July 15, 2013

Rourke Walsh/ Turner

When Nancy asked if I would be willing to write this feature, my first reaction went something like this: “WAAHOOOO! Yes! Yes! Yes!” followed by a dance of happiness that probably looked something like Jim Carrey’s Grinch when he finds out Martha May still likes him. I then proceeded to tell anyone who would listen how thrilled I was to be a guest blogger on FHF. Speaking of… can we get a round of applause for the heroes featured so far this year? Wow! There have been some great ones. I am very excited to introduce you all to Rourke, and give you a taste of why he is Hero worthy. SO! Without further ado, let’s dive into my hero of choice- Rourke Turner.

About No Safe Harbor (released October 1, 2012):

New York City, 1897

She came to America searching for her brother. Instead all she's found is a web of danger.
Cara Hamilton had thought her brother to be dead. Now, clutching his letter, she leaves Ireland for America, desperate to find him. Her search leads her to a houseful of curious strangers, and one man who claims to be a friend--Rourke Walsh. Despite her brother's warning, Cara trusts Rourke, revealing her purpose in coming to New York.

She's then thrust into a world of subterfuge, veiled threats, and attempted murder, including political revolutionaries from the homeland out for revenge. Her questions guide her ever nearer to locating her brother--but they also bring her closer to destruction as those who want to kill him track her footsteps.

With her faith in tatters, all hope flees. Will her brother finally surface? Can he save Cara from the truth about Rourke... a man she's grown to love?

Excerpt from No Safe Harbor:

          Rourke tore his focus from Angus and clapped it on Malcolm. Swallowing his anger, he forced himself to recall everything Cara had told him.
          “She is a young lass, maybe twenty-one or -two. Traveled alone, which I thought odd, though she did make a couple friends while on board the ship. She said her parents are dead. Claimed to have left Ireland in search of a fresh start.”
          “Eoghan Hamilton’s parents are both dead.” Clive Turner, Malcolm’s youngest son, leaned forward and placed both elbows on the table. “They died years ago, and I did hear it rumored that Hamilton has a sister.”
          Several heads bobbed in agreement. Malcolm’s gaze, sharp as blue ice, fixed on Rourke. “What else?”
          “She’s a northerner…from Derry. And she appeared to be looking for someone.”
          At this, the men gathered around the table drew a collective breath. Malcolm leaned forward on his knuckles. Even old Angus’s brows rose with interest.
          “She told you this?”
          Rourke nodded and looked over at Malcolm. “She warrants watching, at least until I can figure out who she’s searching for.”
          Malcolm’s eyes roved the faces of the assembled men. With each nod he moved on until he returned to Rourke. “We be in agreement, then. What do you intend?”
          “She asked to be taken to a boardinghouse on Ashberry Street. I think I can find work nearby without drawing too much attention.”
          Malcolm rubbed his hands together eagerly, an action Rourke well understood. Two years had passed since his father died. Two years ago that he and his kinsmen vowed revenge, and this was the first lead that offered more than a little promise.
          “Take Hugh with you.”
          Caught off guard, Rourke jerked around to stare at old Angus.
          Angus’s grizzled head bobbed toward the eldest of his seven sons. “He’s a knack for this sort of thing. You’d do well to have him close.”
          Rourke had seen firsthand the sort of “knack” Hugh O’Hurly was known for. He wanted him nowhere near Cara or the other boardinghouse residents. But to deny Angus…
          Malcolm came to his rescue. “If it be true she was searching for someone on the island, there’s a good possibility she might return there. But the city is a large place. Best if we keep our men spread out and our ears open.” He chuckled. “This could be the chance we’ve been waiting for, lads. Fate has shined her bonnie face on us at last.”
          Murmured approval drifted upward toward the ceiling, and with it, Rourke’s sigh of relief.

Copyrighted Material. Excerpt used with permission. All rights reserved.

