Thursday, February 17, 2011

Today's Special - - Laura Lee Guhrke

We are so happy to welcome Laura Lee Guhrke to the Romance Dish today!  After careers in catering, advertising and construction management, Laura turned to writing and the creation of the historical romance novels we all love to read.  Her seventeen historical romances have brought her much acclaim, including the Romance Writers of America RITA award, five RITA finals and positions on the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller lists.  When she's not writing, this Idaho girl loves to hit the slopes, go wake boarding and fly fishing.  You can find out more about Laura and her books at her website and on her facebook page. 

Please help us give Laura a warm welcome!





Who’s Your Heroine?

When I began writing my latest book, Scandal of the Year, I already knew the heroine. Julia first walked (or should I say, drove?) her way into my imagination as a secondary character in my previous book, Wedding of the Season, and from the moment I created this wild-living, free-spirited woman who races her Mercedes motorcar all over England at the scandalous speed of 40 mph, I knew she had to have her own story. Julia was one of those rare characters an author creates that comes onto the page as if by magic—so vivid in my imagination that she almost seemed like someone I actually knew. A close friend, or family member.

Of all the characters I’ve created, Julia is the one I’d most like to meet in real life because I have a secret admiration for people who live life Their Way and make no apologies for it. I like reading about women who defy convention and go against established rules. That’s a brave thing to do, especially within the strict social restrictions of a hundred years ago. Some real life heroines who I think could be described that way include Josephine Baker, Amelia Earhart, and Abigail Adams. Some of the fictional ones I’d like to meet include Scarlett O’Hara, Scout Finch, Shakespeare’s Kate, and yes, Julia.

Which fictional heroines do you wish you could meet in real life and why? Which real women do you most admire? Share your ideas of the perfect heroine here at the Romance Dish and you could win a complete set of my Girl-Bachelor Chronicles.

57 comments:

  1. Congrats on the new release, Laura. I'm a fan of stories in which the heroine is a spy. I really enjoyed Jenna Petersen's Lady Spies trilogy and Andrea Pickens' Merlin Spies series.

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  2. I am loving this series. I just finished the first book and I have to say I fell in love with Julia and Aidan. I can't wait to read about their story in Julia's book. I think Julia is great and I would definitely like to meet her. I like her spunk.

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  3. I wish i can meet Katniss from Hunger Games in real life. She's just so awesome and tough and a real survivor--I'd love to just chat with her. A real life tough lady I would love to meet is Kate Winslet (one of my favorite actress). I love the characters she plays.

    Heroine I love are those who are who can take care of themselves but knows when to ask for help, they're tough but they have a vulnerable side.

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  4. I'm a sucker for Jane Austen & one of my favorite heroines would have to be Elizabeth Bennett. I would love to tell her to be patient & understanding because My Darcy is worth the wait. I admire the wives of politicians. I may not agree with the politics but what those women have to contend with WOW!!!
    Heroines need to be strong, independent & forgiving because men can be very stupid at times.

    marypres@gmail.com

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  5. Laura I am soo loving this series as well and I can't wait to read this one.

    There are so many real lfe heroines and fictional heroines that I would love to meet too many to mention for me

    Have Fun
    Helen

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  6. Hi Laura! We're so happy to have you visiting with us today. I have your new book on my tbr and am looking forward to reading it. Julia sounds like a real spitfire!

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  7. Jane, I'm a fan of Jenna Petersen's Lady Spies too. Great books!

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  8. I'm with you, Danielle. I love a spunky heroine. Much more interesting, in my opinion.

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  9. Hi chelleyreads! You said, Heroine I love are those who are who can take care of themselves but knows when to ask for help, they're tough but they have a vulnerable side.

    That could describe my favorite heroes too. ;-)

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  10. Heroines need to be strong, independent & forgiving because men can be very stupid at times.

    LOL! Love it, Marybelle!

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  11. *waving* Hi, Laura!! We are thrilled to have you dishing with us today. I absolutely adore your books. :) I have Wedding of the Season and Scandal of the Year in my TBR pile and can't wait to read them back-to-back.

    Oh, wow, great question! As far as fictional characters go, I would love to meet Kate Sheffield from JQ's The Viscount Who Loved Me and Lady Victoria Gardella Grantworth de Lacy from Colleen Gleason's Gardella Vampire Chronicles. As for real life, that's easy--Jane Austen.

