Isn’t that a gorgeous cover? :sasmokin:
I first ‘met’ Dionne Galace, or Bam, at her blog, It’s Not Chick Porn. That blog makes me laugh my ass off. So I tend to go there all the time. Y’all should check it out.
Anyway, when I saw the cover of this book, I drooled. Who wouldn’t? So I asked her and Annie Dean and Bonnie Dee, the authors of this anthology, to come guest blog. They decided to talk about one of my favorite topics – heroines.
Dionne, Annie and Bonnie will be giving away two copies of BOUNDLESS along with a $20 Amazon Gift Certificate to a few random commenters, so make sure to comment about heroines here. :boobie:
And you can read more about BOUNDLESS here
Dionne Galace: I came across this rant by Keishon a few months ago and it really made me think about how heroines in romance novels really get the short end of the stick. Sure, they get the ridiculously good-looking man with the millions of dollars and nine-inch cock and the happily-ever-after, but have we ever really stopped to think what they have to go through to get there? Hell, they get shot at, kidnapped, and held hostage by anyone who has ever held a grudge with the hero. On top of that, they often experience the coldest, most messed up mind-fuck and from the hero, no less. Sure, they also often place themselves in that position by being dumber than dog crap and throwing themselves headlong into danger like it’s a clearance sale at Kitson’s.
But why is that? These are romance novels written by women supposedly for women, but why is the female lead always two cigarettes short of a pack? Is it the whole rescue thing or something? Surely we as writers can provide our readers a strong female lead who can kick ass and choke a bitch without making the hero look like an emasculated sissy-boy man. I mean, when I’m reading a romance, I sometimes find myself wondering what I would do differently from the heroine of the book. One thing I would never do is believe the villain when he says, “I have your boyfriend, Ukiah Caleb Hawksbury. If you don’t come to me, I’ll kill him” and go running off to him like a fool and get myself killed. I would demand proof. Ukiah and I would have previously invented a distress code. Say, if he said, “The moon is awful nice tonight. Why don’t you go for a walk?” that would mean, “A psycho madman has a gun to my head. Please call all my Navy Seal sequel bait friends and do not, under any circumstances, come here by yourself. For serious. I am so not joking, it’s not even funny.”
In Waking Kitty, my contribution to the anthology Boundless, my heroine Kitty Jones is, on the surface, one of those wide-eyed, big-boobed heroines with a breathy voice who could tell you the exact shade of her lip gloss, but not who wrote Waiting for Godot. She’s got bubblegum-pink hair. She looks more like Rocker Barbie than… say, your stereotypical non-hot (secretly hot) girl who wears a ponytail and glasses. My hero Jack describes her thusly, “She had the look of an old-school Hollywood bombshell mixed with a Japanese anime character. She was a sex kitten, an innocent schoolgirl, and two fingers of straight-up, single-match scotch rolled into one.” But don’t let the appearance fool you. Deep inside, Kitty is molten steel. She’s quite possibly losing her mind, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to let some man push her around and tell her what to do. In Kitty, I think, readers will find a kindred soul (never mind the pink hair). She is just a woman trying to find a purpose and meaning in a world that sees her as nothing more than a fragile doll. She’s a feminist. A woman warrior. She’s Wonder Woman. She possibly read The Second Sex by Simone De Beauvoir and thought, “That was fucking awesome.” She doesn’t lose her cool even after she meet Jack, the toughest of the tough guys. I had a lot of fun writing Kitty. She was a bit of a challenge because her personality is so strong, but I really enjoyed writing a heroine who can go toe-to-toe with the hero and not break a sweat. Kitty is a frickin’ badass, dudes.
Annie Dean: People always talk about the hero. Because let’s face it, that’s a huge reason why we buy romance novels — to read about the delicious men who give their women happily ever afters. Over on Romancing the Blog, Sylvia Day writes:
“The kick-ass heroine has received much press of late, while the “weaker” heroines are used to getting a few knocks. But there are quite a few bestselling authors whose books feature heroines who aren’t remarkably strong or kick ass. These heroines aren’t Too Stupid To Live, they’re simply not… much. When the story is over and the book is closed, it’s the heroes who linger in the reader’s minds and are discussed with affection.”
To which, I responded: “I’ve often thought that for certain authors, their ability to write an amazing hero is their ticket to the gravy train. And it is, in fact, enough for the heroine to simply show up and not be an idiot.”
I try to go a step beyond that with my heroines. I could write about Teresa and what I tried to do in Seven Days , but other people have done a lovely job of that for me. So I’ll reference their words instead.
Devon wrote: “Teresa is a devout young woman, intelligent, curious and serious. Though she can’t resist her curiosity about Dev, she deals with him thoughtfully and deliberately, trying to figure out how to best outwit him. I could see how Dev would be as intrigued by her as she was by him.”
Lauren Dane wrote: “Teresa is not the heroine you’ve read nine hundred times and yet, you know her anyway.”
Teresa intends to devote her life to the church, immaculate and untouched. Into her quiet life comes a beautiful devil sent to test her purity and her determination. She is silent prayers at midnight; he is the flash of gold in a gambler’s palm. She has known nothing but service and self-sacrifice. He has known nothing but centuries of carnal sin. Neither know anything about love. If she denies him, she condemns him to eternity in hell. If she yields, she forfeits her soul. Who will emerge victorious? To find out, join Dev and Teresa for seven days of temptation.
I hope you’ll read it and let me know what you think.
Bonnie Dee: There are all sorts of ways to be a strong heroine. A woman might physically kick ass and take no prisoners. She might use her seductive wiles to control some aggressive alpha male. Wits might come into play, ala Arabian Nights in which Scheherazade must tell tales to keep herself alive. Or the dogged determination to survive might take a subtler form.
The heroine of “The Straw Man” is an average woman. She runs her parents’ farm, which she’s inherited, and does it successfully. But she is lonely and longing, as most people do, for a special “other” to complete her life. In her position it hasn’t been easy to meet men and she’s beginning to feel like she may go through the rest of her life without finding anyone. Her fervent, single-minded desire for at least one night with a perfect lover is strong enough to call up elemental magic that grants her wish.
The premise of this story is simple. Woman wants man. Woman gets man. Loses man. Regains him. It’s an eternal motif in romance stories, isn’t it? But this story is much more about the female protagonist than her mate. It’s about the unfolding of Marie’s belief that she can make new things happen instead of walking a treadmill life. And in the end it simply takes a potent surge of willpower and faith to bring her what she wants. I loved the idea of making something out of nothing and I hope readers will, too.