Salute to Women

March is International Women’s Month so I wanted to talk about women.  Yes, we all read romances for not only the love angle, but the hunky men.  Some of us even like those alpha males.   

But, let’s not forget the women either.  I don’t know about you, but I like to read about strong female leads.  There’s nothing more satisfying for the feminist in me than to see a chick put a guy in his place.  Take that, you misogynistic jerk!  LOL.

What romance novels or movies come to your mind when you think of strong female characters?  I have been on a paranormal romance/urban fantasy kick of late so I think of some pretty strong female leads in J.R. Ward’s The Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  Heroines like Jane, Xhex or Payne…man, those ladies can kick butt.  And they are matched with equally strong males.  Oh, and Merit from Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires series?  She is awesome.

This subject also makes me think of females who may not only be physically strong, but strong mentally.  They are matches for their males as well.  What is sexier than a woman who can take over a boardroom?   Or how about a woman in any male-dominated profession?  Or more simply, one who debates with her man about current events or politics.  I think we like to see strong female characters as much as we like those strong men in books or movies.  And I think a complex character falls into that category.  

Let’s think of real life.  Real women.  I respect women who can do multiple things in their lives -  run a home, have a career, take care of their kids.  Single mothers have my vote too.   

But, I think we don’t stop to think of the cost of everything.  Life takes its toll. Stress can wear you down.  So, for all of those strong women out there, take a breath.  Sometimes it’s a thankless job being a woman, isn’t it?   We have a tendency to just try to handle everything, to hold it all in.  Occasionally, we have moments where we can relax and let the stressors of the day flow out of us.  But, I bet that doesn’t happen often.  

If you can take a few moments for yourself, at least five minutes, to take some deep breaths and think of nothing, do it.   If you can manage to carve out more time for yourself somehow, by leaving the kids with the man or someone else for thirty minutes to an hour, do something for yourself.  Read a book you haven’t gotten around to reading.  Take a bubble bath.  Do a spa treatment.  Do something you love.  Pamper yourself.  Because we’re women and we have needs.  No…not that kind.  LOL.  But, we have the right to be ourselves, to be women without responsibilities for a time, to recognize that we are important too.

And if there any men reading this, I apologize for alienating you.  But, take heart.  Worship your women.  Appreciate them.  Do something nice for the woman in your life.  She’ll realize you appreciate all that she does.

So, this is a salute to all women out there.   

You are all amazing at whatever you do, and I appreciate you.  Let’s try to take those moments to appreciate ourselves as well, hmm?

In relation to this, I am going to post a teaser from my book Leather and Lace, currently published under the pen name Erica Sutherhome.  Angie is a strong female character willing to stand up to her man and stand up for her beliefs, and in writing about her, I think she took a piece of my heart.   I had one reviewer love this story because the heroine “keeps her lover on his toes”.  Here it is:

As he looked around the room, he could see several women dancing around poles. Others were scattered around the edges of the room, offering lap dances to customers.  The men were eager to shove bills into the dancers’ lingerie, grabbing what they could before a bouncer stepped in. There was one positive thing he knew about such establishments. The dancers were usually pretty protected, at least as long as the club’s owner felt the safety of the strippers was necessary. Since he did not know much about this club, he could not vouch for its security.
Atop one table, he finally spotted her.  Her long, brown curls fell down her back, nearly to the middle, where the hooks of her bra lay.  She wore red lacey fabric for lingerie along with thigh-length red fishnet hose, and her feet were strapped into red high heels.  Her steps were purposeful, seductive, and she was serious in her task.  Her dark brown eyes were also alluring. The makeup she wore was not heavy, but applied precisely to add a dramatic effect to her appearance.  She looked sexy yet mysterious, the way she had seemed before.  His groin tightened in response and his mouth went dry.  Satisfied that his equipment was working well, he casually inspected her.
It was her eyes that gave her away.  She was angry beneath that seductive exterior.  He wondered who she was angry with. Or, was it something she was upset about?  Was she dissatisfied with her job?  Was she angry at herself for having to resort to such a profession?  He didn’t know, but he wanted to. No, he needed to know.  He would not be able to let it go until he did know what was bothering her, how she truly felt about her job.
Suddenly, a man grabbed her hard and she stumbled into his lap.  “Come on, baby.  Make it good for me.”
Instead of screaming, she smiled.
There was something in that smile, Patrick realized.  A strange sensation ran over his body.
The woman managed to elbow the jerk in the face, then struggled back on the table.  With a well placed heel in the man’s chest, she nodded to the door. One of the bouncers shortly hauled her assailant out of the club.
Patrick was relieved. He would have stepped in, but he knew she would have recognized him.  He was only going to give it another few seconds longer, but she had handled herself.  A strange sense of pride moved through him.


  1. Okay, I'm ready to "take that breather." What about you, Marie? You never stop! Prolific as ever, and always willing to support other authors. You are "woman extraordinaire"!

  2. My book, The Nano Experiment, is not a romance but has a strong female protagonist. It has 58 reviews on Amazon with an average of 4 stars. Here is a book jacket synopsis:

    At fifteen, Eileen Robinson lives in an ideal, middle class African-American family in Houston, Texas. When her father is murdered her sheltered life spirals downward into gloom. Her once stay-at-home mother is forced to go to work cleaning offices at night. Eileen is relegated to babysitting her two younger sisters. One night she sneaks out on them. Trying to cook something, they die in a fire. Tormented and wanting to kill herself, Eileen runs away from home. Befriended by a drug dealer, she moves in with him. At twenty-one she is a single mother of two, falsely convicted of killing a state senator’s son.

    At thirty-two Eileen is executed. However, the doctor that performs the execution puts Eileen into a coma with a controlled dosage of medication and corrupts the EKG monitor to make it look like she is dead and she is rushed to an island prison where she is used as a guinea pig in a nanomedicine drug experiment.

    How Eileen escapes from the island prison, evades a private security force chasing her, finds the evidence that will prove she is innocent and reunites with her children make The Nano Experiment an emotionally charged, page turning thriller.

    Richard Brawer

  3. A salute to women indeed! My other half is a very strong character...I get a lot of strength from her as well as hopefully giving her strength too. As for International's Women's Month...I'm behind the times..I thought it was just for a day. Great post Maria!


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