Thursday, September 14, 2017

Promo & Tour: Joined by Mara Gan

Title: Joined
Author: Mara Gan
Genre/Age: Sci-Fi Romance/YA-NA
Series: Joined (Book One)
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
SynopsisDuty and prophecy get in the way of everything. 

All I ever wanted to do was read my books, play my sports, and help people. Life and prophecy had other things in mind. 

Helping people is what I do; as an empath and semi-frequent telepath, I can easily sense and understand people's needs and emotions. Sometimes even before they do. Being able to read everyone’s thoughts and feelings all the time can drive me crazy with anxiety, but that moment when I can finally make someone’s life better makes everything worth it. 

Unfortunately, I’m also the next in line to rule the galaxy, I’m the only diplomat most planets will listen to, assassins try to kill me on an annoyingly regular basis, and a much-vaunted Prophecy has decreed that I’m going to die. Oh, and someone blew up my home planet. 

Kind of a lot to deal with, right? 

Too bad I just got another problem: a big, irritating, overbearing bodyguard with serious anger management issues. 

And I think I’m falling for him.

It was a rather startling revelation to note that planetwide destruction was, objectively speaking, gorgeous.

I couldn’t even be bitter about it; bitter was a bland and wise emotion, one that involved thought and careful consideration. I had no such coherence. All I had was awe and fear, in no particular order, all blended together like a merry go-round that had spun out of control.

I was well aware that I was in shock. But really, how were you supposed to react when the sky was throwing volcanoes at you? Was there a rulebook for this sort of thing? I’d been trained in all sorts of political and diplomatic scenarios, but this was hardly any of those things. I even knew quite a bit about interstellar law, which was pretty good for an eleven-year-old. But genocide… genocide was new, even for a galaxy as screwed up as ours was. A species here, a race there, but never a planet. Did the word genocide even apply when a whole planet was being eradicated? Did we need to invent a new word for what was being done to my home? Somehow planetocide sounded ridiculous and insufficient. But then, I doubted a word would ever exist that could quite convey the present situation. Language just didn’t have that kind of depth.

Emotions, though; images, feelings… that could do it. Except my species was the only one in the galaxy capable of sensing another’s emotions, but that wouldn’t matter much once this destruction was over. Words would be all that were left.

Five Favorite Movie Scenes
by Mara Gan

Note from Dawn: Images added by me!

I have so many favorite movies, so like most of us, I had a difficult time picking five scenes that I would be happy to call my favorites. Can’t I just pick the entirety of Wonder Woman or The Force Awakens? I know, I know, that’s no fun and hardly an analytical exercise. So in no particular order, here are my five favorite scenes. I chose these because the combination of great writing, acting abilities, directing, and sheer ingenuity stands out to me.

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1. Anything from Themyscira in Wonder Woman! I think I’m still on an adrenaline high from watching that movie, even if it was months ago. The part where Antiope jumps off a shield and shoots three men at once was goosebumpy to me. She was so good.

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2. The scene from Office Space when they smash the fax machine. In that moment, that was everyone and anyone who had ever had a frustrating day with technology. I thoroughly enjoyed the use of the gangsta rap for these guys, too, as it added another layer of hilarity.

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3. I’m especially partial to a scene in the original 1930 version of All Quiet on the Western Front. The soldiers are sitting around on what seems to be a sunny, warm day, and they’ve finally had their first good meal in goodness knows how long, and they start wondering what started this war in the first place. None of them feel any anger toward the enemy, even confessing to have never met the enemy before, and Kat finally suggests a Hunger Games-esque scenario: “Whenever there’s a big war coming on, you should rope off a big field…. And on the big day, you should take all the kings and their cabinets and their generals, put ‘em in the center dressed in their underpants, and let ‘em fight it out with clubs. The best country wins.” It was so sad, and such an excellent commentary on what wars do to people.

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4. The opening credits of Deadpool. The rest of the movie was hysterical, certainly, but making the opening credits to be that funny, just by replacing the names of the cast and production staff with snarky commentary, was brand new to the Hollywood scene and an awesome, risky, stroke of genius.

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5. The scene on the train from Spirited Away. The sense of loneliness that permeates that scene was a haunting depiction of the isolation you can feel even when you’re surrounded by millions of people. Trains are a kind of simulacrum of that. When we ride trains, we are usually in a small space with dozens of people, and yet we so rarely communicate or make eye contact with any of them, locking ourselves away on our phones or in our books. Spirited Away has so many beautiful moments, but having lived in Japan for several years, that one on the train stuck with me the most.

A Pacific Northwesterner by birth and disposition, Mara has lived in Washington DC, Oregon, Japan, and most recently the beautiful Pacific Grove, California, before returning to her roots in Seattle. By day she teaches history to unsuspecting teenagers, and by night she writes books and travels to far-flung places. She loves to be with animals, read, play sports, and drink more London Fogs than is likely good for her.

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