How about a sneak peek from NEVER ENOUGH? Adrian hanging out with his brother and his kids maybe?

Copyright 2011, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, The Berkley Publishing Group
Releasing September 6!

Adrian pulled his SUV into Brody and Elise’s driveway, grinning when he caught sight of a little girl, two white-blonde pigtails flying behind her as she ran across the yard chasing a six-foot-tall man.

Rennie’s head was canted back, her mouth open on a screaming giggle of, “I got you, Dad!”

Adrian moved up the walk to where his sister-in-law swayed back and forth with a bundled-up baby in her arms.

“Hey, Elise.” He kissed Elise’s cheek and peeked around to see Marti’s face. Her big green eyes blinked, owlish, until she recognized him and gave him a toothless grin.

“Since you’re here, she won’t care one bit about Momma until she gets hungry, so you may as well take her.”

Laughing, Adrian took his three-month-old niece into his arms, loving the weight and warmth of her as she snuggled into his chest. “Hey, punkin. You ready for a day at the zoo? I bet your sister is.”

He looked back out to where Marti’s big sister got caught up into her dad’s arms, laughing so hard she couldn’t talk. Further proof of just how magical Adrian’s brother’s life was.

“You were amazing last night. Best show ever.” Elise still swayed, even as Adrian held Marti, until she stopped herself with a laugh. “Sorry, I just do it so often it’s hard to stop. Probably keeps us both calm.” She winked.

“Thanks. It felt really good. I was glad to see you both there. I know it’s hard to get the time away.”

“Marti slept the entire time we were gone. She cried more when my mother left than when I did, I have no doubt. I was glad to be there to see you play.”

“You ready for a date with two of my three best girls?” Brody ambled over, Rennie still in his arms like a monkey.

“I lost a tooth, Uncle Adrian. I’m totally done now. All my teeth are adults.” Rennie grinned and showed him the space.

“Awesome. Was there blood?”

Elise groaned.

“Not a lot. I was wriggling it and wriggling it and then Dad just up and walked over, grabbed and pulled. Can you believe that?”

Adrian laughed and Martine, Marti for short, huffed her own laugh to mimic. “I can, baby doll. He did the exact same thing to me. I was in third grade.”

“He cried. You didn’t.” Brody smirked as he put Rennie on her feet. “Go get your coat and hat.”

Rennie tore off, Elise in her wake.

“Todd texted as he was leaving with Alexander. They should be here shortly and then we can head out.” Todd was their sister Erin’s husbandβ€”well, one of themβ€”and Alexander was their son. Nearly a year old, he was walking ,babbling, and generally ruled the roost.

Adrian’s SUV had enough car seats for all those who needed them. He liked the ability to come over and commandeer any of his nieces or his nephew at any time. Loved taking them to the park or the zoo. Loved the normal, sweet love he got in return. Better than screaming groupies any day of the week. Even if sometimes the interior smelled like spit-up and he found Goldfish crackers in the oddest places.

“Come on in. I need to get the diaper bag and stuff. I’ll use the carrier rather than deal with a stroller at the zoo.”

Adrian followed his brother into the house. Once bachelor digs, now it was a family home. Rennie’s art was up on the walls and on the fridge. Toys of all sorts lived in bins. Bicycles, helmets, Hula-Hoops, the house was filled with it all.

Today’s prize is a copy of Kelley Armstrong’s Bitten – one of my all time favorite urban fantasy novels and definitely in my top three werewolf books. So well done! I love so much that Elena is not a totally black and white character. She’s got flaws. She’s not perfect and her reactions to situations are so incredibly human and realistic (especially given that she’s NOT human). Elena is one of those female protags in urban fantasy/paranormal novels who I think is one of the best examples of writing who the character should be, not who people may want her to be. It’s not easy to write that way, not easy to know going in that people often expect a female character to be softer, even when she’s experienced things like what Elena has.

