Blood and Other Matter is LIVE!

Blood and Other Matter

Red Moon Rising

Derrick Hernandez and Tess D’Ovidio have been best friends forever. There’s nothing they wouldn’t do for one another. But their childhood bond is put to the test when Tess shows up on Derrick’s porch covered in blood…

Tess has no memory of what happened. She’d gone to a bush party with one of the football players. She remembers the bonfire…and then, nothing. Working backward, Tess and Derrick learn that she and seven other players were the only ones to make it back from the party alive.

During the next few weeks, each of the survivors is plagued with nightmares that reveal fragments of memories from the horrific night. But when the young men start dying under mysterious circumstances, Derrick can’t figure out if Tess is next—or if she’s somehow responsible. All he knows is that he has to save his best friend—or die trying…

Blood and Other Matter is live now. Order it Today!, and check out a free sample here.

 

 

 

Blood and Other Matter is Available for Pre-Order!

Blood and Other Matter

Red Moon Rising

Derrick Hernandez and Tess D’Ovidio have been best friends forever. There’s nothing they wouldn’t do for one another. But their childhood bond is put to the test when Tess shows up on Derrick’s porch covered in blood…

Tess has no memory of what happened. She’d gone to a bush party with one of the football players. She remembers the bonfire…and then, nothing. Working backward, Tess and Derrick learn that she and seven other players were the only ones to make it back from the party alive.

During the next few weeks, each of the survivors is plagued with nightmares that reveal fragments of memories from the horrific night. But when the young men start dying under mysterious circumstances, Derrick can’t figure out if Tess is next—or if she’s somehow responsible. All he knows is that he has to save his best friend—or die trying…

Blood and Other Matter releases on April 17th. Pre-Order today, and check out a free sample here.

 

 

 

Review: Worthy of Love by M.M Kin

Worthy of Love by M.M Kin first edition book cover, Hephaestus, Kabeiro, Hades, Persephone, Aphrodite, Ares, Hera, Zeus, Greek Mythology RetellingBefore I begin this review, let me give a quick disclaimer. Worthy of Love is not a YA book. It includes adult content of the sexual variety. So, if you are not an adult or do not read adult books, read no further until you’re older.

We good?

Good.

Worthy of love is an adult Greek mythology retelling that focuses on Hephaestus’s life. We see his birth, his tragic fall from the mountain, his childhood, and his love life. Other mythological figures like Aphrodite, Hera, and Kabeiro play major roles, and still more like Hades, Persephone, Ares, Hermes, and Zeus have brief cameos.

One thing that I love about reading other Greek mythology retellings is that we authors have all looked at basically the same source material. We’ve studied the same myths, read the same stories, and we all came away with completely different characters and stories. A side note in my research (Heph and Kabeiro) is a major plot point for hers and vice versa. In her story, Heph, Hera, and even Zeus (sometimes) can be viewed through a sympathetic lens, but Aphrodite and Ares can most certainly not. My take is almost the exact opposite, I’ve read other stories that meet somewhere in the middle, and we’re all looking at the same myths. There’s so much room in Greek mythology for creative takes that are all completely accurate.

I finished this book fairly fast and really enjoyed seeing another interpretation of the marriage of Hephaestus and Aphrodite. I do wish Aphrodite had been a bit more multi-dimensional since she’s such a focal point in this book. Kin does acknowledge the double standard in the way Zeus is viewed for being promiscuous and the way Aphrodite is viewed, but Zeus was fleshed out enough that it wasn’t his only character trait. Aphrodite was just a shallow, petty, whore, and apparently a terrible mother. But I also recognize I have a bias when it comes to Aphrodite.

One thing I really appreciated was Kin setting this in ancient Greece but not doing the whole ‘my characters are going to randomly speak in stilted, Victorian English thing. I know the modern dialect puts off some readers because it’s not historically accurate, but if Kin was going for complete accuracy in her dialogue, the characters would in fact be speaking ancient Greek, not stilted, old English. If a reader can assume the characters are speaking Greek, but the story has been translated to English for our sakes, then can’t we also assume the idioms have been translated as well?

Thank you Kin for the review copy. It is always a pleasure to read another take on the Greek myths.

 

 

YA Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are SIX contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the PINK TEAM but there is also a red team, a gold team, an orange team, a red team, and an indie team for a chance to win a whole different set of books!

Team Pink.jpgIf you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE
 
Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the PINK TEAM, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).
 
Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by October 8th at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
SCAVENGER HUNT POST
 colleen2
Today, I am hosting Colleen Houck on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!
Colleen Houck is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tiger’s Curse series and the Reawakened series. Her books have appeared on the USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Walmart bestseller lists, among many others. She has been a Parents’ Choice Award winner and has been reviewed and featured on MTV.com and in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Girls’ Life magazine, and Romantic Times, which called Tiger’s Curse “one of the best books I have ever read.” Colleen lives in Salem, Oregon, with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers.
 
Find out more information by checking out the author website or find more about the author’s book here! 
EXCLUSIVE CONTENT
Tiger's Dream, YASH
Hello Readers,
On this YA Scavenger Hunt I am giving you a sneak peek of something you’ve been waiting for a long, long time–the cover of Tiger’s Dream. The cover isn’t final yet since we still need to add the title, my name, the cover copy, etc., but at least you can catch a glimpse of the beautiful art. Cliff Nielsen who did all my other tiger books did this cover too and I think it’s just beautiful. I hope you like it as much as I do. We are hoping to publish the book next spring and I can tell you this is a BIG book, more than 800 whopping pages.
Here’s a brief summary:
From Colleen Houck, New York Times bestselling author of The Tiger’s Curse, comes the third and final book in the Reawakened series in which Lily will train to defeat evil once and for all and find a way to her everlasting love.

After surviving her otherworldly adventure, Lily wakes up on her nana’s farm having forgotten everything. Her sun prince, her travels to Egypt, and her journey to the Afterlife are all distant memories.
But Lily is not the girl she once was. Her body is now part human, part lion, and part fairy. And if that isn’t bad enough, she must harness this power of three and become Wasret: a goddess destined to defeat the evil god Seth once and for all.
With the help of her old friend Dr. Hassan, Lily departs on her final voyage through the cosmos and across the plains of Egypt. On the journey, she will transform into the being she is destined to become.
Reunited is the heart-pounding conclusion to the Reawakened series. It is time for Lily to find her sunset.

For those of you who can’t wait, here’s an excerpt.

Each step I took was weighted, like I was trying to stay upright as I strode deeper into the ocean. The further I went, the more the risk of drowning. Even though I was disguised, I felt recognizable, out of place, like a flower in a fruit basket. I nodded at people when necessary and made my slow way over to the bar. When the man asked what he could get for me, I stared at him mutely for a moment and then said, “Just some water, please.”

He slid me a sparkling water and I took a seat, sipping on it as I scanned the room. Nilima was the first person I noticed. She entered the party wearing a beautiful dress. Her smile was brilliant as she took the arm of a tall man that looked vaguely familiar. I sucked in a breath when I realized who it was—Anamika’s brother, Sunil. He looked just as happy as she did and much more comfortable than I would have expected considering he was from a different time.

Looking around, I recognized a few of the people who worked for Rajaram Industries. Sipping my drink, I studied Nilima and Sunil. He was deftly keeping all the other men wanting to dance with Nilima at bay. His hardened expression when anyone approached was very effective. Seeing her glare at him and lean close to give him a lecture was heartening. I smiled, happy that Nilima might have found someone and I hoped when I told Ana that she would be pleased.

Despite my interest in them, they weren’t who I’d come to see. A kind of breathless anticipation, a churning in my stomach, stole through me. When the bartender asked if I wanted a refill, I gave him a curt nod. A trickle of sweat crept down the back of my neck and I tugged at my collar, feeling hot.

Then, all at once, the music halted and a new song began—a lovely one I remembered that Ren had written for Kelsey. My heart wrenched. Almost as one, the expectant crowd turned to watch the front of the room. Before I could prepare myself, they were there. The wedding guests cheered as the couple entered the room. Ren beamed and waved a hand as he proudly guided his new wife. He looked dashing in his sherwani coat, his dark hair slicked back, but Kelsey was breathtaking.

Wow! I can’t wait to read that book :D. I hope you enjoyed the excerpt. Don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, Kaitlin Bevis, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 2. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the pink team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

#YASH #TeamPink
CONTINUE THE HUNT
 
To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author, MAY FREIGHTER! Don’t forget to comment below for a chance to win an audio copy of my novel, Persephone.
 
 

 

Mythology Monday: Hera

Hera, Goddess-Queen, Greek Mythology, Daughters of Zeus series, Kaitlin Bevis

I killed the gods. Isn’t that what you wanted to know? I see no reason to go through this charade. We both know where I belong.

