Thursday, October 17, 2019

Stayborn Blog Tour

Elemental Manipulation is a tricky business. Only those with the power can train to become a Draev Guardian.

Cyrus Sole hates life. She’s only half-human, with weak wrists, and not a day goes by when someone doesn’t say something mean about it—especially her step-mom. But when the forbidden power to manipulate metal awakens inside her, she finds herself on the run as the Argos Corps is sent to kill her…

Aken is a Scourgeblood, the last in a line of monsters. But all he really wants is to gain wings and be free. Until a new power suddenly awakens, changing the course of his life…

The Draev Guardian Academy is their only sanctuary. But training to become a Draev won’t be easy. Cyrus has to hide her human side, as she gets placed in Floor Harlow with the outcast students, and nightmares of her deceased mother keep returning.

With creepy Corpsed on the prowl, and whispers of Cyrus possibly being a reborn Hero, both she and Aken find themselves caught up in a web of secrets, racial tension, and an old legend with enemies that could spell their untimely demise…

—This book is a good fit for those who've enjoyed the Percy Jackson series, Brandon Sanderson's fantasy world-building,and the fun of J.K. Rowling.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Purchase Links

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Get a free prequel short story HERE!

Cyrus Sole, a girl who can manipulate metal, and Aken-Shou the last Scourgeblood, must learn to survive in a world that is determined to either destroy them, or use them...

About the Author

E.E. Rawls is the product of a traveling family, who even lived in Italy for 6 years. She loves exploring the unknown, whether it be in a forest, inside a forgotten castle, or within the pages of a book.

She runs on coffee, cuddly cats and the beauty of nature to keep the story wheels of her mind running, as she writes tales that will both entertain and inspire others, giving them worlds they can explore and become lost within.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 


First place: One hardback copy of Strayborn, and one Percy Jackson soy/vegan homemade candle by A Court Of Candles.
Second and Third place: One ebook copy of Strayborn.
Ends on Monday, October 21.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Tour Stop and Interview with C. M. Banschbach (Author of Oath of the Outcast)

It's finally here! So guys, I've been so excited for this book to come out since I beta read an early version and it is seriously one of my most anticipated releases of the year. This book has literally all the things I love in it, Angsty, anti-heroes with anger management issues, but who love their little brothers. Little brothers who never lose faith in their angsty anger driven older bros. Snark, outlaw bands, rediculously creepy cults, and evil baddies. And just a truckload of mangst.

But we don't have to wait anymore! Oath of the Outcast is finally out officially today, and I'm so excited to share the release with you for the blog tour!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A lost brother.
An unwilling outlaw.
A rising enemy.
An unusual alliance.

Years ago, Rhys MacDuffy was brutally cut off from his clan, stripped of his name and inheritance, and banished to the remote Dragon Keep. Perched high above the Shang Pass in the land of Alsaya, he assumed the mantle of the Mountain Baron, serving out his sentence as the overseer of the worst outlaws and outcasts.

But one day he receives a desperate message from the clan who disowned him: MacDuffy’s Seer—his beloved brother—has been taken by their enemies.

With his band of Mountain Brigands and an unwelcome sidekick, Rhys leaves his mountain stronghold to find and rescue his brother. The tide of war is rising amongst the Clans of Alsaya, fueled by the magic-wielding sect of Druids who seek to unleash a dark force the world has long forgotten.

Can the bond of blood run deeper than banishment?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
And now I'd like to invite Claire on for an interview where she talks a little about her book:

What was your main inspiration for writing “Oath of the Outcast”?

A morning of driving in foggy weather actually, and my over active imagination that gave the scene of a broody, angry guy riding down a foggy mountainside. I was so distracted the rest of the day at work as the main bits of the story all came together! 

Ah, the life of a writer; so many distractions and inspirations all the time!
Okay, so tell us a little about Rhys MacDuffy and the Cairns.

