Tag Archives: urban fantasy

Cover reveal! Who’s Afraid Too? By Maria Lewis

2 Sep

I loved Maria Lewis’s fab debut Who’s Afraid and was very excited to hear that Maria has lots of books planned for this series so today, I’m very very happy to be taking part in the cover reveal for book two! Who’s Afraid Too? will be out in Australia in January. We have a little longer to wait in the UK but that just gives you plenty of time to read or reread book one ;-)

WHO'S AFRAID TOO cover

 

Book Two in the bestselling Tommi Grayson series is a gutsy, fur-flying, feminist read for fans of urban fantasy and strong heroines. If you love Darynda Jones, Keri Arthur, Kelley Armstrong or Harley Quinn, don’t miss Maria Lewis!

 After the sh*t show that was her family reunion, Tommi needed to get gone. Leaving Lorcan behind, she’s spent the last few weeks trying to understand her heritage – the one that comes with a side order of fur as well as her Maori history and how she can connect to it.

But she can only escape for so long – when an unspeakable evil, thought long destroyed, returns, Tommi needs every bit of the skills she’s learned. With the help of allies both old and new, it’s time to take the fight to the enemy . . .

Find out more about Maria and her writing at: http://marialewis.com.au/

Giveaway! Who’s Afraid? goody bag to be won!

12 Jul

Who's Afraid

I’m kicking off the Who’s Afraid? blog tour today! Earlier I shared my review (I love this book!) and now, thanks to the lovely Nazia at Piatkus, I have a brilliant giveaway for you – honestly, I wish I could win this!!

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The prize is:

  • A Who’s Afraid tote bag with the cover of the book on it
  • A pair of skull earrings just like the ones worn by Tommi in the book
  • A signed copy of Who’s Afraid
  • #JoinThePack beer mats
  • Artwork images inspired by the book

IMG_5290

To be in with a chance of winning this gorgeous bag of treats just leave comment in the box below or re-Tweet one of my tweets with the link to this post or like one of my posts about this giveaway on my Instagram page. I’ll pick a winner using Random.org after the closing date.

This giveaway is open to UK residents only and will close at midnight on Sunday 16th July.

Good Luck!

Book review: Who’s Afraid? by Maria Lewis

12 Jul

whos afraidMeet Tommi Grayson: she’s all bark . . . and all bite

‘It was like my wolf had been there all along, waiting for me to tap its hand and step into the ring . . .’

Tommi Grayson’s never exactly been a normal girl. Bright blue hair, a mysterious past and barely controlled rage issues have a way of making a woman stand out. Yet she’s never come close to guessing who she really is . . .

When her mother dies, a shattered Tommi decides to track down her estranged father. Leaving Scotland for a remote corner of New Zealand, she discovers the truth of her heritage – and it’s a whole lot more than merely human.

Barely escaping with her life, now Tommi must return to her her friends, pretending everything is normal, while all too aware of the dangers lurking outside – and within. Worse still, something has followed her home . . .

With the clock ticking, can Tommi learn to control her new powers in time to save the ones she loves?

Pay attention urban fantasy fans – Maria Lewis is a name you’ll want to remember. I’ve just finished reading Maria’s debut, Who’s Afraid?, and I have just one word -wow! Maria has written a fast-paced, dark and action packed urban fantasy with a brilliant romance thread that is set in New Zealand and Scotland.

Tommi Grayson is one of my favourite heroines in a long time; she certainly isn’t afraid and I loved her intelligence, her quick tongue and no-excuses attitude to survival and the life changing events thrown at her in this book (and her blue hair – I’ve always wanted to try blue hair!).

Tommi works as a gallery assistant and lives with her friend Mari in Dundee. It was great to read an urban fantasy that is set in the UK and somewhere outside London. So much of the urban fantasy that I’ve read is set in America and the Scottish setting combined with the tying of a significant part of the plot to New Zealand and Maori culture, Who’s Afraid gives a refreshingly fresh take on the werewolf genre.

