Friday, March 23, 2007

Karen Anders GuestBlog: Blazing a New Trail

JR Ward GuestBlogs Monday!
March 26
Contest!! 2 LCBs win copies of the steamy New Orleans-set “Deliver Me” from the “Red Letter Nights Anthology,” and “Give Me Fever,” courtesy of Karen Anders!

Karen Anders has graciously stepped in today, for our scheduled GuestBlogger, comedian Tom Irwin, who was called away to do a fund raiser. He's rescheduled w/ us for 3.29. I met Karen Anders last year when I was a guest at of the Washington Romance Writers' chapter of Romance Writers of America, the oldest local chap of RWA. (They've kindly invited me back this year. Yipee)!

Not only was Karen welcoming and friendly, she also took the time to talk with me about "category" romance, which I was trying to figure out how to feature more often. So if you have questions about category, today's the day to get em answered while having some fun, too. Please, a warm Bella buongiorno...

It’s been a while since I’ve had a book out. My last Blaze, Give Me Fever was released in December 2005 to be exact. I’ve decided to blaze a new trail with my writing and it takes time to cut through underbrush and find a new path.

Previously, I’ve written steamy relationship stories for Blaze and I’ve enjoyed them. But during this time, I’ve had to fend off the many kick ass heroines in my head who want to be featured in their own action/adventure stories. I finally gave in and embraced those voices. They threatened to get me in a headlock if I didn’t, so I had no choice. Actually they don’t really need to get tough with me. I love writing stories that are plot- and heroine-driven. That’s why I decided to take my Blaze heroines (Come to think of it, some of them were pretty tough.) into new territory—thrillers, suspense, mystery, and action/adventure.

I was in this territory briefly when I wrote my Women Who Dare mini-series for Blaze. I loved those strong heroines and I’m thrilled to be embarking on a new path. In addition to the new Blaze stories hopefully hitting stores in late 2007 and early 2008, I’m in the process of taking my stories into the single title world. I’m working on a dark superhero fantasy and a mini-series full of courageous heroines and to-die-for heroes.

Speaking of heroes, my confident babes need tough guys to work and play with—ones with muscles, charm, and skills. Believe me, my hard-as-nails women know exactly how to handle a man with skills. Take them down to the mat and show them who’s the boss.

From Lara Croft to Jackie Kessler’s hard-hitting Succubus, Jezebel, who are some of your favorite kick-ass heroines and their tough guy counterparts in both books and T.V.?

Visit Karen at

Encore! Johnny's the inspiration for Karen's Cajun brothers in both novels she's giving away today! He's inspired more than one Bella, too, Karen!

Encore due! Grazie mille, Cathy Maxwell, for visiting. We love talking romance, especially why we love it. And thanks for staying on an extra day while I was under the weather. Hope you'll visit again.
Encore tre! stephanie d and rhonda stapleton, you've each won a copy of Cathy's "Bedding the Heiress!" Send me your snail mail at ! Congrats!


Kati said...

Karen, welcome back! It's so great to have you here!

This is a topic I love. My favorite kickass heroine is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. What's not to love? She's gorgeous and fiesty, vanquishes vampires, has both Angel and Spike who adore her and would die for her. It's the great american dream! SNORT.

But really, for me the amazing thing is that she's written by a man. Joss Whedon understands women, and being a teenager better than almost anyone. The show was genuine and action packed and exciting.

What's not to love about Buffy?

Also, congratulations on your new path, it's very brave and I hope it makes all of your aspirations come true.

Playground Monitor said...

Michelle knows how much I love category romance, so welcome to the blog! I love that Brenda Chin has given her authors such leeway to write some really different books. The line I used to read almost exclusively has changed and I am not crazy about it anymore, so I've been reading some other lines, including Blaze cause a couple chapter-mates and friends write for it.

My fave kick-ass heroine is Stephanie Plum, though she often is the one getting her ass kicked. *g* And while Ranger is sooooo hot and sooooo tough, I really, really, really hope she ends up with Joe in the end cause I don't think Ranger's the "settle down with a house and 2.5 kids" kinda guy.

I don't watch a lot of kick-ass gals on TV unless you count Paula Abdul when she zings one to Simon. Or Catherine Willows on CSI when she solves a big crime. But isn't George Eads hot, hot, hot??? Years ago I loved Diana Rigg as Mrs. Peel on "The Avengers." I'm telling my age here. *g*


Anonymous said...

