Wednesday 25 October 2017

Joined by Mara Gan Book Blitz and Giveaway!

Mara Gan
(Joined #1)
Published by: Inkspell Publishing
Publication date: September 12th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Duty and prophecy get in the way of everything.
All I ever wanted to do was read my books, play my sports, and help people. Life and prophecy had other things in mind.
Helping people is what I do; as an empath and semi-frequent telepath, I can easily sense and understand people’s needs and emotions. Sometimes even before they do. Being able to read everyone’s thoughts and feelings all the time can drive me crazy with anxiety, but that moment when I can finally make someone’s life better makes everything worth it.
Unfortunately, I’m also the next in line to rule the galaxy, I’m the only diplomat most planets will listen to, assassins try to kill me on an annoyingly regular basis, and a much-vaunted Prophecy has decreed that I’m going to die. Oh, and someone blew up my home planet.
Kind of a lot to deal with, right?
Too bad I just got another problem: a big, irritating, overbearing bodyguard with serious anger management issues.
And I think I’m falling for him.

“Great, Clee,” I said. “Job’s all yours. I’m going to bed.”
Kenzi covered a snicker as Synie rolled her eyes. “Princess, you know the Yurilians will only talk to you.”
I leaned back in my chair and stretched my neck. “Yeah, yeah.”
Kenzi tilted his head at Synie. “Why will they only talk to the princess?”
Synie shifted uncomfortably. “King Cepheus was….” She paused, searching for the right word.
“A jerk,” Clee supplied unhelpfully.
“Clee!” Synie barked. “That’s practically treason.”
Clee shrugged. “Yep. But I already told him that to his face. He agreed with me.”
Cepheus had a weak spot for Clee, as did we all; her tendency to tell the truth and lighten the mood at the same time was curiously refreshing. And she was right: Cepheus was a terrible diplomat.
With another reproachful glare at Clee, who was no longer paying attention, Synie continued, “King Cepheus was less than sympathetic toward their grain dispute with us. Andromeda smoothed things over and managed to talk them down from outright war.”
Kenzi’s eyes bugged. “They were going to declare war on us, just for some grain?”
“Food is a common reason people go to war,” I said. “Or, rather, lack of it. When people starve, they feel they have nothing left to lose.” Perseus’s words came back to me: people who have nothing to lose, fear nothing.
That was true on a global scale as well as a personal one, I supposed.
Kenzi’s dark eyes turned to me and he gave me an awed smile. I really hated being an object of awe. I liked doing my job—a lot—and I loved helping people, but at heart, I was an introvert who wanted as little attention as possible.
Just my luck, I got the most high-profile job in the galaxy.

Guest Post:

Five Favorite Movie Scenes

I have so many favorite movies, so I had a difficult time picking five scenes that I would be happy to call my favorites. A big part of me wants to pick the entirety of Wonder Woman or The Force Awakens, but that’s no fun and hardly an analytical exercise, so in no particular order, here are my five favorite scenes. I chose these because the combination of great writing, acting abilities, directing, and sheer ingenuity stands out to me.

1. Anything from Themyscira in Wonder Woman! I think I’m still on an adrenaline high from watching that movie, even if it was months ago. The part where Antiope jumps off a shield and shoots three men at once was goosebumpy to me. She was so good.

2. The scene from Office Space when they smash the fax machine. In that moment, that was everyone and anyone who had ever had a frustrating day with technology. I thoroughly enjoyed the use of the gangsta rap for these guys, too, as it added another layer of hilarity.

3. I’m especially partial to a scene in the original 1930 version of All Quiet on the Western Front. The soldiers are sitting around on what seems to be a sunny, warm day, and they’ve finally had their first good meal in goodness knows how long, and they start wondering what started this war in the first place. None of them feel any anger toward the enemy, even confessing to have never met the enemy before, and Kat finally suggests a Hunger Games-esque scenario: “Whenever there’s a big war coming on, you should rope off a big field…. And on the big day, you should take all the kings and their cabinets and their generals, put ‘em in the center dressed in their underpants, and let ‘em fight it out with clubs. The best country wins.” It was so sad, and such an excellent commentary on what wars do to people.

4. The opening credits of Deadpool. The rest of the movie was hysterical, certainly, but making the opening credits to be that funny, just by replacing the names of the cast and production staff with snarky commentary, was brand new to the Hollywood scene and an awesome, risky, stroke of genius.

5. The scene on the train from Spirited Away. The sense of loneliness that permeates that scene was a haunting depiction of the isolation you can feel even when you’re surrounded by millions of people. Trains are a kind of simulacrum of that. When we ride trains, we are usually in a small space with dozens of people, and yet we so rarely communicate or make eye contact with any of them, locking ourselves away on our phones or in our books. Spirited Away has so many beautiful moments, but having lived in Japan for several years, that one on the train stuck with me the most.

Author Bio:
A Pacific Northwesterner by birth and disposition, Mara has lived in Washington DC, Oregon, Japan, and most recently the beautiful Pacific Grove, California, before returning to her roots in Seattle. By day she teaches history to unsuspecting teenagers, and by night she writes books and travels to far-flung places. She loves to be with animals, read, play sports, and drink more London Fogs than is likely good for her.

Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)