Guest Post: On Writing Strong Female Characters and Other Musings by Jennifer Siddoway

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As Rory Gilmore once said, “I live in two worlds, one is a world of books.” I have never felt more connected to a character than in that moment, because I too, have lived a hundred different lives through the beautifully crafted pages of a novel. An author’s ability to paint a world with words is something that amazes me to this day, and will continue to do so for years to come.

I never thought that I would become an author, not even in my wildest dreams. Sometimes it still feels like I’m an imposter who has infiltrated this community and has not yet been discovered for the fraud she is. Yet, here I am about to release book two in the Earthwalker Trillogy and it finally feels like I’m treading water.

The heroine in this series, Wynn Hendricks, is a headstrong, fiery redhead who desperately wants to finish high school when a Demon Lord shows up in her bedroom and declares her soul his property. To regain her freedom, she must conquer the seven deadly sins. In doing so, she finds herself caught between the realms of Heaven, Hell, and Earth, with the angel Caleb as her only ally.

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I’m a big fan of strong female characters, and in Wynn’s story I really wanted to show her rising above this terrible situation and coming out on top. She doesn’t need a knight in shining armor to protect her, but would rather have someone love and support her while she rescues herself. Her journey covers a three-book arc that I’m hoping will show growth and depth of character over time. Each of the Demon Lords are unique and come at her in different ways, which I found fascinating to write about. I didn’t want the straightforward, hand over fist, showdown that you’d expect. They’re clever and come at her sideways, hoping that Wynn will become overconfident or make some fatal mistake. One of the things I like about them is that they do not make idle threats. Aidan and the other Demon Lords follow through on what they promise and that is terrifying, especially when they don’t play by the rules – nothing is off the table.

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After tragedy strikes the Hendricks family, Wynn leaves for college, hoping the Demon Lords follow her. She is reunited with Caleb after his fall from grace. Now, they no longer have to hide their feelings for one another. Together, they prepare for Wynn’s three remaining trials and encounter another demon who has infiltrated the Mortal Realm. Charlene is strong and beautiful, with complete control of her demonic powers – everything Wynn hopes to achieve one day.

The Demon Lords aren’t holding back, but they’re not the only ones who are conspiring against her. Maya is on the warpath and blames Wynn for Caleb’s decision to leave. Wynn learns that to defeat Aidan once and for all will come at a terrible price, taking her away from the ones she loves most.

With the help of some unlikely allies, can Wynn defeat the Demon Lords and finally make Aidan pay?

ExcerptHis lips broke from mine and left a trail of kisses down my neck, sending a jolt of hot confusion coursing through my body. Electric tingles ran up and down along my spine in a delicious need to hold him and have his body pressed against me. I tilted my head to give him better access and let out an involuntary sigh. “Caleb …” l breathed out dreamily.

“I love you.”

He cradled my face in his hands and pulled away briefly so that he could whisper, “You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting to hear you say that.”

I breathed out a ragged laugh before kissing him again and losing myself completely in his touch. My body ignited beneath his hands and I all I could think about was this magnificent creature had pledged himself to me. His lips were on me once again, and I wrapped myself around him like a snake in another one of his passionate kisses. A moment later, I felt myself being lifted off the ground as he carried me back into the apartment.

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authorJennifer SiddowayWebsite/Facebook/Instagram/Twitter

Jennifer is an author from Tallahassee, Florida who writes paranormal romance and fantasy novels for young adults. She is a member of both Gulf Coast Authors and the Florida Writers Association.

After receiving a degree in theatre and working as a scenic artist for twelve years, she changed careers to do what she really loves—writing. Jennifer believes that part of her job as an artist and story teller is to create a narrative that explores a fresh perspective and leaves the audience thinking.

Even as a child, she has always been intrigued by Grimm’s Fairy Tales and particularly enjoys a twist on an established plot. When she’s not busy writing or burying her nose in a book, Jennifer enjoys doing medieval reenactment with her husband and two children.

 

 

Cover Reveal: Soar by Sloane Murphy

Release Day: March 7, 2017

#theimmortalchronicles

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There is only so much one person can endure before they break.

There was nothing I ever wanted less than to be Princess at the Royal Court. After devastation rocked my whole world, the return of my mother doesn’t seem like the dream it was supposed to be.

