Tag Archives: mythology

Traditions, Navajo Mythology, and Raven #giveaway

Today I have the pleasure of having with me my dear friends and fellow authors Aimee and David Thurlo who are here to share with us the inspiration for their latest Harlequin Intrigue, POWER OF THE RAVEN. Please welcome Aimee and David and also, check out the cool giveaway they have going on to celebrate their new release. For more information, you can visit David and Aimee at www.aimeeanddavidthurlo.com.

POWER OF THE RAVEN

When you write stories that focus on places and the people who live in them, as we do with our novels about the southwest, people often want to know how we get ideas for the next book.

Our February release for Harlequin Intrigue, “Power of the Raven,” is a story that came to us when we were walking around Old Town in Albuquerque and saw a small, beautifully carved fetish in a storefront window and stopped to admire it. According to tradition, a fetish is more than just a carving. It’s a symbol that is said to capture the essence of the animal and impart those qualities to its owner.

Out of that moment came a storyline about a hataalii, a Navajo medicine man, Hosteen (mister) Silver, who fosters troubled Navajo boys, giving them a new life and future. On their sixteen birthday, each of the boys receives a gift – a special fetish carved for them. Gene Redhouse, the hero of Power of the Raven, carries a bear fetish. A bear fits Gene because bear’s power is made strong in solitude. Though Bear has a dark side, he also stands for confidence and inner stillness.

“Power of the Raven” centers around Gene, now a man, on a path that will test the limits of his courage.

I’ve always had a special affinity for animals, and the lore that surrounds each fetish is something I find particularly fascinating. One of my favorites is Raven.

Raven’s magic brings the power needed to take your dreams, give them time to form, then make them a reality. Raven belongs to the inner world, that place where we protect the part of us that’s often injured by the sting of rejection. Raven becomes a powerful ally who encourages us to embrace the shadows because they’re also part of who we are.

I find that especially beautiful, because as authors we have to dig into memories of pain as well as triumphs to make our characters come alive. The process can be difficult and leaves you feeling vulnerable at a time when you most need to protect yourself. Not everyone will see what you want to do in the story you create and the words you use to do it. There will be harsh comments, and judgments. You have to be able to take the blows, smile, and keep going. It can hurt – badly – but like a famous teacher once said, ‘It doesn’t matter how many times you fall down – only how many times you get back up.”

Each of the Copper Canyon stories will feature a hero and heroine who has, or will receive, a very special fetish in the course of the book. As the characters learn about their new spiritual brother, the reader will go on their journey with them, and maybe some will find their own fetish – an animal carving that will remind you of your own uniqueness, and the power that resides in each of us.

To celebrate its publicaton we’re having a very special giveaway – a handcarved raven fetish signed by the artist, Amos Pooacha. Mr. Pooacha is confined to a wheelchair and makes his living carving these very special fetishes.

Please write me at ADThurlo at aol dot com, specify you want to enter our drawing, then Feb. 29th we’ll announce the winner on our web page, and of course, that person will immediately notified via e-mail.

Demons, Merlin, and Kick-Ass Heroines!

I want to welcome fellow paranormal romance author Rosalie Lario who is here to share with us her latest release from Entangled Publishing! Like me, Rosalie is a lawyer who decided writing novels might be a fun change from writing contracts.

Mark of the Sylph is Book Two in Rosalie’s Demons of Infernum series and here is a little taste of what the novel is about:

Half-demon Taeg is desperate to free his pregnant sister-in-law, who is spellbound to an indestructible book that will create an army of the undead. He is convinced that an ancient sword can destroy the book and the spell forever, but this relic has been hidden for a millennia by a powerful glamour. The clock begins to run out on his search when an old rival goes after the book and Taeg’s family in his quest for revenge.
Librarian Maya Flores has a secret: she’s immune to magic and is well aware of the supernatural beings prowling the streets of New York City. Haunted by a brutal demon attack that took her family, she is on a one-woman mission to destroy the evil demons who did it—and any others who get in her way.

