There's nothing more annoying then a weak and whiny heroine. You know the ones who do nothing but scream and wait to be rescued. Think Willie in Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom. All she did was scream and whine for the majority of the movie. At times, I was rooting for the bad guys to get her just to shut her up. On the other hand, I think we can all agree that kick-butt heroines are fun. Wonder Woman, the inspiration for our story Amazon Heat, was one tough cookie well before it was cool for female characters to be so. She was smart, sexy, and always took down the bad guys using her lasso of truth and wearing her high-heeled boots. Still, I think there is room in the pool for a heroine that falls somewhere between the two.

Evie from the movie The Mummy is a great example of middle of the road heroine. If you haven’t seen it, rent it. It’s a fun movie with Brendan Fraser (He’s so hot). Evie is not a kick-butt heroine, but she makes up for it with her smarts. In many ways, she is similar to our heroine in Amazon Heat, Dr. Elizabeth DeMarco. Like Evie, Elizabeth wouldn’t last long in a strictly physical confrontation, but she can out-think the best of them. Although she’s an outsider in the Amazon community, Elizabeth has the queen’s ear because of her medical knowledge, and she uses this to her advantage. Just as Evie uses her knowledge of Egyptology to save the hero’s life in The Mummy, Elizabeth uses her brain to keep our hero, Logan, alive as they plan their escape.  When the bullets start flying, she doesn’t cringe and cry, but she doesn’t jump into the fray either. She puts her head down and does what she needs to do to survive.

So what do you think? Do you prefer your heroines to be tough and action oriented? Do middle of the road type heroines turn you off? What characteristics do you like in your heroines?

Here’s a little bit more about Elizabeth DeMarco and Amazon Heat.

AMAZON HEAT by Melinda Leigh & Rayna Vause, released January 9th from Carina Press.

Two years ago, ethnobotanist Dr. Elizabeth DeMarco, driven by grief to find a cure for cancer, left her lover mid-proposal to accept a position on a research expedition to the Amazon Rainforest. Kidnapped by guerrillas, she was saved by warriors from the secret all-female civilization of the ancient Amazons. She has been kept prisoner since in the Amazon’s supernaturally hidden valley.

Despite Elizabeth’s rejection, anthropologist Logan Spencer never stopped searching for her.  While consulting on a mass grave uncovered in the remote Brazilian interior near the place Elizabeth was kidnapped, Logan falls from a cliff.  On the brink of death, he is collected by the Amazons and magically healed. When Logan wakes, the first person he sees is his beloved Elizabeth.  Unfortunately, their reunion is less than joyful. The mystical medicine is changing Logan.  But there’s no time to study the side-effects. The Amazons plan to steal Logan’s DNA, then kill him.  Logan and Elizabeth must escape before dawn or Logan is doomed.  Getting him out of the hidden valley won’t be easy.  The Amazon’s supernatural powers make the task all but impossible.

Buy it at: Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | All Romance EBooks

Rayna Vause is fascinated by the paranormal and she loves a good romance as well, which probably explains why these two elements perpetually crop up in her writing. The perpetual student, she took fiction writing classes and steeped herself in reading tales of love conquering all before attempting to write her own story. After a number of failed attempts she finally published a paranormal romantic suspense novel before discovering a secondary passion, M/M romance.Now, Rayna divides her time between crafting stories of sexy men finding their way to love and penning the adventures of kick-butt heroes and heroines who overcome impossible odds. Naturally, she mixes in a bit of the supernatural.When Rayna isn’t writing or being bossed around by the two cats that allow her to live with them,  she’s attending karate classes, planning her next trip to Disney World or indulging her obsession with video games. She is a founding member of Liberty States Fiction Writers, a multi-genre fiction writer’s organization and currently serves and their Vice President and Conference Chair.  website / facebook / twitter

Melinda and Rayna blog together at


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