1. The heroine is going to have flaws. She probably won’t be tiny, birdlike, with blond hair and so perfect that everyone immediately falls in love with her. She will have made mistakes in her life – sometimes, big ones.
2. The hero is going to have flaws. However, he won’t hate women because he was disappointed in love or abandoned at birth. He won’t stop in the middle of a gun fight to have sex, although he’s just as male as the next guy.
3. Sex will be an integral part of the relationship between hero and heroine. Frankly, I think sex is one of the most revealing aspects of an individual. Let’s face it, you’re really vulnerable when you’re: a.) naked. b.) drunk with passion c.) madly in love.
4. The hero is going to be a manly man. Chances are, he won’t cry in the book. But chances are he won’t pound his chest, either.
5. The characters will grow and change during the book.
6. The characters will always be front and center and never less important than minor characters. They’re selfish that way. Hey, this is their story.
7. The backdrop of the story will be fascinating things in history that actually happened.
8. If there’s blood and gore it will mostly be off stage, so to speak.
9. The characters will fall in love in the course of the book. Lust and love are two different things. They might be instantly attracted, but love takes a little longer.
10. When you finish reading the book, you’ll feel better for it (at least I fervently hope so).
Oh, and The Witch of Clan Sinclair is out today.