Author Loren Secretts' Top Ten Favorite (Literary) Heroes/Heroines(Listed in alphabetical order – I don’t dare risk insulting any of my favorite characters. Oh, and ladies first, obviously.)
1. Anne Shirley (from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery).
Anne’s prodigious imagination has built mental escape routes for her during her years of near-slavery, and doesn’t diminish even after her conditions improve.
Anne is a character who feels deeply — about everything. No day is ever bland, and between the rides on her emotional roller coaster, and the adventures her imagination and high spirits get her into, there’s never a dull moment in her life – or in readers’.
2. Elizabeth Bennett (from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen).
You have to admire a woman who can deliver a death blow to a snobby Victorian Englishman.
3. Ella of Frell (from Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine)
Ella doesn’t let the curse she’s been afflicted with pull her down, and she makes the most of her wit to avoid becoming a victim. Her humor is entertaining, and her loyalty to loved ones is touching.
4. June Iparis (from the Legend series by Marie Lu)
Sleek and put together inside and out, June is a determined young woman who knows what her goals are in life. Focused, calculating, hyper-aware, a combat expert, and lethal knife thrower – you’d be wise to be on this girl’s team at a time of apocalypse.
But don’t let her exalted warrior status scare you off. Her commitment to justice and her caring heart makes June an all-around top alliance – and friend.
5. Countess Mel (from Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith)
This feisty teen puts her life on the line to free her people from their oppressive ruler. She devises war strategies, and better yet, plays pranks against the enemy when leading a rebellion.
(Spoiler alert) I also appreciate the fact that she can find love, though she isn’t a court beauty.
6. Olan (from The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck)
Just writing the name of this former slave squeezes my heart. She doesn’t have glamor or special powers, but for all the solid heroines out there today, I have yet to meet one as strong and pure-hearted as Olan.
7. August Pullman (from Wonder by R.J. Palacio)
His humor entertains, his warmth is touching, but it is his courage that has me in awe.
8. Bilbo Baggins (from The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien)
Not your traditional hero, but I care all the more for this unassuming character because of it. He’s kind and loyal, and when the pressure is at its highest, he amazes readers by keeping a level head.
9. Peeta Mellark (from The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins)
Too many heroes earn that title because they are willing to sacrifice for the sake of a love interest. Peeta, whose selflessness extends far beyond Katniss, is a true hero in my book. And with his humor and kind heart, he’s a wonderful companion.
10.Sherlock Holmes (from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and other works by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
The genius. The genius. Besides that, his dry humor, enlightening observations about human nature / people, feisty dialogue exchanges with Watson, and the endearing friendship itself between the doctor and detective, keep me forever entertained and captivated.
About the bookScents and Senses: Supernatural Friends. What the fairy tales didn’t tell you Playing the role of a knight in shining armor is more complicated than it seems in the storybooks, as sixteen-year-old Joy discovers when she repeatedly comes to the rescue of a fifteen-year-old human. But when she meddles in the girl’s social life, Starra sends her packing. Starra is determined to completely dissociate herself from the subterranean creature that has manipulated her life and cast her into the limelight. However, her resolve is soon tested when she becomes involved in a critical situation where supernatural assistance can enable her to carry out a daring plot. Eventually, Starra’s involvement with her new other-wordly friends extracts a heavy price when she is beset by challenges that range from the down- to-earth struggles of a typical teenage student, to the realm of the fantastic. Nothing prepares her, however, for the ultimate challenge.
ExcerptLast night, in Senior Elder’s weekly address, he said it had come to his attention that many of our teens were planning to pop in to the fivetoe gala event. While he admitted there was nothing wrong, per se, in hanging around, he advised staying away from the action, as we might be tempted to join in.
He reminded us that ever since a deviant group of our ancestors wreaked too much mischief two thousand years ago, we’ve been banned from communicating or associating with fivetoes.
Tag kicked me under the table. But I don’t carry a speck of guilt. If I hadn’t sidestepped some bans, my sister would be lonesome, and a fivetoe girl would have been shamed on the playing field, knocked senseless by an attacker, and fallen off a cliff.
The same fivetoe high school freshman wouldn’t have landed the lead role in our island’s biggest production of the decade if not for my intervention.
In approximately ninety minutes I know Starra will receive a standing ovation from the audience now filling every available seat. The bleachers are packed, and latecomers are taking the seats set up on the high school’s athletics' field. It looks like the majority of the islanders are here, and then there all the hundreds of mainlanders who came in to support this fundraising event tonight. Starra’s talent will be publicly acknowledged at last. I see fame in her future. All thanks to me.
Not that I expect any thanks from her.
No, the star of the show wouldn’t even want me here tonight, but tough luck. I’m not about to miss out on the vicarious pleasure of basking in her spotlight.
I’ve squeezed myself into a spot suited for a VIP. I’ll be almost right under Starra’s nose — whoops, that’s a problem; she’ll pick up my scent and know I’m here. The girl is a bloodhound. She’s the only fivetoe that can sense my presence. What the faulty
fivetoe sense of sight can’t do, her uncanny sense of smell makes up for.
Okay, the trick is to get a seat close enough to the stage to sense the emotions of those on stage, but not close enough for her to smell me. That spot a couple rows down will do it. As I settle in between two fighting brothers, I catch sight of some of my schoolmates hanging around. It’s already dark out, but still it’s early for our community to be up and around. Looks like the island’s teenagers from down below are willing to forego some snooze time just to see for themselves what the big fuss above us these past few months has been all about.
There’s still time till the curtain goes up. Meanwhile, the school band entertains the audience as they get settled. I catch some of the girls in my high school clamping their hands to their ears. Yeah, I get it. Even our kindergarteners banging on rocks produce finer music than fivetoe amateur musicians. But it doesn’t bother me as much as them since lately I’ve spent so much time hanging around fivetoe teens.
Two seniors to my far left are communicating in sign language, which is the safest way to talk around fivetoes. I’m eavesdropping on their gossip, and they’ve just reached a juicy climax, when out of nowhere a particularly tall fivetoe blocks my view. He turns around and takes his seat. My view is not obstructed anymore, but I lose interest in the gossip as soon as I catch sight of the intruder’s face. What’s Luc doing here? True, he’s a native islander, but he hardly has shown his face around here since he started college. And the last time we saw him, he was trouble. Then again, I have him to thank for getting me addicted to playing fairy godmother. His face is a trigger to my memory, and my mind replays my history with Starra.
Yeah, we’ve had our rough spots, but tonight makes up for it all. I’m positive in a few minutes she’s going to knock the socks off her fellow islanders fivetoed feet.
The curtains are going up.
This is it, people. Meet the real Starra Hart.
Buy The Book