Vanessa Kelly
Vanessa Kelly


Jaunty Guests


Erica Monroe

I am a child of the 80’s and 90’s. (All of you cringing because I’ve either made you feel too young or too old, bear with me, I swear I’ve got a point here.) I grew up on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, Alias, and Star Trek: Voyager, all shows with incredibly strong women at their forefront.  While each of these shows of course had a romantic element—and played a core part in my development as an author of romance—the emphasis was also on the woman as an individual, her struggles and her emotions. She was the main character in her own life.


In my debut historical romance novel, A Dangerous Invitation, Kate Morgan is a fence for stolen goods in the Ratcliffe rookery in London. In 1832, Ratcliffe was an area beset with thieves, scoundrels, and prostitutes; as were many other rookeries in the city, for the layout of London made it so you could turn the corner in leaving an upper-class neighborhood and end up in the slums faster than you could say “oopsie doopsie.” The novel starts three years after Kate has been abandoned by her fiancé and her father’s company has gone into bankruptcy, leaving her with nothing after his death. But Kate doesn’t wither away on the streets—she finds a way to survive, using her knowledge of importing goods from working with her father all these years.

Kate is outwardly fierce, determined to prove that she can exist in a man’s world.  She’s more likely to shoot you with her flintlock pistol than not, and she’s quite quick on her feet. She’s found a place for herself in this ragtag world of criminals. When her fiancé Daniel O’Reilly returns to win back her heart and clear his name of the murder he was wrongfully accused of those years prior, she wants nothing to do with him. She’s certain that she doesn’t need anyone to protect her, and because she’s been hurt by him before, she doesn’t want to let him again. The book is as much about Kate’s struggle to realize she can be with Daniel and be independent, as it is about their romance and Daniel’s fight to overcome his alcoholism.

I’ve often heard people say that romance readers will forgive their hero far more willingly than the heroine, because the heroine is supposed to be a place holder for the reader. I so strongly disagree with this theory. Yes, in many ways, romance is about escapism. We want to travel to a world we can’t live in, and we want to be taken out of our lives for the duration of that story. That’s beautiful and magical, one of the reasons why I love romance so much. But I don’t believe our desires as romance readers or writers end with that escapism.

A Dangerous Invitation

Romance novels follow two people falling in love. We know at the get-go that they’re going to be together, and they will get their happily ever after or at least a happily for now. Part of the appeal is going with them on this journey to become something more, better versions of them. Thus, I believe the heroine is just as central to the reader’s enjoyment as the hero, though maybe we don’t swoon and wish said heroine would be our “book girlfriend.”

So when people ask me why I’m drawn to writing strong women, I think it’s not just strong women I want to write, but women who feel real. Women who take charge of their lives, and women who still don’t have all their ducks in a row. Women who you could befriend in the supermarket and women who at first don’t seem like someone you’d ever like. Women with struggles that are very genuine, no matter what century they live in, for their emotional depth, insecurities, and successes resonate through the ages.

I say, let’s start a revolution. Let’s remember that we as women are worth something. That each of us has something intrinsically beautiful. We are not placeholders in someone else’s existence, and neither should our heroines be so.

So tell me your favorite heroine (in literature, television, movies etc) and you could win a copy of A Dangerous Invitation!

PS.  Our spam filter has gone a little wonky, but don’t be worried if your comment doesn’t show up right away.  Jaunty P. Quills will liberate it soon!

Keep calm


A Dangerous Invitation:

Torn from her life of privilege by her father’s death, Kate Morgan relies on her knowledge of finery to survive in one of London’s dark and depraved rookeries as a fence for stolen goods . The last man she ever expects, or wants, to see again is Daniel O’Reilly, the man who promised to love, honor and protect her, but who instead fled amidst accusations of murder.

One drunken night cost Daniel O’Reilly the woman he loved and the life he’d worked so hard to create. If he ever wants to reclaim that life—and Kate—he’ll not only have to prove he’s innocent of murder, but convince the pistol-wielding beauty to forgive his many sins.

With a killer on the loose, time is running out for them…

You can find out more about Erica on her website at www.ericamonroe.comA Dangerous Invitation is available at Amazon, B & N, and other e-retailers. 


51 thoughts on “Please Welcome Erica Monroe!!

  1. ki pha says:

    Woot woot! Welcome Erica! And great post! You don’t know how much I loath TSTL heroines! So your book and Kate was a great story to follow! But I super adore Lady Sybil from Downton Abbey. Her character was very strong because she turned their home into a hospital to house and care for wounded soldiers and she defied her father by eloping with the chauffeur. I was super sad she left the show.

