Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Interview, Excerpt and Giveaway Women of War (OF WAR #5) by Lisa Beth Darling


Venture on a Mystical Journey through Time and Secrets Past

This story spans four generations of women in Alena's family from her great-grandmother, Shar Draíocht the last known Queen of the Dark Kingdom. Morrowind, her tortured daughter. Maven, Alena's free spirited mother. And ends the night Alena washed up on Ares' shore. With intensity, lust, fear, and strength these Women of War make their way in the world revealing the hidden truths of the past and Ares true connection to his beloved Wife, Alena.


Thank you, Mrs.Lisa Beth Darling

Ares – we are use with him to be the evil guy. How hard was to make him the “bad guy” in the sense we like? 
Probably easier than you think. I've always loved Greek Mythology and Ares has always been one of the gods that called to me the most. I'm not a violent person by nature but if you 'get my Irish up' I'll certainly let you know it. In my heart I've always felt he was purposefully portrayed in a bad light and painted with a heavy brush that he might not have deserved. Don't get me wrong, there are very few people who actually 'like' War but there are people who understand it and who are good at it. We count on them to protect us from forces that would seek to oppress us. We call them Warriors and Soldiers. Like it or not we need them. We need them to be good, to be just, to have honor, and not to act irrationally…most of the time, especially in Ares' case. In order to soften him a bit from that 'evil' 'bloodthirsty' God we've all come to know and hate I just wondered what he would be like today. I figured he'd be older—probably even 'middle-aged' by Olympian standards, he'd be wiser, and he would be more sophisticated then we may have been led to believe.

You declared yourself Pagan. Consider that this condition brings you benefits over other writers? 
Well, I was raised Roman Catholic with a good deal of New England Baptist thrown in so I have a broad knowledge of Christianity. I decided that a lot of its teachings just weren't for me, I couldn't go along with them. Then something terrible happened in my personal life and I wandered for a very long time with no path, no faith, and no god to comfort me before I came to Paganism through Wicca. I studied Wicca, I liked it but it wasn't an exact fit for me though it was the closest I'd come up to that point. After a while I came to the conclusion that there wasn't an 'organized religion' out there for me. Not a single one. So I merrily wander down a path that I create for myself as I go through this life. Not being tied to a single set of rules or morals, as a writer, it gives me freedom. I'm able to push past a lot taboos and get way down to the darkest nitty-gritty. But, I try not to go too far, Catholic Guilt is always right behind me looking over my shoulder. My husband will tell you that part of me will *always* be that Good Catholic Girl no matter how hard I try to get rid of her.

There are traps to avoid when you entwine different mythologies (and even elements of “X-files” – see Area 51)? 
 "X-Files"? Oh! I LOVED "X-Files"! I scheduled my night around the show so I wouldn't miss it. However, Area51 is a real place. It's really out there in the Nevada Desert. It's hard to do much honest research on it as the US government doesn't like to put out much information regarding the place. As for the other mythologies, I'm Scotch/Irish (among many other things) so the Celts always called to me even though they didn't end up being predominant in my life and on my path. I've always loved the idea of Ancient Gods knowing each other maybe even hating each other or falling in love. I crossed the Greeks with the Celts in the OF WAR Series and, while it added to the research, I think it adds quite a bit to the series as well. I didn't find any traps but I did find oodles of doors and corridors to explore.

What is the scope of sex scenes in a romance novel? Are they a must? 
No, they're not a 'must'. A story can be very romantic, in the old-fashioned sense, without any sex at all. But, generally, that's not what I write and, when it comes to 'steamy reading' it's not what I read either. I find it unsatisfying more often than not but that's just my personal taste. I grew up reading Jacqueline Susan and Harold Robbins and Judith Rossner so I *expect* sex scenes that light the night on fire and explode with lust leaving the reader panting as they head for a cold shower or grab their partner and indulge in a heated evening of fantasy.

Can love change everything or prevail over all obstacles (in general and in your books in particular)?  
Yes. Without doubt or question; Yes it can. It doesn't come easy. It has a price and you have to work at it. You can't expect that it's just 'all going to work out in the end' you have to make it work out. You have to want it more than anything in the world.

Do you have an advice for prudes?
Don't read this series.



