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.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway Daughters of Zeus series by Kaitlin Bevis


There are worse things than death, worse people too

The “talk” was bad enough, but how many teens get told that they’re a goddess? When her mom tells her, Persephone is sure her mother has lost her mind. It isn’t until Boreas, the god of winter, tries to abduct her that she realizes her mother was telling the truth. Hades rescues her, and in order to safely bring Persephone to the Underworld he marks her as his bride. But Boreas will stop at nothing to get Persephone. Despite her growing feelings for Hades, Persephone wants to return to the living realm. Persephone must find a way to defeat Boreas and reclaim her life.

Some vows can never be broken.

Persephone thought she could go back to her normal life after returning from the Underworld. She was wrong.

The goddess Aphrodite is born among the waves with more charm than she can control. Zeus is stalking Persephone and her loved ones, and Thanatos is no longer content with Persephone’s silence.

He wants her soul.

Persephone can’t tell anyone about Thanatos’ betrayal, and it drives a wedge between her and Hades. Her mother is still keeping secrets, and Melissa’s jealousy of Aphrodite threatens to tear their friendship apart.

Alone, Persephone turns to a human boy for comfort. But will their relationship put him in danger? Sacrifices must be made, and Persephone must choose between her human life and her responsibilities as a goddess. If she doesn’t, she could lose them both. But will either life be worth choosing once Zeus is through with her?

Life is hell for Persephone. Zeus will stop at nothing to gain access to the living realm and the Underworld, and as the only living god with a right to both, Persephone’s in trouble. Captured and tortured beyond the limits of her resolve, Persephone must find the power to stand against Zeus. But will she be strong enough? 

Meanwhile, Hades contemplates desperate measures to rescue his queen. Persephone never thought of herself as dangerous, but there’s a reason gods never marry for love. A being with the power to destroy all of creation shouldn’t place more value in one individual than the rest of the planet. But Hades...Hades would break the world for her.

To save the world and stop both Hades and Zeus, Persephone must make a difficult choice. One that may cost her everything.

Mythology Reloaded
(MB's Topic)
I've read a lot of books based on mythology, and they all approach the way to modernize it differently. Many books use reincarnations, create all new characters set in the world of the gods, or just straight up set the books in the past. I wanted to do something different.

In the Daughters of Zeus series, the myths are still happening. Persephone is a sixteen year old girl who begins the series with the odd sensation that someone is watching her. As far as she knows, gods and goddesses exist only in textbooks. Greek mythology still exists but it's not nearly as extensive. Most of the stories involve the Titans or the big six. Lesser known myths have replaced what we consider the classics. Instead of blaming Hades and Persephone for winter, they blame a similar story about Boreas and Oreithyia. The Trojan War still occurred, and all the major epics still exist. 

Updating the myths within that structure was a lot of fun. Instead of a bard, Orpheus became a rockstar. Demeter runs a flower shop. Pirithous is a a frat boy. The story is set in Athens, Georgia, home of the Bulldogs, and the Underworld has cable. Hades is the hero rather than the villain. He doesn't abduct Persephone and drag her down from the Underworld, he rescues her from another god and invites her to stay until the living realm is safe.There are hundreds of other places where the classic myths get a modern twist. But the world I created was just different enough from ours to require an agent into the story.

That's why I began the series with Persephone. I needed a new, completely modern-minded goddess to act as the reader's agent into the world. We get to learn the rules and limits alongside her, and she has reactions to extreme circumstances a modern reader can relate to. For example, her first impulse when her mother tells her she's a goddess is to google the local psych ward. She looks at the dynamics and power structure of the gods and sees the flaws in it from a modern perspective, but also from a very naive perspective.

Hades is almost the exact opposite. He's been around since the beginning, and while he is not nearly the creep the stories would have you believe, he's still got a rather jaded world view. Writing their dynamic was a lot of fun because I got to explore how someone ancient would react to the world today and how someone new would react to the ancient world and most importantly how those two people would react with one another. They annoy each other, but they also fascinate each other. It's a constant push and pull between the two, and the more they get to know each other, the more they discover that they need one another to balance.

I hope my take on mythology is enjoyable to readers. I know I had a blast writing it. 
Thank you, Mrs. Kaitlin Bevis

From Persephone

The branch crashed in front of me, scraping my legs. I ran for the parking lot as fast as I could. The frost closed in, surrounding me. I’d never been claustrophobic, but as the frost cut off my escape path with a solid white wall, I panicked.

Fog rolled in, like cold death, cutting off my view of the park. It curled around me, brushing against my face, arms, and legs. I turned back to the tree and ran faster, my dress tangling between my legs as the fog and icy wind blew against my skin.

The parking lot is the other way! my mind screamed. The other way was cut off by a mountain of ice. I felt as if I was being herded. By ice?

I slipped on the icy ground, falling face first into the frost. Ice crept up my toes and along my legs. I thrashed and screamed. I felt the fog becoming a solid mass above me, pinning me to the ground. The ice piled around me. Am I going to be buried alive?