Maya is Taeg’s best hope for uncovering the sword. Unfortunately, she wants nothing more than to kill him. As he fights for her trust and to save his family, she is forced to face the truth that not all demons are evil. And the worst part? She might be falling in love with one, too.

Here to tell us a little more about Mark of the Sylph is Rosalie!

paranormal romance

I admit, I’m a huge fan of mythology. Whether it’s Greek, Egyptian, or Welsh, I love reading the myths of other cultures. In fact, one of my undergraduate majors was Classical Studies, i.e. the study of Ancient Greece and Rome. So when I started writing my paranormal romance series, I knew I had to throw a little bit of mythology in there. Just cause it’s fun. 🙂

The DEMONS OF INFERNUM features four half-demon brothers who work as interdimensional bounty hunters. My latest release, Mark of the Sylph (#2 in the series), follows Taeg, the second oldest brother. He’s on a mission to find an object that will destroy The Book of the Dead, an ancient book made of indestructible material which contains a spell for resurrection of the dead. His pregnant sister-in-law is bound to the Book, which puts her life in danger from those who seek to wield its power. So when Taeg discovers that Excalibur, the sword of Merlin, not only exists, but also has the power to destroy any object, he can’t wait to get his hands on it. The problem is the sword is hidden by a glamour rendering it invisible. Lucky for him, he’s discovered a rare human who is immune to all forms of magic. But as he’s about to find out, she’s not too fond of demons. He’ll have a hell of a time convincing her to help him find the sword.

Here’s an excerpt, which takes place after Taeg learns about Maya’s ability and tracks her down. Suffice it to say, she’s not happy to see him 🙂 :

Taeg tightened his hold on her wrist until she dropped the dagger. He grabbed her other wrist and pinned it back. “Look at me.”

Yeah, apparently she wasn’t in an accommodating mood. Because instead of listening she jerked her knee up, catching him square in the junk.

“Ooof.” That freaking hurt.

He let go, hands automatically lowering to protect his goods, and she shoved hard on his chest. As he staggered several feet back, she spun and delivered a stunning roundhouse kick that almost had him admiring her form, right before it caught him in the side and sent him sprawling.

“What’s the deal, lady?”

She grabbed the knife and flew at him faster than he would’ve expected from a human.
Taeg shoved off the ground and sidestepped her attack, and recaptured her wrist. He yanked her arm up behind her as he maneuvered behind her back.

“Shit,” Maya cried. The knife clanged to the ground, and he loosened his hold a fraction.

“Stop. I don’t want to hurt you.”

“Yeah. Right.” Her tone made it clear what she thought of that.

Pushing her to the nearest wall, Taeg turned her to face him. He kept one hand on her shoulder and the other on her chin, forcing her to meet his eyes.

“Calm down, Maya.” The familiar hum of energy in his ears told him his charm was doing its thing. “I’m not going to hurt you. I only want to ask you a few questions.”

Her scowl softened long enough for him to assume his power had worked. He let her go and backed up a few steps. “How do you know what I am? Can you see the real me?”

Rather than answering, she lifted a knee and slid one of her dainty hands into her boot. When she withdrew it, she clutched another dagger, a match to the one on the ground. Suddenly the reason for her boots became quite clear. The woman was a freakin’ walking arsenal.

“Oh, shit.”

She kicked off the wall and leapt into the air in a flying move that Jackie Chan would have envied, adjusting the grip on her dagger. Hand high in the air, she aimed for his neck. The woman was clearly determined to remove his head from the rest of his body. Taeg dropped his legs out from under him, hitting the ground hard.

Maya’s legs struck his back as she flew over him. He untangled himself and whirled around, but damn she recovered fast. She tossed her dagger to the side to avoid jabbing herself as she tucked and rolled. Then she jumped to her feet and faced him with both fists up. Her face was almost expressionless, her heavy panting the only indicator she was battling to the death. Damned if his interest wasn’t drawn to her ample chest beneath that tight black top.

