Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Roles of a Lifetime with Guest Blogger: Dina Rae

Win Halo of the Damned and meet
author Dina Rae today at the Book Boost.

She's here to chat about the women who've most influenced her life from television, film and real life and here's what she had to say...

When I think about influential women, I think of heroines. My mother is the first to come to mind. I would love nothing more than to explain myself, but her privacy trumps all accolades I would write, so please take me at my word.

History books and history teachers tend to favor the same few dozen women who have made their mark on the world. Among the most commonly revered are Joan of Arc, Harriet Tubman, Margaret Thatcher, Mother Theresa, and Golda Meir. As a former teacher, I’ll refrain from the humanities lecture. However, I’m compelled to mention my personal high profile favorites: Oprah Winfrey, Susan B. Anthony, and Eleanor Roosevelt. Why?

Oprah Winfrey courageously broadcasted her sexual abuse and impoverished living conditions to the world during her show. These obstacles didn’t stop her from becoming the queen of day time television and one of the richest women in the world. Her influence pervades numerous markets, especially the literary business; just ask an author lucky enough to have his/her book selected for her book club. Results are a predictable spot on the New York Bestseller’s List and bonanza of cash. Note to self: Send Oprah a copy of Halo of the Damned.

Susan B. Anthony was blessed with a father who believed in equality during a time when most of the world didn’t. He influenced her into believing she could change the world. Her first attempt occurred while teaching. She volunteered after working hours to visit and teach poor black children how to read. Her kindness was repaid by termination. The dose of reality would have halted most, but inspired her to change America.

Eleanor Roosevelt’s mother and sisters told her how ugly she was on a daily basis. When she was a little girl, her alcoholic father preferred taverns over weekend visitation, leaving her alone numerous times in the middle of New York City. Classic case of poor little rich girl, but she changed the role of First Lady forever.

In the nutshell, these women epitomize the underdog syndrome. Their obstacles, not accomplishments, are what make them influential, give them street-cred. Most women would use these misfortunes as a crutch, complain or spend years in therapy, allowing a troubled past to swallow them whole. We have much to learn from these great women.

Lastly, I listed my favorite influential heroines in film and television. These women may not be real, but their respective writers and actresses make us love them, know them, want to be them.

1) Uma Thurman as The Bride in Kill Bill-Gorgeous, strong, intelligent, and determined. She’s an irresistible double-crossed assassin whose thirst for revenge motivates her to superhero status. One of my favorite scenes is when she dug herself out of her grave.

2) Vivian Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind. Her biggest flaw? Poor taste in men, preferring a talker over a doer. Love her strength and innovation. She represents survivalism for women in the 19th century. Favorite scene is when she steals her sister’s boyfriend away, seeing an opportunity.

3) Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in Star Wars-not exactly the helpless princess waiting for Prince Charming to come and save her with a kiss of true love. Loved watching her rummage through the trash without an ounce of pride or vanity.

Other influential heroines that deserve mention:

Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley in Aliens, Sandra Bullock as Leigh Anne Tuohy in Blindside, Edie Falcon as Carmela Soprano in The Sopranos, Peta Wilson as Nikita in La Femme Nikita, Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor in The Terminator, Milla Jovovich as Violet in Resident Evil, and the list goes on and on.

Please leave a comment if you have a favorite influential female character that needs recognition.

A Note from the Book Boost: I'm a big fan of Jodie Foster in The Accused and Holly Hunter in Home for the Holidays and Frances McDormand in Fargo. Those are just to name a few. Great post and thanks for sharing. Please tell us more about your book!


Andel Talistokov is known for his slick advertising agencies across the globe. He is a fallen angel that uses advertising as a weapon for Satan's work. His sloppy behavior escalates into disobedience, illegitimate children, and unwanted publicity. Furious with his antics, Satan commands him to return to Hell after finding his own replacement.

Yezidism, an ancient angel worshiping religion, quietly expands throughout the West. Andel appears as a guest of honor during their ceremonies. He mates with young women to produce nephilim, a mixed race of humans and angels. His children are oblivious to their supernatural power. Their ignorance often leads to violent and suicidal urges.

Joanna Easterhouse, a recovering drug addict, steps out of prison shortly after her mother's fatal accident. She and her sister, Kim, unravel their mother's secretive past. Intrigued, they learn their bloodline is part of a celestial legacy.

Both worlds collide.

Halo of the Damned is a horrifying tale that weaves research together with suspenseful twists and turns.


The next day, Kim packed up her own drawing of her mother’s carved wall, the scroll, and the piece of metal. Her excitement put her in a giddy mood. Once she was parked and in front of Loyola’s entrance, Sandra met her in the foyer and escorted her back to the Arts and Science College. Sandra took Kim to their lounge and introduced her to six other professors who were equally interested in seeing her finds. All of them specialized in fields that had to
do with the ancient world.

Kim began with unveiling her own copy of the symbols she drew from her mother’s basement.

