Monday, June 21, 2010

Girl power!

Thanks to Randomizer.org, we have a winner and fittingly, that winner goes by the name of Buffy aka Elizabeth Mize. Elizabeth, congratulations. Email your details to nicole @ nicolermurphy.com (without the spaces) and I'll get the books into the mail to you ASAP!

G'day! I'm Nicole, another of the Aussies on the list. I'm a real ring-in, in that the folks here have kindly let me in to play, even though my books are currently only available in Australia and New Zealand. Actually, not even there at the moment - ten days and counting! But I have plans to get my books over to the rest of the world. Oh yes, I have plans...

There are A LOT of things to love about paranormal romance and urban fantasy. The mystery. The supernatural. The super-hot guys.











However, I think the most important thing about PR/UF is the female characters. You see, for those of us of a certain vintage (kids of the 70s and older), it was a rare thing for us to find books that featured female characters in lead roles. If we did, they were still either playing second-fiddle to a man, or they were so wimpy and horrible or alternatively just a pseudo-man.

Finding books which honoured and celebrated women and allowed them the opportunities of male characters was hard. At least, in the fantasy and science fiction field I grew up reading it was.

When I discovered romance (via my grandmother’s EXTENSIVE Mills and Boon collection – honestly, the woman had hundreds of them), it was a great relief to find an entire genre within which women were not only as important at the men, but often times more so.

Still, I yearned to read something which could combine my need to read stories that featured and celebrated women and my love for magic, machines and things that go bump. So when PR/UF exploded, my sore and sorry little heart began to beat in a mad frenzy.

The great thing about our genre is the way that they acknowledge all the strengths a woman can have. Sure, there are the fantastically kick-arse characters that make me wish I could whip my legs up high and spike some underworld creature in the throat with my stiletto.

But also there’s women who have softer, gentler, might I say feminine strength and those are celebrated as well. The woman whose strength is her loyalty to those she loves. The woman whose strength is her ability to make anyone feel welcome. The woman whose strength is to be able to do two-million things at once J

It might seem nothing to younger readers, to come across a book which is written solely from the first-person perspective of a woman, but for us older folks it still feels revolutionary. And wonderful.

So here’s to the women of PR/UF – may we continue to kick-arse for years to come.

Everyone, this is your chance to get hold of a copy of my debut novel, Secret Ones (book one of the Dream of Asarlai trilogy). Comment below on who your favourite female character is and why, and I'll choose one person at random to to win a signed copy of Secret Ones, as well as a copy of Scary Kisses, a paranormal romance anthology from Australia that contains my story The Anstruther Woman. Entries will close in 48 hours (this time difference thing makes it HARD!) Winner will be posted at the top of this post.

You can read an extract of Secret Ones here: http://www.voyageronline.com.au/books/extracts/secret_ones_extract.pdf

52 comments:

Jacqueline C. said...

Lately I've been really loving Kate Daniels from Ilona Andrews's series. She's strong, loyal, honorable and surprisingly vulnerable emotionally. She has a great sense of humor but isn't snarky to the point of annoyance. She's original as far as heroines go.

Tracey O'Hara said...

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie - oi, oi, oi back atcha. I cannot believe the Secret Ones is only 10 days away.

Okay for me Jo/Olivia of the Vicki Pettersson's Zodiac series is freaken awesome. The way she leads the double life - and all that has happened to her. Man. S

nymfaux said...

Congratulations on your upcoming release!!!!--What an amazing topic--and an amazing prize ;)

My original fave kick-ass female character is Alanna from Tamora Pierce's Lioness Quartet, followed by Daine, Kel, and Bekka.

Alanna is a little girl who just wants to be a knight, and instead of being sent to a convent, she switches places with her twin brother (don't worry, he can learn magic there instead of becoming a nun).

I've been reading and re-reading these forever, and every time I re-read one, I feel stronger and more powerful--They've inspired me to want to travel and have grand adventures in my own life...which I think I have, to some extent ;)

and I'm also going to throw out The Bride from Kill Bill

Emma Kate "Coops" @ Whats Cracking Coops said...

WWOOOOOOO AUSSIE!!!! GDAY MATE! LOL lol :D

My favourite kick-ass female would probably be Rose from the Vampire Academy series. She's got a lot of awesome traits and I love that she's held in such high esteem by everyone around her! :)

I also agree Buffy is pretty awesome :D

Whoot for girl power!

Nicholas Johnson said...