Today’s question: What qualities do you look for in a main character? Any favorites?

Winners are responsible for checking winners posts and claiming their prizes within seven days

33 comments to “GODDESS WITH A BLADE Contest Day 6!”

  1. Michelle Bledsoe
    June 4th, 2011 at 9:18 am · Link

    I am so ready to read this series. I have it coming in this week. Thank you for doing this wonderful contest.

  2. Limecello
    June 4th, 2011 at 9:21 am · Link

    I CANNOT FREAKING WAIT for Never Enough. Ahhhh I LOVE this series so hard. See all the caps? πŸ˜› Sounds like Adrian is going to have an adorable, and crazy day. πŸ˜€

  3. Viki S.
    June 4th, 2011 at 9:25 am · Link

    Wow, thanks foe the excerpt. I will love reading this book.
    Kelley was my first paranormal. I love her and have all of her books.
    My main characters have to be believable. I can’t stand the perfect person. They must have flaws and you’re right Elena has plenty and so does Clay ;). I like my females to be strong too.

  4. MK
    June 4th, 2011 at 9:27 am · Link

    I look for and admire men who take of the female relatives in their lives. A man who respects what his mother says, even when he has moved out on his own and remains interested in his sisters’ lives. The men in your books, from the Chases and the Browns to the weres, embody these characteristics. Thanks for writing such role models

  5. Regina Ross
    June 4th, 2011 at 10:07 am · Link

    i cant wait for this to come out πŸ™‚

  6. infinitieh
    June 4th, 2011 at 10:15 am · Link

    Loyalty, common sense, and a sense of humor.

  7. Danielle W
    June 4th, 2011 at 10:22 am · Link

    To say that I am excited for Adrian’s story is a bit mild. THANK YOU for this snippet!

    I like honest main characters- to themselves and others. Too much of the inner-self lies or needless falsehoods between characters and I just do not want to finish their story. I understand the need for some secrets, but there is a line with those.

  8. Collette
    June 4th, 2011 at 10:45 am · Link

    I’m really looking forward to this one. I love these family excerpts. (Don’t put me in the contest since I too love Bitten.)

    I like characters who are honest and witty and flawed. Too good to be true is boring to me. Not to mention sooooooooo unrealistic. πŸ˜‰

  9. jeanette8042
    June 4th, 2011 at 10:49 am · Link

    I love characters who are kick ass, confident and hilariously funny. One of my favorites is Blayne from Shelly Laurenston’s Pride series.

  10. Kerry P
    June 4th, 2011 at 11:11 am · Link

    Thank you for the excerpt I CANNOT wait for this one to come out! Love the Brown siblings.

    I like it when the characters are true to life. They have to have faults, but, not exaggerated faults. I really hate it when a character cannot even see what they do wrong. no ditzy females, unless they are the comic relief for the story. πŸ˜†

  11. Danny
    June 4th, 2011 at 11:17 am · Link

    Good luck everyone. I got Bitten and it is a great book.


    I really like tortured heroes and alpha heroes. But the alpha most have tiny bit beta in him, otherwise he is unbearable.

  12. Jimena D.
    June 4th, 2011 at 11:47 am · Link

    I’m so anxious to read Never Enough πŸ˜›

    I don’t have one specific set of qualities for a character, each character is unique in there own way. I do like it when the character has an emotional backstory because you really connect with the character.

  13. Rachel Riddles
    June 4th, 2011 at 11:50 am · Link

    I look for characters who a person can relate to.

    Can’t wait for Adrian’s story!!!!

  14. Jolene A
    June 4th, 2011 at 12:04 pm · Link

    I love my characters to have flaws and have several obstacles to overcome. Give me some struggle and I’m sold. It’s something relatable and holds my attention. I don’t want anyone who is perfect, I like my bad boys bad, and my heroines to be kick a** πŸ™‚

  15. JoAnna B
    June 4th, 2011 at 12:15 pm · Link

    I love tortured heroes!
    Thanks for the excerpt!

