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Monday, September 11, 2017


What a great question! I came upon this one when I was answering a questionnaire for another blog and thought it would be a fantastic question to expand on all by itself. Because who among us—writers, readers, or both—DOESN’T have a favorite fictional character?

And it changes, doesn’t it? When I was a little girl, I remember being enthralled with stories of the Color Kittens, Pippi Longstocking, and finally Nancy Drew. Later, heroines such as Kit Tyler—Elizabeth George Speare’s unforgettable character in THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND held my interest.

But I also loved the heroes, too—Hugh O’Donnell, THE FIGHTING PRINCE OF DONEGAL, and Robin Hood, fighting their way to freedom and justice for the people they served! And of course, I was a western lover even then. I was spellbound by Travis and Arliss, the brothers in Fred Gipson’s OLD YELLER, and the sequel, SAVAGE SAM.

Davy Crockett and Mike Fink were favorites, for a while, with books complete with pictures from the Disney series. I couldn’t find an image of the actual books I had, but I did find this one of the “stamp” book—which I also had!

GONE WITH THE WIND was my first “adult” book and I’d seen that movie, so I was enraptured by Scarlett O’Hara. Even at a young
age, the facets of her personality both on the screen and in the book fascinated me. How could she be “all” bad? She gave up so much to save her family…or did she? I still love to think about what a wonderful character Margaret Mitchell gave us to ponder.

The first romance book I ever read was SWEET SAVAGE LOVE by Rosemary Rogers. I can’t tell you how that book changed my life in so many ways. I had never read a book that made me feel as if I was right there in the main character’s skin like I did with Ginny, the heroine. As soon as I finished that book, I turned around and read it again, and it’s on my keeper shelf to this day.
The hero of that book, Steve Morgan, is as hard as they come. But there is a place in his heart for Ginny that no other can fill, and she feels the same for him. I read this book close to 40 years ago, and those characters are still memorable today.

As far as characters I’ve written…all writers know that is nearly an impossible choice. Of course, the first book you ever wrote probably contains your favorite character(s)—even if that wasn’t the first book you ever published! They are your first loves, the reason you started writing in the first place.

The first book an author publishes holds an unforgettable place in their hearts, as well. Those characters were the ones that people were able to read about, to relate to, and to give the author feedback on.

The current book is one that is full of hopes, dreams, and promise—just like the ones before. Will people love your characters as much as you do, or will it flop?

Then there are the books that are “experiments”—maybe shorter, longer, or a different genre. How did others like those characters…but moreover, how did YOU like the characters you created?

My favorite male character I’ve created is one that was the “star” of my first book—the one that has never seen the light of day. I still have hopes and plans to rework it and get it out there, but it’s LONNNNNG. But Johnny Brandon is a man’s man, and he’s going to have his vengeance no matter what. Still…there’s room for love—though he is an unwilling participant in the beginning. As always, things have a way of working out for the best, but he kept me on my toes the entire time I was working on that manuscript, and he’s utterly unforgettable.

Probably the couple that were “the odd couple” for me were U.S. Deputy Marshal Jaxson McCall and runaway debutante, Callie Buchanan in THE HALF-BREED’S WOMAN. Jax is hired “on the side” to go after Callie who has run away from her stepfather, a prominent socialite in Washington, D.C. She is headed west, into his familiar territory. He tracks her easily enough, but when he catches up with her, he realizes that his instincts were right—there’s something terribly wrong with her stepfather’s “worry” about her disappearance. Their relationship becomes something neither of them expected, and when Callie’s stepfather comes after them both, Jax realizes he’s got to pull out all the stops to keep Callie safe from the man who is evil to the core.

But Callie has lost so much in her life, she’s determined she’s not going to lose Jax—or her life. She surprised me several times, and I loved the way she grew as a character and found her own strength and bravery as time went by.
What’s your favorite fictional character you’ve read, or one you’ve created? Be sure to leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for a FREE DIGITAL COPY OF THE HALF-BREED’S WOMAN!

If you can't wait to see if you won, here's the buy link at AMAZON!