Rhys MacDuffy was exiled from his clan over seven years ago after being accused of assassinating the last living heir to the throne. He’s been living up in the Cardic Mountains since where he’s established a pretty fearsome reputation as the Mountain Baron along with his band of Cairns. The Cairns are all outlaws/outcasts like him, as well as criminals of many varieties. They all came to swear an oath of service to him and are extremely loyal. They’re basically criminals with little slivers of gold in their hearts. I love them all. Haha! 

You have to love the outlaws who are, deep down, good guys, maybe sometimes even the goodest!

So when and how did the MacDuffy Brothers come into being?

Rhys pretty much leapt full formed into my head that day driving in the fog. It didn’t take long for Sean, his younger brother, to appear after that. Once I figured out that this mysterious, broody guy with a massive chip on his shoulder would do anything for his little brother he hasn’t seen for seven years, this story took over my head and heart! 

Who was your favorite and least favorite character to write?

Favorite? All of them? Haha! Rhys is probably my most favorite, since he’s such an extra ball of snark and drama. But they were all so easy to write! The hardest scenes were probably writing Lord Adam as one of the villains, and trying to really flesh out his character and motivations since he kept surprising me! 

Villains are always the ones who give the most trouble, both to the writers and our poor heroes ;-)

What’s your favorite to write: Actual siblings, brothers in arms, (or both?)

Ooh! Tough question since I love doing both! Siblings maybe a little more? I have multiple siblings, so I love being able to showcase the variety of sibling relationships. 

Can you give us a teaser about what might be next for the MacDuffy brothers and their comrades?

Book 2 is coming next summer. It’s full of more non-stop action, creepy druids, evil plots to capture Sean again, Rhys frantically stabbing people to try and protect Sean, the Cairns running after Rhys and also stabbing people, Alan MacDuffy trolling Rhys every chance he gets, and villains being so over Rhys interfering with their plots and plans! 

Sounds exciting! And will definitely give us all something to look forward to!

Any writing projects in the works?

My current project is book 3 of my YA/MG Faeries of Myrnius fantasy series. It’s headed to the editor next month and is all about found family, embracing your strengths, accepting who you are, excuses for me to have caribou and other arctic creatures, and snowy adventures. After that, I’m not sure what’s next! I have a few projects I’m thinking about starting, but nothing definitive yet. Helpful, I know. ;) 

Sounds like a fun addition to the series!

So, can you share some of your favorite books, movies and music you have read, watched, and listened to so far this year?

Avengers: Endgame, Aladdin are def top movies! 
Books – Echo North by Joana Ruth Myer, To Best the Boys by Mary Weber, Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine, and Shard and Shield by Laura VanArendonk Baugh! 
Music – not sure! I listen to a ton of music, so it’s hard to narrow it down. But I’ve for sure had the Aladdin OST on repeat recently. (I’m a little obsessed with the live action remake!) 

And a bonus: Three books you would recommend to people who like “Oath of the Outcast” (Or if one enjoyed these three books they should definitely try “Oath of the Outcast”)

I’d say if you like non-magical fantasy adventure you’d love it, but I compare it to the Riyria books by Michael J. Sullivan, with the feel of Stephen Lawhead, and the sibling relationships similar to Supernatural (not a book specifically, but there you go!) 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
About the Author
C.M. Banschbach is a native Texan and would make an excellent Hobbit if she weren’t so tall. She’s a pizza addict, a multi-faceted fangirl, and a firm believer in being authentic—even if it means acting like a dork sometimes! When not writing fantasy stories packed full of adventure and snark, she works as a pediatric physical therapist where she happily embraces the fact that she never actually has to grow up.

She also writesYA/MG fantasy-adventure as Claire M. Banschbach.
IG/Twitter: @cmbanschbach 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

There's a giveaway! Eneter for Awesome Prizes! (Open internationally!) 
2 ebooks, 
1 paperback, 
1 combo pack of a bookmark and a map postcard! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Purchase Links

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

And also just for fun, I made a fan playlist for Claire so enjoy a listen while you read your copy of Oath of the Outcast

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

COVER REVEAL "Oath of the Outcast" by C. M. Banschbach

I'm super excited to share the cover reveal for my friend Claire's upcoming book "Oath of the Outcast"!

