And here is the guest post by Sherryl Wood!
Every woman has her own definition for a hero. For some it's the knight-in-shining-armor who sweeps her off her feet. For others it's the man who's kind to her kids. And, of course, there are the heroes we can all agree on, the men who rush into battle for our country or into burning buildings to save lives.
For Lynn Morrow, the single mom struggling to feed her kids and on the verge of losing her home in Where Azaleas Bloom (MIRA Books, September), it's a man of quiet strength who stands by with help whenever she needs it, but encourages her to find her own capacity to cope with whatever life tosses her way.
Mitch Franklin first appeared as a contractor who had to deal with a whole trio of strong,decisive Sweet Magnolias way back in Stealing Home, book one of the series. He held his own with Maddie, Helen and Dana Sue, but we never really got to see his sensitive, caring side.
Now a widower with two college-age sons, he's at loose ends when he connects with Lynn . . .the girl who got away. With so many terrible things going on in her life, it would be easy for this hero to swoop in and save the day. Instead, he's wise enough to help Lynn find her own way, to help her prove to herself that she's strong and capable and a flat-out terrific mom. And if he earns a ton of brownie points along the way with his kindnesses to her kids, so much the better.
I think the message here, if there is one, is that heroes come in all shapes and sizes and personalities. Not all are bold and flashy. Not all are Superman. Some are just the guy next door who sees what needs to get done and does it, who loves deeply and wisely. I hope there's someone with Mitch's strength and caring in your life. And if you haven't found your hero yet, take a look around. He may be closer than you think!
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