But you won’t put me there, will you, Hades?  You can’t stand the thought of me wasting away in your hell-realm of darkness. Waiting in the endless shadows like The Before.

You love me too much for that.

~@~

Oh wow, where to begin on Hera. She is featured in nearly every Greek Myth, and personality wise grew more volatile with each retelling. Most of her mythology has actually been covered in other blogs, but this still may run a little long. Here goes…

Hera was the youngest of the “Big Six,” the children of Cronus and Rhea who led the rebellion against the Titans. I feel like I’ve discussed the Titanomachy, the myths surrounding Creation, her role in Jason and the Argonaut’s adventure, her role in Hercules, Dionysus, and Hephaestus’s life, and the Judgment of Paris enough in other blogs. She was the God-Queen, wife of Zeus, and the goddess of marriage, which was somewhat ironic because you’d be hard pressed to find a less faithful husband than Zeus. But Zeus was nothing if not charming. He won Hera’s heart by transforming into her favorite bird (a cuckoo). She took him home, made him her favorite pet Shaggy Dog style, and Zeus took notes on how to win her over.

At their wedding, Gaia gave her a grove of beautiful golden apples, which the Hesperides guarded until Hercules came along. 

Hera had several children by Zeus: Hebe, Ares, and Eilythia, and possibly Hephaestus, though he might have been created by Hera alone as revenge for Athena. If not, Hephaestus, then she gave birth to the monster Typhaon by striking the earth crying out…

“Hear now, I pray, Gaia and wide Ouranos above, and you Titanes gods who dwell beneath the earth about great Tartaros, and from whom are sprung both gods and men! Harken you now to me, one and all, and grant that I may bear a child apart from Zeus, no wit lesser than him in strength–nay, let him be as much stronger than Zeus as all-seeing Zeus than Kronos!” Homeric Hymn 3 to Pythian Apollo 300 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th – 4th B.C.)

Hera was nothing if not dramatic.

This is also likely how the War of the Giants started because turns out, Typhaon was ugly and Hera was ashamed of him, so she threw the child away (or gave him to the drakaina), and he caused all kinds of trouble with men before trying to take over Olympus.

According to some sources, she was a little like Persephone because she had different names depending on her stage in life. As a maiden, she was known as Pais (which also means girl), as Zeus’s wife, she was Teleia, and as a “widow,” (not in the sense that her husband was dead, just dead to her because she was so mad) she was Hera. You can guess which stage of life she lived in the most.

On at least one occasion, she and Poseidon were at odds over the worship of a particular region (Argolis). She claimed the land, but they lived off the sea, so he withdrew the sea because he’s petty like that. The rivers in that region are only rivers when there’s been rain from the sky.

An endless string of women (Semele, Leto, Callisto, Aegina and Aeacus, Elara, Echo, Lamia, Io— turned into a cow, Inyx– turned to stone,  Othries-learned enough from the other two to go into hiding and just leave her child out in the woods rather than risk a lifetime of pain, Gerana– claimed to be more beautiful than Hera and got turned into a crane, Chelon- disrespected Hera and got turned into a turtle,  and even Aphrodite to name a few) suffered Hera’s wrath along two notable men. One named Ixion. He tried to rape her, so she had Zeus tie him to a wheel, set it on fire, and used the  air keep it in motion. The other was a prophet referenced in the Iron Queen named Tiresias. Tiresias had been changed from a man to a woman back to a man again at the amusement of the gods. When Zeus and Hera asked him which form got the better deal when it came to sex he declared that “on a scale of ten, women enjoy it nine times to men’s one.” Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 71 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :

Hera didn’t like his answer so she blinded him, but Zeus was pleased enough that he turned hm into a prophet.

Sometimes Hera was nice. When a priestess of Hera impressed the goddess with her devotion so much that Hera offered her anything she wished. The woman wished for the best gift Hera could give to her children, so Hera promised when their time came, they would die peacefully in their sleep.

You’ll notice some names missing, like Minthe and Leuce. Hera had nothing to do with their transformation, nor did she and Hades have an epic romance as my book insinuated. But if they had, cursing those two women would have been very much in her character, so I figured that added a layer without too much of a stretch.

Hera is a complex character, and I’ve likely only scratched the surface of her mythology.