Here's an excerpt from THE HALF-BREED'S WOMAN:

The set up: U.S. Deputy Marshal Jaxson McCall has tracked down debutante Callie Buchanan in her flight across the country to get away from her powerful stepfather. Now, because of an overzealous cavalry commander, they have been forced to marry to save Callie’s reputation and Captain Tolbert’s military career from question. It’s their wedding night, but Jax is still uncertain that he’s the best thing for Callie—he wants her to have choices, not something forced on her. But Callie knows what she wants…in her heart, she will forever be THE HALF-BREED’S WOMAN…

Jesus. A king’s ransom in rubies. But more important, the love of the woman kneeling beside him, offering him, truly, the only valuable she had left. The only thing that stood between her and destitution. She was handing him her future, and he held it in his hands, glittering in the lamplight.

“Callie.” His voice was husky, rough, but infinitely tender. “You trust me so much, sweetheart? This is everything you own, isn’t it?”

As Callie lay her head beside him, Jax laced his hands through her hair, thoughtfully fingering the silken mass of burnished copper. She nodded, not answering.

“Think long and hard about what you’re saying, Callie. I’m…not your only choice. Once we’re out of here, we can get this marriage annulled—if you want—”

Her head came up swiftly. “Is that what you want, Jaxson? Truly? To walk away and pretend we never knew each other, never made love together—”

“Shh, no, baby, it’s not what I want.” He put a roughened finger against her lips.

“Then, what? Is it the idea of marriage itself that repels you—or marriage to me?”

“Dammit, Callie, you’re young, you’re beautiful—educated—”

“A fugitive.”

“We’ll get that set straight, sweetheart, and then your whole life will be open to all kinds of possibilities—not just marriage to a—a half-breed U.S. deputy marshal, for God’s sake!”

“I happen to be in love with a half-breed U.S. deputy marshal! One that I want to spend my life with! Remember, Jax? Remember? ‘Laugh with me, love with me, have babies with me—’ Remember?” She moistened her lips, her voice carrying the husky edge of tears, her emotions raw.

Roughly, with a muttered curse, he dropped the case on the bed and pulled her to him. He held her tightly as she scrambled to move herself away from him. He speared his fingers through her soft, tumbling hair, loving the feel of it against his fingertips and across the bare skin of his neck and shoulder.

“Jax! Stop it! I don’t want to hurt—”

“You aren’t going to hurt me, Callie. Not like you mean. Physical pain, I can deal with. Emotional pain, that’s a little harder.” He pulled her back against him, but she resisted, turning her head as he tried to kiss her. He shifted to his left side, throwing a bare leg across her, forcing her head around to look at him.

“Can I trust you, Callie?” His eyes were hot, burning into hers. “If I give you my heart, can I trust you?”

“Jax—” Callie murmured, stopping her thrashing at the hoarse, raw emotion in his voice, the intensity in his eyes. He held her arms tightly in his hands. “I will never, hurt you, Jaxson. Never.” Their lips were only a hairsbreadth apart, her voice a soft whisper, gliding across his skin. “I love you, Jax.” She moistened her lips. “I love y-”

His lips slanted across hers, cutting off the rest of her words. She opened her mouth for him, and his tongue entered her in a promise of what he planned to do to her body in a few short minutes. Boldly, she touched his tongue with hers, and his fingers tensed against her scalp. He had turned until his body almost completely covered hers, pinning her beneath him. Finally, he lifted his head. “I’ll never let you go, girl. That’s one thing you better know. If we make love tonight, you’re mine, Callie. Forever.”


  1. As usual, great question. We know who I like. *Smile* Doris

    1. Yep, I know, and that just thrills me that you love Derrick McCain so much, Doris. He's so unlike the people I usually write and I was very unsure if he'd be believable. But I really related to him and he sure had some surprises up his sleeve for me!

  2. My favorite characters from books I've read were Alan Breck who saved David Balfour in KIDNAPPED and Rose and Mac in ROSE IN BLOOM and EIGHT COUSINS by Louisa May Alcott. In more recent years I loved Cam, the Gypsy, who saved the Hathaway family in MINE AFTER MIDNIGHT by Lisa Kleypas.
    Now that I think about these favorite characters, I have to add Sherlock Holmes in all of the Sherlock stories by Sir Author Canon Doyle. I have a whole bunch of favorites. It's hard to cram them all into just one favorite.