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  12. Andrea, how did I know Kate would be the first name out of your mouth? ;-)

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  13. I'm off to work. I'll try to check in on my lunch break.

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  14. I wish I could have been Emmaline Dove. She is one of my most favorite characters. Strong in a world where single women don't have many options. I'd love to just talk to her about being proper :) I'd love to meet Any and all of my favorite writers to let them know how much their works have ment to me. I admire them all for doing something they love that also brings such joy to others!

    My idea of the perfect heroine is a woman who is true to her self. Who isn't some submissive whining female but a strong headed goal oriented individual who finds love when she least expects it and is thrown off her wagon of expectations an has to reevaluate all she believes.

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  15. Some girls I would love to meet are:

    Francesca Bridgerton from Julia Quinn's When he was Wicked.

    Anne Jewell from Mary Balogh's Simply Love.

    & Lucy Ellyson from Elizabeth Boy;e's How I met my Countess.

    But I pretty much like all strong and independed heroines.

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  16. Hi Laura! I'm new to ur books but look forward to reading them b/c yesterday I took the Avon "find your author soulmate" quiz for the scavenger hunt and you came up as my match!lol So I'm excited to check out your books:)
    The fictional heroine I *SO* wish I could meet is Mercy Thompson from the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs! I just think we'd really hit it off,lol Plus she has an exciting, if dangerous, life going:D
    Some real life women I admire are Rachel Carson& Helen Keller. To me, perfect heroines are imperfect but all their flaws are real and relatable, and just because they have flaws doesn't mean they don't work at getting better at them, and have lots of redeeming qualities like fighting for what's right and are ladies willing to take a stand for things that matter. Of course, I like a hot hero who can come along and challenge her too:)

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  17. PJ said: Andrea, how did I know Kate would be the first name out of your mouth? ;-)

    Ah, PJ, you know me so well. ;)

    Kate truly is one very special and unforgettable heroine. At least to me. :)

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  18. Laura, I loved Scandal of the Year and Wedding of the Season so much that I then read all of your Girl-Bachelor and Seduction series immediately. If I could meet one of your characters, I would chose Phillip from The Secret Desires of a Gentleman. I would also love to meet Penelope Featherington from Julia Quinn's Romancing Mr. Bridgerton.

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  19. The fictional heroine I'd most like to meet is Catherine from Christine Monson's Stormfire. Why? Because she's been to hell and back and has gone through so much.

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  20. Hi Laura! It's great to have you here at the Dish. I just finished and absolutely LOVED Scandal of the Year. I was rooting for Aidan and Julia from the beginning-even in Wedding of the Season.

    I also liked that we got a glimpse of Lucy, who's Lady Weston now. Will we be getting her book to find out how she became Lady Weston?

    For real life heroines, I would love to meet Eleanor Roosevelt. I admire her for all the great work she did as First Lady in championing women's rights, civil rights, and human rights.

    For fictional heroines, I agree with Andrea that I'd love to meet Kate Sheffield from The Viscount Who Loved Me, Elizabeth Bennet from P&P, and Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing. I admire Beatrice because she was loyal and stood by her counsin Hero no matter whta. Plus, I would love to have her wit and be able to have snappy comebacks and banter the way she does.

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  21. Hi, Laura! I do so like your books and am looking forward to your new releases as they come out. I would like to meet Lady Viola in you novel, "The Marriage Bed" because she was a woman who endured hurt from her husband but was able to forgive him. A very difficult thing to do for anyone to do and I'm sure difficult for you, the author, to create a way for this to happen. I truly admire women authors who not only possess the talent to write, but also find the time to write, raise a family and network with your fellow authors and readers. Congratulations!!

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  22. Morning, everyone! Gosh, all of you must be East Coasters or early risers! Thanks to all of you for coming by. I wish this blog had a reply feature so I could talk to each of you individually!

    Chelleyreads, I love what you said about heroines because that's the kind of heroine I like to read and write. And PJ, yes, it applies to heroes, too!

    Marybelle, I agree about Lizzie Bennett. What a great heroine. And you're right about politicians' wives. The mean things that are said. Yikes.

    Brittany, what a beautiful compliment about Emma Dove. Thank you!