There’s a fair amount of mystery to the story as the book opens. Tommi’s Mum has recently died prompting her to try to find out more about her absent father. The truth about her Dad is just the first in a long line of shocks and surprises for Tommi – including the fact that she is actually a werewolf! As Tommi begins to uncover the truth about her family and who she really is she meets the mysterious Lorcan – a guardian figure sent to train and teach Tommi about her newly discovered powers.

I thought the mythology of the story was very well done; Maria obviously knows her stuff and I loved how ancient history and past events were woven into the story. The supernatural world that Tommi finds herself part of exists alongside our own world and the two mix well to create an exciting book that feels very now. Mari has truly created a world in her story and this gives massive potential for follow up books –  a whole series I hope!

For quite a big part of this book I wondered if there would be a romance element at all. There is so much going on in the story that I didn’t feel the romance part was needed and I was completely caught up in Tommi’s training and her coming to terms with her new identity. But slowly and surely a spark of romance ignites in the story and when it did, it got hot fast! Maria certainly knows how to build the tension and the sense of attraction is heightened by the action of the story. I can’t wait to see how this thread develops in future books.

Who’s Afraid? isn’t scared to be bloody and frank when it comes to the darker side of the war that Tommi finds herself in. The finale had me on the edge of my seat and I did not want the story to end! Do stop by again later today when you’ll have chance to win an amazing goody bag including a signed copy of the book!

5/5

Who’s Afraid? is released on Thursday 14th July in paperback and ebook formats.

Check out Maria’s website to read the first chapter, see the amazing art that goes with the book and find out about the events that Maria is doing in the UK this summer: http://marialewis.com.au/

 

Book review: Last Call At the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger

12 Jun

nightshade loungeCollege grad Bailey Chen has a few demons: no job, no parental support, and a rocky relationship with Zane, the only friend who’s around when she moves back home. But when Zane introduces Bailey to his cadre of monster-fighting bartenders, her demons get a lot more literal. Like, soul-sucking hell-beast literal. Soon, it’s up to Bailey and the ragtag band of magical mixologists to take on whatever-or whoever-is behind the mysterious rash of gruesome deaths in Chicago, and complete the lost recipes of an ancient tome of cocktail lore. 

So, who hasn’t felt like they could do anything when they’d had a cocktail or two?! This book is for all those cocktail lovers who’ve dreamed of being a superhero (or Buffy!) and is a quirky and fun urban fantasy story. Last Call At the Nightshade Lounge is a fun and original urban fantasy novel set in Chicago. Although the book falls into the ‘new adult’ age bracket, I think it would appeal to young adult and adult readers too and there is a good breadth of diverse characters with someone for everyone to root for! The story focuses on Bailey Chan. Bailey has just left university and is facing a number of new adult issues; finding her way in the world, finding her first job and hoping to escape from living with her Mom and Dad.

I liked Bailey from the start; she’s bright and clever and a little bit of an overachiever but not so much that it put me off and I loved her realistic take on the world. While Bailey works out what she’s going to do with her life, her high school friend Zane has found her a job as a bar back in his uncle’s bar and this is where the fun really starts. Bailey accidentally stumbles into the secret and ancient society of barkeepers that Zane’s uncle’s bar provides a cover for and discovers that cocktails really can be magical. Last Call At the Nightshade Lounge is a book for fans of TV series like Heroes and Buffy and I could see this as a TV series in its own right.

The chapters are faced paced and the blend of action, romance, magic and Bailey’s story is an excellent little cocktail in its own right. I love how Quirk Books make their books look special too. The story chapters in Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge are interspersed with pages and recipes from The Devil’s Water Dictionary – the cocktail manual that Bailey is given when she starts her undercover work protecting the citizens of Chicago from the horrible ‘tremens’.  These are all cocktails that you can actually make and there are 15 delicious sounding recipes for you to try from the Screwdriver to the White Russian. I loved the histories included about each drink and its creation and the manual pages not only gave depth to the story but added and extra dimension to the book.

As the story progresses it becomes clear that strange things are happening in Chicago and even the tremens are acting differently. The race is on to make the ultimate cocktail – a drink that will bestow immortality on its owner. As Halloween approaches Bailey and her new friends have their work cut out and as the tension built I couldn’t put this book down. I’ll be eagerly looking forward to Paul Krueger’s next novel!

