17 May, 2012

#GuestPost & #Giveaway: Sedition Series by A.J. Maguire

War was coming. Years of conspiring with his brother, of hunting for his lost mother, and war was finally coming. With options and allies depleting, Nelek finds that his newest and brashest bodyguard, Trenna Croften, could be the key to everything he’s been fighting for.

He’d promised to unite the land, to bring Eldur and Human together in peace, but Nelek Dyngannon never expected that peace to come at the cost of his wife. Together, Trenna and Nelek must battle past the demons of Trenna’s past, in order to forge a peaceful future.

Check out the books HERE

Girls Who Kick Butt - A.J Maguire

One of the most frequent comments I get is that people love the character of Trenna Silvanus.  She’s the star of the Sedition series, which currently includes both Sedition and Saboteur, with a third book in the works.  Trenna is brash, gritty, and has a sense of humor that tends to carry the books.  What really makes her work as a character – for me, anyway – is that she’s all of these things without having to defend those traits. 

Too often I’ve seen fiction that defines a strong female protagonist by the way men react to them. “How dare you speak without being spoken to, woman!” To which the female replies; “Oh, I dare! En guard!” And then the woman thrashes the ignorant male about somehow.

Granted, in the opening scene of Sedition we get to see Trenna whoop-up on an ignorant man, but in that case the idiot actually groped her. And you don’t touch Trenna without her permission.

Another issue I’ve seen too much of is when a strong female protagonist is somehow vastly different from the other females around.  You can’t just put all the other girls in skirts to make your protagonist stand out, she has to be exemplary even among the men around her.  If she can’t be as strong as her male counterparts, then give her something equally deadly to contend with.  Physiologically speaking, Trenna is short and spry and she has to rely on her speed and resilience to even the playing field for her.

But perhaps the most grievous infraction I’ve seen from modern fiction writers is that these strong, capable women have a strange proclivity toward inaction.  They react to things rather than making things happen.  They are plagued by an indecisive nature, too frightened of making the wrong move, and are thereby controlled by outside forces rather than their own sense of self.  They are, essentially, forever rolling with the punches that the plot delivers instead of wrangling the plot to their own will.

Outside forces do have their part to play.  Take Leeloo from The Fifth Element (and yes, that’s how you spell it according to the IMDb).  Leeloo is pretty much dragged along by circumstances outside of her control for that whole story.  But we still love her because she makes the decision to confront big ugly aliens in a hotel room. 

Even Trenna faces circumstances beyond her control when she finds herself knighted, but when push comes to shove, she takes action.

Personally, I can forgive many things of the female protagonists I read.  I can forgive the cliché of a tomboy, unkempt and disorderly – mainly because I am one myself.  I can forgive when a woman swears and shocks all the men in a room – if the author has sufficiently painted a male dominated society.  I can even forgive a female warrior throwing a table over in a fit of rage – mostly.

But I cannot forgive wishy-washy resolve.  A strong female character isn’t just there to look good in tight pants or knock out men who leer at them.  They must also have the confidence to make decisions, and the courage to face whatever consequences come with it. 

Fun Facts about A.J Maguire

The last movie you watched
Marvel Avengers! Oh, yeah! I am a super-geek and I loved every second of that movie.  Coincidentally, so did my son.

The last book that you couldn’t finish (for whatever reason)
Patrick Rothfuss’ “The Wise Man’s Fear”

Least favorite subject in school
Art.  Everyone always says; “But that was an easy A!”  For me, however, I would have preferred to fail in private, rather than have my failures on display.  The only thing I can draw with a modicum of talent is a stick figure.

Your greatest fear
Murky water.  I read a book in grade school called “What Until Helen Comes” about a ghost that lured people into a lake where they would get tangled in the kelp and drown.  It’s sorta stuck with me.

Morning person or night owl?    
After a cup of coffee I’m a morning person.  I’m crashed in bed by 10 P.M. on most nights.

What inspires you?
Symphonies. Or soundtracks with no words.  In particular, the soundtrack to Band of Brothers, or The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, or Thor.  In fact, almost all of Saboteur was written to the soundtrack of Thor. 

Favorite Dessert
Brownies. Plain fudge brownies, no fancy double chocolate in them and no marshmallows.  When my son figures out that he can bribe me with brownies, he might just rule the world.  (He’s 4, though, so we have some time.)

Beach or Hills?  
Mountains.  I live twenty minutes away from the mountains and I take advantage of that in the summer.  I even have a pretty vista view just outside my window of a mountain range.  I can’t wait until my son is able to really climb them.

The best vacation you've ever taken
A trip to Alaska when I was a teenager.  My Aunt and cousins were living up there at the time and they took us around the Kenai Peninsula.  We ran into a bear cub (in the car, we were safe – no, we didn’t hit the cub, it just ran across the road) and a school of orca (in a boat, we were safe there, too) and even braved swimming at the beach (we were relatively safe there, but an otter decided it needed to play too and started splashing up a storm just a few feet away.) 

One cause you're passionate about
Feeding the hungry.  All of them.  Not just in my home town, but across states and borders as well.  There is no reason any person, child or elderly or in between, should ever go hungry.  There is more than enough to go around, we just need to take the responsibility and see to it that food reaches the people who need it. 

Contact the Author

Now, onto the Giveaway. Ms.Maguire has kindly agreed to giveway print copies of her books - Sedition and Saboteur to 1 US/Canada winner &  e-copies 1 International winner

  1. Do not leave out / forget to enter the "Which country are you from?" task. IT IS MANDATORY as without it I will not know which prize you qualify for. If you do not answer then your other entries will automatically be DISQUALIFIED.
  2. The remaining entries are entirely optional, you can choose to do one or do all. But they could mean the difference between you winning, or someone else taking the prize.
  3. Open Internationally.
  4. When I email the winner, they will have 48 hours to reply to the email with confirmation.
  5. Please don't leave your email address anywhere in the comments on the blog. I am using  rafflecopter to keep your details safe, so please take advantage of that!

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