    1. Erica Monroe says:

      Hi Ki!! I’m so glad you enjoyed ADI. 🙂
      Lady Sybil was also a favorite of mine because she never backed down from a challenge. She was always herself, and wanted to help others. Good choice!

  2. Welcome to the blog, Erica! You know how much I loved your book, and I would recommend that historical romance readers download it immediately! As for strong heroines, I think my favorite might be Amelia Peabody of the Amelia Peabody Mysteries by Elizabeth Peters. She’s strong, determined, sensible, hilarious, and never lets ANYTHING get in her way.

    1. Erica Monroe says:

      Amelia Peabody is a definite contender. I love those books, but I particularly enjoy them in audio because it brings to light just how indomitable Peabody truly is. As you said, nothing will stop her! She’s a force to be reckoned with and I’m glad she finds a man that admires that about her.

  3. Robin the Book Nerd says:

    All Time favorite female characters are between Scarlett O’Hara or Elizabeth Bennet.

    1. Erica Monroe says:

      Very good choices, Robin! I’m always interested in Scarlett because she is the quintessential anti-heroine, yet so many generations have come to love her. And of course, being an Austen lover, I appreciate Elizabeth.

  4. My fav. character is of Naina Talwar (played by Deepika Padukone) in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (Bollywood movie). Reason is because in the starting on the movie she is very shy and innocent yet very brave and by the end, she is full of confidence and an independent women.

    1. Erica Monroe says:

      That’s interesting, Shivani. I don’t know of that character, but I’ll have to check it out. My third book, Scandal Becomes You, will feature a shy heroine kind of like you describe.

  5. Kathleen O says:

    One of my best loved fiction Heroines is Skye O’Malley by Bertrice Small.. I so wanted to be this take no prisoners heroine. She loved with passion and made her own way in the world.. Queen of her own fleet of ships and string of lovers.. until that one man makes her want to be a landlover…

    1. Erica Monroe says:

      Wow! She sounds awesome. I’ve always heard of Bertrice Small but haven’t read any of her books. This sounds like one I will definitely have to check out.

  6. JoannaM says:

    I agree with you. A heroine is not a place holder. As a matter of fact if any of the books i read feel like my protagonist is no where near from being real, then I know it’s a book I won’t finish reading. My favorite heroine so far is Hermione Granger. She was always up to the task of helping friends regardless of her own struggles. She was more than a friend. She was the reason Harry Potter fulfilled her destiny. She and all his other friends of course but right now it’s all about women 😉

    1. Erica Monroe says:

      LOL, Joanna, I actually dressed up as Hermione my senior year of high school for our Halloween Day. Definitely share your love of her! She’s smart and isn’t afraid to show it.

  7. Shana Galen Shana Galen says:

    Oh, this book sounds so good! I love books set in rookeries and a female fence is such a fabulous idea. Obviously, I am going to download it right now!! Welcome, Erica! My favorite heroine is Eve Dallas from JD Robb’s In Death series. I think she fits your criteria 🙂

    1. Erica Monroe says:

      Hi Shana! You know I love your books, so I’m delighted you’ll read my debut! What an honor. Looking forward to your series (in 2015, I think?) featuring the rookeries as well.

  8. sheryl n says:

    I love Claire from the Outlander series. Not only is she from the future and a doctor, but she also gets to call Jamie Fraser her husband.

    1. Erica Monroe says:

      I am hearing a lot about this Outlander series lately. I haven’t read them myself, but know many people who are absolutely gaga for them. Good choice!

  9. catslady says:

    I have to go with Catniss from The Hunger Games or Tris in Divergent. Both strong characters.

    1. Erica Monroe says:

      LOVE Katniss. (I say, having only seen the movies, because I want to wait until they’re all out before reading the books so I’m mentally prepared.)

  10. bn100 says:

    Regan from the IAD series

    1. Erica Monroe says:

      I’m not familiar with this series, but that sounds neat.

    2. Nicole Potter says:

      OMG YES she is so cool!! Course I love anyone from the IAD series! 😉

  11. Welcome, Erica! I’m so glad you could join us today! Your book sounds fabulous. My favorite literary heroine is Elizabeth Bennet.

    1. Erica Monroe says:

      Another for Elizabeth Bennet! But of course, she well-deserves such publicity. 🙂

  12. Angelina says:

    My favorite heroine in television is Olivia from Fringe. I love that she’s tough and dedicated and smart but she is also vulnerable sometimes without ever transforming into a woman dependent on others to fulfill her sense of worth or self.

    1. Erica Monroe says:

      YES. I loved Fringe. Though I’ve gotten about 3 seasons in and then I got distracted, as I usually do. I need to watch all of it!