Sitting in the dank cell hour after hour and day after day, time lost all meaning. Not even the rancid food came to him on anything that resembled a steady basis. All Ares knew for sure was that one moment he'd been doing his best to sleep on the tilting cot with his knees hanging over the foot of it when the cell door burst open and a full battalion of the Queen's Guard rushed him. Wrestling him to the ground, they clasped him in chains and dragged him to the center of their little underground village. The whole town gathered to witness, torches, staffs, and readily available throwing items in hand. They hissed at him, cursed him, and tossed their stones while guards led him up to a round platform with a pillar of granite jutting out of the middle. Ares needed no introduction to the structure or to learn its intended purpose, after all he invented the whipping post.

Understanding their intention, Ares fought as mightily as he could with his ankles and wrists bound together. "I'm a GOD! How dare you try to whip me?" he railed as he threw off the guards to deliver double axe handle blows upon them, but they were so damn small and agile that he kept missing them. This infuriated him mostly because he was so large they couldn't help but land their return blows on his half-naked frame. It wasn't long before the Queen's Guards knocked his legs out from under him with a heavy blow of a study staff. Once on his knees, blows landed on his head, shoulders, and jaw. Ares discovered that tiny fists hurt a great deal. Bloody and dazed, they shoved him down on all fours and attached the chains on his wrists to the post.

Looking out at the crowd with seething eyes, he cursed them. "You're going to regret this."

"I think not," replied a soft but stern voice from behind him.

Ares looked back over his shoulder to see Shar Draïocht standing there, whip in hand, ready to dole out the punishment they thought he so rightly deserved. "Unusual for a Queen to get her hands so dirty," he snarled.

"It's a special occasion," she hissed back as she brought the whip forward with a practiced wrist. It licked between his shoulder blades and split open a wide swatch of his olive flesh.

Each time the whip sliced through his perfect flesh, Ares snarled, "You bitch!"

With every crack of the whip they raised their staffs high in victory while the crowd shouted out, "Hazzar!"


My name is Maggie, I'm fifteen years-old, named for my grandmother Magdalena MacLeod who was the Lost Queen of the Fey Kingdom. If you'll give me a few minutes I'd like to tell you about my family.

My Grandfather, Magdalena's Husband, is Ares the God of War. He didn't like her name and so he took it upon himself to rename her; Alena. Much to the displeasure of his Family, the Olympians, Ares fell head over heels for my grandmother who washed up on the shore of his island while Ares was sat in a wrongly imposed exile. He caused quite a stir when he refused to give her over to them in exchange for having his exile lifted and being welcomed home. Yet, as he once said, he would rather have one night with Alena than to have 10,000 nights on Olympus. So in love with her was he that when Aphrodite snatched her away from him and returned my grandmother to Cernunnos whom she'd managed to evade for two hundred years, Ares tracked him down to his forest Keep. There, after being held prisoner a short while, he cut down Cernunnos and turned his ancient fortress to ash.

Ares and Alena were married on the very beach, in the very spot, where she washed up on his shore. They were happy. So happy together but for such a short time. Alena became pregnant with my father, Raven and the Olympians, especially my Great-Grandfather, were very upset. They didn't want some half-breed running around Olympus. Knowing his Father's cunning and cruelty when Zeus presented Ares with a deal to keep Alena and Raven safe from harm he took it. The deal was that Ares would have to break his vow to Alena and sleep with Aphrodite bringing Zeus a full-blooded Olympian. Ares kept his part of the bargain and went to Aphrodite's bed but while in the throes of vengeful passion Alena went into labor alone. She cried out for her Husband but he wasn't there by the time he arrived with my Great-Grandmother, Hera, he'd nearly lost his Wife and his Son.

Raven was born he was loved by his mother and his Father but hated by Zeus in spite of the bargain he struck with Ares. From the union of Ares and Aphrodite, Trinity was born. She was a sweet girl, a full-blooded Olympian but showed no sign of having special powers. Not like Raven who could shoot balls of ice from his palms.

Not a being a full-blooded Olympian, it was up to Zeus whether or not to Accept my Father as one of them. Although my Grandmother had many mis-givings she was willing to allow it until Zeus, during the Ritual of Acceptance, tried to lay upon my infant Father the title of God of the Damned. She snatched her Son from the altar before Zeus could touch him with his staff and complete the ritual.

