Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Romance Novel: The Last Good Man, Author: Kathleen Eagle, willwriteforchocolate Yahoo group

Where the heck did the month of June go?

That was a rhetorical question having little to do with the subjects in this blogpost. Just me thinking out loud. Venting. Done.

Over yonder on the right is a list called Cyber Space Cronies. I put someone new on the list. Jessica Lemmen of Smile Feel Good One blogger's encouraging journey through writing, life and everything in between.

I have to say thanks to another Cyber Space Cronie, the amazing Linda Grimes whose book, In A Fix, debuts September 4, 2012*, for the cyber introduction to Jessica Lemmen. Jessica is a graphic artist as well as a writer and she designed a stylish new logo for Linda.

Anyway, I bring this up because in this post Jessica is discussing Alpha heroes and Beta heroes and which she and her friend, Christina Wolfer, like better.

Jessica asks her readers which they prefer. My answer to that is not simple. I like Beta heroes for sure. But often what I like as a reader and what I write as a romance novelist, are heroes who are Alphas towards the world but Betas to the women they love. Somewhat. They usually need some arcing even for the women they love.

I just finished reading an excellent book, The Last Good Man by Kathleen Eagle. This is not a book I would ever have selected to read based on any description. Barbara Samuel O'Neal recommended it on facebook and I decided to take her on faith and check it out of the library. I'm so glad I did. Thanks for that, Barbara.

(I swear we'll get back to heroes soon.)

In The Last Good Man:
Savannah Stephens, the lovable heroine, a former underwear model, has been brought almost to her breaking point by her battle with breast cancer. Uber-depressing, right? Not really. Also not white washed with faux positivity.

She goes back to her roots to her tiny hometown in Wyoming. And there waits our hero, Clay Keogh. The man who has always loved her since they were children. She wasn't able to appreciate him, then. She does now. Of course, they both have to do a lot of arcing to be the couple with the happily ever after that is required of romance novels. And, of course, they arc beautifully.

IMHO Clay Keogh is the perfect example of an alpha to the world, beta to his woman, hero. Although, as I sit here trying to explain to you why I think he's this way, it almost seems the reverse is true. He's a natural caretaker of everyone; children, old horses, Savannah. He works way too hard and he sees Savannah's desire to help him as something to fight because he should be able to take care of her and not need her.

Nevermind. Maybe.

Anywho, since I've thoroughly confused everyone, especially myself, perhaps you, my readers can shed some light. Who do you like, Alpha heroes, or Beta heroes, and why do you like them?

Guess what I know for sure? I like Kathleen Eagle's voice. If this book is a true example of her work, she's a great storyteller. And her setting, the world she created in this book, is very endearing, full of natural wonders and engaging characters.

Her website says her latest release was One Brave Cowboy in September of 2011. She's working on a book titled The Prodigal Cowboy. No release date is listed.

Never thought I'd like cowboy romances but Kathleen might convert me.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~                                                                                                                           


I decided I have way too many committments in July to do bootcamp but I didn't want our writing community to lose momentum. Kate George kindly volunteered to moderate in July!!!!!

If you're a writer who needs motivation and companionship, check us out. New BOOTCAMP starts July 1st, 2012. Join us!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~                                                                                                                             
I have been powered to do this blogpost by the Florence and the Machine MTV unplugged CD which I just downloaded. It is so rocking fabulous! Here's a taste:

Florence herself is the placekeeper for the sister and the mother of the heroine in my current work in progress.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~                                                                                                                            
So to recap:

Check out Smile Feel Good.
Which do you prefer - alpha or beta heroes?
Check out Kathleen Eagle.
Do you want to join chocolate bootcamp?
Do you like Florence and the Machine?

How's your week?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

*Thanks for the cool In A Fix bookmark, Linda Grimes.

P.S. Some of you may be familiar with Linda's habit of posting a camel pic on Wednesday's to celebrate humpday. Well Jessica has ThurSTUDday where she puts up pics of - you guessed it - a stud.


  1. Happy I could bring you and Jessica together. Isn't she great? :)

    And, boy, don't Jessica's ThurSTUDs look good compared to my Wednesday camels? You're welcome, Jessica. ;)

    1. Her studs are certainly stimulating but your camels make me laugh. I like stimulation and laughter.
      Maybe you could find a stud riding a camel. Hmmm.

  2. I have to say, I don't like any character who is completely alpha or beta. I like a blend. For example, Colin Byrne from SEP's Ain't She Sweet was a complete alpha and I hated ever last little bit of him. Then again, maybe it was just that book, because I found I didn't really like any of the characters at all. They were either complete jerks or wet noodles. Hmmm. Either way, the example stands. Blend. :)

    1. I loved that book. Isn't that funny how different people like different things? I loved all the characters except the asshole dead father.

  3. All beta or all alpha isn't attractive to me. I like a nice mix of the two. What Delia said a nice blend.

    1. A nice mix of the two sort of like a swirl cone. I like that.

  4. Hi Judy! *waves* Hi Linda! *waves* Huge super thanks to Linda, I had three people join my blog b/c of that interview! woot! I'd been stuck at 69 for so long...er...nevermind.

    ANYWAY, thanks Judy for all the shout outs, see you tomorrow. I gotta run, I have a stud to oil up for Thursday's post. :-D

    1. Okay I'm panting because I just realized it's ThurSTUDday and I haven't been on your blog yet. Be still my heart or whatever part of my anatomy is moving.

  5. Oh I love the idea of posting camel and stud pics! Brilliant group of ladies you've gathered here. Nicely done.

    I don't feel qualified to vote on the hero question, so I'll just say that I had a lovely time this evening meeting another Cyber Space Cronie/on-line friend (what does LondonMabel call them? Frogs, I think) of ours. Every time I get to do this, and it's happening more often lately, I am hopeful that you and I will get a chance to sit down some day soon for a lovely chat. Over chocolates perhaps, after we enjoy a huge meal salad, eaten out of a mixing bowl with a big spoon. ;)

  6. I think I just like well done characters. My problem with alpha males is just that there are SO MANY of them in romance novels (or maybe I read too many Regencies) that they all blend into each other. Same with the Spunky Female Raised by Her Father! And the Spunky Female & the Cliche Alpha Male's Witty Banter!

    But if it's a good book, then no problem. Years ago I read a book that took the cliche of the alpha male rake, and treated him as an actual alcoholic (that is to say, he couldn't have a good relationship with our heroine), and he had to give up drinking in order to arc. It shocked me!

    On the other end of the spectrum, Jilly Cooper has this total alpha male rake in her books, and she finally gave him a romance with the Sweet Warm Hearted Innocent Younger Woman, and it was so well done I looooved it. They were just really lovable characters.

    1. There are some authors out there who can break all the rules and I still love their work.