Monday, March 13, 2017

Ten full length stories, ten heroines at the right hand of destiny...



Whether you're slaying vampires or holding your own alongside superheroes, one of the best things about heroines is that they show us how strong, cunning, and magical they can be.

This box set contains TEN complete novels, all gripping and intriguing stories with women rocking rebellions, handing out justice, battling shadow gods, and bending the wills of kings.

Authors include: Seattle Times bestselling author Raven Oak, Amazon bestselling authors Alesha Escobar, Devorah Fox, Christa Yelich-Koth, NIEA finalist HM Jones, the fantastic sci-fi & fantasy mavens HM Clarke, Sara C. Roethle, HB Lyne, JC Cassels, and Kylie Qullinan.


Get this box set today for 0.99¢! 


books2read.com/destinynovels
 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Author Interview: Kylie Quillinan



What's expected of us by family and society, may not exactly be what we want for ourselves. Our next heroine, Brigit, shows us there is uncertainty in forging your own path--but also great discovery. Fantasy author Kylie Quillinan talks about strong-minded girls and the main character from her novel, MUSE.


Author Interview: Kylie Quillinan



Tell us about your book in the Daughters of Destiny box set. Who is the heroine, and what is she like?

Brigit is supposed to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a wise woman (a healer). But she wants a life of danger and adventure rather than charms and cures. When she refuses a demand from one of the fey, she is transformed into a dog in punishment and suddenly finds herself in the middle of an adventure that is nothing like she imagined. Lost, injured, and alone, she eventually encounters a bard on a quest. Brigit and the bard team up to complete his quest together. Brigit is strong-minded, although this is often misinterpreted as being stubborn. 

What went into creating her, and how does she interact with the other characters around her?

I’ve often been accused of stubbornness, so I guess there’s a little (a lot?) of me in Brigit. When Brigit is turned into a dog (Bramble), people act differently around her than they would if they knew she was really a woman. The bard, Diarmuid, gets very nervous around women and ends up making a fool of himself. When he speaks to Bramble, though, he doesn’t relate to her as a woman, so he lets his guard down and shows her who he really is.

Do you believe it’s easier to write a female main character rather than a male one? Why?

For me, yes, although I know a lot of writers would disagree. Muse also has a male main character and this is the first time I’ve written from the point of view of a male. From the very first time I started thinking about this book, I knew it had to have both a male and a female main character. However, I find it easier to get into the mind and voice of a female character, especially if they happen to be stubborn and a bit prickly like Brigit.

What would you define as a “strong heroine”?

Someone who is confident in her own knowledge and opinions. Someone with the ability to act when it’s necessary but who is also able to acknowledge when she is wrong. Someone who goes out and chases her dream, regardless of what other people say, whether it’s that she shouldn’t or she can’t. 

I enjoy exploring time periods when women didn’t have a lot of agency of their own. When society’s expectation is that a woman will marry (usually to a man chosen by her father) and have babies, it takes a strong woman to make something else of her life. I like writing about women who aren’t interested in meeting society’s expectation of what they should be like.

Name some of your personal female heroes (real or fictional).

Elizabeth Bennet in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Tory Alexander in Traci Harding’s The Ancient Future. Sorcha in Juliet Marillier’s Daughter of the Forest.

Where can readers find out more about you? Give us the details!

Readers can sign up to my mailing list through my website at www.kyliequillinan.com. I send a newsletter once a month, which usually includes a brief update of my current work-in-progress and sometimes a cute photo of one of my dogs.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Author Interview: Raven Oak






Our next heroine is young but capable. Seattle Times bestselling author  Raven Oak discusses Adelei from her novel Amaskan's Blood...and why Xena and Buffy are #HeroGoals.



Author Interview: Raven Oak



Tell us about your book in the Daughters of Destiny box set. Who is the heroine, and what is she like?



Amaskan’s Blood (Book I of the Boahim Trilogy) is a coming-of-age story featuring Adelei, one of the feared Amaskans. At nineteen, she’s considered one of the best the Amaskans have ever trained and is tasked with protecting all those in the Little Dozen Kingdoms. The Order of Amaska sends her deep into the Kingdom of Alexander and into the hands of the Order’s oldest enemy—her father.  

Like most nineteen-year-olds, Adelei thinks she’s got it all figured out. While fighting to unravel the betrayal surrounding the royal family of Alexander, she finds her entire past is a lie, right down to those she called family. They say the truth depends on which side of the sword one stands. But they never said what to do when all the swords are pointing at you. 


