Guest Blog: Sleeping girls (and how to wake them up)

My guest blogger today is Jenniffer Wardell! She’s the fabulous author of fairy tales with a twist (and a zing). Her titles are Fairy Godmothers, Inc., Beast Charming, and her newest release (May 17!) Dreamless. To celebrate the launch of her latest work of art, she’s visiting today and treating us to the amazing cover reveal. Enjoy!

Dreamless comes out May 17. Preorder your copy today!

Dreamless comes out May 17. Preorder your copy today!

When you’re trying to adapt “Sleeping Beauty,” the first thing you have to do is figure out what you’re going to do with the big stumbling block right at the heart of the story.

See, the problem with “Sleeping Beauty” is that the heroine is asleep for the most exciting parts. In fact, her falling asleep is the big dramatic event in the third act, normally after supporting characters have run around frantically trying to stop it from happening. Then someone else – the prince, Maleficent, what have you – comes along and breaks the curse. The same curse, mind you, that was dropped on her head as a baby through no fault (or even decision-making) of her own.

Noticing a pattern here? More than in most fairy tales, our poor Sleeping Beauty is mostly a pawn of the plot – things happen to her, but she never seems to get the chance to actually make things happen for herself. Even in Perrault’s version, which goes into considerable detail about what happens after Sleeping Beauty wakes up, doesn’t give the poor girl much more to do. Yes, her ogre of a mother-in-law threatens to eat her children, but it’s a compassionate steward who saves them. The princess herself barely rates an inconveniently-timed mention in her own future. (We won’t talk about the version where the babies are what wake her up.)

For many women, writers and readers alike, this powerlessness is like an itch just under the skin that can never be quite scratched. So we tweak the story, time and time again – never let her fall asleep, have her save the day after she wakes up, let her help in defeating the villain, let her meet her hero before the curse hits and she falls asleep. Something, anything, to give her a piece of her agency back. To let her be the hero of her own story, instead of merely the prize.

With “Dreamless,” I wanted to take it even further. First, I made sure she knew about the curse. Many versions of the story leave her clueless, and while that may make for a more pleasant childhood it leaves her completely unable to fight back when the worst danger comes. Second, I made her a sorceress, putting her on equal footing with the woman who dropped the curse on her in the first place. It doesn’t magically let her fix the problem (when you’re writing about sorceresses, it’s hard not to pun), but it at least gives her the firepower to fight back.

Third, and most importantly, I make Elena realize that she needs to fight back. At the start of “Dreamless,” Elena has accepted her fate – she and other magic-users have spent years trying to undo the curse, but no one has been able to manage it. She’s lost hope, and because of that she sits back and prepares to let the story happen to her. To, basically, become the version of Sleeping Beauty from the original stories.

But sometimes, you’ll fight for the people you love even when you won’t fight for yourself. Elena realizes over the course of the book that she has too much to live for, and that she has to hope even though it’s the scariest thing in the world. It’s a different kind of wake-up call, but in some ways it’s a lot more effective.

Deliverance Cover Reveal!

Deliverance is going to release on May 31st! And I finally have the cover here for you to see.

But before I do the big reveal, I’m also doing a giveaway. Three winners will receive a copy of Defiance, book two in the Blood Inheritance Trilogy. Contest runs until May 22. Click on the link below to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Don’t forget, I love reviews. If you post an honest review of any of my books, just send me the link to your review. I’ll get your mailing address and send you some author swag as a big THANK YOU!

Without further ado, here’s the cover to the conclusion of the Blood Inheritance Trilogy…..

 

Deliverance comes out May 31st, available everywhere books are sold.

Deliverance comes out May 31st, available everywhere books are sold.

Epic Giveaway!

battlelinesWe’re celebrating the release of Jen Gresyon’s third book in the Lightning Rider series, Storm Front! And you guys get to join us.
The awesomeness:
Click the Rafflecopter link for a chance to win the grand prize: A membership to Kindle Unlimited for a FULL YEAR! Do you know how many books you could through in a year with KU? Way too many to count!
You can also win other prizes, such as books, ebooks, author swag, and more! Descriptions of the prizes are below the Rafflecopter link.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And there’s more! Have you read Lightning Rider yet? Jen Greyson is giving away the ebook for free this week! It’s fabulously gritty with a strong female character and a super hot male lead. It’s a must read! Click here to get it.

free_gabaldon

The other prizes:

E S T . 1 9 0 4

Ebook combo of Lightning Rider, Shadow Boxer, and Storm Front, by Jen Greyson ~ R fantasy

Goodreads Giveaway!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Dissension by Adrienne Monson

Dissension

by Adrienne Monson

Giveaway ends April 07, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

Deliverance, the final book the the Blood Inheritance Trilogy, comes out May 10! To gear up for the big release, I’m hosting a Goodreads Giveaway! It ends April 7, so click above to enter for your chance to win a signed paperback copy of Dissension (book one). There will be ten winners, so chances are great for you! Share with your friends so they can have a chance to win as well.

