Thursday 25 October 2012


You won’t be surprised to learn that my upcoming release, Dance of Love, centres on the theme of dancing. My heroine, Farah, is a Spanish woman respected as a gifted dancer.

The closest thing to the type of dance I envisioned her performing is the SEVILLANA, though on the cover she is performing the Sword Dance, another of her specialties. The video clip at the end of the post will give you a good idea of sevillanas.

Sevillanas are a type of Spanish folk music. Historically, they are a derivative of Castilian folk music (seguidilla), spiced with Arabic rhythms. They have a relatively limited musical pattern, but rich lyrics, based on country side life, towns, neighborhoods, pilgrimage, and love themes.

Sevillanas can be heard in southern Spain, mainly, in fairs and festivals, including the famous Seville Fair, La Feria de Sevilla. There is an associated dance for the music: "Baile por sevillanas", consisting of four different parts. One can find schools teaching "baile por sevillanas" in nearly every town in Spain.

Generally speaking, a sevillana is very light and happy music.

The Sevillana did not originate in Seville. It is an old folk dance, danced by couples of all ages and sexes during celebrations (fiestas or ferias), often by whole families and pueblos. Sevillanas choreography is very stable, and knowing it is very useful, since it is a fiesta dance. It is a very vivid dance, but it is NOT flamenco. Paradoxically, during spectacles and shows it is usually Sevillana dancing that some people take for flamenco, as it is full of turns.

The dance can be very erotic and sensual, although the pair will never touch each other until the final moments when the man will put his arm around the waist of the woman to finish the dance. The sevillana was originally a courting dance where the man sets out to woo the woman in a display similar to two mating flamingos. In the old Spanish tradition, young couples were limited in their courting practises, the man would spend the night talking to his novia, through the iron grills of her door or window, and if they did get the chance to go for a walk, they would most definitely be chaperoned by the girl’s mother, sister, or whole family.

The feria week would be the only time that the man could show his affection to the girl, asking her to accompany him in the dancing of sevillanas, and this is most probably why there is little physical contact, as the whole night would be watched over by her family.

Today the sevillana is danced at any form of get-together, whether it is the feria, a wedding, or at a family party, where all and everyone present will join in. For many, dancing the sevillana is just routine, something they have grown up with and learnt simply by being constantly surrounded by it, although there are many schools where you can go to learn it.

It is normally far better and enjoyable when performed by everyday Andalucians rather than professional or trained dancers, because even though the movements are set to a pattern, it is a dance of the people, and when they are simply enjoying themselves, it will be far more entertaining.

The casetas or small bars at the feria will be bursting with people who for one week of the year will forget about everything other than enjoying themselves, and like all fiestas in AndalucĂ­a, the colour, the theatrical scenes, and the traditional dress, all combine to make a most wonderful experience.

Dance of Love will be available in early November.

Thursday 18 October 2012

How To Become an Alpha Male (You Will Laugh)

(Leave a comment to qualify to win a free draw for a copy of any one of the four Montbryce Legacy books-your choice PRINT USA/CAN; DIGITAL INTL). Three Grand prizes are also available. You as a reader can go to EACH blog listed below and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!
Now what are those prizes? 
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3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack!*

First the Serious Stuff.
Romance authors are fond of referring to their heroes as alpha males as if the romance genre invented the term. In fact dominant males in the animal kingdom have always been referred to as alphas. Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. In social animals, the alpha is the individual in the community with the highest rank. Where one male and one female fulfill this role, they are referred to as the alpha pair. Other animals in the same social group may exhibit deference or other symbolic signs of respect particular to their species towards the alpha.

The alpha animals are the first to eat and the first to mate; among some species they are the only animals in the pack to mate. Other animals in the community are usually killed or ousted if they violate this rule. Animals tend to live in groups with a specific social order due to their natural tendency. The leader of the pack is called the alpha male; there may also be an alpha female depending on the species.

