Stephanie Draven recently released the latest in her Mythica series, "The Fever and the Fury", which puts a contemporary paranormal spin on two elements of classic mythology. In honor of the sixth Mythica story's release, we decided to take a look a look back at all the different creatures of Greek myth that the author has featured in this series ... and how she has made them her own!
Book One: “Midnight Medusa”
Greek Myth Element: Medusa. In classic Greek myth, after Medusa is caught with her lover, Poseidon, in Athena’s temple, she is punished by having her hair transformed into snakes. Now a hideous monster, anyone who looks at Medusa is turned to stone. Medusa eventually meets her end when Hercules beheads her.
Draven’s Take: “Midnight Medusa” heroine Renata is an artist who sculpts prisoners of war. Like those who see Medusa, the prisoners whose likenesses Renata sculpts all die soon afterwards. However, unlike Medusa, Renata’s powers do not lead to her unfortunate demise. Instead, she is kidnapped by a mysterious immortal with his own great powers. The two must reconcile their abilities while simultaneously figuring out their feelings for one another in this series starter.
Book Two: “Wild, Tethered, Bound”
Greek Myth Element: Chimera. The chimera was a gruesome creature in Greek myth, sibling to the Cerberus and Hydra. The Chimera was a female made up of the three different parts of other separate creatures: a lion’s head and body, a goat’s head which came out of the middle of her body and a tail that ended in the head of a snake. This fire-breathing beast was eventually slain by the green hero Bellerophon while he was riding on the back of Pegasus.
Draven’s Take: The author’s chimera is a much more appealing. He is an American soldier named Nick. After experiencing the atrocities of war in the forests of Afghanistan, Nick has become three separate men with different feelings and agendas ... that all share the same body. Nick’s only chance at becoming a single entity again is with the aid of Dessa, an ancient forest nymph living in Afghanistan. But Dessa needs Nick’s help in return. Nick’s most sinister third is only willing to provide it at the cost of her complete submission. Will Dessa be able to submit to that side of Nick or will their struggle result in the destruction of both Nick and Dessa’s beloved country?
Book Three: Poisoned Kisses
Greek Myth Element: Hydra. In Greek myth, Hydra was a multi-headed monster with poisonous blood. When one head was cut off, two more would sprout in its place. The Hydra was said to protect an entrance to the Underworld, however it is perhaps best known for being the second of Heracles’ Twelve Labors. The beast was sent by goddess Hera to slay the hero, however, Heracles defeated the creature. After its death, the gods sent the Hydra into the heavens as a constellation.
Draven’s Take: In the author’s revamp of this classic tale, Hydra’s hunter is none other than Ares’ daughter — a sexy siren willing to do whatever it takes to bring down the beast. Born into darkness, Kyra, daughter of Greek god of war Ares, decides to beguile her father by killing the hydra. But this hydra is a hunky shapeshifter named Marcos. Like the classic monster, Marcos has poisonous, deadly blood. Can Kyra slay the shifter, or will her budding feelings and his killer blood, bring her to her knees?
Book Four: “Siren Song”
Greek Myth Element: Sirens. The sirens are by far some of the most enchanting creatures in Greek mythology. Seductresses capable of luring sailors to their doom with their captivating singing, these Greek creatures are some of the most famous. However, according to Greek myth, they spend most of their time on land.
Draven’s Take: The author gives sirens a contemporary spin for her fourth story in the series. Chloe is the bombshell lead singer of a popular indie band. No one has resisted her soulful crooning except for naval officer Alex, so of course that’s the one man that Chloe is interested in. However, Alex knows a secret that not even Chloe has guessed, her voice is magical and that’s why she’s become so popular. Alex recognizes that his fellow navy forces can’t help but become entranced by Chloe’s song. But can Alex explain the truth to Chloe before he falls under her spell? It’s up to him to protect his men and hopefully get the girl.
Book Five: Dark Sins and Desert Sands
Greek Myth Element: Minotaur. Half man and half bull, the Minotaur was the beastly child of a human queen and a bull-like animal created by the gods. Ferocious and man-eating, the Minotaur was eventually imprisoned by his mother’s human husband, Minos the king of Crete, and kept in an underground maze in Crete. With the help Minos’ two daughters, the Minotaur of was eventually slain by Theseus.
Draven’s Take: Draven’s Minotaur is less terrifying, and much better looking. When U.S. soldier Ray escapes from a Syrian prison, he discovers his freedom comes with an unusual supernatural gift — the ability to morph into a mind-reading Minotaur. Hell-bent on finding Layla, the psychologist who worked with his captors, Ray is eagerly anticipating getting his revenge on her. However, when he finally discovers Layla, he learns that not only does she have no memory of her past, she is in grave danger. But will Ray’s growing affection for Layla means he will protect her or is his thirst for revenge too great?
Book Six: “The Fever and the Fury”
Greek Myth Elements: Phoenix and a fury. A phoenix is colorful, mythical bird with a life span of many hundreds of years. At the end of its life, a phoenix goes up in flame and a new young phoenix arises. The furies, or as they are known in myth, the Erinyes, are female vengeance goddesses. Sometimes they have horrific appearances, but they are always tasked with pursuing and persecuting people.
Draven’s Take: Spicier than the first five Mythica stories as The Fever and the Fury is from Harlequin’s Nocture Cravings so this tale gives readers an extra helping of paranormal flare and sensual fire. Minor deity Phaedra is a fury with the power of deadly touch. She has been tasked with making criminals pay for their crimes, however, her power seems to have little effect on Luke. He is an accused criminal who also happens to be a phoenix. Each time Luke comes back to life he craves sex. When Phaedra’s fatal caress falls short, she devises a new plan, to seduce Luke and drive him mad. But will this sensual torture end in unimaginable pleasure for them both?
If you want to learn more about Stephanie Draven’s popular paranormal series, or get a backstage pass to other paranormal romance series that feature love, monsters and mythologies, be sure to check out the workshop by the same name at the 2012 RT Booklovers Convention. The panel will feature Stephanie Draven, Zoe Archer and Jackie Barbosa as they explore the way that monsters, myth and romance intersect! And you can find more genre news and coverage on our Everything Paranormal & Urban Fantasy Page.