Leann Harris: The Good Guy

You want to marry them, but he’s boring to read about.

In my latest book, Fresh-Start Ranch, the hero has been with me through the first two McClure books, which are his siblings’ stories.  When I went to write Ethan’s book, who is the eldest, I was stumped.  He was a nice guy—-a nice boring guy, who everyone depended on.

I wrestled with the man.  What secrets did he have?  Surely he hadn’t made it to age 35 without some sort of black mark.  He had feet of clay. I will say Ethan McClure held on to his secrets, but I kept after him and discovered two things.

First, I discovered Ethan had been stood up at the altar.  His bride-to-be sent a note to the church, telling Ethan she couldn’t do it.  He stood in that little country church outside of Albuquerque with all his childhood friends and the area’s ranching families witnessing his shame. He hated the pitying and sympatric looks he got.

Then I discovered Ethan’s other secret.  When he was in high school, he spent the summer between his junior and senior year in high school following the rodeo circuit.  Ethan fell in with the wrong crowd and started gambling.  He ended up $5,000 in debt to some unsavory characters.

Wow, those are some heavy secrets.  And how often do we avoid telling our parents, when we’re 17, our mistakes.  Ethan told the local vet, Doc Adams, what happened.  Doc paid the debt, but told Ethan he had to work the debt off by working for him and if he gambled again, Doc would tell his parents what had happened.

That certainly was a black mark that I wouldn’t want to share with anyone, so the casino pa natet man’s reluctance made sense.

Now, who did Ethan fall in love with?  Doc’s new partner, a petite woman who hates gambling.  Dr. Tessa Grant past was marred by her father’s gambling, and she wasn’t shy about sharing her past with me.  She was an open book, and had a hard childhood.  There is a twist in the book, and Tessa doesn’t handle it well.  I understood Tessa’s feelings.  When something happens, or you stumbled across a devastating secret, it takes time to process it.  Tessa had some hard truths to deal with and it takes her awhile to deal with them.

A little side note.  I talked to a vet in Houston and asked about problems he’s dealt with.  He told me a little secret.  When a horse had colic and after you’ve walked the animal and wanting to get the horse’s system back to normal, he told me a trick—-load the horse in and out of a horse trailer and that usually will get things moving in the right direction.  That was a little secret I didn’t know.

Ethan and I would welcome all comments and questions.  And would love to give away two different copies of the book and one set of all three McClure books!

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20 thoughts on “Leann Harris: The Good Guy”

  1. Leann,
    Don’t you just love those silent characters? There’s so much hidden underneath for us to discover–both as authors and readers.

    Interesting tidbit about horses and colic. That’s gonna be one of those things I remember. 🙂

  2. Leann,

    I love the cover of your book. I think Love Inspired books have the best covers. The covers are good mostly because of the colors they use. The colors are soft yet vibrant.

    Interesting tibit about horses. I used to ride years ago and I think I heard of that too from the trainers.

  3. I have been wanting to read Fresh-Start Ranch. It sounds so good. I have become a new fan to the Love Inspired books.
    Thanks for a great post.

  4. Leann, welcome to P&P! We always love when you come. And what an interesting subject. I LOVE bad boys and especially ones who have secrets. They’re so interesting. That internal conflict drives the story much more I think than the external ones. Ethan sounds like a hero I’d like to know better. Congratulations on the release of FRESH START RANCH. It’s one I’m going to have to have. All your stories are amazing. I’m so glad I got to know you all those years ago.

    Wishing you tons of success and much happiness!

  5. Welcome Leann! great post,,I didnt have a good guy the first time around but I struck gold the second time! Enjoyed reading it.

  6. I love this cover. You notice the Indian blanket on fence? I saw the ad for it and sent it to my publisher. I was amazed when the vet told me about colic. I loved Ethan, even if he was difficult.

  7. I am a real fan of the Love Inspired books. Their covers call to me like the siren song of a mermaid does to a sailor. Looking forward to reading this one. Love the strong silent types.

  8. I, too, like the cover. Definitely looks more like our western landscape than a lot of covers do. Sounds like an interesting book.

  9. SOunds like a wonderful book from you! I have enjoyed books from the Love Inspired line before and this seems like another one that would be a great read… I want to see how your two main characters get together and deal with things. Thank you for sharing! 😀

  10. I love any kind of western romance! Do you ever base anything in your books from real things that happen in your life? Love the sound of your books and thanks for sharing them with us today!

  11. Howdy!

    Welcome to P & P! I so love heros who are the good guy — we get enough bad guys in real life — I really like the good guys and never find them boring. 🙂

  12. Hilltop Farm Wife, it is sometimes hard to have the artists in New York or Toronto to understand what the western states look like. I was thrilled they used what I sent.

    Quilt Lady, I usually base my stories on other things than what is in my life. I’m boring. But McClure Series started with an article I read in the newspaper about an Iraqi war veteran who was taking equine therapy to help him after her lost his leg while serving.

  13. Hi, Leann!!! Welcome back to the Junction.

    The clay-footed, seemingly uninteresting heroes sometimes make the best ones. I love writing about them. Thanks for giving Ethan his chance.

  14. Great cover. Love LI books! Intrigued by what the twist in the book is with regard to Tessa. 🙂 And thanks for your generous giveaway opportunity!

  15. I would love to read your books. As an aspiring author, it has been so interesting to me how the story comes out when I sit to write. And the things that I learn about the characters. It’s amazing. 🙂

    Love the good guys too, especially the ones who have walked through the valley and just have that special something about them. Can’t describe what it is – they are so much more real. One of my heros was such a bad boy and it took quite the valley for him to see the goodness of God. Love him! I look forward to reading your McClure books.

    Thank you!

  16. I like the cover. I love reformed “bad boys”. They seem to fill so much more than the average “good guy”.

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