Hello Karen,
My favorite kick ass heroine on TV is easy. That would be Sydney Bristow from Alias. I LOVED watching her kick ass every week. And her boyfriend wasn't hard on the eyes either. LOL!

For a kick asss heroine in a book I would have to go with Julie Leto's Marisela character from Dirty Little Secrets & Dirty Little Lies.

Kelly F.

Anonymous said...

Oooh, Mary Kate--must second the Buffy nomination. That whole series, especially the way it ended, is all about the strength and power every woman has.

Also from the land of tv, I have to nominate Kara Thrace, aka Starbuck, from Battlestar Galactica. Toughest person in any room, even when she's scared pantsless.

In the world of romance, I have to say Nora/J.D.Robb's Eve Dallas is probably the ass-kickingest heroine around.

MsTypo said...

Hi Karen!

I'm going to have to join that big Buffy Bandwagon. I adore Buffy and her ability to kick butt, check her manicure and still throw out a rejoiner witty enough to leave us in stitches and her joe in the dust. Her best boytoy was Spike. *sigh* I love me Spuffy! :D

Still in the realm of TV my other vote would have to go with Xena. She didn't need one boytoiy who matched her. She had a god - Ares, and her best friend and soulmate - Gabrielle.

I'm sure i'll come up with lots more as the evening wanes but right now the literary kick butt girls who come to mind are both courtey of Marsha Canham's pen. First Beau Spence from "Across a Moonlit Sea" as female pirate with a mind of her own. And second Brenna Wardieu form "The Last Arrow" who could shoot arrow into the heart of even the most jaded of men.

kerri1973 said...

Hi Karen! Wow...kick a$$ heroines and Cajun bad boy hotties? What is not to love about today's topic? New Orleans is my fave city and there is nothing hotter and cuter than a Cajun accent on a hot southern guy. Grrrr.... My too favorite television kick bootie heroines would have to be Buffy and Sydney Bristow as well. They make women feel empowered as we should. In a book, I'd have to choose Stella from Nancy Bartholomew's Stella series. Gotta love a cop heroine who actually draws her gun and takes aim at her cheating boyfriend. LOL Bad boy many to choose from...I like the smart tough guys. Guys like Jack Bower from 24 and Taye Diggs in Daybreak and David Boreanez from Angel. The "thinking" bad boys...that's so hot! Have a great weekend bellas! Smooches.

kerri1973 said...


Michelle, hope you're feeling better chica. I want you to know that I've become addicted to your blog. I had withdrawals yesterday without you. Sending good health vibes your way. xx

Vivi Anna said...

Welcome Karen.

I have to second Louisa's nomination of Kara Thrace from BSG. She is by far one of my favorite TV heroines. I was just rewatching one of my favorite episodes Unfinished Business adn I cried so hard for her at her loss and her severe strength. It's awesome to behold.

In books, I'd go with my own Hell Kat and her sexy counterpart Hades, also Rachel Morgan from Kim Harrisons's series, and Joanna Baldwin from Rachel Caine's Weather Warden series. Oh and Dante Valentine from Lillith Saintcrow's series.

I love me some kick-assedness as the Bella's well know!! And I'm thrilled that you are taking your writing there Karen!!

Kati said...

Vivi - You'll be proud to know that due to your gushing about BSG, I've just downloaded the first season to my iPod. Now I'll end up on the bandwagon, but I've missed kickass women on TV since Buffy left. ALthough, Kelly, I totally forgot about Sydney Bristow, I loved Alias. And I especially loved me some Michael Vaughan. Mmmm, the hotness!

PS - What's up with Blogger today? Sheesh!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Ciao, Bellas, and grazie, Karen, for dropping in today! Cajun hotties? Sheesh, why can't I participate in my own RBtheBook/Blog contests?

I missed youz yesterday, but I couldn't drag myself off the couch, 'cept to get the kids ready. Feelin almost 100%.

It really is great, Karen, that you're moving in a new directions to stay fresh and continue having fun. And I've heard category is great fun to write, although not easy, like some seem to think; writing shorter ain't easier, it's just, well, less words in the end.

Kerri, I'm really glad you like hanging with us. It's always so cool when someone new drops in and becomes a regular Bella, and I know I speak for all the regulars, even those who can't always drop by every day. And I'm with you: smart is the characteristic that makes for a great tough heroine or hero.

