Welcome to my stop on the Name Before the Masses Virtual Tour, hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions, for Dark Cotillion by Hadena James. Please leave a comment or question for Hadena to let her know you stopped by as she will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Please be sure to leave your email address with your comment. You can also follow the rest of the tour here, the more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning.
What I Hope My Writing Gives My Readers - The Woman I hope My Readers Connect With by Hadena James
My greatest hope when I write is that when my readers pick it up, they will be entertained. I know that sounds simplistic and it is, but when I pick up a book, I want to forget the world and I want to be entertained. If I can give them a good story and they walk away with the thought that it was entertaining, that’s awesome. If they also feel like they’ve learned a little history along the way, so much the better. For the record, I am actually somewhat obsessed with plagues and epidemics… this simply fueled my interest in history and I enjoy giving a little bit of a history lesson in each of them.
As for the woman behind the writer, that’s tougher. Being a “writer” makes people think I’m going to be rather formal and distant. Most people address me using Ms. James when they first contact me. That’s very polite, but it’s just not me. I’m not Ms. James. I don’t even bother to sign my name with anything more than “H” most of the time.
I’m quirky and geeky and my brain is a little on the dark, twisted side. This shows in my books and I am well aware of it, but it’s just a fraction of who I am. The lame jokes and odd-ball snarky comments are my favorite bits. However, I love to connect with my readers through Facebook, private messages and comments on my blog. I will answer them even when they don’t require one, because as much as readers are curious about me… I’m curious about them. I always want to know more about the people that like my books.
Did I mention I was geeky? I’m a fountain of worthless information and an overachiever at Trivial Pursuit. I’m the girl people pick when they need someone on their bar quiz team. I’m not the kind of girl that gets picked for anything else. I like to infuse my books with this information as well. It’s just taking up space in my brain and should take up space in other people’s brains as well.
Readers should also know that I’m very shy, except as a reader. I can and will talk at length about books, but I have trouble talking about my own books. Just ask me about Anna Karenina, the book I love to hate the most and I will talk for hours. Ask me about my own book and if I can give you six sentences, it’s an achievement worthy of a gold star and possibly, a cookie (oatmeal & date, of course). Also, I’ll give you fair warning, that you never want to contact me with an interesting bit of trivial history information. I can talk even more about history than I can about books.
That’s the woman behind the writer. I write in pajamas, I eat weird cookies, I have a warped sense of humor, and I hope that my readers never try to connect with me through one of my characters. I have a little bit in common with some of them, but they only contain a small portion of what really lurks behind the books.
by Hadena James
The Brenna Strachan Series, Book 1
Publisher: Hadena James
Release Date: August 26, 2012
Genre: Dark Fantasy/Paranormal
Length: 350 Pages
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About the book:
Brenna Strachan is half-Demon, half-Witch and it’s the eve of her 30th birthday. This means that she will stop aging and come into all her Demon powers. But there are forces at work hoping to keep her from Maturing. They must kill her in the short time that she is mortal. If they fail, she will take her place among the most powerful beings on Earth. What will it cost her to survive?
ExcerptWhile most Demons were red, green or blue, I was purple. Not a deep, rich purple or even a dark, shimmery purple, but a soft, pastel purple, lilac to be exact.This was where half-breeds had problems. Demons were denser than humans were. Everything was slightly larger in a Demon and more compact. The bone density of a Demon was nearly three times that of a Human. When Demons said they were big boned, they meant it. On top of that, most Demons had an impressive rack of horns. Not like deer horns, but like elephant tusks that could weigh nearly a thousand pounds all by themselves. My father kept his ground down using to make them manageable.My pitiful horns might weigh 9 ounces. That means, I have a height complex and horn envy.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
I’ve been writing for over two decades and before that, I was creating my own bedtime stories to tell myself. I penned my first short story at the ripe old age of 8. It was a fable about how the raccoon got its eye-mask and was roughly three pages of handwritten, 8 year old scrawl. My mother still has it and occasionally, I still dig it out and admire it.
When I got my first computer, I took all my handwritten stories and typed them in. Afterwards, I tossed the originals. In my early twenties, I had a bit of a writer’s meltdown and deleted everything. So, with the exception of the story about the raccoon, I actually have none of my writings from before I was 23. Which is sad, because I had a half dozen other novels and well over two hundred short stories. It has all been offered up to the computer and writing gods as a sacrifice and show of humility or some such nonsense that makes me feel less like an idiot about it.
I have been offered contracts with publishing houses in the past and always turned them down. Now that I have experimented with being an Indie Author, I really like it and I’m really glad I turned them down. However, if you had asked me this in the early years of 2000, I would have told you that I was an idiot (and it was a huge contributing factor to my deleting all my work).
When I’m not writing, I play in a steel-tip dart league and enjoy going to dart tournaments. I enjoy renaissance festivals and sanitized pirates who sing sea shanties. My appetite for reading is ferocious and I consume two to three books a week as well as writing my own. Aside from introducing me to darts, my SO has introduced me to camping, which I, surprisingly, enjoy. We can often be found in the summer at Mark Twain Lake in Missouri, where his parents own a campground.
I am a native of Columbia, Missouri, which I will probably call home for the rest of my life, but I love to travel. Day trips, week trips, vacations on other continents, wherever the path takes me is where I want to be and I’m hoping to be able to travel more in the future.
A fan of fantasy, paranormal and urban fantasy books, I held off on reading The Brenna Strachan series because I’m such a huge fan of Hadena James other work. I feared that either I wouldn’t like the first book or that I would find myself unable to do justice to the book in my review (I’ve been struggling with reviewer “block”). Fortunately, I am able to report that I enjoyed Dark Cotillion more than I expected and I’ll make the review short. I don’t want to give away too many spoilers.Thirty year old Brenna Strachan has a lot on her plate; turning thirty years old, working as a lieutenant and healer in Demonnation, and facing an enemy determined to have her executed before she comes into her full “maturing” and immortality. The daughter of Lucifer and the world’s second strongest witch, Brenna has always known she’s different (she has lilac skin and very short horns after all). She just never expected to discover a traitor within her own family.Creating a unique, intricate and interesting world, Ms. James uses paranormal, religious and mythical characters to showcase a central and recurring message throughout this book. I won’t tell you the message because that would be a spoiler in itself – but it’s something we all need to be reminded of. Binding her characters together through relationships, Ms. James uses her knowledge of history to show mankind at its best and its worst.While I loved getting to know Brenna, the main character, I also enjoyed getting to know the secondary characters and how they were connected to each other. While it’s unusual to have more than a couple of important secondary characters in a book, I would say that there are easily 15 secondary characters who play an important part of Brenna’s life – and they are all friends and family. I especially enjoyed getting to know Lucifer, Brenna’s father, Gabriel, her friend and the overlord of the angels, Fenrir, the overlord of the werewolves, Baal, the overlord of the gargoyles and Anubis, the overlord of the vampires.Ms. James also did a good job developing Brenna’s enemies. The main villain, Chiron, is colorful and we are given plenty of opportunities to see him at his worst. There’s also a member of Brenna’s family who can’t be trusted, and it was interesting to watch her family handle the situation as a whole.Will Brenna make it past her maturing? Will her gaining immortality mean the end for the world? You’ll want to read Dark Cotillion to find out. I enjoyed it a lot and I look forward to reading Dark Illumination next.
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 CrownsFTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Don't forget to leave a comment or question for Hadena to let her know you stopped by as she will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Please be sure to leave your email address with your comment. You can also follow the rest of the tour here, the more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning.