Faerie Blood and Bone Walker both draw upon Celtic and Japanese mythology. Forthcoming work of mine, a novel with the working title of Queen of Souls, will be drawing upon one of my very earliest mythological loves: Greek mythos. It’s so prevalent in both SF/F and romance, I believe, specifically because there’s such a rich treasure trove of tales to mine for inspiration.
And one of my all-time favorite tales from Greek mythos is that of Hades and Persephone. I’ve always loved that story, enough that I had to write a sequel of sorts to it, an expansion to the core story. Here’s the working blurb for that!
No love is greater than that of a mother for her child–and no mother is more fierce in her love than Demeter the Life-Giver.
Demeter has never forgiven her brother Hades for stealing her precious only daughter. Three thousand years ago, desperate to free Persephone from the bond that pulls her back to the Underworld each year, she committed the ultimate sacrifice: transforming herself and her child into mortals. They have walked ever since in countless lifetimes across the earth, reincarnating when their human shapes die, while their eternal souls remain forever out of Hades’ reach.
The loss of his queen has nearly driven Hades mad. Consumed by grief and remorse, determined to win Persephone back to his side, he has abandoned his realm to search for her. Yet the Persephone he finds knows herself only as the mortal woman Korinne Marlowe. And her mother will stop at nothing to prevent him from stealing her again.
But a power greater and older than them all is rising to take back the earth he once ruled–and Korinne will have to prove herself worthy to stand among the gods if they’re to defeat the Lord of Time himself.
Want a taste of the story itself? Here’s how it opens!
The next time Hermes brought her back from the Underworld, Persephone wept tears of rage. They gleamed like jewels in her night-dark eyes and streamed down white cheeks that might have been sculpted from marble, so stiffly did she walk back into Olympus' shining halls. She offered no cause for it as she greeted Zeus and the others, and when with furrowed brow her father asked what troubled her, she replied only that she would discuss it only with her mother.
Aghast, Demeter hastened her daughter to their private sanctum, the garden they'd tended together ever since Persephone had been old enough to tap into the life cycles of green growing things and help them along. But this time the fragrant blooms and twining vines brought no consolation. Within their silent shelter the maiden collapsed in her mother's arms and sobbed.
"What has he done to you?" Demeter demanded.
With a slender fist Persephone punched the floor. Leaves on the nearest vines withered under the strength of her anguish, turning brown and sere and falling to the earth around them, and something withered in Demeter as well when her child lifted a stricken gaze to hers. "I caught him, Mother," she rasped, as bleak and harsh as winter. "I caught him with a nymph."
"He betrayed you," Demeter said without surprise, stroking her daughter's hair. Zeus and Poseidon had never limited themselves to their consorts' favors; why should their brother Hades be any different? "I am so sorry, child. He's no fit lord for you. I never believed he was."
With a shriek Persephone surged up out of Demeter's embrace to stalk the length and breadth of the garden. "Why did he want to be my lord to begin with if he can do this to me? He could carry me down into darkness--"
"And give you a gift that was no gift, but a chain to bind you to his side." Persephone's features were contorted with such wild wrath that for an instant Demeter wondered if her gentle daughter was about to take up the weapons of Artemis or Athena to make war upon the husband who had wronged her. She was close to making war upon him herself. Even now the mere thought of a pomegranate was enough to drive her to obliterate every last one from the face of the earth.
"He could call snakes and stone to hold Pirithous for seeking me, yet say nothing of Adonis..." Persephone's voice cracked, and as she trailed off, she slumped against one of the fine carven pillars that ran up to the garden's high ceiling. Her eyes closed in defeat. "But perhaps he shares Adonis' view now, and finds me cold--unfeeling!"
"Do not say that!" Demeter followed her, and reached a hand to her chin to make her lift her eyes. "If he thinks you cold, daughter, he is a fool. If he can dally with a nymph instead of his own queen, he is a fool a thousand times over. Let her have him. He does not deserve you."
Persephone met her mother's eyes, but hers still brimmed with wetness, and her rage had wilted away. In its absence she seemed diminished now, vulnerable, broken. "Minthe will never have him again," she whispered. "I've destroyed her. I ripped her body asunder and turned the pieces into seeds. She grows now upon a hillside in Crete, and her scent is cool and fresh..." Laughter bubbled up out of her, but it was edged with hysteria, fey and black. "I should have made her smell foul, Mother! Why didn't I make her smell foul?"
I will be looking to release Queen of Souls in 2016, and I hope you all will join me for the adventure!