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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Guest Post: What Makes an Alpha an Alpha? By Selena Blake

Let's give a warm welcome to Author Selena Blake! She's here to talk about one of our favorite subjects "Alphas"!! 

What Makes an Alpha an Alpha? 
By Selena Blake

Most of the men I write about are alpha males. It's really no surprise to me that the alpha draws readers and authors alike.

Up until recently, I've written mostly paranormal romance and the occasional short contemporary. Some of my leading men are more "alpha" than others, but they all share similar traits. It's these qualities, among others, that I (and most of my readers) consider attractive, even sexy.

Confidence. Charisma. Intelligence. Pride. Protectiveness. And a certain amount of selflessness.

Alpha males aren't dominant just because they're strong. They are dominant because they're worldly and wise, smart and experienced, caring and thoughtful. They work harder, think harder than the average man. They don't take advantage of women. They don't desire to dominate them in bed. They aren't domineering just to be domineering.

They dominate our world because they're so unusual. A perfect mix of take charge and soft heart.

And despite what you might think, they get along with other alpha males. My first series (Stormy Weather) is chock full of alpha males, but only one werewolf can be the pack's Alpha. So how on earth were all those alphas  living under the same roof? Simple. Once you realize that they're all confident in their own skin, in their own ability, that they respect each other, it all makes sense.

It seems to me that when you think of alpha males, you automatically think of gritty, angsty, cocky men who are either paranormal or human with a kick ass job. Men so filled with tough-guy-attitude and testosterone that they can't help but be the leader.

Think Navy SEAL, high powered CEO, or pro athlete. Jobs that require men to be confident, strong risk takers. Men who will do whatever it takes to win.

Lately there's been a surge of heroes who have all of the traits above but they're...well, they're a step past your typical alpha male. They are battered, bruised men who aren't afraid to demand what they want from the women in their life. The question is, does that make them alpha? Or just mean?

It's a fine line, I think. I had one reviewer call Sebastian Deveraux (the hero in my novella THE CAJUN'S CAPTIVE) abusive. I didn't see that one coming. Sebastian waited a long (almost 200 years) time to find his mate. And he's tired of pussy-footing around his desire for Amanda St. James. He'll do whatever it takes to get her to finally admit her love for him. To me, that's hopelessly romantic.

Abusive is not a word I want associated with my heroes because these men would truly lay down their life for their woman. And no, I don't take issue when they call their lady love "their woman." Because, again, these men see their wife/mate as their equal. They fight for her, would do anything to make her dreams come true, will protect not only her but their home, their friends, their family. They go the extra mile to bring a smile to her face and will always be there to hold her hair back. When they call her "their woman" they do so with the utmost respect and realize that if she belongs to him, likewise, he belongs to her. And they'd have it no other way.

Does an alpha have to be tough, overbearing, and well… grunty?  I wondered if it was possible that there could be a softer, quieter but equally intense type of alpha male out there. Does he have to be a super soldier or a CEO poised for a billion dollar takeover?

My most recent release is about a former NFL legend named Trevor Wyatt and he really got me thinking about what it is that makes an alpha male, well...alpha.

I asked my readers this question because they've read about lots of alpha males over the years. You're welcome to join the discussion by the way (http://ow.ly/mg5HQ)

I really loved Caroline's take:
An alpha male has an internal confidence and a drive to protect what's his; he is like a "jealous god", generous with those he cares about, with a strong sense of personal ethics that may or may not be traditional. Whether he's a defender of old ways or a trailblazer, he walks his talk.

Most of my readers agreed that confidence is a key trait among alphas and that's perhaps what attracts me to them as main characters for my books. Trevor, my latest hero, has confidence in spades. I think to be at the top of your chosen field, you have to have a strong backbone and conviction. And as Caroline says "walk the talk."

I also like what she said about generous with those he cares about because I find that especially true among my heroes. Even before he realizes his love for the heroine, he'll realize she's special and he'll go out of his way to take care of her. But never in a patronizing way. He will genuinely want to help her.

Julie noted that alphas are "a presence you know you can rely on."

So true! There's no other way to say it other than they get shit done. They'll get to the heart of the problem and go the extra mile.

Really, is it any wonder at all that alphas are so popular? Yeah, I didn't think so. I'll rest my case.

Upcoming Release – Ask For It - blurb:

Trevor Wyatt has lusted for journalist JJ Fairchild since before he retired from the NFL. Now she’s back in his life and he’s not going to miss the opportunity to show her just how good they could be together.

Words may be JJ’s tool of trade, but when it comes to the bedroom, words escape her. Trevor’s an excellent teacher and before she knows it, she’s asking for what she wants.

But when outside forces threaten to expose dark secrets from Trevor’s past, can he overcome his suspicions and trust the woman in his bed?

Games Demons Play blurb:

The emotional and sinfully sweet third book in the Mystic Isle series.When Izzy Lukin wakes up in the arms of a sinfully handsome stranger, she’s immediately sure of two things. She wrecked a really expensive car and the man holding her is not human.Shade has won enough card games in his life to know when to hold. The beautiful vamp hell bent on paying for the damage she caused is definitely worth holding on to.But what will happen when she finds out they’ll be going head-to-head in the poker tournament…and he never loses?
Warning: contains an impulsive heroine, one super sexy demon who never loses, steamy bathroom sex, a glitzy casino and surprises no one saw coming

 Buy Links:
A | BN | S | ARe | K

About The Author

An action movie buff with a penchant for all things supernatural and sexy, Selena Blake combines her love for adventure, travel and romance into steamy paranormal romance. Selena’s books have been called “a steamy escape” and have appeared on bestseller lists, been nominated for awards, and won contests.  When she’s not writing you can find her by the pool soaking up some sun, day dreaming about new characters, and watching the cabana boy (aka her muse), Derek. Fan mail keeps her going when the diet soda wears off so write to her at  Selena@selena-blake.com

Visit her online at http://www.selena-blake.com or if you’re on Facebook, become a fan at http://www.facebook.com/authorSelenaBlake
Visit her online at http://www.selena-blake.com or if you’re on Facebook, become a fan at http://www.facebook.com/authorSelenaBlake

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