Congratulations of the book launch!
My favorite female character is Sookie Stackhouse. Part of this might have to do with me having read ten books about her -- that's given me a lot of time to get to know her.
For me, Sookie is an interesting character because even though she gets into all of this paranormal/ supernatural situations, she's still trying to just find love and have a normal life. But at the same time she doesn't whine about having telepathy. I find it extremely annoying when a character has some power, but constantly moans and whines about having it. Sookie is also interesting because she's just so normal. She's a waitress in a small town.

Joyce St Patrick said...

My favourite has to be Anita Blake.I always thought she must be like one of the first female news reader who told the boys to get over themselves. Not only can I do your job. I can do it better than you.

Sharon said...

Joanna Archer (Vicki Petterson). Love her sarcasm and never quit spirit.

robsad79 said...

My favorite would have to be Cat from Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series.

Donna said...

A favorite heroine that comes to mind, almost immediately, is Mercy Thompson of the series with the same name by Patricia Briggs. I love how she stays true to herself and those around her. Her character through several books now has yet to disappointment me.

Toadee said...

you can't seriously ask me to choose ONE,I wouldn't dare offend the others (that's what comes of having kick ass girls).
Oh, ok you've twisted my arm. Nicki Styx is my kinda girl, we both have a heart condition so she is a real role model for living with it (and it does help that she sounds hot but at the same time corruptable)
The downside is that, although she may be my kind of girl I'm not her kind of guy and there is serious competition for her 'affection'

Charchelar said...

Rose Hathaway from the Vampire Academy series. I like Rose because she is totally kick-ass but she has her flaws. She can be angry and violent, jealous and spiteful, but she can also be loyal and friendly, loving and protective. She is a great character!

TracyW said...

My favorite kick ass heroine is Cat from the Night Huntress Series by Jeanine Frost.

Bethany C. said...

I want to go outside the heroine box and say Kelly Armstrong's Eve Levine. I love the way her character has evolved over the series, and think her flaws make her believable. But shout out to Jo!

tetewa said...

My favorite is Riley Jensen from Keri Arthur's series! Glad you could be here today I'm always looking for new authors to read! tWarner419@aol.com

Bella said...

Hmmm, this is a tough one, because there are so many kick-ass heroines that I love ... Cat is definitely somewhere on the list, she is super badass, even before Bones gets hold of her, yet has her flaws, especially some serious vampire prejudice, and works through them ... also, Mac from Karen Marie Moning's Fever series, who may be frothy and silly on the outside, at the beginning of the series (but, man, does she change!), but is still ruthless in her determination ... she grows so much throughout the series, becoming jaded, yet strong, BUT still maintains that soft Southern part of herself :) ... and Mercy Thompson, I can't leave her out ... she may not be as badass as every other supernatural being around her, but she used what she has, and even when hosts of horrible things happen to her, she manages to deal calmly and matter-of-factly with it all ... AND she doesn't take crap from people trying to boss her around, even though she may pretend to be submissive to their faces :D

Pamela Palmer said...

I love Buffy's combination of strength, vulnerability, and humor.

In books, Keri Arthur's Riley Jensen.

Great post, Nicole! I think the need for a strong (or at least smart) female protagonist is why I fell in love with the Nancy Drew mysteries as a kid.

cassandra.crouser said...

My choice is sookie cause she can stick up for herself and can kick butt

Cassandra c

mmph said...

Mercy Thompson from Patricia Briggs series has always been the one female I can actually love as well as someone I can relate to on a more personal level. Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews comes in second, but only by a whisker.

Kt said...

I think I'm going to pick Georgina from Richelle Mead's Succubus Series. She made the deal to become a succubus to save others pain, and she hates what she has to do. She may be on the side of "evil" but she is a good soul, and that is admirable.

Karen said...

Congratulations! Looking forward to seeing your books here in the US. I have to say Patricia Briggs's Mercy Thompson is a strong character along with Kelley Armstrong's Eve Levine. I also have to say that Faith Hunter's Jane Yellowrock is awesome too. They are strong women who know how to take care of their men.

Blodeuedd said...

So hard, but right now I would have to pick mercy Thompson cos she is so kickass and cool :D

Sharon said...

I am with everyone else, can't pick just one cause they all have qualities I admire. I like mine to be snarky, belligerent, loyal to the ones she loves and will make a happy ending for herself even if it kills her, or the SOB that gets in her way . That being said...I think Kate Daniels is at the top of my list, right now. Cause as soon as I jump into another heroine's head that can change.

Naomi said...

Congrats on your release day! And *swoon* David Borneaz!!

