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review 2017-04-20 17:12
ARC Review/Guest Post: Traci Douglass (Blood Vowed) ~ Giveaway/Excerpt
Blood Vowed (Blood Ravagers Book 3) - Traci Douglass

 

My Five Favorite Vampires and Five Reasons to Life Mate a Vampire 

 

Thanks so much for having me on your blog to talk about one of my favorite Otherworld creatures—Vampires! My hero in Blood Vowed, Rev, is a vamp and my fascination with these undead hotties began in high school when I read Anne Rice’s classic Interview With A Vampire. For months afterward, my friends and I were obsessed with Louis and Lestat and dreamed of finding a sexy bloodsucker of our very own. Alas, the only place I’ve found them thus far are in the pages of books or on film. And while it’s hard to pick just five, here are my top picks of the vampire variety:

 

  • Gary Oldman’s Dracula (Bram Stoker’s Dracula, 1992) – those hypnotic eyes, that sexy stare, and such style. Yum!

(photo credit: mightcontainspoilers.files.wordpress.com)

 

  • Louis du Pointe du Lac (The Vampire Chronicles, Anne Rice, 1976-present) – so broken and brooding and beautiful.

(photo credit: s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com)

 

  • Eric Northman (True Blood, HBO, 2008-2014) – ruthless, powerful, devoted to those he cares for, and man does he look F.I.N.E. in the buff!

(photo credit: https://kamikazeegirl.files.wordpress.com)

 

  • Miriam and John Blaylock (The Hunger, 1983)—David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve as gorgeous undead creatures. Look at these two! What’s not to love?

(photo credit: https://davidbowienews.files.wordpress.com)

 

  • Damon Salvatore (The Vampire Diaries, CW, 2009-2017) – I have a fondness for gorgeous dark-haired men with blue eyes and major attitudes, so this gorgeous vamp is right up my alley.

(photo credit: s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com)

 

And let’s see, five reasons to life mate a vampire?

 

  • Eternal beauty
  • Eternal passion
  • Eternal devotion
  • Eternal fun
  • Eternal companionship

 

Who could ask for anything more!

 

 

BLOOD VOWED by Traci Douglass is a dark and sexy ride with an otherworld ex-assassin on a mission to atone for the sins of his past, and the woman who holds both his only means of escape and the keys to his ultimate salvation. This exciting installment in the Blood Ravagers series is perfect for fans of BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD by J.R. Ward and IMMORTALS AFTER DARK by Kresley Cole.

 

Title: Blood Vowed

 

Author: Traci Douglass

 

Series: Blood Ravagers

 

Genre: Paranormal Romance

 

Release Date: April 13, 2017

 

Publisher: Tule Publishing

 

Synopsis:

 

Reverend “Rev” Walker, expected some backlash after he foiled The Council’s attempts to overthrow the Blood Ravager Biker Gang. What he hadn’t expected was to wake up in the last place he ever wanted to see again—a dank cell of The Council’s Siberian dungeon. Drained and chained, he faces certain death if he can’t escape from the hellish prison. Now, his only means of escape depends on him accepting help from a fellow prisoner, a woman whose very existence is a lie and the only one capable of awakening Rev’s long-dormant heart.

 

Claire Deveraux is Dygarian, a race of shadow-shifters who have been slandered and hunted to extinction by The Council. But Claire has used her years of enslavement well, reading her captors’ secret texts and hearing their whispered secrets. Now, after being locked up for a crime she didn’t commit, she plans to use her knowledge of the dungeon’s maze-like interior to gain her freedom, or die trying. Then a new prisoner arrives, a man Claire has dreamed of and knows in her heart is her destined mate, if only she can break through his walls.

 

On the run and threatened from all sides, will Rev and Claire learn to trust each other and their growing feelings for one another before it’s too late?

 

Find out more at: Amazon | KoboB&N | Tule Publishing

 

 

 

Blood Vowed is book three in the Blood Ravagers series by Traci Douglass. It’s an adventure that’s full of suspense.

 

 

Rev has been in hiding from the Council for centuries. He has come a long away from being the Council’s Assassin. He wants to destroyed the Council and save and protect his friends in the Blood Ravagers gang. He was not looking, nor did he expect, especially with his sins, to find his true mate. Clair has been imprisoned with the Council her whole life. She is also a Dygarian, the last of her kind. All she wants is vengeance against the Council and the one who helped them destroy her people.

 

We finally get to see the elusive and evil Council. These three men have been using their powers not to uphold the supernatural world, but to control it and subjugate the supernaturals. Those that don’t get on their side soon learn the consequences.

 

Blood Vowed moved fast from the first to the last page. Rev and Clair have nice chemistry and their banter was enjoyable. There were secrets and pasts to overcome.

 

Just a few issues:

 

- The battle scene was lackluster. I was expecting more. Especially since we have been building up to this confrontation.

 

 

- I felt that one of the scenes, where the Council members parish, was taken from “The Darkest Seduction by Gena Showalter.” It was so close in similarities to when Krones dies in The Darkest Seduction.

 

- I found it odd that one of the Council members can just pull Clair anytime anywhere back to the Council headquarters. It didn’t make since this part; because she would permanently be trapped. Yet she escapes and they don’t pull her back until she has time with Rev. Then they keep pulling her back each time she escapes. My issue is if they can do this, then why did they wait the first time? It just felt silly and not thought out.