I know how to be a warrior. I have no idea how to be a princess…

With her whole world turned upside down, and her heart still broken, who will Addie be at the end of it all?

Hearts can break, faith can plummet, but souls can Soar.

author

Hi everyone! I’m Sloane *waves*. I’m 27, a total book nerd with a penchant for travel and I probably use the words Dude & Awesomesauce far too often in real life.! I write mainly Paranormal Romance NA & YA, but I’ll be branching out into other Romance genres too.

I was born and raised in Peterborough, England along with 2 sisters, 2 brothers and a plethora of cousins, I come from a REALLY big family! I’m one of the clumsiest people you’ll ever meet, but I try to stay on my feet *haha*. I still live here with Mr M & our fur baby Arya.

Please don’t be afraid to come and say hi! I don’t bite I swear 🙂

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Limited Edition Cover Only Available Direct from the Author 
Magical reading, 
Jordan

Review: Incandescent by Shannon Avangeline

incandescentAmazon/Goodreads

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What if you had a destiny you knew nothing about?

What if it was to kill the boy you love?

Being sixteen is hard. Paige Thornton doesn’t even feel like she belongs in her own family! So she really shouldn’t be that upset that her flighty mom has uprooted her and her twin sisters again to drag them to live with their Grams in Seahaven, NC. However, Seahaven is full of surprises for Paige. A new school, a gorgeous new boy, and a magical heritage that she had no idea about. But somehow this boy, Luc, is too perfect.

Lucian Burke knows that he shouldn’t let himself get too close to Paige. He’s only supposed to watch her and report back. Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned. As long as he keeps his distance, things will be fine.

What will happen to this modern day Romeo and Juliet?

Will they ever find their happiness, or will it all end in blood and ashes?

review

3/5 Stars 

***I received this book as a gift via the author in exchange for an honest review 

PROS:

  • The intro is fantastic. It sucks you in and keeps you intrigued, absolutely curious about what’s going to happen to the mysterious baby and whether the unholy side of the infant will reign supreme. Celie is fierce. Her character is strong, a fighter, and oh so memorable. 
  • The underlying story of how the Coven of Light was formed, Luc’s fate, what happened to Paige’s mother; these were all enthralling, adding a layer of depth to each of their stories. The Coven of Light is complex. There’s a wonderful mix of elemental, religious, and spiritual beliefs. The use of crystals, plants, and other Earthy substances was intriguing and made the world of magic seem realistic despite the whole magical powers thing. 
  • Marlene’s love story. The whole scene with Marlene and Paige. That confession. You feel the rush of emotions, the desperation, the joy, their urge to fight for their love. 
  • Paige and Luc have chemistry. Apart from the sections where Luc sounds a little robotic, their initial meet cute and subsequent stop and go ramps up the anticipation.

CONS:

  • Secondary characters were fleeting, lacked substance, and were more there to be scapegoats than anything else. Apart from the initial introductions, they’re barely there and part of a rather dry number of high school scenes. Had these characters been developed a little more and functioned in the plot, the whole high school setting and Paige’s friendship with Reese might have been more engaging. The villains also suffered from this and  it made them far less scary, even knowing some of the horrific stuff they’d done in the past. 
  • There was a lot of fade to black in terms of relationship development between Paige and Luc. While this was used to show time passing, there wasn’t enough actual conversation and budding emotions to grow with the story-it’s just sort of there. I would have liked to have seen less of the high school random scenes that didn’t really advance the plot and more of Paige and Luc learning about and respecting each other. I needed more of the falling, not the totally swooning, head over heels in what seems like days. 
  • That adrenaline rush of an ending came so late in the story that it felt anti-climactic. After wading through the fade to black sections, being hit with such an action-packed and dangerous turn of events didn’t hit quite as hard as it could have. Pacing was unbalanced and threw off the story. Had there been more of threat earlier, or more of Paige finding out about her powers/training sooner in the story, the pacing would have been greatly improved.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

Magical reading,

Jordan

Release Day Blitz: Balance by Janelle Stalder


“This book was a phenomenal start to what I know is going to be an amazing series. It is filled to the brim with mystery, danger, and intrigue, with just the right amount of heart-stopping and breathtaking romance. It made me fall in love head over heels, and then slowly destroyed my heart. If there’s one new series you start this year, make sure it’s this one.”
– Kayleigh Gore, K-books Blog
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From Bestselling Author, Janelle Stalder, comes a new, suspenseful Paranormal Romance. 