  16. Estella
    June 4th, 2011 at 12:31 pm · Link

    My main characters have to have a believable( tortured) past,which makes them flawed.

  17. Marlene Breakfield
    June 4th, 2011 at 12:51 pm · Link

    I like strong, intelligent heroines. Please no TSTL heroines.

  18. CrystalGB
    June 4th, 2011 at 2:08 pm · Link

    I can’t wait to read Never Enough. Sounds great. I like strong, loyal characters who go after what they want.

  19. Christine
    June 4th, 2011 at 4:15 pm · Link

    Loved the excerpt cannot wait for this book. A character who has flaws and who isn’t afraid to change and grow. One of my favorites would be Eve Dallas

  20. APRIL S
    June 4th, 2011 at 5:02 pm · Link

    I look for characters who come across as real and have human issues, struggles thru everyday life. Someone who is flawed but is willing to work and try to make their life better and not let life get them down…. so for me ex: Eve Dallas, kate daniels, mercy thompson…

    :mrgreen: I really loved the excerpt for the upcoming book…cant wait til it comes out. I wish it was sooner…

  21. Karen
    June 4th, 2011 at 5:54 pm · Link

    I like quirky, independent, imperfect heroines matched with heroes who are brooding and little dark. Makes for a fun story πŸ™‚

  22. Stephanie M
    June 4th, 2011 at 6:17 pm · Link

    I love heroines who are able to take care of themselves. They have the strength to protect the ones they love while still having the ability to compromise with an alpha male who loves them.

  23. Jen B.
    June 4th, 2011 at 7:46 pm · Link

    I want a main character that is smart, has some depths to plumb, that has somewhere to grow. I can’t stand stereotypes but archetypes can be interesting under certain circumstances. The one thing I look for is flow. Everything has to fit. I can’t stand a book that makes stop constantly and question what you just read. If I wanted that, I would read non-fiction or self help books! πŸ˜‰

  24. Diane Sadler
    June 4th, 2011 at 7:50 pm · Link

    Love your cover and your blurb!
    I’ve never tried Kelley Armstrong; strange since I read paranormal books and werewolves are my second most liked characters, vampires are first.
    Someone who doesn’t depend on others to solve all her problems, who is willing to listen and discuss and find solutions together.To love and be loved.

  25. Julie S.
    June 4th, 2011 at 8:41 pm · Link

    I like my main characters to be releatable (so they’re not so fluffy and made up feeling that they are not someone I want to keep reading about).

  26. savonna
    June 5th, 2011 at 2:03 am · Link

    I love characters who are strong yet vulnerable. Ones’ that show loyalty, passion, and a capacity to love. I have a soft spot for sassy heroines and heros that are tortured souls.

  27. Lindsey Ekland
    June 5th, 2011 at 2:29 am · Link

    Love men who are strong yet pay attention to what is going on around them and women who can take care of themselves and yet accept assistance.

  28. Tracey D
    June 5th, 2011 at 4:57 am · Link

    A strong silent type who is all action and no words..but when he does speak, he has a wicked sense of humor.

  29. Meggerfly
    June 5th, 2011 at 5:26 am · Link

    Loved the excerpt! I like my heroes to be strong and demanding of loyalty. I also expect him to be loyal himself.

  30. steph j
    June 5th, 2011 at 6:51 am · Link

    I can’t wait for this book to come out.

  31. Robin K
    June 5th, 2011 at 11:05 am · Link

    I love humor in my characters and a health dose of snark as well πŸ˜‰

  32. Chelsea B.
    June 5th, 2011 at 1:13 pm · Link

    To late for the contest I know but I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the excerpt! I am really looking forward to this book! And that is a FANTASTIC cover!!

  33. Sarah
    June 5th, 2011 at 4:04 pm · Link

    So looking forward to Never Enough!