Guest Bloggers Dionne Galace, Annie Dean and Bonnie Dee – And A Contest!

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

Boundless Heroines

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.

42 thoughts on “Guest Bloggers Dionne Galace, Annie Dean and Bonnie Dee – And A Contest!

  1. 1

    Congrats on the book! :clap:

    There are myriad ways in which a heroine can be strong and it’s always such fun to see how she leads the hero on a merry chase. :giggle:

  2. 2
    Sherry says:

    The book sounds awesome.

    I’ve been reading romance for more years than I’m willing to admit and both heroes and heroines have evolved tremendously.

    I don’t think strong has to equal infalliable, or someone who can’t lean on her hero if the situation requires. The best relationship is one were the couples strengths and weaknesses complement each other.

  3. 3
    Erica R says:

    Great blog post! And I totally agree w/ Sherry re: strong infallible, and leaning on each other can be a Good Thing. I try not to make TSTL heroines or asshole heroes. I like my heroines to be focused and driven, or at least unwilling to have their personal morals/goals/whatever be compromised. All the Boundless women sound great! =)

  4. 4
    Amy S. says:

    Great post! Boundless sounds great! I totally agree about the heroines. Heroine’s can be strong and they can also outwit their adversaries.

  5. 5
    darla says:

    Your book sounds great! Excellent blog post! I love a good kick ass heroin but better that that I love one that can hold her own with confidence and smarts, and it isn’t readily apparent exactly what she’ll do next.

  6. 6
    Bonnie Dee says:

    Hey, all. Thanks for dropping by.

    I believe the romance genre is a thousand times better than it was back in the day when Good Housekeeping role models were all a woman had to look to.

    I tried to find a link to a list of “womanly virtues” once published at GH. Some of you may have seen this. The article is all about keeping your home perfect for your man, keeping the little ones out of his way when he first comes home so he has time to unwind, and not letting your petty little stories supplant the much more important things he has to say about his day. The list would be a hoot if it wasn’t so Stepford Wife scary. If anyone knows what I’m talking about and has access to it, please post or link here!

  7. 7
    Michelle says:

    First off, Bam, your descriptions kick major butt – well done. I look forward to reading your story, just to “hear” your pink-haired :kickass: heroine.

    Annie Dean – this concept sounds so good, and very fresh. My mind starting turning over the possibilities as soon as I read your blurb. I can’t wait to read it.

    Bonnie Dee – your heroine sounds like a quietly strong woman, who works to get what she needs, without whining. :clap:

    I love a strong heroine. That’s why I like Jaci’s Demon series. Her girls are :fire: and strong. I don’t mind an Alpha male if the woman can match him. I’m not so much in to the “me Tarzan, you Jane” mentality.

  8. 8

    I like reading about heroines that had a LIFE before the hero came along. She had a back story, issues, good times… someone who feels real no matter how messed up her background was.

  9. 9
    Annie Dean says:

    Thanks, everyone. Boundless has been getting good reviews, so I think you’ll enjoy it if you try it out.

    I agree with what you’re saying about the heroine in romances. Sometimes I feel that the woman is just a placeholder; she has so little personality of her own. I want a heroine who feels worthy (or matches) the hero. She may not be able to out-fight him, but she can occasionally get the best of him (and not by being pouty or whiny or turning on the tears).

    Who are some of your favorite heroines?

  10. 10
    Jaci says:

    Apologies to Bonnie for mis-typing your name on my intro. I blame insufficient caffeination. 😳 . I fixed it.

    I love a strong heroine. I can’t write a book without one. She has to be the equal of her partner, and he has to see her that way. No wilting flowers. I don’t like writing them, nor do I like reading them. I don’t think she has to kick ass equal to the hero (though that’s nice too and can be fun. :chicken: ), but she has to have a mind and will of her own, not be a dormat whose life didn’t exist until the hero came along.

    And I think a really great heroine can make the hero.

  11. 11
    Susan says:

    Congratulations on Boundless! I think you have a big seller on your hands. :whoo:

    I love heroines who are smart, not afraid to voice their opinions, and can kick ass when necessary, but still can have a soft side that doesn’t interfere with that.

  12. 12
    Crystal B. says:

    This book sounds great. I like heroines who are strong, independent and go after what they want. They don’t need someone to rescue them and don’t wait for the guy to make the first move. They are in charge of their own destiny.

  13. 13
    Michele Lee says:

    Well I was going to comment about how the books is looking better then more I read, but I’m distracted by all the fun smilies I could use in this post…

  14. 14
    Little Lamb Lost says:

    Congrats on the release of Boundless! Have been noticing that there are more books with strong heroines than in the past. I like the more fully fleshed out characterizations that we have been seeing lately.

  15. 15
    Wendy says:

    All those heroines sound individually great. Boundless certainly sounds like it is a great book! I can’t wait to read it. :kickass:

  16. 16
    aBookworm says:

    It’s wonderful that you guys are ushering in a new era of heroines – sassy, capable and so much fun. I can’t wait for more authors to join this great bandwagon!

  17. 17
    Teresa W. says:

    Love the way all the heroines sound in the book. Hope you have a great release for Boundless!

  18. 18
    Christy H. says:

    Great blog post.
    And, yes I agree that the cover for BOUNDLESS is gorgeous ~ I can’t wait to read it.

  19. 19
    Cherie J says:

    Love that cover! Sounds like a great bunch of stories. I love a strong heroine. She does not necessarily have to be physically strong but I definitely don’t want her to be stupid. Mental strength is definitely a must.

