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And can you see?

Seer Book Cover Seer
Titanomachy #1
S E Welsh
Fantasy, Mythology
Luminosity Publishing LLP
May 22, 2020
252

A Seer has surfaced-but she's blind! Chloe Santos is an immortal with a whole world of problems. She's blackmailed into investigating a kidnapping with links to her past. It could put herself, and everyone she cares about, in danger. Chloe Santos is an immortal with a whole world of problems. The victim of an attempted murder that left her blind, horribly disfigured, and stuck with powers everyone thought eradicated, it's safe to say she's at a low point in her life. But then she's blackmailed into investigating a kidnapping with links to her past. It could put herself, and everyone she cares about, in danger. Including her Warrior Soulmate. Phobos has a millennia of blood on his hands. As the son of Ares, he's done horrific things in the name of keeping the continued existence of immortals a secret. Only all of that changes when he meets his Soulmate. Allegiances shift, trust is thin and Chloe has to decide if she should risk everything to make the world a better place. Even if that means sacrificing her own chance at happiness. READER ADVISORY: This Paranormal Romance contains a strong-willed goddess and her protective Warrior Soulmate who don't appreciate the term 'vanilla' when it comes to the bedroom.

Nice to know that the Greek Gods/Goddesses, their forebears, their children and great grandchildren (how many greats here?) are still alive, well mostly, still fighting amongst themselves, and generally being the nuisance they always were.

As for the book, I thought it started well but the impetus slowed down about half-way through and the battle description was muddy and confusing.

I thought there was some nice exploration of Greek mythology but also thought that some readers may not be familiar with all the niceties of who married who, how some came to be born,  and so on , and thus why they were arguing with each other. Some of it got explained, but not enough maybe?

So here is some information that I wrote up a while back for another book about the Greek myths as I was confused and needed to get my head straight. Not sure that all this helped. But here goes….

A very short blog… All about the Greeks and the gods they invented.

Once upon the time there was only Darkness (Erebus) who married Light (Aether) and then things got confused…. This is the Creation Myth according to the Theogony by the Greek poet Hesiod.

Sothen there was Chaos whois the parent of Nix. Chaos also gave birth to Erebus, Gaia, Tartarus and Eros. Gaia being created as the home of the Gods. But also known as Earth.

The Greek myths are far from clear and straightforward as there was a great deal of marrying of siblings and parents so trying to work out familial hierarchies gets very confused. And also, books and researchers will interpret the original Greek myths differently. However, the best available set of family hierarchies can be found at the site www.theoi.com which also has a breakdown of most of the creatures from the myths into different categories.

Nix was the goddess of the Night and was born near the beginning of creation and was the mother of Hypnos (Sleep) and Thanatos (Death). She is found in the shadows and one can only catch glimpses of her. Her consort is Erebus (the primeval darkness). Note that there was a lot of marrying of siblings and even parents to children (and then they wondered why some of the children were a bit peculiar…)

Gaia was the mother of Uranus (Heaven) and Okeanos (Ocean). Now Uranus married Gaia – yes, his mother… and had children with her, but Uranus asked Tartarus to take the 12 Giants (his children with Gaia and also called the Titans) as he didn’t like them.

Tartarus was the Underworld but also a God.

Gaia was very unhappy about this and thus asked the Titans to kill Uranus. Cronus (one of the Titans) agreed. Cronus then castrated Uranus and threw his penis into the sea. Uranus’ blood created more Giants on the earth but in the sea his penis (as it was cut off his sperm were expelled) created Aphrodite the first deity within the 12 Olympians.

Cronus he then sent all his siblings into Tartarus except Rhea who he married. And they ruled the world and all creation together.

The children of Cronus and Rhea are: Hades; Poseidon; Hestia; Demeter; Hera; and Zeus

Cronus was told of a prophecy that one of his sons would overpower him and rule in his place, so he then ate all his children except Zeus as, when he was born, Rhea substituted a rock for him. Cronus swallowed the rock instead without noticing.

Zeus was smuggled away by Gaia and grew up safely and was raised on the Greek island of Crete. Then Gaia gave Zeus a potion that, with the help of Metis (another Titan), would make Cronus expel all his swallowed siblings, who would now be fully grown.

Having been expelled from Cronus’ stomach, the 5 children fled to Mount Olympus and Aphrodite. Zeus also released everyone from Tartarus.

Led by Zeus, the six brothers and sisters (Demeter, Hera, Hestia, Hades and Poseidon) rebelled against their father against whom they were victorious, throwing Cronus into Tartarus (the dark world under Earth).

After that, the rebel gods of ancient Greece divided the universe between them. Zeus was the supreme god, ruling over all others, and all of them lived on the peak of Mount Olympus in Greece.

But…

Cronus and his sibling Titans then went to war with the gods on Mt Olympus. Zeus et al won and imprisoned Cronus in Tartarus again. The other Titans were put to work. Eg Atlas to hold the skies, and Prometheus was chained to a rock . Zeus was now ruling on Mt Olympus with Poseidon, Artemis, Apollo, Hades and Perseus.

And then there were more….

