Thursday, September 27, 2012

GLBT Madness Blog Hop Giveaway

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!

                                                                                                                                                        The Romance Reviews GLBT Madness Hop

62 comments:

  1. I loved the book Black Heart Down. I am also a big fan of RJ Scott's books.
    Yvette
    yratpatrol@aol.com

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    1. Thank you so much about BHD! I'm very glad you enjoyed it! And RJ Scott is an awesome author. One of those many in this genre with such wonderful talent. And thank you for stopping by for the hop, too!

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  2. I love the conquest series! Please include me in the drawing. tmadamski(at)msn(dot)com

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    1. Thank you very, very much! It makes me very happy you've enjoyed the Conquest series :D I've got you in the drawing. Good luck!

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  3. What a wide topic! I think different books appeal to me on different days. Having said that, I'll pretty much buy anything Jo Myles writes and I really like Kaje Harper's stories too, especially if I'm in the mood for a long epic. I did enjoy your Conquest too

    Suze
    Littlesuze at hotmail dot com

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    1. I agree! There are so many fantastic books out there! I haven't had the pleasure of reading Josephine Myles yet, but I'll certainly have to give her books a try. Kaje Harper is a very talented author! And thank you about Conquest! I'm glad you liked it :-)

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  4. I tend to like the dark and messy rather than sweet romance. My favorite dark and messy is Cleave by Mickie B. Ashling and my favorite light, sweet read is Sno Ho by Ethan Day.

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    1. Every now and again I get in the mood for something darker, so I'll have to give Cleave by Mickie B. Ashling a try. Thanks for mentioning that! And Ethan Day is amazing! I love everything he writes :-)

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  5. So many books so little time :)

    musings-of-a-bookworm@hotmail.co.uk

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    1. Couldn't have said it better myself :-)

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  6. Thanks for taking part in the hop!

    kimberlyFDR@yahoo.com

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    1. You're very welcome! Thank you for stopping by!

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  7. thanks for hosting a giveaway. You have a lot of great books to choose from :) sstogner1 at gmail dot com

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    1. My pleasure to host the giveaway! I appreciate you visiting! Thank you very much about my books, too :D

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  8. Thanks for doing the hop have a great day
    mfierydrgn@aol.com

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    1. I'm very happy to be part of the hop! Thank you for coming by for it. Hope you have a great day, too :-)

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  9. Thanks for participating in the hop. Love you books!

    gisu29(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. You're welcome! And thank you so incredibly much about my books! I'm very happy you've liked them :D

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  10. Wonderful post. Thanks for doing the hop!

    Lasha
    mslasha @ gmail.com

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you liked the post. It was really great to be able to talk about how much Vanyel and the Last Herald Mage trilogy impacted me. And thank you for stopping by for the hop!

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  11. I loved the Mercedes Lackey Magic books as well. I've re-read them a number of times.

    avaliereads(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. That awesome you like Mercedes Lackey's books, too! She's a really fantastic author, and has created such amazing worlds and characters :-)

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  12. Mercedes Lackey is my all time favorite author. I've re-read the Valdemar series so many times I've had to replace some of the books.

    1_trouble at msn dot com

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    1. That's very cool she's your favorite author! I love her books, too :-) She's amazingly talented, and the Valdemar books are some of the greatest fantasy stories ever.

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  13. Oh, you take me back with The Last Herald Mage. Time for a reread! I also love Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner series.

    brendurbanist AT gmail DOT com

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    1. Yay! Glad I could take you back with The Last Herald Mage. I have so much love for that trilogy. And the Nightrunner series is awesome! I adore Seregil and Alec :-)

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  14. Thanks for giving us a chance in the hop. So many good books, it's hard to know which one to read first.
    lovingkindle AT Gmail DOT com

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    1. You're welcome! Thank you for stopping by! And I know what you mean about all those good books out there. My TBR grows way faster than what I can ever read.

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  15. I agree with Suze. Different books appeal on different days. I particularly love books that are part of a series where we get the chance to revisit characters. One of the reasons I love the Conquest books! As far as books that come to mind when thinking about ones I've read in the past then Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy would be one. Thanks for the hop! Ckhenshaw(at)xtra(dot)co(dot)nz. Cheers, Kath.

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    1. Absolutely! Depending on my mood, I read a wide array of things, from horror to romance. I'm a fan of series as well, because I tend to get attached to characters :-) Thank you very, very much about the Conquest books! I'm happy that it's a series you've enjoyed :D And Tigers and Devils is excellent!

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  16. I'm new to your books. Your books sound very interesting. Thanks for participating in the Hop.

    strive4bst(At) yahoo(Dot) com

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    1. Thank you! I'm happy to hear they sound interesting :-) That's one of the best things about blog hops, I think. You get to go to all kinds of blogs and get introduced to new authors and lots of awesome books. Thanks for visiting my blog!

