Sunday, July 13, 2014

My Top 5 Favorite Books - International Authors' Day Blog Hop

Debdatta Dasgupta Sahay of Bookish Indulgences with Book Reviews has declared July 14th as International Authors' Day. She was shocked that authors had no official day to pay tribute to their cherished art form, so she organized an International Authors' Day blog hop where bloggers write about their favorite authors, books, or why they love reading. For my contribution, I'll let you know the top five novels that have meant the most to me.

I'm also giving away ebook copies of Rys Rising: Book I and Savage Storm: Rys Rising Book II. Entries closed.

My Top 5 Favorite Books

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien - It's a trilogy of three books, but I'll just count it as one for my list. Because I've been writing fantasy novels since 1997, this famous epic by J.R.R. Tolkien has been enormously influential on me. Tolkien introduced me to a way of expressing myself that is now integral to my happiness. As for the story itself in the Lord of the Rings, I find it profoundly inspiring. Many times in my life when I've needed courage, I've told myself that if Sam and Frodo can walk into Mordor, I can go forward too.

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell - This mega-hit from the 1930s is a huge romance novel set in Georgia during the Civil War and Reconstruction. I remember every bit of it almost 30 years after reading it. Although the heroine Scarlett O'Hara is a shallow, scheming woman made nearly heartless by harsh circumstances, she remains one of the most memorable characters of all time. Scarlett inspires me to be strong but teaches me to be cautious about becoming too hard-hearted. She loses Rhett because she's unable to accept her own nature and appreciate the happiness he could bring. She's too busy trying to be someone she isn't.

The Godfather by Mario Puzzo - This is a novel that I think about year after year. I ponder how it showed the link between the brutal criminality of organized crime and politicians. I've shared my thoughts about this novel at this blog before in Michael Corleone and the power of an unforgettable anti hero.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck - This heartbreaking novel reveals the injustice that is pervasive in our society. I take the most inspiration from the character of Ma Joad. She endures through ever-worsening situations. She has no hope but always works hard to take care of others. She is selfless and beaten down. When I need to find strength, I always think about how Ma Joad would keep going. She proves that men can write women characters marvelously. Good authors think about people and find inspiration from all of humanity.

Dune by Frank Herbert - This science fiction classic has had the biggest influence on my style of writing. I write fiction in third person omniscient . I read Dune when I was first getting old enough to read big novels. I was blown away by all the points of view and how Herbert created a society complete with a history, religion, economy, and political conflict. Dune has an epic scope on a galactic scale. The novel also serves as a metaphor for our current civilization too. The spice that is needed for space travel is directly comparable to the oil that fuels our world. The Emperor and the Spacing Guild always insist that the "Spice must flow!" Without it the empire falls apart. The same is true with our petroleum-based civilization.

Like all book lovers, I appreciate novels that make me think and feel. I want to care about characters and be educated by them. And I need literature to help me process the world I live in so I can attain greater understanding. 

On International Authors Day, I offer my gratitude to the many authors who've enriched my life. And thanks to all the authors I've never read. Our efforts continue the great tradition of creativity that defines our species.

As a participant in the blog hop, I'm offering an ebook giveaway. Ebooks are available worldwide. 

Prizes: Rys Rising: Book I and Savage Storm: Rys Rising Book II

(Prizes available worldwide in Kindle, Epub, and PDF formats.)

About the ebook prizes:

A young warrior ruined and near death is saved by Onja a mysterious rys female. Forsaking all that he was, he will take the name Amar and serve his new magical mistress. A lord among outlaws he will become, feared by kings and called the dro-shalum or curse demon by the common folk.

Indulge yourself and read this sumptuous epic told from many angles.

 When Onja enthralls the savage Chatapaka people of the remote north and unleashes their brutal hordes upon vulnerable Nufalese settlements, the militia is overwhelmed. Cruce Chenomet and his comrades struggle to save the fleeing settlers. Cruce quickly loses hope but keeps his courage as he confronts the savage storm.

Entries closed

I will select the winner on Saturday July 19th and contact you by email. 

Check the Giveaways Page for new prizes soon

Enjoy reading more about books and authors on the International Authors' Day blog hop.