Collabs · Street Team

Street Team – Finding The Characters, An Author Post by Danika Stone

Finding the Characters

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Whenever I write a book, I begin with character. Plot comes later.

The original story I wrote – which included both the plots of Edge of Wild and The Dark Divide – circled around Louise Newman. She was the first character that appeared to me and her relationship with Rich was the lens through which I understood the story that eventually came. I couldn’t stop thinking about her, writing about her. It wasn’t until I started pre-writing that Rich’s voice appeared. And boy oh boy, did Rich ever want to be heard!

Pre-writing for me is a way to let myself find the “voice” of the people I’m writing about. Though the two voices were completely different, I fell in love with Louise and Rich right away. Their relationship became the beating heart of the first book (Edge of Wild) but it grew into so much MORE in the sequel (The Dark Divide). While I wrote their slow-burn romance, I found myself grinning at my computer screen. The connection was definitely my favorite aspect of writing. The Dark Divide let me explore the challenges of every relationship. It wasn’t just falling in love, it was staying in love.

Once I had the two main characters established, the plot followed. I knew Rich was a driven, struggling leader. His passion and focus were a great foil for Louise who appeared in my pre-writing as this centered negotiator, who had secrets of her own. When Edge of Wild hit shelves in 2016, I frequently got messages from readers who wanted to know MORE about Louise’s past and her abilities. The Dark Divide is exactly that: Lou’s story. And I can’t wait to share it with you!

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Collabs · Reviews

Blog Tour: A Review of Heart Of Mist by Helen Scheuerer (Spoiler-Free!)

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Synopsis

In a realm where toxic mist sweeps the lands and magic is forbidden, all Bleak wants is a cure for her power.

Still grieving the death of her guardian and dangerously self-medicating with alcohol, Bleak is snatched from her home by the Commander of the King’s Army, and summoned to the capital.

But the king isn’t the only one interested in Bleak’s powers.

The leader of an infamous society of warriors, the Valia Kindred, lays claim to her as well, and Bleak finds herself in the middle of a much bigger battle than she anticipated.

Heart of Mist is the gripping first book in The Oremere Chronicles, a fantasy series of epic proportions.

Review

I’m very lucky to be one of the stops of the Heart of Mist blog tour! The first thing that I want to point out about this book is how beautiful the cover is. I know we’re not meant to judge books by their covers, but it was one of the first things that attracted me to it. That, coupled with how good the synopsis sounded, made me want to dive right in.

When I did begin to read, I was not disappointed. The opening is exciting and left me wanting more, and making me have to read on, which is always a good sign when you’re only a couple of pages into a book. The plot is fast-paced, which I liked. I always try and finish a book, but when it takes absolutely ages to get into I do struggle. I felt on edge a lot of the time I was reading this, just because I didn’t know what to expect next!

I do want to mention that there is alcoholism in this book. Bleak, the main character, drinks a lot to cope with her troubles, so if that’s a trigger for you, I would keep it in mind before picking up this book. Personally, I thought that it was an interesting topic to include, and one that is not often seen in YA, so to have an issue like this be a part of the story intrigued me.

Now, onto characters! I liked the main character, Bleak, but she did annoy me at times. She seemed a little whiny to me, and I just didn’t connect with her very much. Like I said, though, I did like her and I respect that she was able to take responsibility for her mistakes when she made them. Fiore, however, I loved! He was brilliant, and the only character that I connected with. There were others that I liked, but Fi was my favourite.

I loved the world that Scheuerer created, and I think that the way she writes is great. The plot kept me interested throughout the whole book and I’m looking forward to the next one. Overall, I give this book 4 stars.

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Make sure you join in for the Twitter chat using the hashtag #MistPH for the change to win a Heart of Mist Prize pack.

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Check out That Bookshelf Bitch for more information on Heart of Mist.

There is a giveaway, so check that out!

You can buy the book on Amazon.

Check it out on Goodreads.