  13. ina darmayanti says:

    Would love to read your books, Erica.

    My fav heroine is Lady Leonie of Montwyn from When Love Awaits by Johanna Lindsey

    1. Erica Monroe says:

      Thanks! I have never read Johanna Lindsey, though I do have a book from her sitting on my shelf. She’s a legend, isn’t she?

  14. martha lawson says:

    Beckett from Castle! Thanks for the chance, it sounds like a really great book.

    1. Erica Monroe says:

      YEAH BECKETT!! Actually picked up a genuine leather jacket today at Goodwill for $12 which my husband proclaims makes me look like Kate Beckett. BEST DAY EVER.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  15. ina darmayanti says:

    Would love to read your books, Erica.

    My fav heroine is Lady Leonie of Montwyn from When Love Awaits by Johanna Lindsey.
    Congrats for your book

  16. Deborah C. Adams says:

    Love Bones, she has this tough shell, but now that she has a baby and she has Booth to show her how to love, she’s truly showing just how human she is…..

    1. Erica Monroe says:

      I really liked Bones too, but I stopped watching it because it became a little too grisly for my tastes. I keep saying I’m going to go back and watch it again now that I’m more adjusted to watching crime shows.
      Emily Deschanel is a marvel with that character, showing so, so many facets to her personality. Excellent choice.

  17. Love Hayley of The Originals…she’s one tough Wolf girl and she’s showing what she’s made of in this series…..

    1. Erica Monroe says:

      You are TOTALLY after my heart here. Hayley is my favorite character on the Originals (now that my poor Rebekah has left, sob).

  18. Michele Hayes says:

    One of my favorite heroines is Eve Dallas in the JD Robb mystery novels. She’s had to be strong but over the course of books she’s grown into a very caring individual.

  19. Arizona Dutt says:

    Your story sounds lovely, added it to my TBR pile!

    My favorite heroine has to be Claire Beauchamp from Outlabder. She’s a wonderfully written character; with flaws, emotions, beauty and a handsome Highlander for a husband! 😉

    1. Erica Monroe says:

      Why thank you! I do hope you enjoy it.
      You’re the second person to say Claire from Outlander. This series is apparently the biggest thing since Twilight, but with an entirely different fanbase. I’m excited about the show coming out this summer on it.

  20. I would have to say Dr. Temperance Brennan from the BONES TV series! Not only is she super smart, she’s pretty, genuinely honest and takes down the bad guys! Not to mention, she usually takes the bad guys down by surprise! 🙂

    1. Erica Monroe says:

      My favorite Bones quote is “I don’t know what that means” (or some variation to that extent). She cracks me up.

  21. Elizabeth Schroedle says:

    Elizabeth Bennet, Amelia Peabody and Jane Tennyson

  22. Moriah says:

    I have to agree with Scarlett from Gone with the Wind – she survived so much depending only on herself.

  23. Monique D says:

    Hi Erica ! I love how you think ! Book heroine: Allison Sekemoto (Julie Kagawa’s Blood of Eden books), movies: Trinity from The Matrix, and Maya Rodale’s Wallflowers. Yes, I have diverse tastes !!!

  24. Raquel M. says:

    Buffy hands down. Loved that show.

  25. erinf1 says:

    Shaw from Persons of Interest 🙂 COngrats to Erica on the new release! Thanks for sharing!

  26. Angela says:

    Claire Frasier from the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon

  27. Joan Woods says:

    I vote for Bones. She is both funny, smart, good mother and wife.

  28. Terri C. says:

    Hello Erica. Your book sound great and I’d love to read it. My favorite heroine is Catherine Enderly from Christine Monson’s STORMFIRE. She suffered, and I do me suffered, so much at the hands of the hero and survived it all!

  29. Kate Person says:

    I’m an 80s, 90s child too, and remember watching all those shows. Your book sounds superb.

    My favorite book heroines are Emma Dunster from Julia Quinn’s “Splendid” and ladies from Elizabeth Boyle’s The Bachelor Chronicles series – Felicity Langley, Thalia Langley, and Miranda Mabberly.

    For tv, I’ve only watched the first Season, but I really liked Bo, played by Anna Silk, in Lost Girl. I wanted to like the main heroine in Once Upon A Time, but I find her a bit standoffish for my taste, though her, Snow and Red are strong leads. Out of those three I like Red the most.

  30. Betty Hamilton says:

    I love Claire Frasier, the heroine in Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

  31. Mindy Brown says:

    My favourite heroine when I was a kid was Xena Warrior Princess. I thought she was awesome!!

  32. lisagk says:

    Buffy is definitely one of my top favorites. There are so many to choose from. Thanks for asking.

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