 

Blood Vowed was an enjoyable read. We get to finally meet the evil Council, change the future, and find love.

 

Rated: 3 Stars

 

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy provided by Barclay Publicity via NetGalley with the sole purpose of an honest review. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

 

Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!

 

Challenge(s): New Release Pick Your Genre (PNR) (2017)

 

 

 

Blood Bound

 

 

Book 1 is available at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo 

Check out my review on Blood Bound

 

Blood Freed

 

 

Book 2 is available at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo 

Check out my review on Blood Freed

 

 

Peering around Rev, Claire studied the new opponent. The thing was big and ugly and must’ve come running from the deepest crevices of the dungeons.  It launched itself at Rev, saliva dripping from its huge sword-like fangs as if it wanted to gobble the vamp up for dinner. 

 

This wasn’t her first run-in with the Council’s monsters who went bump in the night. There were others, many, many others that lurked in the shadows down here. In the past she’d always had a contingent of guards surrounding her when she’d come to clean, then later, she’d had the iron bars of her cage. Now, though, there was nothing between her and what looked like certain death. Nothing but a vamp she didn’t know and didn’t particularly trust, who was currently getting the thrashing of his immortal life from the looks of it. 

 

The need for self-preservation swelling inside her, Claire mentally reviewed the texts she’d read about hand-to-hand combat while she searched for a weapon. At last, she settled on a sharp shard of wood from one of the vicious roots that had died and assumed a battle stance. 

 

Time for a little payback. 

 

As she crouched and prepared to strike, Rev dodged from one side of the narrow passage to the other, slicing the tip of his makeshift rock dagger across the beast’s throat…only to disappear. Vampires were notoriously fast and Rev even more so due to his training.

 

Still, the creature remained on its feet, healing quickly and growing angrier. 

 

Rev reappeared in a flash and struck again and again, inflicting more damage each time. The creature tried to claw him, but Rev always seemed to duck at the perfect moment. Much as Claire hated to admit it, his masterful skill was impressive. He never seemed to make actual deadly contact with the monster or land a punch though. Why? She wasn’t sure, since the opportunities were there. 

 

Then the idea occurred that perhaps the whispered rumors of the other prisoners were true. Perhaps he had left his killer ways behind and now searched for redemption by turning only against the people who had made him what he was. That would certainly make sense, given what he’d told her about why he was here, why he’d sacrificed himself and his freedom.

 

Claire clutched her wooden stake tighter. No. Even if that were true and he had changed his ways, it would not alter his fate. She had nothing to her name now, nothing but her integrity and her vengeance. She would use him to keep her safe until she could fend for herself and then she would end him as she’d promised. 

 

The beast swiped a razor-sharp talon at Rev, nearly beheading him if not for his quick reflexes, and this time Claire jumped into the action. The assassin was hers to kill. No one else’s. “You have five seconds, creature,” she shouted. “I suggest you run. Fast.” 

 

At the sound of her voice, the monster narrowed its black gaze, growling, “Mine.” 

 

“Three seconds left.” 

 

Rev dove through the air and gouged out one of the beast’s eyes. Yelps of pain echoed. 

 

Retaliating, the creature slammed hard into Rev’s chest. Rev tumbled backward through the dark tunnel, disappearing into the shadows beyond. 

 

Slowly, Claire turned back to face the beast that had just signed its death warrant. “Zero.” 

 

 

 

Follow the celebration for a chance at the #giveaway and exclusive excerpts!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS: Kindle to one lucky winner and 2 runners-up will receive a signed copy of Blood Bound (or monetary equivalent if international).

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

Traci is a USA Today Bestselling Author of Contemporary and Paranormal Romance. Her stories feature sizzling heroes full of dark humor, quick wits and major attitudes and heroines who are smart, tenacious, and always give as good as they get. She holds an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University and she loves animals, chocolate, coffee, hot British actors, and sarcasm—not necessarily in that order. SocialMedia-Banner00-angelsgp

 

Website and Blog – FB Author Page – Twitter – Goodreads – Amazon Author Page – Newsletter – Pinterest

 

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Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2017/04/arcreview-guestpost-traci-douglass-blood-vowed
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text 2017-04-12 16:06
Guest Post: Grace Goodwin (Mating Fever)

 

Top 5 Reasons Star Wars Rocked My World

 

I blame Star Wars. You heard me. I fell in love with Han Solo when I was seven, and I never moved on. He had the coolest best friend ever, a smart mouth, that cheeky grin, and despite his best efforts, just couldn’t make himself walk away from the fight.

 

Yep. I blame Star Wars for my lifelong obsession with Sci-Fi Romance. And that’s why I’m still writing it.  Thinking this through, I knew there had to be a reason or two. So, here it is – my Top 5 Reasons Star Wars Rocked My World:

 

1 – Han Solo. (Cute. Sexy. Funny. ‘nuff said)

 

2 – Light Sabers. No, I never had thing for Luke. I only wanted his pretty saber…

 

3 – Princess Leia was the first woman I saw who was not only IN CHARGE, but bossed people like a BOSS. Man, I wanted to be her when I grew up.

 

4 – Darth Vader. He was soooo bad he was good. I spent hours imagining what he looked like, how he ended up in that suit. He was the ultimate mystery and a very scary villain. Darth Vader gave me shivers!