-Books&Belle xx

Collabs

Top 5 Villains From Horrors/Thrillers – Haunted Halloween Hop

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So, as you’re all probably well aware, Halloween is coming up! To celebrate this, Jessica over at Reading With Jessica had the idea of the Haunted Halloween Hop. There are 10 of us participating, spreading over 10 days from my post today, the 22nd, to Halloween, the 31st, so make sure you check out the daily posts! Each post will be Halloween themed, which brings me onto my post – Top 5 Villains From Horrors/Thrillers.

1. Annie Wilkes from Misery by Stephen King

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Annie Wilkes is… scary. She scares me. She’s the type of person that seems friendly, but is actually a complete psychopath. The things she does to Sheldon in the book, both physically and psychologically, are horrifying. She’s definitely one of the first villains that comes to mind, because there’s a chance of someone like her being real. She’s not supernatural, very sick people like her do exist, which is what scares me the most.

2. Joe from Lying About Last Summer

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I wanted to include a YA villain on this list, because that is what a lot of the books that I read are, but I don’t tend to read YA Thrillers or Horrors. This is actually one of the only ones! He’s a well-written villain, thats for sure. I was suspicious of him throughout the whole book, and the things he did and who he did them to made me so angry. I despised him whilst reading, but I guess that was the authors intention!

3. Francesca from Local Girl Missing

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Local Girl Missing is one of my all-time favourite Thrillers, and the villain, Francesca, was brilliant. If you’ve read the book, you’ll know that you can’t help but like her at the start. But then all of the awful things she did to people she was supposed to care about came to light.

4. Adam from The Second Sister

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Adam made my skin crawl. He was charming and able to gain the trust of people like Ella, which was what scared me the most about him, because again, people like him do actually exist.

Pennywise from IT

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I don’t even need to write anything about this villain. Clowns are so creepy. Clowns who eat children? Even creepier!

If you want to follow along with our Haunted Halloween Hop, heres the schedule:

 

22nd – My day.
23rd – Linda from Linda’s Little Library.
24th – Danielle from The Introverted Book Nerd.
25th – Jessica from Reading With Jessica.
26th – Kris from Boston Book Reader.
27th – Fernanda from The Wanderlust Reader.
28th – Diana from The Bookish Sisters.
29th – Sarah from Book Hooked Nook.
30th – Nicole from Boundless Bookaholic.
31st – Maggie from The Caramel Files.

-Books&Belle xx

Collabs

A Collab With Hannah: Disney Q&A

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So, Hannah and I decided to collaborate for a blog post, and we both discovered we had a mutual love for Disney, so we decided the subject would be that! I asked her ten Disney themed questions that she has answered on my blog, and she asked me ten different Disney themed questions over on her blog!

1. Who is your favourite Disney character?

Gosh there is just so many characters to choose from, how can I even choose. I think if it’s Princess then would of course be Belle. But if it from other Disney films then I’d have to say Robin Hood, we all have to admit it, love the voice and just such a well done and charming character.

2. If you could change the ending of one Disney story, which would it be, and how would you end it?

Not so much as changing the ending but properly I’d like an extension to either The Rescuers or Basil The Great Mouse Detective. I just feel Disney let these films down because they could have been expanded so much and they honestly weren’t, they could have been a whole franchise but weren’t which makes me sad.

3. Do you have any unpopular opinions about anything to do with Disney?

I didn’t like Moana. I love the songs but the story itself I just think that it wasn’t that good *hides from all Moana fans*. But I suppose I also don’t like the whole animations which have been updated, I just think that the old pencil style animation made the film feel more real than computer animated. Oh and I don’t agree with people saying Mulan is a Disney Princess, she’s not she didn’t marry a prince and I like her being a kick ass warrior without Princess title.

4. Name one Disney film that you think doesn’t get the recognition that it deserves.

Dinosaur, I mean this film was epic. When it was released computer animation was only just beginning to merge and with the film itself merged with computer and real life environments the overall blend is just breathtaking. And the story is beautiful and I don’t understand why people don’t watch it more!