Mnemosyne is the Titan goddess of memory and remembrance, inventiveness of languages and words. She is the daughter of Ouranos (Heaven) and thus also a goddess of Time. She represented rote memorisation which was required of course before the invention of writing. She was the mother of the Muses who were the patron goddesses of poets and the oral tradition. She presided over the underground oracle of Trophonios.

Hades is the god of the Underworld, the Dead and Riches. He is the brother of Zeus and Poseidon and fought the Titans with them. His hildren are MacariaMelinoe and ZagreusThere were  several sections to the Underworld, including Elysium (Islands of the Blessed), the Asphodel Meadows (for the ‘shades’ of heroes) and Tartarus where the gods kept imprisoning people they didn’t like.

The dead entered the world through the river Acheron, being ferried by Charon who charged the one coin that you placed in the mouth of the newly dead.

There were five rivers in the Underworld: Acheron (sorrow or woe); Cocytus (lamentation); Phlegethon (fire); Styx (hate) and  Lethe  (oblivion) although some traditions also call Lethe the sea of tears

Before the palace of Hades sit the three judges of the Underworld: Minos ,Rhadamanthus, and Aeacus. There souls are judged, returned to Asphodel if they are neither virtuous nor evil, sent to Tartarus if they are impious or evil, or sent to Elysium with the “blameless” heroes.

Some more marriages and births:

Zeus M Hera (women and marriage) = Ares; Hephaestus (Blacksmiths)

Poseidon M Amphitrite (sea goddess)

Zeus M Demeter = Persephone

Persephone: well we all know the story of her and Hades – She is also called Kore. Kore meaning the ‘maiden’.

That said, tradition also has her having relations with her father Zeus and this being the mother of Dionysius. This tradition predates that of the Olympians.

Demeter M Poseidon

Zeus M Leto  (daughter of Titans) = Apollo, Artemis

Zeus M Maia (daughter of Atlas) = Hermes

Prometheus then created the first men out of clay and taught them a civilised life style. Zeus refused to give them fire, but Prometheus gave it to them anyway. Zeus created the first woman in retribution!!!! ie Pandora. Epimetheseus persuaded Pandora to open her jar. Out flew a collection of ailments that Zeus had sent to torment mankind. These included: old age, jealousy, anger, laziness, fear of death, uncontrolled passion, the dangers of childbirth etc. So this is an explanation of how all these bad things came to be.

There are a number of places you can read about these myths eg Ovid’s, The Metamorphosis. This is one of the most substantial of the early works of scholarship, which went about codifying the extant myths, the ones which had existed in the forms of the poems and stories which floated about the Mediterranean basin for a thousand years or more before he wrote them down.

The second is Robert Graves, The Greek Myths. As it was written in the English language you don’t have to rely on someone’s translation.

The third is a modern work Roberto Calasso’s, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony.

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Ooh flames!

Playing with Fire
A Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) #1
RJ Blaine
urban fantasy, comedy, romance,
Pen & Page Publishing
(30 Jan. 2017)

What do you get when you mix gorgons, an incubus, and the Calamity Queen? Trouble, and lots of it. 

For Bailey, catering to the magical is a tough gig on a good day, but she has few other options. She can either keep spiking drinks with pixie dust to keep the locals happy, or spend the rest of her life cleaning up some of the world’s nastiest magical substances. 

Years after helping Police Chief Samuel Quinn escape an unhappy marriage, Bailey is once again entangled in his personal affairs. To make matters worse, Quinn’s ex-wife is angling for revenge, tossing Bailey into the deep end along with her sexiest enemy.

Warning: This novel contains excessive humor, action, excitement, adventure, magic, romance, and bodies. Proceed with caution.

A 5 star read.

There are just so many mythological creatures turning up in this novel – and each and every one of them has attitudes.

Especially when they encounter our heroine – a vanilla human – or is she? Who is a kick-ass snarky virgin. And it is this latter descriptor that brings her to the attention of the gorgon community.

We learn a great deal about the gorgon society in this novel and their mating habits, and also just who finds a use for succubus and incubus in their love life – and what happens when you get a incubus drunk in a bar.

And then there is also the Quinn family – I found the court room scene hilarious – don’t stop reading before you get there!

Lots of fun and hilarity in a nicely crafted mystery story, well written with an easy style – and no grammar or proofing mistakes obvious. Some Americanism in the verbs but I can accept that.

Enjoying this series very much.

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Serial killers kill killers…

Serial Killer Princess Book Cover Serial Killer Princess
A Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count)
RJ Blain
Pen & Page Publishing;
(6 Mar. 2018)
Kindle

Warning: This novel contains excessive humor, action, excitement, adventure, magic, romance, and bodies. Proceed with caution.

Why would anyone put a mermaid and a gorgon in the same room together? While Tulip enjoys being alive, her lineage brings her nothing but trouble.

Snakes eat fish, and the mer love tearing apart their serpentine nemeses with their hands and teeth. As for the gorgons… she’d rather not think about them at all.

