Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Guest Blog and Giveaway with Linda Robertson

Please welcome the beautiful Linda Robertson as our guest author today!

She has an interesting post about the allure of self-confident alpha males.

She also has a couple giveaways .

The last time I visited the FANG-TASTIC blog site I talked about the alluring self-confidence of vampires. This time, let’s expand on that. Alpha males are attractive to many women because of the “I’m a strong manly-man who can save you, babycakes,” persona. It screams: “I’m capable, reliable, and I want you so bad I’ll risk everything.” It’s dramatized flattery at its finest.

Don’t we all want our man to be capable of becoming the warrior who protects us from the whims of our enemies, then changes light bulb? Don’t we all want the reliable guy who will doubtlessly do the right thing in any given situation and who will remember—all by himself—to take out the trash? Isn’t it even better if he can read us perfectly and knows when to chivalrously hold the door and flirt as we pass through, and when to just get the hell out of the way?

Ahhh. Fiction is a wonderful, wonderful thing, ain’t it? :-)

Relationships are never perfect. Neither are people. So flawed characters dealing with the ups and downs of interpersonal connections—all while dealing with being a vampire or a witch or a werewolf—are the characters most interesting to me. Those who, despite the odds, keep on navigating around those potholes on the highway of love can be especially fun.

Menessos, to me, is definitely an alpha male, but he’s also driving much too fast on that aforementioned highway in his overpriced sports/luxury car weaving in and around traffic hoping to impress...but the impression he’s usually making is one of arrogant charm. Sometimes it’s vexing. Sometimes it’s funny. Sometimes it’s wearying. Persephone likes it in small doses, but loathes it in any large, bossy display. Figuring out who reacts how, who has the upper hand, and who thinks they do, is great fun for me.

In FATAL CIRCLE, Persephone needs some help and Menessos is in the position to provide that assistance, but it means she must move into his Haven. She is being forced to accept some serious changes in her life and adding a new (and not entirely safe) environment to them is not the highlight of her plan. But her presence at the Haven does seem to be a bright spot for Menessos, who is determined to seduce her.

For example, here’s two excerpts:


“How about we start with Johnny?” I wanted to know about the ties between Johnny and I that Menessos mentioned at the restaurant.

His voice lowered. “How about we start without Johnny?”

Though my back was turned to the fire, warmth slithered across my aura; it was an invitation duplicated in his smoldering eyes.

I drew my shields around me. “Why do you bounce back and forth between humanizing yourself to the point of making me feel sorry for you, and then play Mr. Dangerous Sex-Starved Vampire?”

Amused, he said, “I am not sex starved.”

“It’s annoying and it’ll get old, fast, if you keep it up.”

The heat abated, but was still present. “My apologies, Persephone.” Standing at the end of the granite countertop, he reached into a decorative azure blue bowl and lifted one of the crackled glass orbs. Even as he inspected it, twisting his wrist, I could feel it as if his fingers were flicking over my aura. “Do you not like having your flesh kindled?”

I recognized and resisted this, strengthening my shields even more, but my body still responded to it.

“Wasn’t that made clear with the word ‘annoying’?” The breathlessness of my voice pissed me off. So did he.

Menessos is accustomed to instant gratification. When she shuts him down, he’s annoyed with her, but he still won’t totally give up. That she reacts regardless makes Persephone even more determined to resist. It is neither his power nor his bullish manipulation that reels her a little closer, however.


All of his suits were cut to complement him as only the best garments can, but tonight there was something especially masculine about him. He wore no tie and his linen shirt was neither tucked nor fully buttoned. I appraised his self-assured gait, and the competent way he scanned both sidewalks ahead of us and behind, gauging every facet of our environment.

No matter how docile he seemed, underneath he was a predator.

No matter how modern he seemed, underneath he was ancient.

He’d lived thousands of years. He’d experienced almost all recorded history from the dawn of civilization until now. Yet, he strolled along with me, hands unassumingly in his pockets. Seemingly content.

