Friday, December 01, 2006

Vivi Anna GuestBlog: A Bad Girl Sammich With All The Fixins

I can't remember when Vivi Anna and I first became e-friends, just know I feel lucky it happened. We got to chat at RWA (not long enough) and I realized why I like her so much: She digs hot guys, hot books and talking hot stuff. What's not to like? Well, I truly enjoy her cause she's a lovely person and a terrific writer. Her last novel, "Hell Kat," is sharp and kick-ass sexy. Her newest, "Inferno" is out now from Aphrodisia.

Please, a vigorous "Ciao, bella" to our very own Bella, Vivi Anna...

I wanted to write something profound and meaningful for this blog post. I mean Michelle was gracious enough to give me this wonderful opportunity to talk to all the Bellas, but I’m afraid my mind stalled. I actually started this blog post four times already. Truth be told, I just want to talk about sex.

Well, what I really want to discuss is the numerous ways to make a Vivi Sandwich. There’s the Joaquin/Vivi/Viggo Serious Sandwich, or there’s the Bad Boys Ahoy Sandwich with Orlando/Vivi/Johnny, or there’s the Sub Sandwich with all my favorite toppings, (and bottomings) Christian B/Gerard/Vivi/Hugh J/Clive.

But alas, I’m sure you have your own favorite sandwiches and don’t want to hear about mine. So really when it boils down to it, the only thing left for me to logically discuss is sex.

But we’ll save that subject for next week.

So, let’s talk about my second favorite subject (okay besides me), kick-butt heroines and action adventure stories.

I love any book/TV show/movie with a strong, kick-butt chick as lead protagonist. You see, I’ve always wanted to be one. Believe me I tried over the years. But alas, I got beat up a few too many times to really make it a logical thing to keep pursuing. Don’t get me wrong, I know how to handle myself. And I can throw a knife and shoot a rifle pretty damn well. It’s just I guess I don’t have enough discipline to be Sydney from Alias, or Lara Croft from Tomb Raider—and I don’t have that kind of money either. So I live out my adventures through fictional others. I was depressed when I heard they ended the Bombshell line. Some of those women rocked!

That’s also why I love to write about the kick-butt heroine. Hell Kat is definitely one of my favorite characters. She’s so cool, she’s like ice. She drives a motorcycle, wears lots of leather, has a really cool black leather eye-patch, and kicks a lot of butt. Oh and always gets her man (men). I like that in a girl. Is it weird to have a fictional book character as a role model????

Right now, I’m reading the coolest book series called Rogue Angel by Alex Archer. It’s about an archaeologist and explorer named Annja Creed (all kick-butt heroines have cool names) who discovers that her destiny is tied to the legend of Joan of Arc and her legendary sword. She travels around the world searching for ancient artifacts and uncovering mysteries of the past. Its Indiana Jones meets the Davinci Code. I’m on book three—The Spider Stone—and it is so rocking.

Some other kick-butt books I’m enjoyed—Alien Huntress books by Gena Showalter, The Hollow series by Kim Harrison, Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong, Weather Warden series by Rachel Caine, Anita Blake by LKH. There have been others, but I find they are few and far between.

Do you like action-adventure stories? If so, what have been your favorites? Do you think there is a market for girl action books?

Vivi Anna has a great interactive website for her new Nocturne series, "Valorian Chronicles." Visit to read the first chapter of "Blood Secrets."


Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno, Vivs and Bellas! Vivi, thanks for offering up your personal deli menu -- should get us all thinkin bout what we'd like to be havin for lunch.

Funny about your question. I was telling Dave last night about how boring I found the books I read when I was in grade and high school. I was in college when I realized it was cause the heroes in the books were always boys. Occasionally boys w/tomboyish girl counterparts.

I'm not crazed for kick-ass heroines with weapons as placeholders, because I'm one of those readers who likes to escape from competency. But I sure can appreciate a well-written one. (Like, I don't know, Hell Kat, maybe?) :)

But here's a little news that's kinda cool: Michele Hauf just said that 4 of the Bombshell "It Girl" novels have been optioned by a small film company.

Kudos to you,Vivs, for encouraging us to talk about the writers we love. But ya know, fell free to tell us LOTS and LOTS about your n ew book and books coming out, OK? (You know we're not ones to beg info, but...)

So, Welcome! Thanks for joining us!!!! Um, and feel free to make today as much about sex as you'd like.

Playground Monitor said...