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  17. I'll have to check Mercedes' books out. Thanks for the recommend and for the giveaway opportunity.

    sophiarose1816 at gmail dot com

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    1. You're most welcome for the giveaway! Thank you for stopping by. Hope if you decide to give Mercedes Lackey a try, that you'll enjoy her work :-)

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  18. I just love Vanyel! The Last Herald Mage was the first m/m books that I remember reading. I was hooked after that. chellebe(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. oops...wrong email address *Headdesk* chellebee66(at)gmail(dot)com

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    2. That's awesome you love Vanyel, too! He's such an amazing character. I can completely understand getting hooked on m/m after reading The Last Herald Mage books. I know they influenced me as an author. And no worries on the email address. I do that too, lol! Thank you so much for stopping by :D

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  19. I read different authors depending only mood, Andrew Grey tends to be a happy one, as well as JL Merrow. For sad times I like Amy Lanes darker books, like Chase in Shadow!
    Thanks for participating!
    OceanAkers @ aol.com

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    1. Same here. Different authors, different story types, for different moods. And those are all fantastic authors you mentioned! JL Merrow and I were in an anthology together eons ago called Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Her story, "King's Honor", was awesome. Thanks for visiting for the hop!

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  20. I'm not well-versed in fantasy, so I didn't know about Mercedes Lackey before now. Your backlist looks great--thanks for the giveaway!

    vitajex(at)aol(Dot)com

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    1. Glad I could introduce you to Mercedes Lackey! And thank you very much about my backlist! You're welcome for the giveaway. I appreciate you stopping by!

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  21. I've heard of Mercedes Lackey, but never read anything by her. Never would have suspected she wrote a homosexual character because considering when the books came out, I would have thought there'd be some rumblings about it.

    acm05atjuno.com

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    1. Yep, indeed she did. She's written other homosexual characters, but Vanyel was the first lead character. I really give her a lot of credit for pushing the boundaries at that time. If you like fantasy novels, you might like her work :-)

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  22. Not sure about Mercedes Lackey but I will look up one of her books.

    jrobe 10689 at aol com

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    1. She's an excellent author if you like high fantasy. Hope you like her work if you decide to give it a read. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  23. oh~ I really loved your Conquest series. I have yet to read the last but ahh~ I look forward to it. ;)
    Hm, I've never heard of Mercedes Lackey until now.. Though, I think the cover of her books do look familiar... I don't know if her stuff will be my type but I'll be sure to give her a try in the future. :D

    Please count me in on the contest. :D

    Judi
    arella3173_loveless(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Thank you so much! It means a lot hearing you enjoy the Conquest series! Hope if you give Heartstrings a read, that you'll like it, too :D Won't be too much longer until the next one, Feeling the Rhythm, comes out!

      Mercedes Lackey has been around forever, so I'll bet you've seen her covers. I really love high fantasy, so she's a favorite author of mine :-) And she's got a huge backlist of lots of different story types. It's amazing how many books she's written!

      Thank you for entering in the contest! Good luck!

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  24. I also loved your Conquest Series! thank you for writing such great material :D (and keeping me up til the wee hours of the morning... but it's worth it. lol).

    comment1800@yahoo.com

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    1. Thank you so incredibly much! It gives me a huge smile knowing you've enjoyed the Conquest series :D I really try the absolute best that I'm able to do with each book, and I'll work hard to continue to do so! And you know, the Conquest guys have kept me up until the wee hours too, lol! I'm glad they've been worth it for you :-) Thank you again!

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  25. SJ, I absolutely love your Conquest series. One of my favorite series.

    dannyfiredragon@aol.com

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    1. I know there are many wonderful series, so it's a huge compliment that Conquest is one of your favorites. Thank you so incredibly much!

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  26. Thank you for posting about this series. I will certainly check it out.

    Thanks,
    Tracey D
    book lover 0226 at gmail dot com

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    1. OOPS! I need to correct my email.

      booklover0226 at gmail dot com

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    2. You're very welcome! Hope you'll like the books if you check them out :-)

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  27. Hi Shannon ^.^ Haven't read this series, but it sounds interesting. Must be very different from the books published today.

    Erica
    eripike at gmail dot com

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    1. Hey there! *hugs* It's a great series. And you're right, it's a bit different in its approach from what's published today. For it's time, it was pretty bold, and I think that gives the stories a timeless quality. If you like fantasy, you might enjoy them :-)

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  28. I don't know how I missed this series, am adding to my wishlist right now.

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    1. Cool! Hope you'll like it! I've enjoyed so many of Mercedes Lackey's books. And thanks for swinging by for the giveaway!

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  29. I've never heard of the series before, thanks for letting me know!

    tiger-chick-1(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. I'm very happy to! It's always fun to find new books and authors. Glad I could introduce these books to you :D

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  30. I have such eclectic taste in books that it really depends on my mood what I want to read. I would love a chance to read some of your work!

    Kassandra
    sionedkla@gmail.com

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    1. I'm the same way. I can read anything. I have my favorite genres and authors, but I'm always willing to give a new author or different type of book a chance. Thanks so much for being interested in mine and stopping over for the giveaway!

      And many thanks again to everyone! I'll be posting the winner later today!

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