Gallant Score

Spirited, brave; nobly chivalrous and often self-sacrificing.
‘Hold the phone! Stop the presses! Off with his impostering orange head!’
How can he even have a gallant score after what I just read? Rourke’s loyalties may be torn, but trust me when I say his brilliant orangeness is well-earned. He repeatedly steps between Cara and danger, often without her knowledge. His willingness to shield her from the less-than-noble intentions of his kinsmen speaks volumes about what Rourke is made of. When it comes right down to it, Rourke is willing to sacrifice everything, even the love in his own heart, for Cara’s happiness.

Wounded Score

Rourke carries a backpack of guilt because of his father’s death. As a result, Rourke’s faith is shattered, and revenge becomes his driving force.

Softie Score

Rourke’s tender side is all for Cara, and it takes some doing to get there. But believe you me when I say- buckle up. Because at his core, Rourke is one tender guy.

Stupid Strikes

I'm afraid I have to give him one. Even after Cara has told Rourke everything she knows, he continues to keep the truth from her. And we don’t like that very much, do we, Precious? No, indeed.

Swoon Score

There is plenty to swoon over here. If his rugged good looks and Irish charm aren’t enough, Rourke has more going for him. Even when circumstances force him to be less than truthful, Rourke strives to be a man of integrity. When the truth finally sets him free, it is a beautiful thing. If you still don’t believe me, I just have one more thing to say. Page 306. =)

Elizabeth Ludwig is the award-winning author of No Safe Harbor, Book One in the Edge of Freedom series. Her popular literary blog, The Borrowed Book, enjoys a wide readership. Elizabeth is an accomplished speaker and teacher, often attending conferences and seminars where she lectures on editing for fiction writers, crafting effective novel proposals, and conducting successful editor/agent interviews. Along with her husband and children, she makes her home in the great state of Texas. To learn more, visit her at ElizabethLudwig.com or on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/elizabethludwig102.

The FHF Exclusive Directly from the Author

Rourke is the kind of hero women swoon over. He’s tall and handsome with raven black hair and deep blue eyes. While writing No Safe Harbor, I pictured Clive Owen, with his piercing blue eyes, as Rourke. One glance from those baby blues, and my poor heroine was head over heels...

Like any good hero, Rourke has various strengths and weaknesses. He’s stalwart and brave, loyal to a fault, and he would do anything for his family. Unfortunately, it is those very qualities that drive him to seek revenge...even at the expense of the woman he loves. Rourke is intrinsically opposed to lying, yet he finds himself resorting to subterfuge in order to protect the ones he loves. In the end, it’s these half-truths and deceptions that nearly drive Rourke and Cara apart and almost cost them their lives!

Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Christianbooks.com

Nancy here! Joy did a great job guest featuring. Please be sure and thank her for allowing me to get some much needed reading and craft study done without depriving you all of your hero-fix. =)

 Joy W. Doering was born and raised in southwestern PA in a house of a thousand dreams. Her family moved to Montana in August 2003, where she eventually met and married her husband. They now have two beautiful daughters. Joy is often kidnapped by books, and loves every moment of it. But her very favorite heroes are the ones still trapped inside her imagination. She spends her free time studying the writing craft and working on her books. Her dream is to one day share her stories with the world, to the glory of God.

The giveaways

Alright hero-girls, same giveaway setup as always. One copy of No Safe Harbor in the winner's choice of format, but please tell me to toss your name in the drawing. For those who have already enjoyed No Safe Harbor, leave me the name of a character not used in the excerpt and we'll put your name in the bowl for a $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble giftcard. Once that character has been used, you'll need to choose another. Winners randomly drawn on July 31st. Be sure to leave your e-mail address in your comment in a spam-fighting format like rourke (at) nosafeharbor (dot) com


  1. Gretchen E.K. EngelJuly 15, 2013 at 1:14 AM

    tall + hair + blue eyes = instant like

    I'll have to put this on my TBR pile!

    1. Gretchen E.K. EngelJuly 15, 2013 at 1:15 AM

      That would be "dark hair"

    2. Elizabeth LudwigJuly 15, 2013 at 8:13 AM

      LOL! I thought you simply didn't like your men bald, Gretchen. ;-)

    3. Nancy KimballJuly 17, 2013 at 9:08 PM

      Elizabeth, I know all about GEKE's hero tastes and she knows all mine. We're buddies like that and don't get us started on the YA heroes. Horrid but awesome inside jokes there, LOL.