4/5

Last Call At The Nightshade Lounge is out now in paperback and ebook formats from Quirk Books.

Find out more about Paul and his writing at: https://paulkrueger.net/

I’d like to thank Jamie at Quirk Books for providing me with a review copy of this novel.

Guest post: Writing the Villains by Rae Rivers

7 Apr

Today I’m very excited to be celebrating publication day for one of my favourite paranormal romance authors! Rae Rivers was one of the first authors I read when HarperImpulse launched and I love her Keepers series which just gets better and better.

Rae’s an avid reader and writer with a passion for writing spicy romance novels. She lives in Cape Town, South Africa, with her gorgeous children and husband and a zoo of house pets. Besides writing, she loves family time, the outdoors, travelling, watching TV series, reading and chocolate. The Keepers: Ethan is out today and to celebrate Rae has joined me to talk villains! Happy publication day and welcome, Rae!

Author Phot (2)Writing the Villains

When I first created Sienna, I knew she was a powerful, modern day, good witch coming to terms with the full throttle of powers she’d inherited from her grandmother.  But I also figured that a woman of her status and magical abilities would meet great adversaries and would need some serious back up.   And so the concept of the Keepers was born – three warrior brothers duty-bound to protect her with their lives.  Together, they protect the balance of nature and the innocent people of the world.  And yes, they’ve faced many villains throughout the series.

Who are the villains?

I played on the concept of good vs. evil and developed a story about an ongoing feud between three families:  The Bennett brothers (The Keepers) and the Beckham witches (Sienna) vs. the Brogan family (the villains).  

The Brogans are a group of evil magical witches and warlocks who love to flaunt their magic in a world where it’s forbidden (their magic is a secret).  Their aim is to expose themselves and others like them, to cause havoc with the balance of nature and to control the innocent humans by using fear, violence and magic.  

But Sienna and her Keepers are determined to stop them and maintain the balance – hence a lot of conflict between the two families throughout all four books.

So what makes a good villain?Villain

There’s a variety of traits that make up a good villain so my list can be added to but here’s a basic idea:

  • He (or she) has an opposite goal to the hero and heroine – this makes for great conflict!
  • He has to be convincing and realistic – create a villain that a reader will loathe or fear if faced in real life.
  • He should be smart and vindictive.
  • He should try and outsmart the hero and heroine at every turn – and frequently succeed.  (Again, more conflict!)
  • Not a necessity but it helps to have a few beefy sidekicks at his side – and offers more opportunity for even more conflict.
  • He should come across as interesting and compelling.
  • He has a background that backs up his villainess.
  • He has a real or valid goal – and we don’t have to like it.
  • Everyone has a weakness so it’s important that villains do too.  And it’s up to the author as to how – and if – this weakness will be used against him.  (Always a fun opportunity to create some havoc between the hero, heroine and villain.)

There are many more traits to consider so feel free to add them in the comments section.  I’d love to hear what you think makes a good antagonist in a story!

Thanks for reading,

Rae Rivers

Series cover


For more information about Rae and her books, please visit:  www.raerivers.com

Rae loves to hear from her readers and can also be found at: WattpadFacebookGoodreadsPinterestTwitterInstagram

The Keepers: Ethan is released today by HarperImpulse in ebook format.

Ethan Cover“Going to Ameera to find Hazel.  Stealing the spell … You think you can pull it off?” he asked.

She nodded, not trusting herself to speak.

Just as she thought he’d kiss her, he reached for her jacket and said, “Then let’s go.”

A portal to another world has opened, unleashing dangerous creatures on earth.  A dark witch is out for revenge.  The stakes are high, a war inevitable. 

One person can stop the madness.  Jenna.  She’s a Keeper to a powerful hybrid witch but she harbours a secret and if Jenna steps through the portal – seduced by the whispers of her hidden past – she may never return.

Fortunately, she has company … infamous Bennett brother and fiercely protective Keeper, Ethan. Their whip-cracking banter makes them perfect sparring partners in training, but how will they manage when their lives and everything they were born to defend are on the line?

