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Shannon Nemechek: Spring is springing SOON (Hopefully)
Friday, March 8th, 2019

Spring is just around the corner, right? At least I keep telling myself that. I recently decided that I would update my wardrobe from hoodies and jeans to something. Little more dressier. So I thought it would be cool to order one of those subscription boxes Stitchfix. So I ordered my box and got it about a week later. I will say I was not disappointed, but I will say I spent more that I would’ve at Walmart. Ha ha

They send 8 pieces and I kept 2. And spent $145 more than I would’ve usually but I really do love the shirt and pants.

So my question for you is what is your plans for Spring?

Spring and Summer I have a lot of great things coming your way. One of which is a box set I am part of called Sweetest Obsessions with a brand new book.

So for ONLY .99 CENTS you can Pre-order on Apple Books, Nook and Kobo!

Ready to meet your next book boyfriend? There’s something for everyone, with 23 drool-worthy heroes in this sizzling collection.

Variety is the spice of life! Find your new sweetest obsession in this collection of over twenty sweet and scorching tales.

Don’t deny your sweet desires. Which one will be your sweetest obsession?

Steamy. Scorching. Sizzling. Which one will be your sweetest obsession?

https://books2read.com/SweetestObsessionsBoxedSet
https://www.subscribepage.com/SweetestObsessionsBoxSet
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44020728

Follow Me on…
Shannon Nemechek, SGT, US ARMY Retired
& Author of A Warranted Series
Website~www.shannonnemechek.com
BookBub~ https://www.bookbub.com/profile/shannon-nemechek
Facebook~https://www.facebook.com/srnemechek

Genevive Chamblee: Hear ye, hear ye! Presenting Sigma Males!
Thursday, March 7th, 2019

Most everyone has heard of Alpha males, and the majority of romance novels feature Alpha males as the hero. For those who don’t know, an Alpha male is the head/slash leader. He is superior to other males in nearly every aspect (e.g., strength, charm, looks, health, athletic skills, wealth, and sexual confidence). Who doesn’t love an Alpha? Well, not everyone. The problem with Alpha males in many romances is that they are written like arrogant jerks who everyone cowards. Yes, they are tall, dark, and handsome and have redeemable (if not lovable) characteristics. However, much of the time to me, they come across as being over-the-top, unrealistic, entitled, one-note cardboard characters. Yuck!

Take for example, Alpha Joe. Joe is an ex-navy seal. His father died when he was in high school, and Joe became the man of the house, taking care of his mother and younger siblings. He has dark hair, dreamy eyes, and a 24-pack abdomen because 6 just wasn’t enough. Women swoon from his cologne and their panties saturate at his wink. He is founder and CEO of a successful, private security business and has all the right connections in town. He is rolling in money, and his wardrobes consists of tailored suits and too-tight jeans with black t-shirts—whichever suits his moot and portrays him as Mr. Bad Ass.

Everyone knows Joe and his reputation proceeds him. Anywhere he goes, men fear his temper and are careful not to anger him. A verbal reprimand or a stern glance causes others to quake. Other men either are vying to be his ride or die bro or despise him out of jealousy. A gray area does not exist. If Joe gets into a fight, he wins—usually hands down with not much effort, sort of a Superman verses Harry Lyme and Marv Merchants (Home Alone movie criminals) scenario. If the Alpha gets injured during it, he carries on as if nothing happened or has a speedy recovery time despite the seriousness the injury. No, that gunshot wound to the head is a mere inconvenience and annoyance. He’s courageous, tough, fearless, commanding, and demanding in all that he does, and he always gets his way.

Enters Jane, the petite beauty who weighs nothing and is gorgeous without a stitch of makeup. Her breasts are perky. Her hair windblown but still shampoo commercial ready. She probably comes up to Joe’s elbow, which makes her very easy for him to scoop up if he needed to—and he will. She’s fashionable, and her stilettos actuates her legs but don’t hurt her feet after eighteen hours of wear.

Now Jane is either going to be spitfire whose mouth writes checks her butt truly can’t cash or very timid, meek, and innocent. It doesn’t matter which one because she’ll need “rescuing” by Joe. She may be willing to accept his help and follow his every word or so inept that she digs her own hole into a crater. In either instance, she is attracted to Joe, the demigod who only has eyes for her. Even if she is the homeliest woman in the state and as awkward as an elephant on rollerskates, Joe wouldn’t side eye a runway model.

