Monday, September 27, 2010
Meet Muse Calliope! Skhye Moncrief's, Ancient Musings. Time to win big!
For the next two months, weekdays only, I’ll be inviting the nine muses of inspiration to join us. Naturally each muse has her own story and each story has its own fabulously talented author. Perhaps you’ve heard of the Song of the Muses anthology? If not, you’ve come to the right place because my A-musing the World Blog Event has just started!
This week I’d like to welcome romance author Skhye Moncrief who wrote the first story in the anthology titled Ancient Musings. Her muse? None other than Calliope, muse of epic poetry. As always with my blog events, there is a contest involved. For a chance to win an Ecopy of Ancient Musings, a $6 gift certificates to Digi Books Café AND a Time Guardian T-shirt you must answer the following question…Click HERE to go to Calliope’s Myspace page, scroll down until you find HEROES on the left hand side. Question- Calliope needs a hero like...? Swing back to this blog and leave the answer in a comment! Alright, why don’t we get to know Skhye and Calliope a little bit better?
One’s darkness proves the other’s light…
When Calliope challenges Zeus to end her immortal existence, she faces the reality of death in Hades. Only Jake Genoese, an archaeologist's soul, can outwit Zeus's Harpies and help her find new purpose. Far more is at stake when both realize they are no more than pawns for ANCIENT MUSINGS.
SKY: Thanks so much for joining me this week!
SKHYE: Thank you for having me over.
SKY: Tell us a little bit about yourself. How long have you been writing? Do you have a genre preference? What have you published thus far?
SKHYE: Formally educated in geology and bioarchaeology, I’ve turned to writing paranormal romance while acclimating to motherhood. Writing keeps me sane. I’ve been writing seriously since graduate school in 2000. I’ve got a time-travel series, a piece presented to surfers here today, and the first book in my new psychic werewolf space opera series is published! Oh, and my free read.
SKY: When you first knew you were going to be part of The Song of the Muses Anthology, what was your first thought?
SKHYE: Oh boy! I can’t wait to write about Hades!
SKY: Did you find yourself researching Greek Mythology quite a bit while writing your story or were you already a guru in this genre?
SKHYE: Yes, ma’am. I researched the ancient Greek idea of life and death as well as the underworld to write my novella. I wanted to understand the death customs, meaning of life and death, and all the deities involved. There’s really very little out there on what the underworld was like to the ancient Greeks. So, I began improvising with my poetic license.
SKY: Let’s chat about your muse. What drew you to her? As she was literally your inspiration, share a little about how you formed an entire story around her?
SKHYE: Geesh. I don’t know. Maybe Skhye doth ramble too much? And Calliope’s the muse of epic poetry. Don’t those two points mesh?
SKY: Time to crawl inside your muse’s head romance style. I’d love to read an excerpt from your story that revolves around her interacting with your hero. Pull us in─lead out with three words you feel could be a mini title for this glimpse inside your tale!
SKHYE: (This scene is where she meets the hero reborn through a ritual, Jake, in his brand new birthday outfit provided by the Gods! Ajax is her belated husband who killed himself and died dishonorably. She does not extol Ajax’s honor. You know, I just realized the names Jake and Ajax are like thesis and antithesis… I didn’t do that on purpose. LOL)
The door swung wide. A tall golden man dressed in a crisp white chiton and brown sandals laced up his muscular calves stepped into the sunlight.
Tan. He was as golden as any living around the Mediterranean. All but for his brown eyes. She could only stare at statue come to life. Here stood a being more exquisite than Apollo.
“What fortune brings another god to the Elysian Fields?” Ajax asked.
Apparently, visits by gods or goddesses were unusual here.
The golden man shot Ajax a dismissive look. “I’m a god now?”
Apollo’s rival spoke with Jake’s voice. She dare not step closer. She would have to touch him to see if he were real. What an inappropriate gesture. “Jake?”
One of his yellow eyebrows arched. “This is all a joke, right? I wake up, cracking out of my hull, and find I’m some kind of Greek hero.” He peered down at his sandals. “I even hatched wearing sandals.”