When the battle lines are drawn, will Jenna and Ethan stand side by side – as friends, protectors, lovers … or as traitors?

 

 

April 2016 new releases – hot picks!

3 Apr

So, March was the month where we all took it in turns to be ill in our little family so I didn’t get as much reading or blogging done as I’d hoped. But with a sunny new month comes a fresh start and I’m very excited about the April new releases. Here are the ten books I’m hoping to read this month.

head over heelsHead Over Heels (Geek Girl Book 5) by Holly Smale (HarperCollins Children’s Books) April 7th

I’m such a big fan of Holly Smale’s Geek Girl Series I’m currently halfway through this book and think it’s the best yet!

“My name is Harriet Manners, and I will always be a geek.”

The fifth book in the bestselling, award-winning GEEK GIRL series.

Harriet Manners knows almost every fact there is.

She knows duck-billed platypuses don’t have stomachs.
She knows that fourteen squirrels were once detained as spies.
She knows that both chess and snakes and ladders were invented in the same country.

And for once, Harriet knows exactly how her life should go. She’s got it ALL planned out. So her friends seem less than happy, Harriet is determined to Make Things Happen!
If only everyone else would stick to the script…

But is following the rules going to break hearts for GEEK GIRL?

Who’s That Girl by Mhairi McFarlane (HarperCollins) 7th Aprilwho's that girl

Another fab read from the author of the bestselling You Had Me At Hello. The hardback has a beautiful pearly cover and this is a story that will make you giggle!

When Edie is caught in a compromising position at her colleagues’ wedding, all the blame falls on her – turns out that personal popularity in the office is not that different from your schooldays. Shamed online and ostracised by everyone she knows, Edie’s forced to take an extended sabbatical – ghostwriting an autobiography for hot new acting talent, Elliot Owen. Easy, right?

Wrong. Banished back to her home town of Nottingham, Edie is not only dealing with a man who probably hasn’t heard the word ‘no’ in a decade, but also suffering an excruciating regression to her teenage years as she moves back in with her widowed father and judgy, layabout sister.

When the world is asking who you are, it’s hard not to question yourself. Who’s that girl? Edie is ready to find out.

passengerPassenger by Alexandra Bracken (Quercus Children’s Books) 7th April. 

I’m so excited about getting my hands on this book having seen the great reviews from the US release. I love books with a travel theme and this one has the added bonus of another favourite theme of mine – time travel!

New York City, present day

In one night, Etta Spencer is wrenched from everything she knows and loves. Thrown into an unfamiliar world, she can be certain of only one thing: she has travelled not just miles, but years from home.

The Atlantic, 1776

Captain Nicholas Carter is tasked with delivering Etta to the dangerous Ironwood family. They are searching for something – a stolen object they believe only she can reclaim. But Nicholas is drawn to his mysterious passenger, and the closer he gets to her, the further he is from freedom.

The Edges of the World

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey
across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by a desperate thief. But as Etta plays deeper into the Ironwoods’ game, treacherous forces threaten to separate her not only from Nicholas, but from her path home – for ever.

The Map of Bones (Fire Sermon Book 2) by Francesca Haig (Harper Voyager) April 7thmap of bones

Having loved The Fire Sermon, I’ve been eagerly anticipating book two in the series! Do check out the blog tour and look out for my stop on 9th April!

The second book in Francesca Haig’s critically acclaimed debut fantasy series.

The ashes of the past cannot hide the truth forever.

The Omega resistance has been brutally attacked, its members dead or in hiding.

The Alpha Council’s plan for permanently containing the Omegas has begun.

But all is not entirely lost: the Council’s seer, The Confessor, is dead, killed by her twin’s sacrifice.

Cass is left haunted by visions of the past, while her brother Zach’s cruelty and obsession pushes her to the edge, and threatens to destroy everything she hopes for.

As the country moves closer to all-out civil war, Cass will learn that to change the future she will need to uncover the past. But nothing can prepare her for what she discovers: a deeply buried secret that raises the stakes higher than ever before.

these days of oursThese Days of Ours by Juliet Ashton (Simon and Schuster) April 7th

I heard Juliet read from this novel at the recent Simon and Schuster Spring Blogger event and I can’t wait to hear more!