    Bella, that's funny about matching up with me in the Avon Scavenger Hunt! For those of you who don't know about it, go to my website, click on the pink tile and play. Avon is giving away some very cool prizes.

    Thanks, Donna, about mentioning Phillip. He's a favorite archtype of mine--that guy smoldering for the one woman he can't have. I like writing that guy. Aidan in Scandal of the Year is a bit like that, too.

    Lisa, glad you're enjoying the new series. Yes, I am going back to tell everyone about how Lucy and Wes got together. Now that the 3rd Abandoned at the Altar book is done, I'm talking to Avon about going back to the Girl-Bachelors, but with a twist.

    On that note, I've got to go write something. But I'll be back to talk more in a little while, so if there's anything you want to ask me, fire away!

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  23. Andrea, how did I know Kate would be the first name out of your mouth? ;-)

    LOL PJ! I just knew that is who Andrea would say. :-)

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  24. Hey Laura! We are all so excited to have you with us today. I guess you can already tell how much we love your books :-)

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  25. Hi Connie! A woman how can forgive a husband after a hurting her is definitely someone special.

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  26. For real life heroines, I would love to meet Eleanor Roosevelt. I admire her for all the great work she did as First Lady in championing women's rights, civil rights, and human rights.

    Lisa, she truly was an exceptional woman.

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  27. I would also love to meet Penelope Featherington from Julia Quinn's Romancing Mr. Bridgerton.


    Donna, so would I! I find Penelope fascinating.

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  28. I'm new to ur books but look forward to reading them b/c yesterday I took the Avon "find your author soulmate" quiz for the scavenger hunt and you came up as my match!

    LOL, Bella! It must be destiny :-)

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  29. But I pretty much like all strong and independed heroines.

    Me too, Kirsten! I can't stand a complaining heroine.

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  30. My idea of the perfect heroine is a woman who is true to her self. Who isn't some submissive whining female but a strong headed goal oriented individual who finds love when she least expects it and is thrown off her wagon of expectations an has to reevaluate all she believes.

    Well said, Brittany!!!!

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  31. I wish I could meet and hang out with Eleanor Dashwood. I think should would be an excellent host into the Regency era.

    I admire heroines who try to do the right thing and don't do anything considered TSTL.

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  32. All the best for your release!


    I would love to met the heroines from just about any Sabrina Jefferies book, love them, and I am harsh in my judgment of heroines!
    It isn't easy to find the right balance for a heroine, she could come across as too weak or a shrew. Its a fine line to straddle!

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  33. Hi, Laura! I loved Wedding of the Season and liked Scandal of the Year even better. Julia is a wonderful character.

    My favorite heroines possess humor, intelligence, integrity, and an understanding (at least by book’s end) of who they are—the qualities I value most in heroes as well. Your Daphne Wade would certainly be on my list of favorite heroines. Some other favorite heroines include Georgette Heyer’s Sophy, Carla Kelly’s Emma Costello and Roxanna Drew, Loretta Chase’s Jessica Trent and Daphne Pembroke, Pamela Morsi’s Hattie Colfax, Kathleen Gilles Seidel’s Krissa French, Nora Roberts’s Anna MacGregor, Mary Jo Putney’s Catherine Melbourne, Anne Gracie’s Kate Farleigh, Maggie Osborne’s Jenny Jones . . .

    The women I most admire in real life aren’t widely known. They are women I observe daily who face life with courage, humor, and optimism, who give generously of themselves to their families, friends, and community, who refuse to be defeated by the punishing blows life aims at them.

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  34. I would love to meet Miss Scarlet from Gone with the Wind, she was a very strong heroine but just made some wrong chooses in her life.

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  35. Congratulations Laura on your new release! :D

    The heroines I would like to meet are Lisbeth Salander (from Stieg Larsson's Millenium trilogy), Julia from your book, Kate and Francesca from Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series and some of JR Ward's heroines. (among others...the list is very long)

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  36. I have so many favorite heroines who would be fun to meet. On the list would be Claire from the Outlander series, Jessica from Lord of Scoundrels, and Kate from JQ's Bridgertons.

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  37. Congratulations on the new release. Any of Julia Quinn's, Julie James or Judith McNaught's heroines would be interesting to meet. All the heroines are smart and funny.

