Dame for a Day: Maria Lima

Dame Kaz

Hello, Dames readers! I hope your summer is going okay and that you’re hanging in there with all this crazy weather, wherever you are in the world. Today I am very happy to present a wonderful author as our Dame for a Day – not only is she a great writer, she’s also a very cool person who I’ve enjoyed getting to know via blogging & email over the last couple of years.

Here’s Maria Lima, author of the popular Blood Lines urban fantasy series. Do stick around until the end, because Maria will be giving away a signed book to celebrate the fifth and final book’s release next Tuesday, 30 August – comment and enter! :)

There is nothing like a Dame

Maria Lima

When I was thinking about what topic to write about for Deadline Dames, the famous song from South Pacific kept crawling through my brain. So, what is a “dame” exactly? What qualities does a woman have to have to be a “dame”?

The word that immediately springs to mind is “fabulous”. Rosalind Russell in Auntie Mame was a dame. Katherine Hepburn, equally a dame. Strong women, with backbone and chutzpah–no matter their cultural background. Judi Dench and Maggie Smith are literally dames, having been given the equivalent of a knighthood. Yet, they are also dames in the other definition, as well. Who doesn’t equate Dame Judi with such amazing women as Elizabeth I or M?

Modern urban fantasies often feature dames – those kick-ass (and sometime leather-clad) gals who take no prisoners and give no quarter. They’re fighters, lovers and sometimes judge and jury, as the case warrants. But not all urban fantasy/contemporary fantasy women spring full-blown onto the scene already having achieved their dame-hood.

My own protagonist, Keira Kelly, has grown into her role rather reluctantly. In MATTERS OF THE BLOOD, where we first meet her, she less a dame and more a young woman trying to figure out life. Mostly, she’s still sulking and wants to be left alone to do so. Then the requisite “things happen” (all novels have this, whatever the “things” may be), and by constantly dunking Keira into hot water, she eventually emerges stronger, more sure of herself. She’s large and in charge and ready to take on the world…if she has to. By the time the fifth and last book BLOOD SACRIFICE rolls around, Keira’s finished her initial journey. She’s no longer the young woman seeking her path, but has truly evolved into the definition of “dame”–strong, fabulous and ready to take on all comers. No matter what happens next, she’ll be ready for it. Like so many before her: Tanya Huff’s Vicki Nelson, Jenna Black’s Morgan Kingsley and many, many others, Keira’s life will continue in the hearts and minds of her fans.


Would you like to win a signed copy of ANY of Maria’s books in the Blood Lines series? Leave a comment telling us who your favourite ‘dame’ is (not necessarily a character written by a Deadline Dame!), and ONE winner will receive their choice of book – whether the first, the brand new Blood Sacrifice, or anything in between!

Giveaway is open to all, anywhere in the world, and closes at the end of the month: Wednesday, August 31st. The winner will be announced soon after.

About Karen

Karen Mahoney has been a professional Tarot reader, a college counsellor, bookseller and dating agency consultant. Ever since she was six years old what she really wanted to be was Wonder Woman, but has instead settled for being a writer. Karen writes urban fantasy for young adults, and does nothing to hide the fact that she is a total geek.

She is British, but hopes that you do not hold this against her.

You can visit her at: www.kazmahoney.com.


  1. Jessica R says:

    My favorite dame is Kate Daniels in the Kate Daniels series by Illona Andrews.

    I would love to win the first book in the Blood Lines series

  2. Hands down, Meryl Streep.
    Love to hate her in one movie, love to love her in the next.

    She is classy classy classy. The Hours, Adaptation, Angels In America, etc. I don’t think a lot of other movie stars would make me star struck in their presence. But, Meryl? Oh yes, I do believe I would be star struck for a moment.

    And then I would run and give her a hug. A hug for all the times in her films when she needed a hug.

  3. My absolute favorite dame is Kate Daniels! She’s so kick-ass and yet (despite never admitting it) cares for her friends. A close runner-up would have to be Mercy Thompson, because you just have to love a history teacher-turned VW mechanic!

    Reflections on Reading Romance

  4. Lauren Bacall! she is the dame of dames. she is so beautiful and regal but watch out! she will be down and fighting in no time. a beautiful smile but with one tilt of her head and glance from those eyes WHAM you are cut to ribbons.

  5. Old school dame – Scarlett O’Hara. Resiliant, beautiful, flawed, stubborn, strong.

    New school dame – MacKayla Lane. Forged by unbelievable circumstances, and more than a survivor.

    Real life dame – My BFF. She could’ve used so many excuses, but she’s kept on moving forward for something better. That’s a dame.

  6. Dina Willner says:

    Love all these dames, but have to agree that Kate Daniels kicks a**!

  7. Jessica S. says:

    OOh that’s a very very tough question! I read too much and therefore have too many fave heroines! I really totally loved Yelena from Maria Snyder’s Study series! She was totally cool and had attitude! Of course that’s not really an urban fantasy dame, more like fantasy dame!

    My other fave dame who does fit the bill for UF heroine is Mac from the Fever series! She was totally awesome! Loved her attitude, she had sass and she was always doing what she could to solve her sister’s murder! So Mac is definitely a fave dame for me!

    …among the many!

  8. Hi

    I would have to say Riley Jenson (Keri Arthur) – she just seems to keep kicking.

    I have read your first (Matters of the Blood) in this series and have the second book sitting on my TBR bookcase – love this series.