I'm going to admit my age here and tell y'all that when I was in high school I just adored "The Avengers" with Diana Rigg (I believe now she's Lady Diana Rigg) as the inimitable Mrs. Peel. She wore tight leather outfits, high heeled boots, other funky clothes and could hold her own with any man. Paired with the dashing and dapper John Steed, they were quite the crime-solving due.

I like kick-butt heroine movies and TV but not so much in books. Hmmm, wonder why that is?

I finally remembered why you seem so familiar, Vivi. When I was review coordinator for Writers Unlimited, you were one of our authors. I may have even moderated a chat with you. Small world, huh?


My verification word is "wmoma" which makes me think of "Whoa mama!" :grin:

Playground Monitor said...

Uh... that's "crime-solving DUO."

ev said...

Hi Vivi!!!

Your menu sounds a lot like mine. Along with a McDreamy/McMe?McSteamy Sandwich!!

Have you read LKH's Merry series? Or for a lot of laughs Evanovich's stuff? I love a heroine who kicks ass, and when it is with a sense of humor, the occassional screwup (ok, a lot of them) and a couple of hot guys, I love it even more. Since I am fairly competent on the defend myself front, I love it when an hh can do it with style and laughter.

Add a Ranger/me/Morelli sandwich to that menu. Although they would probably hurt each other in the process.

Kati said...

It's Vivi Day! Hi Vivi! I also enjoy the Vivi Sammich and anything that includes Joaquin is a good thing!

I love kicka** heroines! My favorite. Buffy Summers, of course. I also really liked Syndey Bristow from Alias. I've never seen Veronica Mars, but I hear she's pretty awesome too.

I love to read about kick a** heroines. Part of why I love LKH is that she writes heroines who are smart, have smart mouthes and can hold their own. I'm rereading the Merry Gentry series now, and what I like about Merry is that she's not the strongest (although she has pretty mad skillz), but she's hella smart. I like that series because it features court intrigue and I love that. Plus, the incredible smorgasbord of men she's got! I'd like to be in the middle of Doyle/Frost sammich, although having read the latest, Mistral is growing on me in a big, big way!

Michele Hauf said...

Hey, Michelle! Thanks for mentioning the option on It Girls. Here's hoping it comes to fruition.

I just finished the third Rogue Angel last night (read all so far) and that series is awesome! So awesome, in fact, that I asked to write a book for it, and I get to! So that's my cool news. I could so see Vivi writing for it, too.

I still haven't had a chance to read Hell Cat, but dang, I love that cover. Everytime I pass it in the book store,my fingers reach out for it. I like the cartoony look.

I think I'll wait for Inferno, then buy them both!


Playground Monitor said...

Well I forgot about Stephanie Plum. I love those books! I'd like the Ranger/Me/Morelli sammich too. :-)


amy kennedy said...

Vivi! Yay! I found a book at the library put out by the same people who do "worst-case scenario" books, it's called THE ACTION HEROINE HANDBOOK--I'm buying it, not only because I have always wanted to be an action heroine--I'm with you Marilyn on the whole Emma Peel thing, you couldn't pry me from an Advengers episode--but also for writing one.

I love a kick butt heroine, probably because I spent so much of my life being a push-over. Now, I'm seriously considering taking kick-boxing.

I'm obsessed with so many of the same authors you are, and I'm gonna try the ones you mentioned that I haven't read yet.

Ev--I'm with you on both sanwiches--well not with you, but I agree with you.


Michele, what cool news! I gotta try the Rogue Angel series.

Kati said...

Ames - Where were you yesterday when I was being naughty? I needed my winggirl! Congrats on winning...everything. Jeez, if only I were that lucky!

Huh, good point about being a pushover, I'm a pretty big pushover too (except in my professional life, were I'm ballsy as h*ll!). Maybe that's what Buffy appeals to me. Although, truthfully, I think that has more to do with Angel and Spike (now there's a sammich!) than with Buffy. SNORT!

Vivi Anna said...

Hey Bellas!!!! Woot! I'm so thrilled to be blogging over here today with all my favoritist peoples.

I'll be back to dish about my new book INFERNO.

Michele! Wow! That's so cool. Hey, I want to write for Rogue Angel!! How do I get that done? Ask my editor? Did you sub an idea? Or just asked to write for them?

Got to run for an hour, but i'll be back to talk sammiches and sex, and of course me!

Julie in Ohio said...


Vivi-- I have already told you how much I adored Kat. She puts Xena to shame. I can't wait to get Inferno.

