Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Day of First Sun and Sheryl Steines on Strong Women!

The Day of First Sun
by Sheryl Steines
Paperback, 308 pages
Published by Createspace (first published February 23rd 2012)

Premise: Ganked from Goodreads:

When Princess Amelie of Amborix is murdered by magical means, Annie Pearce and Bobby “Cham” Chamsky of the Wizard’s Guard are called in by the FBI. Their job is to help solve the crime while keeping the non-magical world from discovering the existence of the Wizard Council.  
During their investigation, Annie and Cham discover that Princess Amelie’s death is connected to a series of other crimes in the Chicago area. A larger plot involving, a vampire, a rogue wizard and an army of soul-less zombies is revealed, but can Annie and Cham discover who is responsible before The Day of First Sun? 
I love realistic, well-rounded characters. I especially love strong women characters who don't need to be rescued... women who do the rescuing!!  When I saw this guest post blurb, I knew I wanted to share it here. More than anything, these words by Steines drew me to read her book!!

Guest Post Discussion by Sheryl Steines on Strong Women:

Sheryl Steines

I am always amazed to hear that, in the year 2012, women are still talking about strong female characters.  It’s funny that we’re always surprised when one comes along.  Even in Hollywood, actresses still can’t find roles to sink their teeth into.  As a reader, I look for characters that I can relate to in some way; a character who is more than a damsel in distress but less than an unfeeling, mean, witch.  I’m putting it gently, but I’m looking for someone, who when facing a problem, doesn’t necessarily need a man to bail her out–a woman who can take care of herself in spite of her vulnerabilities.  Because in reality, women are multi-layered and complex.  We don’t fall to one end of an extreme or the other.
When I was younger, I started reading Danielle Steele, but I couldn’t read her for long. Her female characters were far too needy and always put themselves in a position of requiring a savior. Even as a child, I couldn’t help but wonder why these characters always needed a man to improve their lives.  Why couldn’t they simply take care of themselves?  It seemed as though female characters fell into two camps, and only two. They were either villains, witches, someone to be hated and despised, or they were weak, pathetic, your classic damsels in distress.  Why is fiction lacking real women, women who can simply be human and celebrate all that they are?
As I got older, I found myself drawn to shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I saw in Buffy a strong character.  Yes, she could kick ass, kill the vampires and fight the demons.  She also had a brain, could plan, and could save the world each week.  But she wasn’t uni-dimensional. She also has a side that liked clothes, shoes and boys, a side that was feminine, a little vulnerable; a side that, okay, sometimes needed to be saved.  She was a complex female character, real and human, a character with whom I could definitely relate.
The strong female character isn’t a caricature or stereotype.  She’s not a total wimp like Snow White, and she’s not a total monster like the evil queen.  She falls somewhere in the middle.  She’s reactive, emotional, human, sexual, confident and sometimes unsure of herself.
When I originally wrote my character Annie Pearce in The Day of First Sun, I wrote her as a no-nonsense person, strong and smart, the girl who could survive on her own.  But she didn’t feel genuine.  As the story unfolded and changed, I rewrote her, gave her friends and family with whom she could interact.  I gave her feelings, gave her stress.  I let the other characters take charge once in awhile and offer some support.  I melded two halves into one woman–a strong woman, who can take care of herself and ask for help when necessary.  We’re not perfect, so why should our characters be?  Instead, why can’t we make them simply authentic?
Charlize Theron made a really compelling comment regarding her character in the movie Young Adult. She said, “Women are usually either really good prostitutes or really good mothers. Maybe women are finally getting the chance to play more honest characters,” Theron said. “We usually don’t get to play bad hookers or bad mothers — or anything in between.”
Maybe it’s time to be a little more real and a little more honest.

About the author: Behind the wheel of her ’66 Mustang Convertible, Sheryl is a constant surprise, using her sense of humor and relatable style make her books something everyone can enjoy. Visit Sheryl on her websiteTwitterFacebook, or GoodReads.
As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Day of First Sun eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. 
What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, 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! 
To win the prizes:
1. Purchase your copy of The Day of First Sun for just 99 cents:

2. Fill-out the simple form on Novel Publicity 

3. Visit today’s featured social media event*
Help my blog win: The tour blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card. When you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to VOTE FOR ME!
* You can find the entire week of Social Media Events at Novel Publicity. TODAY (3/20) join Sheryl for a Twitterview at 4pm EST:
Come join us for a live interview via Twitter as we ask Sheryl to sum up her book, writing habits, and personality in teensy tiny tweets. We’ll open to questions from the audience at the end of the interview. One question-asker will win an autographed copy of The Day of First Sun! Join us on Twitter at 4 PM EST by searching #emlyn.


  1. I agree - I hate wimpy female characters in books. Great post!

    1. Thx!!

      I'm about 100 pgs into the book and Annie is everything I was hoping she'd be!! Fearless and HOT! and sensitive, but unsure of potential romantic feelings!

      She's hunting down a vampire, teleporting to travel, and now solving a mystery by following leftover traces of magic. SO exciting!!

    2. I'm so glad you like Annie! She was so much fun to write. And thanks so much for hosting my blog tour this week. It's been quite the experience to meet so many bloggers. You guys all rock! Enjoy the book!

    3. Thx for stopping by, Sheryl!! I am enjoying your book!!

  2. I am all for a strong female character. The more the merrier! Excellent blurb from Goodreads and I love Sheryl Steines frank post about female characters.

    I went to Novel Publicity and voted for you! I hope you win! My next stop is GoodReads to add The Day of First Sun to my read list! You have a beautiful button and I'll be adding it to my blog. Thanks, Burgandy! Great name, btw. :)

    1. Hey, thx, Intricate! :-) This is my first Novel Publicity Tour. Not used to askin' for votes!!

      I loved hoppin' by your blog today! Fun writing!

  3. Lovely guest post! I like having strong female characters, but I agree that women are complex. I don't want a female character who is too strong. After all, I don't "need" a guy, but I like having one around. Although I don't always mind damsels in distress. My personality somewhat resembles my cat: when the slightest hint of danger arises, I run and hide under the bed. Not that I can fit under my bed...but I'm not a naturally brave person. So it's nice having wimpy characters like me too :-)

    1. Yea... complexity is important, I agree.

      You want to run and hide under the bed?!?! Lol.

      My fav girls in books are pretty strong and confident. My personality isn't always so confident, either, if I admit it, although I probably wouldn't hide under a bed even if I fit! Lol. I would debate what the right action would be and I'd be standin' there debatin' right thru the crisis. Or... if there was blood involved, I'd probably faint! Hahahahahaha Oh... the great reasons to READ!!

  4. Thank you for the cool post! I love authors that take the time to write a strong female character.


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