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Spotlight on Women’s Rights Activist Malala Yousafzai

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I believe this is my first reblog! Too significant to pass up from whenwomeninspire.com

Originally posted on When Women Inspire:

Activist Malala Yousafzai. Original Photo Source: AK Rockefeller, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Flickr

Malala Yousafzai first came to public attention in 2009 when she wrote a BBC diary about life in Swat Valley in Northwest Pakistan, where the local Taliban had banned girls from attending school. Her diary chronicled her desire to remain in education and for girls to have the chance to be educated.

She wrote it under a pseudonym, Gul Makai, the name of a heroine from a Pashtun folk tale. Three years later, in 2012, she was shot in the head and neck due to this, after her school bus was boarded by a member of the Taliban. Her recovery process began in Pakistan and continued in England, where she now lives with her family. Today, Malala is 17 years old.

Malala Yousafzai: Awards and Achievements

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Dariel’s Review : “The Mark of Cain”

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This review was originally posted to my Review page on this site, and definitely deserves a second look! Enjoy…

Mark of Cain

For mature readers only.
 

Mark of Cain

  • File Size: 609 KB
  • Print Length: 389 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009KAM0FO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled 
  • X-Ray: Not Enabled 
  • Lending: Enabled
History as we know it is a lie. An intricate web of half-truths and falsifications spun by the most infamous murderer in history: the immortal, Cain, son of Adam and Eve. All so the truth of him and his power can stay in the shadows, with every oblivious mortal his pawn. The Mark of Cain reveals the truth.

After murdering his brother, Abel, Cain was unjustly cursed by God. When the curse becomes too unbearable for him and he faces immortality alone, Cain puts his energy into claiming the Earth as his own. Now, after thousands of years living his life as some of history’s greatest conquerors, the ruthless first son of Adam finally has a controlling interest in the world with the strongest governments secretly answering to him.

Tired of the bloodshed and manipulation that has brought him to this point, Cain is ready to relax. But God has sent someone to challenge his interests: a young woman named Hara, whose very life was foretold centuries ago.

To keep God from victory, Cain sets out to woo and corrupt Hara, planning to kill her once she is no longer God’s Chosen One. At first, as she edges off the path leading toward the fulfillment of the prophecy, Cain can’t help but feel smug. However, the closer he gets to her, the more he finds that Hara’s charitable presence causes him to feel shame for the first time in his long life, and soon he finds that he no longer wishes her harm. But the prophecy is clear on this; she has to die for him to win. When it comes to her end, will he be as selfish as he has always been, or will he sacrifice himself for the love of his very long life?

 
Review
 

I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review, and WOW am I delighted! “The Mark of Cain” is an outstanding read with romance, action, and epic historical sections. Even the most flawed characters are believable and loveable

 Hara is an orphan, raised in a Catholic orphanage to be as perfect and good as possible, while Cain, yes, the one from the Bible, is the world’s first murderer, unrepentant, blasphemous, always harboring a dark motive for everything he does. Cain is hardened and self-centered, while Hara is innocent and fragile. Each needs the other to effect positive changes in their lives.

 Cain is definitely not the typical hero, but he’s blatantly honest, and unapologetic about his character or motives. Seeley’s ability to create a complex man who is both hero/protagonist and antagonist is remarkable, and I immediately fell in love with his sharp, if a bit dark wit and sense of humor. Despite the terrible crimes Cain has committed throughout his immortal lifetime, Seeley managed to make me relate to him, and his actions toward Hara are every woman’s dream.

 Hara, the heroine, is the source of our necessary side-kicks, Tracker and Crystal.  Their characters become more important as the story unwinds, particularly Tracker, who not only harbors a secret from Hara, but wants her for himself.

The greatest accomplishment is Seeley’s descent into Cain’s mind. Any reader will learn to love him, hoping for the best and yearning for a happily ever after until the very end. Due to Hara’s innocence, there was very little sex in the novel, but the story was so enthralling, I barely missed it (and I do enjoy a good love scene). This is a MUST read – one you’ll grab to read every free moment, hate to put it down, and actually feel sad when it’s over. A rare novel I’m sure I’ll read more than once. Definitely five satin pillows! Heat rating: Sensual (2 candles out of 5).

