Friday, February 1, 2013

Heroines...what's your stance?

I am thrilled to have Joanne Stewart, author extraordinaire and agency mate, visiting Tattered Pages today. And I LOVE this post. Love it. It speaks to me on several different levels. If you're an an author like me and Joanne...heck, even if you're not..I wonder...what is YOUR favorite type of heroine? Leave us a comment and let us know. Oh, and do yourself a favor and scroll down to the excerpt. Whoot! LOL

Take it away, Joanne!
If you’ve ever read one of my books, you’ll know I don’t write feisty heroines. In fact, my heroines tend to be the exact opposite. They tend to be the quiet girls. Bookworms. Geeks. Shy girls. The type of people who usually get overlooked. I prefer them, because, well, they’re more like me.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I like the kickass heroine. It’s kind of fun to be in the shoes of someone strong, who isn’t afraid to stand up for herself and say to hell with what others think. In fact, I wrote one. Becca Morgan from Winning Becca. She hasn’t gotten published yet. She’s still sitting with my agent, waiting to be edited. But Becca is a third degree black belt in karate and she isn’t afraid to stand up to the likes of the hero, Jackson Kade. I had fun watching Jackson break down her defenses. I’m also partial to Vonnie’s Evie from Those Violet Eyes and Jezzy from AJ Nuest’s Jezebel’s Wish. And no. I’m not just tooting their horns because I like them. Both books blew me away. If you haven’t read them, you should! (Okay, LOVE JOANNE! LOVE HER! LOL THANKS, TOOTS!)

Back to my point (I’m a yapper once you get me going)… despite all that, I’m still more partial to seeing poor, picked on, overworked and under-appreciated Cinderella get her prince. I was that shy girl once. Unsure of herself, quiet, positive she just didn’t make the grade. I certainly wasn’t popular and I was definitely on the dorky side. lol So, I like to see the little guy or girl get his or her man (or woman).

That’s the type of heroine you’ll find in my books. The girls usually passed up. The wounded women who have fears and secrets they don’t want made public. The ones who often suffer in silence. The heroine of Her Knight in Black Leather, Cat Edwards, is a woman like that. She’s shy and quiet, a bookworm who works in her father’s small bookstore. She’s grown up with a self-absorbed mother who had an infamous reputation and Cat grew up fending off advances from guys who assumed she was exactly like her mother. Cat learned to fade into the wallpaper. She and I are a lot alike in that respect. I spent my life playing the part of the wallflower, so writing her was very easy, because in a lot of ways, she is me.

 Cat meets the hero in the town bar. She’s been dragged there by her best friend. She’s supposed to be having fun, but feeling twice her age and way over her head….


“Follow my lead.” His voice flowed against her ear, rich and smooth and darkly sensual. The kind of voice she could well imagine whispering to her in the dark. It added to the stubble prickling her cheek and, for a moment, her mind twisted off in another direction, filling with naughty fantasies. Suddenly she was dying to see the face behind the voice.

Louder he said, “Miss me?”

Velvet soft lips brushed her earlobe as he spoke, combined with the deep, sensual quality of his voice and sent delicious shivers slipping down her spine. For a moment, Cat forgot to breathe, forgot what in the world she was supposed to be doing. Somewhere through the haze that took over her mind, his meaning finally occurred to her. Her body went limp with relief. She had the sudden urge to turn and hug the man. Chivalry hadn’t died with King Arthur after all.

“You’re late.” Playing her part, she straightened on her stool and reached back to twine her fingers with his. Soft, thick fingers that filled her overheated mind with visions of them sliding over her skin.

The clod’s hand finally released her thigh, and Cat swallowed a sigh of relief then spun to face her savior. “You were supposed to be here...”

Her train of thought derailed as she came face to face with the center of a broad chest. A thickly muscled chest barely contained by the black T-shirt covering it. Her heart skipped several beats as she followed the muscles upward, past even wider shoulders, until her gaze collided with a pair of dark brown eyes that made her breath catch.

Oh boy. She clamped her mouth shut and swallowed hard. A five o’clock shadow covered a strong, square jaw, giving him a rough and rugged edge. His thick, almost black, hair licked at the collar of his worn leather jacket, just long enough to be rebellious, and tousled by the wind. Her fingers itched to reach up and slide through his hair to see if it felt as soft as it seemed.

“Forgive me.” As he bent down to her eye level, his eyes burned into hers, a hidden meaning in the dark depths she couldn’t quite grasp. She couldn’t concentrate much past the fact his face was now a scant inch from hers. His soft, warm breath fanned her lips, and her gaze zeroed in on the mouth that had sent delicious sensations thrumming through her body barely a minute ago.

Before she could ponder what on earth he meant or come up with a proper response, he took their charade a step further.

He kissed her.


Cat Edwards has spent her life playing the wallflower in an effort to escape the repressive weight of her mother’s tarnished name. Dragged to a bar by her best friend in an effort to forget a broken heart, the shy bookworm is determined to be someone else for the night, but quickly gets in over her head. She discovers chivalry isn’t dead after all when a mysterious stranger comes to her rescue. He’s wearing black leather and a mischievous smile that promises to be exactly what she needs.

When his terminally ill father suffers a setback, Michael Brant returns to the town he swore ten years ago he’d never return to. He’s come back this time determined to make peace with the past, but being home brings up memories he doesn’t want to remember anymore. His first night in town, he’s captured by a damsel in distress. Cat’s beauty is made all the more alluring when he realizes she has no idea who he is. He can’t resist spending a single night in her arms. With her, he’s only a man, disconnected from his family’s name and the past that haunts him here.

