Tag Archives: narcissus

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.

Tuesday Tip – Spring Bulbs

Narcissus Photo Copyright Vincent de Groot under GNU License from WikipediaThere’s nothing that says spring might finally be here than the eruption of spring color from crocuses, daffodils, tulips and hyacinths. The nice thing about them as well is that once you get them planted, they’ll come back every year and provide that burst of doldrum-busting color.

Also, planting spring bulbs doesn’t interfere with you later placing annuals in the same spots for summer-long color. Why’s that? Because bulbs are usually planted deeper – between 6 to 10 inches deep while annuals are planted much higher at 3 to 4 inches deep.

So how do you prepare for that spring color? Except for tulips and hyacinths, spring bulbs should be planted in the fall – September and October depending on where you are located. As a general rule, plant them well before any freeze. This will help them build strength and get established.

Dig a hole about 8 inches deep and about a foot around. Prepare the soil with nice compost and some bone meal. Work it into the ground so that about a foot deep of soil is nice and loose so the bulbs can take root. Also, make sure the area has good drainage. Bulbs generally do not like to sit in wet soil. Cover the bulbs with soil and some mulch to help retain moisture and provide some shelter against the cold. I generally plant in groups of 3 to 5 as odd numbers of objects are generally more pleasing to the eye.

For unexpected bursts of color, mix in bulbs beneath ground covers like ivy or pachysandra.

Come the spring you’ll be rewarded with beautiful color and scents. Hyacinths are amazing for a blast of fragrance in your garden!

Once the bulbs start to die back, you can plant your annuals for the rest of the summer!