Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Guest Post & Giveaway: Anne Calhoun

Heroines. Discuss.

For the last five years I’ve typed Writer in the blank for occupation on my income tax forms, and one of the most important lessons I’ve learned during that time is to understand yourself as a writer, what appeals to you, what works for you, what stretches your abilities for the better, or for the worse.

So, for better or for worse, I tend to write heroines who are firmly in control of their lives and actions. They make very conscious decisions to seek out the hero, to push his buttons, to ask him to push hers. I’ve deviated from this once so far, and the writing process was, not to put too fine a point on it, a total freaking disaster. I tend to respond to the same thing in romance novels.

Two of my favorite heroines are from Megan Hart’s erotic novels: Elle from Dirty and Sadie from Broken. Hart writes compelling, character-driven erotic books that make you want to weep for the heroines. Elle struggles with a wretched, horrid past but she’s not a victim to it. Sadie’s husband is a quadriplegic, and she loves him so much it’s difficult to read, yet she’s enthralled to Joe, who tells the stories of the life she never wanted and will never have. Hart’s characters carry around unimaginable burdens but those burdens never break or victimize them.

I tried to create the same vulnerable strength in Thea Moretti, the heroine in my current Carina Press release, BREATH ON EMBERS. Thea’s beloved husband died in a car accident two years earlier, and while on the surface she’s actively engaged with life – new job at an investment brokerage in Manhattan, hot FDNY lieutenant in her bed – her internal vista is a howling, black void. Everyone knows she’s lost. Everyone wants to save her…except the hero. Ronan says that he knows he can’t rescue her. He’s going to give her a good reason to rescue herself.

What do you prefer in romance novels, the fantasy of being rescued by a good, strong man, or a heroine who finds her own way through life’s difficulties with a good, strong man by her side? I’d love to hear your thoughts! One commenter will win a copy of BREATH ON EMBERS! (Please leave email with comment)

Book blurb --

Christmas is the perfect time for Firefighter Ronan O’Rourke to take things to the next level with his sexually adventurous girlfriend. He knows she has feelings for him—and he’s sure of his feelings for her—but when Thea refuses his invitation to sample Christmas in New York City because what they share is nothing more than sheet-burning sex, Ronan sets out to change her mind.

Deep down Thea Moretti knows she cares for Ronan, but she can’t move past her grief over her late husband. Loud music and sex with Ronan are the only things she’s got that her feel alive, so she takes as much of both as she can get. She knows Ronan wants more, but during the darkest time of the year finding her way won’t be easy.

Ronan gambles everything and challenges Thea: one night of passion with him and another man. Can he prove to her that what they share isn’t just great sex but an emotional connection strong enough to last forever?

Anne's info --


  1. Great guest post! For me sometimes I think what book I read depends on what mood I'm in. Most of the time I like to read about heroines that can stand on their own, find their own way. But I still like some of my old classics where the big Alpha hero swoops in and takes over. Thanks for the giveaway!


  2. Good post.
    i do like to read about the fantasy of being rescued by a good, strong man, but it actually depends on my mood i also like to read about heroines that get the chance and change there lives.
    Thank you for this giveaway


  3. I like a heroine that can stand on her own with a strong man by her side. If the heroine in the story is to weak it makes me want to stop reading the book. This book sounds really good. Please enter me. Thanks!


  4. I love that it has 2 strong leads- I dont enjoy stories with a damsel in distress-
    follow via gfc

  5. I love having a strong man rescue me or I love having both the hero and heroine strong. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me.

  6. I prefer the strong heroine with a good man by her side. She knows who she is not defined solely by her relationship, but she can be vulnerable. It's those times that the other strong lead helps to build them up and support them.


  7. I prefer the strong heroine with a good man! In fact, I think a true strong man will want to be by a strong woman's side.


  8. Those fantasies of being swept off my feet are tempting but in the end, I'd rather rely on myself to get through the difficult times, with the help of a good man, of course.


  9. I do love a heroine who can take care of herself.


  10. I like a story where both hero and heroine are strong.