Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hard-hitting Heroines

A few years ago, my romantic suspense, Finding Kate Huntley, garnered interest from three different publishers, but two of the three ultimately decided that the heroine should not be tougher than the hero. I’ve made countless changes requested by agents and editors over the years, but Kate Huntley’s character could not be changed without ruining the story. Kate is definitely rough around the edges. She has a tendency to curse, and she is definitely a bit tougher than Jack, the rookie FBI agent, who is sent to find her and bring her back to the States, but even Jack sees that Kate isn’t as tough as she pretends to be.
 Do you have a favorite bad ass heroine?


Another crash sounded. Kate stepped back and then threw her weight into the door.
Shit that hurt!
She yanked the pistol from her hip pocket and fired two shots at the lock. The door swung open and she stepped inside, weapon drawn, eyes wide.
Jack stood in front of the open window; his face made up of hard lines and suppressed fury as he held onto a pair of ankles, dangling the Haitian man with the ponytail out the window.
Jack’s chest rose and fell with each breath. “What took you so long?”
Ignoring him, she took inventory of the broken chair, tilted bed, and jagged pieces of glass scattered across the wood floor. “Nice.”
“Yeah, I thought the place could use a little redecorating.”
She smiled.
The thug hanging out the window grunted, his curses muffled by the crowds shouting to him from two stories below.
“So,” Kate said, “what’s the plan?”
Jack looked over his shoulder at her and lifted a handsome brow. “It was the kiss, wasn’t it?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” That was a lie. Even now, she wanted him to let the man drop two stories, take her in his arms and kiss her again, long and deep, hard and soft all at once.
“I knew you’d miss me,” he said. “I just didn’t know how much.”
“Don’t get too excited. I followed you because I’ve decided it’s time I went back to the States. I have some unfinished business to take care of.”
“I don’t know if I like the sound of that.”
She shrugged.
Grimacing, he struggled to keep his grip. “I talked to Harrison,” Jack said through gritted teeth. “He’s arranging for a private plane to pick us up in thirty minutes.” Sweat trickled down the sides of his face. “Let me take care of Charlie here and then we’ll go.”
“Let me help,” Kate said. She moved to his side and took hold of the man’s legs. “I’ve got him.”
As soon as Jack loosened his hold, she let go. Charlie dropped two stories to the ground. Somebody screamed. A loud crash followed.
“Okay,” she said, dusting off her hands. “Time to go.”
Jack looked out the window. “I wanted to question the guy.”
She lifted her shoulders. “There’s no time.”
The severe expression on his face expressed his exasperation with her. He grabbed a vinyl backpack from the floor and began stuffing his belongings inside. “You really are something, you know that?”
“So I’ve been told.”

THERESA RAGAN writes time travels, contemporary romance and suspense. She also writes thrillers under the name TR Ragan. She has been writing for twenty years and garnered six finals in RWA’s prestigious Golden Heart competition. Since self-publishing in March, 2011, she has sold over 360,000 books and recently signed her first publishing agreement with Thomas & Mercer. Theresa lives with her husband, Joe, and the youngest of her four children in Sacramento, California. When she’s not writing, she likes to hang out with family, play the piano, and travel the world.


  1. Jess Harris from Debra Webb's new series Faces of Evil. She may be a deputy chief of police but she breaks the rules. A little dicey considering her boyfriend of 20 years ago and current lover is the Chief of Police!

    Marijane Diodati

  2. Hi Marijane. That's great! I love rule breakers.

  3. I love tough, kick ass heroines! My favorite is Kate Daniels, from the series by Ilona Andrews. Second would be Mac from the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning. Your book sounds great, will put on my TBR. :)

  4. I think it is easier to find them in the Paranormal and Urban Fantasy genres. I too like Kate Daniels. She is as Kick a** as they come. On the contemporary side: BJ Chase in Cindy Gerard's Feel the Heat (because she's such a tomboy), Olivia Carver in Rita Henuber's Under Fire, and Marisela Morales (former gang member) in Julie Leto's Dirty Little Secrets.

  5. Theresa so glad you didn’t cave. I LOVE kick ass heroines. When I was shopping my Under Fire books I got the same thing. No one wants to read about a heroine who can take on the hero, they said. Well, HA! You sure proved them wrong. Congrats on all your success.
    Oh! And my very favorite kick ass heroine is Lisbeth Salander from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

  6. These are great suggestions, everyone! More great books to add to my TBR. Keep the suggestions coming!!

    Steph, I'm with you when it comes to liking STRONG heroines! I remember being so excited about the Bombshell books from long ago.

    A couple of you have suggest Kate Daniels. I'll have to check her out.

  7. Hi WkonSunshine...good point...all the kick ass heroines might be over in the paranormal and Urban Fantasy books! And a former gang member heroine...interesting!

  8. Thanks, Rita. Aren't you glad that there's now something for every reader!? I do like Lisbeth, too. Thanks for the congrats.

  9. Eve Dallas. (Marisela is fun, Theresa. You should check out Julie Leto's books.)

  10. Hi Jenna, I definitely will! Thanks.