    4. Elizabeth LudwigJuly 18, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      I'm glad to see I'm not the only one into YA novels! Lately, I've enjoyed the crop of YA titles more than the regular fiction titles I'm used to. Chalk it up to creativity, I guess, cuz there are some pretty talented YA authors out there.

  2. GaniseJuly 15, 2013 at 7:57 AM

    Yes! A very worthy hero. No Safe Harbour made my list of best books read this year and the couple made my memorable couples list. The author just draws you into a story loaded with action and sweet, sweet romance!

    I'll name Ana.

    Thanks for this, Joy!

    g.gclermont AT gmail DOT com

    1. Elizabeth LudwigJuly 15, 2013 at 8:14 AM

      Aww...you made my morning, Ganise. I'm glad you enjoyed the book. Good luck in the drawing!

    2. Nancy KimballJuly 17, 2013 at 9:09 PM

      Ganise, always good to see you here friend. I trust your taste in books for sure so glad my buddy Joy got this right. I never doubted her though. A hero girl knows what an FHF hero is. Like Rourke!

  3. Elizabeth LudwigJuly 15, 2013 at 8:16 AM

    Thank you so much for putting this together, Joy! You made me laugh at the reference to page 306. Even I had to go look it up to see what was on that page! :-D

    1. Joy W. DoeringJuly 15, 2013 at 9:15 AM

      It was my pleasure, Elizabeth! I had a blast writing Rourke's feature (in case you couldn't tell). And For the record, I think the name 'Rourke' is now firmly on my top 10 list. Thank you for writing such a great story!

    2. Elizabeth LudwigJuly 15, 2013 at 9:37 AM

      Isn't that a GREAT name?? I love to give all my heroes names that stick in reader's minds, but which aren't cliche (like Steele, or Matt). LOL! I usually spend days agonizing over what to name my characters, but I always know when I've found the right one. It's kinda like choosing baby names!

  4. Pam K.July 15, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    I haven't yet read No Safe Harbor, but it sure sounds like I should! I would love to be entered in the drawing to receive a print copy of this book. Thanks.
    I really enjoy these Fiction Hero Features. Thanks for writing this one, Joy.


    1. Elizabeth LudwigJuly 15, 2013 at 9:18 PM

      I enjoy these features, too, Pam. What a clever way to interact with readers!! Kudos, Nancy and Joy!

    2. Nancy KimballJuly 17, 2013 at 9:10 PM

      Thank you Pan and Elizabeth. We love what we do here. =)

  5. MarissaJuly 15, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    My character will be Amelia. I can't wait to read Elizabeth's next book, Dark Road Home!


    1. Elizabeth LudwigJuly 15, 2013 at 9:19 PM

      Hey Marissa, thanks for stopping by! Good luck in the drawing. :-)

    2. Nancy KimballJuly 17, 2013 at 9:11 PM

      Got it, Marissa! =)

  6. AngiJuly 15, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    Oh, this book sounds really good and I, too, like the name Rourke. I'd love to read "No Safe Harbor". Please enter me in the drawing for a print copy. And thanks to Joy for the feature on Rourke.

    *Waving to Elizabeth and Nancy*


    1. Nancy KimballJuly 17, 2013 at 9:11 PM

      It's my buddy Angi Oakley!!! =) Back at ya my friend.

    2. AngiJuly 18, 2013 at 10:28 AM

      LOL! Nancy, I see you viewed the photo! :)

  7. Elizabeth LudwigJuly 16, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    Hi, Angi! Thank you for stopping by. Good luck!

  8. KayMJuly 16, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Thank you for the excellent review. I am now looking forward to reading this book! Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you so much.
    may_dayzee (at) yahoo (dot) com

    1. Elizabeth LudwigJuly 17, 2013 at 8:04 AM

      Good morning, KayM! I'm so thankful to Joy and Nancy for this fun way of featuring books. Hopefully, it'll put readers in touch with characters they might never have met otherwise. :-)

    2. Nancy KimballJuly 17, 2013 at 9:13 PM

      You got it Kay and thanks Elizabeth. Funny but when I was trying to figure out how to make my blog "work" there were too many great reviewers out there the world didn't need one more. FHF was a total answer to prayer and to my total shock I discovered there was nothing like it out there. We're fixing it, one hero at a time! =)

  9. Library LadyJuly 16, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    I would love to win this book for my church library.
    Janet E.

