WIN “The Emblazoned Red”!!

There is only ONE more day left to enter into the giveaway, and I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that it has so far reached a grand total of 964 entries!! Thanks so much to everyone who has entered :D If you haven’t entered and you’d still like a chance to win a copy (ebook or paperback your choice) of THE EMBLAZONED RED, please head over to this website~ http://www.aminablack.com/2013/09/excerpt-and-giveaway-emblazoned-red-by.html

GIVEAWAY

Attention Attention~ Here’s your chance to win an ebook or paperback version of THE EMBLAZONED RED. Head on over to AminaBlack.com to enter in the international giveaway. Good luck :) http://www.aminablack.com/2013/09/review-giveaway-emblazoned-red-by-dawn.html

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Sequel to The Emblazoned Red

Hi there,

If anyone has read and enjoyed “The Emblazoned Red” leaving a review at Amazon or Barnes and Noble would help me immensely. Presently I have several at Goodreads, and that is great but in order to advertise my books I need reviews on Amazon and/or Barnes and Noble without them no one will know this book is out there and I won’t be able to sell many copies. Unfortunately if I’m unable to sell copies of this trilogy I will not be continuing with this series. Which, is fine, I’ll deem it uninteresting to readers and move on to write something else.

So, again, if anyone read and enjoyed this book please review it.

Thanks very much for your support,
Dawn

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Clearing up confusion about THE EMBLAZONED RED

Hi there everyone,

I would just like to throw it out there that THE EMBLAZONED RED is not a YA book, is not listed as a YA book on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and I have NEVER called this book Young Adult. While it’s probably a completely safe (clean) read and a young adult could read this book without a problem it is general fiction, Dark Fantasy.

And while I’m here, I would also like to add that this book is the FIRST in a trilogy called TRILOGY OF THE TYRANT. It is set in the same world “Faetta” as my previous trilogy but it is NOT necessary to read the other trilogy first. THE EMBLAZONED RED shares only ONE character with TRILOGY OF SHADOWS. That character is Cameo.

In THE TRILOGY OF SHADOWS Cameo is the main character and the books are written from her perspective. While in THE TRILOGY OF THE TYRANT Ilka is the main character and the majority of the trilogy is written from her perspective. Cameo is a secondary character. She is not friends with the main character. It is not necessary to know much about her at all. If you have read THE TRILOGY OF SHADOWS, well that’s wonderful and you’ll enjoy her in this as well but if you have not, no big deal.

THE EMBLAZONED RED is NOT written as a sequel to the TRILOGY OF SHADOWS. It is NOT part of the TRILOGY OF SHADOWS series. It is separate.

Hopefully that answers some questions about the new book. These are two misconceptions that keep cropping up in reviews and I just wanted to clear the air.

Dawn

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New Release

Well, it’s been literally years since I used this blog.  Three to be exact.  Anyhow, just wanted to let people know that I have a new book out as of 2013, as you may have noticed on the front page.  It’s called “The Emblazoned Red” and it’s a dark fantasy.  There are definitely paranormal elements, magic and a budding romance.  It is book 1 in my newest series:  Trilogy of the Tyrant.

It is for sale at Amazon (both on Kindle and in print), Barnes and Noble and over at Kobo.

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New Review up

5 out of 5 stars

Richard Jackson

Late last night, I finished Cameo the Assassin. I would have posted a review earlier but I needed some sleep and time to pull my thoughts together.

This is one of those books that rewards the reader for paying attention. From start to finish, there is a lot going. There is no point where the story drags. Its pace is smooth. The plot is in constant motion, driven by the characters.

The characters especially Cameo are complex and detailed. Each one has a past and background that plays a part in the story adding depth to it. There are characters that you will love, some that you will hate and a couple that will be a mystery to you. They are all men and women of action. For the most part, they do not sit around waiting for something to happen.

Dawn provides the perfect setting for her characters. It’s not a safe or savory place. It’s a place filled with danger. Here nobles employ assassins to accomplish what politics and bribery could not. Violence can erupt at anytime. Several times during the story, I was surprised. Like the characters, I was unprepared for what the world threw at me.

All of these factors made Cameo the Assassin enjoyable read for me. I recommend this book especially to those looking for a darker story.

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My first Amazon review!

Sunday, July 18, 2010
Review: Cameo the Assassin by Dawn McCullough-White
Rating: 4 out of 5

At the end of the day, the art of writing fiction comes down to simply this: telling a good story. Sometimes there are other aspects involved, other points to be made. Yet, if those points of contention aren’t held within the framework of a tale interesting enough for the reader to endeavor, they will be words used for naught. They will remain unread.

More on this later.

First of all, it’s synopsis time. Cameo the Assassin is the story of, well, an assassin named Cameo. She is a woman with eyes white as a corpse, the best killer of a group called simply The Association. She resides in her tower when not off stalking her next victim, drinking copious amounts of liquor and being generally a miserable sod. She is a legend in her time, seemingly much older than she appears, never questions orders, and uses very unusual (and unknown to her employer) methods of both finding her prey and keeping herself safe.

