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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Courage & Vassily the Beautiful - Angel Martinez

What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the "ape" in apricot? What have they got that I ain't got? ...Courage – The Cowardly Lion, Wizard of Oz, MGM, 1942

That’s the thing, isn’t it? What is it that compromises courage? The Lion is told at the end, and rightly so, that he has as much courage as the next person, even when he reacts with fear. Yet, when someone says “a man of courage,” we don’t picture the Cowardly Lion, we picture a traditional hero, steadfast and fearless.

Courage – the firefighter rescuing the mom and baby from the blazing third floor. The helicopter pilot who braves enemy fire to rescue downed comrades. The Coast Guard captain braving the storm to reach the crippled fishing boat in time. All very rousing and heart-in-mouth inspiring, but this sort of courage, powered by adrenaline and endorphins and often an odd sort of eye of the storm calm, is only one very narrow type of courage.  

At its heart, courage is doing when you are afraid and fear comes in all flavors, not all of them born of physical peril. It’s often doing the hard things, the right things, the things the make you uncomfortable. Sometimes it’s the things that make others uncomfortable. Sometimes it’s as simple as admitting you were wrong, or admitting things have to change.  

Courage is standing by a parent sinking into Alzheimer’s. It’s hearing the diagnosis that will change your life and forcing yourself to ask “what steps do we take now?” instead of falling apart. It’s taking the walk down the red carpet with your lover. It’s admitting to addiction. It’s recognizing you have dreams and finding the strength to chase them.  

The big, brash, loud flavors of courage are fine for the big screen, but most of the time, courage soldiers on quietly, without fanfare or recognition, without explosions or gunfire, evident in a thousand small choices and a thousand mindful acts.  

Courage, as Baba Yaga says, is not a thing you have, but a thing you do.  

Which brings me to Vassily the Beautiful, which, while a story about a number of things, is largely a story about courage. And that, my dears, is all I’ll say on that. 

New M/M Science Fiction from Angel Martinez

Serena at QMO Books says: “The impact and depth of their feelings captivated me. If you like stories about flawed and damaged characters thrown together in a challenging situation, if you enjoy watching men battle both exterior and interior demons and if emotions are just as important as physical attraction for you, this is a books you shouldn’t miss.” 

Bobby at BookWenches says: This could have been just another “damsel in distress” story, but it’s not. Vassily begins the story a victim….I enjoyed witnessing this change take place as he transitions from spoiled and pouting boy into a stronger, more self-reliant man.”

Vassily the Beautiful – a fairytale hurled through space and turned on its axis…

Set in the same universe as Gravitational Attraction, in the city of New Makarov on a far flung planet at the edge of ESTO space...

A young composer suffers neurological damage in the accident that killed his father...

An amoral, small-time drug manufacturer brings a dangerous new bio-engineered intoxicant to the city...

Deals gone wrong and subtle shifts in the underworld's dealings have made Baba Yaga sons, who act as her security force, edgy and trigger itchy...

Very few constants populate the equations in this new M/M Science Fiction novel, but when the variables collide? Let the mayhem begin...


  1. Morning, Angel Martinez! I loved your thoughts. And, yes, courage is most often quiet and not even noticed. But it's there.

    And I can't wait to read Vassily! Congratulations on the release!

  2. Thanks so much for dropping by, Vastine.

  3. Thank you, oh lovely Vastine!

    And thank you, David for having me over :D