 

5 – The Force. The Force was fair. The Force didn’t judge or take sides or any of the other BS traps we mere mortals fall into. 

 

Now, years later, I write kick-ass heroines with smart mouths who go off into space to save the universe, get hot sex the way the want it, (without guilt!) and fall in love.

 

Duh!  What ELSE would I be writing? 

 

Hope you have as much fun reading Mating Fever as I had writing it.

 

Xoxo

~Grace

 

 

 

Grace Goodwin 

Mating Fever: (Interstellar Brides, Book 10) 

April 6, 2017 

 

 

Megan Simmons followed her entire Army unit into space as volunteers to protect Earth as members of the Coalition Fleet. Eighteen months later, on a Hive controlled planet, she is separated from her unit and trapped. She is certain death will have its day until an Atlan Warlord appears from nowhere and risks his life to save her. Lost and alone behind enemy lines, Megan will do anything to keep her sexy savior alive until one problem arises, and this one she can’t fight her way out of. Despite the danger, her Atlan Warlord’s beast takes one look at her and decides she belongs to him. 

 

Nyko of Atlan never hesitates to charge into battle against Hive scum. When he sees a human soldier in trouble, he follows routine, ripping his enemies to shreds to save a fellow warrior. But when that warrior turns out to be a beautiful and curvy human female, the beast he’s been fighting suddenly breaks free with just one simple demand…MINE.

 

Buy Links 

iTunes – Amazon 

 

 

Once upon a time, a young girl was born into an average, working class family. The wee little girl, convinced she was not an average child but was, in fact, a fairy princess, longed to leave the mundane world behind and live her dreams. She grew up, went to school, and when she’d grown too big to wear tutus and tiaras in public without drawing unwanted attention, turned to writing down her fantasies instead. Now a bit older, her fantasies have grown to include sexually dominant men who know how to ensure a woman’s pleasure. Grace believes all women should be treated like princesses, in the bedroom and out of it, and writes love stories where men know how to make their women feel pampered, protected and very well taken care of. She currently lives in Oregon where she spends her days writing, and her nights in the arms of her very own Prince. 

 

 

Website – Mailing List – Goodreads – Amazon – Facebook – Twitter

 

 

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Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2017/04/guest-post-grace-goodwin-mating-fever
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text 2017-04-06 13:24
[Guest post] Diversity in SciFi and Fantasy books / [DE] Die Vielfalt in Science Fiction und Fantasy

 

Please meet Sameena Jehanzeb, a German author of BRÏN, a diverse fantasy romance, and BookLikes blogger. We invited Sam to share her thoughts about diversity in books, a much discussed topic not only in books but also in all life spheres. And so important. Sam covers the topic on the German market and touches the English market as well, therefore, she agreed to write the piece both in English and German, please scroll down for the German version. 

 

--

 

A guest post by Sam from Moyas Buchgewimmel

 

There are things that are important to me. Respect. Equal rights. Humanity. However, reality often is so overwhelming with negative events that one experiences the feeling of drowning in it. It is therefore all the more important to cling to positive thinking and hope. For me this works by dipping deep into stories and writing them myself. Stories that give me all the diversity there is. That's why I love the genres of fantasy and science fiction so much, because they invite us to an almost limitless number of worlds where everything is possible.

 

When we talk about diversity in literature today, it's about a multitude of different things at the same time: sexual orientation, our origin, gender equality, physical handicap/ disease. Only a small number of books deviate from the typical image of the white, heterosexual and physically healthy and attractive main figure. Yet we desperately need the Otherness in our stories to teach us - while at the same time entertaining us - that diversity is no cause for panic and that people of a different skin color, religion or sexual orientation are a valuable and important part of our society. It’s especially important for young people to be able to deal with these issues. In science fiction and fantasy we are able to characterize any appearance and sexual orientation in the social structure of a foreign or magical world like Max Gladstone did in his "Craft" series  - or Becky Chamber's The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, once a kickstarter project that became a huge success with its colorful, intergalactic mixed spaceship crew. Despite the potential of these genres authors and publishers still hardly approach social minorities and take them seriously.

 

Three Parts Dead - Max Gladstone The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet - Becky Chambers

 

Fantasy and SciFi, however, have always been a bit rebellious and their followers are unconventional thinkers, libertines, nerds and weirdos. We defeat dragons and emperors, kill gods, dance with elves, aliens, witches and robots. The power is with us and the ectoplasm somewhere beyond. We don’t run through the streets armed with swords and laser guns to bring justice to the galaxy but we dare to have thoughts that scare others. We consciously move away from reality to seek answers only found in fiction. We continue to dream because we refuse to accept the hardness of reality and we need these books full of magic and spaceships to find the certainty that life one day can be different. Books give us the strength we need to keep fighting for a fair and diverse future. The demand for more diversity is not about replacing the traditional but to broaden one’s mind and embrace all forms of being human.