Isn't this a gorgeous cover??

A little more about it:

A lost brother. 
An unwilling outlaw. 
A rising enemy. 
An unusual alliance. 

Years ago, Rhys MacDuffy was brutally cut off from his clan, stripped of his name and inheritance, and banished to the remote Dragon Keep. Perched high above the Shang Pass in the land of Alsaya, he assumed the mantle of the Mountain Baron, serving out his sentence as the overseer of the worst outlaws and outcasts. 

But one day he receives a desperate message from the clan who disowned him: MacDuffy’s Seer—his beloved brother—has been taken by their enemies. 

With his band of Mountain Brigands and an unwelcome sidekick, Rhys leaves his mountain stronghold to find and rescue his brother. The tide of war is rising amongst the Clans of Alsaya, fueled by the magic-wielding sect of Druids who seek to unleash a dark force the world has long forgotten. 

Can the bond of blood run deeper than banishment?

I was lucky enough to get to read an earlier draft of this and I must say it's one of my most anticipated releases of the year! I highly encourage you to keep an eye out for this. It will be out on July 23rd!

You can find more info about it HERE

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Growing Up With Star Wars

So because today is May the 4th(Star Wars Day) I thought it was about time that I wrote a post about one of the major influences to my storytelling.

Before we start, I just want to note that this is not a post comparing the old Star Wars to the new. I could have gone that direction, and I’m certainly not afraid to share my opinion of Disney’s Star Wars fanfiction, I am tired of that and I will not be speaking of it here. However I do want to make it clear that when I say “Star Wars” I only mean the Original Trilogy and the Prequels.

Like me, I think most people who grew up in the 80s or 90s were raised watching Star Wars or at least were aware of it. Now it’s pretty much a household name. I vividly remember watching the Original Trilogy movies when I was only a wee thing with my grandpa. I remember really loving C3P0 R2-D2 and of course the Ewoks. The Phantom Menace came out when I was about six or seven, and I still recall the first time I watched it. I didn’t go to the theater to see it because I didn’t like theaters as a kid, but I did watch it after it came out on VHS (yes I’m old.) I think this is when I really started to fall in love with Star Wars.

A lot of people my age, even some good friends grew up on Harry Potter, they dreamed of going to Hogwarts. Star Wars was my Harry Potter; I didn’t want to be a wizard, I wanted to be a Jedi. I wasn’t into the idea of sitting in classrooms all day learning magic you couldn’t even use in real life. I wanted to fight evil with laser swords and psychic powers and who wouldn’t?

I mean, if I’m being honest, at this point in my life I would probably rather be a rogue bounty hunter because it beats having to deal with the politics of being a Jedi, and I am more morally grey, but yeah…

Even after other fandoms came into my life, which I arguably became more obsessed over, Star Wars remains one of the first. I didn’t get into Lord of the Rings until I was a little older and was on my fantasy kick. And I know a lot of people slam the prequels and now that I’m older, yes, I agree, Anakin is annoying, and some of the storylines are a little uninspired, but these came out when I was a kid, and I remember the anticipation for Episode III, wanting to see the final ties between the prequels and the Original Trilogy. 

While I’ll admit I haven’t obsessed about Star Wars as much as some other fandoms, I think it’s almost more than that. It’s a safety zone, it’s a constant. It’s a timeless story. A classic tale of Good verses Evil. The characters arcs that are clearly defined. I know I have used Star Wars as an example multiple times when describing literary devices because you can and there’s something still wonderful about these kinds of stories despite what critics like to say. I don’t think people will ever stop loving these simple stories of villains and heroes. I know I won’t. I will never stop thinking about characters like Luke, Han and Leah. Seeing these characters rise above the odds and save the freaking universe should be inspiring to us to get through our own daily struggles. They didn’t even have to be larger than life characters, they were still relatable. They certainly didn’t get through their mission without the hiccups. Anakin’s story can be seen as a cautionary tale about how power corrupts and the terrible things we can sometimes be willing to do for love. Obi-Wan is a hero who is willing to play by the rules until he sees a better way and then he’s not afraid to break them. They’re human. 