A novel about love. Raw important love. Small, beautiful love. And what happens when the person you love cannot be yours… Perfect for fans of Rowan Coleman, Jane Green and David Nicholls.
 
Kate and Becca are cousins and best friends. They have grown up together and shared all the most important milestones in their lives: childhood birthday parties, eighteenth birthdays, and now a wedding day as they each marry their childhood sweethearts, Charlie and Julian.
 
Kate has always loved Charlie – they were meant to be. Then she discovers that life never turns out quite how you expect it to. And love doesn’t always follow the journey it should.
 
But best friends are forever, and true love will find a way, won’t it…?

The Keepers: Ethan by Rae Rivers (HarperImpulse) April 7thEthan Cover

Rae was one of the very first authors I read from HarperImpulse and I’ve been hooked on her Keepers Series ever since. It’s finally Ethan’s turn in the spotlight and it’s a sizzling read!

“Going to Ameera to find Hazel. Stealing the spell … You think you can pull it off?” he asked.
She nodded, not trusting herself to speak.
Just as she thought he’d kiss her, he reached for her jacket and said, “Then let’s go.”

A portal to another world has opened, unleashing dangerous creatures on earth. A dark witch is out for revenge. The stakes are high, a war inevitable.

One person can stop the madness. Jenna. She’s a Keeper to a powerful hybrid witch but she harbours a secret and if Jenna steps through the portal – seduced by the whispers of her hidden past – she may never return.

Fortunately, she has company… infamous Bennett brother and fiercely protective Keeper, Ethan. Their whip-cracking banter makes them perfect sparring partners in training, but how will they manage when their lives and everything they were born to defend are on the line?

When the battle lines are drawn, will Jenna and Ethan stand side by side – as friends, protectors, lovers … or as traitors?

the obsessionThe Obsession by Nora Roberts (Piatkus) April 14th

I do love Nora Roberts! I actually squealed when the proof of this book was delivered!

Naomi Carson is a survivor. As a child, her family was torn apart by a shocking crime. It could have destroyed her, but Naomi has grown up strong, with a passion for photography that has taken her all around the world.

Now, at last, she has decided to put down roots. The beautiful old house on Point Bluff needs work, but Naomi has new friends in town who are willing to help, including Xander Keaton – gorgeous, infuriating and determined to win her heart.

But as Naomi plans for the future, her past is catching up with her. Someone in town knows her terrifying secret – and won’t let her forget it. As her new home is rocked by violence, Naomi must discover her persecutor’s identity, before it’s too late.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld (Borough Press) April 21st eligible

A favourite author taking on one of my favourite books – I can’t wait to see how the two come together!

From the bestselling author of Prep, American Wife and Sisterland comes this brilliant retelling of Austen’s classic set in modern day Cincinnati.

The Bennet sisters have been summoned from New York City.

Liz and Jane are good daughters. They’ve come home to suburban Cincinnati to get their mother to stop feeding their father steak as he recovers from heart surgery, to tidy up the crumbling Tudor-style family home, and to wrench their three sisters from their various states of arrested development.

Once they are under the same roof, old patterns return fast. Soon enough they are being berated for their single status, their only respite the early morning runs they escape on together. For two successful women in their late thirties, it really is too much to bear. That is, until the Lucas family’s BBQ throws them in the way of some eligible single men . . .

Chip Bingley is not only a charming doctor, he’s a reality TV star too. But Chip’s friend, haughty neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy, can barely stomach Cincinnati or its inhabitants. Jane is entranced by Chip; Liz, sceptical of Darcy. As Liz is consumed by her father’s mounting medical bills, her wayward sisters and Cousin Willie trying to stick his tongue down her throat, it isn’t only the local chilli that will leave a bad aftertaste.

