Saturday, May 07, 2011

Wild Card Weekend: Animals as Secondary Characters, Water For Elephants and Giveaway!!

Welcome back to Charlene Sands for this week's Wild Card Weekend!


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 .


21 comments:

  1. I'm a huge animal lover, so I love books and movies with animals in them. One of my favorite movies that's centered around animals is Babe, it's such a cute little movie. I love the border collies in it :) I also went to the movies to see Disney's African Cats, terrific movie!

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  2. Hi Mariee--Oh, we almost went to see African Cats last night but I pooped out. It's been a long week. Hopefully tonight, I shall see it! I'm a cat lover and so is my hubby. I don't think I ever saw BABE. Thanks for stopping by today!!

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  3. Water for Elephants, is a terrific story. I didn't know if the movie would do the book justice, but it went way beyond my expectations. Rosie, the elephant is amazing.

    Ive always been a sucker for a good animal story, especially horses, and enjoy your writing, Charlene. Looking forward to reading Carrying the Rancher's Heir.

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  4. Hi Robena - I agree! I saw the movie with my daughter, who had recommened the book to me. I thought they did a great job of keeping to the story. Loved Rosie the elephant too!! She is 45 years old and apparently very sweet to work with! Thanks for the kind words!

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  5. I love stories with animals. One of my favorites is Jennifer Crusie's Anyone But You, the dog in that book was adorably cantankerous.
    There's also a movie I saw a few years ago, called Two Brothers, about a pair of tiger cubs who are separated and find their way back to one another.

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  6. Hi Summer -- I have not read that book but I saw Two Brothers, if it's the one I'm thinking about.
    I'm a sucker for cats of any kind. Hope to see African Cats tonight!

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  7. I love animal shows. Lassie was my favourite and water for elephants was just as good. A funny show with a memorable elephant was george of the jungle.

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  8. Definitely I want to see African Cats. Favourite movie of all time is the Lion King and Jungle book. Love those tigers, lions, cheetahs guess you get the picture. I even watch National Geographic for their documentary on them.

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  9. Hi Charlene,

    I love reading about animals in stories. I have African Cats as well as Water for Elephants on my to be watched list.

    Congrats on the new release!

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  10. Animals add a poignant dimension to a story or movie. It can be either emotional or funny. I love Beethoven, Flipper and Homeward bound. African Cats or Water for elephants I would both love to see as soon as I can clear up some time. I sometimes get so busy I just have a file on my blackberry and I type the movies I want to see and just get the DVD when it comes out. Sad but going to the movies I consider it a rare luxury.

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  11. I like stories with animals. I'm more likely to read the books than see the movies.

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  12. Hi Veronica - I liked Lassie a lot, but my favorites always had to do with horses!!

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  13. Hi Avi -- oh, I'm a cat lover too. Hope to see African Cats this weekend!

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  14. Hi Nas - Thanks for the congrats!!

    Hi LJ - We've been watching alot of movies on Netflix lately. It's hard to get out to see a movie, when we can agree!

    Hi Chey-I always try to read the book before the movie comes out.

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  15. I can't honestly say that I look for movies with animals as characters but I do like movies where animals are a part of the story. I think my favorite so far is still The Black Stallion -somthing about that movie just draws me in and sweeps me away .....though I also did love Hidalgo. I do plan to see Water for Elephants - I just bought the book for my Kindle because friends have recommended it highly.

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  16. I do enjoy books that feature animals, but I don't specifically pick out which movies to watch based on whether animals are in it or not. I really enjoy animated movies with animals such as Kung Fu Panda and Ice Age. I think they're very cute.

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  17. Hi Charlene ~ I love stories with animals in them. I haven't watched a movie in ages. If you want to read a really good book with cats in it read Homer's Odyssey. Here's a link ~ http://www.gwencooper.com/about.php

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  18. I enjoy reading about unique animals in a story like Jennie Crusie's Anyone But You and the dog, Fred. I love Fred. He's a great secondary character and showed so much about Nina. I cannot wait to read about the horses in your latest, Charlene.

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  19. I had never heard of that movie until yesterday, when a girlfriend gushed and gushed about how good it was! I guess I HAVE to see it now, right?
    As for animal books, I recently enjoyed reading Kandy Shepherd's HOME IS WHERE THE BARK IS. Can't say enough good things about it. Loved it!

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  20. CONGRATS TO VERONICA - YOU'VE WON THE GIVEAWAY. PLEASE CONTACT ME AT charlenesands@hotmail.com
    for your prizes.

    Thanks to all who have joined in today!!
    It was fun!!

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  21. Thanks Charlene for this great prize. I sent an email.

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