The alpha achieves its status by means of superior physical prowess, though it can also employ social efforts and build alliances. The individual in the alpha position usually changes when another challenges it to a fight and wins. In some species the fight may be to the death. Alphas may have to fight individuals in their own group several times to maintain their position throughout their lifetimes.
The Alpha Male symbol-
A popular modification of the Greek letter  
There's no doubt alpha male images help sell romance books

Chimpanzees show deference to the alpha of the community by ritualised gestures such as bowing, allowing the alpha to walk first in a procession, or standing aside when the alpha challenges.

Gorillas use intimidation to establish and maintain alpha position. A study conducted regarding the reproductive behavior of male mountain gorillas found further evidence that dominant males are favoured to bear offspring, even when there is a greater number of males in a notably enlarged group size.

Given the popularity of wolves in romance fiction, it’s interesting to make a few observations about alpha males in canines who show deference to the alpha pair in their pack by allowing them to be the first to eat and, usually, the only pair to mate. Canines use eye contact to maintain alpha position, but in order to establish their position they often have to show physical superiority, through playing or fighting. Modern knowledge of wolves dismisses the idea of alpha male in a pack, favoring the concept of breeder wolf, in the sense that in these animals the pack leader is simply the common parent, and its status is not obtained by fighting.

Now, the FUN stuff!
It would be interesting for an author to investigate whether one or more of his/her protagonists measure up to these characteristics. But much more fun would be to read about alpha males from a male perspective. The following article is from a blog about how to improve dating relationships and describes how to become an alpha male!

Please excuse the grammar and spelling errors. The writer evidently does not feel those skills are prerequisites of an alpha male! I apologize that in places it was beyond my self control not to comment! Take a deep breath and enjoy! 

Hey Mate,
As many of us have observed, getting women just comes naturally for a few guys. They seem to have been born with alpha male characteristics. Regardless that it is beyond aggravating for several, especially if you’ve don’t even been along with one woman, it will eventually also be a source of extreme insecurity when making the choice to take a bootcamp or improving your own alpha male characteristic. How to become an alpha male is extremely important to you.

After all, are we weaker men? Are we seriously lack of alpha male characteristic and we will never get it in the future? Of Course NOT! That is why we need to put effort into something on how to become an alpha male that is so important to us. Learning regarding alpha male characteristic is one of the most important investment of your time and money. Here are 10 different reason on why you must learn on how to become an alpha male:

1. End the Frustration
Most men who’ve come to this point in their life are far beyond fed up. A few of you going to explode. (Stand clear!) Not understanding attraction is a serious source of insecurity, depression, and resentment. All that negativity is not doing the individual any favors.

2. Gain Confidence
Having the ability to attract quality women gives us a massive feeling of power.(a line worth remembering for your next novel!) That’s a part of who we’re, and it makes us feel like a full man. This will build your confidence in yourself, and it is going to spill over (pardon the pun) into all areas of your own life. Of course, women like confidence, so your success of building up an alpha male characterisitc has continued benefits for yourself in your life.

3. A couple of Men Just Can’t Learned (only a couple?)
Several of us never learned what can we do to properly socialize. (Understatement of the year) This isn’t necessarily another reason to hate your parents; possibly they can’t learned how either. But we are social creatures and have social needs. Will not sit around dwelling on how unfair that is that others learned this stuff growing up by observing their parents—get out there and do something to close the gaps.

4. Your Methods Can’t Work
Maybe a number of the material pickup artists use seems corny. Possibly you think it would possibly not even work. Maybe you simply feel insecure for the reason that other guys will not need this stuff. Who cares? What you’re doing isn’t working. Einstein once defined insanity as “doing the identical thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Yeah, I learn you might have heard that quote a million times—so why aren’t you listening? (He actually quotes Einstein!)

5. Men Are at a Disadvantage (LOL)
Women spend a huge chunk of their lives talking on the subject of love and sex. Men, meanwhile, brag on the subject of how they are likely to go to the bar and get laid but afterward stand around clutching their beer. By learning more about what women want and opening up the lines of communication between other men, we can close the gap.

6. One and all Can Do Better (No comment!)
Not you are the only one who learning on how to become an alpha male. Even the best players in the world have room to improve. Everyone can get better, and seasoned pickup artists are constantly adding to their game. The guys who’re natural on alpha male characteristic have been practicing their whole lives; they just can’t realize it.