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  38. Hi, Laura! I have your latest two on my TBR pile---can't wait to indulge!

    I love spunky heroines---gotta keep those heroes on their toes. As for the fictional ones I'd like to meet: Eve Dallas (J.D. Robb's In Death series), Claire Randall Fraser (Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series), Penelope Featherington (JQ's Bridgertons), and definitely Elizabeth Bennet.

    Real life heroines would include Queen Elizabeth I, Jane Austen, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

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  39. I would love to meet Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudiced and I love Josie Essex from Pleasure for Pleasure by Eloisa James. I think both heriones are spunky and fun and would be a blast to meet. I think it would of been cool to met Jane Austin and Helen Keller and maybe Eleanor Roosevelt.

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  40. In books, I like Jessica Trent from Lord of Scoundrels, Eve Dallas from the In Death series, and Jo March from Little Women.

    In real life, I've always admired Eleanor Roosevelt, Elizabeth I of England, Mother Theresa and my mom!

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  41. Congrats on the release. I can't think of any fictional heroines I'd want to meet (though it would be interesting to just sit and chat wit some of the authors). I admire women who are strong, smart and still gentle and compassionate. This would include my Mom, sisters, neices & some friends. I also would have loved the previledge to meet some wonderful women such as Mother Theresa or Florence Nightengale who gave so much & freely of themselves to tohers in hopes of making the world better.

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  42. The series looks great. I would love to be able to meet Claire from the Outlander Series. Thanks for the giveaway.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

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  43. Hi, Laura! Congrats on your new release.

    I love the fictional characters of Scarlett O'Hara and Elizabeth Bennett. Add to that the heroines in your books, Nicole Jordan's, and Sabrina Jeffries.

    The women I would like to meet in real life include Florence Nightengale, Helen Keller, Queen Elizabeth, Eleanor Roosevelt, and my favorite authors -- you, Nicole Jordan, and Sabrina Jeffries.

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  44. I would love to meet Annabel Winslow from JQ's Ten Things I Love About You and Beatrix Hathaway from LK's Love in the Afternoon. These are two of my favorite heroines and I feel like they could be friends of mine in real life. :)

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  45. Johanna, I love Josie, too. She's a great heroine.

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  46. In real life, I've always admired Eleanor Roosevelt, Elizabeth I of England, Mother Theresa and my mom!

    What a lovely tribute to your mom, LSUReader.

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  47. I admire women who are strong, smart and still gentle and compassionate.

    I think those are wonderful traits, too, gamistress.

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  48. Bethie, Claire is one of my favorites, too.

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  49. Cathy P, you have some excellent heroines listed.

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  50. Oh, Trisha, isn't Beatrix a wonderful heroine?!

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  51. Lots of votes for Eleanor Roosevelt, and I have to second that. What a woman.

    Janga, you're so right! Sometimes the most amazing heroines are the ones right here in our own lives.

    Trisha, I just uploaded JQ's Ten Things I Love About You and Lisa Kleypas' Hathaway series to my Kindle the other day. I am SO behind!

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  52. Laura, thank you so much for visiting with us today! I'm sorry I wasn't around to join in the fun but work called. I can see from the comments that I now have a lot of new fictional heroines to meet!

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  53. I loved Olivia Bevelstoke from Julia Quinn's What Happens In London, as well as Annabel Winslow from Ten Things I Love About You. Both ladies are spunky and make sure they get what they want in a man, despite what others may think or want them to do.
    Real women I admire - I've got to say Oprah, she definitely has achieved her goals in life and done a lot of good for a lot of people.

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  54. I'm so looking forward to this book! I can't wait to read the sparks between free spirited (though slightly angsty) Julia and the uber good guy Aidan. I felt so bad for him when Beatrix dumped him (even though Beatrix wasn't the right woman for him).

    I'd like to meet Eleanor Roosevelt and my maternal grandmother when she was a young mother, trying to raise her kids during a war.

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  55. I also admire Abigail Adams and would like to sit down to tea with her and Dolly Madison. I most admire Mother Teresa and would love to have been able to spend time with her.
    For fictional women, Anne of Anne of Green Gables comes to mind from the time she is a child until she is a mature woman.

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  56. A lot of great women mentioned. I have to go with a heroine that stands up for herself. I'm such a pushover and wish I wasn't so I definitely love reading about women who are!

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