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Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Guest Blog and Giveaway with Christian Brown

Top Ten List of World Class Heroines (In Literature/ Entertainment)

Those of you who don’t know me—which is probably a rather large amount of folks at the moment—don’t know that I have an aversion to weak female leads. I like women who stand up to adversity, who are quick on their feet, and who are positive role models. I could go on forever about all the Mary Sues in our media, but I believe in putting positive energy out into the world, so here’s a list of some of my favorite female role models in popular culture. (Note: no offence to any actual persons named Mary, or Sue, we’re talking about the meme J)

10. Lady Gaga. Let’s just get all the pop stars out of the way in one lump sum. With the current trends in music, such as J Lo and Nicki’s travesty of a video that set women’s rights back about a decade, the pickings are slim. What was that horrid thing--that can never be unseen—even called? Jiggelz? Arse-pudding? I struggle to recall anything beyond undulating flesh. Anyhoo, I’ll put Lady Gaga on the list since she’s brave enough to wear suits of pastrami and challenges social issues—even if she’s bat-you-know-what bonkers. Honorable mentions for this position go to Tegan and Sara, and Brandi Carlile, for keeping it both soulful AND classy.

9. Sailor Uranus: Gender-bending, sporty and tough! In the Japanese version, she’s written as a lesbian. Which is potentially misogynistic for the presumption that she must be a lesbian to like “manly” pursuits like driving and sports, as well as embracing of diversity for being an openly gay character.  

8. Elsa, princess of Arendelle. She chooses family over love and learns how to harness a devastating power within herself. Not too shabby for a Disney Princess.

7. Regina, Evil Queen/ reformed villain. I have a soft spot for characters that evolve into their heroism. In Regina’s case, the love of her child—not even one of her own blood—transformed her into a person that does the right thing. Most of the time. She WAS an Evil Queen, after all. I doubt her edge will ever be dulled.

6. Daenerys Targaryen. She grows from a sold-off-woman into a powerful queen. Her ruthlessness, come certain points, isn’t admirable, so she only lands at #6.

5. Pam, vampire sass-queen of True Blood. I definitely admire the life that Kristen Bauer gave the character in the transition from book to screen. At times her acerbity can wear one’s patience a little thin, but in the last few seasons of the show (as the quality of the script nosedived, in my opinion) her characterization flourished. We saw that Pam had a human heart under all that cynicism. And damn, did she ever have all the good lines!

4. Lady Mary. I think most of Lady Mary’s appeal can be attributed to the actress that plays her, Michelle Dockery. Otherwise an opinionated, scandalous aristocrat could come off as entirely alien and cold. But there’s a warmth to Lady Mary, and a great deal of growth, too, that she experiences after the birth of her child and the loss of her husband. I think that growth is essential to heroism. The capacity for change. Lady Mary demonstrates that in spades with her impressive character arc.

3. Hermione Granger. Smart, humble, pretty—but not vain. Also worth noting is that Emma began the #HeForShe campaign, which is brilliant. Men need to engage themselves in fighting sexism.

2. Xena Warrior Princess. She’s kicked every arse that needs kicking and then some. She’s plain awesome.

1. Morigan Lostarot. Omg—he didn’t! I did. I plugged my own novel. But hear me out as to why she’s so great. Like many heroines, she has a rather unsavory fate thrust upon her, and while she has moments of weakness, she never truly pines or whines. She keeps moving ahead; challenging fate, challenging a demented and dark King. She even finds epic love. Not that she needs a man’s devotion to fulfill herself, only to compliment her. She is independent, resourceful, and has a blend of courage and cautious wisdom. I’m interested to hear what you think about Morigan and the other heroines in Feast of Fates. There are several heroines, and some rather menacing women, too. I promise to surprise and delight you with each.

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts today!

