I write romance for Harlequin Western Romance and Entangled Bliss. Authors of all genres include many different characters in their books, but naturally, the two most important in a romance novel are the hero and heroine. Romance readers want to fall in love with the hero—which is a fun topic, but one for another day!
Today we’re talking heroines.
In my opinion, readers want to relate to the heroine, to connect with her, to feel for her, and sometimes even to be her. That feeling of connectedness is why my favorite heroines are everyday women who live in the same world we do and deal with the same problems we face.
It’s probably as easy for me to show you as it is to explain, so here’s a look back at the opening of my first published book, The Sheriff’s Son.
The eeny-meeny-miny-mo approach to paying bills wouldn't keep creditors from her door much longer.
Sarah Lindstrom sighed, planted her elbows on the desk and buried her face in her hands.What she wouldn't do for some matches or a fireplace. But the only bookstore in Dillon, Texas, wasn't the place to find either of those things, even if she were dumb enough to resort to drastic measures. Burning the bills would only add to her problems, not solve them.
If one more straw would snap the camel's back, as Daddy used to say, then one more debt, one more unplanned doctor visit, one more call from Kevin's school ought to bring down a whole herd of cattle.
The thought of her son made her sigh again. It was only a few weeks into the new school year, and in that short time, he'd given her more grief than in all seven years of his life combined.You might not be able to tell from this clip that Sarah is a single mom, but you should definitely pick up that she’s a struggling mom, fighting to make a living and to put food on the table for her and her son. A son, as you may have guessed, who is causing her some sleepless nights.
Sarah’s just like me. And maybe a bit like you?
We’re still paying off the replacement air conditioning/heating unit we had installed last year, so trust me, Sarah’s approach to bill paying sometimes hits very close to our home.
The thing is, she’s a true heroine, like so many women I know.
Put a woman in a tough spot, and she’ll most likely stiffen her backbone and brace herself for whatever’s coming next. She’ll be resourceful when it comes to handling problems. She’ll offer a strong shoulder for friends to cry on and reveal a soft heart when it comes to kids and animals. And when life throws serious trouble in her path…?
Well, then a woman—and a true heroine—will abide by one of my favorite sayings. I can’t give you its attribution as people disagree on the origin, and I’ve seen this written in slightly different ways, but here’s one version of the quote:
“A woman is like a tea bag—you never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water.”
That’s the kind of heroine I can look up to.
In my new release from Harlequin Western Romance, the heroine hides her real, shy self behind a sassy attitude and a flirty smile. That’s another type of heroine I admire, one who doesn’t let anyone see her sweat! Well…most of the time. But as this book opens, Ally’s about to encounter a situation unlike any she’s ever experienced before. And only time will tell whether or not she’ll survive it.
How about you? What makes you relate to a heroine? I’d love to know.
From the back cover of The Rancher’s Baby Proposal:
HER SECRET COWBOY CRUSHAlly Martinez has always been known as a fun and flirty kind of gal. But deep down she’s never forgotten the cowboy who left town. When her crush Reagan Chase comes home after a five-year absence, Ally knows this is her big chance. The guy I’ve always wanted. Only Reagan has something different in mind…
Still reeling from his last relationship, Reagan needs a babysitter for his month-old son. With Ally’s help, he can get his family’s ranch ready for sale and get out of Cowboy Creek. The problem? Ally is one seriously cute distraction. But Reagan will do whatever it takes to keep his heart safe. Even if it means losing the only place—and the only woman—he can call home.Amazon
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Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom. Barbara also loves writing, reading, and chocolate. Come to think of it, she enjoys writing about those subjects, too!
Barbara wrote her first short story at the age of nine, then typed "The End" to her first novel many years later...in the eighth grade. Now she's writing contemporary romance on a daily basis, with an ongoing series from Harlequin Western Romance (The Hitching Post Hotel) and a new series from Entangled Bliss (Snowflake Valley). Sign up for her newsletter to keep up with the latest in her writing life: http://barbarawhitedaille.com/newsletter.Find Barbara and her books online:
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