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.

 

 

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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.

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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

Release Blitz: The Official Gryphon Series Coloring Book by Stacey Rourke


Cover Designer: Broken Arrow Designs
Illustrators: Crystal Ord and Robert Immings
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
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Journey into the fantastical world of The Gryphon Series, written by Stacey Rourke, with original artwork that brings to life pivotal moments from the beloved Young Adult series!
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RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013 
 
Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Adapted for Film. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. 

BOOKS IN THE SERIES

#Free with #KindleUnlimited
Adventurous 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?

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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

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: The Ghost Files Volume 4 Part 1 by Apryl Baker

Amazon |  Amazon UK | iBooks | B&N
Cover Design by Wicked By Design
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 Sleep, little children,
all safe in your beds.
But when the boogeyman knocks,
if you are up watching…
he’ll make sure that you wish you were dead!
Once every one hundred and fifty years he emerges from the darkest depths to feed. With each soul he takes, he grows stronger. There is but one gift he needs in order to gain the power he seeks. One gift that will allow him to walk amongst all the precious little children.
 
And it’s the one gift Mattie Hathaway possesses…the ability to bring images to life with just a drop of her blood. The demon Silas has warned her to never reveal this ability, not even to her father who shares her power to communicate with the dead. She’s heeded his warning, but hiding it may no longer be an option.
 
Children are disappearing all over the Charlotte area. When their bodies are recovered, they are always the same—broken, beaten, and bruised. Fear is spiraling out of control in the Queen City as parents glance nervously around each corner, seeing the boogeyman in every shadow.
 
When one little girl goes missing in Mattie’s neighborhood, it’s up to her and Officer Dan Richards to find the truth. In doing so, she uncovers a far greater evil than she’s ever come up against. The one thing she was bred to defeat.
 
Deleriel. A fallen angel…one of the first demons. He is powerful, ambitious, and now that Mattie is on his radar, she’s all he needs to complete his arsenal.
 
Amid of whirlwind of secrets coming to light, Mattie is faced with uncovering the truth about her own heritage. She must come to grips with it before she can begin to prepare for the battle of a lifetime…a battle she never asked for but is caught in the middle of.
Can she face her own truths before it’s too late?
 giveaway
 Enter for your chance to win a Kindle Fire & a $100 Amazon gift card to fill it up with lots and lots of books!!!!
 http://bit.ly/GhostFiles4Giveaway
author

USA Today Bestselling Author 

So who am I? Well, I’m the crazy girl with an imagination that never shuts up. I LOVE scary movies. My friends laugh at me when I scare myself watching them and tells me to stop watching them, but who doesn’t love to get scared? I grew up in a small town nestled in the southern mountains of West Virginia where I spent days roaming around in the woods, climbing trees, and causing general mayhem. Nights I would stay up reading Nancy Drew by flashlight under the covers until my parents yelled at me to go to sleep.
 
Growing up in a small town, I learned a lot of values and morals, I also learned parents have spies everywhere and there’s always someone to tell your mama you were seen kissing a particular boy on a particular day just a little too long. So when you get grounded, what is there left to do? Read! My Aunt Jo gave me my first real romance novel. It was a romance titled “Lord Margrave’s Deception.” I remember it fondly. But I also learned I had a deep and abiding love of mysteries and anything paranormal. As I grew up, I started to write just that and would entertain my friends with stories featuring them as main characters.
 
Now, I live Huntersville, NC and a small town in WV where I entertain my niece and nephew and watch the cats get teased by the birds and laugh myself silly when they swoop down and then dive back up just out of reach. The cats start yelling something fierce…lol.
 
I love books, I love writing books, and I love entertaining people with my silly stories.

 

https://www.facebook.com/RedCoatPR/

Spooky 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.

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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?
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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