I love stories that have animals as secondary characters. If you’ve read the book by Sara Gruen, Water for Elephants, you’ll see how well an animal, yes, even a giant-sized 45 year old elephant, can add depth and emotion to the story. Rosie is an elephant you will definitely fall in love with. She is by no means the main character of the story, but she’s there, waiting in the wings endearing herself to you at the most opportune moments and ready to steal the show. And while I was reading the book, I had suspicions that Rosie would have something to do with how the story ends. The author really made a statement with Rosie in a way that doesn’t overshadow the main characters. Yet, she helped to give us a satisfying ending. (Elephants are smarter than you would imagine and very personable).
In Carrying the Rancher’s Heir, set on Worth Ranch in the fictional town of Red Ridge, horses play a key role in the development of the story. I used Taggart Worth’s beautiful stallions and mellow mares in a way that wasn’t intrusive but added to the flavor and theme of the book. Even their names were picked to lend a certain tone to the story. My hero rides Starlight, a sleek black mare that has one sole white star on her forehead. And my heroine, Callie rides a golden palomino named Freedom. Each in their own way signifies the owner’s traits – the dark brooding hero on a black mare and the rebellious heroine on a horse named Freedom. I was thrilled to see that the Harlequin cover artists took my suggestion to put two mares on my cover.
Thinking back on my childhood, my favorite book was Black Beauty. And watching television in that era, Lassie, Fury, Rin Tin Tin and Mr. Ed were the stars of their own shows. But Roy Rogers had a horse named Trigger who was a secondary character and so did The Lone Ranger in Silver.
Do you like stories that embrace animals in the storyline? Do you pick up a book or see a movie, because it’s about an animal? What’s your very favorite story/movie that is centered around animals? Do you plan to see Disney’s African Cats or Water for Elephants?
An autographed copy of one of my backlist books and a $10 Amazon gift card goes to one commenter today. I’d love to hear from you!
Charlene Sands is a USA Today Bestselling author of thirty romance novels, writing sexy contemporaries and stories set in Americana - Old West. Her stories have been honored with the National Readers Choice Award, the Cataromance Reviewer’s Choice Award and she’s a double recipient of the Booksellers’ Best Award. Visit her website for her Grand Prizes WORTH Winning Contest at www.charlenesands.com .