Much against the wishes of Ares and Alena, Apollo, Ares' nemesis was made Raven's guardian should anything happen to his Brother. Apollo gladly accepted the honored position as feeling of ill will was mutual. Apollo would do anything to hurt Ares but what he wanted above all else was my Grandmother. Working in concert with Zeus to bring down Ares and his new happy family, Apollo befriended Raven and planted wicked thoughts in my Father's head when he was only a child. In the end the goal of Zeus and Apollo was simple; they wanted Raven to grow so enraged that he would kill his Mother which would force to kill Raven and then, in a fit of depression, kill himself. Zeus would be rid of his least favored Son and the bastards Ares brought to Olympus.

Raven grew tall, strong, and angry until a deep hatred for his mother burned in his heart and spilled over to his Sister. Until one day, Trinity suffered a horrible accident; she fell from the very heights of Olympus all the way to the bottom of the mountain. Aphrodite was heartbroken at the loss of her Daughter. Ares was angry. Alena was suspicious of her Son and her Husband. Ares and Alena grew apart. Ares returned to Aphrodite's bed leaving his Wife pregnant alone with their Son. That night, Ares and Aphrodite created my Uncle, Hunter. When my Grandfather returned home to his fortress at the break of dawn, he found Alena broken and bloody at the bottom of a mighty marble staircase. He always suspected that Raven pushed her down the stairs although my father kept quiet and the assertion that he'd never touched his mother.

That day, Alena gave birth to my Aunt, Rose. The baby was small, too small. She was weak, frail, and malformed. Although Ares tried to do what he felt was the right thing and end her suffering he couldn't do it. Rose struggled, her life was not easy, but she was full of joy and determination. As her mother fell into a four year sleep, Raven grew and Rose grew and Ares fell into depression with his little Rose his only ray of light.

In secret, my Father and Apollo hatched a plan to bring anarchy to reign on the Mortal World. Apollo even convinced my Father that Ares would approve of the chaos and turmoil in the world below, that as the God of War, he would be proud. So Raven did all that could to bring about the destruction of the status quo in the world below. As riots broke out all over the planet, and the financial system crumbled, on Olympus my Father began fighting for acceptance among the Olympians began his Trials while Alena slept. Each God was to lay before him a Herculean task, the first of which was set by Hades. Raven went to the Underworld to rescue an innocent soul trapped in Tartarus. He faced many dangers and had to be quick on his feet and in his mind to pass all the way through Tartarus to the very center and the City of Dis where he faced the Furies and passed all of their tests. But Tisiphone presented him with a challenge of her own; if he made it back to Olympus in victory, he was to rescue my Grandmother from her deep sleep. She told him that Alena was not in coma but being held prisoner by Morpheus. If he were to rescue he would erase all his past misdeeds and be given a clean start. He would not face eternity behind the walls of Dis as a prisoner but, instead, when the time came, he would rule over it as the God of the Damned Zeus intended him to be.

On the last leg of his task he found the soul he was to rescue; Trinity. It wasn't easy but he gained her trust and in doing so came to feel the weight of the guilt of killing her. I think it was that moment my Father started to change and realize that, Olympian or not, there were things bigger than himself in this world. If he hadn't come to that understanding, I don't think my Father would have been able to face Ares, to tell him that all that time his beloved Wife was held captive in the Dream World and then to go and get her.

But they did, together Father and Son entered the Dream World, with little Rose tagging along unexpectedly. They found my Grandmother caught in the grip of a wicked nightmare as Morpheus held her, naked and cold, at the top of a very high tower. My Father morphed into a raven while Ares fought Morpheus, he flew to the top of the tower to rescue my Grandmother. Yet, when he reached out, when he touched her, the nightmare in her head jumped into him. He saw all manner of unspeakable things his Mother suffered and lived through and kept secret from him. They flooded into his mind until they made him scream and curled up in a ball, shaking and breathless for a long moment before he dared touch her again. In the end, Ares, Rose and my Father were victorious. They brought my Grandmother home after so long.

