Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Blog Tour: Girls Can't Be Knights by Lee French [Guest Post]

Today as part of the blog tour for Girls Can't Be Knights by Lee French, I have a guest post from the author herself telling us what the fantasy community means to her. But before we get to her post, lets learn a bit more about the book itself.

Left with only a locket after the death of her father, Claire is hopeless – until she meets Justin, an actual knight. Things get complicated when a ghost tries to devour her soul in Lee French’s new novel, “Girls Can’t Be Knights, “ June 12, Myrddin, $0.99 for a limited time.

Sixteen-year-old Claire has a hard time trusting anyone as a result of years in the foster care system, but things change when she forms a new friendship. Justin, a Spirit Knight, rides in on an actual horse and transforms her outlook on the world, while also saving her life from restless ghosts. But one question remains – how does she bear the knights’ mark on her soul? Everyone knows girls can’t be knights.

“’Girls Can’t Be Knights’ is a story of camaraderie and friendship,” French said. “It’s a story about finding your place in the world with people who understand you, but it’s also about finding inner strength and being whoever you want – even a girl who’s a knight.”

Girls Can’t Be Knights” is another in the long line of French’s impressive career, which includes nine books, one trilogy, one epic fantasy series and a short story. Her works are popular among fantasy and paranormal readers, with many re-reading books several times after purchase.

Guest Post: 
What the Fantasy Community Means to Me by Lee French

I had the privilege to attend GenCon this year as a member of Author's Avenue, a place full of independent and small press authors who all write fantasy and science fiction. They placed us next to the art show, a bountiful paradise of fantasy images.

During some of my rare downtime, I walked up to an artist's booth and struck up a conversation about cover art and women in the field.

In those moments when our aisle cleared, the other authors and I made faces at each other and joked.

"Hey, can I take a picture of your [cosplay]?" This question, asked by me or someone else, always got a positive response, which was often enthusiastic.

GenCon wasn't my first convention, so I'd seen all this before. The sheer size of it, though, brought home the point: we're all in this together. The fantasy community, and the broader geek/nerd community, is full of individuals who love the same sorts of things. This makes it hard to also point out that the Women-Friendly Comics panel was a boondoggle because of a misogynist jerk moderator. As I walked around, I overheard someone make the comment, "Board game players aren't *real* gamers."

Let's not talk about the schism over the Hugos, because GenCon wouldn't touch that even with a 10 foot pole. (Also, it's more about science fiction than fantasy, but let's not split hairs.)

This community, like any other, takes a little bit of work. It's not enough to say "I love dragons!" We have to make an effort to keep our spaces open, inclusive, positive, and fun. People who Don't Get It need to be taught. Once upon a time, we were marginalized freaks, and "geek" was a pejorative. We learned what it was like to be angry and misunderstood, to be sidelined and cut out. We also learned to play chess and/or make video games, but that's beside the point. The point is, if you kick a dog enough times, it eventually bites you.

My hope is that, now the kicking has stopped, we'll all have enough time, patience, and compassion to show those folks that biting is neither necessary nor productive. Because we're a community, and that's what community does.


Portland has a ghost problem.

Sixteen-year-old Claire wants her father back. His death left her only memories and an empty locket. After six difficult years in foster care, her vocabulary no longer includes “hope” and “trust.”

Everything changes when Justin rides his magical horse into her path and takes her under his wing. Like the rest of the elite men who serve as Spirit Knights, he hunts restless ghosts that devour the living.

When an evil spirit threatens Claire’s life, she’ll need Justin’s help to survive. And how could she bear the Knights’ mark on her soul? Everybody knows Girls Can’t Be Knights.

Myrddin Publishing, June 12, 2015
Ebook ISBN: 9781680630312
Print ISBN: 9781680630305
$0.99 for a limited time
Paperback and E-Book
228 pages

Author, Gamer, Squirrel Aficionado

Lee French lives in Olympia, WA, and is the author of several books, most notably the Maze Beset Trilogy, The Greatest Sin series (co-authored with Erik Kort), and assorted tales in her fantasy setting, Ilauris. She is an avid gamer and active member of the Myth-Weavers online RPG community, where she is known for her fondness for Angry Ninja Squirrels of Doom.

In addition to spending much time  there, she also trains year-round for the one-week of glorious madness that is RAGBRAI, has a nice flower garden with one dragon and absolutely no lawn gnomes, and tries in vain every year to grow vegetables that don’t get devoured by neighborhood wildlife.

She is an active member of the Northwest Independent Writer’s Association and the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association, and serves as the co-ML for the Olympia region of NaNoWriMo.

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