Star Wars is something I have enjoyed in one shape or form pretty much my entire life. My brothers and I had many lightsaber fights, we used to play with the action figures all the time (maybe sometimes we still do) We spent a summer binge-watching Clone Wars when we first got Netflix. I’m pretty sure Obi-Wan was one of my first fictional crushes and honestly still is one of my absolute favorite characters ever. I love the comfort of stories like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings too. They show you that even farm boys and hobbits can save the world, they show you that YOU can be a hero too. Not because being a hero is easy and not because it’s not going to be hard work, but because sometimes you’re the only one who can do a specific thing. While most of us probably aren’t going to end up having to save the world, I think the same concept can apply to lesser things as well. 

I’d love for anyone reading this to share YOUR Star Wars story with me! Until next time, May the Force be with you!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Flower of the Underworld Blog Tour

It's here! The start of the blog tour to celebrate the release of Flower of the Underworld! I hope you all will join in because we've got a lot of cool things planned. 

Every tour stop will bring you a different excerpt so make sure you check them all out. You can also comment on each blog post for extra chances to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a signed copy of the book.

Tour Schedule

(Day One-April 23rd)
Introduction at Character Purgatory

I will be hosting a live Q&A on my Instagram account on Thursday night (April 25th) from 8-9PM EST so get your questions ready! I will also be taking questions from Twitter for those who don’t have an Instagram account during the same time. Feel free to ask questions about Flower of the Underworld, or just writing and books in general, I'm not afraid to go off topic. If you’ll be asking questions on Twitter please make sure to @artfulscribbler with the hashtag #FlowerQ&A.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~


Olympus Landscaping was a huge, multi-million dollar business that did jobs all over the country, especially for celebrities and the Hollywood types. And who wouldn’t want their yards done up in such a fantastic way? I might consider it myself if I lived in a clime that could support grass and green things. There were several branches of it open across the country, but this one, near New Olympus, was the one I liked best…for various reasons.

I strolled straight out to the garden, hands in my pockets, enjoying the afternoon sun while I could. I did get tired of the sun easily, but when you hadn’t seen it for weeks on end, even I could be really appreciative of stuff like that.

The garden was so lush and green. Trees gave shade, and flowers spilled out onto the sidewalks in perfectly constructed disarray. The garden culminated into a small courtyard, which was my favorite part, because it had a pond in the middle with a bunch of happy goldfish. I imagined having one of these in the Underworld but figured they would be happier in the sun.

I sat down on the bench near the pond with a contented sigh, and simply closed my eyes and turned my face up toward the sun. Of course, my whole pale body could use some sunlight, but it would look a little strange coming back to the Underworld with a tan. And it wasn’t like I had time to go to the beach either.

I was just enjoying soaking up the sun when I heard a voice.

“Oh, hello. I haven’t seen you around for a while.”

My eyes flew open and saw the girl standing in front of me. She had honey blond hair and green eyes, and a pleasant smile that told of a good nature but also seemed to hold a good sense of humor. She was dressed in a light sundress with green leggings and short fashionable boots with the tops turned down to show her chunky knitted socks. She was also holding a pot of bright pink flowers, completing the breath of fresh air she always was.

Yeah, so I did say that I had other reasons for coming here than to just enjoy the fishpond.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~
Follow the rest of the tour for more excerpts!

Purchase Links

Paperback link Coming Soon!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 19, 2019

Coming Soon! Flower of the Underworld

So I finally have a new book coming out and this is one that I have been looking forward to writing and sharing for a long time! I've had a Hades and Persephone retelling in my head for a while, and I'm so excited to finally get to share it with all of you! 

Title:Flower of the Underworld
Genre:Urban Fantasy/Mythology Retelling

Synopsis:What happens when the Lord of the Dead accidently falls in love with the Goddess of Spring? 