    1. Oh, yes! I loved Cam the Gypsy, too. There are so many good ones it's hard to pick one, isn't it? Or even 5 or 10!!! LOL

      And of course, I love all your Wildings, Sarah. They have their troubles, their flaws and their strength of character that is all wonderful and just makes them all the more amazing.

    2. I just want to thank you for your wonderful compliment about my Wildings characters. I loved Banjo Wilding best of all because he overcame all the odds. And John Douglas from THE VIOLIN will always be a favorite hero of mine because he was part of my real family even though I never met him. It was so nice of you to mention my characters.

    3. I love your Wildings because they are all interconnected and yet the stories can stand alone, and aren't rehashing one single relationship like so many series stories do. You really have such a way with your characters. And of course, John Douglas and The Violin...what a story that was! So many good ones, Sarah. You must be very proud of all your work!

  3. Cheryl, I swear we are book sisters. You hit so many of my favorite books and characters. My first favorite was probably Heathcliff. I was helpless against a wounded hero--still am. lol

    1. LOL! I still love The Witch of Blackbird Pond. I read it with my kids when they were younger and they loved it, too. Like you, Tracy, I am a sucker for a wounded hero. I know that's why so many of your stories appeal to me--if your heroes aren't physically wounded, they sure are emotionally! LOL Mine are the same way, but I usually manage to give them a physical wound of some kind along the way. The one in my WIP gets bitten by a snake. That's a new one for me! LOL

  4. Cheryl,

    My favorite literary characters are considered villains: Hannibal Lecter from 'Silence of the Lambs', and Inspector Javert from 'Les Misérables'. They are complex characters who, in their own twisted ways, are wounded--although not necessarily of the 'hero' type. lol

    I also love Edmond Dantès (The Count of Monte Cristo). Revenge stories are my favorite storyline.

    For the more traditional hero-type, my favorite is Matt Keelock from Louis L'Amour's book, 'The Keylock Man'. I love this story and this hero. This is my favorite scene (truncated):

    Matt meets Kristina at a stage stop.

    "You have known for two minutes who I am, and what you are going to do."

    "And what am I going to do?"

    "Ride away with me before the sun rises," he said, "and be married when we find a minister worthy of the name."

    ...Across the room their eyes met and held for a long moment of silence, and then she said, "I will ride with you, sir. I will ride beside you in the morning."

    "I am going into new land," he said. "I have no ranch, no home. I am going to a place I know, a place where a man can build."

    "All right."...


    As for characters I've created, it would be Cale Demarko. He holds the double role of hero and villain depending upon his mood at any particular time in the story. He's in a sweeping family saga I've not published. *wink*

    1. OH LAWZIES...I love Louis L'Amour--haven't read every one of his books, and this is one I missed. Have you ever been thankful you HAVEN'T read something yet? That's what I am right now. I have THE KEYLOCK MAN to look forward to, now, Kaye! What a scene...

      Oh, yes, villains. Some of my favorite characters are villains, too. My favorite villain I created probably is Tabor Hardin in my contemporary romantic suspense story, SWEET DANGER. He is so twisted, and at one point he almost sways the heroine to believe there is something good in him...ALMOST.

    2. And now, you have me totally excited to learn more about Cale Demarko and the saga he belongs to! Send that baby to me!

  5. I actually have 2.
    The first is a Seminole-Negro scout by the name of Lew Eden.
    I first read about him in Ben Bridges original Company 'C' story Hit 'em Hard.
    I was talking to Ben earlier in the year and he came to the decision that, if I wanted to try, he would let me write a second story.
    I happily accepted his exciting offer and while writing it Lew Eden stood out above all the other characters.
    Not happy with him being tucked away after that, I approached Ben and asked how he felt about putting Lew in his own series.
    He said it sounded like a great Idea and I quickly came up with a series of plots which he readily accepted.
    This new series is a collaboration which will see the first book out soon.
    The second is a character I write for a UK publisher and he's a US Marshal by the name of Josh Ford. He's a tough young man who does what it takes to get the job done. Even if it means upsetting his estranged father who is also his boss.
    As for characters I've read, there is one who draws me back all the time. Louis L'Amour's Kilkenny. Whenever I think about a drifter or gunfighter for a story he is the one who always seems to spring to mind.

