Hey there, ladies and gentlemen! I'm taking part in the very fun GLBT Madness Blog Hop, hosted by The Romance Reviews (TRR). I'm excited to be in on the fun, and for my prize, I'm offering up winner's choice of a free title from my backlist, in ebook. To be entered for a chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. The hop runs from September 27th until the September 30th, and I'll be announcing my winner on October 1st, that way it gives everyone in all different time zones a chance to enter.
Those of us who are taking part in this hop are showcasing one GLBT title that we love. Not an easy task! As an author of gay erotic romance, I've read so many titles in the genre, I didn't know where to begin. There are so many beautifully talented authors who write GLBT stories, and the list of authors whose talent and books I admire goes on and on. So I had to really sit down and think of all the books I've read, which has impacted me the most. The answer came in the very first book I ever read which featured a homosexual character, Magic's Pawn by Mercedes Lackey.
I first read this book and the trilogy that it's part of...do I dare say it?...nearly twenty years ago. And wow, now I feel old! Yet despite all the time that's passed, the books have stayed with me. The trilogy is called The Last Herald Mage, and the three books, in order, are; Magic's Pawn, Magic's Promise, and Magic's Price.
I was young when I first came across these books, about thirteen, but I've since re-read them as an adult and they struck me in the same way. Same as when I was a young girl, I cried and cried reading the stories, and once again, the main character, Vanyel Ashkevron, grabbed my heart with just as much force, if not more, because as an adult, I was able to fully understand him and empathize with him.
The books aren't light, fluffy reads. They're fantasy, not romance, so Happily Ever After isn't a requirement for the characters. Vanyel faces constant challenges, hardships, tragedies, and heartbreak. The series starts out with him as a young man, only just discovering his sexuality, and soon, the incredible power that exists within him. Throughout the series he grows, both in his power and in character. No matter the challenge or his personal pain, Vanyel continues to rise, fight for those in need, and make sacrifices for the greater good.
Back when these books were published (Magic's Pawn was published in 1983), gay characters in mainstream novels wasn't the most common thing. And when they were presented, so often it was in a negative light or as stereotypes, or they were secondary characters that got glossed over. And that's what makes the Last Herald Mage trilogy special. Mercedes Lackey pushed the boundaries of mainstream fiction at the time to present an openly gay hero who was layered, real, and flawed like any person, caring, brave, noble, honorable, and self-sacrificing. And for me, after being on Vanyel's journey with him through the three books, I was so emotionally invested in that him I've carried him in my heart for all these years. Now that's the mark of incredible story telling.
While the stories I write are different are different in themes - rock stars, vampires, samurai - I can say without doubt that Vanyel and the Last Herald Mage trilogy certainly influenced me as an author. So if you like fantasy and don't mind shedding a few tears, I very highly recommend the books.
And for other great books and authors, be sure to check out the other awesome blogs taking part in this hop! If you have an account at TRR and are logged in, all you have to do is click the button below to be taken to the next blog! You can also see all the participating blogs HERE.
I hope all who stop by my humble little blog enjoy it! And good luck to everyone who enters the giveaway!