    1. Elizabeth LudwigJuly 17, 2013 at 8:05 AM

      Hey Janet! Do you run your church library??

    2. Nancy KimballJuly 17, 2013 at 9:15 PM

      I feel like I should know that but I don't. Janet, let's have it! =) Always great to see you here too.

  10. HeidiJuly 17, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    This book sounds intriguing! I'd love to win a copy! Thanks for the great review!


    1. Nancy KimballJuly 17, 2013 at 9:15 PM

      Oh YAY! Heidi's back again. You are SO WELCOME. Great to see you here. =)

    2. Elizabeth LudwigJuly 18, 2013 at 3:05 PM

      Thanks, Heidi! Good luck in the drawing.

  11. Angela BreidenbachJuly 17, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    I really like this way of scoring novel heroes. Hadn't seen it before. Very cool!
    Nice job, Joy.
    Author of A Healing Heart, Abingdon Press

    1. Nancy KimballJuly 17, 2013 at 9:16 PM

      Thanks, Angela. We do our own thing here. It works for us. =)

    2. Joy W. DoeringJuly 18, 2013 at 12:14 PM

      Thanks Angie, for stopping by, and for your kind words! :)

  12. PattyJuly 17, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    I haven't read this book yet, but was sure I had a copy in my TBR stack... but I've looked everywhere and can't find it so maybe I was mistaken. I would love to have a copy to read!


    1. Nancy KimballJuly 17, 2013 at 9:17 PM

      Patty we'll get you in the drawing girl, it's all good. I bet you loaned it out and someone loved Roarke so much they were hoping you'd forget. That is SO MUCH LESS a problem for me now thanks to my Kindle, hehe.

    2. Elizabeth LudwigJuly 18, 2013 at 3:06 PM

      (laughing) I sure hope that's the reason, Nancy. Thanks for playing, Patty. Good luck!

  13. Martha A.July 17, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    Great hero rating, Joy!!! Loved it! I had to agree with you on the stupid one...I was frustrated with him!
    I am really bad at remembering characters names though!!!

    1. Nancy KimballJuly 17, 2013 at 9:18 PM

      Martha, thank you! I know Joy did a great job. So proud of her and great to see you. It will come to you at a random moment when you're folding towels or choosing cereal. Then send it over. =) Read the ones that have been used to jog your memory.

    2. Joy W. DoeringJuly 18, 2013 at 12:19 PM

      Thanks, Martha! Always nice to see you here. :) I can send you a list of characters to choose from. ;)

    3. Elizabeth LudwigJuly 18, 2013 at 3:07 PM

      Rourke's a guy so...he had to be a little frustrating or it wouldn't be believable. ;-)

      Good luck, Martha!

    4. Nancy KimballJuly 18, 2013 at 3:41 PM

      Ha ha, Elizabeth. Funny because it's true. Authors call them "quirks" right? hehe =)

    5. Elizabeth LudwigJuly 18, 2013 at 5:08 PM


  14. Veronica SternbergJuly 21, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    Please enter me! I've heard good things about this book! shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

  15. Martha SturmJuly 24, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    Am currently reading this book for our book club at Living Word Bookstore. The copy I am reading is from the library. Would love to have a copy for my own library, so please enter me.
    I think I am going to be up all night reading. Am anxious to find out the answers to the mysteries.

  16. Nancy KimballJuly 31, 2013 at 7:24 PM


    Winner of a copy of No Safe Harbor is Martha Sturm.
    Winner of the $10 Amazon or B&N gift card is Ganise.

    Thanks to random.org for choosing our winners, to Joy for a great feature, and to Elizabeth Ludwig for writing an orange-worthy hero and sharing him with us.