She smiled, almost as if she were enjoying herself, and came at him with another kick.

He leapt back to avoid being hit. “Damn it, I’m trying to talk to you, lady.”

paranormal romance

Maya sounds like my kind of kick-ass heroine! Thank you so much for sharing this with us today, Rosalie. To find out more about Mark of the Sylph, please visit http://www.entangledpublishing.com/mark-of-the-sylph/or Rosalie’s website at www.rosalielario.com.

Rosalie would love to know, do you enjoy reading stories that contain some sort of mythology within them? Read any good ones lately? 🙂

Casting Call!

A funny thing happened on the way to my reboot of THE CALLING series.

To be sure that I had everything just right for you, I spent big chunks of the last week re-reading DARKNESS CALLS, DEATH CALLS and some of the later books in the series. Still have to go back and read the one that is tentatively titled VENGEANCE CALLS to make sure I’ve got the timeline right for you.

So what was the funny thing? Oh man, how I have missed this world and all these old friends. It only served to whet my appetite for starting the next Diana and Ryder book!!

Speaking of Ryder, today’s Guilty Pleasure Monday is a casting call. Ryder is dark, delicious and deadly and the picture above is how I had imagined him, but I’m wondering who I would cast if I were going to do a movie.

To me Ryder is kind of a blend of Clive Owen, Pierce Brosnan and Eddie Cibrian. Maybe with a little Joe Manganiello thrown in.

How do you picture sexy Southern vampire Ryder Latimer? Who would you cast in the movie?

Wicked Wednesday with Stephanie Draven

Welcome to today’s wet, but still decidedly Wicked Wednesday! I have with me today my friend and fellow author Stephanie Draven. Stephanie and I got to meet at an RT a few years back and it was so nice to get to know here. Before we kick off with Stephanie, though, just a reminder that the guest blogs and giveaways continue today! Please take a moment to stop at The Qwillery for a chance to win some goodies.

But now for a little bit about Stephanie who is currently a denizen of Baltimore, that city of ravens and purple night skies. She lives there with her favorite nocturnal creatures–three scheming cats and a deliciously wicked husband. And when she is not busy with dark domestic rituals, she writes her books.

Books like DARK SINS AND DESERT SANDS, her latest release for Harlequin Nocturne! Here’s a little teaser for you.

Wrongfully accused and broken by torture, an American soldier transforms into a mind-controlling minotaur bent on revenge…

Escaping a hellish Syrian prison, U.S. serviceman Ray Stavrakis emerges with uncanny powers and an eerie ability to morph into a mythical Minotaur, half-man, half-bull. Only one woman can prove his innocence and soothe the savage beast inside–the same woman who’d driven him to the brink of insanity with her cool-eyed interrogation and her hot-blooded sensuality.

But Vegas psychologist Layla Bahset has no memory of Ray or her past. Only a feeling of being stalked by a nonhuman predator. Is it Ray…whose eyes condemn her soul even as his hands ignite her body? Or is another evil force hunting her down like prey?

Now nothing can stop Layla from remembering what she really is…and what her evil creator has planned for her and her soldier lover…

Without further ado, here’s a little more from Stephanie.

My Big Fat Greek Monster Romance
by Stephanie Draven

I’m a sucker for Greek mythology. Who doesn’t love all those dysfunctional deities and dangerous demi-gods? The ancient Greeks knew a thing or two about human nature, and most of the things that we fear–or get turned on by–are covered in their stories. So why not twist the legends into a romance?

That’s just what I’ve done with my Mythica series for HQN Nocturne, each of which is a stand-alone book set in a shared world, all centered around the following premise:

What if the monsters of ancient mythology still walked the earth…and what if you found out that you were one of them?