 

The great thing about fiction is that it not only brings us magic and futuristic technology, it can also create social structures you could only dream of in reality. And because it is fantasy / SciFi it is taken as given, so that new ways of thinking have a chance to unfold and ideas are able to sink in. Fiction is allowed to be different, right? Such stories teach us about alternatives to actual conditions in an unobtrusive way, and sometimes they even let us rethink a situation. Authors can raise people's awareness through stories to be open to the Otherness and show them that not everything different is something to be afraid of. It think it would be best to start from a young age, so that fears and prejudices are less likely to form in our heads. I know, at this point people get nervous. Traditionalists fear that their children will become homosexual by simply mentioning the word and they will persistently ignore the truth. There is outrage about “honor killings”, and at the same time the same people stifle the dignity and vitality of those who don't fit into their traditional image - however much these poor creatures try or wish to be “normal”. How many young people are afraid for far too long? Afraid of themselves, of their parents' reaction, of being different. How much suffering do they have to bear all alone, how much despair? Wouldn't it be nice if they could at least find shelter in stories where they find protagonists who are like them?

 

The traditionalists, or at least people who prefer to swim with the tide, those who do not want to attract attention to themselves, seem to be sitting in the publishing houses and literature agencies too, because as soon as a book contains a non-heterosexual couple the alarm bells ring and the rejection letters go out . Those stories are not likely to sell, they say. If you're especially "lucky"- as I was - you even get an ignorant explanation as to why you cannot be quite in your right mind to submit a story with a non-heterosexual couple. Great writing, madam, but gays and lesbians? - Hahahaha! There was even a calculation about how few people would be interested in such a book because it would be completely impossible for a heterosexual person to read something about a homosexual couple. Funny thing is, there is a trend for M/M-Romance in Germany. Sure, those gay-romances are directed at heterosexual woman and ignore all other manifestations of LGBT, but at least those books exist. Now, I am obviously in a much better position than those publishers because I know almost only heterosexual people who are looking for all sorts of love and skin colors in their stories. Yes, they are going to lengths to find it! I am talking about heterosexual, white-skinned people who read books with dark-skinned, homosexual, bisexual, transgender, physically and psychologically damaged protagonists. From N.K. Jemisin to Nnedi Okorafor and Nicola Griffith everything is accounted for: a wide range of skin colors, all kinds of love, entertaining feminism. How pre-condemned and patronized do these white heteros have to feel for being stereotyped as readers who can’t possibly want something other than traditional structures?

 

When it comes to protagonists and authors of color, there is at least some fresh wind in the dusty shelves of the German book market from time to time. To integrate those books of color into a publishers program works as some kind of social act, as a confession against racism and for solidarity. Good thing. But it still remains difficult and rather scarce. Sometimes these advanced thinking also provokes heated debates as happened with the German edition of »Pipi Long Stocking « when the publisher decided to erase the politically outdated word »Neger« (en: Negro) from these books. People were furious that a classic children’s book got changed. Those were the times, they say. Such setbacks may also be exactly the kind of signal publishers don’t need when we strive for more diversity and respect for all human beings.

 

Protagonists who are not heterosexual and in physical top form are even more invisible. Everyone is talking about inclusion at workplaces, but nobody seems to think about the inclusion in our heads. Publishing houses stick to traditional patterns because anything that hasn’t been tried before does not guarantee maximum sales. You better be safe than sorry and stick to the old, proven topics while ignoring the fact that the world around them is changing anyway. The muted and forgotten voices of the others and those of the open-minded are getting louder. Those stamped as minority in one way or the other are seeking for different ways to get their voice out and reach those who are desperately looking for the Otherness. Self-publishing, blogs and YouTube offer possibilities for everyone to be heard nowadays. The methodically forgotten are tired of being forgotten and despised. While big publishing houses complain about shrinking sale numbers and publish one cloned story after another, small publishers everywhere take the chance to push diversity forward. Book clubs that focus on LGBT/ Diversity topics are no longer a rarity. This is all a good start, but we are in need of more consideration, especially here in Germany, where the objections are even stronger than beneath the great pond.

 

The English book market has long since become much louder when it comes to diversity. Even large publishers are gradually picking up diverse books, while in Germany it seems to be an accident to find such a book at a big publishing house. And yet there are a lot of blogging readers who are voicing their demand for more diverse books. For example The Bookavid, Herr Booknerd and also myself are looking for diversity and we do enjoy those stories. Other bloggers don’t actively search for diversity, but they often see the beauty of diversity when they stumble upon the right books and mention their excitement in their reviews when they encounter an unusual scenery and untypical characters. So far, I have not seen one book blogger who panicked because a book deviated from German standard. Despite this wide acceptance and open-mindedness in readers it’s still a tilt at windmills if one is not able to read untranslated English novels. In the German-speaking world diverse books, especially LGBT, are almost exclusively published with small niche publishers like Ylva  or Butze Verlag. My own book will be published there, too, and I am happy to have found a dedicated publisher like Butze.

 

But the small ones, as committed as they are, lack the financial strength to advertise their books as loudly and flashy as the big houses - therefore many books remain undiscovered. We need more courage from big publishers, too. The expansion of the portfolio should be a top priority because a large number of readers want more diversity. It would be so important, especially for young people, to learn that there is not just one truth. We humans are heterosexual, homosexual, asexual and more. We are white, black, brown and everything in between. We are one-armed, six-fingered and blind. We are dwarfs, elves and dragons. We are the ghost in the shell and we are the feather that breaks the balance. We are diverse, whether we want it or not. In 2017, shouldn't our books be finally more diverse, too?

