Extraordinary
Women

  • Diana Gabaldon

     

    Brilliant author of the historical sci-fi adventure, Outlander books, novellas, and graphic novels. Herself, as fans call her, creates strong, loving, companionate female characters that span time.

  • Katherine Johnson. Dorothy Vaughan.        Mary Jackson.

    These brilliant African-American women worked as mathematicians and aerospace engineers at NASA and were referred to as human computers. Their work was instrumental in the successful launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit.  

  • Rose Antonia Maria Valland

    Rose_Valland_small

    Rose Antonia Maria Valland (1 November 1898 – 18 September 1980) was a French art historian, a member of the French Resistance, a captain in the French military, and one of the most decorated women in French history. She secretly recorded details of the Nazi plundering of National French and private Jewish-owned art from France.

  • Hedy Lamarr

     

    Beautiful and talented actress. Brilliant inventor. She may not have literally invented WiFi, she did invent an important precursor. In collaboration with George Antheil, Lamarr patented a frequency-hopping mechanism designed to keep Nazis from intercepting Allied transmissions during World War II. Not only is it impenetrable from a security perspective, it is the foundation used to develop Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS.

  • Margaret Atwood

    A Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayists, teacher, environmental activist, and inventor. She has published 18 books of poetry, 18 novels, 11 non-fiction books, 9 collections of short fiction, 8 children’s books, and 2 graphic novels.  A number of her works have been adapted for film and television.

  • Rear Admiral Sandra Stosz

    Rear Admiral Sandra Stosz

    Rear Adm. Sandra Stosz became the first female superintendent at any of the U.S. service academies. A 1982 Coast Guard Academy graduate and a surface operations officer with 12 years of sea duty, Admiral Stosz has plotted a course that includes many firsts for women in the military. Her performance in previous assignments as commanding officer for recruit training at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May, N.J., the Director of Reserve and Leadership, and the commanding officer of two cutters, has demonstrated a commitment to building a diverse workforce.

  • Nancy Grace Augusta Wake

    Nancy Wake

    Nancy Grace Augusta Wake (August 30, 1912 – August 07, 2011), also known as the “White Mouse”, was one of the most decorated secret agents of the Second World War. By war’s end in Europe she had become famed as a resourceful, dauntless Resistance leader, who topped the Gestapo’s most-wanted list and had saved hundreds of Allied lives. She parachuted behind enemy lines, dodged bullets many times, rode a bicycle 250 miles to alert the French resistance to the Normandy invasion, was involved in ambushing German convoys and destroying bridges and railway lines.

  • Temple Grandin

    Temple Grandin

    Temple Grandin (born August 27, 1947) is an American doctor of Animal Science and professor at Colorado State University, bestselling author, and consultant to the livestock industry in animal behavior. As a person with high-functioning autism, Grandin is also widely noted for her work in autism advocacy and is the inventor of the hug machine designed to calm hypersensitive persons.

  • Bessie Coleman

    Bessie Coleman

    Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman (January 26, 1892 – April 30, 1926) was an American civil aviator. She was the first female pilot of African American descent and the first person of African American descent to hold an international pilot license.

  • Erma Bombeck

     

    Mrs. Bombeck was thirteen when she wrote her first newspaper column. Her syndicated column, “At Wit’s End,” was directed to the lonely plight of stay-at-home mothers and appeared in more than 900 newspapers. She spent twenty-seven years writing 4,500 columns and 12 books that touched the lives of an international audience of women, men and children. She was still writing her column and developing a new book when she died from complications of a kidney transplant in 1996.

  • Sally Ride

    Sally Ride

    Dr. Sally Kristen Ride (May 26, 1951 – July 23, 2012) from Los Angeles, California, was an American physicist and a former NASA astronaut. She studied at Portola Middle School, Westlake School for Girls, Swarthmore College and Stanford University, and earned a master’s degree and PhD. Ride joined NASA in 1978, and in 1983, became the first American woman, and then-youngest American, to enter space. In 1987 she left NASA to work at Stanford University Center for International Security and Arms Control.

