xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' Kryssie Fortune: May 2016

Thursday, 19 May 2016

My Kind Of Hero

My Kind of Hero

I need a hero, I'm holding out for a hero 'till the end of the night
He's gotta be strong and he's gotta be fast
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero, I'm holding out for a hero 'till the morning light
He's gotta be sure and it's gotta be soon
And he's gotta be larger than life, larger than life

Bonnie Tyler got it so right. My favourite heroes are creatures of the night, Vampires, Werewolves, Fae, Gods, and Demons. That makes them fast, violent and way larger than life.

Alpha heroes are the stuff of romantic fantasy. They might run wolf packs with a will of iron and a touch of humour, or walk with Gods, but everything pales when they meet their one, true love.

I love my werewolves - Caleb the Cold, Joel Blackhert, and more recently Titus. The Fae King, Leonidas, stole my heart - or maybe it was his naughty dragon Lipstick that sucked me in. To me though, Jase – from Giving it Up for the Gods – is special.

This is more about me than him. I love history, and all things Roman. When my husband whisked me of to Rome, I fell in love with the Eternal City. Walking through the forum, I felt drawn to the Temple of Saturn. It once housed Rome’s treasury, and it dates from 457BC. That blows my mind.

Saturn arrived in Italy dethroned and the run. Janus, the ruling god invited him to stay, and Saturn brought agriculture to the Romans.

A Bromance? Perhaps. They were certainly great friends. 

Below is a Roman coin showing Janus. Yeah, I know, it doesn’t do him justice. Picture him with designer stubble and a more up to date hairstyle. Sculpted muscles, bad ass attitude, and of course horns that only appear when his demon takes charge, all add to his charm.

The more I dug, the more the story  of Janus pulled me in. He was honest and straightforward, the best of the best—which makes think of the scene where Will Smith tries out for Men in Black. As a God Beginnings and Endings, Janus  ruled doors, and our month of January is named after him. 

Then he raped a nymph named Cardea

Why would a god who was respected by everyone do that?

So the “What if’s” started.

What if she’d cried wolf? What if an innocent man had been convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. Great, now I’ve gone from Men in Black to the A Team.
What if the other gods tossed Janus from the heights of Olympus to the depths of Hell?
Worse, what if a demon took root in his soul?

You got me. 
I love a hero with tortured soul.
Now Janus has clawed his way back in the human world, he calls himself Jase. His best friend still drops in occasionally. His best friend? Saturn of course, but he prefers to be called Saul.

In Giving it Up for the Gods, the Siren race helped convict Janus of raping Cardea. He’s endured centuries of abuse and torment because of their lies. No wonder he hates Sirens.

And, of course, my heroine is a siren.

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Not only angels fall.

Convicted of a crime he didn’t commit, the warrior god Janus plummeted from the heights of Olympus to the depths of the Underworld. After centuries of pain and torment, he finally clawed his way free. He'll never forgive the gods who condemned him, or the sirens for their part in his downfall.

Each summer, to celebrate the Feast of Neptunealia, Neptune demands a virgin sacrifice. And his sacrifice of choice is a siren.

Sirens are strong, sassy, and sexy.

Lindy’s siren heritage makes her fierce, lusty, and curious but she dreams of loving one man forever. She won’t give her heart—or her virginity—to a short lived mortal she might accidentally break in bed. When Neptune demands her as his sacrifice, she’s determined to give her virginity to anybody except him.

Janus, or Jase as he calls himself now, rescues Lindy from Neptune’s mermen. He’s the one man she’s eager to bed. The clock’s ticking. Lindy has forty-eight hours to seduce the siren-hating Jase and win his heart. That or Neptune will find her and take her against her will.

Friday, 13 May 2016

I Blame it on Loki. Or Maybe it’s Girl Power #Friday #13 #superstition #goddess #girlpower

Are you trembling in your bed? Is your rabbit’s foot dusted off? Have you got your four-leaf clover clasped tightly in your hand? Friday the 13th terrifies some people. Have you ever wondered why?

