Please give a warm welcome to the lovely and talented, Michele Zurlo! (Giveaway details at the end of the post.)
I’ve long thought women got the short end of the stick where history was concerned. I find it difficult to believe that women all of a sudden became forces of nature for short bursts in the late 1800s, the early 1900s, and again in the 1980s. History presents a bunch of housewives sitting around who suddenly decide they want the right to vote or they want equality in the workplace. It can’t have happened like that.
I think women have always been a strong force. Pioneers, immigrants, and farmers weren’t just men. They were families made up of both genders who worked equally as hard to forge lives.
History also isn’t kind to the losers. Rarely are two sides presented. We see the Pilgrims coming to Plymouth Rock, but no word about the people who already lived there. I grew up reading romances about Lords and Ladies, but the part about the oppressed and uneducated serfs was completely glossed over.
With that in mind, I became fascinated with the idea of Circe who survives in the historical record as a spoiled brat sorceress from the Odyssey who threw a fit when Odysseus wanted to leave. She put a spell on him and turned all the men into pigs. He had to overcome her ‘evil’ and return home to his wife. The Odyssey was full of tales of his female conquests, but the point of the voyage was to return home to his wife. I came away from reading that incredulous that Circe got a bum rap when he was obviously the pig in the relationship.
Then I began thinking of the What Ifs. What if Odysseus lied? What if Circe was a good person who was the victim of a grave injustice?
So I took that premise and ran with it. Here’s the mythology I developed: Circe, the daughter of the sun, lived in paradise with her four lovers and their sixteen daughters. The Sun, upset his daughter took human lovers, condemned her to only have female offspring. Circe took it in stride, as did her lovers.
When her daughters grew up, they pined for loves of their own. Eventually, shipwrecked mortals washed ashore. Those who survived fell in love with the daughters and lived peacefully on the semi-mythical island.
Because these men were adventurers by nature, they weren’t content to stay forever on an island paradise. One day, Desiree’s three husbands built a boat. They sailed out to sea and inadvertently revealed the existence of the island and of the magical women who resided there.
The sailors, aghast at the very idea of a powerful woman, invaded the island and killed all the inhabitants. Circe’s last act was a desperate curse to save her family. Her lovers were charged with watching over their daughters. To Soren, she gave shapeshifting powers. He became a werewolf and took responsibility for their daughters’ husbands. Caiden became a ghost so he could keep track of their daughters’ spirits as they went through the cycle of death and reincarnation. Teigh became a shadow man with one foot in both worlds. He bridged the span between werewolves and the reincarnated witches, often helping soul mates find one another.
The daughters endured a cycle of reincarnation where they were charged with finding their soul mates. Once thirteen magical souls reunited, and Circe found her men, then the curse would be broken and immortality would be restored to them all.
Time and desolation took their toll. 3000 years later, only two daughters remained. In the first book, Torment, Torrey finds Shaden, her soul mate. Though memories of their previous lives are supposed to return once she grows up, something goes wrong and Torrey is left with no memories. Shaden, gifted with the extra long lifespan of a werewolf, has already found her once this lifetime. His brother, cursed with a compulsion that drives him to seek and take power, killed Torrey in her previous incarnation. Shaden must help her remember their love so they can be together.
Torment buy link from BookStrand: www.bookstrand.com/torment
Torment buy link from Amazon for Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/3p7yvug
In the second book, Desiree, the title character has the opposite problem. She remembers too much of the tragic past, and she allows it to color her perception of what she needs to accomplish. She finds her three husbands, Marius, Demetrius, and Flynn, and seduces them. Her goal is to become pregnant and achieve the thirteen necessary magical souls through her daughters. Throughout this installment, the history of how the curse came about is revealed. Marius, Demetrius, and Flynn were the adventurers who caused the problem in the first place. She has to find it in her heart to forgive them, and she must forge a new relationship with them that will stand the test of time.
Desiree buy link from BookStrand: www.bookstrand.com/desiree-michele-zurlo
Desiree buy link from Amazon for Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/6jzn98u
In the final installment of the trilogy, everything is set to rights. Riley, introduced in the Torment as Torrey’s half-sister who was kidnapped by Shaden’s power-hungry brother, stars in this one. After a decade on the run, Soren, Shaden’s brother, finds her in time to save her from a mugger. He announces his rehabilitation and his dedication to loving her. Their union triggers a visit from Teigh, known to werewolves as the Shadow Man. Riley recognizes him, but she doesn’t remember him. He is the first to call her Circe.
Riley, Soren, Teigh, and Caiden must overcome the final obstacles keeping them apart in order to break the curse that’s held them in limbo all these years.
Riley buy link from BookStrand: www.bookstrand.com/riley
Riley will be available in all eBook formats in late July/early August.
This trilogy was fun to write and I hope you’ll enjoy reading it. Drop me a line at Michele.firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know what you think.
In other news: Yes, Justin, the first novel in my new series, Safe Word: Oasis, has a green light from Loose Id. It’s scheduled to come out this fall.
Here’s an overview of the plot: Unhappy in her marriage, Trish contacts Oasis, a fantasy-fulfillment service, and asks for a man who will make her the center of his life. Her husband spends all his time working, and he feels like a familiar stranger. Justin doesn’t know how to recapture what he once had with his wife. When he stumbles upon her request for a Dom who pretty much looks and acts just like him, he resolves to be the man who fulfills his wife’s dream.
It’s a sensually sweet and sexually scorching look at how to rekindle a romance that’s gone a little stale. It’s also a return to my BDSM roots. Readers who have written asking for more books in the Awakenings series will love Yes, Justin because I bring that same sense of character and depth of emotionality to the pages of this story. While I’m not ruling out another Awakenings book, I am focusing on this new series right now.
To celebrate the recent release of Riley and the conclusion of the Daughters of Circe series, I’m giving away one set of this trilogy to one lucky person. That’s right, one person can win Book copies of Torment, Desiree, and Riley. Just share your opinion on the most courageous thing a woman [real or fictional, famous or not] has done to earn your respect or admiration.