Nothing was better suited than a nude rebirth. Rebirth. Reincarnation. The river of forgetfulness and Gaia’s pool. The traveled more and more across the sky with each moment wasted. “I must speak with you in private, Jake.”
“Aren’t you accompanying me to the games, dear heart?” Ajax’s fingers curled around her elbow and tightened like instantly-drying rawhide.
She yanked against the squeezing grasp. “Release me.”
Ajax’s unrelenting brown gaze warned her not to fight him.
Such a controlling look. Did she owe him as the dutiful wife? No. He had committed suicide and chose not to stay with her in life. The man was a pig wanting nothing but to rut in the warm sunny Elysian meadows. Just what would the old goat try to do?
“Let her go,” Jake growled behind her back.
SKY: Hero time! Introduce us. What does he look like? Where’s he from? Why was he lucky enough to hook up with one of the nine muses of inspiration?
SKHYE: Jake is fortunate enough to be hanging in limbo waiting to cross the river Acheron… Not so corporeal when he meets Calliope. But he’s desperate to get across the river. His background in Classical archaeology makes him incredibly helpful to Calliope who needs to find Gaia’s pool to gain what she wants in the underworld. So… Jake becomes indebted to her through his honor when he realizes that in stealing her token to get across the river Acheron, he’s subjected her to a lot of danger. Of course, this realization comes after his act of taking her token. He then tries to make amends by helping her. You can get a picture of his appearance through the previous excerpt. I’ll leave you with another one just to help you size him up.
(The hero and heroine are hurrying to beat the night in the underworld where Harpies hunt the heroine.)
The quasi-morning dragged on and lightened a bit the farther they walked. Who knew when the morning peaked with noon though? But Calliope never said a word. Poor kid. Rather, woman. She was lean. Short for a woman standing next to a man of six feet. But her slim build made her appear tall. Or was her height lengthened by the way she thrust her chin up? And her beauty was impossible to describe.
Her skirt stilled over the broken earth at her feet.
Did she need to rest? “What’s wrong?” He strode to her side.
She stared down at a long gray bud hanging from a hip-high gray stem hosting a few equally-gray elongate leaves. “The food of the dead. Asphodel. That much remains true of myths, Jake.” She sighed and scanned the horizon.
“Out there, somewhere beyond the lilies and poplars of legend, lies Gaia’s pool. And I will beat my father to it before his Harpies steal my life essence.” She grabbed the Asphodel, yanked its dangling roots from the ground, and handed it to him. “Eat this. Maybe you’ll feel energized.”
The anger in her eyes spoke of her disgust with Zeus’ betrayal. But eating the plant couldn’t possibly do anything other than tie his soul to the underworld. And the psyche mob had seen to that with a few of Hades’ pomegranate seeds. “Food doesn’t do anything for a psyche.” He chuckled. “I know because the other psyches in their jealousy of my friendship with Hades crammed pomegranate seeds down my throat. I gained nothing but a Hades ball and chain.”
A hint of pity flashed in her eyes. “How sad that psyches hold as much animosity in death as they did when living. Jake, my father challenged me to find an unsung hero before he sent me here. I have.” She patted his arm and turned back to the horizon she had been trying to reach.
“Know you are worthy.”
If only she knew he stole her obol. What would she think?
SKY: Just to mix it up, make you think─if you could’ve chosen one other muse to write about in this anthology, which one would it have been? Why?
SKHYE: Okay, I’m into science. I’m a geek. Don’t smack me, Masha. But I would have stolen your muse! (Urania- Muse of Astronomy)
SKY: Thanks for visiting and sharing!
SKHYE: Thank you!
Sky here! I thought while I had Skhye here, I’d have her share another one of her fabulous stories so here goes…
Their blood lust flares hotter than a solar storm.
Beyond rebels and rogues, the ultimate insurgents, psychic mercenaries, fight for your freedom of thought and hunt earth mates for one purpose--to defeat the universe's psychic emperor wanting to control all sentient beings through mind control. And you have no idea this war rages off planet. Failure is not an option for the free-thinking universe.