 

Now, what can we do as readers to ensure more diversity in our books? We must announce our interest and we must do it loudly. Share books you've enjoyed in your social networks. If you have a blog, write about what you think about diversity and why you embrace it. Look specifically for books where diversity is part of the story. If you have trouble finding them ask other bloggers who have put the topic on their agenda. They can give you book recommendations and links. The most important thing, though, is that we talk about diversity so that publishers can see there is something going on, that there is a demand, not fear. As Herr Booknerd recently put it, "Speech is silver, silence gets old" – it’s hard to say it better.

 

---BRÏN - Sameena Jehanzeb

Sameena Jehanzeb is the German author of BRÏN – a diverse fantasy romance wherein heroes and heroines are connected by friendship, love or conflict and are respected no matter their color, gender or sexual orientation. If Sameena isn’t busy writing she sinks deep into books of her favorite authors or brings the many worlds in her head to life as an illustrator and papercut artist.



[DE]

 

Es gibt einige Dinge, die mir wichtig sind. Respekt. Weitsicht. Gleichberechtigung. Menschlichkeit. Die Realität ist aber oft anderer Ansicht und überschwemmt einen so oft mit negativen Ereignissen, dass man das Gefühl hat, darin zu ertrinken. Umso wichtiger ist es, dass man sich das positive Denken und die Hoffnung bewahrt. Für mich funktioniert das durch das Abtauchen in und das Schreiben von Geschichten. Geschichten, die mir all das geben, wogegen sich die Realität manchmal mit Händen und Füßen zu wehren versucht. Vielfältige Geschichten. Darum liebe ich die Genres Fantasy und Science Fiction so sehr, denn sie eröffnen mir eine schier grenzenlose Anzahl von Welten, wo alles möglich ist.

 

Wenn wir heutzutage in der Literatur von Diversity, also von Vielfalt sprechen, dann meint das eine Menge unterschiedlicher Dinge gleichzeitig: die Vielfalt der sexuellen Orientierung, die der Herkunft, die Gleichberechtigung der Geschlechter und auch körperliche Behinderung/ Krankheit. Es gibt verhältnismäßig wenige Bücher, die sich vom typischen Bild der weißen, heterosexuellen und körperlich ebenso gesunden wie attraktiven Hauptfigur lösen. Dabei hätten wir all diese Dinge bitter nötig in unseren Geschichten, damit sie einem auf unterhaltsame Weise beibringen können, dass Normabweichungen kein Grund zur Panik sind und dass auch Menschen anderer Hautfarben, Religionen oder Bettvorlieben wertvoll und ein wichtiger Teil unserer Gesellschaft sind. Besonders für junge Heranwachsende ist es sehr wichtig, sich mit diesen Themen auseinandersetzen zu können. Gerade in den Genres Science Fiction und Fantasy haben wir die Möglichkeit, jedwede Eigenschaft und Orientierung in die gesellschaftlichen Strukturen fremder oder magischer Welten einzubauen, wie es z.B. Max Gladstone mit seiner „Craft“ Series macht  – oder nehmen wir Becky Chambers „kleinen zornigen Planeten“ , der als Kickstarterprojekt begann und mit seiner bunten, intergalaktisch gemischten Raumschiffcrew zu einem ungeahnten Erfolg wurde. Trotz des Potentials kommt es aber noch immer viel zu selten vor, dass sich Autoren oder Verlage an gesellschaftliche Minderheiten heranwagen und sie ernst nehmen.

 

Der lange Weg zu einem kleinen zornigen Planeten - Becky Chambers,Karin Will Three Parts Dead - Max Gladstone

 

Fantasy und SciFi aber galten schon immer als rebellisch und ihre Anhänger als Querdenker, Aufmüpfige, Freidenker, Nerds und Weirdos. Wir besiegen Drachen und Imperatoren, töten Götter, tanzen mit Elfen, Aliens, Hexen und Robotern. Die Macht ist mit uns und das Ektoplasma irgendwo dahinter. Wir laufen zwar nicht mit Schwert und Bogen durch die Straßen und sorgen nicht mit Laserwaffen für Gerechtigkeit in der Galaxie, aber wir wagen es, Dinge zu denken, die anderen Angst machen. Wir entfernen uns bewusst von der Realität, um Antworten zu finden, die uns nur die Fiktion geben kann. Wir denken weiter, weil wir uns weigern, die Realität einfach hinzunehmen, und wir brauchen diese Bücher um die Gewissheit zu finden, dass es anders sein kann. Sie geben uns die Kraft die wir brauchen um weiter daran arbeiten zu können, dass es irgendwann besser wird. Bei dem Ruf nach mehr Vielfalt geht es nicht darum, das Traditionelle zu verdrängen, sondern darum, den Horizont zu erweitern und alle Formen des Menschseins einzuschließen.

