It has been awhile since I handed over the MIC, but we are back online and I have a special guest today, Author Sasha Summers. She has not one book but two that release a month apart. Needless to say, she is furiously running the blog hop circuit. Her second book, Hollywood Ever After was featured yesterday here at Wicked Romance– check it out. I’m grateful to hand her the MIC, but first let me tell you a little about the author.
Sasha and I have an amazing amount in common. Balancing our family life, jobs and trying to fit in writing where ever we can. It is always a challenge and sometimes sleep wins out. I’m so happy to have her on the blog today, because we also share a common interest, the love of mythology and all things gods and goddesses. Sasha—Greek. Me—Egyptian. They have more similarities than you think, but the myths tell their tales in their own unique way.
Sasha is part gypsy. Her passions have always been storytelling, history, and travel. It’s no surprise that her books visit times past, set in places rich with legends and myth. Her first play, ‘Greek Gods and Goddesses’ (original title, right?), was written for her Girl Scout troupe. She’s been writing ever since. She loves getting lost in the worlds and characters she creates; even if she frequently forgets to run the dishwasher or wash socks when she’s doing so. Luckily, her four brilliant children and hero-inspiring hubby are super understanding and supportive.
It’s said love can change a person. Medusa wasn’t always a monster…
Medusa is ruled by duty, to her Titan father and the Goddess Athena. She’s no room for the tenderness her warrior guard, Ariston, stirs. When Olympus frees her from service, her heart leads her into the arms of the guard she loves… and curses her as the creature with serpent locks.
Ariston goes to war with a full heart… and dreadful foreboding. He learns too late of the danger Medusa faces, alone, and a Persian blade sends him into the Underworld. But death, curses, nor the wrath of the Gods will keep him from returning to her.
Poseidon will use Greece’s war to get what he wants: Medusa. He does not care that she belongs to another. He does not care that she will be damned. He is a God, an Olympian, and she will be his.
So, Sasha. Tell us a little bit about your new release, Medusa’s Love Story. I always felt bad for Medusa. Did she really deserve her fate? The Greek gods can be unforgiving at times. I would hate to be at their mercy and whim. What inspired you to write about her?
Sasha: Hi Jean. Thank you so much for having me on your blog. I’m delighted to visit with a fellow mythology fan! We need to stick together 😉
Medusa has always fascinated me – I’m a hopeless romance and tragedy addict and she seemed to represent both. I hadn’t planned to write about her. But I had a dream (I think this happens to a LOT of writer’s) that planted the seeds of my interpretation of Medusa’s story. Once I started writing, I could NOT stop. Not until the last page was done…
Is your book set in present day or the past? What were the challenges in writing your story?
Sasha: I kept it historical. I had a very clear vision of what I wanted and it was a blend of history and fantasy. The challenge was writing the story, keeping it somewhat historically accurate (somewhat J), and remaining as close to the ‘known’ Medusa myth as possible. I know it’s fantasy, but I wanted it to feel authentic – if that makes sense?
I have always believed you have to stay true to the myth but also exploit the areas that are not well established. What areas did you stay true to the mythological story? Which did you exploit?
Sasha: All of it. None of Medusa’s myth was changed. Ariston, the hero, is my addition – as well as most of the supporting characters – but Medusa’s fate remains the same. I tried to amp up the creep factor with the snakes, that even she was a victim to them. And I made her story about sacrifice versus revenge. In the end, Medusa is more human than most of the characters in the book… I think.
In your research did you find variations in the myth of Medusa or her curse?
Sasha: YES. There are bunches of different versions – everything from the region of her origin to whether or not she was always a monster to a lovely woman. But everything fell into place and I’m very proud of the story that emerged.
Tell me about Artiston? A warrior guard against Poseidon? Will he bargain with Hades? Does he have a chance?