As for any other tough heroines, Vivi's is the first real kick woman I've read. Most books I read have witty, sassy, adventurous or heroines with inner strength but none that men are afraid of. :o)

amy kennedy said...

MK, I missed being bad? Rats. Yesterday was crazed. But, yay! I won PFP. I can hardly stand it.

Hey, let's not forget Eve Dallas as a Kick*ss heroine. And I'll take a Rourke/me/Rourke again sammich.

Vivi Anna said...

Marilyn - You're right. And did moderate a chat I did there once. Cool! Small internet world!

Ev - I was loving Merry Gentry until the last book. It was the first and only book I actually tossed against the wall.

MK - I do love me some Frost and Doyle though...mmmmm, that would be an awesome sammich.

Amy - I have to totally look for that book. I WANT that book. I NEED that book.

Julie - Thanks doll! I'm pleased to be your first kick-ass babe!

angelina said...

I have to concur with Playground Monitor. I love, love, love kicking-ass heroines in movies and TV, but I'm not naturally inclined to reach for them in books. I've never realized that before and I have no idea why that is. I loved, loved, loved Wonder Woman growing up (I would mimic the opening credit scene where she would spin, jump over the trees and then deflect bullets with her bracelets) and I own all seven seasons of Buffy. So why don't I look for the same characteristics in the women in my books?

I just read Shana Abe's "Smoke Thief" and the heroine definately kicks ass -- she's a jewel thief with supernatural dragon powers who has run away from her people. The book was gorgeously written, but the heroine didn't appeal to me very much because to be who she was, she had to be very closed off, cold as ice. I'm thinking this through as I write it, but it seems like I'm falling into a classic gender stereotype -- that it's okay (even appealing) for a man to be emotionally cut off and determinedly on a mission, but somehow not okay for a woman.

Please excuse me while I go re-read my "The Feminine Mystique."

Vivi Anna said...

Angelina, I think a lot of women feel that way. And it might be because some people feel that being a woman means to be soft and feminine and emotionally available. The giver, the supporter, the nuturer. And if they arent' those things, somehow they are less womanly??

I don't know I'm just guessing here.

ev said...

Vivi- the last Merry book was different that's for sure. There is another one coming out in December.

Oh yummy- a Roarke/me/Roarke sammy. The new book, Born in Death, is funny as hell with the hospital scenes. I love the fact that as kicka$$ as Eve is, both she and Roarke are petrified of pregnant women and childbirth. How can you not love a h/h like that??


angelina said...

Vivi Anna, the archetype for the dominant female character is definately as much a part of our mythology as the hearth bearer. I mean, how cool is Athena?

I'd love to know what about this type of character is appealing to you.

MaryKate said...

Oh Ames, good point about Eve Dallas, I love her.

What's the difference between a kicka** heroine, and one who is capable of protecting herself with deadly force? I'm thinking in particular of Linda Howard's DYING TO PLEASE. The heroine is a butler/bodyguard. But I don't think of her as kicka** because while she's very able to use deadly force, she doesn't go straight for it. It does feature one of the hottest sex scenes I've ever read, which begins with the heroine telling the hero that she doesn't sleep with anyone whose a** she can kick and ends with her having only one sock on. SEEEEEXXXY!

Angelina - Interesting point about the SMOKE THIEF, which I read and loved, the writing is just so sumptuous. Again, I don't think of that heroine as someone who kicks booty, more as someone who's suffered great injustice at the hands of her people and has learned to cope ingeniously (I'm spelling that wrong).

I think that's also why Sydney Bristow appeals to me so much too, we see her holding her own, but she never loses her femininity and she cries. Not that I could ever be Sydney, but I loved the character. Plus, well, all the dressing up and...Vaughn.

Vivi Anna said...

Kick-ass heroines can cry. Absolutely. They feel inside, sometimes more than other people, but they also suck it up when they need to and don't let anyone or anything stand in there way or their goal. I don't think kick-ass is always about just kicking ass.

Hell Kat even cries...once anyway...LOL, she really opens up in Inferno. Everything becomes so hopeless in Inferno that she feels like giving up, but she doesn't. Even with a broken arm, busted ribs, and despair clamping down on her heart, she still fights her way out of her bad situation. To me that's kick-ass.

I just like the action-adventure part that goes with kick-ass heroines. I like gunplay, and motorcycle chases, and bad guys at every turn...

Vivi Anna said...