7 Tips for Surviving ComicCon

ComicConAnyone excited for SLC’s FanX? These ComicCon conventions are over the top. Celebrities and fans are able to come together to get their geek on, and it’s quite the spectacle! People spend months putting their costumes together. They dress up from their favorite shows and movies, and they really go all out! If you’ve never been to one of these conventions, you’re seriously missing out. Look for one in your area, it’s worth it!
Since SLC’s FanX is coming up, my mind is on preparing for that long weekend. Here’s a list of must-haves that I’ve learned to take with me to survive the experience. I realize some of these tips are very basic, but you’d be surprised at how many people forget them or had so many other things on their minds – like meeting celebrities and their costumes – that they just didn’t think of them. So, check out this list and I hope it helps you prepare for the con near you.

1- Backpack or rolling suitcase

Rollingsuitecase
First things first: If you are going to take this stuff I’ve suggested below, you’ll need a practical means of taking it with you. Once you get into a con, you won’t want to go back to your car until you’re leaving for the day. You will also be buying all kinds of merchandise at a con like this, and you’ll want something to carry all of your purchases in.
There’s pros and cons to both a backpack or a rolling suitcase. A backpack is easier to get through a big crowd and it won’t trip others when you try to circumvent everyone around you. The downside is that it will hurt your back and shoulders after a while.
The rolling suitcase doesn’t need to be very large. It’s nice to have something to pull along with you so your back and shoulders aren’t dying by the end of your awesome con weekend. This is my favorite option for rolling suitcase to bring to a con.
You can purchase a hybrid – one that you can carry as a backpack or switch to roll on the floor. Best of both worlds. This is my preferred method.
*Note that most cons reserve the right to search your bags when you enter, for security purposes.
2- Snacks and water bottles

WaterbottleThink Thin
Yes, cons will have lots of food vendors around, but you don’t want to have to be stuck in long lines when you’re starving. Plus, with all the walking you’ll be doing, you’ll likely be hungry for snacks in between meals. You want something that isn’t too heavy and doesn’t need to be refrigerated. You also need something that will satisfy your hunger for a good while. The following are my recommendations.
*Note: these are gluten free~

Think Thin Bars
Healthy Bars

Water is a huge deal. You’re going to be inside all day with thousands of other bodies breathing in the same recycled air. You’ll need lots of water to sustain you through the whole weekend. Bring a big water bottle. You can refill it at drinking fountains throughout the day. This is the one thing that will seriously weigh down your pack, but it’s necessary. Here’s a link to a great quality one.

If you want something extra to keep you hydrated, I suggest getting Eco drink packets. These are filled with nutrients and vitamins that will keep you extra hydrated and will even help prevent headaches. I take them to any con I make an author appearance at.

Gum or mints are highly recommended since you’ll be meeting celebrities and don’t want to have bad breath when you’re getting your picture taken with them!

3- Protective covers for pics or signatures with celebrities

PhotoProtecter
Speaking of meeting celebrities, if you have purchased a photo op with them, you’ll have to pay extra for any photo covering to protect it. And even then, the photo could still bend! Not something you want when you just payed $100+ for a once-in-a-lifetime picture. The following links to the perfect photo covers that will keep those pictures from bending or scratching while you’re enjoying the rest of your day.
Presentation Book 
Presentation Case

 

 

 

4- Tylenol, Advil, or essential oils

Headache Gel
I don’t know if it’s raising your voice over the noise all day, being around a bunch of people, or the recycled air, but headaches are very common for people attending a con – especially if it’s your first one. Whatever your preference for pain killers, make sure you bring it with you! Here are my favorite brands for staving off those unwanted headaches:
Headache Relief Gel
ibuprofen

 

 

 

 

5- Good walking shoes

Dr Scholls
Yes, I know you’re dressing up in your favorite cosplay, or you want to look fabulous/sexy when you meet that one celebrity you’ve been a fan of since Jr. High. But seriously, wear comfy shoes. No dressy heels, no amazing boots that complete your costume. Wear walking shoes that have good arch support and that won’t make your feet sweat. You’ll be standing and walking for a very long time. Take care of those feet so that you’re not hating life by the time you get to the last day of your con.
If you insist on wearing your “pretty shoes”, try these inserts or arch supports.

 

 

 

6- Set amount of cash (plan a budget before going)

Wallet
Whether you’re going for one day or three, plan how much you’ll be spending each of those days. While most vendors take cards, you’ll stick to your budget better if you only use cash. Also, with so many people on the same wi-fi, their swipers may not be the most reliable. Keep your money on your person at all times and don’t make yourself an easy target by tucking it into your back pocket for thieves. Also be aware that in a crowded place like these cons, RFID often occurs. Here’s something you can use to store your cash and keep your credit cards protected from identity theft.

7- Hand Sanitizer
With so many people walking around, germs will be all over the place. Lots of people come home from a con and get sick soon after. You should use hand sanitizer all throughout the day. After using the restroom (Yes, even though you washed your hands), before eating, and after you’ve socialized and shook lots of hands.