I dug my nails into the frigid snow in front of me and tried to claw my way out of the frosted death trap. I was so panicked I didn’t feel it when my nails broke against the impenetrable wall of ice, leaving red crescents of blood welling up on sensitive skin. An hysterical sob worked its way out of my throat as I gouged red lines into the ice. The ice was above my knees, snaking its way up my thighs. I shivered.

Shivering’s good, I reminded myself. It means your body hasn’t given up…yet. The cold was painful, like a thousand little knives pricking my skin. A violent tremor went up my spine, sending waves of pain through me.

“Help me!” I screamed, knowing it was futile. I was going to die here.

Except I couldn’t die. Could I? Mom said I was immortal, but was that all-inclusive? Did I have a weakness? Was snow my Kryptonite? If I got hurt, would I heal or would I be trapped in an injured body in pain forever?

I suddenly didn’t know if immortality was a good thing or a bad thing. The cold hurt. I was kicking, screaming, and clawing my way out of the frost, but for every inch I gained a mountain piled around me. I thought I heard a man’s laughter on the wind, the sound somehow colder than the ice freezing me into place.

The ground before my outstretched hand trembled. The shaking increased. The earth lurched beneath me. The surface cracked and the sound was so loud that for a moment all I could hear was high-pitched ringing in my ears. The ground split into an impossibly deep crevice. My voice went hoarse from screaming as I peered into the endless abyss, trapped and unable to move away from the vertigo-inducing edge.

From Daughter of the Earth and Sky

I'd been here before. My bare feet glided over the leaf-strewn path, unharmed by the rocks and twigs crunching beneath me. Massive live oaks draped with Spanish moss created a canopy above me, transforming the forest path into a tunnel of speckled sunlight. The air was heavy with humidity. The moist heat pressed against my skin and stole the breath from my lungs. By the time I reached the path’s end, my Eeyore nightshirt clung to my skin. 

"Dungeoness." I came to a halt when I recognized the sprawling ruins of the ancient ivy-covered brick and stone manor. 

Athens Academy took my class on a week-long trip to Georgia's coastal islands freshmen year. Cumberland Island was a major highlight because of the sea turtles, wild horses, and these ruins. 

"Good job, Persephone,” I muttered, kicking at a branch. “You’ve figured out where you are, but how did you get here?" I knelt to pick up a smooth, white stone, tucking damp tendrils of hair behind my ears so I could see better. The rock looked and felt real. I ran my hand over the smooth stone, turning it over and tracing the shape. The weight of it in my hand reassured me. 

I turned, hoping the path held some answers, but it was no longer there. I stood on the grass-covered shoreline looking out to sea. In the distance, a girl stood thigh high in the ocean, clad in a gown of strategically placed sea foam. Although her back was to me, I could tell she was perfect. The curly ringlets of hair cascading down her flawless cream skin matched the intense orange of the sky as the sun sank in the sea. 

I glanced down at my sun-kissed skin, self-conscious. She was really pretty. A movement caught my attention and I glanced up as she looked over her shoulder, aquamarine eyes meeting mine. Then she spoke. I was shocked to hear Boreas' cold voice roll off her tongue. "Zeus lives." 

I stumbled backward. Boreas, the god of winter. My mind flashed back to that horrible day in the clearing last winter. Boreas’ cold laughter. His fingers digging in my hair as he pulled me across the frozen ground. Melissa’s eyes widening as she choked on her last breath. The rush of power that gave me the strength to put Death himself, and Boreas, under my control. 

A soul for a soul. I’d bargained with Thanatos, the god of death, and killed Boreas without a second thought, saving my best friend. 

Now images shoved their way through my thoughts: Cumberland Island, two sunsets, lightning cracking in the sky. My mind screamed against the onslaught. I gritted my teeth and forced myself to think the word that would make it all stop. 

I bolted up in bed with a gasp. A weight in my hand made me look down. I unclenched my fist, revealing the white stone from Dungeoness.

About the author:
Kaitlin Bevis spent her childhood curled up with a book, and a pen. If the ending didn't agree with her, she rewrote it. She's always wanted to be a writer, and spent high school and college learning everything she could so that one day she could achieve that goal. She graduated college with my BFA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, and is pursuing her masters at the University of Georgia.

Her young adult series "Daughters of Zeus" is available wherever ebooks are sold. She also writes for truuconfessions.com and Athens Parent Magazine.

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ebecks said...

I've always loved Athena.

Ashley E said...

I've always like Persephone so this is perfect!

Ashley E said...
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Bube said...
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Cackleberry Homestead said...

I'm a big fan of Persephone so I can't wait to read this.

Holly Letson said...

Aphrodite ♥

Denise Z said...

I have to say Persphone, mainly because it is the one that I have read the original story and really enjoyed :)

Unknown said...

I have always love Persephone and Hades.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for posting. Obviously, I'm a Persephone fan myself, but Athena is pretty awesome :)

Unknown said...

sound great

Unknown said...

i like posiedon!!!

Kera M said...