Today I am overjoyed that we have a BOOK BIRTHDAY to fellow Totally Bound author, Ashley Ladd!
She has an AWESOME post about Strong Heroines but I wanted to throw confetti and balloons on her book's release day!
Strong Female Heroines
By Ashley Ladd
I was just reading a post on Facebook where the reader likes strong heroines. However, she was
upset concerned that some
authors make their heroines bitchy or act like uncouth men dressed in women’s
clothing. That reminds me of when Mulan has to dress like an army soldier
because she’s pretending to be a man.
Not only does Mulan look like a man, but she does really ill-mannered things like spit per the advice of her dragon companion (played by Eddie Murphy).
Other than a good reason like Mulan had (she would be put to death if she was caught and she was doing this to save her father’s life) I don’t believe a woman has to act like a man to be strong. Nor does she have to be witchy and contrary.
I’m blessed to know several strong women. My aunt is the most mature, beautiful woman I know. I know a lot of people who are supposedly “grown up” but few really are. She lends her shoulder and her ear to everybody. She’s the family’s rock.
I have another friend who heavily relies on a cane to walk and she recently retired due to physical reasons. Yet, through her personal pain and disabilities, she counsels people daily to see the bright side of life. She is a strong prayer warrior that others rely on to get through the day.
Several years ago one of my fellow church members was a very gracious, soft-spoken, seemingly gentle woman. Yet she was also an active duty FBI agent.
Everyday women have children and raise families. That takes a lot of strength and wisdom. It’s not easy to run a household or to deal with multiple, often warring personalities.
I’ve written more than seventy romances and thus lots of different heroines. One of my favorites is Haley from ‘Purrfect Justice’. She had been rejected from the police force due to poor eyesight so she went to work in police headquarters as an administrative assistant. While there she fell in love with one of the detectives.
On Halloween while she’s dressed up at Cat Woman, she hears on the police scanner that the man she loves is in trouble so she rescues him. Then it becomes a habit. When he sets a trap for her and tries to find out who his mysterious masqued crusader is, she jumps her motorcycle over the police car blocking her way.
Julie, the heroine in my current Totally Bound release, ‘Her Men’, is an ex-FBI agent who is sheriff of her small home town in Indiana. In the story, she’s on vacation and revisiting her past. Although she’s kick ass on the job, she’s dressing up and being very feminine off duty as she tries to recapture the affections of the two men she’s never forgotten.
Nowadays women don’t need to dress in men’s garb and act like them (like Mulan had to) to be strong. They can be whoever, whatever they want while still being feminine. We don’t need men to be our knights in shining armor—or at least we can take turns doing the rescuing. We need mature, sexy partners to be our helpmeets.
Title: Her Men
Publisher: Totally Bound
Genre: Contemporary Erotic male-female-male romance
Book Length: 22,000 words
Forty-four year old Julie Weston has loved Timmy and James since her college days twenty something years ago. She's fantasized about both all these long years, never able to choose between them.
Hoping Tim and James will attend, she attends their college marching band reunion. When both men show up her dreams are answered. They're sexier than she imagined and she hopes they won't be disappointed by her older self.
It turns out both men came just to see her again and neither is happy about the other’s presence. They fight over her, confusing her more than ever. It takes a hot ménage…or two…for her heart to decide which one she’s in love with.
Oh God. She couldn’t make up her mind, just as she’d feared. They were both fulfilling her dreams and almost her fantasies. Why couldn’t she be like Connie and love just one man?
“I’m single. And confused,” she admitted unhappily, hoping and praying her answer wouldn’t drive either man away before her heart could decide who it wanted. She held her breath, waiting for James to drop her on her ass and leave in disgust.
But he stayed. His eyes darkened. His fingers bit into her arms, but he didn’t walk away. Instead, he kissed her again, rubbing his groin against her. When he finally released her, he promised, “Game on.”
Tim stomped over and shoved James away. “What the hell was that?”
James pushed him back. “What in the hell does it look like?”
“Keep your hands off her.”
“I don’t see a ring on her finger, and she started it.”
Tim wrinkled his brow, captured her hand and yanked her to him.
“She’s had too much to drink.”
Again she help up one finger and repeated, “I just had one.” She thought it best not to mention the Benadryl.
With sad eyes, Tim asked, “Who do you want? Me or him?”
Fighting back sudden, scalding tears, she freed herself, stepped back and regarded both men. “I don’t know.”
Tim’s expression grew incredulous as if she’d struck him. He echoed, “You don’t know? Since when do you like him?”
“Maybe since you dumped her,” James said with a sneer. He puffed up and faced off with Tim. “If you don’t like it, back out. I’m going to fight for her—like I should have before.”
Tim’s eyes grew large as saucers. “I had no idea. You were with Theresa…”
“Theresa dropped me like a hot cake. And you disappeared.”
“And I heard she was going out with Gus, not you.” Tim looked around as though to make sure Gus wasn’t about to pop out of nowhere.
She heaved a sigh. “Gus was my friend. He fell for me, not vice versa. I feel bad if I led him on. It wasn’t intentional.”
“Like me? You never realized I liked you as more than a friend,” Phil interjected as he danced nearby with Anita.
She blanched and wanted to evaporate.
James winked. “It seems you were quite the siren, leaving all of us shipwrecked in your wake.”
Stunned, she clasped her hand to her throat. “I swear, I had no clue. I’m so sorry.”
“Yet you’re still leaving us in your wake, honey.” Tim glared at all of them and fisted his hands on his hips.
Honey? She didn’t like the sound of that.
Ashley Ladd is a disabled Air Force vet that is hard of hearing but still loves language, especially the written word. She loves a sexy man, especially one with a military background and they’ll often pop up in her stories. She also loves cats and has been known to empower a cat with the gift of speech. Unfortunately he wouldn’t shut up. J She loves to plug into Pandora and sip Diet Coke while writing, usually with a cat or kid at her side.