The thing about Joe is, he has a dark side that stems from his past. He might suffer from nightmares or restlessness. Anger rages inside of him, but he’s stoic and never communicates his feelings, which causes him to be emotionally unavailable and aloof to women. His brooding is seen as “sexy” and mysterious, and his jerkish (e.g., aggressive, sexist, self-centered, controlling, and difficult) behavior “excused”. But Jane just with a touch, gaze, or romp in the sheets can cure Joe’s PTSD without the need for years of professional therapy or psychotropic medication.

I hated characters like Joe (and Jane, too, to be honest). These types of Joes were 1-D Alphas (and the D didn’t necessarily stand for “dimensional”). But as a woman, I wanted to read about a strong male lead—a manly man worthy of fantasies. Stage left: Sigma male.

Not many people discuss Sigmas (or any other types) in the role of male Greek-letter archetypes, but they should. So, what are the other male archetypes? Well…

After Alpha comes Beta. Betas follow orders, non-assertive, and present no serious threat to Alphas. They don’t make waves, are mostly docile, easily are kept in line, and help maintain peace and order. They are responsible, likeable, and considerate. When an Alpha isn’t around, Betas hold down the fort, but they won’t ever challenge an Alpha for the position. Betas are often put in the heroine’s “friend” category. He’s there for her, always warm and kind, but never a love interest—even if he’s in love with the heroine.

The best way to describe Gamma males are they exist. For the most part, they are irrelevant. They hang back and do nothing, seek nothing, and offer nothing. This is the character that gets edited out of the book before the final copy (hopefully). However, Gammas shouldn’t be overlooked necessarily. Their go-with-the-flow personalities easily can slide into villain territory since they often are motivated by personal gain and not noted to be the most trustworthy.

Delta males are rarely seen in extended scenes in romances. That is because Deltas are average and normal. They don’t have enough magnetism or allure to be leading men, but they are sometimes necessary to communicate important information to move the plot forward. They are smart, insightful, friendly, open-minded, and frequently helpful when asked. Usually in romances, Delta men generally are written as minor characters.

Next are Zetas. (If you’re wondering the order, I’m listing them alphabetically—Greek.) Zetas are unconventional and don’t give a hoot about societal definitions or expectations of what a man should or should not be. They march to the beat of their own drums and do not seek social acceptance. Zetas are indifferent to seeking relationships with women. They are comfortable being alone, and for this reason, are never hero in romance novels.

At the bottom of the food chain, one finds Omegas. There’s no nice way to say it, but Omegas are the oddballs and freaks. Sometimes, they are the villains while other times they simply add the weirdo factor—the creepy guy who peers from behind the blinds and one wonder what (or who) he has hidden in the basement. Omegas define themselves by the world around them. The problem is, they are social outcasts, lack ambition, and irresponsible. Omegas are common characters in horror and science fiction. They are less seen in romances. However, in the historical fiction, Omegas may present as the rich, eccentric patriarch or relative who hides away in the mansion on the hill.

Alpha have a need to be “top”. When they don’t get their way, there’s a problem, usually resolved with fists flying. But Sigma males march to their own beat. They can be leaders or blend in flawlessly like a Tarte Shape Tape concealer. (Yes, I did just plug them because I love their products, and no, they are not sponsoring this post.) Sigmas are like chilling co-pilots. Just because they roll with the punches on trivial matter doesn’t mean they put up with bull or act as doormats. On the contrary, they handle business when needed. They are the nice guys with witty sense of humors and are equally as handsome and sexually sensational as Alphas. They are flawed, but they manage to suppress being a jackass.

One of the best ways for me to stop a Sigma was usually if I was more interested in a minor male character than the hero–that is until the author decided to write a sequel with the Sigma as the lead and transformed into another run-of-the-mill butthole Alphas. But before that happened, the Sigma often was written as a good, nonthreatening friend to the Alpha. Nonthreatening, as in, the Sigma fighting for a common goal as the Alpha and not being interested in Jane. However, the Alpha is wise enough not to cross a Sigma because he knows just beneath the surface lies a lion who is willing to go toe-to-toe and tear him from limb-to-limb.

Sigmas don’t seek trouble or bother with defining themselves by traditional stereotypes. They show up at the party with a case of beer and say, “okay, where do you want this?” when they don’t even drink. And usually instead of having a single massive flaw, Sigma have lots of small ones that makes them relatable. They may show insecurities or weaknesses, but they aren’t crippled by them. They may be less “mysterious”, but that’s because they don’t have anything to hide. Their histories usually aren’t as bleak, and they may have a ho-hum background.