“What was the moment you realized nothing would ever be the same?” I had to ask.

It’s not the things that make him unique or powerful that appeal to her, it is the things that make him human. Her inescapable, larger-than-life destiny makes her uncertain, but she knows that he’s been through this before.

Ultimately, what he wants from her isn’t something this stubborn woman intends to give him, and what she needs from him may be the one thing he cannot or will not give her. Where they each draw their lines in the sand for relationships will determine their fate, unless someone concedes.

So…an alpha male’s stoic self-confidence is great. Sometimes even a touch of arrogance can be justifiable. But sometimes, that wall of conviction has to come down. Sometimes, an alpha male has to expose his vulnerability—not his strength—to win a place in the heart of his beloved.

What do you think? How does emotional vulnerability impact your view of the alpha male?

Leave an answer in the comments and be entered to win (see rules below)!


1st Prize:

Autographed copies of both

2nd Prize:
Authographed copy of just FATAL CIRCLE.

RULE ONE: You must have a US mailing address.

RULE TWO: Leave a comment on this blog answering the question above. **You have until Noon EST Sunday July 25, 2010 to leave your comment. I will draw a name from those who participated, and announce it in the blog comments. (If at all possible I will announce the winner that day within an hour or so of the deadline. However, things happen—I do have rambunctious kids, so barring emergency room visits or other such unforeseeable events I will be on-time, but I reserve the right to be late.) Once the winner is announced, the winner has 48 hours to email their shipping address to me @ rockinwriterlinda @ yahoo DOT com. If the winner fails to do so, another name will be drawn and that winner will have the same 48 hours to comply. ** I will be leaving the next week to attend RWA Nationals, so my internet access may be sporadic at best.

If these rules are satisfactory to you, post your comment now!

:-) Good luck!

Linda’s website: www.WOLFSBANEANDABSINTHE.com


Virginia C said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Virginia C said...

The "Alpha" male is the dominant leader of the pack. They have qualities and strengths which make them "number one"! Along with all that greatness can come arrogance, a "my way is the only way" attitude, and a sometimes ornery personality. However, their fierce devotion to their loved ones, their loyalty and their innate honor all go together quite nicely to smooth the rough edges. Not too smooth, though...leave some of that masculine allure...a little beard stubble to tickle your skin : )

I love big, gruff, tough men who have even bigger hearts and an inner core of compassion. I also appreciate intelligence and humor, but kindness is the essential quality. Vulnerability is sometimes the key to an alpha male. What he may consider to be his weakness is actually the inner force which makes him an alpha.

US Resident, GFC Follower, Subscriber

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

SandyG265 said...

I wouldn't like an alpha who doesn't have feelings and compassion.

gfc follower

Bethany C. said...

I think an alpha male definitely needs a little emotional vulnerability. Firstly, just as a character, it gives them more depth which makes them more interesting to read about. And how can you care for your pack if you don't care about them? Plus, doesn't not having any feelings make you a sociopath or something?

Jessica said...

What kind of character would an alpha male make without some type of emotional vulnerability? Not a very good one.

I'm attracted to tough, mocho, bad-ass men who can whoop ass and take names. But apart of that allure is the 'softer' side of them. The vulnerable side. It gives depth and dimension to the character which is what I personally want to read.


Sherry said...

I love a big strong alpha male but he needs to show some emotions besides anger. I think it's makes for a great book to have a big strong man show his feelings in a book as long as he's not made into a big cry baby. There's a fine line between showing emotions and being a wimp sometimes. I think it depends on how it's written.


Jessica said...

I think an alpha male has to have some sort of emotional vulnerability exposed. Otherwise, he's just a jerk. Sure there are jerks in our books, but for a relationship standpoint the alpha male would have to have a weakspot, a vulnerability that gets exposed in order for him to be likeable.

I think that if he was all alpha male with no vulnerabilities he wouldn't be likeable. He wouldn't be the alpha male we readers swoon for.

That goes for reality purposes too. An alpha male type of guy has to show some feelings in order to be likealbe or easy to connect to.

JenM said...

I much prefer a guy who is willing to admit that he isn't perfect and that he needs the heroine. I find it very sexy when he's willing to be open and to show his emotions. Otherwise he's just arrogant and annoying. My favorite stories are ones that show the hero's POV and show how much he likes the heroine.

Andrea I said...

I like an alpha who's not arrogant all the time and can show a vulnerable side.

GFC follower

*yadkny* said...

I really think Virgina C's comment really hit the nail on the head for me when answering that question. I am an absolute sucker when it comes to an alpha male type. I love how dominant they can be but at the same time not to the point where they are barbaric. That's not a turn-on. Emotional vulnerability is allowed of course to a point. I definitely don't like an alpha male that has the physical package of one but then is a weeping willy (or whatever you call it). There has to be a balance. For me since I would consider myself an alpha female I need someone who is dominant to me, but then has moments where they can be the sub also.


Yan said...

I think an alpha needs *some* emotions. Who wants to be around someone who's like a rock with no compassion whatsoever. Then again it shouldn't cloud their judgment.

Follower and US resident.


katsrus said...

I really like the alpha male to be a bit vulnerabile. I think it makes him a more interesting character.
I have not read her books. They sound really good. Love the covers. Really enjoyed your post.
Sue B

Jennifer Mathis said...

I think the alpha males kind-of have to have some emotional vunerablity it some small way otherwise thay just come off to me as complete jerks. I mean I down want them completely soft but who wants to have the herione sleeping with a total butthead


Wolfsbane and Absinthe said...

Hi Virginia! I agree!!!

Hi Sandy G! I wouldn't either, but those guys make good villains.

Hi Bethany C! Exactly!

Hi Jessica! I'm with you! I want both! I want the tough guy who knows when to not be so tough.

Hi Sherry! I agree with you too. It's hard to write sometimes; I've got a side project going and I thought the guy was sweet, if co-dependant on the heroine. A guy I know read it and thought he came off as an A**. So...rewrite time.

Wolfsbane and Absinthe said...

Hi Jessica! (again? or different Jessica??) Yeah. Think of Superman. He had Kryptonite. There's got to be a weakness somewhere or he's not human. Or Kryptonian.

Hi Jen M! I hope you check out my side project...when and if I get it pubbed. Still working on a title and all but they guy definitely needs the heroine in this one.

Hi Andrea I! Yup. I can appreciate a LITTLE arrogance, but not all the time. :-)

Wolfsbane and Absinthe said...

Hi yadkny! I can appreciate your point of view. And yeah, Virginia C was dead-on.

Hi Yan! We are all having a concensus of liking the tough guy who knows how to be vulnerable here, aren't we?

Hi Sue (katsrus)! I'm diggin that we're all on the same page here! Wow. I mean a rock is a rock (unless he's The Rock and then he's yummy) but a rock is boring. Gotta have some vulnerabilities for that interest.

Hi Jennifer M! No one wants the heroine to sleep with a total butthead...but sometimes it a necessary plot point! hee hee. seriously, a lot of women have had the butthead ex boyfriend and if a play on that connection is in the plot, I'm willing to forgive the heroine for doing something perhaps I as the reader said, NO DON'T!

jellybelly82158 said...

The Alpha male has to be strong but he needs to have strong emotions also. He has to show his herione what he feels for her.

Wolfsbane and Absinthe said...

Hi Jelly Belly! You know, I agree, but I have to admit, that the more I think about it, I really enjoyed Much Ado About Nothing in which side characters played by Kenneth Branaugh and Emma Thompson hated each other but were obviously in love. Getting them to show it was the fun part of those characters' relationship--because BOTH were strongwilled.

jeanette8042 said...

I think emotional vulnerability is good for everyone, especially for alphas because it makes them more human and likable.

lilazncutie1215 @ yahoo.com

Estella said...

