A Zombie Blog? That Takes Braiiiins!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Did you know there is a blog entirely devoted to zombie books? 

How awesome is that!

Check out Book Loving Zombies!  They have author interviews, book reviews, and other goodies! Angela was kind enough to interview me for the blog.  Our discussion about "The Harvesting" and all things zombie can be found here: Book Loving Zombies Interview.

Thanks, Angela!
Zombie Bill Murray
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Kick Butt Characters Blog Hop

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Kick Butt Women of Fantasy Literature

Female characters rock. This, of course, is a no-brainer. Women have always rocked, and most readers love a great female protagonist. These days, we have a lot to choose from. I recently wrote a post on the role of the modern female protagonist as depicted in film and television, you can read about it at Girls Gun Wild.  But in celebration of our Kick Butt blog hop, I thought I would compose my top ten list of Kick Butt female characters from fantasy novels. Below you'll read about my favorites, and I have asked you to share some of yours.  I can't wait to hear those you've enjoyed. On my list are YA characters, cross-over YA/New Adult, and some are classic characters. I hope the list gives you a few new titles to add to your to-read list. Here are some of my favorites:

Kick Butt Character Giveaway: Featuring Layla Petrovich

Check out the Kick Butt Giveaway Pictured Below
(details on how to win at end of post)
Novel: "The Harvesting"
Author: Melanie Karsak
Bio: Layla Petrovich, ancient weapons expert, is called home to Hamletville just before a pandemic turns the world into the undead. It soon falls on Layla to save the people of her home town. But Layla soon finds out we were never really alone. The death of humanity reveals other creatures--some on our side, some who wish to end mankind--living in our world. Standing between them and us is Layla.

Now . . . on to the Kick Butt Ladies of Fantasy Literature!


The Top 10 List

10. Kick Butt Character: Guenevere

Book Title: Guenevere, Queen of the Summer Country
Author: Rosalind Miles

What makes Guenevere so kick butt?  This retelling of the Arthurian legend paints Guenevere as a sympathetic yet ass-kicking heroine.  More frequently in Arthurian lit, Gwen is depicted as a "drag" on the men she loves.  In this case, however, Miles gives us a strong-willed, cunning, witty, and thoughtful protagonist looking to express her "thigh freedom" with whomever she chooses.  Miles has a number of books that retell the Arthurian legends from the perspective of the women in the stories.  This book is a great place to start our list.

9. Kick Butt Characters: Niobe and Orb

Series Title: Incarnations of Immortality Series
Author: Piers Anthony

I am including Piers Anthony's series on the list because it is the first fantasy series I ever read.  I remember being entralled by the idea of Death, Time, Fate, Earth conceived as human incarnates.  The first book in this series, which focused on Death, was really fantastic.  I particuarly loved Niobe, who was fate, and Orb, depicted above, as Mother Earth.  Both of these ladies kicked butt because they wielded power and fought the the incarnate of Evil.  While my older, wiser self does detect some sexist themes in the work (why do all of Anthony's female characters have jiggly breasts?), this is a great "starter" series for anyone who wants to read a fantasy classic.

8. Kick Butt Characters: Susan and Lucy

Series Title: The Chronicles of Narnia Series
Author: C.S. Lewis

No list of kick butt female characters of fantasy can be complete without the ladies of Narnia.  The siblings in this tale use wit, strength, and purity of heart to defeat an evil queen and save the land from the clutches of evil and Turkish delight.  Kick butt indeed!

7. Kick Butt Character: Sorcha

Series: The Sevenwaters Series
Author: Juliet Marillier

When I first laid my hands on the Sevenwaters series, I read the novels back to back.  What makes Sorcha so great is her love and dedication to her family.  Her father falls into a curse and it is left to Sorcha to save her brothers--a very likable lot about who I had some rather nonfictional feelings.  Her tenacity is really admirable making her one of my favorite kick butt characters.

6. Kick Butt Character: Mina Harker

Works: Dracula and The League of Extrodinary Gentleman
Authors: Bram Stoker and Allan Moore & Kevin O'Neill

Mina is fantastic.  Her role in Dracula depicts her as an educated and independant woman in a time period where women were usually neither educated nor independant.  This, of course, makes her kick butt.  In her reprisal in the League of Extrodinary Gentleman, she has turned vampire and uses her taste for blood as a weapon to aid Allen Quartermain in a quest to save the world.