  • Carol Mutter

    Carol Mutter

    Carol A. Mutter (born December 17, 1945) is a retired United States Marine Corps lieutenant general. She is the first woman in the history of the United States Armed Forces to be appointed to a three-star grade. She retired from the Marine Corps on January 1, 1999. Her last active duty assignment was as Deputy Chief of Staff, Manpower and Reserve Affairs (DC/S, M&RA) at Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

  • Wilma Rudolph

    Wilma Rudolph

    Wilma Glodean Rudolph (June 23, 1940 – November 12, 1994) was an American athlete. Rudolph was considered the fastest woman in the world in the 1960s and competed in two Olympic Games, in 1956 and in 1960.

  •  Carol Burnett

     

    A comedian with a decades-long career. Her own beloved comedy TV show, a number of feature films and on Broadway. A published author and known to help young comedians starting out. She has been the recipient of numerous honors. American Comedy Awards, Emmy and Golden Globe awards, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Kennedy Center Honors, given to the creative minds who influence American culture with their art.

  • Antonia Novello

    Antonia Novello

    Dr. Antonia Coello Novello, M.D., (born August 23, 1944) is a Puerto Rican physician and public health administrator. She was a vice admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and served as fourteenth Surgeon General of the United States from 1990 to 1993. Novello is the first woman and first Hispanic to serve as Surgeon General.

  • Pvt. Minnie Spotted Wolf

    Minnie Spotted Wolf

    Private Minnie Spotted-Wolf (1923 – 1988) was the first Native American woman to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. She enlisted in the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve in July 1943.

  • Sergeant Kimberly Munley

    Sergeant Kimberly Munley a civilian Department of Defense police officer at Ft Hood credited with stopping the firing rampage of an Army Major within a few minutes after he launched his attack. Munley, a 35 year old petite mother of two, put her life at risk and drew the attention of shooter. She fired and took the man down. But not before she was shot three times. Munley is credited with preventing many more deaths.

  • Rosie the Riveter

    Rosie the Riveter

    Rosie the Riveter is a cultural and feminist icon of the United States, representing the American women who worked in factories during World War II, many of whom worked in the manufacturing plants that produced munitions and war supplies.

  • Wives of Police Officers, Firemen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines.

  • World War II Women Airforce Service Pilots

    World War II Women Service Pilots

    A few more than 1,100 young women, all civilian volunteers, flew military aircraft — including the B-26 and B-29 bombers — as part of the WASP program. They tested newly overhauled planes, towed targets to give ground and air gunners training shooting — with live ammunition. They ferried new planes from factories to military bases.  Most importantly their service freed a male pilot for combat duties.  The WASP expected to become part of the military during their service. Instead, the program was canceled after two years. Thirty-eight WASP members lost their lives and one, disappeared while on a ferry mission. In 1977, for their World War II service, the members were finally granted veteran status by Congress. Brave woman all.

     

  • SPAR Olivia Hooker: First African American Woman in the Coast Guard

    Olivia Hooker

    In February 1945, Olivia Hooker was sworn in by a Coast Guard officer, becoming the first African-American female admitted into the United States Coast Guard. Hooker joined the service to become a SPAR (Semper Paratus Always Ready), the acronym used for female service personnel during World War II. She remained in the Coast Guard until the war-time SPARs were disbanded by mid-1946. Dr. Hooker later earned a doctorate in psychology had a distinguished career as a professor.

  • Marjorie Harris Carr

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    (1915-1997) an American environmental activist. She is best known for leading the fight against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Cross Florida Barge Canal. Carr and her colleagues won a temporary injunction against construction of the canal in January 1971. Days later, President Richard Nixon halted construction of the canal.

 

 

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Writing Romance Suspense/Thrillers

In Romantic Suspense/Thrillers there are two distinct stories. The suspense/thriller and the romance. 

