Guest Post by author Stephanie Fleshman

Please enjoy this guest post by Stephanie Fleshman, author of the enticing Paranormal YA, Render. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including a Kindle Fire, $550 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

The 5 Guys You’ll Meet in YA Fiction:

A Guest Post by Stephanie Fleshman

According to GalleyCat, YA eBook revenues increased 120.9% last year. The great news is whatever YA male character types keep you reading, it’s unlikely you’ll run out of books anytime soon. After a while contemplating my favorite YA reads, I noticed a pattern when it came to the male heroes in these stories. Without further ado, here’s a run-down of the 5 guys you’re likely to meet when reading a Young Adult novel…

Guy #1: The Broken and Vulnerable

When I think of broken, I think of Josh from Barry Lyga’s Boy Toy. The sad thing about Josh is that he knows he’s broken but blames himself instead of the person at fault.

When I think of vulnerable, two characters come to mind: Sam from Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls series and Cabel from Lisa McMann’s Wake series. Cabel is doused with gasoline, then set on fire by his alcoholic father. He wants to be loved, yet is scared. What makes him strong in a not-in-your-face kind of way is that he wants to love. His lack of resentment and hate is what makes him attractive.

Guy #2: The Abusive

In Jennifer Brown’s Bitter End, Cole is the product of “like father, like son.” In Swati Avasthi’s YA novel Split, however, Jace is the product of being victimized by his own abuser. Unlike Cole, Jace is capable of remorse and guilt. He not only owns up to his actions, but he wants to pay for them. By comparison, Jace makes Cole look like a sociopath.

Guy #3: The Obsessive

It’s no secret that Edward from Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga is borderline stalker when it comes to Bella. She is his world entirely. In his mind, though, he is only being protective. So, is Edward protective, overprotective, or obsessive? You decide:

  • Protective: Capable of or intended to protect someone or something.
  • Overprotective: Having a tendency to protect someone, esp. a child, excessively.
  • Obsessive: Of, relating to, characteristic of, or causing an obsession; Excessive in degree
    or nature.

Guy #4: The Dominant

A good example of this type of YA male lead character is Patch from Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush series. Patch is 100% boy. He’s self-confident, strong, and stands his ground against Nora. Though he is dominating, I don’t believe it’s in a harmful or abusive manner.

In the second book, you get to see more into his heart as he begins to really care for Nora’s well-being.

By the third book, he’s thinking of Nora’s safety and how he can stay with her. He sacrifices what he wants in order to protect her and their relationship, which seems non-existent to Nora by this stage. Not everything is what it seems, though.

Other good examples are Alex from Simone Elkeles’s Perfect Chemistry and Avi from the same author’s How to Ruin series.

Guy #5: The Lovable

I’m going to start with Koldan from my own YA novel, Render. Koldan is firm but not so dominating that he feels the need to control. He’s confident and strong, but recognizes his weaknesses. He’s romantic in the sense that he will do whatever it takes to keep Raya safe, even if it means risking his own life. And he’s not afraid to show his feelings for Raya.

Now, I cannot move forward without mentioning Holder from Hopeless by Colleen Hoover. Thirteen years! Thirteen!!! That’s all I’m going to say. Those of you who have read Hopeless know exactly what I’m talking about. For those of you who haven’t, there’s nothing about this guy not to love.

Now I’ve got a question for you: What’s your favorite YA male character type?

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The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $550 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

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About Render: A betrayal born of blood. A curse for a gift. A love worth saving… Seventeen-year-old Raya Whitney thought she knew Koldan–until a sudden turn of events threatens both their lives. Get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes.

Stephanie Fleshman graduated with a degree in psychology and has family throughout the United States as well as in Thessaloniki and Athens, Greece. Visit Stephanie on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

60 days to be a Writer – Day 6

Hey! I got in before midnight tonight! Look at me trying to keep normal hours!

As promised, my first Examiner.com article is now live and can be found here.

About 2 seconds after I posted my last entry, my editor emailed me to let me know when she would give me a return date on SD. Bless that wonderful woman.