I don't think a hero who doesn't have any emotional vulnerabilities would be a little hard to believe in.

van_pham said...

I agree with the other posts that an Alpha male must have some vulnerability, i love reading about heroes who express their feelings...that underneath that hard exterior there's a softie :)


Bethie said...

I like emotionally vulnerable in a man, even if that man is the alpha male. It thinks is makes him more desirable.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Wolfsbane and Absinthe said...

Hi Jeanette! And we know our vampires /were/ human so they need to still be in touch with that!

Hi Estella! He would be hard to believe in. Why am I thinkin of Bonnie Tyler's "I Need A Hero" song suddenly?

Hi Van Pham! Finding out there is a softie under that tough exterior and what makes a character show it is the fun part!

Hi Bethie! I agree. We can't desire a guy who's cold stony exterior is all we know. Well, okay maybe if he's totally hot, but the heroine's gotta get up close to this guy and if he's an emotionally sterile jerk, there'll be nothing for her to be attracted to anymore.

Wolfsbane and Absinthe said...

So... Let's mix this up a bit...and see if anyone is reading the other comments... mwahahahaha.

Can you name a TV or movie hero who you think is an alpha male and who is /too/ emotionally vulnerable? Can you name one who's not emotionally open enough?

Let's define that line a bit...and remember, we have this running until Sunday I believe. So there's time to think on this and come back.

A Simple Love of Reading said...

Don't count me in because I'm outside the States.

An ALPHA male from a TV/movie: Henry from the Blood Ties TV show, based on the Tanya Huff series. Total alpha male but I felt he was rather unemotional and standoffish sometimes.

Kt said...

I think the alpha male needs some emotional vulnerability, otherwise you cannot truly care for the character. Who wants to care about an emotional brick?? Strength is great, but with strength must come some sort of trade off to keep a balance. No one can be truly invulnerable.

Barbara E. said...

If the alpha male didn't show any emotional vulnerability, there would be no getting to know him for the heroine or the reader. I think he has to have some chinks in his armor, or he's not a realistic character.

sadieloree said...

I prefer an alpha male that is built like a stack of bricks but cries like a pigtailed schoolgirl when he gets a papercut.

Okay, I have to say, Virginia C said it most succintly. It's that seldom seen soft side that draws us in. The emotionally stunted are rarely enjoyable to read. (Though I do admit to a serious weakness for the secretly emotionally vulnerable/scarred - I love me a good fixer-upper. Um, tho never IRL) lol

Robin K said...

I love a little bit of softness in my alpha males, but not too much. They cannot under any circumstances be whiney. :)

I am a GFC follower.

Jennifer Mathis said...

alpha male from tv- Angel from buffy he had a soft mushy inside most the time

*yadkny* said...

"Can you name a TV or movie hero who you think is an alpha male and who is /too/ emotionally vulnerable? Can you name one who's not emotionally open enough?"

I can't think right off the bat of an alpha male that is too emotionally vulnerable but... one that isn't emotional enough I would have to go with... Damon Salvatore from Vampire Diaries. He has these spurts/moments where it looks like he might actually care, but then he is quick to cover them up with his cockiness or aggressive nature. Edward I guess has moments where he could be an alpha male but then, to me, there are times where he is just too emotional whereas Jacob had moments where he wasn't emotional enough. Just some thoughts:)


stacey said...

Emotional Vulnerability does not Impact My View of the Alpha Male there just better at hiding it but where all Vulnerable Emotionally.

I'm a Follower of this blog

Meredith said...

I think some vulnerability is sweet, and shows that even that alpha tough guy has a human side.

I'm a follower.

meredithfl at gmail dot com

throuthehaze said...

Even an alpha male can have vulnerabilities and it is when they show their emotions that I fall in love with their characters.
I am a follower
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Wolfsbane and Absinthe said...

Hi A Simple Love of Reading! I love your avatar picture!

Hi Kt! I agree no one in completely in vulnerable. Look at Dexter. hee hee.