A love written in the stars, or born in the depths of darkness?

Where fate has brought them together, so will it tear them apart.

This is not a story of chance, but one that was destined to come to pass, and with it the fall of the darkest shadow to roam the earth.

Vivian French will soon realize that monsters are not just characters from story books, but creatures who can tear your soul apart and leave nothing in its place.

This is not a love story. 

This is a tale, of a fallen angel and The One who will bring about a change in the Balance.

author
Janelle Stalder was born and raised in Brampton, Ontario. At an early age she developed a love for literature. Her debut novel, Eden, was the first book in a series of four, released in September of 2011. Since then she has released an Adult Dystopian Romance series, the New World Series, hitting the best sellers list on Amazon. She has also released a Mature YA/NA novel, Brush Strokes, that stayed on the best sellers list for contemporary romance for sixteen straight weeks. She is a strong supporter of other independent authors, and loves to interact with her readers. When she’s not writing, Janelle is at home with her husband, three children, Aiden, Elora and Violet, and her two furry children, Alice and Lily. She now resides in a small town in Ontario in her old, possibly haunted, century home.
Fantastic reading, 
Jordan

Release Day Blitz: The Chronicles of Heart & Soul by L.L. Hunter

Cover Designer: Regina Wamba of Mae I Design and Photography

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There was once an angel born of fire who was fated to rule the world.
Her existence was planned, her destiny mapped out before she even knew who she was.
 
When Scarlett was a little girl she never dreamed she would one day be the one to rule the entire Nephilim world.
Now as an adult, her nightmares are making up for lost time.
Plagued with visions she doesn’t know what to make of, and a dark secret hidden deep within, she turns to an unlikely ally for guidance.
Afraid for her future child’s life, Scarlett makes a choice that could change everything forever.
After a heartbreaking sacrifice is made, 
Scarlett never thought she would ever taste darkness, but this time she can’t escape.
Especially when her son is fated to rule the underworld.
 
In the epic finale to the bestselling Legend of the Archangel series, will the world burn in heavenly fire or be saved by the girl who was fated to rule it all?
author
L.L. Hunter is the author of over 20 published works, including The Legend of the Archangel Series and The Garden of Eden. She has studied everything from veterinary nursing, forensic science, and dramatic arts, but has always known her true calling was to be an author. 

She has been writing since her teens – everything from fan fiction, to song lyrics, to plays and musicals. When not working on her next paranormal romance, she can be found at home in Australia, reading somewhere comfortable with one or both of her “fur babies.” Follow her on Facebook, Twitter @llhunterbooks, and her blog – http://llhunter.blogspot.com.au.
Fantastic reading, 
Jordan

ARC Review: Fates Entwined by Jules Barnard

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They can never be together. The notion is laughable. Humans are inferior, a scourge on the Fae and on the magic passed down to them by angels millennia ago. And if Keen finds himself drawn to the tiny human female,
he keeps it to himself. He won’t add to the half-breed problem that threatens his people’s existence.
 
Reese can’t stand Keen. He criticizes her clothing, won’t answer a straight question, and is too handsome for her peace of mind.
 
Her entire life, people have pegged Reese for a shallow, ditzy blond. She won’t accept the stereotype from the large, arrogant Fae too. But after Keen saves her life, she begins to question what truly lies beneath his stoic demeanor.
 
Forced together, Keen and Reese fight to survive among enemies, and Keen makes choices Reese couldn’t have predicted. She glimpses a side of him that is protective and dangerously seductive.
 
But Keen refuses to acknowledge their connection.
 
Until he’s faced with the decision to betray his people, or lose Reese forever.
 
*This mature YA series is intended for readers 17 years and older.
 
**Each Halven Rising novel features a different couple and may be read as a standalone, but an overreaching story arc connects the series, so it’s fun to read them in order.**
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review

3.5/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review

+++This is listed as Mature YA, but I would definitely put it in the New Adult range. Explict scenes.

