Who doesn’t love a man in uniform, or even a man of authority? As a reader, it’s one of my favorite reads. The hot alpha male who’d risk his life to protect her and move heaven and earth to possess her?

Before writing Stone Walls, men in uniforms and civil servants always fascinated me. They willingly risked their lives every day to protect others. In my mind, it was the job itself that made them real heroes. Their duties automatically lifted them above all others, placing them in a godlike category all by themselves.

Until one visit into New York City had me wondering what kind of men were behind the shield, the uniform, the job responsibility to protect and serve?

An attractive officer stood at a busy intersection, scanning the crowd as tourists went about their lives oblivious to anything around them. The cop was extremely handsome, tall, muscular, a face better suited to be a male model. But the one thing that had me staring in a very unflattering way was the wedding band on his finger.

Holy hell.

I thought of that officer often. His exterior was hard as stone, but that ring said otherwise. I remember wondering what his spouse looked like? Did they have kids, a dog? Did he drive a mini-van, or hang out at ballet classes and soccer games on his days off?

How silly a wedding band on his finger was what made this man the ultimate man in my eyes. It was that ring that made him human.

Off he went every day risking his life to protect one of the greatest cities on earth. His bravery absolutely made him a real hero in every sense. What he did after his job was over, possibly making dinner, playing with his kids, walking that dog, loving his family—that was what made him a true hero. His hard as stone exterior not only protected those he served, most importantly it protected his heart…one filled with love.

It wasn’t long after encountering that police officer when New York City Officer Ben Stone was born. Stone Walls is the first book in my True Heroes series. Book two, Glass Ceilings, revolves around an FBI agent named Nick Farley. Book three, Dark Corners, takes you on a journey with a war vet, David Cavello, who’d been to hell and back. The characters in my True Heroes books represent everything I feel a hero should, both in their careers and in their personal lives.

A real hero can protect and serve, but a true hero knows how to love.

madden

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