Writing the Kick Ass Heroine
One of my fav quotes is “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” During the Regency, being considered a ‘pattern’ sort of girl (one who played by the rules) was encouraged, but there were always the exceptions. And those rule-breakers were the ones who were declared to be Originals–trendsetters the ton watched with horrified fascination. My friend Shana Galen brings the ultimate rule-breaker to her If You Give a Rake a Ruby.
Be sure to leave a comment for Shana at the end of this post because there are two chances to win free reads!
from Shana Galen:
I love kick ass heroines. I love writing them, and I love reading books featuring them. My favorite kick ass heroine is JD Robb’s Eve Dallas. Eve is such a perfect mixture of tough and vulnerable. I think all of my kick ass heroines (Sophia from Lord and Lady Spy, Raeven from The Rogue Pirate’s Bride, and now Fallon from If You Give a Rake a Ruby) are derived, in some form or other, from Eve Dallas.
Here’s what I love about kick ass heroines.
1) Kick ass heroines get to kick ass. Here’s a scene from If You Give a Rake a Ruby.
Kwirley was slower than she’d anticipated, and she had almost gained the towering mahogany doors before he caught her elbow and spun her around. “Not so fast—” he began.
Fallon kicked him in the belly, sending him sprawling backward. He knocked over a pedestal holding a jeweled lamp, and she had a moment’s worry because it was one of her favorites. But a quick glance reassured her the lamp was not broken.
The glance also revealed Kwirley was getting up. Blockhead. “Go home, my lord. I don’t want to hurt you.”
“Really?” He wiped his hands on his breeches. “Because I would like to hurt you. I don’t know who you think you are, but you’re going to pay for—”
She sidestepped him, spun, and booted him in his lower back. The blow set him off-balance, and she had a moment to grab a book and hurl it at him. Her aim was perfect, and the book’s spine hit him in the center of the forehead. “Ow, you little bitch!” He charged her, and Fallon shook her head. He wasn’t even thinking, simply acting blindly. She easily sidestepped him again, and he rammed into a settee, knocking it over. While he struggled to rise, Fallon dug her heel into the back of his neck and pressed him down.
2) Kick ass heroines can also be kind (sort of).
Titus was close to seven feet tall and easily twenty-five stone. He had a thick head of bright red hair, shocking blue eyes, and a mouth full of crooked teeth. His hands were as big as puppies and his legs tree trunks. He did not walk so much as lumber, and Kwirley began protesting the moment Titus entered the room.
“There’s been some sort of mistake. I didn’t intend any disrespect.”
Fallon sighed. “Titus, I might have known you would be standing right outside.”
The giant shrugged, his shoulders small mountains. “I like to make sure there’s no trouble, my lady.”
Fallon had told him an hundred times she was no lady, but he insisted on referring to her as such anyway. Who was she to protest? It wasn’t as though anyone else was clamoring to call her a lady.
She pressed her foot into Kwirley’s neck for good measure then lifted it and stepped away. “Would you be so kind as to show Lord Kwirley out?”
“I’ll show ‘em out,” Titus said. “But I won’t be kind about it.”
Kwirley gave her a panicked look, and Fallon was sorely tempted to shrug helplessly. But at the last moment, she took pity on the man.
“Titus, be nice. Don’t throw Lord Kwirley farther than the lamp post.”
3) Kick ass heroines can be vulnerable.
She shut her eyes, trying not to remember. “I’d already been stealing for my father, picking pockets, grabbing food from vendors’ carts. Do you really want to hear this?”
She straightened at his empathetic tone. “I don’t want your sympathy. If you’re going to feel sorry for me, then I’ll stop right now.”
“I don’t feel sorry for you.”
She narrowed her eyes, studying him in the dim light. “No, I’m sure you’re gloating over your perfect childhood.” She didn’t know where it came from, this defensiveness. She supposed it had lain latent for years as she moved through the ton and adopted their ways. But she’d never been one of them. Deep down, she’d always known that. Fitzhugh was going to make certain she didn’t forget.
“I can’t complain. I did have a rather idyllic childhood, but it was far from perfect and nothing to gloat over. I certainly haven’t overcome what you haven’t overcome what you have. I haven’t made myself into the kind of person you have.”
Fallon studied him for a long moment. Had that been respect in his tone? She could have heard him incorrectly…
What about you? Do you prefer kick ass heroines or their more demure sisters? One person who comments will be randomly chosen to receive a copy of When You Give a Duke a Diamond, the first in the Jewels of the Ton series (US and Canada).
If You Give a Rake a Ruby by Shana Galen—in stores March 2013
HER MYSTERIOUS PAST IS THE BEST REVENGE . . .
Fallon, the Marchioness of Mystery, is a celebrated courtesan with her finger on the pulse of high society. She’s adored by men, hated by their wives. No one knows anything about her past, and she plans to keep it that way.
ONLY HE CAN OFFER HER A DAZZLING FUTURE . . .
Warrick Fitzhugh will do anything to protect his compatriots in the Foreign Office, including seduce Fallon, who he thinks can lead him to the deadliest crime lord in London. He knows he’s putting his life on the line . . .
To Warrick’s shock, Fallon is not who he thinks she is, and the secrets she’s keeping are exactly what make her his heart’s desire . . .
About the Author
Shana Galen is the bestselling author of fast-paced adventurous Regency historicals, including the RT Reviewers’ Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Her books are published all over the world and have been featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs. She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston‘s inner city. Now she writes full time. She’s happily married and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making. Shana loves to hear from readers: visit her website at www.shanagalen.com or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.
Now it’s YOUR turn. Leave a comment to enter our random drawing. One lucky winner will receive Shana’s When You Give a Duke a Diamond and a second commenter will win my latest release, Stroke of Genius!