Dark Sins & Desert Sands is the most daring book of the series and I was delighted that one reviewer already pointed out the super-hot subway sex scene. I’m eager to find out how readers are going to react to a hero who can control the heroine with nothing but his mind. He’s a modern day minotaur with the power to see deeply into her thoughts and to trap her in the labyrinth of her own memories. He’s a man bent on vengeance who unexpectedly finds love along the way and I hope you’ll enjoy the following excerpt:

Ray slammed his hand against the bedside table. “I was innocent, damn you!”

Her accusation obviously infuriated him, instantly and powerfully. He looked like he could tear the whole room apart, like he could kill her, but when he reached for her, he just took her face in his hands. “Layla, you need to listen to me. I didn’t do anything but risk my life for my country. Someone told you otherwise, and I need to know who. What was the evidence against me?”

“I don’t know,” Layla said. “I don’t remember.”

Fury burned higher and hotter in his eyes. “I need you to remember. I’ll make you remember.”

In her half-naked humiliation, she felt angry and defiant. “Oh? How are you going to manage that?”

“I have an idea or two,” he said with a dark laugh. “Every time I get your pulse racing, you seem to remember something else. The first time I touched you, you whispered my name. I kissed you, and you remembered your ex. I bent you over a sink, and now you remember questioning me. What happens if I throw you down on this bed and give you what you really need?”

“Don’t,” she said, putting her hand on his chest.

He grabbed it and twisted it just to the edge of pain. “You know I can do it. In fact, you want me to do it. All that crap you said in there about how you looked like a slut, that’s just an excuse. You’re just scared, and maybe you should be, because let me tell you something, I’ve done worse things to unlock people’s memories than get them off.”

The coarseness of his language seemed to physically scrape her skin. All the bravado went out of her, and she was left only with her vulnerability. “You don’t understand,” she whispered. “I’m not like this. I’m not this person who…who…has sex in a stranger’s motel room.”

“We’re not strangers,” Ray said. “And it’s pretty clear to me you don’t know who the hell you really are. You think you’re some demure little rabbit, but do you want to know what I saw inside your mind?”

Layla inhaled sharply. “What?”

“I saw a lioness.”

“A lioness?” It sounded wrong in every way. She wasn’t anything like a lioness. Layla was wary and restrained, not wild and free. She was a creature of order and logic, not instinct. It’s true that when she’d defended herself in the stairwell she’d felt like a fierce predator, but she hadn’t known that part of herself. She also didn’t know the part of herself that wanted this man. She was a stranger to the part of herself that quivered and ached for him.

“Then make me remember, if you think you can,” she said. “Do it.”

Thank you, Stephanie for dropping by! I love mythology and am really looking forward to reading this one. What about you guys? Are there any myths that you especially love? Persephone? Diana (you know I love that one!). Narcissus? Share any that you would like to see incorporated into a story.

The Last Rising by Rachel Firasek

I’m very pleased to have with me today my friend and fellow author Rachel Firasek. Rachel has a new paranormal romance with a twist on Egyptian mythology, THE LAST RISING. Rachel is here to tell us a little more about her story and the inspiration about it. So without further ado, here’s Rachel!

Every story has a tone or a mood. Your setting creates the backdrop for your characters to tell their story, but does your novel have a color? To date, every book I have has a color. That may be the artistic part of my brain running crazy, but I see in colors. They are so much more interesting than the black and white print on the page.

We are taught at a very early age that colors are tied to emotions. Red=anger, blue=calm, yellow=cowardous, green=envy and so on and so forth. I can’t remember if one person taught me all of this or if it was a collaboration of teachers, parents and, later in life, my own interpretations.

So, it wasn’t until my most fabulous friend and fellow author, Autumn Shelly, showed me these pretty little salt lamps that change colors. These lamps reminded me of my art background, how much color means to me. I bought one, it runs on my USB port and sits on the edge of my laptop. When I sit down to start a new story, I think of the theme. Then I think of the emotions for my heroine/hero. Then I pick a color. That color will be the mood for my book.

The Last Rising, my latest release, is purple & red. There’s anger and passion on every page in some way or another.

Heather Howland did a great job creating my cover to match the mood of this book.