In the mean time, I went back and looked at another project I worked on after SD. I’ve actually been itching to get back into it for some time. Like I said yesterday, I needed a break from vampires. So as I read over it, something happened. I consider it the absolute best, most exciting part of being a writer.

I liked what I was reading. I felt for my characters, as a reader. I want to know what happens next!

That feeling, that event is what gives me the confidence to publish and make a go of this writing thing. If I know what happens, but I still get nervous; if I know a romance is brewing but still get a little flutter in my gut when my characters have a “moment.” If we are our worst critics and I’m reading a first un-edited draft going, “Yeah! I love this!” 

Then maybe someone else will feel that way too. And maybe, I might actually have something.

I hope that doesn’t sound too egotistical. I just get excited when I still like what I write after I’ve walked away from it.

So now I’m going to go figure out what happens. : )

Emily

10 Fictional Characters I Want to Punch in the Bits

Yeah, I said it. I want to punch them in the bits. Or the face. Or get into a knock-down, drag-out, “here, hold my earrings,” hair-pulling cat fight. Or all of the above. Thank goodness they are all fictional. Otherwise I might be in jail.

Hmm? Enema Man or Benjamin Bratt. Tough decision.

1. Florentino Ariza, Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Some one please explain to me why it’s acceptable for a man to sleep with anything with girl bits, and still get/deserve the girl of his dreams. “I’m still a virgin, because I’ve only ever loved you.” Any woman who falls for that deserves every STD she contracts. Seriously. What makes it worse is having to read about this guy’s never-ending enema and bowel issues. Um no. There is nothing that remotely makes you attractive in the slightest. Fifty plus years of unrequited love, endless poetry and devotion. Sorry, dude. All I see when I look at you is Mr. Hanky the Christmas Poop.

Please. If you don't teach them early, they'll be wanting to read and vote... Where does it end?

2. Stanley Kowalski, A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. It’s a well know fact that when a woman needs to be put in her place, the best thing to do is rape her or beat her. What? No? It isn’t? Then someone should really fill in Stanley. If this guys was alive today, (and sadly there are many alive that are not fictional,) he’d be in prison right now with his new romantic interest, Big T. This is one of those times I want to go into the book, kick him right in the bits as he starts yelling “Stella!” and then call the cops while I stand with my stiletto heel in his throat. Go on, picture it. Looks good, doesn’t it?

As if her office decor wasn't a big enough hint that she's the daughter of Belzebub.

3. Dolores Umbridge, The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling. To quote Mike Meyers, she is ” e-vil. Like the fru-its of the dev-il. E-vil.” I had hoped that when she had been carried off by angry centaurs, she had been slow roasted in a pit like the pig she is. Sadly, she turns back up in The Deathly Hallows,and we never quite get to see this sadistic, racist, biznitch get what she deserves. I guess it’s left up to our imagination. One theory I have is that the Dementors actually puked up her soul, then Voldemort got to her. It’s not in there, but a girl can hope. My other theories are about as bad as what Voldemort might think up, so I won’t list them. My husband is scared enough of me as it is.

Her daemon should've been a Praying Mantis. They eat their mates. Pretty sure their offspring as well. This is a shot of her eyeing Lyra... at dinner. Makes sense doesn't it?

4. Mrs. Coulter, His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman. I’d give this Psycho Hosebeast the title of “Worse Mother Ever,” but she’s actually tied with another contender further down on the list. Seriously. In this alternate universe is it a requirement that you have to be a terrible parent if you’re British? Oh, wait, no it isn’t. Will’s parents aren’t that great either. An improvement yes, but still lacking. I was actually surprised by her Mrs. Coulter’s affection for Lyra, given that she clearly has no soul. No, really. That’s just her pet monkey, not a real daemon.

As if this guy wasn't creepy enough, the actor had to go and shave off his eyes brows. Thanks for that. No, really.

5. Wormtounge, The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. When it comes to adjectives to describe this guy, I’m stuck between “creepy” and “sniveling.” This guy makes used car salesmen look like choir boys. He walks by, and there’s a little janitor following him setting up cones and signs saying “CAUTION: Slippery Slime Trail.” And the whole thing with Eowyn. Please. The girl isn’t going to fall for the guy who calls her and breathes heavily while peaking through her window. Just eew.