What makes Sigmas so much fun is that they can be unpredictable. Their personalities are big and complex. They aren’t afraid to show emotion or vulnerability because they know they can handle them. They don’t feel compelled to be the center of attention because they understand a quarterback can’t win a football game without the rest of the team. They are okay without trophies and praises because their self-worth is sufficient. They show their love for others without being overbearing or domineering. And sometimes, they let the woman take the lead.

However, the best part about Sigmas are they don’t get caught up in stupid love triangles. They aren’t going to stick around while Jane makes up her mind or pound on their chest to get her attention. She either hops on his party train or he’s going to the next station. His baggage is low, so, he can move swiftly. Bye gurl!

When writing, my heroes, although sometimes described as Alphas, are truthfully Sigmas. They laugh and doubt themselves at times. Sometimes, they are the ones who are writing those ISF checks and must discover a solution. I especially enjoy writing them in my MMRomances. There is a tendency to stereotype gay male relationships as one partner having to be “the wife” or one being Alpha and the other being Beta. Heaven forbid they both be equal. These stereotypes need to be changed.

Sigmas are team players who fulfill whatever role is needed at the time, whether it be top, middle, bottom, or alone. Sigmas are there to get the job done, period. Unlike Alphas, Sigmas may not always have a solution or muck it up. But they have the ability to laugh it off and the flexibility to collaborate. While Alphas frequently go in with guns blazing, Sigmas may hang back to see how something plays out. A Sigma may have failures, but they are comfortable enough to exit their comfort zone or accept input. They use constructive criticism to grow.

Want to see Sigma, Alpha, and Beta males in action? They can be found skating about in my new adult sports romance, Defending the Net, released on November 10. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It’s sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. Order a copy now at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Missed the first in my hockey romance series? Don’t worry. Out of the Penalty Box, an adult romance where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo.

For more links where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit http://bit.ly/2i9SqpH.

Copies of all my books and stories are available in paper, eBook, and audio on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. The links are listed in my Writing Projects page (http://bit.ly/2iDYRxU) along with descriptions of each of my novels or stories.

NEWSLETTER! Want to get the latest information and updates about my writing projects, giveaways, contests, and reveals first? Click https://genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com/newsletter/ and signup today.

Finally, if you or anyone you know are interested in joining a college Greek life organization, check out my special series posted each Monday for everything you wanted (and didn’t want) to know about college fraternities and sororities. Visit Sorority Bible Table of Contents to view any or all of these posts.

Genevive Chamblee: Confessions of a Sports-Shaming Survivor
Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

I’ve never been a tomboy, but I’ve always been a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal. I like to be comfortable. I like vegging out on the couch and watching movies that make me use my brain cells to predict the ending and reading intriguing love stories. I’m also a huge sports fan. Football is a season of its own, and Saturdays are reserved for hot wings, loaded nachos, and pizza. (I would include beer since that’s always present for my guests, but I’m not a beer drinker). Game Day is sacred. Therefore, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that my last two books (Defending the Net and Out of the Penalty Box) were both sports romances. What was a surprise, or rather an adjustment, was my having to work in an office that none of the employees were sports fans. OMG! Talk about feeling a slow death. In short, I was sports-shamed.

Now, I get it. Sports is not everyone’s thing. But, hey, this is the south. Next to Southern Baptist, SEC football is the next largest religion. I’m just kidding … well, kinda. When I transferred into my new position, I was viewed as an oddity. I don’t want to sound stereotypic, but they the women (and my new department only employed two male workers at the time, one of whom knew zero about any sport) found it weird that a “girl” would know so much about sports. Yes, I hang with the big dogs and can talk trivia with the best of them. I found it weird that my new coworkers were so uninterested in sports while previous co-workers who also were predominately female were extremely knowledgeable. I went from goals, touchdowns, and home runs to weeding gardens, cooking casseroles, and long-lasting nail polish. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking those activities. I do like gardening, even if I do manage to kill most veggies. And occasionally, I paint my nails when I have time and find a cute color.

There was a time, a long time ago—like in prehistoric days when I was in high school—I actually cared a lot about fashion, accessories, and doing my hair. College knocked that right out of me. I had 8:00 A.M. classes and no time for coordinating sweaters and socks. I was happy with clean and unwrinkled. Comfortable became my element and has remained with me. However, recently, I’ve taken more of an interest in cosmetics. I must admit, the beauty world has changed since I last paid attention. I’d never heard of primers, eyeshadow bases, or color correctors. I had no clue of the difference between a setting powder and a finishing powder. (And still don’t if I’m completely honest.) I still use the applicator that comes in the eyeshadow pallet instead of a brush (with a number/name) or sponge (and I won’t even say what I thought this was when someone first mentioned it to me). Contouring sounded like something that had to do with streets. When my coworkers started discussing bath bombs, I seriously considered calling Homeland Security and reporting them as a terrorist group plotting to blow up plumbing. It all seemed foreign to me.