The best review I’ve heard for Amaskan’s Blood was another author who said, “If George R. R. Martin had written [Disney’s] Tangled, it would be like this.” Lots of political intrigue, world building, and the depth of character one would expect to find in epic fantasy.





What went into creating her, and how does she interact with the other characters around her?



Adelei finds herself with a family she never asked for and didn’t even think she wanted. It isn’t until push comes to shove that she learns the meaning of the term family. Oddly enough, about the time I was writing Book I, I found myself in a similar situation as I discovered and reconnected with estranged family. I didn’t realize how much of my own feelings and conflicts had gone into writing Adelei until much later. Like me, she transitioned from someone who thought they knew what they wanted and needed into someone who was able to forgive.



Do you believe it’s easier to write a female main character rather than a male one? Why?



Not necessarily. I’ve written multiple stories and novels from both points of view without issue. In fact, Seattle Geekly commented in their interview with me that I’d done an amazing job of writing strong women without emasculating my male characters. When writing, I remember that people are people, flaws and strengths and all.



What would you define as a “strong heroine”?



Strong heroines have both strengths and weaknesses. They can be strong while still having the vulnerabilities that people have. Strength doesn’t have to be physical either—there are all manners of strength.



Name some of your personal female heroes (real or fictional).


Xena (Warrior Princess), Buffy Summers (Vampire Slayer), Wonder Woman, Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Marie Curie, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Warren, Wendy Davis.





Where can readers find out more about you? Give us the details!



My website has a ton of information (probably too much information) such as book details, upcoming events I’ll be attending, what books I’m currently reading, what video games I’m playing or movies I’m watching, biweekly reviews of games, looks back at old book covers, writing tips, links to purchase books, and lots of cat pictures. It also has links to all my social media, though I’m most active on Twitter.



Website:                                 www.ravenoak.net



Facebook Author Page:         http://facebook.com/authorroak

Twitter Page:                         http://twitter.com/raven_oak

Amazon Author Page:           https://www.amazon.com/Raven-Oak/e/B00P5PT4AM/

Goodreads Page:                   https://www.goodreads.com/raven_oak

For the rest, see the website. 

***

Thank you, Raven! Folks, her story, Amaskan's Blood, is part of our Daughters of Destiny boxed set which contains TEN full length sci-fi and fantasy novels featuring strong heroines.



Monday, November 21, 2016

Author Interview: H.M. Clarke



So Commander Katherine Kirk wasn't originally the lead of H.M. Clarke's novel, but the character had such a strong presence and influence over the story, the author could no longer deny who the true star was.

What to do when the sidekick becomes the Boss Lady? Let's find out!

Author Interview: H.M. Clarke



Tell us about your book in the Daughters of Destiny box set. Who is the heroine, and what is she like?

Commander Katherine Kirk is one of those awesome kick-ass heroines who takes crap from no one.   She is a Commander in the Republic of Australia Navy and is devoted to her duty. She has not had an easy time, and she’s not looking for one.  Vengeance drives her, but she also shows a vulnerability at times that proves the humanity behind the uniform. What she wants is to make the universe a safer place and that the atrocities in her past will never happen to others in the future.

What went into creating her, and how does she interact with the other characters around her?

Katherine was created by accident.  Tom, her best friend, was originally supposed to be the ‘Star’ of The Enclave.  And The Enclave was not supposed to head in the direction it did.  The book is a fast paced military sci-fi, which begins at a fast pace, and builds up to a crescendo.  When I started writing it, Katherine just took over and over countless drafts, the story developed with her as the main character.

In public she acts the military commander that she is, but in private she is relaxed around her friends.  She takes control when needed, but is not afraid to ask advise from those she trusts.  And she is very loyal to her friends – the stereotypical Aussie Mateship trope.

Do you believe it’s easier to write a female main character rather than a male one? Why?

I think they are both the same to write.  Men and Women do think and move differently and come at problems and situations from different angles and thought.  But if a writer has enough life experience behind them, then this should not be a problem.  The only issue with writing any character is to make the reader believe that the character is a real person - someone that could actually exist in their world - and you can only get that by making a character relatable to them in some way, either through their own experience of others or in their situation.

What would you define as a “strong heroine”?

