The topic of ‘kick ass’ heroines came up recently. I listened avidly to the discussion hoping to learn something on how to create memorable heroines.
The conversation turned to women engaging of martial arts.
That was interesting and all, but to it left the original question begging:
What makes a kick ass historical romance heroine?
I have a different view.
It’s not physical superiority.
A kickass heroine is one who knows her own mind, has considered her course of action and knows what she needs to do to get there.
She may not start out that way. Circumstances may seem overwhelming when we first meet her in the course of a novel. Our heroine may be a victim of circumstances but she never sees herself as a victim – how could she be?
If she sees herself as a victim, she can’t be empowered to change her circumstances. If she’s a victim, she can’t be victorious.
A kickass heroine uses what she has to change her circumstances – her wit, her charm, her determination, the support of family and friends. Her fight is not a physical fight – it is, to coin a phrase, not against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness in high places.Her fight is for principles, for justice, for her and her family.
That was where I started with Morwena Gambino, the heroine of Shadow of the Corsairs. In Captive of the Corsairs and particularly in Revenge of the Corsairs, we see her as a successful business woman. Shadow of the Corsairs is set earlier four years before Captive and Morwena’s struggle to forge her own way.
The obstacles she has to overcome are many.
Her mother has passed away, leaving the running of the household to her. Morwena’s father has become estranged from his sons, leaving her the burden of helping him run the business while trying to maintain a relationship with her younger brother without her father’s knowledge.
Adding to her burden is her suspicion that her father is mentally unwell. Today we would recognise the symptoms of dementia. And that her elder brother is now running with criminals.
Like many real life kick ass heroines, Morwena does what she has to do each day to succeed – even if it means hiding a certain sideline enterprise from her father, working with her younger brother to make the family business successful – and taking a risk that the handsome sailor from Ethiopia who ran to her rescue one day is a man she can trust with her life and her heart.
I didn’t model Morwena Gambino on any historical character, but I do hope I captured the ‘every woman’ the kick ass heroine we can be when we recognise that we are the heroine of our own story.
The Past Casts a Shadow Over a Second Chance For Love….
Morwena Gambino is struggling to keep her family’s business going against mounting troubles. Her widowed father, once shrewd, is now increasingly forgetful, letting debts mount and disavowing his sons. Morwena runs the shop behind his back, forced to hide her enterprise not only from her father but also her bitter older brother.
In Tunisia, Tewodros “Jonathan” Afua is struggling to stay alive. Once an Ethiopian prince, he is a captive of the corsairs who slaughtered his wife and children. When a US naval bombardment provides an opening for escape, Jonathan falls in with a seemingly deranged English pirate. Aboard Kit Hardacre’s rundown ship with its ragtag crew, Jonathan learns the real reason he was taken by slavers.
Reluctantly joining Hardacre’s crew, he meets Morwena in Palermo. The fiery young Sicilian woman is the opposite of his quiet reserve, but he is attracted to her despite mourning for his late wife. As he and Morwena grow closer, it emerges that they have something in common – secret betrayal by those close to them – and they must count what they’re willing to risk for a future together.
Available from Amazon. Also on Kindle Unlimited
US - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DM9VJ5Z
Aus - https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07DM9VJ5Z
Elizabeth Ellen Carter writes richly detailed historical romantic adventures. Her full length 3 book Regency era series Heart Of The Corsairs is released in 2017 and 2018 - Captive Of The Corsairs, Revenge Of The Corsairs and Shadow Of The Corsairs. She is starting work on a new 4 book historical romantic suspense series, The King's Rogues for release during late 2018 and into 2019.
Her other full length titles include the Roman era thriller Dark Heart, the medieval romantic adventure Warrior's Surrender, and the Regency titles Moonstone Obsession and Moonstone Conspiracy. Also available are the novellas Nocturne and The Thief of Hearts.
A former newspaper journalist, Elizabeth ran an award-winning PR agency for 12 years. She lives in Queensland, Australia with her amazing husband and two adorable and mischievous cats. In addition writing books, Elizabeth produces a online reader magazine called Love's Great Adventure.
Follow Elizabeth on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and her web site - www.eecarter.com