  20. 20
    Zara says:

    Thanks so much for being here chicas!

    Boundless sounds amazing and the cover is stunning! Yes, I love the heroes, but a heroine has to be at least somewhat relatable. After all, I want to root for the heroine. I can’t do that if I hate her lol. All of your heroines sound vivid and original, so I can’t wait to read the book! :devil:

  21. 21
    Lorelie says:

    “I love a good kick ass heroin”

    Do ya main-line it, Darla? Or just a good snort? :::snicker::: I laugh only because I made that same typo a few days ago and a friend called me on it.

    I too, am distracted by the smilies. Is that a banana boinking another banana? Do you know how tempted I am to tell the saga of the smilies?

  22. 22
    Bev Stephans says:

    Strong heroines are sexy. The book sounds awesome.

  23. 23

    Do ya main-line it, Darla? Or just a good snort?

    Damn it, Lorelie, I was going to make that joke.

    Aw, I never got into the hard stuff. I was always a “puff-puff-give” kind of girl.

  24. 24
    darla says:

    I’m afraid I’m not only a bad speller, I’d also make a bad addict…I can’t handle things up my nose and I’m scared of needles! :hide: BG!

  25. 25
    Renny says:

    Wonderful post. The book sounds great and looks great too.

    I’ll add my voice to the love strong heroines group. I want to see an independent woman who is the equal of the hero. If you don’t have confidence in yourself,you’d get walked all over by those Alpha males. My one pet peeve though is don’t make her so strong and independent that she never asks for help because she can handle everything alone.

    Oh, and I’m with Kitty on Waiting for Godot – any reference to Samuel Beckett only makes me think of Quantum Leap.

  26. 26
    Annie Dean says:

    I agree about the Alpha thing. I hate when the woman gives in without so much as a whimper because he’s so strong and masterful. Gack.

  27. 27
    Kimberly says:

    The book sounds great! I like a good kick ass heroine, although that’s not the only kind of heroine I enjoy reading about. I tend to enjoy heroines of two types a. the kind I can relate to (someone who either reminds me of myself, or with whom I can imagine sharing my Ben and Jerry’s) and b. someone I can fantasize about being. Some of my favorite characters are both–e.g. Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan—while the “too stupid to live” heroine is neither.

  28. 28
    Jambrea says:

    My favorite heroine will always be Scarlett O’Hara. People might not have liked her, but she did what she needed to do for herself and her family. She had her faults, but she was strong.

  29. 29
    Shari C says:

    Thanks for stopping by and what a fantastic cover…love it!!!

    I love strong independent heroines who can take care of themselves and don’t let those heroes walk all over them…makes for some interesting moments and some very sexy scenes. Love ’em!!!

  30. 30
    Cathy M says:

    My favorite heroines tend to have some life experience under their belts. They are smart, have opinions, see the strength in themselves, look at life with a sense of humor, and want a love interest that can also be their partner in life.

  31. 31
    Pamk says:

    my favorite heroines are smart, funny, and take no shit girls. This book sounds great.

  32. 32
    catslady says:

    The cover is just gorgeous :gorgeous:
    I don’t think anyone loves a whiny heroine – really enjoyed the post and the book sounds like a great read.

  33. 33
    Lorelie says:

    I’d also make a bad addict…I can’t handle things up my nose and I’m scared of needles!

    Hey, we’ll hook you up as a meth addict. Smoke it with home made pipes . . . and rotting, falling out teeth. So so sexy.

  34. 34

    Hey, we’ll hook you up as a meth addict. Smoke it with home made pipes . . . and rotting, falling out teeth. So so sexy.

    … or Ecstasy. All you gotta do is pop a pill. You better like flashing glowing lights, trance music, and strangers touching you, though.

  35. 35
    Annie Dean says:

    Uh, gross. Has anyone read ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT? Now there’s a heroine…

  36. 36
    Lorelie says:

    Diane: And don’t forget not knowing what it’s mixed with, so you could end up either flying or on a slow roll.

    Anne, which one? There’s several with that title. . . Of course the upcoming novella by that name is led by a gay male couple. :bat:

    (Oh thank god, if you use a smiley they all stop bouncing and wiggling and jumping.)

  37. 37

    […] Thanks again to Chris Marie Green. Oh, and if you haven’t already, please check out our guest post on Jaci Burton’s blog for a chance to win 20 Amazon bux and copies of Boundless. We’re talking about kickass heroines over there and it’s pretty hoppin’. Also, please check out Tumperkin’s sizzling serial, The Ring. Another segment will be published on Friday… and lemme tell ya: It is hawt. […]

  38. 38
    darla says:

    :dumbass: “Drugs” :dumbass:

    Ugh…thanks but no thanks…crazy I may be, but stupid I am not! :exactly:

  39. 39
    kim h says:

    hot cover. love men with no shirts :bdance:

  40. 40
    Annie Dean says:

    Thanks! We really love the cover too. The tatts are just too tasty.

  41. 41
    catie says:

    I love heroine’s who defy expectations–i.e., rather than just kicking ass physically, she makes a discovery about herself or her abilities as Bonnie’s lead femme. Anyone that shakes up the status-quo tends to receive my thumbs up.

    Now if only we could discover this endless supply of enormously endowed males in REAL life… :laundry:

  42. 42
    tami says:

    :gorgeous: wowsa all the books , the covers are getting way hotter :fire:

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