A strong person, no matter who they are, is someone who stands up for what they believe in and value.  And is a person who takes responsibility for their actions and the results that may happen from them.  They also will acknowledge their faults and failings and will continuously work towards self-improvement.  They are also someone who sticks up for their mates.

Name some of your personal female heroes (real or fictional).

One of the women that I look up to is Dame Roma Mitchell – the first woman in Australia to be appointed a Judge (she was a Queen’s Counsel beforehand), the first woman to be appointed a State Governor (of South Australia), was Chancellor of the University of Adelaide and was on the council for the Order of Australia.

Where can readers find out more about you? Give us the details!

They can find out about me at the following places
@hmclarkeauthor on Twitter


Friday, November 18, 2016

Author Interview: Devorah Fox



Do you know who wrote one of the coolest heroines ever? Edmund Spenser. Britomart, the sole female knight among King Arthur's bunch (The Faerie Queene), made such an impression on me that I remember her until this day. I wouldn't be surprised if George R.R. Martin's Brienne of Tarth (the female knight in Game of Thrones) was also inspired by Britomart.

Bestselling and award-winning fantasy author Devorah Fox shares with us a medieval fantasy with women who can hold their own alongside King Bewilliam. I'm so excited that this story is among nine other amazing tales in the Daughters of Destiny boxed set.


Author Interview: Devorah Fox





Tell us about your book in the Daughters of Destiny box set. Who is the heroine, and what is she like?



In “The Redoubt,” Book Four of The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam, the formerly lost king has reclaimed his throne and restored his kingdom, but he left his heart behind in Seagate Fortress, the domain of the widowed Empress Alexandra. A powerful ruler, though bereft of her beloved husband, Empress Alexandra not only held onto her empire but expanded it. Possessed of a sharp mind and daring spirit, she succeeds at whatever she puts her mind to, be it slaying the dragons that threaten her precious forests, foraging for herbs to heal a wounded animal, crafting a magnificent island fortress from crushed shells, or rekindling a lost king’s self-esteem.



What went into creating her, and how does she interact with the other characters around her?



Admittedly, Empress Alexandra is drawn from my experience as a widow left with a business to run and a house to maintain. Empress Alexandra draws strength from her trusted advisers who are not only loyal supporters but close friends, as did I.



Do you believe it’s easier to write a female main character rather than a male one? Why?



I find it harder to write a female main character, although I did in my thriller, “Naked Came the Sharks.” I find women with brains and gumption to be interesting but our culture doesn’t offer many opportunities for such women to express their strength. The Fantasy genre is more accommodating, thus I was able to introduce King Bewilliam not only to the formidable Empress Alexandra but also Deidre, a feisty young woman. Savvy ruler that he is, he recognized Deidre’s valor and made her a knight, despite the obstacles presented by her gender.



What would you define as a “strong heroine”?



A woman becomes a heroine the same way that a man becomes a hero. Not so much because of super strength or superior fighting skills but by overcoming fear and self-doubt and applying newly discovered strengths to a worthy cause.



Name some of your personal female heroes (real or fictional).



My first heroine was Rebecca of Sir Walter Scott’s “Ivanhoe.” Hampered by her gender, her membership in a distrusted and vilified minority, she nevertheless proved herself to be brave and of high moral stands when it would have been easier simply to submit. I would say the same for suffragettes like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and early leaders of the feminist movement: Gloria Steinem and Betty Freidan. They all made personal sacrifices to advance a concept that they felt would benefit all humankind.



Where can readers find out more about you? Give us the details!









 

Daughter of Destiny Profiles




Empress Alexandra: Having lost her beloved husband and the sovereign of their domain, she soldiers on to sustain and expand the empire that they built, slaying menacing dragons and rebuffing avaricious suitors who covet her assets. “You might say I slay dragons every day.”



Dame Deidre: A self-taught warrior, Deidre vows to avenge her uncle’s wrongful death and squares off against an older, experienced, and accomplished but duplicitous knight. Her loyalty and commitment to justice earns her knighthood. “I am eager to be of service in whatever way my lord sees fit. That is, if I can have my sword back.”



Lady Alice: The wife of a humble woodworker and mother of two daughters, Alice excels at the uncelebrated art of being a mother, to everyone who needs mothering. She distinguishes herself not with fighting ability but her skill in healing animals. She employs that skill to cure King Bewilliam’s beloved cat, Meeyoo, earning Alice her ladyship title.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Author Interview: HM Jones



Our next heroine is so badass that she doesn't let a minor nuisance like death get in her way. Meet Adela Darken, and her maker, the insanely talented author H.M. Jones.


