Sunday, January 25, 2009


Big day Tuesday! It's the release of APHRODITE'S BREW in print! In celebration, I've got a fun contest for you- a sort of Treasure Hunt: WHO'S THE HERO?

GRAND PRIZE: Sterling silver hand crafted Art Nouveau style pendant by Tom Hakins, a hand-dyed silk scarf, and a $5 gift certificate to Samhain's My Bookstore and More
SECOND PRIZE: Choice of sterling silver Celtic earrings and hand-dyed silk scarf and $5 gift certificate to My Bookstore and More
THIRD PRIZE: Hand-dyed scarf and #2 gift certificate to My Bookstore and More
FIVE ADDITIONAL PRIZES: $2 Gift Certificates to My Bookstore and More

Below are some engravings and paintings, some in the form of book covers I've designed for other authors. Each of them poses the same question:

First, the blog comments: Comment in the blog on any of the pictures. Short or long, serious, funny or off-the-wall, one word or fifty, all answers are right, as long as they pertain to the subject. Each answer earns you one chance in the drawing.

Don't want to comment? No problem. Skip this step and go to the next one.

Second, the treasure hunt:(And don't mix these two steps up) Click on each picture's title, which is a link to a different place. (Some of these might require signing up, like MySpace or Facebook, so if you can't or won't do this, email me and I'll give you a different opportunity.)

You can do as much or as little as you want, but the more you do, the more chances you get. Each link you complete will give you five more chances in the drawing. Somewhere on that page you'll find my answer (not the right answer, just mine.). HINT: It will say: "ANSWER #__. . ." DO NOT POST THIS ANSWER ON THE BLOG like you did your comments! Instead, copy the first three words of MY answer into an email to me, then do the same for the others, using the addy below:

You must use a valid email address. It will not be shared with anyone else, but I may very occasionally use it to notify you of future releases. No, no newsletter. No Yahoo groups. No constant bombardments of any kind. I hate them and I'm too lazy to use them myself.

Deadline: midnight Feb. 9th, and one entry only, please (but you can add on answers if you haven;t done all of them). A drawing will determine the winners, who will be announced on February 10th.

Ready? Here it is! Click on the pictures for an enlargement.

#1: You have lots of choices here. This is "Lorenzo and Isabella", by John Everett Millais, who did not perhaps intend for any of these guys shown to be a hero in our sense of the word. But if you were writing this story, WHO'S THE HERO?

#2: An interesting body language question here, in "The Last Dance- Mine, I Think?", by J. Haynes Williams, which made into the cover design of Janice Susan May's SECOND CHANCE. What do you think: WHO'S THE HERO?

#3, the beginnings of a cover design
. It comes from John Pettie's "Two Strings to Her Bow", named after an English country saying, meaning a girl who is possibly playing one beau against another.

If you were writing the story, which one would you choose? And while you're at it, would you do something about her cocky attitude?

#4: "The
Dispute", an early half-tone print after the picture by Friedrich Kaemmerer.

Again, WHO'S THE HERO? The guy with the broken chair leg for a weapon? His adversary, who is being r
oughly escorted away? Or...?

And #5: "The End of the Song", by Edmund Blair Leighton. Give this one some thought. This is an interpretation of the Tristan and Isolde story from the King Arthur legends.

WHO'S THE HERO? Is that fellow
stroking his beard perhaps King Mark, the man Isolde is affianced to marry?

Some say this is Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot,
but probably not. If it were-- would you choose differently?

REMEMBER, DON'T POST the Treasure Hunt answers! Email them to me instead.

Ready? Then go back to the pictures and start playing! Good fortune to you!


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Sorry, tomlinsteel, your comment has nothing to do with our discussion and is being removed.

  3. Hi Delle,

    Great contest idea and hearty congrats on your new release. Wishing you tons of success!

    Keta Diablo

  4. Cool contest Delle! I love the pics. So, who is the hero?

    #1 The guy in the black hat, sitting back contemplating his wine, is the hero. He has the sultry looks, and the intelligence to observe.

    #2 The guy in blcak on the sofa is the hero; if he isn't, why is the girl leaning toward him?

    #3 The guy with the cane is my hero. He looks more interesting than the other man, who looks like a farmer.

    #4 The guy ESCORTING the guy away must be the hero. He is the one with the sense not to fight in front of the ladies.

    #5 Where is the hero? He is not in the picture.

    Ann Tracy Marr
    Romance with a splash of magic

  5. Some great answers, Ann! Of course I can't tip my hand on my thoughts yet. If I were to judge you for your type of hero, I'd say you want one who is a cut above, not at all ordinary. Intelligent, rational, observant, and bound by his code of honor.