    1. Ben is a good friend of mine--you're very lucky to be collaborating with him! And a series? AWESOME! Good on you! And your Josh Ford sounds wonderful, too, because of course he's going to be "torn" about doing his job or having a good relationship with his father. Tricky!

      Ah, Louis L'Amour...Love that man! I have Kilkenny but haven't read that one yet. Sounds like it needs to be up there with The Keylock Man!

      Thanks for stopping by and adding to my TBR list, and best of luck on your venture with Ben!

    2. It sounds like it! BIG CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU!

  6. As usual, you pose good questions. So many great books, so many great heroes. From my own books, I think Mike Sutton is my favourite hero because he's different from any of my heroes and he's totally charmed me with his sassy humour. But to choose a hero from other authors, well there's only one real standout for me, thanks to Clark Gable's handsome looks and voice, Rhett Butler remains my favourite hero. However, crowding Rhett's shadow is Tom Selleck's as the flying ace in High Road to China. I practically have that movie memorized. And Cheryl, I confess I haven't read any of your books yet, so I hope I'll be the lucky one to get an electronic copy of your featured book.

    1. Elizabeth, I am so with you on Rhett Butler. I have been in love with him for years and years and years. I never could understand HOW Scarlett would pick Ashley over Rhett!!!! I have not seen High Road to China. I obviously need to get that and watch it, since I do love me some Tom Selleck. LOL

      So many books, so little time, Elizabeth. I know the feeling! Now, is your Mike Sutton coming up in this next book of yours?

  7. Hi, Cheryl. My family didn't read much and I missed so many of the classic books. I lived at the library but read mostly science and history books in addition to Nancy Drew. The first "real" books I read outside the serial mysteries were Mary O'Hara's trilogy MY FRIEND FLICKA, THUNDERHEAD, and GREEN GRASS OF WYOMING. I read these my junior or senior year of high school. Ken's love for his horses and the beauty of the area has stayed with me. His first love with Carey Greenway I guess was my first romance. It was so different from what I usually read. I was busy with college, so there wasn't much reading for enjoyment until I finished school and went overseas with the Peace Corps. The book that brought together my love of history, archeology, and adventure was THE SOURCE by James Michener. I don't think I would have tackled such a big book, but with no TV or much else to do in the evenings, I had the time. It took me forever to finish it - something like Thanksgiving to Easter - but it was well worth it. The tell they were excavating is actually sort of the main character revealing in layers so much about the history of the area and the peoples who lived there. I really need to reread it, since it has been almost 50 years.
    Skipping way ahead to romances, it would be Julie Garwood's historical characters. Hers were the first romances I read and they got me hooked on the genre. Of all her couples, Gillian and Brodick are my favorite. Gillian is strong, independent, gentle, and brave. Brodick Buchanan is a strong, serious, loyal, honorable warrior. There were times when I wanted to smack him up the side of the head, but his stubbornness and abruptness were just a part of who he was.
    There have been many since then and it is a bit like many authors say when asked who of their characters is their favorite. The one they are currently writing. Often it is the same for us readers. It is the one we are currently reading.

    1. Patricia, I know you have made up for those early years of not reading much in later years! LOL There are so many good books out there still to be discovered. I don't think we'll have time to read all the "good" ones if we never did anything BUT read for the rest of our lives. I have not read Julie Garwood! So now I have another author to add to my list. Her characters sound like the kind I love to read about.

      Some longer books are well worth the time and effort. I get totally immersed in the story I'm reading if it's a good one--and I don't care how long it is, but sometimes looking at a huge volume is daunting. LOL

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Patricia!

  8. Patricia, you are my winner! Please contact me at to claim your prize!

    Thanks to everyone for stopping by and sharing their favorite fictional characters with us here at PRP. I'm adding to my TBR list!

  9. Cheryl, Thank you so much. My comment got me thinking about Gillian and Brodick. If you do try her books, RANSOM is second in a pair. If you can, read THE SECRET first.