I’m writing the second book in this series and it has a very distinct/different color. Green is my mood for this second book and I’ll bet you can only guess why. Green not only portrays envy or jealousy, but it’s also the color of nature. Its a grounding color. My heroine is definitely in book two is an earth. I adore her. And yes, Heather Howland again created a beautiful masterpiece to bring my story to life.

Now, I dare you to study your the story you are reading and find the color in the mood. It’s there, in every page and in every book, you’ll find it. If your not reading right now, then think about this on your next read. Take those black and white pages and thrust them into full Techno-color. You’ll be amazed at how much more you get from the story.

Drop me a note and let me know your color. Everyone has one. I’m totally a red. I’ll let you guess why….

A little teaser for THE LAST RISING

After paying two millennia’s penance to Osiris, world-weary Phoenix Ice has had enough. Saving souls without any hope for her own redemption isn’t how she imagined spending eternity. Fed up, she decides her next death will be her last. But when she sacrifices her own life for a sexy Texan in a catastrophic plane crash, she has no idea the consequences will be so great…or that she’ll end up back in his life for her next assignment.

Now that Turner Alcott has survived the worst, finding a wife and mother for his son matters more than ever before. When the mysterious Ice comes into his life, Turner knows she’s the one—but love is the last thing Ice wants. If he wants to win her heart, Turner must teach Ice how to forgive herself, and prove that love is the ultimate sacrifice.

Excerpt

“Why is it I can’t get you out of my mind? You say we haven’t met, but my dreams remember you.”

Oh yeah, he’d dreamt of a woman for months now. She resembled his dream woman in so many ways, but he’d never seen his fantasy lover’s face.

She struggled against his clutch. “Mr. Alcott, I assure you we haven’t met. And for your other question, I don’t know why, but you need to release me.”

Why did that quivering bottom lip make him suspect she was lying? Turner rested his forehead against the top of hers and sucked in her scent. “Please, tell me I’m not losing my mind. Tell me you don’t visit me every night and I’ll promise to leave you alone. I just need to know.”

He sounded like a crazy man but she had to tell him. She was the only one who could put a stop to his mind’s constant fantasizing, and this feeling of déjà vu every time he saw her.

Ice wriggled in his arms, her thighs chafing against his slacks. “Mr. Alcott, you need to let me go.” She glanced around his shoulder. “Brodie is probably staring out that glass window and I would hate for him to get the wrong impression.”

She was right. He needed to get ahold of himself, but he didn’t have the strength to walk away. His hands traveled up and over her shoulders, stalling on her neck. Brushing his thumbs against her jaw, he pressed her head back and stared into hard eyes—no emotion. Couldn’t she see the battle he fought?

He teased the corner of her mouth with his thumb and her breathy gasp pleased him. So, she wasn’t completely immune to him. He dropped his head until his mouth hovered over hers.

“Mr. Alcott—”

“Shhh. I just need a taste of the sunshine.”

Wicked Wednesday – Guest Blog & Contest

TEMPTATION CALLS vampire romanceOur Danger Women Writing Guest Blogs and Contests continue today with my wonderful editor, Stacy Boyd! Stacy will be chatting about the Harlequin Desire line and one lucky commenter will win copies of some of the books in THE CALLING VAMPIRE novels that Stacy and I have worked on together, namely, DANGER CALLS, TEMPTATION CALLS and FURY CALLS!

Please stop by and say hello to Stacy, but before you go, here’s a little known piece of trivia about the cover for TEMPTATION CALLS. A decision was made for the heroine to have a tattoo on the cover even though I made no mention of it in the book. When asked what would be the most likely tattoo she would have, it occurred to me that since the heroine – Samantha Turner – runs a home for abused women called the Artemis Shelter, the tattoo should be a representation of the goddess Artemis (Diana in Roman mythology – yes like Diana Reyes). Artemis was the Goddess of the Hunt and often depicted with a bow and arrow and so voila – the tattoo on the heroine’s leg is that of a female archer.