    Thanks for entering! Now go check out my thoughts and email them to me.

  6. Fun, fun! Here we go...

    1. The man at the far end, drinking the wine. He and the woman are studiously ignoring each other. Bound to result in heat before too much longer.
    2. The standing man. The other is way too jealous and possibly controlling. I don't like jealous and controlling heroes.
    3. Ummm...I'm going to email you this response, with the results of my scavenger hunt.
    4. The man holding her ~ although she *thinks* it's the man being led away. Silly woman...
    5. My instinct is that it is the king coming up the stairs. There will be some drama around the other man but the king is the actual hero. Especially if this is King Arthur and Lancelot. If it's Tristan, though, yeah...the hero's Tristan. The hero's always Tristan (except when it's Mr. Darcy *wink*)

  7. Oh, Delle, you're trying to make me think! Instead, I'm going to fix a hot chocolate and soak away the plaster dust in a tub full of bubbles. CONGRATULATIONS on print release day!!

  8. Oh come on, Genene! Play with us! Think of me as a bounding puppy wanting to romp in the snow. Or no snow. I am getting kind of tired of that stuff.

  9. Not looking for a prize, just wanted to congratulate you on release day. As far as who is the hero, I always say that every person has the opportunity for being the hero. It is only a matter of choice. The choice is rarely easy, but it is always rewarding. Enjoy your special day!

  10. What a marvelous answer, Maggie! And it also depends on the definition of hero. One thing I'm enjoying about this blog is that we can go with whatever definition we want at the time.

    With the first picture in particular, I'm not necessarily thinking about the story's romantic protagonist as I am perhaps a hero in the sense of doing the right thing when the time calls for it. But the more I see other people's answers, the more I'm seeing other possibilities as well.

  11. I'm posting this for Sarah McDermed:


    Congratulations on your book release!

    Now, for 'Guess the Hero'. For 'Lorenzo and Isabella', it's the dog, who obviously adores her! (Plus, she let him put his head on her lap.) Seriously,Beside-Her Guy gazes at her w/confidence and affection, and he's feeding her, so he WANTS to be the hero. But Seated-Across-from-Her Guy's body language says he's ready to fight for her, and the use of two phallic symbols (his outstretched leg and the cigar? stick? he holds roar "She's mine!" He exhibits the passion of a Hero.

    In 'Second Chance', I'd say Standing Guy, because although she's leaning on Sitting Guy, she holds the side of her body touching him stiffly. Her arm on that side is in a guarded position. Arm towrds Standing Guy? Relaxed and open. And her eyes and smile are all for him. Standing Guy=Hero in her eyes.

    2 Strings to her Bow- I say, take her down, the cocky !#$@%! She hasn't decided. Hero is No Hat Guy, based on current body language (Fancy Dresser isn't interested; he's turning away, hat on and ready to go, while No Hat Guy plans to stay-plus, we can see his chest! But, if she likes a challenge, she may pursue Fancy Dresser and dump No Hat Guy.

    In 'The End of the Song, I'd give Hero status to King, because he has fire in his eyes. Harper has low morals, else he wouldn't be wooing a woman who's not available. King wins.

    Think I forgot one, but I gotta go. It's been fun!

    Sarah McDermed

  12. Ah, yes, the dog. I love that dog. I used to have a Weimaraner who would put her head in the lap of anyone who would stroke her ears. And if you wouldn't, she'd nuzzle you until you did. But I also think this dog is shielding her, which speaks of threat or conflict. This picture just oozes sub-text conflict. The body language is superb.

    I see a lost of passion in your answers. You like a hero who doesn't just behave heroically but is passionate about doing it.

  13. Huh, funny that we can't go back and edit our comments without deleting the post. I meant a
    "lot of passion", not a "lost of passion"!

  14. Sarah, I think I'd have a lot of fun writing this story. I'm imagining the heroine having grown up in the country next to the neighbor, who has always taken her for granted. (Maybe he's her older brother's best friend, and she's tagged along like a forlorn puppy.) He's always expected he'd marry her, but never really given her personally too much thought, being sort of like a little sister.

    Then along comes city boy- the dandy, who takes immediate interest in her. Suddenly, seeing her respond to the new guy's attentions, country boy gets huffy. At last she's got a handle on things, and she plays it for all she's worth.

    But she lacks experience and over-does it. Moreover, city boy quickly grows bored, and his true nature, arrogance, starts to show. But the more he distances himself, the more intriguing she finds him. And he sees an advantage, enjoying watching her as he strings her along.

    And she nearly loses the love of her life because she tried to manipulate both of them, but didn't understand the dangerous game city boy was playing. So country boy would be the hero because he had to choose to grow up to rescue the girl he realizes he loves from the trap. And she becomes a true heroine because she has to grow up to realize the inherent cruelty in playing jealousy games.