But as I stated previously, I’ve never been a tomboy. I’ve always wanted to look pretty, but it wasn’t a priority. Lip gloss to keep from cracking and out into the world I venture. Yet, there are times when I want to take an extra moment to invest in my image. My coworkers seemed to believe it is either sports or beauty and that a woman can’t do both. I believe that thinking is outdated. I believe it is sexist to think women can’t be athletic or knowledgeable in sports. One search on YouTube will unveil plenty of talented male makeup artists. And when I say talented, I mean it. They transform their faces into palettes and create masterpieces.

Just because a woman doesn’t get all guzzled up to the nines (or tens) does not mean she’s ugly, homely, or letting herself go. Something is to be said for natural beauty. Likewise, there is no rule stating women can’t be feminine and enjoy sports. Women shouldn’t be designated to being designated to being the swimsuit model in high heels strolling around a ring carrying a “Rounds” sign.

By now, one might be wondering what prompted me to write this article. Well, several weeks ago, someone asked me what inspired me to write sports romance. I replied it was because I enjoy sports, which is true.

However, as time passed, I realized the answer was more deep-seated than that. I think that it is important for women to be portrayed as more than one-note and capable of being competent in areas that are “traditionally” associated with men. I feel more sports romances are needed what blends both the hard and soft sides of the industry. Additionally, I wanted to push myself into an area that I had not attempted previously. I knew sports, talked sports, but had never written sports. Writing sports romances provided me an opportunity to explore and balance two loves that are not as incompatible as some may think.

Enjoy sports romance? Check out my new adult romance, Defending the Net, released on November 10. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It will be sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. Order a copy now at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Missed the first in my hockey romance series? Don’t worry. Out of the Penalty Box, an adult romance where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit http://bit.ly/2i9SqpH.

Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to http://bit.ly/2CtE7Ez or to Amazon at http://amzn.to/2lCQXpt.

Copies of all my books and stories are available in paper, eBook, and audio on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. The links are listed in my Writing Projects page (http://bit.ly/2iDYRxU) along with descriptions of each of my novels or stories.

NEWSLETTER! Want to get the latest information and updates about my writing projects, giveaways, contests, and reveals first? Click https://genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com/newsletter/ and signup today.

Finally, if you or anyone you know are interested in joining a college Greek life organization, check out my special series posted each Monday for everything you wanted (and didn’t want) to know about college fraternities and sororities. Visit Sorority Bible Table of Contents to view any or all of these posts.

DISCLAIMER: Creole Bayou is not sponsored or being paid to endorse any business, website, person, podcast, broadcast, videos, philanthropy, or products. Any shoutouts given is due to personally liking a product or cause. There is no intention to slight any competitors or introduce bias. If you have a product or service that is related to anything mentioned in this post and would like a shoutout in the future, please do not hesitate to contact via email to inform me of such product or service.

Reminders! FREE Read & Prize!
Tuesday, March 5th, 2019

Don’t forget! These two offers are still open!

  1. Flashback: Hard SEAL to Love (Contest–2 Winners)
  2. A Giveaway! Get your free book now!
A Puzzling Question…
Monday, March 4th, 2019

I think I need to write one soon, don’t you? Here’s a pic to get into the mood.

A Giveaway! Get your free book now!
Sunday, March 3rd, 2019

Get your copy! This offer won’t last long! Pick up the first story in the Uncharted SEALs series, Watch Over Me! 

Here’s what the story is all about…

Watch Over Me

When Deke Warrick accepts an unsanctioned detail to keep tabs on a congressman’s niece while she vacations in the Caribbean, he expects the only dangers he’ll face are sunburn and a rum hangover. Determined to keep his distance, his resolve is challenged by a chance encounter with the beautiful Nicky Martir—and then shattered when she’s snatched from their hotel room.

Get your FREE COPY here!

When you find your way blocked…
Saturday, March 2nd, 2019

“There comes a time in a man’s life when to get where he has to go—if there are no doors or windows—he walks through a wall.”
~Bernard Malamud

And of course a picture of a wall is boring, so maybe I have a door after all…
Point is, when you’re feeling blocked—by whatever—get creative about how you break out!