Well, when there are brothers with crazy political agendas and overprotective mothers involved, a simple romance may not be as simple as it looks. Hades wants nothing more than to woo Persephone, but his fellow Olympians have other ideas. Zeus and Poseidon seem set on starting World War Three, Persephone’s mother wants her daughter to marry Ares, the insufferable God of War to make sure the earth doesn’t get destroyed in the process, and Hades is being pressured by his brothers to join in a fight he never wanted a part of. He’s definitely going to need some help with this one. Calling on his friends Hermes, Artemis, and Apollo, they do the only thing they can: kidnap Persephone themselves and team up to try and stop Zeus before his plans succeed. 

This modern retelling of Hades and Persephone is part romance, part political intrigue and guaranteed to be a version you’ve never heard before.

Join us starting Tuesday the 23rd for the release of Flower of the Underworld and the blog tour. There will be a different excerpt every day, a giveaway, and a live Q&A where I will answer your questions.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Holding Out For a Hero: The Death of Male (and Female) Characters in Popular Media

I recently finished reading Bridge of Clayby Markus Zusak and found myself struck with just how different this book was from so many I have picked up recently. It gave me vibes of something like The Outsidersbecause it’s a story of brothers and in general the struggles boys face growing up. I love Markus Zusak as a writer. The Book Thief is one of my favorite stories ever, and his other trilogy about the Wolfe Brothers that was published in the US as a bind-up called Underdogs was very much in the same vein. He writes brothers and boys so well, and so very accurately both these books gave me all the happy feels.

But what I’m getting at is the difference between this book and the majority of other new YA books I have picked up recently. For starters, it has male protagonists and an overwhelming male cast. Now let me give you an assignment. Go into a bookstore and look at the YA shelves and find me a book with a straight male character as the protagonist. Especially something that has been written in the last three years or so. They are a rare unicorn indeed. And if you do find one, then the male protagonist is never allowed to do anything because his female cohort has to kick all the ass and prove that she’s stronger than him because, oh no, you cannot have a male character stronger than a female one, even though that’s how biology works, it’s considered too sexist to even be mentioned. Check out books like Fawkes if you don’t believe me. But you also just have to look at the last couple seasons of Doctor Who as well to see this. Check out THIS VIDEO to see what I mean. This guy shares literally word for word my opinions and he says it better.

So for some reason everyone, especially women, think that in order to have strong female characters the men have to be oppressed, incompetent and constantly put down by their female compatriots because otherwise how are girls going to feel like they can do anything?

Girls, if you need that much reassurance, then you really are sad.

Bridge of Clay has everything that feminists term “toxic masculinity” but is really the sentiment ‘boys will be boys’—oh but wait, you can’t say that either because apparently in the feminist minds that’s essentially an excuse for men to rape women #modernsociety. The brothers in this book beat each other up and the other city boys, they get into fights, they squabble, but that’s how they show they love each other because this is how men work. And they also respect women, the whole story is in a way, about their love and respect for their mother who was a strong woman and a good role model. It’s biology, it’s not “male entitlement”. There is nothing toxic about masculinity, it’s healthy for boys to be boys, and it’s healthy for girls to embrace their femininity, but no one can do that when women are portrayed in fiction as something they’re not. That’s not a role model, that’s fantasy. A real role model is a woman who stays feminine and can still kick butt. Maybe she’s even a mother and takes down the baddies to save her kids. This is the kind of heroine that I, as a young girl, and now a woman, have always looked up to. One who keeps her self-respect instead of making a fool of herself and jeopardizing her mission by wasting time with stupid rants to reassure herself she’s awesome. A hero. (*cough*CaptainMarvel*cough*)

So while Bridge of Clay and books like it about mostly boys who actually act like real boys are rare, there are books that do everything right to both their male and female characters, and I’ll explain why.

First off, I’m going to talk about one of my favorite series, and one of my favorite heroines: Kara from The Thickety series by J. A. White.