 

Mythology Monday: The Muses

The Muses, Hercules, Disney, Greek mythology retelling, Daughters of Zeus, Kaitlin Bevis

The Muses (Mousai) were the goddesses of inspiration in Greek Mythology. The were known to inspire music, song, dance, and poetry. They were also considered goddesses of knowledge, who remembered all things that had come to pass. The Muses were the very best at whatever they represented, a fact frequently proven when a foolish mortal tried to challenge them.

Most people know of nine Muses, but that wasn’t always the case. According to theoi.com, “They were originally regarded as the nymphs of inspiring wells, near which they were worshipped, and bore different names in different places, until the Thraco-Boeotian worship of the nine Muses spread from Boeotia over other parts of Greece, and ultimately became generally established.”

 

The Titanides

Three or four ancient Titan-goddesses of music who formed the first generation of Muses in some versions of the myths.

Melete (Practice, ponder)- the Muse of thought and mediation.

Aiode (Song)- the Muse of voice and song

Mneme- the Muse of Memory

Thelxinoe- the Muse of the Heart’s Delight

Arche (origin)- the Muse of Beginings

and Mnemosyne The daughter of Uranus and the goddess of memory and remembrance and the inventress of language and words. She was also a minor goddess of time. She represented the memorization required to preserve the stories of history and the sagas of myth. She was also one of the oracle goddesses like Dione, Themis, and Phoibe. She also presided over a pool in the Underworld that acted as a counterpart to the Lethe.

Mnemosyne is credited as being the mother of the Muses most of the time. The story goes that she slept with Zeus for nine consecutive nights to conceive them.

The Nine Muses

The Nine Muses, made famous by Hesiod were  considered daughters of Zeus and the Titaness Mnemosyne most of the time. But sometimes they are considered daughters of Uranus and Gaea, or in rare cases, minor nymphs. They are frequently associated with Apollo.  They either lived on Mount Helicon, Mount Parnassos, or near Mount Olympus.

Calliope (Kalliope) was the leader of the nine Muses, and she was the goddess of epic poetry, so that means she was most frequently the goddess invoked at the beginning of Epics.  She also bestowed the gift of eloquence upon kings and princes. She’s Orpheus’s mother, so she’s already been featured in a Mythology Monday.

Clio (Kleio- To Make Famous)  was the Muse of historical writings and lyre playing. She is sometimes referred to as “The Proclaimer.” Clio was the mother of Hyacinth and in some versions of mythology Hymenaios. and Linus,

Erato (Lovely or Beloved) was the Muse of love poems and mimicry. She charms the sight (as in love at first) and is often accompanied by Eros.

Euterpe (giver of much delight) was the Muse of music or lyric poetry.

Melpomene (to celebrate with dance and song, to sing, melodious) was originally the Muse of chorus, but she later became the Muse of tragic plays. In some myths she is the mother of Sirens.

Polyhymnia (many praise) was the Muse of religious hymns and sometimes sacred poetry, dance, eloquence, agriculture, geometry, meditation, and pantomime. She was also known as Polymnia and is the namesake of one of my favorite Madeline L. Engle characters.

Terpsichore (delighting in dance) was the Muse of choral dance and song.

Thalia (the joyous, the flourishing), not to be confused the Grace by the same name, was the Muse of comedy drama and idyllic poetry. Sometimes she and Apollo are credited as the parents of the Korybantes, the armed and crested dancers who worshipped the goddess Cybele with drumming and dancing.

Urania (Ourania) was the  Muse of astronomy and astronomical writings. In some versions of the myths, she can read the future in the stars. Sometimes she is the mother of Linus or Hymenaios. She is associated with universal love. She is sometimes identified as the oldest of the Muses and was said to have inherited Zeus’ majesty and power and the beauty and grace of her mother Mnemosyne. During the Renaissance, Urania began to be considered the Muse for Christian poets and is invoked in John Milton’s Paradise Lost.

The Appolonides

The Appolonides were three daughters of Apollo who were sometimes considered to be a younger generation of Muses. They were worshipped at a shrine in Delphi. They also came in sets of three).

Cephiso (named after the river near a shrine in Delphi), Apollonis, and Borysthenis

Nētē, Mesē, and Hypatē- Named after the strings on a lyre.

Some other mentions of Muses include: Neilo, Tritone, Asopo, Heptapora, Achelois, Tipoplo, and Rhodia, but other than being listed among the Muses, not a lot else is said about them.

 

FAQ Friday: Demeter’s Soul

Question mark in a blue bubble. Repeating icon for the frequently asked questions in the Daughters of Zeus series a young adult greek mythology retelling by Kaitlin Bevis

 

Super-ultra-mega-spoiler warning for Iron Queen.