As the town erupts with the news of his return, Michael’s dark past comes back to haunt him, putting Cat in danger. Someone is threatening her life and the life of her family. Desperate to keep history from repeating itself, Michael offers her his family’s name in order to keep her safe. When the lie spirals beyond their control, can they stop their hearts from becoming entangled as well?  

About the author:

J.M. Stewart writes sweet and heartwarming contemporary romance with a touch of passion. She’s a wife, a mother, a spiritualist, and lover of puppies, and happily addicted to coffee and chocolate. She lives in the Great Rainy Northwest with her husband of sixteen years and their two sons. She’s a hopeless romantic who believe everybody should have their happily-ever-after and has been devouring romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her passion.

Where you can find Joanne on the web:

Buy link:


Alison Henderson said...

Good morning, ladies! Joanne, I love your take on quiet, overlooked heroines. I think we all have that side to us. And I LOVED the excerpt! This sounds like a great book. Congrats!

Barb Han said...

That is a gorgeous excerpt!! I agree, kick-butt heroines are fantastic, but I also love the shy girls, the ones who have to break down their own carefully constructed walls to find love!

Joanne Stewart said...

Thanks for having me, AJ! And the mention--I meant it! Jezzy was a heroine who took me by storm! ;)

This excerpt. I have to laugh. Michael wrote that one. He stormed into my scene and took over completely. I love it when they do that. ;)

Joanne Stewart said...

Alison--Thanks so much for stopping by to let me share it with you!

Barb--Exactly! Thanks for stopping by!

Niecey Roy - Romance Author said...

Oh my gosh, this book sounds awesome! And I like that you write about the shy bookworm type...that's me. Even if I'm a loud mouth in cyberspace :) I'm brave when I'm not in front of a ton of people :)

Joanne Stewart said...

Niecey--hehe. Yeah, it's definitely easier here in cyberspace, where no one can see me. In person, I'm that girl holding up the wall. lol

thanks for stopping by!

AJ Nuest said...

AGREED! I'm plagued by horrible insecurities, but I think most writers are...heck, probably all artists. And also agreed about Evie, Joanne. She ROCKS! And Win, the hero in Vonnie's book,Those Violet Eyes. I will NEVER get over my crush on that guy. He is just...dreamy.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Ladies, I have halfway through Joanne's book. Awesome, just awesome. If you loved the excerpt she shares today then you must read the book for there are many, many more "sighable" moments.

Joanne, as for your and AJ's kind words about Evie and Win, hugs to you both. I'm beyond flatterd. Truly...especially on a day I feel as if my writing is getting worse instead of better. Insecurities, oh yeah, I've got a tankful of them.

Joanne Stewart said...

I'm honored that you say that about the book, Vonnie. I adore Michael and I'm biting my nails wondering if others will as well.

RE: insecurities--you know, I'm honestly not sure that part of me will ever go away. I've been feeling that way a lot lately. It's like a dang curse. Some things in this business are just hard. But at least we have each other. We can keep each other going!

AJ--oh, we're in total agreement about Win. I was attached to him from the end of the first chapter. Made me cry, I wanted him to find his HEA so bad. LOVE Win.

AJ Nuest said...

Dang it! Now I gotta go read Those Violet Eyes...again! LOL

Melissa Fox said...

Arrrgghhh - that excerpt! The tension, description, just excellent. Can't wait to get my hands on, er, the story. I love all different kinds of heroines, ones I can relate to and ones that take me out of my comfort zone, depending on my mood and the imagination of the author. Thanks, ladies!

Joanne Stewart said...

Melissa--I'm the same. It really depends on my mood. I also think that how the author pulls it off depends on how I like it. I want a character I can identify with.

thanks for visiting with me!

AJ Nuest said...

Whoot! Just bought your book, Joanne. And I just bought Vonnie's Mona Lisa's Room. LOL A lady with an Amazon account and a Kindle is a dangerous thing...

Joanne Stewart said...

Oh, the worst feature is that one click buy. I don't have time to talk myself out of it. I think there's a picture/saying I saw going around facebook. Something about, I should never be trusted in a bookstore with a credit card. Some girls collect shoes or jewelry...I'm dangerous in the bookstore. It's like candy. Now, with Amazon, it's insta-read. lol

Karyn Good said...

Very nice excerpt! As for heroines, it depends on what I'm in the mood to read. But generally speaking, as long as they're smart and make smart decisions, even if it's for the wrong reasons, I'm a happy reader.

AJ Nuest said...

Joanne, I literally get a rush just walking into a book store...or the library. The delicious aroma of all those pages make me swoon. LOL

Joanne Stewart said...

AJ--LOL! Me too. Terrible ain't it? ;)

Karyn--as I mentioned, I have my favorites, but really, I'm fairly easy as a reader. I like to give everybody a chance. I have to admit I don't arrogant. I'm not fond of the alpha.

Thanks for visiting with me!

Nancy Jardine Author said...

Your excerpt was a fabulous end to my evening, Joanne. I've had a great day - actually adding some 3000 to my current WIP which hasn't ahppened for ages. Your lass sounds so appealing my TBR pile has increased.Best to you.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Joanne,
Great excert and premise. I am rather partial to the Cinderella type heroines myself. the ones who get themselves rescued by strong, but tortured heroes.



Joanne Stewart said...

Nancy--that's an excellent day! I don't think I've ever done 3K in one day. Congrats! That deserves celebrating!

Margaret--Yup, I agree. In general, I'm a big fan of the tortured hero. He's so complex and so yummy.

thanks for visiting with me guys!

Sandra Dailey said...

Sorry I'm late but OMG! The cover and title already had me hooked. However,I've been so busy I didn't buy it yet. After reading the excerpt, I bought it. That's right. I didn't even wait to leave this comment first.

Joanne Stewart said...

hehe. I do love this cover, Sandra. Hope you enjoy the book! Thanks for stopping by to visit!