Hi Barbara E.! "chinks in the armor" nicely put! Because most alpha males would war against the emotion that made them feel weak. :-)

Hi sadielorrie! Fixer upper! HA!

Hi Robin K! Yes, yes...no whineyness. :-)

Hi Jennifer M! (you came back!!) I hadn't thought of Angel, but you're right!

Hi yadkny! (you came back too!!) I think you pegged the Ed/Jacob thing, IMHO.

Hi Stacey! You're right we are all vulnerable but alphas hide it better.

Hi Meredith! COOL avatar PICTURE!

Hi throughthehahze! I agree. When the alpha male shows the emotion then the woman can fall in love!!!

CrystalGB said...

I like an alpha that has a vulnerable side. It shows that he has more layers than just being the strong tough guy.

Nina Pierce said...

Linda - I love the premise of your books. I'm adding them to my TBB list.

To answer your question, I think alpha males need to be vulnerable for me to fall in love with them. I want a heroine who finds the chink in his armor and brings out that softer side of him. Great post!

ktshabatie said...

I think emotional vulnerability just adds to the alpha male character.. as long as he doesn't show it in front of others besides his woman all the time!

US Resident
I'm a Blog Follower!
Also a FaceBook Fan!

ktshabatie at gmail dot com

Wolfsbane and Absinthe said...

Hi Crystal GB! YOu bring up a good point--the layers of personality. The world sees the outermost layer, his friends see a deeper layer, women may see something under the surface, but only his one true love will see all the way to his core. Very nice.

Hi Nina! Thank you sooo much! SQUEE!

Hi ktshabatie! You bring up a good point too, that the alpha males shows this vulnerability at will, and only to his chosen love.

Books and Bane said...

What do you think? How does emotional vulnerability impact your view of the alpha male?
It's great within reason. Having been divorced 3 times (SHOOSH!) I have had my fair share of Alpha males. So far not one has been a very balanced version of alpha and compassion. There always seems to be to much of one side or the other to live with. LOL!

nedsped at gmail dot com

Wolfsbane and Absinthe said...

Hi BOOKS and BANE! I hear you! :-)

Say gals, what about this: if an alpha male has that magical balance of alphaness and compassion / emotional vulnerability...is he still an alpha male?

*yadkny* said...

To me... I think that's what makes an Alpha male. If there is nothing but the Alphaness... then he's probably a jerk. If there is nothing but compassion / emotional vulnerability... then he's probably too whiny and a wimp. Neither of those extremes are my cup of tea:)

Lynette said...

I like that you see emotions in the Alpha male characters....as long as they do not go all whimpy on us. Our fav is still the strength in a man. Both physical and emotional. Not cold but strong. It is what helps us feel safe.

By the way I am doing a week of giveaways at my place if your interested.


Lynette said...

I like that you see emotions in the Alpha male characters....as long as they do not go all whimpy on us. Our fav is still the strength in a man. Both physical and emotional. Not cold but strong. It is what helps us feel safe.

By the way I am doing a week of giveaways at my place if your interested.


debbie said...

I think the alpha male would have to be able to show his feelings to his significant other. Because, if he didn't, who could be in a relationship with him? He probably couldn't be overly sensitive with the rest of the group, though, because to be a good leader, emotions can't cloud your judgement.
I am a gfc follower.

k_sunshine1977 said...

it's that emotional vulnerability that makes them approachable and actually have a shot in a relationship....otherwise, he's just a pushy male...

i am a follower

k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

Wolfsbane and Absinthe said...

Hi yadkny! Back again!!! YAY! Neither of those extremes would be my cup of tea either! But sometimes I feel like the 'alpha' sacrifices the emotions to be stronger and to retain his power thinking that strength is more important than emotion--when truly, having both in balance takes a far stronger man. :-)

Hi Lynette! "Not cold, but strong." See above! :-) And was your message about the week of giveaways meant for Roxanne who runs this blog, for me, or for the readers???

