Guest Post with Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman + Prizes!

Today I’ve got the hilarious duo – Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman with a guest post just in time for their latest release: Sirenz Back in Fashion.

Guest Post: Series Vs. The Stand Alone

   Sirenz was always envisioned as a series; Sirenz Back In Fashion debuts June 8, the third, Sirenz Myth Appropriated, should be out next year, and maybe a fourth the year after that.

   While the books are linked together by the characters and the premise; Hades and the Greek pantheon, the teen MC’s Shar and Meg, and the consequences of a bad decision, each can stand alone.

   If you’ve read The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, you know that you really can’t read The Two Towers without having read The Fellowship of the Ring, nor can you follow The Return of the King without having read the other two. But then again, Tolkien envisioned and wrote The Lord of the Rings as one BIG story. We actually envisioned Sirenz as a series of individual books right from the start that entangled the girls in totally different situations—with Hades sticking his manicured hand in, of course. Initially we had cliffhanger endings for each book, but our editor wanted it so that you could continue, without the next installment being completely dependent on reading the first. We ended up planting a (hopefully!) seamless recap in each one so that anyone can pick up any book and be able to enjoy it on its own.

   Will this work? It’s kind of like Tales of the Arabian Nights. Scheherazade keeps her story going night after night, breaking at convenient places that consequently leave her sultan desperately wanting more. Will the references to the first Sirenz—how the girls met Hades, the siren duty they were contractually obligated to do, and what they learned—be enough to compel people to read the first book without leaving them lost and angry? We hope so!

   There seems to be a resurgence of this trend. A number of writers, from romance to paranormal to westerns to sci-fi, have a series, but each book focuses on one major event or one major character’s story. JR Ward’s The Black Dagger Brotherhood series, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s The League series, and Julie Garwood’s series about the Buchanan brothers keep the story going, but each book is self contained. Sometimes you can even mix up the order and it doesn’t matter too much.

   So what do you think?

   Series… or not?

Here’s a little bit about the book, Sirenz Back in Fashion, which released on June 8th:

Sirenz Back in Fashion

In Sirenz, boarding school roomies Meg and Shar learned the hazards of making a deal with Hades, Lord of the Underworld. The wearing of a Tiffany’s diamond ring in Sirenz Back In Fashion reactivates their contract, they find themselves back in his employ as sirens. And things are a little different this time; Shar is whisked off to the Underworld to play hostess as the dark god attempts to win her affections, while Meg is stuck topside, obligated to send spoiled rich girl Paulina Swanson to the Underworld. Hot gods, mere mortals and the Underworld have their secrets. Will Meg and Shar ever ditch Hades, and keep their wardrobes and souls intact?

A little bit about Charlotte:Lover of sparkly things, Char doesn’t have as many shoes as she’d like, but wouldn’t have time to wear them anyway with her three boys, husband, cat with issues, demented squirrels and insistent characters all demanding her time. She is represented by Natalie Lakosil of the Bradford Literary Agency and is hoping to get all her characters into print just so they’ll be quiet.

And of course, Natalie:When not playing with pointed objects, Natalie Zaman is usually writing. She lives in central New Jersey with her family and several fine looking chickens.

And now for the giveaway!
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Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.



  1. Reply

    Ilana Waters

    June 18, 2012

    Series. Absolutely. I like falling in love with a character, a world, etc., and then being able to follow their adventures time and again. Standalones are great also, which is why I agree that each book in a series should be a complete little story arc in itself.

  2. Reply

    Charlotte Bennardo

    June 18, 2012

    Um, it's B-e-n-n-a-r-d-o. (Everyone wants to stick that extra R in there. My husband has it worse- his name is Nicola, and everyone thinks he's a girl… Used to get mail from a convent…)

    • Reply

      Hafsah - IceyBooks

      June 18, 2012

      My apologies! Its fixed :)