Thursday, June 4, 2015

Spotlighting Those Bad Girls

Congratulations to "Joan V." the winner in Winter's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

About eight months ago, my publisher, Crimson Romance, revamped their website. Along with it they put in some suggestions for what they’d like to see in new story ideas. One of them: Bad girl—Good guy couples. Turning the trope on its head. Well, well, what did I have in my arsenal? Why that exact thing.

My sixth book, and first in a new series, Atonement, recently released. The heroine, Deputy Nicolette (Nic) Rivers, is a good example of a bad girl; well maybe more like a ballsy girl. And the hero, Detective Con O’Hanlon, is the sweet-ole-good guy. This was a change for me, because normally the broken and damaged with an attitude type of characters in my books are typically the males. This time around it was all on the heroine.

Nic bucks convention, and with grand fashion. She’s the first (fictionally) female Marine Scout Sniper, she never backs down from a fight, hence the reason she managed to break through the barriers and be a marine sniper, and she’s one ballsy woman. Nic has a penchant for being problematic, and tough, all of this is due to her past, but underneath her thick layers, she’s still a woman, with real woman needs.

Surprisingly, I managed to pull her character off without making her come across as a total witch. There might have been some places where she did, but my fabulous editor caught me on it and we fixed it.

One might think of a bad girl as someone with a criminal life or past, but sometimes a bad girl is just a woman who’s rough life has made her cold, possibly callous, and prickly. They don’t define themselves as good. Their hardcore life has stripped them of this idea; yet deep inside there will always be a spark of that innocent girl who dreamed of being a princess.
Readers of romance novels are familiar with the bad boy being changed by the good girl. So why not the other way around? Real life tends to dispute these tropes, but we authors owe it to our readers to show the vulnerability of those characters. Under every Alpha character—male or female—is someone who needs love to change them.

So, who is your favorite bad/ballsy girl?

Winter will be giving away one digital copy of her latest novel, Atonement.


Con jarred awake at the shrill song coming from his cell. Cursing the holy saints, he flung the blankets aside, which caused a low growl from his bed companion. “I’m not the one calling me at ... ” Con snatched the phone from his bedside table and squinted at the time on his alarm clock—three in the morning. “Sweet mother.”

The German Shepherd humphed and buried his nose under the blankets. Con turned his back to the dog as the phone rang in his hand. He peered at the number.

Rivers? Shock coursed through him. She still had his number. As a precautionary measure and a neighborly gesture, he’d given it to her a couple of years ago to contact him if she needed assistance at home after a bad summer storm had torn through the area. He’d also hoped she’d eventually break down and give him a shot at getting to know her, but the lass was fiercely stubborn in that department. After she’d stood him up, Con thought for sure she’d trashed his contact info. This was a surprise.

Tapping the green phone icon on the screen, Con placed the cell to his ear; unsure what to call her, he played it safe. “Deputy Rivers, do you realize it’s three blessed a.m.?”

An unladylike snort vibrated over the connection. “I ain’t on duty. It’s Nic.”

Okay, time for a different approach. He flopped onto the pillows. “What can I help you with, Nic?”

She choked out a laugh. “Con, do you … know how it feels … to kill som’body?” The slosh of liquid interrupted her. She smacked her lips. “Feels like shit.”

Not good. Con slid off the bed and pounded the wall for the light switch. “How much have you had to drink?”

She mumbled something then coughed.

His fingers brushed the switch, and he flipped it. Light burned his eyes, and he peered through slits to search for his clothes. “Listen to me, Nic. I’m on my way over. Don’t you hang up on me.”


Atone for your sins…

A rash of unexplained suicides in the sleepy town of Eider, Iowa, draws McIntire County deputy Nicolette Rivers into a devious killer’s twisted plot. A former marine sniper suffering from PTSD, Nic hides her own deadly secrets, and The Priest will do anything to expose it and her.

For redemption is at hand…

Eider police detective Con O’Hanlon is assigned to help Nic uncover the truth behind the suicides. She rebuffs his help at every turn, but the stubborn Irishman holds on. When tragedy strikes, Con helps cover up the fallout, but is he too late to prevent Nic’s dark, downward spiral? Or is Con the one man stronger than her demons?

Amazon Crimson Romance


Winter Austin perpetually answers the question “were you born in the winter?” with a flat “nope.” Living in the middle of Nowheresville, Iowa, with her husband and four teenagers, Winter is trying to juggle a career as a volleyball coach while writing deadly romantic thrillers.

Find Winter Austin at, on Facebook, and on Twitter @WinterAustin_.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST June 5th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.


  1. Sounds like a good book with complex characters. Just the king I love to read. Hope I win it.
    auntiedinah at aol dot com

  2. Would love to read. I like something different once in awhile. debbiemac73 AT yahoo DOT com

  3. This sounds really good. Love the bad girl heroine. It will take a fantastic hero to get through the exterior. Thanks for the chance to win. trishleroy49 at gmail dot com

  4. this looks and sounds awesome!!! I'd have to go w/ Eve Dallas from JD Robb's In Death series :) thanks for sharing!

  5. My first thought was Charley Davidson in Darynda Jones "grave" series. Thank you for the giveaway.

  6. Hmmm, I know I have read some, but no one specific is coming to mind... bad girl/ good guy twist... like it!

  7. don't have a fav

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  8. I have been re-reading the Hunger Games trilogy. Katniss is my favorite right now.


  9. First one that comes to mind is In Death's Eve Dallas.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  10. I have so many bad/ballsy girls that I really liked so it is hard to chose just one. Most recently I really liked Amber in Lock and Load (SEAL EXtreme Team #2) by Kimberely Troutte. She was not so much a bad girl but definitely ballsy.


  11. I'm going to steal someone from a TV show, but Veronica Mars was always my favorite ballsy girl! I like the idea of a good boy/bad girl book. Thanks for the chance! amyp115 AT yahoo DOT com


Sign up to receive our newsletter