5. Name one Disney film that you think is overrated.

I could say Moana again but I feel that all Moana fans would cut out my heart but apart from that I would properly say Aladdin. I like the film but that mainly because of Robin Williams Genie, apart from that just really overrated for me.

6. Favourite Disney quote?

Sometimes the Right Path is not the easiest. ~ Pocahontas But there are so many more but that one was in my head at the moment or there is a Dumbo one to! ‘Don’t just fly, Soar!’

7. If you could be best friends with any of the Disney princesses, which one would it be?

Ahh too many to choose from and I’ve already mentioned Belle so I will go with Pocahontas. I love her spirit and how she stays strong with her beliefs and rarely wavers in them.

8. Favourite sidekick?

Mushu! Or Timon and Pumba! How can I choose but those with comedy always make the best sidekicks right!

9. Do you remember the first Disney movie you watched, if you do, what was it?

I don’t but I have a feeling it was properly either Dinosaur or The Lion King as those are the films which appear in my early memory and I was known for just watching films over and over after first watching them.

10. Have you ever been to Disneyland?

Sadly no ;( Through I’ve always wanted to so maybe some day!

Thank you to Paige for all these awesome questions and for collabing with me on one of my favourite subjects of all time – Disney! Make sure that you all check out my blog to see the questions I asked Paige and all her answers too! Thank you!

~ ACupofWonderland

Collabs · Harry Potter

Guest Post From Emma: 5 Inspiring Harry Potter Females

5 Most Inspiring Harry Potter Females

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So, Emma and I decided that we wanted to collaborate on a post together. We decided on guest posts sharing the most inspiring females from Harry Potter and Disney. I did Disney, and Emma did Harry Potter! If you want to check out who I think the most inspiring females from Disney are, head over to Em’s World.

Harry Potter may be the story of ‘the boy who lived’ but that doesn’t mean it isn’t full of inspiring females! There are a couple that came close to making this list like Minerva McGonagall but I’ve chosen what I think are the 5 most inspiring Harry Potter females.

5. Luna

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Luna is my favourite character from the series because she doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her. She does what she wants and dresses how she wants which is a rare thing. She may not have many (or any) friends when we first meet her but that doesn’t seem to bother her. She’s always kind and a wonderful friend to Harry and she has such a great outlook on life and the world, even when it’s dark.

4. Tonks

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Tonks is one of the most fun characters in the series (after Fred and George) and she brings joy and happiness to everyone around her with her shape-shifting. Tonks always follows her heart and doesn’t let anyone tell her what to do. When Lupin tries to protect her from falling in love with him, she doesn’t take no for an answer. She sacrifices her life for her friends and so that her son, Teddy, can grow up in a Voldemort-free world.

3. Molly

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Molly is the mother everyone wants, she’s kind and caring but can also be strict when she needs to be – her howler is one of my favourite scenes in the films! She’s one of the only mothering figures in Harry’s life (along with Professor McGonagall) and she cares for him like he’s her own. She will defend and protect her children by risking her own life and she’s extremely powerful, she would have to be to defeat Bellatrix!

2. Hermione

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Hermione is such an underrated character in my opinion. She may be annoying to some, but she’s an incredible role model and that can’t be denied. She works hard in school, is loyal to her friends and stands up for what she believes in. One of the things I really wish made it into the films is Hermione’s SPEW (Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare) campaign. It really shows how she fights for what she knows is right.

1. Lily

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Lily just had to be number one on this list. She made the ultimate sacrifice for her baby and saved him with her love. Harry was known as the boy who lived, but this only happened because of Lily. When she gave her life in his place out of pure love, Voldemort’s killing curse rebounded off Harry which defeated Voldemort temporarily. Because she died willingly to protect her son, she was able to save him which ultimately saved the entire world.

Did you agree with this list? Let me know by tweeting me @Strictly_Emma!

Thanks for reading, Em xo