Goodreads devotes an entire shelf to such books:
Popular Characters Quirky Heroines Books
And those books are such fun to read. Sometimes I accidentally slip on the shoes of a klutz, not meaning to, of course. And I can readily empathize with the directionally challenged heroine who must depend on her GPS to guide her to her next romantic interlude.
I enjoy writing about those women, too, and created a new kind of quirky heroine in my historical time travel Rising Above, my latest eBook release from Desert Breeze Publishing.
Wilda Stone, a Caltrans flag person, is a misfit tomboy even before her hot air balloon crashes and throws her back in time to 1874. When Wilda's new landlady disappears with her overalls and steel-toed boots, she's forced to don long skirts and high-button shoes and advised to conform.
She can't do anything right in the silver mining town where she lands, either. After her balloon crashes and her rescuer, an undercover Pinkerton agent, leads her into a cave where he seeks shelter for them a fierce sandstorm. Because she spends two nights alone with him riding out the storm he insists her reputation has been compromised and she has to marry him.
Wilda's not buying it. She's given up on marriage. The 21st century men she worked with didn't give her the time of day, and she is not about to be forced into a loveless marriage. She intends to soon return to her own time. How?
While she awaits the answer, she agrees to let her disgruntled suitor, Hal Grantham, come courting. Statuesque Wilda Stone, who has never gone out on a single date, must sew quickly clothe herself in dresses suitable for courting, using the only feminine skill she possesses, sewing, and learn to step out gracefully on the arm of a man.
She is an excellent seamstress. Her high school home economics teacher took special interest in the motherless girl, but Wilda's homemaking skills do not carry over to the kitchen, where she either breaks or burns everything in her path. When Billy Crappo is shorthanded at his store and Wilda volunteers to clerk for him, love-starved miners stand in a long line to make a purchase and have a word with her without Hal around. To assure her safety, Hal orders her back to stay in the hotel.
When Hal is thrown from his mule in a mule race and has the wind knocked out of him, Wilda uses her knowledge of CPR to save the unconscious man's life, but the miners think she's kissing him. The scare of nearly losing him forces her to accept she loves Hal.
They have a happy marriage until an epidemic makes Hal fear for her life. He secretly repairs her hot air balloon and sends Wilda back to her own time where doctors help their patients live long and useful lives, she has told him. Hal wants Wilda to enjoy a worry-free, productive life, not die from diphtheria the way his first wife and son had, and thinks sending her back to her own time will assure she does.
Wilda moves Heaven and Earth to return to Cerro Gordo, the only place she's ever felt at home, and when she does, Hal finally professes his loves for his strong-willed wife who has captured his heart.
My first quirky heroine was Zoe Westmore, the heroine of Law Breakers and Love Makers. She likes to stretch out on a lounge by her father's pool and admire her manicure, but when the going gets rough, I want this young woman to have my back. She may sing duets with a parrot, but she's clear-headed when law breakers threaten her.
Growing up, Zoe and her father were always at odds. He tried to keep Zoe from making poor choices, which to Zoe was tantamount to him running her life. Once she graduated from college, she rebelled, took a job in LA to escaped her father's close scrutiny of her actions.
Not until she returned to San Diego to housesit for her parents did she learn her father loved her deeply and had only been protecting her from harm. Maybe Zoe has matured. When real danger interrupted her glassblowing attempt, she knew exactly how to keep the bad guys at bay, and made her father proud.
When my editor at Desert Breeze Publishing offered me the first contract for this manuscript she wrote the she "loves quirky heroines. And if you prefer the feel of a paper book, Law Breakers and Love Makers is now available in print from Amazon.com.
In her blog about 'Creating the Oddball Heroine' last year on Rosalie Lario's blog, Karen McCullough wrote: "…I try to make my heroines good, kind, brave, winsome, and sometimes a bit odd." You can read her entire blog here:
http://rosalielario.com/2011/06/10/creating-the-oddball-heroine and more about Karen McCullough here: http://www.kmccullough.com.
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Toni Noel's love of books started in childhood, when her mother first read The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew to her. She helped start church libraries in two rural Tennessee towns and appeared before the City Planning Commission and the San Diego City Council to urge a site be purchased. As the neighborhood spokesman for the new library the City Councilman for her district invited her to turn the second shovel of dirt at the groundbreaking for the new library. Toni's fondest dream, to see one of her safe-haven-for-the-heart novels available for checkout there may soon be fulfilled. Desert Breeze Publishing will release in print form in November the author's first published novel Law Breakers and Love Makers.
Toni Noel's Novels... Safe havens for the heart.
Bad weather cuts short Wilda Stone's hot-air balloon race, throwing her back into widowed lawman Hal Grantham's time, the 1870's. A sand storm forces them to seek shelter in a cave, compromises Wilda's reputation, and forces Hal into a marriage of convenience. Wilda falls in love with the terse lawman, abandons all thought of returning to the twenty-first century. Her stoic husband conceals his true feelings for her. When diphtheria-- the same disease responsible for taking his first wife and son -- threatens this Cerro Gordo mining town, deep concern for Wilda's welfare drives Hal to send his wife back to her own time in her balloon. His actions convince her Hal shuns her love and she departs, whispering a promise to return, without revealing her pregnancy. Once her conveyance rises beyond his reach, Hal realizes his mistake and launches a futile search for the woman he now readily admits he loves.