The hero isn't always the good guy, or girl.

Prince Charming is blah, boring, meh.

[GASP!!! What did Calia say?]

Not what you expected from a romance writer, hey? But it is exactly how I feel. Bear with. (the soapbox just went thump, gotta get it oiled or something)

First, let me start with a frame so you can see the picture inside.

I was always a bit of the odd duck out. Here are some human bits that explain why I felt that way.

I was the later in life GenX baby raised by my siblings. We spent more time collectively together than I ever remember with my parents. Except Dad. I followed him around religiously. He could do no wrong, especially in the machine shed. (Despite the numerous banged fingers and vehemently whispered curses… maybe I loved him more for those. IDK) Moreover, there were DANGEROUS THINGS in that magical building. Like Arc welders, torches, grinders, saws,  hoists, and a myriad of sharp, rusty, greasy, grimy metal bits and bobs that entertained me for years. I was the girl who loved gears and wheels. Gasoline smelled WONDERFUL to me. (unleaded not so much… go figure) I had grease in my veins, well at least on my clothes. Poor Mom. I never did figure out how to make a perfect pastry crust. Or ever appreciate pink. But knew how to change my brake pads. It’s those little things I didn’t see as revolutionary (come on, it was 1981 ffs) or ground breaking, simply necessary pieces of knowledge that would enrich my life for years.

So, yeah. Prince Charming better have a hot rod or a motorcycle AND know how to fix it –or be wise enough to step out of the way for me to do it, because my dad was the GOD. (GREATEST OF DADS, got it?)

Yamaha 175

I almost wrecked myself on this thing. (picture of a Yamaha 175)

One guy told me I shouldn’t be such a “Tomboy” and I should wear a dress once in a while. He was a popular football player, so must have known his stuff, right? Snort. Even at 14 I saw through that BS. But the words hurt. I carried them with me for a long time. It took me a while to find my OWN path, but I did. Was I a “bitch” about it? Yeah. I HAD TO BE. (You’ll see why this is important in a minute.)

Remember “Tiger Beat” – is that still a magazine? Sorry for the side track, but there were definite camps of who was drool-worthy and who was not. I never understood why. I mean, these pretty boys were ACTORS. They played parts. We (the fans) couldn’t possibly know who they were on the inside from what they looked like on the outside, so why worship them? Could they tear apart a 1970 Dodge and convert it from a gas-guzzling 8-cylinder beast into a fully-functional 6-cylinder workhorse that STILL managed a respectable 115 MPH on Highway 60? (Uh…Don’t tell on me, okay? And even if you did, the statute of limitations is long expired on that offense.)

Yeah. So… No, Tiger Beat meat was not my ideal either. Was it a Disney prince with all of the perfect looks and zero communication skills, and NO knowledge of how to fix something? Naw.

To me, the value of a hero doesn’t come with bazillionaire riches or perfect hair, it comes from their flair and swagger. Moreover, it comes with LIFE. Confidence imbued through dirt, grease, and humor. Maybe that’s why I love bad boy biker heroes so darn much.

Okay – all that works its way around to introduce my latest bad boy, Fin. Not Finn. Nope. Fin. Common, and cool in a workingman’s way. He had a rough childhood, ran away to live with a grumpy biker who taught him how to cuss, drink, and be feral. He is NO Prince Charming, and yet he is one of my FAVORITE heroes to date. (See the Pinterest board here) He’s not what you’d call “beautiful.” He works hard, takes care of his friends, and puts everyone first but himself. (AWWWW ♥ … a love language of ACTS OF SERVICE. MELT MY HEART why don’t you?)

That’s why I had to pair him with someone who has had to claw her way back from horrific setbacks. Teen pregnancy. Gestational Diabetes. Miscarriage. Infidelity. Abuse. Divorce. Body image trauma. Poverty. I’m thinking that Betty Jo has got every right to complain, don’t you? Most of the people she is forced to associate with call her a bitch. (Should I apologize for that word? Hum? Send me your thoughts, please?) She totally isn’t one, though. Just a woman with a whole lot of strikes unfairly dumped on her.

Frankly, I LOVE her. Betty Jo is one tough lady who is done taking crap.

Cover reveal of Biker Queen

Pairing her with Fin was a risk. Would she push all of her pain on him? Or would she recognize the true PRINCE underneath and wrap him in her protective, but thorny, outer armor? I hope you’ll watch for “Biker Queen” coming in August. I should have the preorder up soon.

PS – look at the pinterest link URL – Yup. Shewulf that’s me. 😈