My favorite kick ass heroine is way old school. Scarlett O'Hara was THE original strong woman with a true grit and that never did quit. I love the fact that women, especially in paranormal romance are not the too stupid to die idiots anymore. As a matter of fact, if whatever book I'm reading has a girl that can't take care of herself or relies too much on her man, I'll stop reading it.

And! We are not older if we grew up/were born in the seventies!! I only have a few gray hairs!! LOL!!

Nicole Howe said...

My favourite female heroine would have to be Elena from Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series. Not only is a serious warrior, but as the series goes on you see the softer, more 'womanly' role that she takes on with just as much passion as she does the fighting. The loyalty, humour, fierceness and softness just get me everytime with this character

Nicole said...

I don't know that I can just pick one kick ass super woman. Kate Daniels is probably by far my favorite, but I am also a huge fan of Mercy from BOTH the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs, and the Mercy from the Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh. Those fierce shape shifter women rock pretty hard core!!

Buffy said...

This is a tough one, as I read about amazing strong women all the time. I guess my favorite would be Sookie. Charlaine Harris's books got me to read again so she already has a special place in my heart.

Sookie Stackhouse puts up with so much. She is surrounded by men who want her and try to claim her, yet she claims her independence when she wants to, plus she gets whichever man she wants when she wants. That's pretty much amazing. She has been through fights and wars and deaths of loved ones. She's even had to kill people. But in the end she stays strong. She knows who she is and she holds onto that even in the darkest times.

Lauren said...

I'm having a REALLY hard time choosing! I think I'll go with a tie between Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead and Riley Jenson from her series by Keri Arthur. Obviously I'm loving the kick ass types!

Tanya said...

I love Anita Blake from Laurell K Hamilton's Vampire Hunter series. I am totally addicted to her stories. She is strong, sexy without knowing or trying, loyal, kick-ass, funny and still able to show her vulnerable side. She has grown so much throughout her series and she is living alot of women's fantasies by having a harem of gorgeous men that she has to have sex with to feed. Yummmm!

Shawna said...

It’s tough to pick between Cat Crawfield & Anita Blake. They are both so physically & mentally strong, and both have a tendency to crack me up…

I think I would have to choose Cat (Jeaniene Frost – Night Huntress series) simply because of her mixed heritage. It’s hard for anyone to admit things about themselves and to find ways to come to terms with who you are. Cat struggled with this the first few novels before finally she began to embrace and love her Vampire side. And it doesn’t help when your mother has her own opinions! Because of this struggle, Cat was able to become a realistic character. Well, except the whole half-vamp thing & going around killing other vamps…
And, of course, she has great taste in men – who doesn’t love Bones?

Jessica said...

Oh wow, that's a very open-ended question! Too many female protagonists come to mind and all of them are different and they all have great qualities to them that make them enjoyable to read!

Really there are just wayyyy too many female characters that I adore and couldn't possibly choose. Especially with some of the great YA novels that are popping about it makes it even harder to choose.

Kelley Armstrong has a whole slew of great female characters, given her series is Women of the Otherworld, it's no wonder!

Rachel Vincent's Faythe from her Shifters series is great, she's a sometimes flawed character but she has a good heart. My friends online debate why we like her and dislike her actions, but no one is ever perfect, so her flaws make her a great and favorite heroine!

And of course I could go on and on about more female characters that I like but I don't want my comment to take up too much space than it already has. So I will end it there.

In short answer, I have no favorite female character, I have many. ;)

Hope that still counts!

Giada M said...

I love Rose from Vampire Academy series. I would like to be as strong as she is! And I envy her Dimitri, of course! :P
Thank you for the interesting post and great giveaway! :)

Giada M.

fabgiada (at) gmail (dot) com

lingeorge said...

Congratulations! Please hurry up the releases in "the States". I so love all these characters (and I am a child of the 50's - talk about lack of strong role models...)If I have to pick "favorites", I will go with my introduction to the genre - Victoria Nelson in Tanya Huff's Blood series. She is a real person (just like me) that takes it on and doesn't look back -- Elena Danvers - Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series. These are the authors that opened up this new world of Urban Fantasy, and great female leads!.

ferretvamp14 said...

My favorite female character from television is Buffy! Got all 7 seasons on DVD and went to a costume badd dressed as her from the Season 1 episode "Prophecy Girl."

My favorite book female characters are Rachel and Ivy from The Hollows by Kim Harrison.

Barbara E. said...

Great post! There are so many wonderful kick-ass female characters these days to choose from, but if I have to pick one, it would be Keri Arthur's Riley Jenson because no matter what evil doers she comes across, she manages to come out on top. Usually the worse for wear, but she keeps on going. And she has wonderful support from her family, co-workers and the men in her life.

Linda said...