 

 

 

You have been warned……

 

 

A reader asked what happened to Demeter at the end of Iron Queen. “There was the part with the sad goodbye of her transferring her powers to Persephone, so was that it? Did she die?”

Yes. Demeter willed all her power to Persephone to force the coming of age rite that enabled her daughter to use the full breadth of her power safely. There wasn’t even enough left to maintain a soul. Why?

Well, gods can either be created or born. Demeter wanted Persephone to be born, to experience infancy, childhood, adolescence, and all the human rites of passage. But until she came of age, Persephone was essentially human physically speaking. As she drew closer to maturity (defined by the moment a body is at its absolute peak, frozen in time just before it starts to decline, so there’s variation from god to god), her body could handle more power, but not enough to deal with fealty from the entire Pantheon so she could defeat Zeus. And anything less, and she wouldn’t have been able to defeat Zeus.

Persephone deals with the fallout from that grief in the Aphrodite trilogy.

The Performance Genre

Book cover for The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne, #amwriting, #amediting, book review, how to write, how to editThis is a short and sweet genre that focuses around a big performance. A play, a big game, a race. The subgenres must be strong in this one, because that big event has to really matter to the character in order for the reader to interact with it. Rocky is a good example of a performance genre piece.

Next week, we will be moving out of external genres and into internal content genres, which focus more on what’s happening inside the character as opposed to the outside forces working within the plot. Can’t wait!

 

FAQ Friday: How will SPOILER impact Persephone in the long run.

Question mark in a blue bubble. Repeating icon for the frequently asked questions in the Daughters of Zeus series a young adult greek mythology retelling by Kaitlin Bevis

 

Super spoilerific post for anyone who has not yet read Iron Queen. Fair warning…

A reader who just finished Iron Queen emailed the following. “This can’t be where Persephone’s story ends! The pantheon hinted that Zeus killing his parents might have been part of what drove Zeus crazy. Plus she’s a triple realm-ruler now, and she lost her mother, and Hades seemed to be a bit unhinged at the end. So what’s in store for her in the future? Are we ever going to see that?”

Short answer:

Yes.

Longer answer:

The sanity thing was just Athena speculating. Zeus was unhinged from birth. Something about his father attempting to kill him, his mother hiding him by tying him upside down to a tree for years, and spending his early years training him to kill his father. The whole slicing his dad open and rescuing his siblings thing only to find himself at once their savior and an outsider to their very tight inner circle, formed by years of being all they had in The Before was also fairly hard on his psyche.

As for the weight of ruling three realms, losing her mother? That gets explored quite a bit in the Aphrodite trilogy. Persephone’s adapting to her new role as queen of the Pantheon and her grief/trauma from everything that happens in Iron Queen. She gets a few POV chapters in Venus Rising to really emphasize that arc, but the Pantheon as a whole has to do a lot of adjusting throughout the trilogy. In the Persephone trilogy, the gods of the Pantheon were separate entities. They were used to working around each other, but they hadn’t truly worked with each other in centuries until the end of Iron Queen. Now they’re realizing they can’t just ignore each other until a big epic battle. That’s the very mentality that left them vulnerable to Zeus. There’s a lot of growing and adjusting that needs to happen.

As for Hades…this is lightly addressed in Aphrodite, and addressed more in depth here, but broad strokes, he’s not unhinged. He’s just mildly traumatized. He went through a lot in Iron Queen. Dealing with Zeus brought up a lot of horrible memories for pretty much everyone in the Pantheon. He also felt every second of Persephone’s torture, and he had to rip her arm off, and she’s waking up from nightmares where Zeus wore his face. That’s a lot to deal with even without the fact that he’s dealing with the fact that Zeus, Demeter, and Apollo are dead. They don’t think of each other as siblings, but that is millennia of history, good and bad. Then there’s the fact that he just kind of destroyed Zeus’s soul, and there’s some emotional baggage with that. And he also witnessed one of his worst fears (that his past will hurt the people he loves), come true for Poseidon.

It’s a lot. And I included that final scene to show that what happened with Zeus didn’t just happen to Persephone. She and Aphrodite weren’t his only victims, and they aren’t the only ones who need to come to terms with the events of Iron Queen. If Hades, the guy with millennia of experience getting over horrible things and a library full of self-help books, is rattled, you can bet every other god in the entire mythology is. And that will be explored quite a bit in the Aphrodite trilogy.