Oh, my site is up now...check out the goings on in the undead city of Necropolis.

Jennifer Y. said...

Your books sound great Vivi...I will have to look for them.

Cathy M said...

I love action/adventure stories, just keep the romance hot. thanks for the heads up on Rogue Angel by Alex Archer. I am always interested in new authors.

Julie in Ohio said...

Vivi--What kind of trouble does Kat and Hades find themselves in in Inferno? Do Hades and Kat discover any new and interesting locations for some lovin' in the afternoon?

Spill it, sweety... :P

Vivi Anna said...

Julie, believe it or not there are only 6 sex scenes in this book...

I know I know...only 6 you say...

There is a lot more adventure and mishaps in this book. And they meet a couple of new interesting characters, one that just might get his own book soon...

*zipping lips*

Julie in Ohio said...

You tease.... :o)

Only six, you say? Well, I'm sure they use them to their highest advantage. :P

Did Kat ever find a cure for her little problem? I think I need to do a re-read...

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Vivs! I'm so sorry I'm just checing back in. I have two girlfriends whom I met in a writing course a couple years ago. One moved to Alaska and is just visiting a few days, so I got to see both friends for a while today. Really fun.

So, I'm really diggin reading about what we like about kickass heroines, and I'm fascinated by the inclusion of the feminine mythos. I think, though, that men created those for the most part, right? So the warrior goddesses are always to me a bit like hypersexualized comic book heroines.

That said, I, too, wanted to be Wonder Woman as a kid, and wrapped a good deal of foil around my wrists playing the character. I also loved to say: Oh, Mighty Isis, though I can't remember the Sat am show that was from.

Vivs, what do you think appeals to women about the idea of tough broads who know how to shoot and fight, and maybe do both for fun?

And, Vivi, I'm not sure whether to hug you or hate you for writing a series. You know I can't resist a series!

amy kennedy said...

Okay, so I have The Smoke Thief--but haven't started it yet--Angelina, interresting point about her being so closed off and cold and how that didn't appeal to you in a female character, completely understand. Maybe there's a learning curve for this.

Did we love Wonder Woman 'cause she was the only super heroine for us--I'm not counting Super Girl or Bat Girl. But I did like Cat Woman...what the hell does that say about me?

MK, DYING TO PLEASE did have a great heroine and you're right--I didn't actually think of her as tough--just someone who could do the job.

Vivi, I'm sure you can find it in a bookstore--it's pretty fun. I can't wait to enter the world of Necropolis--is that the greatest made up city name ever? Yes.

Julie--I think there are other action heroines you'll like--I kind of got obsessed with them.

amy kennedy said...

Michelle--I'll tell you what appeals to me about tough women--power. Plain and simple. Women who can do the rescuing makes me feel more powerful. Weird, but true.

Angelina, you brought up how you love to watch tough heroines, but not necessarily read about them--and here we have the demise of the Bombshell line--maybe that's why--not because of you Angelina, but we're just not used to the kickass heroine yet.

amy kennedy said...

Yeah, me again. I read the first chapter of BLOOD SECRETS Vivi--and I'm pouting because I have to wait until March for it, but so excited because there will be more than one.

What a website--tha character's pics were cool.

My word verification: esvdna--extra special vampire dna

Jennah said...

jI'm not big on action/adventure myself but I do think there is a market for it. I like to escape in my romances and have the hero seduce me.

I love the sandwich idea. Ooo, there are so many possiblities...

Vivi Anna said...

Amy - Yup there's three books planned. First one BLOOD SECRETS, second one DARK LIES, and third one tentatively called VEILED TRUTH.

Woot! I can't wait till March either.

Michelle - I know the tough broad appeals to me, because it's the chance to be a man but not lose all the wonderful things about being a's about being capable of doing all the things a man can do...I don't want to be saved, I want to save myself.

amy kennedy said...

Hey Vivi, here's some more info on the book:

by: Jennifer Worick

Playground Monitor said...

It does feature one of the hottest sex scenes I've ever read, which begins with the heroine telling the hero that she doesn't sleep with anyone whose a** she can kick and ends with her having only one sock on.

Was that the strip wrestling scene Sarah had with Cahill? GREAT scene!


Kati said...

Marilyn - Yup! I love that book, it's one of my fav Howard's.

Vivi Anna said...

Thank you Bellas for blogging with me. I appreciate all the love and support you've shown me...

and if I could have a salad with my sammiches, you'd all be the fixins!!