But where there are hearts that beat and mothers that push, the mysterious course of love will resolve itself in the most entertaining and unlikely of ways. And from the hand of Curtis Sittenfeld, Pride & Prejudice is catapulted into our modern world singing out with hilarity and truth.

steeple streetThe Nurses of Steeple Street by Donna Douglas (Arrow) April 21st

I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed all of Donna’s previous Nightingales nursing series so I’m really looking forward to this book which starts a completely new series. And it’s set in Yorkshire – yay!

Welcome to the district nurses’ home on Steeple Street, where everyone has a secret…

Ambitious young nurse Agnes Sheridan had a promising future ahead of her until a tragic mistake brought all her dreams crashing down and cost her the love and respect of everyone around her. Now she has come to Leeds for a fresh start as a trainee district nurse. But Agnes finds herself facing unexpected challenges as she is assigned to Quarry Hill, one of the city’s most notorious slums. Before she can redeem herself in the eyes of her family, she must first win the trust and respect of her patients and fellow nurses.

Does Agnes have what it takes to stay the distance? Or will the tragedy of her past catch up with her?

The Assistants by Camille Perri (Corgi) April 21stthe assistants

I’m looking forward to discovering a new author with this debut. There’s a fab quote from  Paige Toon on the front cover –  an excellent endorsement!

Behind every successful man is a busy assistant and Tina’s boss is very successful.

But Tina is tired of being overworked and underpaid.
She’s bored of her damp flat and her mounting debts.
Then a blip in the expenses system sends Tina a cheque.
She’s a good person.
But she’s desperate.
This isn’t stealing.
It’s an administrative error.
Right?

What would you do if you thought you’d get away with it?

 


What are you looking forward to reading this month?

Book news: The Keepers – Ethan by Rae Rivers

16 Feb

Rae River’s paranormal romance Keepers stories have been favourites of mine for a long time and I’m so excited to share the news that Ethan’s story will be with us soon! The Keepers: Ethan will be released on 24th March and I can’t wait to read it!

Ethan Cover

“Going to Ameera to find Hazel.  Stealing the spell … You think you can pull it off?” he asked.

She nodded, not trusting herself to speak.

Just as she thought he’d kiss her, he reached for her jacket and said, “Then let’s go.”

A portal to another world has opened, unleashing dangerous creatures on earth.  A dark witch is out for revenge.  The stakes are high, a war inevitable. 

One person can stop the madness.  Jenna.  She’s a Keeper to a powerful hybrid witch but she harbours a secret and if Jenna steps through the portal – seduced by the whispers of her hidden past – she may never return.

Fortunately, she has company … infamous Bennett brother and fiercely protective Keeper, Ethan. Their whip-cracking banter makes them perfect sparring partners in training, but how will they manage when their lives and everything they were born to defend are on the line?

When the battle lines are drawn, will Jenna and Ethan stand side by side – as friends, protectors, lovers … or as traitors?

Author PhotRae’s an avid reader and writer with a passion for writing spicy romance novels. She lives in Cape Town, South Africa, with her gorgeous children and husband and a zoo of house pets. Besides writing, she loves family time, the outdoors, travelling, watching TV series, reading and chocolate. For more information about her books, please visit www.raerivers.com

She loves to hear from her readers and can be found here:

Wattpad    Facebook    Goodreads    Pinterest    Twitter: @raerivers1

 If you haven’t read the other books in the series there’s still plenty of time!

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the keepers

 

Guest post: Strong Women in Fiction by Erica Hayes

19 Jan

Today I’m delighted to welcome Erica Hayes to One More Page with an excellent guest post on ‘strong women’. Erica is an Aussie living in northern England, where she’s delighted that the hospitality and the beer are warm even if the weather isn’t. Erica’s hobbies include writing in coffee shops, feeding her enormous cat, and watching TV or reading until far too late at night. If it’s got serial killers, superheroes, monsters or spaceships – preferably all four – Erica is there. On the big issues: Captain Picard is cooler than Captain Kirk, Batman would beat up Superman, and vampires are hotter than werewolves any day. Welcome Erica!

Hayes_EricaWe hear a lot these days about Strong Women in fiction. ‘You should write Strong Female Characters!’ everyone says, and they talk about female empowerment and agency and the Bechdel Test and if we don’t pass it we’re disrespecting the entire female gender.