One of my favorite TV characters of all times is Buffy! Love her blend of strength & "girlyness". Hard to say which is my favorite character from a book, there are so many great heroines to choose from: Talia from Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series; Kel from Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness series; Laurell K Hamilton's Anita Blake MUST be included in this list; as must Cat from Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series.... The list goes on & on. I love them all!

CrystalGB said...

I love Keri Arthur's Riley Jensen. She is a kick butt heroine who has a gentle side.

Crystal said...

Great post!
I love both Cat from Night Huntress and Jo from Zodiac, they are both kick butt amazing women and I can't just pick one.
From TV the ladies from Charmed, especially Piper, and the Buffster.
Happy Monday and Happy Solstice!

Anne said...

My favourite heroine in a book is Cassie Palmer from Karen Chance's books. She is tough enough to fight by/with her various men but not so tough that she comes across as fake. She is funny and gets into more trouble during a single day than anyone should be able to. You have to love her! :))

Nicole Murphy said...

Thanks for all your thoughts, folks, and also for all the new characters I need to go search out and fall in love with :)

Melissa said...

I love kick-ass women! Elena from Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series, Cat from Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series, Mercy from Patricia Briggs series, Gin from the Elemental Assassination series... I could go on, but I'll stop there I know I'll kick myself for missing so many others. Especially when I start reading the comments.

Oh, btw, Eric is MINE. ;)

Sara said...

My favourite character is Anje from Denise Rossetti's 'Gift of the Goddess".

She is such a strong woman and character she can handle two male counterparts and give them both as good as she gets.

Adelina said...

Kate Daniels is my top fav! She's smart, loyal, sarcastic, determined and she kicks major ass! And she has a sword and magic words that can even make Curran kneel (well, almost). Kate is awesome!

flchen1 said...

One favorite female character is Sirantha Jax from Ann Aguirre's series--she's a tough cookie, but as you get to know her through the books, you see that she's vulnerable as well.

Congrats on your releases, Nicole!

Jackie Uhrmacher said...

Definitely Elena from Kelley Armstrong's series or Anita Blake from LKH's series.

Tori [Book Faery] said...

I'm going to provide my top three favorite female characters.

TV: Buffy. Why? She is kick ass, and she never gave up! She didn't ever let a man hold her back, either.

Comic book/Cartoon show: Rogue from Xmen. She was strong. She was stubborn, and yet she had a soft, vulnerable side to her.

Book: Mariketa from Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series. Mari is sexy, she's smart, she's sneaky, courageous, witty, and knows when to stick up for herself. She had moments of immaturity or weakness, but she did not let that hinder her. Instead of dwelling, she accepted things for what they were, and attempted to move on and do what was expected of her (even if it's not necessarily what made her happiest). She accepted Bowen's help when she realized that she couldn't handle something alone. But aside from that? The two had an equal, respectable relationship.

I think it's pretty clear that I love the kick ass heroines who have a certain vulnerable side. Each of these ladies didn't rely on their men to get past their troubles, but they were also smart enough to accept help when they knew they would need it.

Kimberly B. said...

What a great topic! I must admit, I've never understand these people who read a novel and go on and on about the sexy male characters without noticing or caring that the heroine's a real drip! To me, a heroine I find likable or at least interesting is essential. One of my favorite heroines for decades now has been Amelia Peabody from Elizabeth Peters's series. Amelia is independent and intelligent, and the series covers a time that was a real turning point in both Egyptology (her chosen field) and women's rights (roughly 1880s to after WWI). Plus she has a real way with a parasol!
Thanks for the great giveaway!

Melissa said...

My two favorites are Mac from Karen Marie Moning and Mercy Thompson from Patricia Briggs. Both are strong females who stand up to those who are stronger. They are both smart ad think on their feet. They are loyal to those around them.

Michele said...

I love books with a strong female character. My favorite female character comes from a series written by Tamora Pierce, the character is Keledry, from the Protector of the Small series. She embodies so many great qualities. And one of my favorite things about her is the fact that she kicks butt and asks questions later.

sgttibbs said...

My favorite female character would have to be Emma from Kerrelyn Sparks' Be Still My Vampire Heart. Loved her bantering with Angus and how she wanted him so badly but held back. She was fearless and not a damsel in destress and kicked butt.

heatwave16 said...

I love Rachel Morgan from Kim Harrison's Hollows series. Even though she seems to get herself into a bunch of trouble...you can see her growing and learning from her mistakes. A true character evolves.

April said...

Some of my faves are the Valkyrie in Kresely Cole's IAD Series

nymfaux said...

Congrats to the winner!!!