Kara is everything a strong heroine should be. But does this make her a feminist hero? No. Not at all. In fact, it makes her so much better. She is forced into her decisions often by outside forces and boy does she have to make hard decisions and do things that seem impossible. But does she back away? No. Does she do them because “she is a woman and that makes her the only one who can do this”? No. She does them because she has to. Because she wants to protect the people she loves and she has the ability to do so, or she’s the only one who cares enough to try. She never belittles her little brother because he is male, she protects him because she is his big sister and that’s her job. When another male character is introduced later on, she works with him and they make a good team. Respect goes both ways so how can your male partner respect you if all you do is call him out for being stupid just because he’s a man?

This same kind of example is given in J. A. White’s other book Nightbooks. This one has a male protagonist and a girl sidekick. Their partnership is just as healthy as the ones in The Thickety, they work together to save themselves from the bad situation they have gotten in. Of course there’s setbacks and issues, but they don’t arise because of them being male and female and railing on each other, they arise from outside sources, things the protagonists have to overcome. You know, like old stories used to do. Both characters are viewed as intelligent and strong individuals because of what they fight to overcome, not just because of what gender they are.

I also have to make mention of another of my favorite heroines, Karin Murphy from Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. She’s “small but fierce” as one of the characters described her. She’s both proud of her femininity and willing to kick monster butt. She jokes with Dresden about his “chauvinistic” white knight attitude, but she never bites his head off when he saves her during a fight—they’re comrades in arms. Because of that, she’s also someone Harry can count on, and is often one of the first people he goes to when he needs help. Miss Gard, a Valkyrie character from the series is also a super epic female character I always loved in this series no matter what side she’s on. 1,000 times a better Valkyrie than that poor attempt at one in Thor: Ragnarok which I frankly couldn't tell whether she was a man or a woman because the way she was written they could have cast either.

And before you say “oh but these are male authors, what do they know about women?” well, heh, as a woman, I’m willing to say that male authors are most of the time the only authors who can get female characters right, or at least write them as actually likable. So often men nail the strong heroine because they write her as just that: a strong heroine. Female writers often seem to think strong means the same as ‘strong willed’ with the ‘I don’t need no man’ attitude, when that is exactly the opposite. A quietly strong heroine could easily be the one to save the day, while the loudmouth “feminist icons” are surrounded by ridiculous plots that have to be crafted in such a way so that the heroine’s stupidity doesn’t end up destroying everything. Which is why the characters is these types of stories often fall flat, and the storylines make no sense because there is hardly ever any real character development going on. It’s just a reason for an author to be able to tout their political agendas instead of actually taking the time to make a good story.

On that note, here’s a female author that does a fantastic job of writing male and female characters: Jennifer A. Neilson.

I adore her Ascendance Trilogy and Mark of the Thief Series. Sage is absolutely one of my favorite characters ever, and Imogen is a perfect example of a quietly strong heroine. The same goes for the characters in the Mark of the Thief series. In both of these books the hero is bolstered up by the support that is given from his female companions. And when they need to, these ladies step up to the plate and stand beside their men. Not behind them, and not in front of them either. They are equals. Ironically what feminists pretend to want, but you can’t be equal if you really just want to be better. 

In her book Scourge we saw a very fantastic female protagonist save her people from a plague by going under cover to discover what was really causing it. She has a male character at her side and like in her other books, Jennifer writes them as a team, and cuts out the relationship issues so many of the bloody stupid YA books portray these days because the men aren’t allowed to be men, and the female characters are still so stupid they get into more trouble than they’re worth. How the heck are you supposed to save the world when you can even get past your own personal issues?

So, now I want to move from books and talk about one of my favorite shows— Supernatural. There’s a lot of reasons I love it, mainly because all the main characters are male, and extremely flawed and likable characters, and very well acted and written as well. I think the fact that this show has just been renewed for its 15thseason is testament to the fact that people enjoy this kind of content, even with the lack of female leads, romantic plotlines, and political agendas. Now yes, the later seasons have their PC moments, but they’re brief and rarely detract from the true storyline, unlike, say, recent seasons of shows like Doctor Who where it has essentially just become a media outlet for the BBC to tout their political agendas instead of being a fun sci-fi show. Even in a recent interview Misha Collins says that the main success of Supernatural is because “it defied convention in that it’s not about romantic relationships. It’s about this brotherhood of men”. It started with two brothers, then added a third with the inclusion of Castiel, and now the three of them are co-parenting an orphan nephillim son and I frankly can’t be happier with the familial aspect. 