The free-thinking universe's prized psychic mercenary, Red Trekaar, is running out of time. A legend claims she will give birth to a child that will end the war. But seducing the only man whose blood could satiate her lust was a mistake…
A sexy Goth babe crosses Jake Straightarrow's path, and he wakes up in an alien-abduction nightmare with a chronic hard-on, powerless, labeled a blood fucker. She shanghaied him using some force's magnetic attraction. But a guy has self-respect. She should have earned his trust, then spread her legs. Especially after he learns sacred soul mates shape shift into uncontrollable werewolves trapped in a frenzied blood lust for their mate's blood. Self-control is what kept him alive so long. Now, the unshakable countdown to the moment he will shape shift ticks inside his head. His gut shouts escape stud service. Yet, humanity needs a hero. Colliding in a world of mind-reading games where one's best friend is the equivalent to one's worst enemy, each realizes trusting the other is as dangerous as buying into their FERAL FASCINATIONS.
Jake’s mouth watered where he sat across the table from the bloodied mixture. The succulent smell of blood wasn’t what he remembered from a lifetime of fistfights and accidents back on earth. Now the metallic tang rooted in his nostrils with a sweetness that begged he chug-a-lug.
His mouth watered again.
Drink it and cave. To give in meant he relinquished the last vestige of choice he clutched.
But the scent called to him.
Nausea roiled in his gut.
Was that an intuitive sign to abstain?
She settled into her chair, shoving the blade back in its boot.
Funny thing about the glass’s contents. His captor blurred into the background behind the drink. Faded into a smear beyond the magic concoction.
“Take it, Straightarrow. My gift of peace to you, my husband.”
Husband? He shook his head and forced his gaze back to meet hers above the sparkling glass. Whatever she was up to with this ridiculous baited trap would not get him humping in the sack.
She flung her long hair back over her head. “I’m getting some sleep now. You do what’s right for you.”
Her curvaceous hips swung left and right, all the back to the bed where she unbuckled the leather straps on her boots and lined them up on the floor beside the bed like the habits of a good little soldier.
God, take the pants off now. Then the shirt. If she did, he’d be on top of her. Pounding home.
She stretched out with her back to him.
Ready for him. God to run his hand between those firm lean legs. The heat. The wetness....
Really, was there anything to lose without a way home? Why not buckle to the insanity? At least, enough to function with a brain cell or two working in one’s favor. He ran a fingertip around the slick curved glass rim.
Sip from the vessel or wait and rip his wife’s throat to get what he knew was the only way out of this mess. Rather, what would happen to him after he shifted into a creature? Would they kill him? After all, she claimed he was some kind of mercenary star. Anyway, he could observe these free thinkers, biding his time. Decide if they were good or bad. And that meant finding some way to balance control with the predicament his peon got him into. He pressed the cool glass against his lips to smell the brew.
Something spicy glistened within the container.
Observation, yes. Someone had to assess this situation. For humanity. He tipped the glass upward.
What they're saying about Feral Fascinations...
"The storyline is complex and well written, Ms. Moncrief seamlessly blended , new-age mysticism, paranormal events, shapeshifing rogue spies, and a who-done-it twist. The were not overly explicit, but very romantic & emotionally heart felt." ~Happily Ever After Reviews
Read 1st chapter. Click HERE.
Purchase Skhye’s books HERE.
Visit Skhye at her Website or Blog, Skhye's Ramblings.
Don’t forget, for a chance to win an Ecopy of Ancient Musings, a $6 gift certificates to Digi Books Café AND a Time Guardian T-shirt you must answer the following question…Click HERE to go to Calliope’s Myspace page, scroll down until you find HEROES on the left hand side. Who does Calliope say she needs a hero like? Swing back to this blog and leave the answer in a comment! Contest closes Friday, October 1st 12 PM EST.
Learn more about The Song of the Muses anthology and which authors you can expect by clicking here.
Thanks for popping in everyone!