Please welcome author Toni Blake to our Island! Toni became one of my favorite contemporary authors after reading Letters To A Secret Lover and then clinched it after I read with Tempt Me Tonight. Toni also write erotica under the name Lacey Alexander.
A little about Toni:
Toni Blake's love of writing began when she won an essay contest in the fifth grade. Soon after, she penned her first novel, nineteen notebook-pages long, and announced to her mother over breakfast one day that she was going to be a writer when she grew up. Since then, Toni has become the author of more than a dozen contemporary romance novels. Her work has been excerpted in Cosmo, she's been a recipient of the Kentucky Women Writers Fellowship and a nominee for the prestigious Pushcart Prize, and she's also had more than forty short stories and articles published. Toni lives with her husband in the Midwest and enjoys traveling, genealogy, crafts, and snow skiing.
In recent years, I have become known for writing super sexy books about angst-ridden alpha males. Why do I do this? Well, there are a lot of reasons.
From a writerly viewpoint, it is, in my opinion, much easier to create a compelling story about an angry dude with problems than a calm dude without them. Because, of course, the reader instantly wants to know: A)Why is this dude so angry? and B) What are his problems? No one really wants to know why the calm dude is calm.But that's not the only reason. As a reader, I am also a huge fan of the alpha male and I cut my romance-reading teeth on them back in the mid-90s. I love the banter that seems to naturally grow from having a sensible woman try to converse with an angst-ridden male. I love the physical descriptions of them, particularly the idea that they are "big," and no, I don't just mean below the belt, ladies, but I don't mind getting or giving that impression, too. No matter how you slice it, the alpha male's body and how he uses it is definitely part of what we like about him.
In other ways, though, the gut-wrenching appeal of the alpha hero is almost indefinable – but it definitely springs from a primitive, animalistic place inside us. In real life, we may or may not want to be with that kind of guy (my own husband is a wonderful beta who makes me laugh every day and I wouldn't have it any other way) but in our books, we alpha-lovers have a primal, physiological yearning to be with a big, strong man who can build the hut and slay the mastodon. That said, I am also a believer that romance is feminist literature in its own subtle way, and we also want to be the woman powerful enough to tame the beast inside the alpha male.
Don't let the lovely, lakeside cover of my new book, ONE RECKLESS SUMMER, fool you – an alpha male definitely resides underneath it. In this first book of the Destiny series I pit the ultimate good girl, Jenny Tolliver, against the ultimate bad boy, Mick Brody. I am beyond excited to be writing a series for Avon set in the quaint small town of Destiny, Ohio, and my goal with the series is to show that the sexy alpha male can go hand-in-hand with the iconic Adirondack chair. ; ) Destiny is quaint, and aspects of the love stories are definitely sweet, but I promise you my bad boys are just as bad and the sex is just as sexy. The book just hit shelves this week, so I hope you'll check it out and fall in love with Destiny just as I have.
So, readers, why do you love alpha heroes? What makes them work for you? Is it possible for an alpha hero to go too far and stop appealing to you? And who are some of your fave alpha guys in the romance world?
P.S. All the featured guys are ones I'm semi-modeling future Destiny heroes after. (And yes, one of them is from Baywatch, but not anymore – now he's a Destiny fireman : ) )