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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Guest Post: Operation Child Soldier by Jaci Wheeler

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I was trained from birth to be the best Agent possible. Growing up in a Military Training Academy for unwanted children has its perks. I might not have ever been to a dance but I am a sharp shooter, master at hand to hand combat and best hacker the Academy has ever seen. I trained my whole life to pass the final and become an Elite agent. The only problem? My entire life has been a lie. My father is a monster and I’ve been trained to kill monsters.

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I’ve had a few people ask how on earth I came up with the concept for Operation Child Soldier. I must admit, child assassins do sound a bit extreme but I had stumbled upon on article one day, I can’t even remember where to be honest, and it was talking about how more countries, especially Middle Eastern countries were starting to train women and children to become assassins. I had just watched a movie with my husband that focused on foster care and how horrible some of these homes are and how some kids rather live on the street than end up in foster care and somehow everything just clicked.

I love having strong female leads and Aria just started unfolding before my eyes. I didn’t even outline, I just grabbed my phone and started dictating the entire story to my notes. The idea that training women and children is actually happening and that these other countries are finding success really helped to unlock my imagination. My dream has always been to own an orphanage and to have a safe place for children to come. I guess you can say I merged the two together, and even though the Academy in this first book isn’t what my dream was…it just might end up that way, you will have to read book two to find out.

authorjaciTwitter/Instagram/Facebook/Website/Amazon

Jaci Wheeler lives in the Central Valley of California with her husband and two precious kids.

Her love of literature began in Jr. High when she was introduced to Lowis Lowry’s books. Since then she has had a passion for writing Young Adult books, and creating strong female leads. When she’s not writing, she is advocating for Autism Awareness and involved in the deaf community.

Her favorite things to do are play with her children, craft with her friends, sleep while her husband watches movies and indulge in her favorite addictions: Coffee, candy and shoes.

Epic reading,

Jordan

 

Book Trailer Reveal: Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Release Date: Feb 28, 2017

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In New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s gripping new novel, a young woman comes home to reclaim her life—even as a murderer plots to end it. . .

It’s been ten years since Sasha Keaton left her West Virginia hometown . . . since she escaped the twisted serial killer known as the Groom. Returning to help run her family inn means being whole again, except for one missing piece. The piece that falls into place when Sasha’s threatened—and FBI agent Cole Landis vows to protect her the way he couldn’t a decade ago.

First one woman disappears; then another, and all the while, disturbing calling cards are left for the sole survivor of the Groom’s reign of terror. Cole’s never forgiven himself for not being there when Sasha was taken, but he intends to make up for it now . . . because under the quirky sexiness Cole first fell for is a steely strength that only makes him love Sasha more.

But someone is watching. Waiting. And Sasha’s first mistake could be her last.

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#Freebie Book Blitz & Trailer Reveal: Hope(less) by Melissa Haag

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Gabby’s brain is like a human fish finder. It comes in handy when she wants to avoid people. Mostly men. They seem to like her a bit too much. It’s lonely being different, but she’s adapted to it. Really. She just wishes she knew why she is different, though.
 
In her search for answers, she discovers a hidden community of werewolves. She immerses herself in their culture, learning about their world until she meets Clay. He’s unkempt, prone to mood swings, intense without saying a word, and he thinks Gabby is his.
 
It’s going to take every trick she knows to convince Clay to go away, and every bit of willpower not to fall for him when she discovers the man beneath the rough exterior.
 
Judgement has begun…
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Melissa Haag currently resides in Wisconsin with her husband and three children. Touch is her first published novel. She is currently working on book three of a separate five book series.
 
Keep reading, 
Jordan

Trailer Reveal: Descent-Stacey Rourke

 
Genre: YA Fantasy
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR 
synIt’s been two years since the lion roared … the eagle flew … and the fated Celtic warrior embraced her destiny. Now, with an unknown darkness swirling and the body count rising, the world needs a hero more than ever. A new battle is brewing. Who will answer the call to war? The time has come. The stage is set. And the Garretts are back in a brand new novella. Descent; The Gryphon Series Resurrection, Coming in Spring 2016. It’s hard to keep a bad pirate down…  
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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. 
Visit her at Website/Blog/Facebook or on Twitter or instagram at Rourkewrites.

Happy reading, 
Jordan



ARC Review & Giveaway: We’ll Never Be Apart-Emiko Jean

wellneverbeapartWe'll Never Be Apart_hresGoodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

Release Date: October 6th, 2015

synMurder.

Fire.

Revenge.

That’s all seventeen-year-old Alice Monroe thinks about. Committed to a mental ward at Savage Isle, Alice is haunted by memories of the fire that killed her boyfriend, Jason. A blaze her twin sister Cellie set. But when Chase, a mysterious, charismatic patient, agrees to help her seek vengeance, Alice begins to rethink everything. Writing out the story of her troubled past in a journal, she must confront hidden truths.