Does't this family portrait scream "Love, tolerance, and understanding?"

6. The Malfoys, The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling. Okay, we all know they’re supposed to be the sous-villains for Harry. There’s just nothing redeeming about them. So then can someone please tell me why the get their chance for redemption as the series moves towards the end?? I mean, what did these people actually learn from the whole thing? Am I to believe that they aren’t the blatant bigots they were before? Yeah right. If anything, they learned that the rat that survives is the one who knows when to leave the ship. Great lesson. I vote for them dying and getting Fred back.

I'd actually wait to punch Cersei until she was pregnant so I could smack Geoffry too. Two shits, one stone... or punch.

7. Cersei Lannister, A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R.R. Martin. Cersei ties for “Worst Mother Ever,” but also receives the award for “Worst Relative.” Someone, please correct me. Somebody out there on the internets has to know of one member of the Lannister family that benefited long-term from anything this woman has ever done. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

When the last book in the series comes out, I’ll be crossing my fingers for Blackened Queen Cersei via one of the dragons. Oh! And what does this tell you about George R.R. Martin? He has no problem killing off the good guys and the likeable people. Nope, he leaves this ho-bag alive. Bastard.

Why would you EVER trust this guy? He has "tool" written all over him.

8. Luke Castellan, The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan. Here’s a little message for you Luke: we’ve all got Daddy issues. Man up and deal with them, or get some freaking therapy. It’s not like just because your Dad is a Greek god that means that modern medicine isn’t available to you. But, no. No, you decide that destroying the world will really show him. And then what, Luke? THEN WHAT?? Jackass.

"Why, is that a meteor I see fallin' to Earth?" No, Hilly. That's the flaming bag of dog poo I just launched at you from my roof.

9. Hilly Holbrook, The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Little Miss KKK was the source of many a late night rant while I was reading this book. Guess what Hilly? For that, not only do I want to punch you, so does my husband. You cost the man some valuable sleep while he listened to me talk about how you’re the worst kind of human being and how I can’t believe that you are one or two generations away from me. If there was ever a case for evolution, this chick is it. I’m a Southern girl. I, and my mother before me, crawled out of the muck you wallowed in you worthless piece of trash.

The cleavage bit was funny because this film was made during censorship. With those standards, Vivian Leigh is damned near naked here.

10. Scarlett O’Hara, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Scarlett? Really? But she’s one of the great female heroines, you say. Well, while you are saying that, tell me what makes this biznitch such a catch. She’s pretty. Well, yeah, but so are a lot of other people. She’s rich. Well, that comes and goes thanks to the Ol’ War of Northern Aggression. (That’s what some people in the south refer to the Civil War as.) She’s a good mother. Wait, no, scratch that. Scarlett Junior dies via horse riding accident before she starts grade school. She’s a good wife. Um, nope. She has a … great… personality? Okay, now it’s just getting silly. Listen, Princess. You know why Ashley never married you? Because you are about as shallow as you cleavage in one of those corsets.

Did I miss someone? Some character that’s hassling you need a good punch in the bits? Tell me who in the comments below. We’ll smile about it together.

Happy reading, happy writing.

4 Fictional Characters I Never Should Have Fallen For… But Did Anyway

In honor of Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought I’d take a moment to pay homage to those dashing literary characters who’ve broken my heart. Did I know they were bad news when I met them? Yes. Did I blindly become a worthless pile of goo at their smolder. Yes. Do I regret it? I don’t think so. At least if they’re fictional, they should keep me from looking like a fool in real life. You know, if you do that whole “learn from your mistakes” thing. Why four you ask? Because I couldn’t think of five. Stupid writers block…

***SPOILER ALERT!*** If you haven’t read the books listed below, save this post until you have. Wouldn’t want to ruin it for you.

Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding

A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin

 

Now, in no particular order, let’s begin.

 

4. Bill Compton from Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series

Why I fell: He was mysterious, and the first vampire you really met in this world. There’s something about an old fashioned gentleman who is at a bit of a loss in modern times. He is/was very protective of Sookie, and having someone who wants to fix your problems can be an attractive thing.

