Friday, January 21, 2011

Welcome to Fiona McGier

Welcome to our first Friday Friend of 2011, Fiona McGier.
Fiona lives in a suburb west of Chicago with her husband of almost 30 years, and 3 of their 4 children. Her Mom taught her to read before she started kindergarten and used to enjoy listening in on the stories Fiona created as she played with her Barbies on the front porch.
Fiona got an English degree with a specialty in the teaching of writing. Her dream job would be to help teenagers find their unique voices, and hone their skills at expressing themselves. She began writing down her stories 4 years ago, after her Dad passed away and she felt a need for happy endings in her she wrote them. The first book in her Reyes Family Romances series was published by Wings E-Press in April, 2009. She is fascinated by how men and women relate to each other, and how family can influence one's romantic choices.
Fiona has always had stories in her head, with characters telling her about their lives. She really enjoys letting them guide her typing. Now that her four children are young adults she hides from everyone for hours, letting the stories come to life. She hopes that you enjoy your short trip into her mind as you meet the heroines and heroes who live there, and now on these pages also.

Alpha you, alpha me, alpha who?

Okay, so we all know what makes an alpha male hero in a romance novel, right? He's the take-charge kind of guy who has spent years honing his skills at...whatever...and has had no time for love. Oh he makes time for sex, because an alpha male is hard all of the time...and huge, really huge. But once he falls in love with the heroine, all of that huge hardness is used just to pleasure her. When he's not rescuing her from that she will see once and for all just how much he loves her. From that point on they will stop their verbal sparring because it was after all, just them both covering up how interested they really were in each other. And he will give up all other women (though they will continue to throw themselves at him, because his undeniable huge, hot, hardness attracts them like moths to a flame), but he forevermore will bring it on home to the little woman because he's now a tamed alpha-male. Ri-ight.

Even if you accept the above as a perfect description of a hero, what part do you want to play in that fantasy? Personally I've never been the "little woman" kind of gal. I mean I do want my man to be faithful, and in return so am I. But waiting around to be rescued, or doing stupid things to endanger myself so I need rescuing, just isn't my style.

Me, I like to imagine myself as the alpha female heroine. I'm the woman who is busy pursuing my own career, taking and discarding lovers as the mood strikes me...and of course, all men find me hot because I'm so damn irresistible and I emit pheromones that drive them insane with the promise of unimaginable pleasure to be had by having sex with me! If there are evil-doers to be fought, I kick bad-guy butt with gusto and almost always I come out on top. When I don't, the hero is there as my back-up and he lets me know in no uncertain terms that I now "owe him"...and we will both enjoy the payback.

So who do I want to be my hero? An alpha male, with whom I will continually butt heads? Maybe. This might work, as long as he's an alpha in a different kind of career choice, or he's becoming tired of being in charge all of the time. How about a beta male? The nurturing, dependable sort who's always got my back, but who is more than willing to let me be on top, as long as the goal of mutually-explosive pleasure is achieved? In my opinion, beta males don't have to be weak or ugly. They can be any combination of strength, good looks and sex appeal; they are as varied as alpha males...only less bossy.

The main attribute of any hero I write is he doesn't want to tame an alpha female-- he just wants to enjoy her. Alpha or beta, he will soon learn that the pleasure he can share with an alpha female is well worth him learning to take turns being on top. And she won't be dependent on him, so he will have to always be seeking new ways to please her, so she doesn't lose interest and wander off. In return she will bring him to new heights of ecstasy beyond anything he ever dreamed of before. An alpha female is not "a good girl"...but she is very good at what she does!

How about you? Do you like to read about alpha females?

Speaking of alpha females, the heroine of my new book, Secret Love, is one. Secret Love is published by Whiskey Creek Press--

It is the story of a female spy who has been working in a man's field, following the same rules as her peers, for years. No emotions are allowed, because they interfere with the job to be done. What happens when she falls in love with a man she thought would just be an amusing interlude in-between jobs?

Blurb: Sheena has spent 12 years working for a government agency so secret that she didn't even learn what it was called for a year! She enjoys the work, but is getting bored. She tries her usual cure; a new man. But something about this one is different; she develops feelings. And in her world, even having feelings is dangerous. Indulging them by falling in love can be deadly!