Cameo seems content to live out her life in whatever perverse way she can, until she runs into a pair of highwaymen (coach robbers) while they hold up her carriage. These two men are named Black Opal, a “dandy” who wears too much makeup and enjoys women’s clothes (seemingly in an attempt to compensate for his scarred appearance) and Bellamy, a lawyer-slash-poet-slash-playwright turned criminal. When our heroine meets these two, and falls into line with them, her known life takes a turn for, if not worse, at least very, very different.

It is with these two characters, and one who comes later, that the joys of this little tale are met. Cameo herself is a one-note creation – and she has to be, especially when one considers her backstory – and cannot carry the novel on her own. Which is why having two enjoyable, fleshed-out characters such as Opal and Bel is important. In many ways, they steer the plot more than the main character. Cameo does what she does because she doesn’t have a choice in the matter. Opal and Bel, however, have free will, and they use that will to choose and follow a dangerous killer, for reasons of love. This is beautiful, it is necessary, and it’s also interesting, because many times it’s hard to figure out who exactly loves who. That guessing game in particular is quite fun.

The world that Dawn McCullough creates is one of magic and monsters, along with the type of technology one might see at the beginning of the nineteenth century. There are vampires, witches, corrupt royalty, and killers for hire, all plotting, both together and separately, to bring down our small band of antiheroes. This is something I really liked, as well. There are very few purely “good” characters in the book. All are deeply flawed, and some downright contemptible. They change very slightly, if at all, and yet seem to develop at least a sense of honor and duty, which presents itself in the loyalty they have to each other. I found this to be unusual and pleasing. It isn’t often that I’ve read a book like this.

Now, onto what I started out this review saying.

“Cameo the Assassin” is an adventure novel, and one that works, but that isn’t what I found to love the most about it. No, it’s the underlying message that snatched me by the eyelids and forced me to look deeper. You see, to this reviewer’s eye, Cameo the character isn’t just an alcoholic killer. No, she is much, much more than that. She is a metaphor for the battered woman; a survivor, dead on the inside, strong in a certain way, with a knowledge of all the horrible things that have happened to her, and yet always, around every corner, she is a slave to that pain and the men in her life who inflict it upon her. She was a rape victim, an abuse victim, and a victim of the supernatural, and she allows them to define her. Even her relationship with Opal, who is outside that sort of misogynistic realm, is defined by his feelings for her, and not the other way around. This shows great character weakness, and is sorrowful in its reality, though presented in a fantastical way. This is my favorite part of all, and a reason in and of itself to pick up this book.

Now, one might wonder, with all the praise I’ve heaped upon this book, why I gave it four stars instead of five. I do this because of the only problem I had with the novel, which is the way it was written. It is constructed in third person omniscient, which is to me the worst of all points of view. We jump into and out of every character’s head from one paragraph to the next, which can be 1) confusing, and 2) irritating. Now, I understand that it isn’t technically the wrong way to do things, but I personally can’t stand it, and think it’s actually a bit lazy, so I’m docking a point.

With that being said, I still loved it, which should tell you something about how good the story is. It’s definitely worth the couple bucks it’ll take to try it out, and I think anyone who reads this review should do just that.

Cameo the Assassin’s Amazon page
Posted by Robert Duperre at 8:38 PM

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New Review!

Cameo the Assassin, a historical novel from Dawn McCollough-White, is an engaging, fast-paced romp about highwaymen, assassins, Lockenwood vampires, their victims, and their evaders in an age when “who knew there were so many vampires running around.”

Cameo, an alias for Gwen, “the thrall of a vampire,” has two masters to serve. One is Wick, the aging, spell-casting head of the Association of Assassins, who assigns missions to the battle-scarred Cameo. The other is Haffef, Cameo’s vampire “Master,” who years ago rescued her from certain death after her vicious rape and beating and a deadly attack upon her younger sister. The one wants her to kill the prince of the Kingdom of Sieunes; the other wants her to unearth her sister’s bones and return them to him. Her life is further conflicted when she agrees to become the bodyguard for Kyrian, a fifteen-year-old acolyte healer who needs to travel to the Temple of the Sun at King’s Basin. As she balances her missions and battles the forces of evil set against her on all sides, she overcomes assassins sent to kill her, seeks revenge against highwaymen who have robbed her of her namesake cameo brooch, develops an arms-length relationship with one of the brigands, and confronts Wick in a deadly duel.
The action is rapid and the multi-layered plot is well-constructed and paced accordingly, with several instances of wry humour despite the overall darkness of the themes. The characters—whether likeable or detestable—are credible. The historical settings, although imaginary, are recognizable, with their references to weaponry like rapiers, swords, and muskets, and travel by horses and coaches. Images of Haffef when he “slipped through the floor feet first” or of the world-weary Cameo swigging from her ever-handy flask create clear pictures in the reader’s mind. The majority of the novel’s text is made up of dialogue, and the way each character speaks is well-suited to their personality.

McCullough-White produced this novel through “spontaneous trance writing.” A sequel to Cameo is obviously in the making, and readers will hope the next instalment is as much fun as the first.

M. Wayne Cunningham
For Words Clarion Review

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