Is the one person she trusts only telling her half the story? Nothing is as it seems in this edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller from the debut author Emiko Jean.

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***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & HMH Books for Young Readers and with participation in this tour.

+++Contains disturbing images, violence, and moments that may be considered triggers for some.

READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • You live for psychological thrillers
  • You are looking for part diary part mystery
  • You want to see how psychosis post-trauma builds from the ground up

We’ll Never Be Apart is disturbing in its detached simplicity. Love can be deadly but sisterhood is eternal. 

PROS:

  • Cellie is intense. I’ve never been so terrified by a character. Her maniacal little laugh, the disquieting way she stares, her sadistic actions with animals, and her sickening jealousy all will put you on edge. She’s a loose cannon, you’re never sure about what she’ll do next and each incident is more horrific, violent, and vicious. The sociopathic way she feels no remorse about her actions builds from childhood onward through Alice’s diary entries. Seeing the sickness grow in Cellie is heartbreaking and scary for Alice and the reader. Knowing their past trauma and why she behaves the way she does will make you question her actions and exactly how guilty she truly is. 
  • The casual, almost frank recount of Cellie’s pyromaniac episodes are all the more terrifying because they’re not especially graphic. The clean way they’re worded with almost a clinical precision takes all the emotion out of the scene and replaces it with a raw, hungry desperation. In the way you can’t look away from an accident on the side of the road, Cellie and Alice’s story compels, tempted, begged for me to continue reading. 
  • Some truths were unexpected and shocking. Reevaluation of the memories create a crazed, hysteria that puts everything else into question. You’ll no longer know if Alice can be trusted, if her trauma has buried something so deep that only half-truths exist anymore. 
  • Alice is hard to read. Sometimes she’s soft, introverted and escapes through the comfort of her army of origami warriors. Other times she sarcastic, a little vulgar, and feisty. Alice’s relationship with her sister is one of scars, fierce love, and mistrust. Despite their unhealthy love for one another, there’s always a foreboding beneath the surface, one that suggests neither one is safe with the other. 
  • Chase and Alice are sweet together. Their relationship is shaky and tentative but blossoms. They find comfort and peace with each other. Their moments are cute, mischievous, and sometimes packed with tears.

CONS:

  • The twist was expected and you can guess relatively quickly but the story is so compelling that you almost forget until it rushes upon you.
  • The ease in which patients at Savage Isle can break the rules and gain access to forbidden materials was a little too convenient and hard to believe. It took away from some of the anxiety and fear because the risk just wasn’t there. 

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authimgresEmiko Jean is an elementary school math teacher, whose work with children in foster care inspired her debut novel, We’ll Never Be Apart. Aside from reading, writing, and teaching, Emiko is passionate about bugs. She can often be found in the remote forests of the Pacific Northwest, where she lives with her husband, hunting giant moths and cataloguing rare insect colonies. 

Website | Twitter |Facebook | Goodreadsgiveaway3 winners will receive a finished copy of WE’LL NEVER BE APART. US Only.

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

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Happy reading,

Jordan

Cover Reveal: The Other Side of Gravity-Shelly Crane

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The Other Side of Gravity (Oxygen, #1)-Shelly Crane
Genre: Sci-Fi
Release Date: TBA
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My name is Maxton and I’m a trader.
 
I live on a soulless planet where gravity, oxygen, and everything else are sold to the highest bidder on the black market. People are sold on the black market, too. You have to work really hard not to become one of those people. Pay your taxes, keep your friends and family close, and more than anything else—don’t get caught by the Militia. But all the rules changed for me the day I found her.
 
My name is Sophelia and I’m a stowaway.
I’ve been a slave for almost as long as I can remember. Waiting for the one day, one second, for my proprietor to turn his head so I could run and never look back. Now I’m on the run. And on a planet where no one is on your side and people would turn you in for a good meal or a piece of a silver, being on the run on Landu is the last place you want to be. Until he found me.
 
I won’t survive without him.
 
I can’t breathe without her.cooltext1889172435 copy
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Shelly is a NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY bestselling author from a small town in Georgia and loves everything about the south. She is wife to a fantastical husband and stay-at-home mom to two boisterous and mischievous boys who keep her on her toes. She hoards paperbacks, devours sweet tea, searches year-round for candy corn, and loves to spend time with her family and friends, go out to eat at new restaurants, site-see in the new areas they travel to, listen to music, and, of course, loves to read, but doesn’t
have much time to these days with all the characters filling her head begging to come out. She is author to over twenty books and counting!
 
 
Her own books happen by accident and she revels in the writing and imagination process. She doesn’t go anywhere without her notepad for fear of an idea creeping up and not being able to write it down immediately, even in the middle of the night, where her best ideas are born.
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Keep reading, 
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