Friday, October 10, 2014

My Kind of Heroine: Our Idealized Selves by Melissa Fox @WildRosePress #PNR #Romance

Ah, the heroine. For me, heroes are easy. Easy to write, easy to read, easy to like. Heroines? Not entirely sure why, but I find heroines not quite so easy.

An ideal heroine is what we’d like to see in ourselves—self-confident, smart, independent and inviting a partner with those same qualities. Strong enough to be a little soft and vulnerable at times. The same as a hero, I think, but on occasion it’s difficult to depict those qualities in a heroine without her appearing bitchy (mean-spirited or nasty/hurtful to others), whiny, or worst of all, the dreaded TSTL. Character flaws are great, but the hard part is portraying them in such away they aren’t over the top, annoying, or give an impression an author might not necessarily intend. My biggest pet peeve is a heroine that comes across with a streak of bitchiness used in place of strong, independent character traits, like the two are one and the same. They aren’t. Conviction, opinion, and confidence don’t have to have a negative connotation and can be tempered with common decency and politesse, but showing that can be a challenge. A hero can be portrayed as an asshole in place of strength and confidence just as often as a heroine, but have we come to accept that as a double standard—it’s okay for a man to be an ass, but not a woman to be a bitch? Not sure, but I’d love to hear other thoughts and opinions on the subject.

Some of my favorite heroines are strong and confident, not afraid to speak their minds, but they’re still thoughtful and kind to others, as well. And while they don’t need a man to take care of them or their problems, they do recognize a true partnership makes them stronger together. Diana Gabaldon’s Claire Fraser is one, and Nora Roberts’s Eve Dallas is another. Even when their foundations are shaken, they still carry that core of strength, courage, and confidence to see themselves through. Their self-assurance also gives them the reason and character to not demean others or run away from what scares them, whether it be their circumstances, the bad guy, or the hero. They can defend themselves, stick up for themselves, show their will and intelligence without belittling or being nasty and mean to those around them. It’s a hard balance to achieve not only in a character, but also in real life, as well. A trait I am constantly working to improve in both.

Demon-slayer Conor O’Shea is about to engage in the most dangerous encounter of his life—facing the woman he scorned.

For years, Merry Bradbury's world revolved around Conor O'Shea. After his sudden betrayal leaves her alone and heartbroken, she comes home to settle her past and move into the future. The last person she expects to see is Conor.

Conor never wanted anything more than forever with Merry. Discovering he is a Wraith warrior, honor bound to fight demons, destroys that plan. Merry is his Amorta, his one true soul mate, but he leaves to keep her safe from the evil that stalks him.

Eight years later, Conor's worst fear is realized, and he returns to defend Merry from his enemies. Can he save her from an unspeakable fate and reclaim her heart? And if he does, will Merry be able to accept all that he is?  

To purchase WRAITH REDEEMED, go to:
“Stay here,” Conor told her. “Don’t move, no matter what you see. No matter what happens, Merry. Stay right here.”
He waited until she nodded her assent before he turned. The woman hissed, and his shoulders rolled as he took a step toward her. Merry’s eyes grew round when long-bladed weapons appeared in his hands.
 “Wraith,” the woman snarled, lowering herself into a half-crouch.
The wicked blades twisted in his hands to point in her direction. He took another step toward the redhead, unnaturally swift but pure and beautiful in his power.
 “Go now,” he said in a quiet, even tone. “And I’ll let you live one more day."
The woman’s attention left him for an instant to settle on Merry, her eyes narrowing with speculation. A slow, feline smile curved her red lips.
 “You think you can protect her,” she purred. “How sweet. I’m going to find out if she is as delicious as she smells after I’m done with you.”

After being rationed books by my parents like most kids get rationed candy, I turned to writing to tide me over between fixes. I’ve lived in the suburbs of the Mid-West, desert of the Southwest, foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and I’m now on an island in the Puget Sound with my husband and dogs.

Author of the paranormal romance Wraith series published with The Wild Rose Press and the contemporary romantic suspense DEAD series.



  1. Great post! Food for thought. I agree about the double standard with men and women. Unfortunately, having worked in a male-dominated industry, I'd say it's a double standard that reflects real life.

    I don't mind a slightly snarky heroine as long as she shows a softer side to balance it out, or a good reason to act like that.

    Thanks for the post!

    1. The double standard thing in RL and in fiction - I so agree! I love good snark - been accused of that my self on *ahem* occasion - but I truly believe a person or character can be snarky and fun without crossing that line into being hurtful or nasty. Thanks, Abigail!

  2. Strong, intelligent women are often called bitches by men and often other women. I've heard it said that the word really means "being in total control of herself," and prefer that definition! Enjoyed reading your thoughtful post!

    1. That kind of double standard has always fascinated me - why self-confident (and in total control of themselves!) women are derided for it while it is attractive and celebrated in men. One of those questions for the ages, I think, although someday I really hope it becomes irrelevant. Appreciate the great comment, Ashantay :)

  3. Thanks for having me for this great series, Melissa! Coming out of my cold-medicine fog finally this morning - yuck!

    1. Hi Melissa,
      Oh ick! Hope you're feeling better. Thank you for much for taking part in My Kind of Heroine! Best of luck with your new release and your promotion. :)

  4. I've had reviewers not like my books just because they thought the heroine was too strong. Huh? But they go all ga-ga over alpha heroes. They just don't like strong women? Don't identify with them? Don't want to be one? Then I guess my books aren't for you. Some of my heroines can be rightly called bitches, but they have redeeming qualities. I lived in their heads for a while, and I like them.