Hell, yeah, let’s have some stories that are actually *about women* for a change. Enough sidekicks and one-dimensional love interests and femmes fatales. We want women taking charge… But is having a woman front and centre enough? Can a woman be the main character and still be… well, lame?

We could talk all day about what Strong Female Character actually means, and why on earth it should be any different from Strong Male Character. We could wonder why male action heroes can be motivated by anything from politics to revenge to a bad hair day, but for some reason the only valid motivation for a woman to take action seems to be motherhood. We could argue about where the line is between Kick-Ass Chick and Man With Boobs, and why no one ever calls an emotionally sensitive male character Woman With Dick, and why no one ever says Kick-Ass Dude, as if any Dude who *isn’t* Kick-Ass is somehow not dude-y enough to be worthy of the name…

The Kick-Ass Chick is much maligned, probably because in recent years she’s become kind of a caricature of herself, complete with unnecessary snark, tight leather pants, improbable weapons and the famous ‘tramp stamp’ tattoo. But hey, I write about super-powered crime fighters: kicking ass—and lots of it—is what they do. And what’s wrong with having a heroine who knows how to fight her way out of trouble?

Verity, the superheroine in my Sapphire City series, may not have miraculous martial arts prowess and a tattoo above her butt, but she’s 095815-FC50unashamedly a Kick-Ass Chick. She’s a crime fighter, so she’s done her share of beating the tripe out of villains. She’s physically tough—she has to be, to survive the wringer her nemesis puts her through. In Book 1, SCORCHED, Verity’s mental strength is also put to the test, when her memories are tampered with and she can no longer trust those close to her. And in the new book, SCARRED, she’s challenged with moral and ethical problems when she must decide how far she’s willing to go to beat some utterly unscrupulous villains.

But her problems aren’t any harder to deal with because she’s a woman. They aren’t any easier, either. They’re gender-indifferent. SCARRED isn’t about a female crimefighter. It’s about a crimefighter who happens to be a woman.

That’s another cool thing about superhero stories: super powers can level the playing field between the sexes. It can reverse the clichés. Men aren’t always ‘stronger'; women aren’t always ‘more perceptive’. Which isn’t to say we ignore gender. We can still have romance and sexual tension, or characters with differing world views. But in my series, when the fists start flying and the action heats up, no one is standing about wondering whether a girl will be up to the job. Verity’s story isn’t about proving that a woman is as strong and capable as a man. Everyone just assumes she will be.

Including the archvillain, Razorfire. Is he too gender-biased to have a woman as his nemesis? Hell, no. He’s an equal opportunity bad guy. Bring ‘em all on, so long as they keep him entertained. And he’s no gallant white knight, either, gifting his female adversaries an easy option. Just because he’s a man, don’t imagine Verity can flutter her lashes and sexx him into thinking with his ‘little brain’.

And isn’t that what wri095816-FC50ting Strong Female (or Male, for that matter) Characters should be about: showing us a world where gender truly doesn’t matter? Where ‘strength’ is unisex, and expectations aren’t based on body parts but intelligence, personality, resourcefulness, drive and sheer stubborn willpower?

So, yeah, we could talk all day about what makes a Strong Female Character. Or, y’know, we could just let people be people and enjoy some awesome action—no matter who’s doing the ass-kicking.

Thanks Erica!

Scorched is out now in ebook formats.

Scarred is out now in ebook formats and will be released in paperback on 24th March.

Find out more about Erica and her writing at: http://www.ericahayes.net/

Guest post: Kit Blackhart’s New Year Resolutions by Liz de Jager

14 Jan

 

banishedvowed9781447247708

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today is publication day for the eagerly awaited final book in the Blackhart Legacy by Liz de Jager and in celebration I’ve managed to raid Kit’s inbox to find out what her New Year resolutions are!

————————————————————————————————-

 To: Aiden Garrett Pain In My Ass

From: Kit Blackhart Sunshine And Light And Queen Of All She Surveys

Date: 31st December

Subject Line:  Kit’s NY Resolutions

 

Fine, Aide, here are my resolutions for the new year, for what they’re worth.