Reese is hardcore. She’s confident, bold, a fighter, and not afraid to speak her mind. She challenges and gives back and much as she gets. She’ll never let anyone force her to do something she doesn’t want to. Her bravery is intense. She is clever and happy with herself despite her past hurts. Reese has sass for days. Her dialogue is funny, emotionally charged, and she’s a master at those fighting words. 

Keen is set in his ways. He has biased views of Halven and solid ideas about a woman’s place, but Reese throws him off-center. From the minute he meets her, she changes his world and he opens his eyes past his prejudice. Keen is sexy, flirty, and completely commanding. He brings the heat and together with Reese, it’s explosive.

The love hate is strong. No matter how hard they try to deny themselves, the stronger the attraction grows. They nag and badger each other. They say horrible things. They fight, sometimes physically, but the chemistry is insane. Their romance is a battle they’re happy to lose. 

I would have liked stronger back story for both of the main characters. Keen’s story is particularly intriguing, sad, and super dark and yet, it’s pretty much glossed over. The politics of Halven and each of the kingdoms would have been better defined had Keen’s relationship been more clear. The drama between kingdoms, their unique features, the kind of fae who reside in each realm, all of that was tucked into the story offhand and barely elaborated on. A little more world building would have added to the severity of each threat and explained the animosity between groups. 

The pacing was staggered. After the initial adrenaline rush and uncertainty of the first scene, it takes a while for things to develop. The time Reese spends training and whatnot goes by so slow, despite the budding chemistry between her and Keen.

Other Books in the Series

 author
RITA-nominated author Jules Barnard began her publishing career in 2014 with Deep Blue, the first book in the contemporary Blue Series, hitting bestseller lists on Amazon, iBooks, and All Romance. In 2015, she launched Fates Divided, the first of a romantic fantasy series Library Journal calls “…an exciting new fantasy adventure.” Whether she’s writing about beautiful Lake Tahoe or a Fae world embedded in a college campus, Jules spins suspenseful stories filled with realistic characters who have heart and humor.

When Jules isn’t in her sweatpants writing and rewarding herself with chocolate, she spends her time with her husband and two children in their small hometown on the California coast. She credits herself with the ability to read while running on the treadmill or burning dinner.
 
Fantastic reading, 
Jordan
 
 
 
 
 

 

New Cover Reveal & Contest: A Raven’s Touch by Linda Bloodworth

A Raven's Touch by Linda BloodworthGet It Here!

The cover was created by Amanda Walker. Feel free to ask her questions about her pre-made covers. Linda says she is fantastic to work with, honest, and super friendly. She also offers PA services, so do check her out.

synBullied through high school, seventeen-year-old Justice St. Michaels is grateful for the help of her best friend Moira O’Fhey. Together they’re just managing to scrape through the nightmare they call high school. Between Justice’s bizarre body changes and being involved in explosive school fights, things are going from bad to worse. Darien Raventhorn arrives on the scene only to add fuel to an already burning question—has Justice been living a lie her whole life? Thrust into an unwanted revenge mission Justice must avenge a family death, embrace her birthright, and slay a demon before all Hell breaks loose.

authorLinda Bloodworth loves chips, like really, ketchup to be exact. Ketchup chips are only found in Canada. Lucky for Linda she lives in Toronto with her husband and three fur babies. In between writing, debating for hours about the Oxford comma, and the misunderstood semi colon, Linda enjoys camping and getting away from the city on day trips.

Here’s the only picture that Linda will allow:
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CONTEST TIME!! – THIS IS A 2 PART CONTEST

HOW TO ENTER: 
1. Post a screen shot of your confirmation order for A Raven’s Touch in the comment section on Linda’s BLOG: https://lindabloodworth.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/cover-reveal-a-ravens-touch-linda-bloodworth-contest
It doesn’t matter when you’ve purchased the book now or before.

2. Subscribe to her newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bLecmr. PLEASE MAKE SURE SHE CAN IDENTIFY YOU. Your screen shot + sign up name should be the same. You MUST approve the subscription email you receive.

PRIZE:
A $3 Amazon Gift Card!

TIMING:
Linda will randomly pick the winner Oct. 23 @ 10 AM ET.

Thank you so much everyone! Linda can’t wait to hear what you have to say. Please leave a review on Amazon or any other retailer. Your review is INCREDIBLY important and helps Linda out as an author. Let the contest begin!

Magical reading, 

Jordan