Author Interview H.M. Jones



Tell us about your book in the Daughters of Destiny box set. Who is the heroine, and what is she like?



Adela Darken is a Potent working on her Post-Potent exams in order to become a Wizend. Wizends are respected alchemists/botanists/wizards of a sort. She is making a potion for her Post-Potent project that will save New Drearia’s crops from dying. Unfortunately, making the potion goes south and she accidentally kills herself. Never one to do things the way other girls do them, she rises from the grave a couple days later determined to finish her Post-Potent potion and help the citizens of New Drearia. Adela is caring, intelligent, measured and daring. She’s not interested in wearing any clothing that will get singed by her burner or being distracted by any person who will interfere with her work.



What went into creating her, and how does she interact with the other characters around her?



I got the idea for Adela when looking at a beautiful piece of art on Charlie Hoover shared with our Google+ geek community, Geekscapes. There was a picture of a girl running through a dripping, old world alley in a blue beat-up cloak. She is so pale she looks undead, but she’s clearly not a “zombie.” She has purpose, drive, a place to be, urgently. To me, she was Adela and she had a mission. That mission just started to flow from knowing who she was, the fact that she is a caring, concerned daughter and citizen. It came fairly effortlessly, her story, her character. She is, of course, shy to interact with other people since they attended her funeral and think her dead, but those she chooses to interact with find her respectful, unless they do not respect her. She has no patience for ignorance or mean-spirited people.



Do you believe it’s easier to write a female main character rather than a male one? Why?



I actually don’t. I have written male characters who flow with just as much ease as Adela does. My characters tend to have strong personalities, so it’s never too difficult to figure out what they want or where they are going. I’m also someone who studies people of all kinds. I like to listen to others. Once I have a backstory, the gender plays very little part. The men and women of my books are who they are.





What would you define as a “strong heroine”?



Someone who achieves her goals despite obstacles, social, physical and emotional. A strong heroine does not have to be physically imposing (though poor Adela becomes inhumanly strong, alas), but has a strength of character, of mind or of body that helps her achieve her goals.





Name some of your personal female heroes (real or fictional).



Elizabeth Bennet is my all-time favorite heroine. Her wit, her humor and her character is so compelling, so strong. She does not allow exterior factors to motivate or change who she is. I love her steadfast love of her sister, her family (even when they disappoint her). Hermione Granger is my second all-time favorite character. She is so fiercely loyal, intelligent, brave, quick-thinking and STRONG.



That point in the book where she erases her parents memory, so that they can’t remember that they ever had a daughter to save them the grief of losing her? I’m shivering as a think of it. Crying, even. She’s an amazing person. She feels so real to me. Katniss Everdeen. People say “I’m so sick of the chosen one,” but she never felt that way to me. She is strong, fast and clever. She is unemotional in her attachments, logical. The fact that people cling to her is an annoyance to her.



She despises the play acting she must do to help her family. She is self-sacrificing and well drawn. Drama has no appeal to her; she only wants simplicity. She knows she is strong, is not surprised that she comes out on top. She’s a complexly written character who should not be generalized down with a snarky “chosen one” claim.  I’m also fond of Moxie from Lemony Snicket’s All the Wrong Questions. She doggedly pursues knowledge, is brave and puts herself on the line for her friends. Some of my other favorites are Violet Beaudelaire, Eleven (Stranger Things), Isabella (Gray Tower Trilogy), and Keri (Spell in the Country). These are all female characters who I felt compelled to root for, to like and to connect to.





Where can readers find out more about you? Give us the details!



Oh, I’m all over the internet. Adela’s publisher is Madame Geek Publications. 

You can find us on twitter @Madames_Geek

on our website www.madamegeekpub.com, and on Facebook. 

You can find me and my other work listed on www.hmjones.net, my website. I’m @HMJonesWrites on twitter and on facebook at www.facebook.com/hmjoneswrites.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Author Interview: JC Cassels




Our next heroine is a fugitive who must prove her innocence--if she can live long enough to do so. Author JC Cassels brings us a story with intrigue and exciting characters.

Author Interview: JC Cassels



Tell us about your book in the Daughters of Destiny box set. Who is the heroine, and what is she like?