    But I have a scenario that goes the other way around, too...

  15. Ok, I wasn't going to do this, but I changed my mind. I haven't read through the comments yet, just looked at the pics. So, here goes.

    Picture #1: If I were writing the story, I think that the woman would be her own hero. Look at the way she's sitting and the line of her back: she looks like she's ready to jump up and run away at any second. I think the dog would go with her and they would find great adventures and romance on their own, but it would all have to begin by her being brave enough to take her fate into her own hands.

    Picture #2: I think that the hero is the man sitting next to the woman. The expressions of the man and the woman as they look at the other man are very akin to a "why are you interrupting us?" expression that you might see on a couple being interrupted during a discussion or argument.

    Picture #3: If I were writing this I would have the man with the cane be the hero in an anti-hero sort of way. The woman needs to be knocked down a peg, as indicated by her nose tilt and haughty air. I think that this could very easily be a double romance, and the sort of shy man ends up with the woman's younger sister or a cousin while the hero is teaching the heroine to be a better person.

    Picture #4: The hero is the man getting carted off. His heroine is obviously the one beating on the other man, I think begging for his life. But this is another one that could have a second romance, with the second woman being in love with the man with the sword, while he's in love with the other woman, thus why he has the other man carted off. (I need to make up names. It'd make things so much easier) It'd made a nice intricate story, though the love triangle is as old as anything. (Can we say Shakespeare and earlier?)

    Picture #5: This one was rather difficult for me. I actually get a bit of an Esther vibe from this one. The man in the background is the Prince Haman plotting against the king and the Jews, while the couple on the bench are the newly married Xerxes and Esther, sharing a rare quiet moment. It could have been from a version of the story written in the renaissance period, because the artwork of the time would have followed the style of the period rather than the style of the original period of the story.

    So, that's my take! Fun game, Delle. I like it!


  16. Great stuff, Kiri! You could be writing my heroine for SIDHE- although things do change for her, largely because she changes, and so does the hero.

    And it's interesting how you're turning them around and reaching for something different. The Esther/Xerxes plot is intriguing, and certainly that could be the villain Haman scheming on how to use her to destroy the king. The artists for the first and last were part of the Pre-Raphaelite movement in England, one of my favorites. But they do tend to take great liberties with costume and setting in their Biblical and historical paintings. But that's okay here because we are imagining stories and finding heroes the way we want to find them.

  17. #2 caught my eye. On my monitor, the couch has a strange shadow under it. Which of course is the vampire hero getting ready to eat both suitors and claim the unwittingly psychic heroine (who from her closed body language clearly prefers neither man) as his own.

    Fun contest, Delle. I like all the links to more stuff about you and your books.

  18. Gasp! You're right! There he lurks amid the dark mauve and dusky spruce green, ready to spring on them! I know, it's you who did it! You planted one of your Marked Souls there to devour perfectly adequate Regency gentlemen and steal away with the innocent, decently reserved heroine!

  19. Well this was fun and here are my comments on the pics!
    Pic #1 I pick the guy next to her (in the pink shirt) as the hero... He is serving her and being polite and attentive. I think they have recently met but he is taken with her. The guy across the table looks like the villain to me! And the hero will have to convince her that villain is not to be trusted.

    Pic #2 The man standing is the hero. She is shy of him because she has secretly admired him. The sitting man is overbearing and annoyed that the other man would try to dance with her.

    Pic #3 Call this the Comeuppance of Miss Priss! The hero is the sad guy on the right who has been mislead by Miss Priss to think he has lost his real love who isn’t in the pic. Miss Priss ends up with stuck up guy on the left and they can be haughty together but not very happy!

    Pic #4 The guy with the chair leg is the hero who protected the reputations (sort of - tho fighting in public is not a good way to do that!) of the young ladies when the other fellow interrupted their tea time accusing the ladies of inappropriate behavior.

    Pic #5 Okay based on your comments - I’ll go with the young guy being the hero and the bearded man on the step being the guy who is affianced to marry the young lady. Although both Isolde and Guenevere had tragic stories and their young lovers were not really heros.. So if the young guy is really a hero he will take himself away and find someone else to love!!

  20. #1- the guy in the black hat who is taking everything in
    #2- the man on the settee(she is leaning towards him
    #3- the blonde guy with hat in hand is the hero and he would bring her down a notch or two with her attitude
    #4- the hero is the guy being persuaded to leave well enough alone and go on his way
    #5- the hero is the guy on the sofa with the harp


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I write write write. Sometimes I travel. Then I write some more. And I have a great family who understand that I write write write.