 A strong romance is woven together with strong suspense, mystery, or thriller elements to constitute integral parts of the plot.

 In this genre the action moves fast and the story takes place over a relative short period. I write contemporary thriller/action adventure and the stories take place over a couple of weeks and less. An author has to weave in a plausible romance and bring it to a satisfying conclusion (don’t forget part of a romance definition is the HEA or the possibility of an HEA) in a short timeframe.  Not easy to develop quick emotional and physical relationships.  

 If your characters are meeting for the first time on the pages of your story how can that plausible—I emphasis plausible—relationship develop so fast? What about the sexual aspect?  Characters getting between the sheets fast is crazy tricky. Of course, if the characters have a history, good or bad as long as they have a touch point of knowledge, it’s less complicated.

 If you plan on writing sex for a hero and heroine who just met it is important you know yourself and your own boundaries. Know what YOUR comfort zone is. If you can’t envision it, or don’t agree with characters getting hot and sweaty together fast, for goodness sakes, don’t do it.

 For example, I’m not comfortable with a 2o something woman meeting a man, two hours later being in bed and two weeks later being in a happy ever after relationship. Nor am I comfortable with someone that age knowing the man she’s just met is the one that fast. It would be impossible for me to give her the experiences that would allow her to make these decisions. Be clear here. I am NOT saying someone that age is incapable of making that decision, I’m saying I can’t write it to happen fast.   

 Ergo, I write with heroes and heroines over 35. They have experience. To my way of thinking —my comfort zone— they are more capable of making a decision about going into a sexual relationship after a short time and handling any blow back. A 36-year-old woman who has experienced a lot in her life knows the ramifications of hooking up.

 You MUST know your characters. What they will and will not do and why. I mean the down deep why. While these issues are vital in every story, it is even more important in the fast pace RS genre. You must know what circumstances will drive your heroine to hit the sheets quickly.  BTW I say heroine because I firmly believe she is the one who makes the decision as to the when and where.

 In my first book, Under Fire, the H&H go home together after they first meet. I totally knew my heroine. What event formed her values and beliefs and was behind all her decisions. The day the H&H met, she suffered two huge setbacks in her story goal. Going with him that night breaks all her personal rules but she decides to console herself with some sexual healing. Give in, just once, to her own needs and the reader knew this. She leaves his bed before he wakes thinking she will never see him again. In a few days this comes back to bite her. It also begins the resolution to her story goal. 

 As for the HEA in this story, these two people were NOT looking for a relationship but found something in each other that filled a void they didn’t know existed. As the author, I knew it did. Knowing your characters inside and out allows you to understand what they fear, what they want, and what they need. You use it to get them to work out their problems together and rapidly establish a bond. With each other’s help they face their fears, they change, and are rewarded with love and in the suspense novel get the bad guy in the process. This is an over simplification but I hope you get what I mean. 

 When the H&H have a sexual history getting them into a speedy relationship is always easier. In my third book, Point of No Return, two experienced intelligence officers from different agencies have an affair that lasted more than a year. You can read how they met in the prequel No Holding Back. The hero broke it off for his own misguided reason. They come together again working to find the same bad guy. With their history, the sexual tension lasts for only so long before they give in. Their HEA is very complicated. Again, I know them completely.

 Another way is to use what some call survivor sex. After two people share a near death experience sharing the life affirming act of sex is always a possibility. As an author, you can put friends, detective or business partners, who have worked together for years and know each other completely into that death experience and life affirming sex. The act changes a relationship to full blown love and HEA. On the surface this looks to be the easiest choice. Honestly, it’s the most difficult for me to write. To get a good balance of conflict you really have to know your H&H.

 I can probably come up with a hundred more scenarios but this is already too long.

Bottom line

  • Dig deep
  • Know yourself
  • Know your characters inside out.

                             What do you think?

                                                       Rita

   

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