 

Das Schöne an der Fiktion ist, dass sie nicht bloß mit Magie und futuristischer Technik um sich wirft, sie kann auch soziale Strukturen erschaffen, die man sie sich für die Realität wünschen würde. Und weil es Fantasy/ SciFi ist, stellt man diese Strukturen auch weniger schnell in Frage, sondern gibt ihnen die Chance sich zu entfalten und die Idee rüberzubringen. Es ist eben Fiktion, die darf anders sein. Über solche Geschichten lernen wir auf unaufdringliche Weise Alternativen zum Ist-Zustand kennen, und im Idealfall erweitern sie den Horizont von jemandem, ja, vielleicht bewirken sie gar ein Umdenken. Man kann Menschen durch Geschichten sensibilisieren, offen zu sein für das Andersartige und ihnen zeigen, dass nicht alles zum Fürchten ist, was anders ist. Am besten schon von klein auf, damit sich erst gar nicht so schrecklich viele Ängste und Vorurteile bilden. Ich weiß, an der Stelle scheiden sich die Geister. Traditionalisten befürchten, ihre Kinder würden durch die bloße Erwähnung des Wortes schon homosexuell werden und ignorieren beharrlich die Wahrheit. Man schreit auf bei Ehrenmorden und gleichzeitig ersticken die gleichen Menschen die Würde und Lebenskraft derer, die nicht ihrem traditionellen Bild entsprechen können – so sehr die auch versuchen oder sich wünschen „normal“ zu sein. Wie viele junge Menschen leben deswegen viel zu lange in Angst? Vor sich selbst, vor der Reaktion der Eltern, vor dem Anderssein. Wie viel Leid müssen sie mit sich allein herumtragen, wie viel Verzweiflung? Wäre es nicht schön, wenn sie wenigstens Zuflucht in Geschichten finden würden, in denen es Protagonisten gibt, die sind wie sie?

 

Die Traditionalisten, oder zumindest Menschen, die lieber mit dem Strom schwimmen, nicht auffallen und risikofreie Verkaufserfolge erzielen wollen, scheinen auch in den Verlagen und Literaturagenturen zu sitzen, denn kaum enthält ein Buch ein nicht heterosexuelles Paar, gehen die Alarmglocken an und die Absagen raus. Das bringt nicht genug Absatz. Wenn man richtig viel „Glück“ hat – so wie ich seinerzeit – bekommt man sogar eine süffisante Erklärung, weshalb man wohl nicht mehr ganz bei Verstand sein kann, eine Geschichte mit einem nicht heterosexuellen Paar einzureichen. Tolle Schreibe, Madame, aber Schwule und Lesben? – Hahahaha! Da wird einem gar vorgerechnet, wie wenige Menschen so ein Buch interessiert, weil es vollkommen ausgeschlossen ist, dass eine heterosexuelle Person etwas von einem homosexuelles Paar lesen möchte. Und das obwohl es sogar auf dem deutschsprachigen Markt einen absatzfreudigen Trend in Sachen M/M-Romance gibt. Der richtet sich zwar wohl an die Lesemehrheit heterosexueller Frauen und ignoriert alle weiteren Ausprägungen des LGBT, aber immerhin wird mal was gewagt!

 

Nun bin ich selbst offenbar auch in einer deutlich besseren Position, kenne ich doch fast nur heterosexuelle Menschen, die alle möglichen Arten der Liebe und Hautfarben in ihren Geschichten suchen. Ja, suchen. Ich rede hier von heterosexuellen, hellhäutigen LeserInnen, die mit Wonne Bücher mit dunkelhäutigen, homosexuellen, bisexuellen, transsexuellen, körperlich behinderten Protagonisten und und und lesen. Von N.K. Jemisin bis Nnedi Okorafor und Nicola Griffith ist alles dabei: bunt gemischte Hautfarben, bunt gemischte Liebe, unterhaltender Feminismus. Wie vorverurteilt und bevormundet müssen sich also diese standardisierten, weißen Heteros vorkommen, denen man einfach mal so unterstellt, dass sie nur traditionelle Strukturen gut finden können und wollen?

 

In Sachen Protagonisten und Autoren die als People of Color gelten, scheint im deutschen Buchmarkt immerhin ab und an eine Art Ruck durch die angestaubten Regale zu gehen. Solche Sachen ins Programm zu nehmen, gilt bei den Verlagen vermutlich als sozialer Akt, als Bekenntnis gegen Rassismus und für die Gemeinschaft. Gute Sache. Aber es bleibt trotzdem schwierig und eher eine Seltenheit. Manchmal löst das fortschrittliche Denken auch hitzige Debatten aus, wie z.B. bei Pipi Langstrumpf  und dem editieren oder nicht editieren des politisch längst nicht mehr korrekten Wortes „Neger“ geschehen. Da gab es lautes Geschrei, weil der Verlag es wagte, einen Kinderbuchklassiker zu verändern. Solche Rückschläge sind womöglich auch genau das Signal das Verlage nicht brauchen, auf dem Weg in eine vielfältigere Zukunft mit mehr Respekt füreinander.

 

Protagonisten, die nicht heterosexuell und körperlich in Top-Form sind, führen gleich ein noch viel größeres Schattendasein. Da redet man überall von Inklusion am Arbeitsplatz, aber über die Inklusion in unseren Köpfen scheint niemand nachzudenken. All zu gerne wird in den großen Verlagen auf bewährte Muster gesetzt, denn alles andere ist nicht erprobt und man will schließlich möglichst garantierte Verkaufsschlager. Da geht man lieber auf Nummer sicher, bleibt beim Altbekannten und ignoriert, dass sich die Welt um einen herum trotzdem verändert und dass die leisen, vergessenen Stimmen der Anderen und die der Aufgeschlossenen immer lauter werden. Die zur Minderheit Erklärten begehren auf, suchen sich alternative Wege, um sich eine Stimme zu verschaffen und diejenigen zu erreichen, die verzweifelt auf der Suche nach dem Anderen sind. Self-Publishing, Blogs und YouTube machen es möglich, dass heutzutage jeder gehört werden kann. Die methodisch Vergessenen sind es leid, vergessen und verachtet zu werden. Während die Großen über schlechte Zahlen klagen und eine geklonte Geschichte nach der anderen veröffentlichen, bilden sich überall Kleinverlage und nehmen die Veränderung in die eigenen Hände. Auch Buchclubs, die sich auf LGBT/Diversity-Themen festlegen, sind keine Seltenheit mehr. Das ist ein guter Anfang, aber es braucht alles noch mehr Aufmerksamkeit, erst recht hier in Deutschland, wo die Hemmungen noch eine ganze Etage höher reichen.

