Wendy reviews ‘Zeus: Conquering His Heart’ (The Fantastic Immortals Book 2). Published February 11, 2018 by Eye Scry Publishing, 175 pages.
*** Be sure to check out the giveaway at the bottom of this post for your chance to win an e-book copy of Ganymede from the author. ***
When I throw the lightning and summon the thunder, it isn’t always out of anger, but often from a love so all-consuming it could only be the effect of Eros himself. Yes, he is beautiful. Of course he is. How could he be otherwise, with hair the color of sunlight and white-feathered wings that drape to the floor? And he is as ancient as the myth of time itself, an immortal with powers and glamour beyond my ability to imagine. He struggles to teach me wisdom, control, strategy, yet I sit here babbling like a child, for all I can think of is how I might try – at least let me try! – to prove myself to him in some way that will cause him to crave my company and my touch, just as I crave his.
I do not yet know how to be a god, for I am only 18 and still just a silly boy who has fallen in love with Love himself, while my father Cronus plots and schemes to lock me in his dungeon and make me his slave forever.
A male/male romance.
While Zeus: Conquering His Heart is the second book in “The Fantastic Immortals” series, each novel in the series can be read as a standalone.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
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Today we have author Wendy Rathbone. I was introduced to this author’s work via a recommendation from a friend. I’ve since been shouting from the rooftops about how great this author is.
Welcome Wendy (BTW, great name), we’re so happy to have you here today letting me ask you a few questions. It’s such a wonderful way for the readers to get to know about you and your craft.
Why did you choose to write your own take on Greek Mythology, why did you think that you had to tell your version of these Gods stories?
I love writing m/m romance and lgbtq characters. Many Greek myths contain same-sex affairs between the gods, half-gods and humans, but Ganymede’s abduction has always enticed me because it is one of the more homoerotic tales. It’s also quite risqué not because of the homosexuality, but because Zeus actually abducts Ganymede against his will to be his cup-bearer and share his bed. And because in many of the tales Ganymede is underage. It’s got all sorts of forbidden themes.
In the real myth, Ganymede remains one of Zeus’s favorites of all time, and he is the only human lover Zeus ever bestows the gift of immortality on, giving him the name Aquarius and making him a constellation.
For at least a year before writing the book, I had an erotic story in my head inspired by this myth. When I finally decided to write it, I thought it was going to be more like a short, poetic story, but it took off in its own direction. I took the basic story of the myth and made up my own fantasy version.
Ganymede: Abducted by the God’s (The Fantastic Immortals: Book 1) was the first book of yours that I read and I was instantly captured by your version of the myth. This series seems like an undertaking that requires a lot of planning and research, can you share some of that process?
First, I decided that since Ganymede is kidnapped against his will, the theme would need to be along lines of Ganymede’s hopeless and helpless situation. He goes through a lot of homesickness and culture shock. The gods in my version have technology and Ganymede is introduced to it all at once which is a shock to his system. Also, being on Olympus against his will causes resentment. So he never really falls for Zeus. I wanted him to have sexual encounters with Zeus but fall in love with another. I knew it would be a risk. Most mm romance readers want the main characters together throughout the book. Mine was going to be a slow burn. So I was taking a chance that readers might not go along with that.
Still, I planned for him to fall in love with the raven that flew him up to the stars. In the real myth it is an eagle but I like ravens so I made him a raven. The raven is a shape-shifter. The romance, which is not from the real myth but imagined by me, happens between him and Ganymede but not until the second half of the book.
As far as research goes, honestly, I did a lot of it on the fly. I did some research into ancient Greece for things like flora, and Ganymede’s bath at the beginning. I actually looked at artwork and architecture of baths just to inspire my descriptions, and also what sorts of washing implements and soaps they used. Details like that pop out at the reader to give a fuller picture. I love looking at artwork sometimes to inspire me. For this book I took inspiration from fantasy images and embellished, making up most of Olympus where the big part of the story takes place. And also, I am inspired by single words or sentences that act like prompts to get my muse flowing. I had lists of images and words to incorporate. My notes for this one look like poems. It’s pretty weird how my brain works.
I see that you write mostly fantasy and sci-fi, those are challenging genres, why do they call to you?
I have been writing fantasy poetry and stories since I became a Star Trek fan at age 13. There is a longing in me for the unknown that Star Trek awakened at that age, and I keep getting images in my mind for starships or castles or vampires/immortals and then I just can’t help but write them down. I have also written some contemporary romances (The Foundling Series), but I keep being inspired and challenged in my mind by sci-fi and fantasy and I can’t resist.
What’s next, both in this series and in any other works you have in mind?
