Saturday, July 06, 2013

Jessa Slade: Sexy Men, Strong Women – Who's in Charge Around Here?

When I realized I was writing my first werewolf story (you'd think my subconscious would've sent a memo ahead of time) I immediately started wondering, “Who has the power here?”

The first two stories in my Steel Born series are about dark fey folk who are growing restless in their exile. Their magic is strong but often subtle, tending toward illusion, glamour, and the irresistible allure of dreams instead of brute strength. My heroes and heroines are well matched in their power. But werewolves... That's almost the textbook definition of brute strength, isn't it? Doesn't that always give the male the advantage?

No way could I let that happen! Sure, I played with Barbie when I was a kid and she had a fabulous wardrobe, but she went on some pretty damn epic adventures in those high heels. Ken wasn't going to have all the fun.

So I knew my Alpha male werewolf wasn't going to rule the day unopposed, even if he had much more defined abs than Ken. I knew I wanted my Alpha male to face not just the bad guys but his own understanding of what it means to be a leader and a protector.

But putting him up against an Alpha female had its own problems. After all, who's going to end up on top? Turns out, answering that question was quite... enjoyable for both of them. Here’s a little snippet from when they are still working out their differences:

Feeling the subtle prickle of a watchful gaze sweep over his skin, Beck faced the darkness. “I know you’re out there.”

The darkness held its breath, but it had been a long night—a long time—and frustration grated on him like the parking lot gravel.

“Quit hiding, little girl.” He knew that would work.

From the pitch-black under the pines glided a lean shape that did not give up its sable darkness despite stepping into the moonlight.

At a distance, the shape screamed wolf. Sometimes outsiders literally screamed wolf. But the faint glimmer of the verita luna lingering around her was a clue to anyone who knew to look that this was no ordinary canid.

She chuffed at him, a reprimand for the little girl remark.

He was in no mood to be scolded. “You forgot to pay for the beer.”

Quick as a thought, she dodged at him. Her shining teeth caught his pant leg and tugged him off balance before she jumped away.

He staggered and almost went down. “What, you left without a word, and now you want to play? You can’t have it both ways.”

She growled. Werelings in the verita luna were always more volatile, their human-style principles and filters stripped away.

He knew his complaint was stupid—werelings lived two ways every day—but the sight of her all dolled up had reminded him of the distance between them. And how easily she always walked away, whether in high heels or barefoot. “Go home. I’m done with your games.”

She stared at him. The moonlight couldn’t catch her plush, dark fur but it glimmered in her pale eyes.

“Shoo,” he said.

She charged.

In today's world where we often discuss equality, do you think there's still room for Alphas? I know I'll always have a place for them in my stories! Leave a comment for a chance to win a pair of “Alpha's Heart” Swarovski dangle earrings.

Steel Born #3, Harlequin Nocturne Cravings

As the latest in a long line of female Alphas, Merrilee Delemont lives by the code be strong always. While she will never forsake her duty to her pack, she sometimes longs for a mate to share her life with. At least she's found someone to share her bed: Beck Villanova, leader of the neighboring wolf pack.

Their red-hot attraction and struggle for dominance leads to wild sex, but any chance of a real relationship goes up in smoke. Until phae invaders threaten the peace of their remote valley, forcing Merrille and Beck to finally decide which is more important: vying for power, or a passionate partnership that could change their lives forever.


Jessa Slade writes paranormal romance, urban fantasy romance and science fiction romance. Basically, anything with woo-woo and woo-hoo! The third book in her Steel Born series—and her first werewolf book!—MATED BY MOONLIGHT, is out now. | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

***Jessa's winner is Lil!  Please email with your mailing information!***


Mary Preston said...

In the real world there will always be those who strive for power and success. Real world alphas I suppose. Dominant and often dominating.

For me, I prefer them in the pages of a book.

Gorgeous earrings!!!

Lil said...

I think that there is an appeal regarding take charge people and characters. Love them in stories and can appreciate them in real life, though they can be overbearing as well. Enjoy your story premise with the strong heroine and hero.

Those earrings are fabulous!

little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

Yvonne Simpkins said...

Read your excerpt and I love it, Were's are some of my favorite stories and I absolutely love your earrings, hope I win them. Thank you for such a super giveaway.

Jessa Slade said...

Mary, it's interesting the new studies that find many real-world power players have more than a few elements of sociopathy. I prefer to think of our alphas as MORE empathic, not less, but maybe that's my fantasy.

Jessa Slade said...

Lil, as a Leo myself, I'm probably a little too familiar with overbearing people ;) I am lion, hear me roar! Luckily, I save most of my roaring for my poor characters :)

Jessa Slade said...

Thanks for stopping by, Yvonne! I had lots of fun with my first werelings so I imagine there are more in my future!

Beautiful Disaster said...

There will always be your alphas and your betas. The world may strive for equality and will make changes to accommodate for it however that is something that will never be obtained, completely. There will be those in power that are above someone else. It's called greed. However there are still good people in power. There are those who will rise to authority because some people just have a natural born ability to lead others and other people have talents for other roles in life.
I really enjoy reading about alphas :-)

lorih824 at yahoo dot com

Leni said...

I think there will always be room for alpha characters because of the intensity of their complex nature. It adds so much to the stories and along with drama, humor, and gets the reader's emotions going.

Di said...

Not is there room, but there is a need for Alphas - those who are willing to take the lead in difficult or dangerous situations.

sallans d at yahoo dot com

Aly said...

I'll always love alpha characters so I'll always read them :D


Pat Cochran said...

Alphas are always around, we know them as
presidents, kings, or others in leadership
roles. We probably would be lost without
them. Your stories give us the alphas I
love to read about! Thanks for the

Pat C.

Kai said...

There is always room for alphas. They are like jell-0. And I'm quite fond of alphas and jell-os.