All the best,
Feast of Fates
Four Feasts Till Darkness
Book One
Christian A. Brown

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Date of Publication: September 9, 2014

ISBN: 978-1495907586
Number of pages: 540

Word Count: 212K

Cover Artist: Brian Garabrant

Book Description:

"Love is what binds us in brotherhood, blinds us from hate, and makes us soar with desire.”

Morigan lives a quiet life as the handmaiden to a fatherly old sorcerer named Thackery. But when she crosses paths with Caenith, a not wholly mortal man, her world changes forever. Their meeting sparks long buried magical powers deep within Morigan. As she attempts to understand her newfound abilities, unbidden visions begin to plague her--visions that show a devastating madness descending on one of the Immortal Kings who rules the land.

With Morigan growing more powerful each day, the leaders of the realm soon realize that this young woman could hold the key to their destruction. Suddenly, Morigan finds herself beset by enemies, and she must master her mysterious gifts if she is to survive.

Available at Amazon and Createspace

Feast of Fates, Excerpt #2 (533 Words)

Morigan took the bracelet.
            “I accept your offering.” The Wolf’s face lit and she thought that he would leap at her. “Yet first, I have a request.”
            “Anything, my Fawn.”
            “I would like to see…what you are. The second body that shares your soul. Show me your fangs and claws,” she commanded.
            Perhaps it was the steadiness of her voice, how she ordered him to bare himself as if he belonged to her, that made the Wolf’s heart roar to comply. He did not shed his skin but for the whitest moons of the year, and even then, so far from the city and never in front of another. In a sense, he was as much a virgin as she. With an unaccustomed shyness, he found himself undressing before the Fawn, confused for a speck as to who was the hunter. The flare of her nostrils, the intensity of her stare that ate at him for once.
            I have chosen well for a mate. She is as much a Wolf as I, he thought, kicking off his boots and then shimmying his pants down to join the rest of his clothing. No bashful maiden was Morigan, and she did not look away from his nakedness, but appreciated what she saw: every rough, hairy, huge bit of him.
            He howled and fell to all fours. Bones shifted and snapped, rearranging under his skin like skeletal gears. From his head, chest and loins, the soft black hair thickened and spread over his twisting flesh. His heaving became guttural and sloppy, and when he tossed his head up in a throe of agony or pleasure, his beard had coated his face, and she noticed nothing but white daggers of teeth. Wondrously Morigan witnessed the transformation, watched him swell with twice the muscle he had possessed as a man, saw his hands and feet shag over with fur and split the soil with black claws. Another howl and a final gristle-crunching shudder (his hindquarters snapping into place, she thought) signified the end of the change.
            Her dreams did not do Caenith justice. Here was a beast twice the size of a mare with jaws that could swallow her to the waist. Here was a monster that had stalked and ruled the Untamed. A lord of fang and claw. The birds and weaker animals vanished, knowing a deadly might was near. Around her, the Wolf paced; making the ground tremble with power; ravishing her with his cold gray gaze; huffing and blasting her with his forceful breaths. While the scent of his musk was choking, it was undeniably Caenith’s, if rawer and unwashed.
            Morigan was not afraid, and was flushed with heat and shaking as she slipped the bracelet on and knelt. She did not flinch as the Wolf lay behind and about her like a great snuffling rug and placed his boulder of a head in her lap. No, she stroked his long ears and his wrinkled snout. A maiden and her Wolf. Soon the birds returned, sensing this peace and chirping in praise of it. And neither Morigan nor the Wolf could recall a time—if ever there was one—where they had felt so complete.

About the Author:

Christian A. Brown has written creatively since the age of six. After spending most of his career in the health and fitness industry, Brown quit his job to care for his mother when she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2010.

Having dabbled with the novel that would eventually become Feast of Fates for over a decade, Brown was finally able to finish the project. His mother, who was able to read a beginning version of the novel before she passed away, has since imbued the story with deeper sentiments of loss, love, and meaning. He is proud to now share the finished product with the world.

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