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Rose Lerner Guest Post + Giveaway!

I'm excited to have one of my very favorite authors back today to celebrate the release of Listen to the Moon—the third book in her Lively St. Lemeston series. Today, Rose Lerner is here discussing how Wolverine was the inspiration for her latest hero.

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I've learned that casting my characters really helps. (It helps me picture them physically and hear their voice, it gives me somewhere to start with characterization, and it helps with sexual chemistry, too—since of course I pick people I think are hot!) Nick from Sweet Disorder started out as Nate from Gossip Girl, for example. Ash and Lydia in True Pretenses began as Stephen Bloom from The Brothers Bloom and Lydia from Teen Wolf.

And...this may seem a little weird but it's true...

My starchy, very proper valet hero in Listen to the Moon was inspired by Wolverine, as played by Hugh Jackman.

Me and my best friend spent a few months nursing a very, very intense Wolverine obsession after The Wolverine (a basically perfect film) came out in summer 2013. I saw that movie...four, five times in the theater? We loved it so much that we actually went back and rewatched all the X-Men movies, and even fast-forwarded our way through X-Men Origins: Wolverine (a basically worthless film).

Here's the thing about Wolverine. He has this vibe, right? This tough loner don't fuck with me vibe? But actually, he is irresistibly drawn towards mentoring young people, especially girls. When there's trouble at the Mutant Academy, all the kids rush to Wolverine because they know he'll look out for them—and they confide in him, too. He's like everyone's cool uncle. He immediately has a connection with Rogue, with Yukio, with Mariko.

(I know not everyone did, but I actually loved Wolverine/Mariko in the movie even though I really wished that 1, she'd made the first move and 2, they had slept in separate beds because flashback claws.)

And I was thrilled when he showed up for a team-up with Ms. Marvel

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One of the dreamiest moments ever in the history of anything is in X-Men 3 (which is otherwise mostly garbage, sadly), when he realizes that Rogue has decided to give up her powers. And what does he say to her?

"I hope you're not doing this for some boy. Look, if you want to go, then go...just be sure it's what you want."

Fictional strong, silent misanthropes have a tendency to be self-centered, to be unfair, to walk on other people's feelings, to have intense opinions about everything and relate everything to their own pain. But Wolverine doesn't try to boss Rogue around or put his own issues on her. He just tells her to be sure she's doing what she really wants, and then he gives her space to make her own decision.

I loved seeing that. Not very many people took me seriously when I was a teenager. Not very many people take teenage girls seriously, period. Just look at the media coverage of Twilight if you don't believe me. But Wolverine relates to the toughness and the pain of teenage girls.

I thought to myself: I want to write a strong, silent, cranky guy who looks like he should be a loner but is actually surrounded by found family everywhere he goes, especially young women and girls. Oh, and I want him to look like Hugh Jackman and do this with his eyebrows.

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Then it hit me: Toogood!! I had already written Sweet Disorder (although it wasn't out yet), and I thought Wolverine (if he cleaned up a little!) would make a great caring, exaggeratedly quiet, yet passive-aggressive valet. (Most of what Toogood does in Sweet Disorder is unostentatiously take care of Nick and complain about the state of his clothes.)

Plus, a majority of domestic servants were young women and teenage girls in the Regency (and beyond), even in large households. Perfect!

Thanks so much having me!


What romance protagonist do you think would make a great superhero or heroine? What would their powers be?

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Thanks so much, Rose. I love it! And now for the giveaway. One person will win a digital copy of Rose's latest release Listen to the MoonTo enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter. The giveaway will be open through Wednesday, January 13th. Also, I wanted to point out that the first two books in the series are on sale right now. Sweet Disorder and True Pretenses (my favorite) are both just 99 cents! Rose also has a big giveaway going on over at her site, so be sure to stop by.

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