Friday, March 30, 2012

Kitty Wishes by Dahlia DeWinters

Kitty Wishes
Dahlia De Winters


Curses, spells, fairy thanks! Sakaria Thorpe prefers the reality of running a café over the nonsense of make believe. But is it really make believe?

When she finds herself cursed to be a shapeshifting cat, she becomes a believer. Good thing she’s able to fit shapeshifting into her schedule. Life’s fine until she discovers she will be cursed to be a cat forever if she doesn’t find a man to break the spell by midnight on Halloween.

Desmond Fields sticks to routines and cold hard facts. He falls for the beautiful but quirky Sakaria the minute he sees her behind the counter.

Now Sakaria must convince Des of the improbable, that the woman he’s falling for needs him to recognize her inner feline in order to break the spell. Time’s running out and Sakaria is getting desperate...will true love save the day?

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About the Author:
Never without her iPod, Dahlia DeWinters, aka The Sultry Scribe, is a secret fan of 80s music, digs classic rock and surprisingly, enjoys post-grunge and alternative metal. A born and bred Jersey girl, it’s her obligation to also be a fan of both Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen, a charge she gladly accepts.  The motto, “Do what you love and love what you do” is posted above her desk in her cluttered but somehow peaceful office.  Most importantly, she is truly and madly in love with her partner of more than a decade, who indulges her fetish for lipstick, eyeliner pencils and any shiny geek gadget that catches her eye.

Alpha Males – Out of Control!
No, I’m not setting up a cage match—although that might be fun –I’m talking about the preferences of both readers and writers, since I consider myself both.  As a writer, I read a lot of romance novels so as to train myself to see themes, tropes and other traits that are present in these novels.  Once you train yourself to understand these traits, you, as a writer, have a framework in which to work your literary magic.
There are two important things in a romance novel.  One is the heroine, certainly.  You want your readers to identify with her, understand her trials and tribulations, root for her to “get the guy”.  The next important thing is the hero, and let me quote Bonnie Tyler on this “He’s gotta be strong and he’s gotta be fast…..and he’s gotta be larger than life.”  That’s what a lot of readers want in their romance novel .
But what about the other readers?  Well here’s where we can discuss, dissect and possibly undress (I’m still thinking cage match here), our perceptions of Alpha males.
Now, it’s not a contest.  There is no winner take all.  No one is better than the other – just like chocolate, we all have a preference for type.  Some alpha heroes are written well, some come off as just, well, pushy jerks. 
The alpha male is a delicate thing.  You must treat him right in order for him to grow and flourish.  In some of the romance novels that I have read, the alpha hero is often, well,  a bit of “Pushy Paul”.  Why do I call him that?  It seems that through most of the story he’s kind of a jerk.  He yells, sulks, bosses people (especially the heroine) around and is often primitive in his behavior.  Through all this the heroine somehow still finds him attractive.  Mind you, he may be good looking, but that attitude, puh-leeze,  he can keep it.  Some of these so called Alpha Males are more caricature than character.  When handled improperly, he can be overbearing, monstrous and controlling. 
Alpha males don’t always have to be loud, boorish and cavemannish to be an alpha male. Instead, it is confidence (not to be confused with obnoxious arrogance), intelligence and protectiveness towards home, family and of course the heroine.  In my book (not literally) sound and fury signifies nothing.
Right about now you’re saying, “okay, smarty pants, who do YOU think are alpha males” ?  Dear readers, I am so glad you asked that.  Let’s take a look as some alpha males, shall we?
Stanley Kowalski – A Streetcar Named Desire – This character is almost a caricature, but Marlon Brando manages to have us sympathize with Stanley and see how Kim Hunter as Stella could love such a man.  We can also see how poor Blanche could be attracted to him.
Rhett Butler – Gone With the Wind – Here an alpha male is paired with an alpha female that refuses to bend to his charms and even , ahem, sexual prowess.  Well, she does, but doesn’t want to let him know it and plays with his feelings until it is too late.  There was real love between Rhett and Scarlett, and he let her know often enough (remember the scene right before he goes off to fight?), but she was so stuck on Ashley (whom I guess was attractive enough but reminded me of a wet noodle—not appealing at all) that she couldn’t see it.
Tyler Durden – Fight Club – Even the title gives it away.  Brad Pitt fills the role of leader well.  Poor Beta (or maybe omega?) Edward Norton didn’t have a chance.
Malcolm Little (X) – Denzel Washington – Malcolm X – Great, great movie. Great, great actor. Screen presence, charisma.  He WAS Malcolm X.  Decisive, precise and always in command. 
 “Dirty” Harry Callahan-Clint Eastwood -  Dirty Harry Movies (I don’t think I need to name them all, though I could).  Strong, silent type who relied on his friends Smith and Wesson to do the talking for him.  I remember a brief scene from Magnum Force (a movie that also starred Hutch from Starsky and Hutch and Spencer from Spencer for Hire).  A woman sees Harry in the hall and says “What’s a girl got to do to go to bed with you?”  He pauses for a second then says, “Try knocking on the door.”  How classic is that?
John McClane – Die Hards – Bruce Willis infused his cop character (who was a tiny bit pathetic in the book, yes, there’s a book) with such gusto and bravado that we couldn’t help but root for him.  I was especially  impressed when, after he lost his shoes, walked across broken glass. 
Sean Connery – No, not the James Bond movies, although those are clearly built for the alpha male character James Bond.  I’m talking about The Untouchables.  Kevin Costner as Elliot Ness had nothing on Officer Jim Malone.  “What are you prepared to do?”  Sean Connery stole that movie – when he was on screen, your eyes were on him, not sorta kinda wimpy Kevin Costner.
Blade – Wesley Snipes.  ‘Nuff said, right?
Jason Statham-The Transporter –– It’s not like we need to know the character’s name, but I think it was Frank.  Yeah, Frank.
There you go.  Those are my thoughts on Alpha Males and a little list of my faves. 

1 comment:

Dahlia said...

Hi Tina!

Thanks so much for letting me guest on your blog!