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!