Sasha: He’s an elite warrior for the Greek army – an Ekdromoi. With the Persian invasion an inevitability, the Greek Council decides to place extra safeguards at Athena’s temple. Ariston reluctantly becomes Medusa’s ‘security guard’. When circumstances spiral out of control, Ariston willingly bargains with Hades to return to Medusa. As for the last question – you’ll have to read the book 😉
The Greek gods never play fair. What is in story for Ariston and Medusa?
Sasha: All I’ll say is this is a tragic love story. Ariston and Medusa are tested at every turn. But they never falter.
Do you have a theme in your story? If so, would you share?
Sasha: Yes. Love requires sacrifice… day-in and day-out. Not on this level of course… 🙂
Where can readers find more out about you and your book?
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sasha-Summers/213036208773108
What are readers saying about your book? Do have a review/s you are absolutely proud of? Yes, its okay to brag, if not I’ll do it for you 🙂
This will sound bad, but the greatest compliment I’ve heard is that I made someone cry. I don’t cry easily so, to me, that means they were affected by the book. What more could an author want? I mean, I don’t want to make anyone cry, but I can’t help but feel a little bit proud if Medusa A Love Story causes tears.
A couple of quotes I cherish:
“This book swept me away.”
“The story stayed on my mind for days.”
“This is exactly how I felt about Medusa.”
“I have read a few articles of late from movie producers and they have said they are running out of movie ideas. This I don’t understand with so many great books out there, could you imagine Medusa turned into a movie? If they kept it to your book as is it would be amazing.” – I LOVE THIS one – I am such a movie groupie so this is like… WOW!
Do you have an excerpt to share with readers?
“You asked for an audience, you have it. Now tell me, where do you belong?” Hades’ voice was deep, emotionless.
Ariston swallowed. “Athens.” He met Hades’ gaze, but the God revealed nothing to him.
“Why? You died with honor and glory. Is that not what every soldier wants?”
“My wife…” His voice wavered.
Hades brow lifted slightly. “Lives. You do not.”
“She is in danger.”
“Earthly danger. She is no longer your concern, Ariston.”
“The danger she faces is not earthly, but far from it…” Ariston’s voice was hoarse, his desperation mounting. He took a wavering breath before he began again. “She is everything to me. I am proud of my death, but it means nothing if she is in peril. I must know.” Ariston kneeled. “I beg you. I beg you to return me to Athens.”
Ariston waited, willing himself to be strong.
“Who is this wife?” Hades asked.
“Medusa of Athens.” He paused. “Now ofRhodes.”
Hades was silent, his dark blue eyes regarding him steadily.
“When I die—” Ariston began.
“You are dead,” Hades assured him.
“When I return…die again, I would serve as guardian to Tartarus. I am a skilled warrior, a skill I might offer you.” He spoke with confidence.
“You vex me,” Hades muttered, the slightest crease appearing between his eyes. “You offer this to me for a woman?”
Ariston nodded. “She is worthy.”
Hades was silent again, his eyes shifting to the blue-white flames in the massive
“My words do not…adequately express the love I have for this woman. But I cannot leave her. She is at risk. I must return.” The words came without thought. How could he justify such emotion to a God who reviled affection or companionship? “AsOlympushas my arm and sword, she has my heart – a mortal, and perhaps weak, heart.”
The room was silent for too long. He would have to fight his way out…
“It is a weakness not reserved for mortals alone, Ariston of Rhodes.” Hades’ words were so soft Ariston feared they’d not been spoken. But Hades continued, strong and clear. “I will return you to your ship so that you may lead your men to victory. Too many have fallen from this war and I would see it end. When that is done, you may go to your wife.” He paused then added, “When you return to my realm, I will have your fealty.”
The God of the Underworld, Lord of Death, gave him mercy? Mayhap there was one God he might serve with honor.
Ariston vowed, “You have it.”
Amazon Kindle (available in paperback as well) : http://www.amazon.com/Medusa-Story-Loves-Olympus-ebook/dp/B007WSV5JI/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t
Barnes and Noble (available for NOOK as well): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/medusa-a-love-story-sasha-summers/1110296522?ean=9781937254513
Medusa Book trailer