The greatest accomplishment is Seeley’s descent into Cain’s mind. Any reader will learn to love him, hoping for the best and yearning for a happily ever after until the very end. Due to Hara’s innocence, there was very little sex in the novel, but the story was so enthralling, I barely missed it (and I do enjoy a good love scene). This is a MUST read – one you’ll grab to read every free moment, hate to put it down, and actually feel sad when it’s over. A rare novel I’m sure I’ll read more than once. Definitely five satin pillows! Heat rating: Sensual (2 candles out of 5).

September Writing Updates

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Writing Updates

September has been a great month so far, and I have a few things to share with you…

First, I’ve been traveling the web a bit. Deanna Jewel is interviewing me on her blog today, and I believe this is the first time I’ve been asked how I spend my time these days. Hope you can stop by and check it out :-) If you get a chance to stop by, please comment. One lucky commentor will win their choice of one of my published e-books! Click here to take a look

Kayelle Allen featured one of my colors on her Romance Lives Forever blog last week, and I was so immersed in the party then that I forgot to post it here! Here’s the link.

As I work on “”Dark Sentinels Book Three: Parrish,” (I’ll tell you more about that when you scroll down) Sky Purington invited me to her blog to feature the “Dark Sentinels” series up to this point (Prequel, Book One, and Book Two). Please show Sky some love for me :-)

Event cover final

Second, the “Unforgettable Lovers” Multi-author Book Party is over, and I announced winners today. In the announcement post, I show all of the books and links from the event plus the original post links to make navigation easy. Take a look when you can. The POV posts are really entertaining. Click here to see the final winner announcement post.

Finally, regarding “Dark Sentinels Book Three: Parrish,” I’m coming along. Finally settled on Parrish. Here’s his pic…

Dark Sentinels3Test

I’ll show you the working cover in a few weeks…Meanwhile, here’s the working blurb…

Parrish Blurb – DS3

In dire need of a respite, Dana flees to a remote area to commission the designs of a famous, yet reclusive architect few have ever seen, but their meeting ignites events so powerful, neither of their lives will ever be the same.

Dana Rainwater is a professional musician suffering from stress induced fatigue. Constant travel, public appearances, demands from everyone around her, and lack of privacy have left her hollow, empty. A child prodigy, there has been no time for love or affection. Her life has been filled with constant coddling and overprotection from her mother, and the pressure to live up to her potential above all else. Coupled with a chronic life-altering disease, she is willing to go to any lengths to find the life she’s been missing.

Wolf sentinel shifter Vadrian Parrish was born to a high calling, but his increasingly disturbing visions render him nearly inaccessible to others, unable to fulfill his purpose. Caverns of murdered wolves plague his sleep, their howls and cries ever present, constant reminders of his failure, until he hears her music… Dana Rainwater.

My goal is to release “Dark Sentinels Book Three: Parrish” in December. I don’t believe in luck where I’m concerned, so wish me discipline and minimal distractions. LOL

2 More Days, 8 More Authors: “Unforgettable Lovers” Book Party!

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Event cover final

 

Welcome! Stop by our Unf”orgettable Lovers” Multi-author Event. I’m featuring eight more authors before the event ends, four authors each day. Each author’s chosen POV  (point of view) character will tell what, in his or her opinion, makes someone an unforgettable lover. I personally love to get an intimate view of the characters, and I think you’ll enjoy hearing them speak “off-the-cuff.”

Tomorrow, I’m featuring books and POV characters by LaVerne Thompson, Rachelle Ayala, Doris O’Connor, and Raven McAllan, and on the 17th I’ll be featuring POV characters by Tricia Drammeh, Stephanie Keyes, Harlie Williams, and Lynda Kaye Frazier. Don’t forget to leave a comment with your email address.

All commenters have a great chance to win a copy of their book of choice from ALL books featured throughout the “Unforgettable Lovers” Book Blog Party, so scroll through and check out ALL the “Unforgettable Lovers” posts!! Every time you comment on an “Unforgettable Lovers” post, your name is added an additional time for more chances to win :-)

You’re Invited To a Multi-Author September Party!

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sexy couple against brick wall

Source

You’re invited to a September Party!

What? – Unforgettable Lovers

Where? – Dariel’s Blog

When? – September 5th  –  until I’ve hosted all my guest authors

Who are the guest authors? – Romance author friends including Diantha Jones, Kayelle Allen, Ann Gimmpel, P.L. Parker, and more…

Let’s delve into the minds of some fascinating characters! Each lover is unique, and there’s always at least one who is unforgettable…

Here’s the scoop: each author has chosen a hero or heroine from one of their books, and those characters will tell us in their own words, what makes someone an unforgettable lover. Their opinions are priceless.