MK, maybe not the great American dream, but definitely a great dream by any account. How was your conference.

typ0, good one: Xena. I loved her costume, and she always reminded me of the girls from Heart. Now I'm showing my age, Marilyn!

And, Play, I was thinking about this question and laughed at how, like, the Bionic Woman and Wonder Woman we considered kick-butt back in the day. We thought it was so cool to have "modern" women who were like that to look up to as heroes. But they were still kinda asexual, weren't they? I mean, the whole "ask for it" thing wasn't part of anything the gen'l public would have bought in those days, even though it was during that 2nd wave.

Vivs, kick-assedness. LOVE it! You go with the coinage. :) You're our Queen of Kick-assedness.

Ah, and Loisa chimes in with ass-kickingest. Cool.

Kelly, you've got it; Marisela's awesome.

Julie in Ohio said...

Welcome, Karen!!

I'm going to sound like I don't have an original thought in my head but "Buffy" is my girl. And I know there is some debate as to who her counterpart should be but I'm forever in the "Angel" court. Spike had is uses and was hotter than the sun but he wasn't for Buffy.

To me there's a difference between a strong and a kicka$$ heroine and I can admit that I haven't read many kicka$$ ladies. The biggest one that comes to mind is Vivi's Kat. When she matches up with Hades, the Earth shakes.
The other one that pops in my head is Brenna from NR "Tears of the Moon". She would (and did) kick anyone's back side if they rubbed her the wrong way. Her counterpart is the strong silent type but he isn't a pushover by any means.

Julie in Ohio said...

Michelle-- I'm so sorry you were under the weather. :o(
I'm glad to see you're on the mend.

The bright side to being sick: more reading time. :o)

Playground Monitor said...

Rewinding back to the Linda Howard blog -- Blair gets kinda kick-ass in "Drop Dead Gorgeous." Who knew former cheerleaders could do that? LOL!

I totally forgot about the Bionic Woman and Wonder Woman. Guess my age has me forgetting a lot too. *g* And then there was "Mama" (Vicki Lawrence). She could whup some butt when she wanted.


Vivi Anna said...

Oh for those who loved Xena, Lucy Lawless, whom I adore, is in Battlestar Galactica now. She rocks. She plays a great character and does get to kick some ass now and then too.

MK, you will not be sorry. I'm telling you, no show or movie or book has affected me as much as BSG has. The writing is fierce and so is the acting. And the show has some great HAWTNESS in Jamie Bamber and Tahmoh Penikett (yummy Canadian) and lots more Canadian talent like Tricia Helfer, and Grace Park...and James Callis (Bridget Jones' gay friend) is in it, and I adore him. He makes the most interestign conflicted character I've evern seen.

K, enough of my raving... LOL

(((((((((hugs)))))))))) to Michelle so she feels better!

Unknown said...

Nobody does Kick Ass women like Joss Whedon. His shows are full of them.

I mostly read historicals, and there don't seem to be a lot of "kick ass" women in those. Strong women, yes. Fierce women, yes. Competent women, yes. But not "kick ass". I’d have to say the most “kick ass” woman from fiction is Jame from Hodgell’s Godstalk series.

flip said...

My original favorite kick ass heroine was Mrs. Peel on The Avengers. My current favorite kick ass heroine is Buffy the Vampire slayer.

Anonymous said...

For TV, the first name that came to my head was Sydney from Alias. But after reading posts, I have to add Xena to the list.

My favorite kick-ass heroine from a book is Tabitha in Sherrilyn Kenyon's "Seize the Night".

Anonymous said...

Ciao, Bellas! Michelle, glad to hear you are doing better--I was wondering about you all of yesterday. Welcome, Karen.

Josh Whedon--what Kalen said.

Gina Torres's character Zoe in Firefly/Serenity? TOTALLY kick-ass!

Add Summer Glau (River) wacky kick ass antics...

Okay, whomever was the idiot who approved cancellation of the series should burn slowly for eternity.


(no, I don't feel strongly about this, why do you ask?)

robynl said...

My favorite kick ass heroine was Mrs. Peel on The Avengers.

Lois said...

Well, I don't really watch a whole lot with female leads or such, but I did enjoy Lara Croft. . . and there is Wonder Woman, but there's also Dana Scully. I was much more of a Mulder fan, but she did hold her own plenty of times. :)


Vivi Anna said...