 

Auf dem englischsprachigen Buchmarkt ist der Ruf nach Diversity längst ein sehr lauter geworden, der auch die größeren Verlage nach und nach erreicht. Dagegen schauen wir in Deutschland, mit sehr wenigen Ausnahmen, noch ziemlich blass aus der Röhre, obwohl auch unseren Buchbloggern immer öfter der Kragen platzt. The BookavidHerr Booknerd und auch ich selbst z.B. suchen nach Diversity und genießen sie, andere Blogger freuen sich einfach nur in ihren Buchbesprechungen, wenn sie einer ungewöhnliche Szenerie und untypischen Figuren begegnen. Bisher habe ich noch keine/n Buchblogger/in erlebt, der/die in Panik geraten wäre, weil ein Buch von der deutschen Standardnorm abwich. Trotz dieser recht großen Akzeptanz und Aufgeschlossenheit bleibt es aber ein Kampf gegen Windmühlen, wenn man nicht auf englischsprachige Romane ausweichen kann. Im deutschsprachigen Raum erscheinen vielfältige Bücher, besonders wenn es um LGBT geht, fast ausschließlich in kleinen Nischenverlagen, wie z.B. Ylva oder der Butze Verlag, bei dem auch mein Roman im Juni erscheint. Und ich bin froh einen so motivierten kleinen Verlag gefunden zu haben.

 

Den Kleinen, so engagiert sie auch sind, fehlt aber das Kapital, ihre Bücher so laut und auffällig zu bewerben, wie es die Großen tun – so bleibt vieles unentdeckt. Wir brauchen also mehr Mut auch von den großen Verlagen. Es wäre dringend an der Zeit, das Portfolio zu erweitern, denn ein Großteil der Leser will mehr Vielfalt. Es wäre so wichtig, gerade für junge Menschen, zu erfahren, dass es nicht nur das eine Richtig gibt. Wir Menschen sind heterosexuell, homosexuell, asexuell und mehr. Wir sind weiß, schwarz, braun und alles dazwischen. Wir sind einarmig, sechsfingrig und blind. Wir sind Zwerge, Elfen und Drachen. Wir sind der Geist in der Maschine und das Zünglein an der Waage. Wir sind vielfältig, ob wir wollen oder nicht. Im Jahr 2017, sollten es da nicht auch endlich unsere Bücher sein dürfen?

 

Was können wir nun als Leser tun, um mehr Diversity in unsere Bücher zu bekommen? Wir müssen unser Interesse kundtun und das laut. Teilt Bücher die euch gefallen haben in euren sozialen Netzwerken. Habt ihr einen Blog, schreibt darüber was ihr zu dem Thema denkt. Sucht gezielt nach Büchern in denen Diversity vorkommt. Falls ihr Schwierigkeiten habt sie zu finden fragt bei Bloggern nach, die sich die Themen auf die Agenda gesetzt haben. Sie können euch garantiert ein paar Buch- und Linktipps geben. Das Wichtigste ist, dass darüber gesprochen wird und die Verlage sehen, da geht was vor, da herrscht Nachfrage, nicht Furcht. Wie Herr Booknerd erst kürzlich formulierte: »Reden ist Silber, Schweigen gets old« – besser kann man es kaum ausdrücken.

 

---BRÏN - Sameena Jehanzeb

Sameena Jehanzeb ist die Autorin des Fantasy Romans BRÏN indem sich Helden und  Heldinnen treffen, die durch Freundschaft, Liebe oder Konflikte miteinander verbunden sind, und sich in einer Welt, in der Gleichheit und Akzeptanz unabhängig von Hautfarbe, Geschlecht und sexueller Orientierung existieren, frei entfalten können. Wenn Sameena nicht gerade damit beschäftigt ist zu schreiben, versinkt sie in Büchern ihrer Lieblingsautoren oder illustriert die vielen Welten in ihrem Kopf mit Bleistift und Skalpell auf dem Papier.

 

 

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text 2017-03-24 15:06
Guest Post: Five Fun Facts About Phoebe Meadows by Amanda Carlson (Exiled) ~ Giveaway/Excerpt


 

Five Fun Facts About Phoebe Meadows:

 

She had no idea she was a Valkyrie until she was struck. She lived a quiet life in rural Wisconsin until she moved to New York City.

 

She’d never had a serious boyfriend before Fen.

 

Her favorite color is purple.

 

She was a swimmer in high school, but considered herself a lop when it came to contact sports.

 

She loves karaoke, but finding a place to sing in Asgard will be difficult.

 

If you decide to jump in, I hope you enjoy my Phoebe Meadows series! It’s a fun ride. Phoebe goes on some serious adventures and has a hot wolf as a companion. What more could you ask for? Well, besides lots of action, adventure, and magic.