Bo Barron is an idealistic young pilot, fresh out of the Academy, and full of noble ideas. She’s also the Ostra Child, about to take her place as the ruler of her people in her father’s absence. Before she can officially become The Barron, she’s framed and convicted of mass murder and treason. 
To save her life, she goes on the run, knowing she can never return home until she proves her innocence. Bo quickly learns she has to toughen up and get streetwise. When her father is kidnapped, and someone sets her up to be assassinated, Bo realizes that she’s merely a pawn in a bigger game and the fate of the entire United Galactic Commonwealth is at stake. 



What went into creating her, and how does she interact with the other characters around her?



Bo was born out of a need to see a strong female lead in a Sci-Fi adventure. When I was a child, most of the women in science fiction, especially my beloved space opera, were little more than props or plot devices, something to be rescued, or something used to motivate the hero. That’s great fun for little boys, but this little girl felt like a hero in her own right. So when I couldn’t find a three-dimensional heroine, I created my own. This was more than thirty years ago.

The Black Wing Chronicles is a series of adventures centering on Bo Barron, THE Barron, Chief of Barron Clan, Commander of the Black Wing, First Minister of Mondhuoun, Representative to the Second Sector Galactic Council. SOVRAN’S PAWN is the beginning of her transformation from ingénue to warrior queen. I started with the third book in the series first, BARRON’S LAST STAND. 

SOVRAN’S PAWN and the second book HERO’S END were originally Bo’s back story and I had to deconstruct her from the Scourge of the Seventh Sector into a frightened young woman whose life has just been upended. The hero’s journey has always been one of my favorite stories.



The inspiration for Bo’s behavior in SOVRAN’S PAWN came from Audrey Hepburn’s runaway princess in Roman Holiday… if said runaway princess were a highly trained pilot and military officer. 
Bo is reserved with other characters, always aware of her station. But when a mysterious man steals a kiss and treats her like a woman and not the Ostra Child she can’t help but be rattled. Despite the lies and secrets that lie between them, he becomes one of the few people she trusts.



Do you believe it’s easier to write a female main character rather than a male one? Why?

I enjoy both, actually. I don’t sit down to write a male character or a female character. I focus on writing a three-dimensional, well-developed character. No two people are exactly alike no matter whether they come from the same family, gender, or ethnic background.



Now do I enjoy writing a female main character? Yes, absolutely. One of the things that drove me into writing to begin with was the dearth of strong female leads at the time. I realized that I could either sit around bemoaning the fact that the only characters being written about were either male characters, or badly drawn female characters, or I could apply myself to writing the best damn heroine I could imagine. I chose the latter.



That said, I also enjoy exploring an interesting male psyche which is why Blade gets his own POV in my series. I did tell you that I enjoy both.



What would you define as a “strong heroine”?



One universal trait of heroes and heroines alike is that never-say-die attitude. Never give up, never surrender. When faced with impossible odds, a heroine never stops looking for a solution.



I also prefer the heroine who doesn’t sacrifice her femininity in the process of becoming heroic. There is a courage and dignity in embracing female strength, and it is very different from male strength. I think feminine strength is worth celebrating. It’s feminine strength that holds societies together, building, and creating.



That’s what I hated about Ripley in the Alien series, and Sarah Connor in the Terminator series. In the process of becoming heroic, both women became masculine. The implication is that female strength is somehow less than male strength and a woman must become manly to be strong. That’s just nonsense. Thankfully the 1980’s are behind us and twenty-first century heroines are smart, sassy, sexy, brave, determined, and haven’t got an ounce of quit in them.



Name some of your personal female heroes (real or fictional).



One fictional heroine who comes to mind is the Doctor Who companion Amy Pond. She’s smart, sassy, incredibly brave, and never once gives up looking for a solution, a way out, or the answer to her problem. She’s bold and confident, yet tender and compassionate. She’s also funny. Another fictional heroine I adore is Phryne Fisher from the mystery series. She’s independent, fierce, feisty, yet compassionate and kind. She’s also pretty brilliant and there isn’t much she can’t do.



I adored Agent Peggy Carter. I would have loved to have seen more of her adventures. I think she was under utilized in the Captain America films and in the television series.



The fact is, I like the swaggering, confident heroine (and hero) with a saucy smile who doesn’t take life or danger seriously. Katherine Hepburn played that devil-may-care character to perfection. I think it’s a crime that she never got the chance to play a swashbuckling heroine.



Where can readers find out more about you? Give us the details!



I am all over the place, but I like to hang out on Facebook and I have a website where all of my information goes first.