Hi Debbie! You're right--those emotions can cloud judgment, which makes for a better story, I think.Take Evy in the end of The Mummy Returns for instance-- she decides to brave the falling stalactites to save her man. (And--pet peeve showing--I thought that everything about Meela up til that point showed her as brave. I liked seeing the scarabs get her, but it would have been more in character for her to try to save her man, too. She should've been squashed by a stalactite. Just saying.) It's that moment of choice--follow emotions, or logic--that tells SOO much about a person's character and a character's character. :-)

Hi k sunshine! I agree--not openness no shot at relationship. But perhaps many alpha males are avoiding that emotional intimacy by having one-night-stands that have no 'relationship' attached. Hence the 'conquest' frame of mind.

Gabrielle Lee said...

I enjoy it when the alpha male has
an emotional vulnerability. It shows that he is not perfect and it makes him more endearing and approachable.


Julie said...

It's normal to be emotional, and that can make the alpha more relateable. But there are times when emotions need to be put aside and the alpha needs to make very hard decisions.


I'm a follower.

Lisa R said...

I love the alpha male that has a heart, especially when it comes to the way they treat children and the elderly.

US Resident

GFC Follower

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

heatwave16 said...

I think the Alpha male, at least for me, has to be able to show some emotional vulnerability so that he can understand what I am feeling. I don't want him breaking down and crying every 2 minutes...but he has to have some consideration for emotion...and hormones. :)


mbreakfield said...

Oh, yes, give me a alpha, who can has emotional vulnerability. Without it, he would be impossible to live with.

pams00 said...

I like the tough aplha male types, but like when the rare soft moments shine through as well.

Pam S

Wolfsbane and Absinthe said...

Hi Gabrielle Lee! "not perfect" yup--it's those flaws that make our non-human werewolves and vampires so endearing. :-)

Hi Julie! It's making those very hard decisions that showcasw their emotions, and THAT makes them so relatable! Nicely put!

Hi Lisa R! And Johnny adores Nana (87) and Beverley (9).

Hi Heatwave16! Hormones. Yeah. hee hee. 'nuff said.

HiMbreakfield! And we don't wnat out alphas to be impossible to live with!

Hi pam00! "rare soft moments shine through" very well said. The alpha is ALPHA, so thos soft moments shine becuase they are rare!! Love this. Very well said!!

MarthaE said...

I think a truly strong alpha male is able to allow vulnerability in his emotions at the right times.
US resident. GFC follower.

Wolfsbane and Absinthe said...

Hi Martha! Thanks for stopping by!

Wolfsbane and Absinthe said...


K SUNSHINE: winner of signed copy of FATAL CIRCLE

BARBARA E: winner of signed copy of BOTH books, FATAL CIRCLE & HALLOWED CIRCLE!

If the winners will please email me at rockinwriterlinda AT yahoo DOT com within the next 48 hours and provide your shiping addresses, I will mail the books to you. If I do not hear from you within 48 hours, I'll choose another name and announce it here.
** k sunshine will get an email from me because she provided hers in her comment. ** barbara e--I don't have one for you!!!
*** In 48 hours I will be on a plane for RWA nationals. I will attend to any necessary re-selection as soon as possible!!!

Wolfsbane and Absinthe said...

Okay! Neither of the winners contacted me at my email within the 48 hours. So I'm drawing two more names...

Wolfsbane and Absinthe said...

And the 2nd round winners are:
Jessica (there were two Jessicas in the running, this is the jessica whose avatar picture had one person in it not two) won the signed copies of HALLOWED CIRCLE & FATAL CIRCLE and...

Lynette won the signed copy of FATAL CIRCLE! you both have 48 hours to email me at rockinwriterlinda AT yahoo DOT com with your US shipping address to claim your prize!

Wolfsbane and Absinthe said...

I have received emails from both winners to accept their prizes/provide addresses. Thanks to everyone for participating and thanks to FANG-TASTIC BOOKS for hosting me here!