The last thing Tulip wants is to rule the mer kingdom. First, she can barely swim. Second, she’s packing more than her fair share of her father’s genes. Third, what is a landlocked princess supposed to do with an aquatic kingdom?

If she gets her way, nothing. Add in her dirty little serial killing secret, and she’s an international disaster waiting to happen.

There’s just one small problem: her father’s bodyguard tempts her in ways no one should, and if she isn’t careful, he’ll uncover her secrets, domesticate her, and infect her with a severe case of normality.

Kill the serial killers? And become a serial killer of them? Twisted justice but basically she is still an FBI agent but with her own special additive – a desire for justice but murder as well.

Not quite as much fun as some of the novels in this series, perhaps because of the underlying serious concept.

But still a good read and personally, I’d love some pink pearls in a necklace – I’m fond of them too…

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The Sea is no-one’s friend

Cold Bones Book Cover Cold Bones
DS McAvoy #8
David Mark
police procedurals, murder, mystery, thriller
Mulholland Books
January 24, 2019
368

It's the coldest winter in Hull for years. When McAvoy is told by a concerned stranger that an elderly woman hasn't been seen for a few days, he goes to check on her - only to find her in the bath, encased in ice: the heating off; the windows open; the whole house frozen over. It could be a macabre accident, but when McAvoy finds a series of cryptic messages, he senses murder. Someone watched her die. As he starts to uncover the victim's story and her connections to a lost fishing trawler, his boss Trish is half a world away, investigating a mysterious death in Iceland. Hull and Iceland have traditionally been united by fishing -in this case, they are linked by a secret concealed for half a century, and a series of brutal killings that have never been connected. Until now - when the secrets of the dead have returned to prey on the living.

This is a haunting story that disturbs the emotions and emphasises the problems that a toxic masculine culture brings upon a community. Where fists are tools of the trade and used with abandon.

It is a tale of revenge and punishment in a fishing town, by fishermen and their relatives, that is carried to extremes by a belief in the righteousness of violence being the answer.

At times I found the story confusing, especially the opening scenes, as the various characters take their parts and lie with abandon.

But take heart any reader, all is explained in the end – and the very culture that spawned this way of dealing with life is now much more rare as certainly the fishing industry in Hull, and towns like it, is diminished, on a larger scale of boats (and thus less of a tight grouping of men), and more automated.

I might have understood a little better if I had read previous novels in the series.

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Somewhere over the Ozarks






You've Got Tail Book Cover




You've Got Tail




Peculiar Mysteries





Renee George





paranormal, mythology, romance, humour




Barkside of the Moon Press




2015 -




Kindle

Sunny Haddock, an animal-loving vegetarian psychic, is stoked to leave California behind to start a new life in the Ozark town of Peculiar with her best friend Chavvah Trimmel. She ups the moving date when Chav goes missing and high tails it to the small town.

When the gorgeous Babel Trimmel, Chav's younger brother, (along with the sheriff, the mayor, and some other nice folk) suggests Sunny haul her U-haul and butt back out of town, she's undeterred. Her psychic abilities might be out-of-whack, and blood makes her faint, but she's not a quitter. Besides, she's not about to go anywhere until she finds out what happened to Chavvah.

But Sunny has more to deal with than unfriendly townsfolk...like disturbing killer visions and the dog-like animal no one else sees that seems to be stalking her every move. To make matters worse, she is finding Babel to be more irresistible than crack on a donut.

Kidnapping, murder, romance, and a town full of people hiding the truth will keep Sunny Haddock busy as she tries to unravel the strange happenings in Peculiar, Missouri.

Peculiar Mysteries series from USA Today bestselling author Renee George are laugh-out-loud, grip the edge of your seat, and swoon as you fall in love tales of mystery, humor, and romance that take place in the small Ozark shifter town of Peculiar, Missouri.

The town of Peculiar – somewhere in the Ozarks, is solely inhabited by shifters – every size and shape. From squirrel to wolf although the latter normally keep to their own packs. A population of 1000 with another 1000 living in the woods that surround it but very widely spread – some homesteads have 40 acres! The law says that no humans can live in the town as every full moon they go crazy and forget their human side.

Integrators – ie those who want to live with humans, go to other towns.

This a 6 books series of short novels but longer than novellas, with 2 female characters who are key to all the books even when not the main character.

There is a lot of romance in these books, and always some crime and often a grisly murder or 2 – take the Little Piggy serial killer who takes the small toe from each of his victims.

The general nosiness of small towns and the special ability of the only vegetarian in town, who also runs the only vegetarian cafe (think wolves – just how much fruit will they eat?), Sunny who is a human and psychic (and her friend Chavvah). Sunny has introduced the town to Jackfruit – which I had not heard of before, but is a large fruit that in its unripe state resembles meat to look at and in texture, but takes on any flavour you add.

Light but fun reading if you like your crime with a dash of paranormal, which makes an enjoyable change for me from the very serious psychological crime stories I frequently read.

Series books in order:

  1. You’ve Got Tail
  2. My Furry Valentine
  3. Thanks for not Shifting
  4. My Hairy Halloween
  5. In the Midnight Howl
  6. Furred Lines

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