7. Have the Power
Maybe you do fine with women. You go out on a regular basis and always take someone home. You might have had several solid relationships and have girls you’ll be able to call on a whim. But be honest along with yourself—did you go for them or did they go for you? There’s a big difference between having women to sleep together with and having the choice to sleep together with the women you want.(?)

8. Will not Settle
Most relationships start for the reason that a guy finally found someone to sleep with him and it evolved into a long-term thing. He frequently finds himself looking at other women, not just in prefer but wishing he could have them instead. With the correct and power skills, you are able to have the most beautiful, gifted woman achievable. To settle for something you are not happy together with is not fair to you or the woman you spend your life along with.

9. Even Women Think it is a Proper Theory! (What about Odd Women?)
A massive number of women have found out the seduction community as it hits the mainstream. Many have read The Game and browsed the most renowned forums.(Anybody know the links for these?) As they get a sense of what that’s really concerning, most show support and say all guys should figure out this stuff, for the reason that nearly all of us are just clueless when it comes to love and sex.

10. Your Life WILL Improve
The top part about learning this material is by focusing on being better with women you’re certainly focusing on being a better person. The qualities women wish in men are not negative, regardless of the typical “women like jerks” myth.
Your habits will improve.
Your own appearance will improve.
Your own friends will improve.
You can become a more well-rounded person.
That’s astounding what this stuff does for your own life.

Your reasons for deciding to change this source of frustration and build up alpha male characteristic that can attract many pretty girls or possibly just build on what you already have is really up to you. Only you understand what is finest for your life. Only you learn if you are unhappy along with your current situation. But the fact of the matter is that regardless of what your motivations are for trying a new approach to your own love life, this material will have significant benefits, not only on how to become an alpha male.

If there’s a crisis, this is a enormous solution. If there isn’t a problem, you are able to improve. It is in fact a win-win situation.

(Seriously, I DID NOT make this up! The genius who wrote this even has a link to "The Lazy Man’s Way To Easy Sex and Romance!").
Here's a graphic from another site. I love #7!
From another website
*Please note 3rd Prize is not available internationally.
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Wednesday 3 October 2012

Forgive My Grasshopper Mentality

I have something of a grasshopper mentality when it comes to inspiration for my characters and their stories. If you prefer to read sagas in chronological order, here’s a handy list. Links to all my books are in the Amazon widget to the right.

1065—Conquering Passion—Montbryce Legacy I
1066—If Love Dares Enough—Montbryce Legacy III
1066—Defiant Passion—Sons of Rhodri I *
1087—A Man of Value—Montbryce Legacy II
1100—Passion in the Blood—Montbryce Legacy IV
1106—Dark and Bright—Sons of Rhodri II
1107—The Winds of the Heavens—Sons of Rhodri III
1107—Dance of Love (Dec 2012)—Montbryce-The Next Generation III
1113—Carried Away—FitzRam Family I
1120—Sweet Taste of Love—FitzRam Family II
1124—Wild Viking Princess—FitzRam Family III

 *The complete Sons of Rhodri Trilogy is available in paperback from Amazon.

If you like stories with medieval breeds of dogs, you’ll enjoy If Love Dares Enough, Carried Away, and Wild Viking Princess. If you have a soft spot for cats, read Passion in the Blood.

If you are looking for historical fiction centred on a certain geographic region:
English History—all books
Norman French History—all books
Crusades—A Man of Value
Welsh History—Conquering Passion, Defiant Passion, Dark and Bright, The Winds of the Heavens
Scottish History—Conquering Passion, A Man of Value, Sweet Taste of Love
European History (Holy Roman Empire)—Carried Away
Danish History—Wild Viking Princess
Spanish History—Dance of Love (Dec. 2012)

If you like to read about historical characters:
William the Conqueror—Conquering Passion, If Love Dares Enough, Defiant Passion
William Rufus—A Man of Value
Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy—Passion in the Blood
Henry I of England—Passion in the Blood, Sweet Taste of Love
Heinrich V, Holy Roman Emperor—Carried Away
Vikings—Wild Viking Princess
Kings of Aragon (Spain)—Dance of Love (Dec. 2012)