Friday, 8 February 2013

Guest Post & Giveaway with Jean Murray

Guest Post: Male based series – Why I love them so…. by Jean Murray

I’ve fallen in love. With what or who, you ask?

Romance series books that surround a group of men that are bound by some honorable quest. Military, vampires, demon slayers – honestly it doesn’t matter. I’m enthralled by these books. Maybe it’s my innate curiosity to discover what makes men tick? Perhaps, it’s the camaraderie, unity and loyalty that are demonstrated by these characters towards each other, despite their hardened exterior.

The group’s dynamics are just as important as the developing romance. I sit with my Kindle clasped in my hands, like some fly on the wall watching how the men interact with each other— the goings on in the locker room or over a poker game. Whether this truly represents male relationships, I will never know, but it is not without its entertainment value. JR Ward’s – Black Dagger Brotherhood and Lara Adrian’s – Midnight Breed Series are prime examples of this man love. I’m certainly not the only one infatuated with these books because they are the top sellers of paranormal romance series.

I just recently started reading the Eternal Rider series by Larissa Ione. Although one of the horsemen is female, I’m beginning to love this series, as much as the others. The feminine influence is a nice touch to the group dynamics. This started me thinking. Are there books out there that surround a group of women in the same way? The Black Dagger Sisterhood? Would it have the same appeal?

I decided to test my theory. The Key to the Cursed series unites the Carrigan sisters with the most unlikely allies,Gods of the Underworld. Together, they will persevere against all odds and even death.

So, what do you think? Have you read a good series book lately?

Your comment will be entered to win an ecopy of Soul Reborn, Book 1 of the Key to the Cursed series by Jean Murray.

Don’t forget about the Soul Awakened Kindle Fire HD giveaway. ENTER TODAY.

Soul Awakened
by Jean Murray
Genre: Dark Paranormal

Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
Date of Publication: January 15, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-937254-97-1
ASIN: 978-1-937254-98-8
Number of pages: 292
Word Count: 92,000
Cover Artist: Taria A. Reed

Book Description:


Kendra, an Egyptologist and demi-god in waiting, is the key to unlocking Bakari, the Egyptian God of Death, from his cursed slumber. Desperate to free him, she inadvertently binds herself to the god with a spell that only death will undo. To save Bakari from himself, she may have to sacrifice her innocence, and possibly her soul, before he becomes his family’s worst enemy.


Bakari awakens to a world at war and a beautiful woman who has tethered his soul to hers. In the wake of his self-destruction Kendra is his only hope of salvation, but another has vowed to keep Bakari from the one thing he craves most-- his Parvana. His butterfly.

About the Author:

In her pursuit of a nursing degree, Jean Murray aspired to see the world and joined the Navy. At the end of 2011 she said a heart-breaking goodbye to her Navy family and retired after twenty years of military service. Although her dreams of writing full time have yet to come true, she continues her writing journey and draws inspiration from her travels abroad. She enjoys spending time with her family and of course, writing about the “Carrigan sisters and their mates, Gods of the Underworld,” to bring you the next installment of the Key to the Cursed series.

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Book Trailer Soul Reborn:

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  1. One of the best male characters I've ever read was Jamie Fraser in Outlander. It's written from the female perspective, but the way Diana Gabaldon captures the essence of an 18th century Scotish Highlander is remarkable. She's not afraid to give him real emotions and sensitivity, but he carries himself with power and arrogance.

    I think books about men are so popular because women want to understand them, just like you said. Men want to understand women, as well, but they turn to Cosmo, lol. Ah, stereotypes. Gotta love 'em. No, I do think men (an people) would be interested in the women side, though they might not admit to their undying curiosity, haha.

    1. You are so right.

      One thing I've learned about writing male POV's is that they may think about emotion, they often don't say what they're thinking or it comes out as some modified version. Now of course, it depends on the character.

    2. It definitely depends on the character. They have a lot of these litmus things online where you can test your characters strength and whatnot. I used to get so bent out of shape because my characters would score too low or too high, etc. And then, one time, my character scored JUST RIGHT, and I knew... The litmus tests were a bunch of crap. Because that supposed perfect character was actually really badly developed.

      There are definitely universal traits that apply for all men, or all women, or all people, but in the end, your character just has to be who your character wants to be, haha.

      I think I went off on a tangent. Oops. >.<

    3. I always think of my characters in layers. This can work for heroes or villains. Pick three core values to be their center, next layer is their psychological layering, next are events that shape everything underneath, and finally the top layer - how they look.

      I know there are tons of books on archetypes, but don't force it. Write the character who will fit perfectly into your plot.

    4. I'm not one who can really think about things consciously before I write. I go by feel. Does the character feel right? Does the plot feel right? Etc. Then, after I've developed a good foothold, I can go back and analyze what I've written, and pick out what makes them tick. I suppose I think of my characters more as sprouts. Maybe they're sprouting into onions! Lol!

      One of my projects right now is a character I love, but who by all definitions would be considered a Mary Sue. So I was like, "You want Mary? I'll give you Mary!" The story isn't going to revolve around the fact that she's a Mary Sue, but anyone looking for it would get a kick out of it. She's going to have the classic other-worldly beauty, the great singing voice, the unusual eyes... heck, I've even named her Mary, lol. The trick is making her as well-rounded and flawed as a real person to counter act my giant middle finger to Mary Sue critics. If I can't do that, then I've proved their point, haha.

    5. I love that you compare them to sprouts Dorothy. I find that when I am reading a book I like it when the characters develop throughout the book. For example, I don't like the big tough alpha male who beats on his chest like Tarzan and has an ego so big he can't fit through a doorway. But then he doesn't develop more from there. He has to change throughout the book and either some of the hard toughened characteristics have to soften or he at least has to come to some realization as to what he is like. I hope that makes sense.

  2. I haven't read that many series books, unless you count fantasy. My favourite two heroes there would be Seregil and Alec from the Nightrunner Series by Lynn Flewelling. I just adore them and it's a pity the series is nearing its end, I'd love to read more about them.

    1. Hi Annette.

      Maybe the author will spin off a new series - one can hope. I'm off to check out her books. Thanks for stopping by.


    2. I have definitely not heard of this series but I will be downloading it soon. I find more new authors and more books just by word of mouth than anything. I too am always a bit devastated after a series ends because we can't bare to let go of these characters that we love so much and feel like we know their inner workings.

  3. I just reread a series that is by far one of my all time favorites, Jennifer Lyon's Wing Slayer Hunter Series. This is one of my favorite because there are strong male characters that each book focuses on, but the women in their lives are just as stong if not stronger than these big, beefy hunters.

    1. Hi Shannon.

      My kindle is going to be smoking by the time I download all these great suggestions. How many books are in the Wing Slayer Hunter series?


    2. Currently there are 5 books in the series. I come from a family with three sisters and only one of them likes to read as much as I do as well as my mom. I first read it and my mom read it and my sister and we all just fell in love with it. We even got my non-reading sisters to read the books and they too fell in love. If you like witches and the paranormal you will fall in love with the series.

  4. This sounds good. Thank you for the giveaway !
    lcminer at windstream dot net

    1. Hi Leslie.

      I'm so glad you join us.


  5. I am reading a great series book right now and it is The Soul series. I am on book two and I know I'm going to have withdrawals when I finish the second one. I am also starting J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I have heard such amazing things about it but have never read it. sbereza22(at)gmail(dot)com