Apparently biblical catastrophes happen on Fridays. Adam and Eve were tossed out of Eden on a Friday. Noah’s flood started on a Friday, and of course, Jesus was crucified on Good Friday. People decided Friday was an unlucky day.  

I don’t like this theory much. Friday is named for the Viking Goddess Freya, so how did Adam and Eve, Noah, etc all know the catastrophes happened on a day that hadn’t been named yet?
Of course, for criminals sentenced to be hung, then Friday was definitely unlucky. That’s the day the executions happened.  

Okay, that’s Friday covered.

So what’s wrong with the number 13.
Lots of cultures believe it’s unlucky for 13 people to gather in one place. There were 13 people at the last supper, but the superstition goes beyond Christianity. Hindus share the same belief, as do the Norse. That’s when Loki comes into the picture.

Art by Ben Lai
When the 12 Norse gods went into conclave, they didn’t invite Loki. He turned up anyway. Intent on causing trouble, he incited the god, Hod, to kill Balder and plunged the gods into mourning. Mankind suffered for it

So, time I climbed on my feminist high horse. There are twelve man-made months in a year, but a woman has thirteen menstrual cycles. 
In Goddess worshipping culture, the number 13 was revered, but patriarchal priests deliberately vilified it. Looks like I’ve got a new lucky number.

What happens if you combine unlucky Fridays with the evil number thirteen?
You get streets of houses where the odd numbers  run 7,9,11,15. No Thirteen. I grew up on one of them. Apparently flights are cheaper on Friday 13th too. Fewer weddings happen on those Fridays, and fewer house sales are completed.
It seems Friday 13th had hidden depths. 

Thursday, 5 May 2016

4 Herbs for a Werewolf Healer's Garden #herbs. #garden #lykae #healer

Viola, the Rock Prowler pack omega, lives alone in the forest. She ekes out a living growing herbs and brewing possets. On the rare occasions a Lykae can’t shape shift and force a healing, her herbal medicines come to their aid.
When she hit puberty, the alpha’s thugs beat Viola o badly her inner wolves died. No longer able to shape shift she struggled on with a crippled knee—another legacy of the beating she barely survived. Bending to tend her herb garden isn’t easy, so everything she grows is dual purpose.
She’s listed her four favorite herbs.


Photo from GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=322384
When distilled, a few drops of lavender oil on a pillow aid sleep. Her lavender oil scented candles also sell well. Sometimes Viola uses it to make flavoring sachets, but it also sells well when distilled and marketed as an insect repellant.
Even the fiercest warriors love a rub down with lavender oil. It eases the pain from their aching muscles. Afterwards though, they’re not very keen on the girly smell.


Mint tea is a Lykae favorite, and Viola’s happy to supply it. Lately, she’s experimented with minted sugar tablets. Since every Lykae has a sweet tooth, this went down well in the general store.


Viola brews this into a herbal shampoo that the pack’s she-wolves rave over. Her meat flavoring sachets containing rosemary sell well too.


Photo by Hubertl - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38618139
Collecting this herb from the autumn crocus takes a toll on Viola’s knee, but because it’s a scarce commodity, it’s worth it. Wolves love it as food coloring and even a dye. When a she-wolf first comes into heat, she’s too young for sex. Drinking an infusion of rosemary helps her through it.
I hope you’ve enjoyed a brief glimpse into Viola’s world. If you’d like to read her story, please check out To Seduce an Omega – a stand alone romance in my Scattered Siblings series.