You’ll also catch a glimpse of some of those characters in action with excerpt snippets and a description of each character’s book.

During the month of September, I’ll pick dates and host 3 or 4 authors a day, giving the characters a chance to express themselves.

At the end of September, two (2) commenters will receive the book of their choice from the books highlighted at the party, my treat. Each comment gives you extra points and raises your chance to win!

Authors, if you’re interested in participating but haven’t contacted me yet, PM me on Facebook @Dariel Raye, or Twitter @Pendarielraye

 

 

Re-post: How To Create An HTML Post For WordPress and Blogger (and make everyone’s life easier)

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wordpress logo

This is a re-post from my blogger site because I couldn’t post the WordPress logo there (It’s a mystery. LOL)

Takes so little to make some of us happy. One discovery that’s not half as popular as I think it should be is the ready-made HTML post. Say you want your friends to help you promote your new release; one of the easiest ways to spread the word is to create one HTML doc (or docx) and send it, sans additional attachments and Jpgs.

This keeps your trusty friends from having to deal with formatting and coming up with an intro to fit your many attachments. Also ensures that each post will be uniform, with your Jpgs and docs in the same place, and all information included.

Since some bloggers have Blogger, and others WordPress (or if they’re like me, they have one of each), I suggest creating an HTML post for each one separately (formatting is different for each, that’s why posts should be created separately). I’ll tell you about each here. A little more work for you at the front end, but believe me, it saves a bunch of time when you get ready to send your posts to tour hosts and friends.

  1. Write text for your post in Word, first, including intro, purchase links, and contact links. You’ll want your title in bold, of course, just above your intro.
  2. Take care of these details in Word to save time when you move to Blogger or WordPress. Write your intro. In the actual post, the intro will most likely be beneath your promo book cover, but that’s up to you. Make sure you include headings in bold to separate your sections of text (ex. Blurb, Excerpt, About the Author, Purchase links, Contact Links), copy/paste your blurb, excerpt, and about the author sections from your files and include them in your Word doc.
  3. I like to embed purchase and contact links, so grab the links you want in your post and include them in your doc. This way, you won’t have to keep jumping in and out of Blogger or WordPress to grab links. They’re all in one place. Just the way we like them ;-)
  4. Okay, now that we have most of our stuff in one place (all except pictures, and that’s because I’ve found they’re easier to format once you get into Blogger or WordPress), copy your intro section and let’s start with Blogger.
  5. Create this post just as you would any “new post,” adding pictures and sections from the Word doc you created, including your embedded links.
  6. Make sure everything’s where you want it, then click “HTML” in the top LH corner. You’ll see that your code has been created for you! Now select ALL (control~a) and Copy (control~c).
  7. From the Word doc you’ve created, click File>New and open a blank word doc to Paste (control~v) your code. Save as a Word doc. Now, when you send out your promo emails to blogger friends, just attach your new Word doc filled with the HTML code for your perfect promo post.
  8. For WordPress users, create the post just as you would any “new post” in WordPress, adding pictures and sections from the Word doc you created, including your embedded links.
  9. Make sure everything’s where you want it, then click “Text” in the top RH corner. Once again, you’ll see the code has been created for you! Select ALL and Copy. Open a new Word doc, Paste the code, and Save as a Word doc. Voila!! 
  10. You can either ask your host whether they’re using Blogger or WordPress, or send both, clearly denoting that one’s for Blogger and the other is for WordPress. (*Remember, you can not use the same HTML doc for both formats) When your hosts receive the HTML doc, all they have to do is select all and copy your attachment, then click “new post.” For Blogger, click “HTML” then paste, and for WordPress, click “Text” then paste. There’s your post with minimized effort on your part, and minimal effort on the part of your hosts.

Make Me Believe

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 Torin_final cover (500x800)

I originally published this article in The Romance Reviews

Make Me Believe: Intensifying Your Story With Personal Values

Why do you write? Ask nearly any writer this question and the response will be a resounding chorus of John Keating’s, “We write because we must.” Well, Keating certainly had it right when he coined the famous answer to this question, but let’s delve a little deeper. In addition to purchasing your books and lauding your praises, what should your stories prompt readers to do? This can be as seemingly innocuous as opening their minds to new possibilities, or as life-altering as becoming an advocate for an important cause.

