When I started brainstorming Heaven Scent, I knew I wanted it to be set in the northeastern colonial states. Yet, in my mind, the men of 1848 Boston just weren’t bad ass enough to inspire me. So, my hero had to be different.
Living in Texas, of course, my mind strayed to the Texas Rangers – Los diablos tejanos! (The Texan Devils!). Ah, now there were some bad asses. Strong, tough, brave – the Rangers were like a militia of sorts, charged with stepping up and assisting the military in times of war, and protecting Texas citizens from desperadoes and Indians. They were, in a way, a semi-official form of law enforcement. They were a constant in a State that was continually fought over by the Mexican, Texas and United States governments.
So, how did I convince a reader that my hero from the elite Boston Brahmin could be a bad ass Texas Ranger?
Well, much to my delight, the Rangers were from all over the world and many walks of life. According to Charles M. Robinson III, author of The Men Who Wear the Star, not only did the Rangers include farmers, ranchers, cowboys and such, among their ranks were doctors, lawyers and even poets!
Can you picture one of these guys reciting poetry?
Photo compliments of the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum
Not so much. And my idea of a hot hero looked a little more like this:
So, I took my rebellious, womanizing hero, Rafe, plucked him from his comfortable, Harvard Law school and Brahmin high society, and sent him out to see the country. He runs into Tennessean and future Texas Ranger, John Coffee “Jack” Hays on a Mississippi riverboat, and the two end up in Texas, as Rangers. According to the Texas State Historical Association, Jack Hays’ Rangers “gained a reputation as mounted troops with revolvers and individually styled uniforms, who marched and fought with a noticeable lack of military discipline.”
Combine the second picture with one of Jack Hays Rangers and I had my bad ass hero. J
So, after spending ten years in Texas, Rafe returns to Boston after his father’s sudden, mysterious death. You can imagine how he stands out amongst the other men of Boston high society. His etiquette is a little rusty, he hates to wear cravats, he sports a tan that only dock workers get away with, and my oh my, can he fill out a pair of trousers like no other. How could my heroine, Tarin, not be attracted?
But, he arrives home with a secret he will reveal to no one – especially Tarin. And she is trying to achieve a lifelong dream by helping Dr. Samuel Gregory open the first female medical college – she can’t afford any distractions.
I don’t know about you, but if picture number two was standing in front of me and filled out his trousers like no other, I’d say “what college?” J
I hope you will pick up a copy and let me know what you think!
Also, throughout the month of June, if you like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter, you will be automatically entered to win a $25.00 Amazon gift card! See my website for more information: http://www.sophiegreyson.com/News.html .
And finally, I will be giving away a free download of Heaven Scent to one commenter! Make sure to say howdy!