“I appreciate all of your attention. Can anyone tell me what this is, and even possibly what it means? Each symbol was copied down in the order it was etched into the wall,” Kim said.

One professor immediately took the paper and made a copy.

This made Kim uncomfortable. He asked, “Where did you find this?”

“Again, none of that matters,” Kim defensively repeated. Her daughter’s omen chimed throughout her brain. The man intuitively put up her defenses.

“Doctor Nrogbi’s English is somewhat limited. He’s not trying to be pushy or rude,” Sandra explained.

“This is Angelic script, also known as Adonite language, alphabet of the Ark, or even Enochian. It’s the first written language of this world. Angels used it to communicate with God. The first humans also used it before the Fall,” Doctor Nrogbi lectured.

“Before what fall?” Kim asked, very confused. How could Maria have known all of this?

“Before Adam and Eve sinned. Before they were kicked out of Eden. It pre-dates Hebrew, Sanskrit, Aramaic, and other ancient languages. It’s very sophisticated and difficult to translate. These symbols look like a key, invocation, or lyric. Let me get something off my bookshelf.”

While the doctor frantically flipped through several of his books, other professors rattled off bits and pieces of their own views concerning the script. Kim learned that Enoch didn’t name the language, but his name was chosen for it thousands of years later because of his communications inside of Heaven.

The professors spoke of John Dee, a famous mathematician, cartographer, and seer of Queen Elizabeth I. He had a revelation about angelic script and later recorded it. Sir Edward Kelley, his colleague, also witnessed the revelation and recorded additional symbols called Keys or Calls. Their legitimacy had been debated for centuries.

“Ah, I found it. What you have here is a Key. Angel script is read left to right. These symbols together are sort of like a prayer. A rough translation in English means, ‘Forever fallen is forever damned, until one can unlock from within.’ I wish I knew where you found this. The context would help cypher the meaning,” Doctor Nrogbi stated.

“Anyone have an inkling to what the passage could mean?” Kim asked.

“I can only guess that fallen is either man, as in Adam…or possibly angels, as in the Fallen that waged war with Satan against God. He and all his angels were cast down and forever damned. However, there is a loophole suggested-‘unlock from within.’ Don’t know, just a guess,” answered Doctor Barry Lowenstein, an ancient comparative literature professor.

“Kim, you said you had a few more items to show us. Can we see? The anticipation is gnawing away at all of us!” Sandra exclaimed.

“Okay, I have a scroll that might be of some interest,” Kim answered as she gingerly took it out of her purse and laid it down on a long table. All the professors’ jaws dropped in astonishment.

They all hovered over the scroll, whispering theories of what it might be. Doctor Nrogbi quickly grabbed his cell phone and began taking photos. The rest of the professors followed suit.

“Tanned animal hide, probably lamb or ram, of the highest quality for ancient times. This must be dated as far back as 500 B.C., maybe even a 1000 B.C. We need to carbon-date this. It’s in perfect condition. What was this stored in?” Doctor Lowenstein questioned.

“It came in a box. I didn’t bring it with me,” Kim replied, feeling suffocated and wanting to leave.

“We could use a combination of steam and chemicals to remove the seal so that it doesn’t break. That way we could read the scroll. Can you leave this with Sandra for the next couple of days?” asked Doctor Litner, an art history professor and expert in document preservation.

Can you bring in the box? Can you take us to where this was found? Can you leave this for display? Can we take this to the Smithsonian? Can you, Can you, Can you...Kim’s head was about to explode. She wasn’t about to disclose the ornate metal she still had in her purse.

“I’ll call Sandra and we can do this another time. Thank you all for your help,” Kim abruptly announced. She packed up her things and rushed out of the university.

Want More Dina?

Visit her on the web here: www.dinarae.co

Pick up your copy of her book today! Click here.

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blcsdina said...

Thanks for having me as your guest! Dina Rae

Sally Christie said...

I'd have to tip my hat to Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Then I have to give a nod to Oprah and Whoopi Goldberg.

Finally, Sister Alberta and Nurse Dodge who would come back to the pediatric ward after hours to re-wrap my traction gear.

This was another great post!


Unknown said...

This was a great post!!! I think one of the women I admire most is Julie Garwood. She is not only an amazing writer, but coming to write such phenomenal stories when she spent so much of her youth illiterate boggles my mind. I always had a great deal of respect historically for the Empress Matilda. It took a lot of nerve for her to achieve all she did in her time.

Anonymous said...

You go Dina Rae!

Diane Scott Lewis said...

I loved Holly Hunter in Home for the Holidays, too!
Great excerpt.

Juliet said...

Terrific post! I love Jennifer Anniston in every movie-she is always the nice girl who gets jacked around. Princess Leia is also cool! Dina, your book sounds fascinating! Juliet

Anonymous said...

GREAT Blog Post, Dina! My mom has always been my number one heroine too.

Loved the excerpt too!

Thanks for sharing,
Kari Thomas

blcsdina said...

A big thank you to BookBoost and all of you who stopped by! Dina Rae