  9. Wow, I’m loving the responses!!

    Keep ‘em coming. :)

    – Maria

  10. Hi,

    My favorite dame is Anne from Anne of Green Gables. I love her story and the trials she goes through.

    I have to say I am sorry the Keira is going away. I love reading the books and this is sad to see it end.

  11. Not sure if my last post saved. I didn’t see it.

    Hands down, Meryl Streep.
    Love to hate her in one movie, love to love her in the next.

    She is classy classy classy. The Hours, Adaptation, Angels In America, etc. I don’t think a lot of other movie stars would make me star struck in their presence. But, Meryl? Oh yes, I do believe I would be star struck for a moment.

    And then I would run and give her a hug. A hug for all the times in her films when she needed a hug.

  12. Kate Beckinsdale as Selene in the Underworld films! I also really liked Sonja in the third film too. ;) They totally kicked ass!

  13. Ack! There are so many good characters that could be dames…

    I’m torn between Joanne Walker from C.E. Murphy’s Urban Shaman series and Merit from Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires series. Both make epic journeys through their books. (And both had killer cliff hangers on their last books that left me breathless.)

    For television – it has to be Buffy Summers.

    For movies – Lila from The Fifth Element or River from Serenity.
    (God, I’m a geek.)
    Oh, and I love your books, Maria.

  14. My favorite dame is Elena from the Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh.

  15. I have to go with Kate from Ilona Andrews’ books. LOVE her– though Cat from Jeaniene Frost’s books is a very close second.

    On television I’m going with River from Firefly and the Serenity movie. She’s not your typical heroine, but the scene near the end of the movie when she kicks the Reavers ass is the best ever.

    I would love to read your series. I’m actually horrified that I haven’t read it yet:( So, I’d love to win the first book in the series.

  16. Barbara Elness says:

    I’d choose Jennifer Estep’s Gin Blanco, I think she’s a real dame. My old time favorite would be Maureen O’Hara, she was a feisty dame, especially in The Quiet Man.

  17. I think my favorite has to be Joanne Baldwin from Rachel Caine’s Weather Warden series. She is beyond awesome!

  18. I would have to go with Cat from the Night Huntress series when it comes to books. If I had to choose one for television, definitely Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

  19. I think that Cassandra Clare’s Clary is a dame, though she’s just a teenager. But she’s got quick wits, and she isn’t afraid to kick butt when the need arises. She’s got lots of potential :)

  20. First on tha came to mins – Scarlett O’Hara. I am always looking for new authors to read and would love the first book in the series to start. Thanks for the contest.

  21. Fantasy – Katsa from Graceling by Kristen Cashore.

    Urban Fantasy – Toby from the October Daye Series by Seanan McGuire.

  22. Real Dames-love Kate Hepburn, Meryl Streep.
    Fantasy- Rachel Morgan in the Kim Harrison Hollows series as well as Sookie Stackhouse in a soft but strong-as-steel kind of way.

  23. SandyG265 says:

    I’ll go with Gin Blanco from jennifer Estep’s series.

  24. CrystalGB says:

    My favorite is Keri Arthur’s Riley Jenson. She is a kick butt heroine. :)

  25. There are so many awesome ones to choose! I love Charlotte “Cee Cee” Caissie from Nancy Gideon’s By Moonlight series. She’s such a strong character who is fiercely loyal to and protective of the ones she loves! I also agree that Kate Daniels, Cat from The Night Huntress series, and Mercy Thompson are great choices!

  26. I enjoyed Faythe from Rachel’s Shifter series, true she annoyed me at times, but overall she was a great heroine!

  27. I think Cat Crawfield (Jeaniene Frost’s most excellent series) definitely fits the dame definition.

  28. I think my favorite dame of all time is Helen Mirren. I want to be her when I grow up. She’s fabulous, strong, gets great parts and often (in my opinion) outshines younger actresses on the red carpet. She’s the full package and she knows it. :-)

  29. Ooh, Helen Mirren – yes, she’s amazing, isn’t she?

    I’m looking forward to checking out some of the others you all have listed. :)


  30. Oh there are so many Dames, and several of them have been mentioned here. But I’d have to go for Katherine Hepburn. She was amazing in ‘The African Queen’ – acted Bogey, of all people, right off the screen! And then in ‘On Golden Pond’ she was such a strong person. she gets my vote!

    luv, Mags x

  31. Rachel V. says:

    Love Keira from Blood llines, she’s a great Dame. I also love the kickassedness of Selene from the Underworld movie series. That is what got me started in the vampire genre. So many wonderful dames in books also, Jane Yellow Rock by Faith Hunter is really fantastic, nothing like a dame who can turn into a mountain lion. I love the bloodlines series so already have them all in paper and ebook, but I would treasure a signed edition of the first one. Now I’m off to start reading Blood Sacrifice.

  32. I think Elena from Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld would definately count as a Dame.

  33. Kitty Norville from Carrie Vaughn’s sereies — Definite Dame Material!

  34. Real life dame… Glenn Close… she masters the icy chill diva and can put anyone in their place with a look!

    Fiction dame… Joanne Baldwin from the Weather Wardens

    Thanks for the awesome post and giveaway! I have had your books on my wishlist for a while! About to cave and just go splurge!


  35. For me it would be Dame Rachel’s Kaylee Cavanaugh, love the Soul Screamers!!

    Dottie :)

  36. RL – Judi Dench
    Fictional – wow too many to begin to pick