ejected from the blossoms. They die a horrible death. And it’s all been videoed so she has proof.

I’m going to stop there because I’ve built the ticking time bomb and you can see where I’m going with the plot.

I’ve also built the relationships. At some point and time, my Daredevil will have to open his eyes and see the Innocent for more than just a clinging vine because my Innocent will have to grow and become more than that. She’ll come into her own to help him discover the solution to the problem and destroy the vines before they destroy mankind.

My Femme Fatale will have to get hers in the end for stalling the alert and causing several deaths. And the ticking time bomb will be the housing development that’s being encroached on by the vines, which can’t be controlled.

Eventually, Innocent will be threatened by being buried alive by the vines and will have to face that fear and overcome it to escape, and to learn she doesn’t have to be a clinging vine because she’s strong enough to stand on her own two feet.

And the whole story began with the luck of the draw or the deal.

If you’re interested in Sue Viders’ card game, go on line and get your own set. You’ll have as good a time as I do with them. And you’ll only be limited by your own imagination.

To order go to , or Or call or write Robert D. Reed Publishers, P.O. Box 1992, Bandon, OR 97411 -- (541) 347-9882. They’re just $19.95 plus shipping.

Write on,
Teresa Reasor

Friday, May 1, 2009

Special Guest Nita Wick

Judging a Book by Its Cover

Yeah, yeah. I know. You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. But let’s face it. We all do it. Especially romance readers. I know one girl who simply will not read a book, no matter who the author is, if it has Fabio on the cover. Another friend dislikes the covers with “man boobs.” Me? I don’t mind a shirtless hunk, but I must admit that my favorite covers tend to depict a man with an unbuttoned shirt. And my favorite cover model? John DeSalvo, of course.

Check out this one with John:

No, I haven’t read Escapade. Until I found this cover on John’s web site, I’d never even heard of Kathryn Hockett. But I think I might check it out. I love historical westerns—note the covered wagon in the background. A dark haired, sexy, cowboy hero is quite appealing.

See? I’m already judging this book by its cover. Escapade may be a wonderful book, but it could also be a real wall-banger. My point is that I’m interested in this book simply because of its cover. It’s not the author or the title. It’s the cover that calls to me.

On the other hand, I very much dislike covers with cartoonish, middle school type artwork. Like this:

Or this:

Yuck. Steamy Nights and GreatSword’s Woman may be the best romances ever written, but I will likely never know. I’m just not interested in finding out what’s behind those tacky covers.

It makes me wonder what people think when they see the covers of my books.

My historical western, The Wagonmaster, has a dark haired, sexy, cowboy hero. Will someone overlook my book simply because John DeSalvo isn’t on the cover? What do you think?

Wait… I’ve got lots more questions. ;-) Are you guilty of judging books by their covers? If a cover doesn’t appeal to you, do you skip by it on the shelf? Would you pick up a book by an author unknown to you if the cover catches your attention? Do you have a favorite cover? A favorite cover model? Are you Fabio fan? Not a Fabio fan? What are your pet peeves regarding covers?

I can’t wait to hear your answers. Thanks so much to the ladies of Inspiration, Ink for the invitation to visit!

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