 

  • Punch less people. Unless they deserve it.
  • Exercise – more cardio is important.
  • Help Kyle by doing more research on own cases, but also others’ jobs. Must become more proactive and not just be the bully with the sword. <- Marc’s exact words to me. I think studying in Exeter is giving him airs and graces.
  • Visit New York and help Megan and Uncle Andrew work with the US branch of the Spook Squad. Maybe take Dante with. Get an invite to meet the Fae in the US.  
  • Start teaching Dante more about the Otherwhere and the politics so his head doesn’t get separated from his body sooner than he’d like. Not sure he would survive without lessons.  The guy is cute and clueless but at least he learns fast.
  • Catch up on things in the Otherwhere.  Do more training with Crow and ask him to help me with my magic. I’m not feeling balanced.
  • Actually have down-time. Go dancing again. At the new incarnation of Milton’s maybe.  Or one of Leo’s dad’s clubs.  That would be fun.  Try acting and being normal for a bit.
  • Stop pining after a certain faerie prince.  Pnining is never a good look on anyone, especially not a Blackhart.
  • Actually try and sleep for longer than 3 hours a night. Stop dreaming completely.
  • I can’t think of any other resolutions. Why am I even doing this? Aiden, I am going to kill you. I’ve wasted over an hour doing this.

 

To: Kit Blackhart Sunshine And Light And Queen Of All She Surveys

From: Aiden Garrett Pain In My Ass

Date: 31st December

Subject Line: Re:  Kit’s NY Resolutions

 

Shut up Blackhart, this is a good list. It gives you something to focus on.

 

I’ve added a few for you to consider.

 

  • Kiss more boys when you go dancing.  Or girls.  
  • Take more selfies.
  • Hang out more.
  • Learn to actually cook food so you can feed yourself and your cousin.
  • Talk to me. I’m one of the good guys.  Then if not me, talk to Dante. We miss you, sparky.

 

9781447247708Judged, the final book in the Blackhart Trilogy is out today in paperback and ebook formats!

Find out more about Liz and her writing at: http://www.lizdejager.co.uk/

A Blackhart’s Duty:
Never give up and never look back

There’s never a dull day on Kit’s watch, as her job involves solving crimes – the supernatural kind. She’s up against it as Glow, a Fae-created drug, goes viral. Kit, Aiden and Dante must somehow shut down the suppliers before people get badly hurt.

In the Otherwhere, Fae prince Thorn stumbles across a deadly secret. The Veil separating our human world from the Fae realms is weakening. If it fails, madness and chaos will devastate both lands – so Thorn turns to Kit for help.

Torn between the Glow case and her feelings for Thorn, Kit faces terrible choices. She and Thorn must use their powers to avert disaster, whatever the cost: for failure will shatter two worlds.

Book news: Judged by Liz de Jager

19 Nov

Earlier this week, the cover was revealed for the final installment in Liz de Jager’s Blackhart Legacy trilogy and it is fab! I can’t wait to have all three of the books lined up on my shelves. I love this series and will be sad for it to end though. Do read my reviews of Banished and Vowed and if you haven’t read these books yet now is the perfect time ahead of the January release of Judged :-)

judged cover

 

Kit’s job description includes solving crimes – the supernatural kind. And she has her hands full with an important case that is even bigger than she knows.

Glow, a fae-created drug, is rapidly going viral and the suppliers have to be shut down. Luckily, Kit has Aiden and Dante on her team and they get to work with a special governmental unit to bring down the dealers. But the gang is militarily trained and have one of the Otherwhere’s toughest sorcerers on their side. Then while Kit’s up to her eyes in fighting crime, fae prince Thorn goes missing.

When Thorn finally returns, he’s hiding a secret that could destroy our way of life. The veil that separates us from the fae realms is weakening – and if it falls, madness will be unleashed upon both our realms. Thorn is considering a terrible sacrifice to keep those he loves safe, but if he succeeds, the consequences will be devastating. And if he fails, he could tear a hole in the world.

Find out more about Liz and her writing at: http://www.lizdejager.co.uk/