But even with this band of brothers, when Supernatural has brought women around, aside from a few instances, they’ve done it right. There have been an array of platonic/sisterly relationships between female characters and the boys, and also motherly ones in characters like Jodi and Ellen. Even when the interests are romantic the women are usually generally supportive of the boys, but we rarely see these kind of relationships crop up anyway.

To prove my point of the difference between this show and, say, (again) recent Doctor Who (and to see my point here you really need to go watch that video I linked above) I’m going to pluck a seemingly random and innocuous scene from Supernatural but one that I feel really proves my point.

In Season 3 Episode 6 “Red Sky At Night” we see a reoccurring guest character Bela Talbot, show up. She’s a thief and an ‘independent woman’ and always does her best to pull one over on the Winchesters whenever she shows up, and usually does—until she is forced to go to them for help because she’s bitten off more than she can chew.

Not only is Bela an independent woman that will ask these brothers for help when she really needs it, even if grudgingly, but whenever she attacks the Winchesters with cheeky comments implying her superiority as a female, they are allowed to attack her in kind. Unlike in Doctor Who where apparently rebuttals from the men about gender superiority is no longer allowed so they’re constantly, laughably put down to the point you can’t even take these poor men seriously as heroes anymore. Granted, this Supernatural episode was from back in ’08 where you could still get away with general entertainment and were not forced to push political agendas, but knowing Eric Kripke I don’t think he would have written these characters any differently, and in fact, Sam and Dean, though obviously they have gone through the character arcs you would expect out of a long running series and have indeed grown up over the course of the show’s run, are still themselves, despite writer changes. Partly thanks to Jared and Jensen’s genuine care about the characters and also the fact that the producers still also care deeply about the show and have been there since the beginning. 

But I want to bring attention to one scene in particular that has always struck me for some reason. 

During the course of the episode they have to retrieve an item from a museum and to do so they have to infiltrate a gala. Dean dresses in a tux and when Bela sees him, she’s obviously pretty hot under the collar, and propositions him for “angry sex” later. Dean, taking offense, tells her “Don’t objectify me”. (Watch the scene HERE) 

Ladies and gentlemen, in that moment, Dean, a well known ladies man, showed he had more self-respect than 80% of these so-called strong, independent YA heroines. And he also handled the situation better than any of them when they are propositioned by the “misogynistic” male character where the heroine flies off the handle at them for even thinking of them like that. Supernatural is actually very “progressive” about this topic if you’ll forgive the word, because, having male leads and a lot of female monster baddies, situations like this do crop up. Vampires and demons forcing kisses, unwanted groping and such: the kind of situations a lot of people only seem to think female characters get themselves into, but no, this just isn’t true. Women can be just as nasty and objectify men just as well as men can women. There is such a thing as mansels in distress. And whether it’s their brother, guardian angel, or female hunt buddy coming to their rescue, the Winchesters are never emasculated by this because they’re allowed to actually BE masculine in the first place. If you’re fighting creatures with supernatural strength sometimes you will be beaten up by a girl.

All I ask is for authors to write real men characters as well as real women characters. Instead of simply writing crappy fiction that doesn’t please anyone, has flat characters and no plotlines past the political agendas that are only there because the author wants it to be. You can’t make characters be themselves if you put words in their mouths which is why so few books have characters that feel real anymore and why the last couple Doctors have lost viewership to a well-loved sci-fi show. A greater example of this cannot be given than the Disney Star Wars franchise.

So will we ever see another book like Bridge of Clay published? Frankly, and sadly, I find it unlikely. What will we do when Supernatural finally ends? Because it’s honestly the only show of its kind on television right now, and I doubt there will be others made despite its success. 

The pure and simple fact is, you can’t please everyone, so just please stop trying. At the very least you might get a good story out of it.