Well, I just released “Zeus: Conquering His Heart”, which is in the Ganymede universe. This novel has a very young, virgin Zeus, before Ganymede’s time, and explores him coming of age and facing some of the same trials that Ganymede faced in learning how to accept and cope with immortality and god-powers. He falls hopelessly in love with his mentor, Eros, so there is a lot about that in there, too. It’s definitely an erotic love story.
I just finished a novel called “The Imposter Prince” and it just came back from my beta-reader who loved it. That one is mm romance fantasy, what I call castlefic, you know the kind where you have princes and mad kings and swords and dungeons and horses and castles. I wrote it in the month of January this year in a whirl of inspiration. I am so happy with it that there will be a sequel called “The Imposter King”. I hope “The Imposter Prince” will be out some time in late March or April, depending on how the edits go and when I get the cover and when I have time from my other job.
And currently I am working on a contemporary novel, my first since writing The Foundling trilogy. It is called “Buying You” and is about a date for charity auction that goes all wrong. I am in the thick of that one right now, writing on it every day. And it’s going well.
I try to be as prolific as I can during Nov.-Feb. because I run another business that takes a lot of my time during March-Oct. That other business is traveling to Renaissance Faires and Scottish Highland games and selling clothing and jewelry out of a booth. It’s actually really hard grueling work, like moving house every weekend we work (about 20 weekends a year, sometimes in different states), but I have to do it because it pays and writing does not pay the bills. My dream is to be a full-time writer, and I’m working hard as I can toward that goal, taking advantage of my seasonal business that gives me four months off every year. During those four months, if I’m not writing, I am editing or promoting, and learning more and more about doing that better every day. In this business, I never stop learning. It’s paid off because this past year I have finally seen all my efforts for several years in the mm romance genre, which I so very much love to both read and to write, finally begin to get noticed.
I heard something about you getting a writing partner?
My only writing partner so far is my cat Mickey who often sits in my lap as I write. He really should get half the credit.
I do have story notes on an idea with my friend, author Christina E. Pilz. But both of us are so busy right now with books we need to get done for 2018, we have put that one on the back burner. But I do see that book eventually being written some time in the future.
Where can readers stalk *cough* I mean follow you?
Contact links for Wendy Rathbone:
Newsletter sign up (you get a free copy of the critically acclaimed “Letters to an Android”): https://www.instafreebie.com/free/3ErH0
Thank you for joining us today Wendy, I hope that you’ll come back soon!
Thank you for having me!
Why I read this book: I read the first book in this series ‘Ganymede’ on a recommendation. I loved it! You can read my review HERE
I jumped at the chance to review ‘Zeus’!
This is book two of the Fantastic Immortals series. It can be read as a stand alone, but I suggest you read book one to get the most from this story.
Zeus~ oh man, I love the authors take on this God from Greek Mythology. He really had such a crappy start to his life and no clue about how to be the most powerful God in EVER that it’s a wonder anything survived his beginning. I was not his number one fan after reading Ganymede, but I knew that there was more to his story and boy oh boy, is there ever! Once you find out the why, it all makes sense and I’m sure that you will be just as enamored and understanding of the reason he is the way he is. It’s mostly because of Eros and his teachings that we have any semblance of a competent God, but what a journey for them all to get there. So many lessons that range from sweet and sensual to harsh and cruel, but all done out of love. It gave me an entirely new perspective on what it must be like to take on the huge responsibility of teaching a baby in a mans body. Quite the challenge. I really felt for Zeus as he ran the gamut of emotions in this story. Confusion, love, rage, fear and betrayal. It was done beautifully.
Comment on this post for the chance to win an e-book copy of ‘Ganymede: Abducted By The God’s’ (The Fantastic Immortals Book 1).
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This giveaway ends on April 1, 2018 at 11:59 PM CST. GOOD LUCK!
I love to write. I have this thing about words and how they are used to describe beauty, love, and all the things that open us up inside to our true self, our power. Words do that for me. They make me happy. The new moon smiling, the sadness of a fallen feather at dusk, predatory eyes gazing through smoke.
Currently, I write all male/male romances. For the past few years it has been my first love, and is my focus.
The reason I write romance these days is because the overwhelming power of falling in love (which has been proven to heal even cancer) is a game-changer. It makes sad people instantly happy. It makes bleak reality look sun-warmed and friendly again. But it can also be a feeling of total agony, which is why I always give my characters a happy ending.
I have written in all genres: scifi, fantasy, horror, paranormal, contemporary, erotica, romance. Also, my poetry has won awards, publishing contracts, and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. A fiction story of mine won Writers of the Future. My fantasy/horror fiction and poetry has received honorable mentions from esteemed editor Ellen Datlow in “Years Best Fantasy and Horror”. I am a hybrid writer, publishing both indie (under my press name Eye Scry Designs) and with publishers including “The Android and the Thief” with Dreamspinner Press in 2017.
All my books are available on Kindle and CreateSpace.