When they emerged from the Dream World, they woke to discover the Olympians knew what was happening in the Mortal World. Raven and Ares were accused of High Crimes Against Humanity and charged with the deaths of millions upon millions of Mortals caused not just by the rioting and upheaval but by a horrible disease called Major Falls, a weaponized version of rabies. Raven knew his friend Apollo had tricked him, lied to him all of those years. Held in Zeus' Dungeon, it was up to my Grandmother and Rose to prove their innocence. Temporarily cast out from Olympus they wandered the Mortal World and through the utter destruction and stench of death until they arrived at a place called Area 51. There Alena found the proof she needed but not before she was attacked and bitten by a dog riddled with Major Falls. Back on Olympus, with proof in her hands, Ares was proven completely innocent of all crimes. Raven swallowed his pride and admitted his part in helping the Mortals along as they barrel toward self-destruction but maintained his innocence in the spread of the disease. He too, was found innocent in the spread of the disease that would claim over two billion lives before it was done. More than innocence, Alena proved Apollo's guilt to the Olympians. She showed them irrefutable proof that it was Apollo who went to the Mortal World in Raven's form and purposefully set the disease free.

Zeus was furious with Apollo for having something so dastardly behind his back but he could do nothing to punish Apollo without revealing his own dirty deeds.

Vowing to do all that they could to put the Mortal World back together, my Family left Olympus, but as the Great Gate opened, Zeus suddenly Accepted my Father as one of them, giving Raven all of the power he would have and Lordship over the Damned just as he'd promised when Raven was only an infant. Apollo railed and the others were shocked by the gesture bestowed on the young man the God of Gods detested for so long.

When all of them returned to Ares' island, the God of War was ill. Unknown to any of them he'd contracted Major Falls and that turned out to be a very dangerous thing. In order to save Ares from a horrible death either at the hands of the disease or of his own Son, my Grandmother struck the deal with Apollo that he'd been waiting for; she would go to his bed if he would give Ares the cure he'd stolen from Area 51. Apollo jumped on it, and her, knowing he would hold this over her head and force her to his bed for many years to come.

It was on that first trip back to the Mortal World, while traveling across the remains of the United States that my Father met my Mother, Lenora an Outcast Fey who had long searched for Alena with the desire of bringing her home. At first, they didn't trust each other, in fact they hated each other and my Father almost killed my Mother. Yet, they soon realized they shared common goals and were stronger together than apart.

I don't want to spoil anything from here on out, some things should remain as a surprise. So, if you'd like to know more about me, how I came to be, or about the lives and stories of my Family, our friend Lisa Beth Darling has written a wonderful series, OF WAR, I suggest you read it. Start with "The Heart of War" and immerse yourself in the beginning of this sweeping saga with the story of how my Grandfather, Ares, met and fell in love with my Grandmother, Magdalena MacLeod the Lost Queen of the Fey Kingdom.

About the author:

I've been married for the last 27 years to my wonderful husband and incredibly talented musician & rockin' DJ, Roy. We live in my hometown of New London, CT where we have raised two beautiful daughters to adulthood.

My writing career began in junior high, around the 7th grade. A fact that my fellow students adored but often got me called down to the Guidance Counselor's Office to discuss the adult nature of my early stories. While the experience was never pleasant, I was not deterred by the counselors' worries I was spurred onward by them, as well as by my teachers, and my classmates, I continued to hone my craft throughout those formative years.

Through my full-length novels and series I bring conflict, passion, love, and suspense to unique couples--how about a Greek God and a Fae, a retiring military man and an aging widowed hippie, a famous writer/director and a lonely hitch-hiker, or a b-grade actor and a very lucky first-time author? Since I'm never one to shy away from the less pleasant things in life, indeed I believe that it is in the Darkness where Character is created, determined, and defined, my heroes and heroines have their love tested by demons from within and without.

To date, I have penned some 14 novels and 30+ short stories. All of my books and stories are filled with steamy sex, hot passion, dark intrigue, and nail biting suspense. ALL of my works are intended for a Mature Audience Only this includes most of my non-fiction books.  My books are for those who like their reading on the gritty side. They are not intended for the faint of heart or those who enjoy a sweet read.

Also, being a Pagan (which is helpful when I write about the Ancient Gods!) I've penned a few useful guides for Ritual Sex/Love Magick and for those wanting to start out exploring Magickal Herbalism.

Author's US Giveawy
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author is also running a sale on signed and unsigned paperback 9/1-11/4 HERE

1 comment:

Lisa Beth said...

Thank you so much for having me here! This is wonderful. :)