Why I should’ve run for the hills: Things were a little too convenient, weren’t they? A vampire just happens to move in across the cemetery from you, who wants to be the white knight of the crazy girl in town. Really??

Who I should’ve run to: Alcide, Sam, hell even Eric. At least you know where you stand with these guys. Alcide wants a normal life as soon as he gets over girlfriend issues, Sam likes you just the way you are as long as you don’t do anything too dangerous, and Eric… well, Eric’s an asshole, but at least he’s up front about it. With Bill, his motives are a mystery until someone else spills the beans.

Turns out Sam looks atrocious in red.

3. John Willoughby from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Why I fell: He’s handsome and charming and everything you want in a Regency period novel. He flaunts the rigid social norms for the love of Marianne. Awww.

I want to see you... without a chaperone!

Why I should’ve run for the hills: He’s everything I mentioned above, but he uses these qualities to have his fun and leave. Eventually, he marries for money, because, hey. What good are good looks and a bad boy personality if you can’t live at the top of society?

Who I should’ve run to: Col. Christopher Brandon. Inside this reserved man is the heart of a poet. He’s everything Marianne wanted, in a slightly less flashy package. This is a case where the nice guy wins, and the girl is damn lucky to have him.

Nakatomi Towers? I have no idea what you're talking about. More tea?

2. Daniel Cleaver from Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding

Why I fell: C’mon! He was Hugh Grant Brit without the bumbling. He was flirty and allegedly liked Bridget’s curves and her awkwardness. Plus office romance with the successful, handsome exec across the way? Um, yes please.

Why I should’ve run for the hills: If life has taught us anything, and if literature has reinforced it, it’s that the”perfect” guy is usually an ass. Sadly, Murphy’s Law says that if you think he could be dating someone of supermodel caliber, he probably is. You’re the bit on the side.

Who I should’ve run to: Mark Darcy. He’s a little stiff around the edges, but he’s great once you get past that. In fact, just tickle him. In moments he’ll be giggling hysterically and letting you see one of those cute British half-smiles. Oh, and you know… he’s also an updated version of Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. Who’s Daniel Cleaver again?

If everything I just wrote doesn't make sense, look at the picture. That pretty much sums it up.

1. Sir Jorah Mormont from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series

Why I fell: I’m a sucker for an older man wanting to take care of you. Hell, it’s who I married. Sir Jorah is no exception, and given his tragic history with another younger woman… sigh. Yeah, I wants to hug him.

Just pretend it's not creepy that Daenerys isn't thirteen and pregnant in the book, and it's all good.

Why I should’ve run for the hills: Part of this guy’s tragic story is betrayal. For love, yes. But if he’s willing to give up everything including his honor, family, children, well… maybe I should have remembered that before I threw in whole heartedly with Team Jorah.

Who I should’ve run to: Jamie Lannister. Yes, in the beginning he’s a total tool and has a messed up sex life to boot. Really messed up. But cut him down to size, take away some of his vanity, and at least for now he seems redeemable. Of course now that I like him, Martin will probably have him flayed and crucified, but as of today I see a glimmer of hope for Jamie.

Wait, is that Jamie or Prince Charming from Shrek?

 

Finally, while researching this post, I found a great article about bad boys and why it’s best to leave them in the realms of fiction. Click here to read it. I definitely will make my daughter read it the first time she brings home “Snake” who likes motorcycles and piercings.

Until next time, happy reading, happy writing!

Review of Shadow on the Wall by Pavarti K. Tyler

Recently I was given the opportunity to get an ARC of the new literary fiction novel Shadow on the Wall by Pavarti K. Tyler. (For those of you not in the know, that’s Advanced Release Copy.) It’s probably my favorite thing about blogging. If I just told you whether or not I liked it, my answer would be full of profanities ending with the word “YEAH!” That being said, I’m going to try to remain professional while conveying why this book rocks my socks off.

The Set Up:
The heir to a multi-billion Euro company, Recai, wakes up in the middle of the desert with no clue why or how he got there. Thankfully, he is taken in by Hasad and his daughter Rebekah, despite the danger his mere presence poses. The RTK is everywhere, punishing anyone for anything close to breaking Shariah law, while flaunting it themselves. This only the beginning of a dangerous journey for Recai, and heartbreak can be found in every step. But there is a plan for him, a purpose. Every injustice, ever slight to human decency Recai witnesses prepares him for a destiny he has asked for his entire life. The question is, how long will it take him to realize it?