 

 

 

 

 

EXILED

 

by Amanda Carlson

Book Three in the Phoebe Meadows series

Release Date: March 24, 2017

 

Phoebe Meadows is on trial for her life.

 

After freeing her half-brother, Baldur, Phoebe is set to stand before the Council in Asgard to answer for her actions. The threat of exile if she’s found guilty looms, not to mention the added stress of meeting her real father for the first time.

 

Upon entering Asgard, Phoebe discovers new allies in a half-brother she’s never met as well as an oracle who is in possession of valuable information. A little added help couldn’t have come at a better time, because when Phoebe is tossed into an unknown realm, she’s only armed with Gundren, a jewel, and her wits.

 

When Loki shows up, all bets are off. The trickster god throws a wrench in Phoebe’s plans and kidnaps Fen, her only ally. And just when she thinks she sees the light at the end of the tunnel, Phoebe finds she has to defeat one last obstacle: The Norns.

And they aren’t planning to go down without a fight…

 

 

AMAZON

 

 

 

 

“Sweet mother of all that’s holy.” Sam coughed violently into the bucket positioned in front of her. “Please tell me we’re here. My body can’t take much more of this.” She lifted her head, dragging the back of her sleeve over her mouth, wheezing. “I’m pretty sure my tank is finally dry, but bile is a tricky thing, as my body is making more of the hot, searing liquid as we speak.” Tyr stood next to her holding a clean pail, his face a mask of concern.

“Aye, we’re here,” Tyr answered solemnly, bending down to place the new container in front of Sam, who was promptly in need of it.

We all stood on the deck of Ringhorn, my half brother Baldur’s boat, which had been gifted to Tyr upon Baldur’s untimely death. We’d arrived in Asgard less than five minutes prior, so I could face the Council and Frigg, Baldur’s powerful goddess mother, to receive punishment for freeing her beloved son.

I’d broken Baldur out of a dark elf prison—the very place his mother had placed him for protection—only to watch him die a short time later at Verdandi’s hand.

It had been awful and heartbreaking.

The boat had just taken us through an insane vortex. One that had hauled us up in the air at breakneck speed, only to drop us the next instant. I’d lost count of how many times my stomach had hit my knees.

But I’d fared better than poor Sam, who was now huddled on the deck spilling her guts.

“Are we really here? In Asgard?” I asked, squinting into the darkness, trying to discern a single shape on the horizon, but coming up empty. The boat had lurched to a full stop in what looked to be a solid void. “I was expecting it to be a little more…vibrant?”

“We’ve landed in a holding bay,” Fen answered, his frame tense beside mine, his arm tight around my waist. This was the first time he’d been back to his home in many years, and he was poised for any threat that might come our way, his nostrils flaring, his sword at the ready.

My mother came up beside us. “There are various ways in, but if you take magical transportation, like Ringhorn, you must wait to be inspected before accessing the city.”

“Yep,” Ingrid added, moving toward a gated opening that would lead us off the boat. “Lots of nooks and crannies on a big boat like this. We might be harboring unknown aliens. We’ll have to wait for the inspectors to clear us.”

“Why is it so dark?” I asked. The only illumination we had came from the boat itself.

Before anyone could answer, a loud grating noise filled the air. All at once, the scene before us began to change as bright light pierced the space like a dazzling spotlight.

We were in a large cylinder of some kind.

As light penetrated the tunnel, my eyes adjusted, and I began to get my first glimpses of Asgard beyond the tunnel. I noticed blue sky right away. It was cobalt, a deep, resplendent tone that seemed impossibly rich for a sky.

“Brace yourself, kiddo,” Ingrid said as she removed her spear from her waistband. “Along with the inspectors, there will be guards.”

“Why are you drawing your weapon?” I asked, alarmed. “Isn’t this your home?”

“Because I’m getting ready to argue, and I do it best with Betsy at the ready.” She shook her trusty spear, and it seamlessly morphed into an eight-foot killer with a razor-sharp edge.

“Betsy?” Ingrid had never shared her weapon’s pet name before. “You named your spear Betsy?”

“Yep, she was christened my ‘Best Bet’ when I first got her. Found her in a pile of discarded old weapons and never looked back. If these guards try to separate us, Betsy will have her say. And I can guaran-damn-tee”—she waved her spear in the air—“there is no argument we can’t win.”

 

 

 

 

Goodreads Phoebe Meadows series

 

Struck

 

 

My Review

 

 

Freed

 

 

My Review

 

 

 

 

 

One $25 Amazon gift card

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amanda Carlson is the author of the upcoming Jessica McClain series. The first book, Full Blooded, will be released by Hachette Book Group, ORBIT US & UK SEPT 2012. She’s been writing for over ten years. Full Blooded is her first novel. She lives in Minneapolis, with her husband and three kids.

 

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Website Goodreads Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

 

Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2017/03/guest-post-five-fun-facts-about-phoebe-meadows-by-amanda-carlson-exiled-giveaway
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text 2017-03-01 14:05
The Hazards of Being King

Trisha Hughes is a guest on my blog today celebrating the release of her new novel, Vikings to Virgin - The Hazards of Being King. Read about her inspiration for this epic novel and the trilogy to come.

 

Source: samanthawilcoxson.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-hazards-of-being-king.html
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