A sudden intake of breath from the woman to her right interrupted her reverie and Sheena focused on the present, listening to what her neighbor was saying to her friend.
“Mon dieu, can it really be him?”
“Oui,” the friend answered. “I read that he is in Berlin for a film, doing some scenes that have required street closings around some parts of the city. Hadn’t you noticed?”
“Non, but I am noticing him now!”
Wondering just who had walked in, causing such open drooling from the somewhat jaded yet sophisticated crowd frequenting the local safe house bar, Sheena turned to see if it was a celebrity she’d already managed to have a liaison with, or a new one. She didn’t get much time off, but she made it a priority to be sure there were many attractive men around wherever she chose to spend her off time.
Since she’d become a master at disguising, she could change her appearance so completely there was no danger anyone would recognize her unless she wanted them to. So she had felt free to sample interesting men the world over, and she still saw her ability to only have a short-term, quickie relationship with anyone she wanted as a perk and not a liability. To quote from an old pop song, she worked hard for her money, and she allowed herself to play just as hard between assignments.
It didn’t take long to see just who it was the women were talking about. He was much more attractive in real life than he was in movies. Not that Sheena had much time or use for movies, but she did live on the planet Earth, and he’d been in a couple of big releases that had made him internationally famous.
He was tall and dark, his skin a reddish-brown color that bespoke of his Native American ancestry. He filled out his clothing well; the rolled-up sleeves on his casual jacket showed muscular forearms hinting at even more toned muscles hidden by his shirt. His broad shoulders made Sheena drool, as she imagined herself held down by those strong arms. He had fairly long straight black hair that shimmered like black silk whenever he turned his head. His eyes were dark and inquisitive as he scanned the place for a seat.
She could feel herself growing warm and moist as she watched him walking over to the bar. She knew he was having that same effect on most of the women, and on quite a few of the men as well.
Well now, if you aren’t the answer to my current dilemma? Getting you into my bed tonight would be a real coup! You don’t have the reputation of being a player, and there’ll be lots of competition, trying to get to you first! I just love a real challenge! At that moment he finished ordering his drink and looked around the bar. He met her gaze and there was a glint of interest, then what appeared to be a challenge from him.
Sheena felt herself getting even more interested. Okay, then, the game’s afoot!
It seemed odd for someone so famous to be unaccompanied by security of any kind, but a quick glance at the door told her his guards were there, being detained because of the weapons they were trying to enter the place with. After all, what was the point of a safe house for agents, neutral ground for everyone to feel secure on, if anyone, especially amateur muscle, could just stroll in with major weaponry? And of course since his security men weren’t agents, just hired guards, they had no idea what some of the people in the bar might be capable of.
Sheena chuckled to herself thinking about what the few she recognized, and she herself, were able to do to someone with their bare hands—no weapons required! In the meantime, the adorable American actor was being set upon by would-be suitors, almost like jackals on a dead thing. They circled him, making their moves with all of the subtlety of a sledge hammer. For his part he was gracious, but firm; he declined everyone’s offer and asked just for some privacy.
Eventually his guards were able to move in to sit close enough to scare away the civilians. The only other real challenge to her getting through to the object of her interest was a German agent she recognized from an assignment a couple of years ago when she’d worked with him. Since the actor wasn’t known for being gay, she figured that meant she had a clear shot at him. She spent a minute figuring out how to approach him.
When she looked over at him again, she was surprised and amused to find that he was watching her almost expectantly.
Hello, Mr. Gorgeous! You are almost making it too easy! The direct approach it is then! She got up and walked toward the back of the bar, as if she was heading to where the restrooms were located. At the last minute she ducked past the security guys and walked directly up to him. He’d been watching her walk, with a small smile playing around his lips…those kissable-looking lips.
She quickly closed the distance between them then pulled his head down and kissed him. Since he was sitting on the stool and she was standing, they were about the same height. He tasted good, like the beer he’d been drinking, a touch of garlic, and a very sexy man.
When she drew back he had a surprised look on his face. She felt the animosity being directed toward her from the guards behind her, but he looked at them over her shoulder and shook his head. Instantly the hostility level lessened and the part of her that had begun to tense in reflex-anticipation was allowed to quiet down. “Not much of a conversationalist, are you?” he teased in a low, sexy voice. “Not one to bother with pick-up lines, or even so much as a by your leave, before you make your move?”
She smiled at him, tossing her long red hair back.
“I was just on my way to the ladies room. And I noticed you watching me. So I figured I’d answer the question for both of us.”
“What question is that?”
“What you taste like,” she purred at him.
The heat playing back and forth between them was making her sweat with anticipation. Her nipples had puckered to rock-like hardness, and she was glad she had a bra on to stop them from tearing through her dress. Warmth was beginning to spread through her abdomen, and her inner thighs already had a heightened sensitivity, making her lace thong feel maddeningly restrictive.
“Can I guess what the second question is?” he asked, while his hand raised goose bumps along her skin, trailing a path from her neck down her arm, ending with her hand. He raised her hand to his lips, gently kissing the back of her knuckles, and smiled at her.
When she nodded, he said, “Can I have some more?”
She gave him a very serious look. “That depends.”
“On what?”
“Why don’t you let me finish my trip to the bathroom, then we can talk about that when I get back?” she said with a smile, licking her lips.