5. Kick Butt Character: Alexia Tarabotti

Novel: The Parasol Protectorate Series
Author: Gail Carriger

In addition to League of Extrodinary Gentlman, let me make one other Steampunk nod.  I think you will really enjoy Gail Carriger's character Alexia.  She may be kick butt, but she doesn't have a soul.  This makes her pretty amazing at fighting vampires and werewolves, all while toting a parasol and having good manners.  If you like your Steampunk prim and elegant with a side of kick butt, check out this series!

4. Kick Butt Character: Katniss Everdeen

Novel: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins

You just can't include a list of kick butt females without Katniss.  Our dystopian heroine WINS the freaking Hunger Games because she can shoot a bow and uses her wit to survive.  If we describe kick butt as beauty and brains, Katniss has plenty of both!

3. Kick Butt Character: Morgaine

Novel: The Mists of Avalon
Author: Marion Zimmer Bradley

The Mists of Avalon is a coming of ace story all young women should read.  Like Miles' work, it tells the King Arthur story from the perspective of many of the women in the tale.  The most powerful storyline, however, comes from Morgaine.  Morgaine, better known as the evil sorceress Morgan le fey, takes us on her journey to become a Priestess of Avalon.  While she has her faults, her exploration into ancient matriarchial religion and her mastery over the ancient art is admireable.  She is, hands down, one of my favorite characters of all time.

2. Kick Butt Character: Arwen

Series: The Lord of the Rings
Author: JRR Tolkien

There is something special about Arwen.  Sure, she is an elf.  Sure, she can do magic.  The character of Arwen, and Eowyn for that matter, are unique.  In The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien wrote female characters that were wise, loving, and powerful.  In the midst of the 1950s where the women were, for the most part, relegated to housework, Tolkien envisioned a world where women could control the elements, fight in battles, and still be feminine.  Arwen is one of the best kick butt females of all time.

1. Kick Butt Character: Hermione

Series: The Harry Potter Series
Author: JK Rowling

 Is it an exaggeration to suggest that JK Rowling is the Shakespeare of our day?  I suspect that one day the Harry Potter series will be considered canon literature.  Until then, we can all bask in the glow that was Potter.  In my opinion, Hermione is the most kick butt female character in all of fantasy literature.  She is brave, smart, strong, wise, compassionate, and loyal.  She represents ever quality we value in our society.  She did't fall for the hero, she helped him--WITH HER BRAIN.  She is an admirable heroine for any young woman and most definitly a kick butt character!

Now, Giveaway Time!

What the Prize-Pack Includes:
1 - Undead T-Shirt, Book Cover on Front, Back Shown
1 - Autographed copy of "The Harvesting".  Check out my tab on the novel for more details here: The Harvesting Series
1 - "The Harvesting" Bumper Sticker
10 - Signed "The Harvesting" postcards
How to Win?
1) Follow this blog
2) Post a comment below telling us about your favorite Kick Butt female protagonist!
Domestic and International Entries Permissible!

The Kick Butt Characters Blog Hop runs from March 23rd to 28th.  I will randomly draw a winner at the end of the hop and email you with the details.  Thanks to Good Choice Reading and I'm a Reader, Not a Writer for organizing the blog hop.  Please check out the link list to the right for other great giveaways!
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Read an E-Book Week at Smashwords!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

March 3rd through March 9th, 2013

Smashwords discount for The Harvesting in Celebration of "Read an Ebook Week!"

To celebrate, many, many authors are offering their books at discounted prices. 

I am offering "The Harvesting" at 75% off (that makes it just $1.00) via Smashwords this week if you would like to nab an ecopy.  Here is the link: The Harvesting Page @ Smashwords

If you are interested in the event at large, check out "Read an Ebook."

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Thinking of T. S. Eliot Today

Friday, March 1, 2013

Seems like Eliot knew a little something about zombies before we did.  Enjoy.

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
Remember us-if at all-not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.


Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death's dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind's singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death's dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer-

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom


This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man's hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death's other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.


The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death's twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.


Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o'clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
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