The Emotional Hook

To borrow a famous phrase from the music industry, “writing is a jealous mistress.” Our writing infiltrates every area of our lives, easily becoming a living, breathing entity, personifying our dreams, hopes, and beliefs. I invite you to take a few moments and consider your own personal, unique answer to this famous question – “Why do you write romance?” What beliefs, dreams, or ideals do you express in your stories? Love is the most powerful force available to us – so powerful, so imperative, that no good story is complete without love of something or love of some kind.

There is no better, more entertaining way to focus on the power of love than romance. In fact, for the romance writer, love and romance are synonymous. Yes, the plot is important, but romances fraught with tension-filled relationships move us to action. Love is the strongest motive, and the greatest reward. Our characters’ love for each other draws us, captivates our attention. The more intensely we feel their ups and downs, the more satisfying their happily ever after (HEA), and the more we believe in their cause, particularly when said cause is directly related to their HEA. Surely characters capable of such powerful devotion deserve our support, right?

Romance perpetuates energy, and that energy prompts us to act. We hope and dream with them, and even if our beliefs are diametrically opposed to theirs, we are more willing to listen to their point of view because, yes, you guessed it, they love. Their love creates an instinctive, combustible force in everyone exposed to it. Actually, every book we write, every story we tell serves as our platform, not only exposing our beliefs, but encouraging others to share them.

Causes and Beliefs in Action (Exhibits A, B, and C)…

So what are your values? What do you believe, and what draws you to a story, pulls you into the characters’ world and holds you captive until their happily ever after is achieved? Something makes you care about them, convinces you that they love, and that this love is worthy of your support. Suddenly, you want to see them happy. Is it her strength in the face of obstacles? His desire to protect her? In Gary D. Chapman’s “Five Love Languages,” each person learns to recognize love based on certain characteristics or identifying factors called a love language: words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.

Each of my series, “Dark Sentinels” and “Dark Progeny”  exemplifies a rather intricate set of beliefs, and at least one of Chapman’s five languages of love is always evident. “Dark Sentinels,” a shifter series spawned by my admiration for ASPCA, The Humane Society, and Defenders of Wildlife, is about a race of sentinel wolf shifters created to protect nature and wildlife in the face of near extinction (sound like some place we know?), and “Dark Progeny” is about the infinity of God’s forgiveness as the descendants of Nephilim attempt to restore their relationship with “The One God,” even when their actions go against everything they’ve spent centuries believing.

In each series, the causes or beliefs of the main characters are synonymous with their purpose and existence. Although each series is different, my beliefs and values are clearly woven throughout the stories, and my heroes have quite a few things in common; mainly, they show love through Chapman’s acts of service. They are protective, supportive, and willing to do anything in their power to help their heroines resolve problems.

Consider the new YA classic, “The Twilight Saga.” The perfectly beautiful, unattainable Edward falls in love with the apparently regular, somewhat clumsy Bella, and their love necessitates the partnership between two races that have hated one another for centuries. Here, the cause is actually introduced through Jacob, the third member of the love triangle. The underlying messages include destiny, forgiveness, and love’s power to accomplish what nothing else can.

Establishing Your Platform With the Perfect Characters

One of my favorite movies is “Sleepless in Seattle.” The movie is based on a story by Jeff Arch and reminiscent of “An Affair To Remember,” and the writers’ belief that neither time nor distance can destroy what is meant to be is clearly relayed throughout the movie. Seattle architect Sam Baldwin lost his wife a respectable amount of time ago, and his adorable son Jonah calls the radio station on his behalf. The heartfelt call strikes a chord across the nation, and Annie, a research journalist is so touched by the call that she writes to him from across the nation. Just in case you’ve never seen the movie, allow me to say the ending is delightful for any romantic, and the characters are perfect.

Strong, well-developed characters espouse your beliefs for a reason. Perhaps something happened during childhood, to another loved one, or maybe they were simply born to this cause. Back story plays a very important role in establishing your characters’ reasons for believing and behaving as they do, and sometimes using your own experiences can make a good story unforgettable.

There is no better way to share a cause than with a story, and a cause that you fervently believe in can add fire and intensity to any novel. Causes, values, and beliefs can serve as micro or macro-plot points, and in a series, a good cause can be the main component linking each story to the next. Let’s face it – we enjoy a good fight, the age old battle between good and evil, and people who fight for or against something inspire us to do the same. So, what do you believe in? Love’s power to transcend time, overcome hatred, heal?  Which characters are best suited to share your beliefs with the world? Why do you write romance?

 

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