Hello, friends, and welcome to the Fire and Ice blogging event.
First of all, here are the other Fire and Ice posts around the blogosphere:
Caroyln@C.M. Brown Blogspot: The Protector Series, He Came For Mine by C.M. Brown
Ali@My Guilty Obsession:Deanna Raybourn: Whispers of Jasmine
Candace@Candace's Book Blog: Huntley Fitzpatrick: What I Thought Was True
Alicia@Addicted Readers: Tracy E. Banghart: Shattered Veil
True, angst-free delicious romances are hard to find, which is a pity since they're my favorite kind.
Fortunately for me and those of you who appreciate the same things, there are still authors like Christina Bauer and books like Angelbound - original and cliché-free.
I'm thrilled to welcome Christina to The Nocturnal Library. I hope you'll enjoy your post, and make sure to enter the international giveaway below.
Author: Christina Bauer
Series: Angelbound, #1
Published: December 17th 2013
Publisher: Ink Monster LLC
Format: Paperback, 524 pages
Eighteen year old Myla Lewis is a girl who loves two things: kicking ass and kicking ass. She’s not your every day quasi-demon, half-demon and half-human, girl. For the past five years, Myla has lived for the days she gets to fight in Purgatory’s arena. When souls want a trial by combat for their right to enter heaven or hell, they go up against her, and she hasn’t lost a battle yet.But as she starts her senior year at Purgatory High, the arena fights aren’t enough to keep her spirits up anymore. When the demons start to act weird, even for demons, and the King of the Demons, Armageddon, shows up at Myla’s school, she knows that things are changing and it’s not looking good for the quasi-demons. Myla starts to question everything, and doesn’t like the answers she finds. What happened seventeen years ago that turned the quasi-demons into slave labor? Why was her mom always so sad? And why won’t anyone tell her who her father is? Things heat up when Myla meets Lincoln, the High Prince of the Thrax, a super sexy half-human and half-angel demon hunter. But what’s a quasi-demon girl to do when she falls for a demon hunter? It’s a good thing that Myla’s not afraid of breaking a few rules. With a love worth fighting for, Myla’s going to shake up Purgatory.
My Favorite Romantic Hero: The Gamma Guy
by Christina Bauer
In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’d like to share a bit about my favorite kind of romantic hero: the Gamma Guy. Prince Lincoln, the love interest in my YA fantasy-romance Angelbound, is one such dude.
Now wait, you might say. I’ve heard of an Alpha Male. A Beta Male. What’s this Gamma Guy stuff? Sounds like something you totally made up.
And in reply, I’d say: Nice catch, you! I did totally make this up.
Why would I do such a thing? I found it super-useful for me in my writing (more on that later). But before we tackle the Gamma Guy topic head-on, I thought it might help to level-set on some definitions of what it means to be an Alpha and Beta male in a romantic novel.
For the purposes of this article, an Alpha Male has:
1. A wardrobe of leather. Black. And lots of it. Maybe some creative piercings, too. Definitely a few tattoos.
2. A crappy childhood or ex-girlfriend. Deep down our hero is a nice guy, but most days, he’s a colossal dickhead.
3. Not so much a smart IQ as a smart-ass mouth, which we readers love-hate with abandon.
4. A hair-trigger for fighting, especially when it has to do with defending his lady-love.
5. A blue collar job, or no job at all. Like running a biker gang or sketchy handyman business. How exactly does that translate into a paycheck? Who knows? Who cares? Somehow our guy always has all the kick-ass chicks, leather, and beer that he wants. Life is good.
On the other hand, Beta Males are known for being:
1. Handy. A tire goes flat, the fridge goes on the fritz, or the carburetor stops carburating. Betas know what to do and do it without whining. And probably with their shirt off. Bonus.
2. Smart. In particular, smart enough to know how to spell the words ‘female’ and ‘orgasm.’ Their alpha male counterparts aren’t always that clever.
3. A white-collar job. Maybe something that helps kids or the terminally ill? Oh yeah, and they always look mega-sexy while doing it. Beta male territory.
4. Polite and neat. Sock drawer? Organized. Thank-you notes? Sent. Evil step-mother? Still gets a card on her birthday, even though she’s Satan incarnate. All because it’s the right thing to do…and that’s spicy hawt, too.
And Now, That Thing I Made Up: The Gamma Guy
For me, the very terms ‘Alpha’ and ‘Beta’ are based on hierarchy. In other words, the idea that in any relationship, there’s always a dominant person. And if that’s your thing, good on you. But not all relationships follow that model, and in writing Angelbound, I really wanted to explore more of a partnership dynamic. [SPOILER ALERT] In the story, Prince Lincoln and our heroine Myla end up as a team, fighting and otherwise. In early drafts, I tried to think of Lincoln as an Alpha or Beta male. It really didn’t work. As in, suck-a-roonie.
Long story short, I found that the terms Alpha and Beta held connotations that someone should dominate. Sure, they’re just words, but I’m a writer. Words count. So, I started thinking of Lincoln as a Gamma guy, and it helped me form his personality and partnership with Myla. To me, Gamma guys have:
1. Some Alpha male traits. Gamma guys are strong-willed and natural leaders, but without being a dick about it. You know, in general. We all have our moments.
2. Some Beta male stuff in there, too. Gamma guys are nurturing and definitely able to cry. They tend to be handy in surprising areas as well, like in the kitchen or with nun-chucks. Their sock drawers tend to be a mess, however, unless they have servants.
3. True partnerships. And by partnership, I mean sharing the load on every-freaking-thing. For example, if a Gamma guy and his lady-love get into a battle, one of them doesn’t fight the baddie while the other cowers in a corner. The non-warrior will still bring their a-game by cheering on their partner, calling the cops, or—at the very least—throwing a shoe. You get the idea.
4. A stalker-free zone. Sure, there are situations where a Gamma Guy will follow his lady around. But in general, if you’re in a partnership, you don’t feel the need to track the other person because you’re together all the time anyway. Stalking from across the couch? Not really happening.
On a final note, I want to be clear that I love me a good Alpha and Beta male story. But we all develop our preferences over time, and what I’ve come to define as the Gamma Guy is my personal fave. And I’ve been thrilled with how many Angelbound readers have felt the same way, too. Please know that your positive messages and reviews have given me the kind of virtual partnership that makes writing so worthwhile. Thank you.
And on that note, I’ll get back to writing more Gamma Guy stories. Fun!
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in Television, Radio and Film Production and English. Her day job is in marketing for companies like Microsoft, Cisco, and Brainshark, as well as founding her own software start-up, Mindful Technologies. Christina believes that, upon close examination of Tolkien’s text, it’s entirely possible that the Balrog was wearing fuzzy bunny slippers. Angelbound her first book with Ink Monster LLC.
Blog: http://inkmonster.net/cbauera Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you, Christina!
I loved Lincoln so much, you guys! I hope you'll all get to meet him soon.
And now, GIVEAWAY TIME!!!
Christina has graciously offered to send out a signed copy of Angelbound to one winner, INTERNATIONALLY! I really want everyone to read this book. The Kindle verison is currently $3.99 on Amazon for us Euro folks, probably even less for US people, but I'm not sure. Still, it's a small price to pay for such an amazing read. If you don't win a copy here, make sure to get one anyway. :)