Thanks for being with us today, Fiona - and very best wishes for your ongoing success!


  1. Good extract and very interesting observations on your perspective of the alpha male.

  2. Hi Fiona,

    Pleased to meet you, and welcome to HWH.

    Your description of archetypal Alpha male, usually to be found in "category romance novels" brought forth a smile. The same can be said for typecast Beta male: tending predictable.

    It’s too easy to place either of the above into respective allotted category romance roles. A bit of each in every hero is better, because Alphas (in real life) often have more hang-ups than Betas. Equally Betas often as not have hidden depths that only come to light when they’re pushed to their limits of endurance etc.

    Give me an Alpha male and all I want is for the heroine to torture him something cruel, whether she’s a sweet chic city chick, wild country girl, or smart kick-ass hard-nosed high-flyer. I want him, in no uncertain terms, to be in awe of the aforementioned one way or another.

    In my books sweet cheek chick maybe candy sweet, but she’ll walk or run if things get too heavy or too tense! Wild country girl on the other hand will view an Alpha a stallion in need of breaking, big time, she likewise and a challenge for any smart dude! As for smart kick-ass hard-nosed high-flyer, she’s on his waveband and he’s in real trouble! ;)

    BTW: Blurb re Secret Love sounds great, the excerpt enlightening!


  3. What do you call the sort of wimpy guys who need help and are ever so grateful?

  4. Great to meet you, Fiona. Your selection was red-hot. I feel there can be interesting interplays between two alphas, but I find well-rounded characters more interesting. He's oh so strong, but crunbles near hospitals. She's determined to beat the competition, but needs to form alliances to win.

  5. Hi Cynthia,

    I guess door mat comes instantly to mind. But a kinder term, perhaps, is the nice boy-next-door type! ;)


  6. Thanks Margaret. It's great to be here! I really appreciate the opportunity to yak about things I think about, with others who do so also.

    Francine, I agree with you about the ideal hero/heroine being a blend. The few alpha males I've run into in real life were pains in the butt! They expect to be waited on hand and foot, and see that as their due. I couldn't get away fast enough!

    Cynthia, I've always found it amusing that women complain in real life that their men won't talk to them, really talk, and listen, like their girlfriends do. But then they read endless books about cold, emotionally-stunted men who have to be shown the error of their ways. Why not create a new paradigm, that has men and women who actually like each other as friends, as well as enjoy heating up the sheets together?

    Ana, you are right...I love the interaction between two strong characters.

    Husband and I have tried to raise our 3 sons to have their emotions be as well-developed as their biceps and abs are. And our daughter is strong and assertive, growing up with 3 big brothers. She can kick butt with them, and they will cry with you if you are hurting. I figure at least 3 women in the world will be thanking us someday! ;-D

  7. Agree with you about alpha males, Fiona - as you say, a pain in the butt! Males can be strong without being selfish, arrogant and domineering! I prefer mine to have strength of character combined with sensitivity. What a shame that I'm too old for one of your sons!
    Thanks so much for joining us today, and sharing so many thoughts with us.

  8. Hi Fiona,
    Great blog. Hm, I haven't written about a kick butt heroine before, you have certainly given me food for thought. I do like alpha heroes, but the dark tortured ones are my favourite.



  9. In my romantic suspense novels the hero and heroine are on equal terms. It can work really well, in my historicals, and I stress "my historicals" my men are alpha, but prepared to be tamed by girls who have guts!

  10. Fun post! Good excerpt. I like the kick-ass heroines. I can't stand a mealy-mouthed heroine who always has to be rescued. Secret Love sounds good.

  11. Really got a chuckle while reading your alpha male hero stero-type. Although huge and constantly hard has its merits! LOL
    Excellent observations.