Oh Lois, I loved Dana Scully. She was a great TV heroine.

MsTypo said...

As i peruse my DVD collection i have to agree with the Woman Woman fans. (I cried when i found out that Joss was no longer going to be writing her movie.) Her modern interpretation is especially impressive. And Max from Dark Angel was also awesome.

Jin in wa, i totally second your vote for Tabitha from STN. So much so that i think her books deserves a reread this weekend. :p

Feel better soon Michelle!

Maureen said...

Sigourney Weaver's character in Alien is one of my favorite tough women.

Minna said...

My favorite kickass heroine is definitely Temperance Brennan from Bones.
P.S. I really liked Deliver Me!

Kati said...

Hi Bellas! Back from the bookstore. I picked up the new Anita Blake, DANSE MACABRE (I won't pay hardcover, but man, I can't seem to let this series go), BLUE ICE, Anne Stuart's new one (quite simply, she writes some of the finest heroes out there - she tortures the h*ll outta them), and Elizabeth Hoyt's follow up to THE RAVEN PRINCE, called THE LEOPARD PRINCE. I'm hoping she won't hit the sophomore slump, I adored THE RAVEN PRINCE. I also picked up WOLF TALES III, by Kate Douglas. Her stories are hot, hot, hot.

Conference was good Michelle, or as good as working 72 hours in four days can be. LOL! Thanks for asking. I'm sorry to hear you're under the weather, Bella, hope you get to bouncing back lickety-split!

Jules, I have more of a "love the one you're with" attitude about Buffy's men, I love Angel's soulfulness (get it?!), but Spike is such a bad-boy. I'm a Buffy-ho!

Lis said...

My fave kickass tv heroines are Buffy, Xena, Scully. Movies definitely Lara Croft.

amy kennedy said...

Oh yeah, Louisa--love Kara- Starbuck and Eve Dallas. There's a new series coming soon called Pain Killer Jane, I think it was a graphic novel, anyway, she's basically unstoppable. How about the lovely ladies from Heroes? Oh yeah and Anita Blake. Marykate--I can't let it go either.

And everyone who Vivi said. Man, I love a lot of kick-ass heroines.

Oh gosh, Flip, of course--Mrs. Peel. God, I wanted to be her when I grew up--so sophisticated, so deadly and yet always the lady.

Apparently I love them all.

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

I would have to say Sydney and Vaughn from Alias! Love them. In books, one of my favorite couples are Sam and Alyssa from SB. Saving the world together,(smile)

Karen Anders, Gail Barrett, Jill Monroe, Mari Freeman said...

Hi Bellas!

It's so good to be here and I thank Michelle for inviting me. She's such a great advocate for romance and I can't tell you how much that is appreciated!!!

I'm not surprised that Buffy tops the list. She is a tough chica and her significant others, namely Angel are really easy on the eys. Might have to use David as inspiration in some of my upcoming books. I think I can handle that. Now I haven't seen a lot of Buffy, but, after this talk about her, I'd really like to see all the seasons from start to finish. I'll have to go put that on my wish list at Amazon.

I on the bandwagon for Starbuck. She's really some tough cookie and she can throw a punch. I think Apollo knows what I'm talking about, but I have to say, Apollo doesn't do it for me. It's Sam all the way. He's just downright delicious.

Sydney is also quite a kick asser and you're right Kelly, her boyfriend was a cutie.

I agree with Xena and Agent Scully. There were times when Scully would go into situations that made my hair stand on end. She was SO brave.

Good comments, all. I will add my own kick ass babes and I have to say that Trinity from The Matrix is on the top of my list. That woman was amazing. Rachel Morgan from Kim Harrison's novels and Elizabeth Swan from POTC.

Thank you for your support and it's good to be back.

Maria, Lover of All Things Romance said...

I'm gonna say Brennan in Bones as my fave kick-ass heroine, and David Boreanaz as Booth works damn well too.

And another vote for Buffy, Angel and Spike.

Laurie said...

I love Linda Castillo's books...just finished "Operation Midnight Cowboy" where Rachael a secret agency associated with the CIA- Midnight agent seeks revenge for the death of her husband and struggles to survive as she takes on the evil Karas. Ex fellow agent Bo assists and protects her as they are stalked by Karas. I also lov eSherrilyn Kenyon's BAD agency in "BAD Attitude" Sydney takes on the bad guys quite successfully too with some help from Josh Steele.!