Yeah, it’s that good.

Here’s why you’ll love it:

The world needs a Batman. Especially where people are oppressed. I think Ms. Tyler chose a great setting for her story, a Muslim city also home to Jews, Christians, etc. There are terrible, terrible things that religious zealots do in the name of their god, and it’s everywhere in the city of Elih. I loved this aspect of her story because it was wonderful to see a superhero stand up for issues that I hear about on a daily basis. As great as the Joker and Catwoman are, it’s nice to see the real bad guys get punched in the gut for a change. If I could, I would send Recai all over the world to fix some of this ridiculousness we let ourselves get talked into. Too bad he’s fiction.

The world needs a Non-WASP superhero. Part of the reason I asked to review this book was I because I found the idea of a superhero that wasn’t from an English-speaking, or at least Anglo country refreshing. Hell, even the aliens, (Thor, Wonderwoman, Superman,) all show up white and speaking English. It’s not how I want my daughter to see the world. Yes, there are plenty of American heroes, but there are Indian and Arab and Jewish and Asian ones too. Or at least there should be.

You really understand the characters, even the unlikable ones. This might be my absolute favorite part of the whole book. Many times I have seen the first superhero story/comic/movie set up the great nemesis/super villain for episodes to come. Shadow is no exception. At one point in this book, the character who I see to be the Ultimate Nemesis does something pretty gruesome. What I love was that as I read the chapter, all I could think of was, “I would totally do the same thing in that situation. [The Ultimate Nemesis] let that guy off easy.” There are even some characters you start out hating that find redemption in the end, and most importantly: you are happy about it. That character it seems, didn’t need to die as horrible a death as you once thought. Ms. Tyler has found a way to put you in the shoes of each one of her characters, good or bad, and I think it’s an astounding piece of writing.

Why you wouldn’t like it:

(I had to think pretty hard on this one. The ideals behind this book are very accepting and tolerant, so I wouldn’t want to imply that by not liking the book, you are not accepting and tolerant. So here’s what I’ve come up with.)

You don’t like superhero fiction. Hey, it’s not for everyone. It’s for me and then some, but I can’t see, let’s say someone who needs to always be uplifted enjoying this book. Are there uplifting parts, absolutely, but you have to trudge though some pretty deep, dark places to get there. Which leads me to my next point…

You don’t like violence in your literature. Then stop reading now. Part of the reason superheroes are created is to combat evil. This book has it. Recai is not there to stop pickpockets. I’m talking to you, Mom. This book is great, but you couldn’t make it. It’s too rough for you. (Love you!)

And that’s all I got. Read this book. It comes out in May. You can pre-order it at Amazon. Start sending Parvati gifts now and she might let you review it too… maybe.

Happy reading, happy writing… ahem… the sequel, Pavarti… ahem.

Six Sentence Sunday

Last week there was a bit of Linky issues, so if you weren’t subscribed to my Twitter or Facebook feeds, you probably didn’t see my submission. This week should be fine. Here you go:

As always with Ben, I felt there was more that needed to be said, but the timing wasn’t right. Yet another thing I promised myself I’d deal with tomorrow. I had an unpleasant clean up ahead of me, not to mention I was still worried sick about Mike. Possibilities were forming in my head about who would’ve taken him and why, and they all made my skin crawl.
I pulled myself up from the ground, wincing as I noticed my sore legs for the first time, and suddenly feeling incredibly tired. I had never realized how much energy it took to engage in full on combat with my own kind.

I’m starting to agree with some of your comments: I do use comments an awful lot. I think that’s because I put in commas where I would breathe or pause in conversation, and that’s how I hear Claire. And I did it again. This is why I need an editor, (sorry Honey!)

To read more from other Six Sentence authors, click here.

To read a reviews of Second Death, click here.

You can purchase Second Death in eBook format at Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords.

Thanks for stopping by, have a great week! Happy reading, happy writing!