The Rock Prowler alpha condemns Viola for her inability to shift. Forced into poverty and isolation, she ekes out a meager existence as a healer. As the pack omega with a crippled knee, she’s forbidden to mate. Her first heat beckons, but no wolf will dare to bed her.
Titus, a wolf rejected by his true mate, overflows with violence and anger. The Lykae King sends him to take over the Rock Prowler pack. He condemns Viola for wanting payment before she treats her patients and threatens to bring in a new pack healer. With her crippled knee and no other income, she’d starve.
She-wolves from families who disagree with the alpha have vanished. When Titus investigates, the alpha’s allies imprison both him and Viola. To escape, he must seduce Viola—the she-wolf he insulted and reviled. If that’s not bad enough, she despises him for his seeming allegiance to the alpha. As he gets to know her, she steals his heart, but after all that’s happened, how can she accept him when even his fated mate refused him?
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“Heal her.” The stranger scowled and thrust the injured woman at Viola.
She blinked and stepped back so quickly she almost overbalanced. After taking a moment to stand up as straight as her crippled leg allowed, she donned her professional healer persona. “For a price. Cash. Up front.”
Viola lied, of course. Leaving anyone in pain was beyond her, but the man with the broad chest and gold-flecked eyes didn’t need to know that. Besides, unless she got hold of some cash soon, she might never eat meat again.
The low growl that rumbled from his throat and the way his eyes narrowed made her wish she’d stayed silent. He bared his fangs, and although she wanted to retreat, she stubbornly held her ground.
His lip curled. “Do it. I’m good for your fees. Just get a move on.”
His deep, angry rumble made her think of a volcano ready to erupt. And damn, when she stared up him, he looked as tall as the mountains that trapped her in Rock Prowler territory. Out here in the midst of the forest, miles from the nearest settlement, she should be wary. This stranger emanated strength, protection, and…flat-out fury. At her.
His jaw clamped as he shoved past her into the hut. She followed, mentally triaging her patient. Tansy’s clothes hung off her in tatters, and an arrow stuck out of her leg. Deep scratches, the sort only a murder thorn could inflict, covered her torso. The woman’s breathing came in fast, shallow pants. Her skin looked as though it had been touched with frost, and rivers of dried blood stained her leg.
Absently, Viola wondered what the other woman been up to that involved tangling with a bush renowned for shredding skin. Not running from Mr. Fix-It here, I hope. Ignoring her concerns and her attraction to a newcomer with the short hair and bad attitude, she reached out to stroke Tansy’s hair. Rather than gather her supplies, Viola hardened her heart and met the stranger’s gaze.
With his torn ear and bent nose, Mr. Fix-It looked ready to tear out her throat. Her stomach clenched as though he’d punched her, and his disgusted look promised a reckoning once she’d tended Tansy’s wounds. Viola’s tender heart went out to the woman in his arms. Despite her bold words, she’d never let Tansy suffer, but she needed to bargain to survive.
As the pack’s omega wolf, she expected nothing from anyone—except insults, of course. Chin high, spine stiff, she kept her hands at her side. “Perhaps you shouldn’t have chased her into a murder thorn in the first place. Of course, I’ll help her once we’ve agreed on a price.”
The stranger’s furious growl cut to her heart, but unless she demanded her cash in advance, she’d starve.
Rather than pass the woman into Viola’s arms, he stared around the two-room hunter’s den she’d moved into when her home burned to the ground. “And you call yourself a healer. Just for the record, I heard her whimper from the middle of a thorn thicket, and unlike you I couldn’t leave her to suffer. You care more about money than your calling, but once the woman’s back on her feet, I’ll pay your price.”
This man didn’t fit any classically handsome mold, but he oozed charisma and power. If circumstances had been different, she’d have welcomed him with refreshments and maybe her body. Recently the need to screw someone—anyone—stirred her blood, but no self-respecting wolf would screw the pack’s omega.
Even if one approached her, the alpha would kill them. Despite their shared blood, the alpha hated her. No way would he let an omega wolf reproduce and dilute the pack’s gene pool. Deep down, she hated being so alone.
Mr. Fix-It’s presence fired up her body in a lightning strike of sensual heat, but with his bad-boy attitude and take-charge nature, women probably threw themselves at him. She sighed over another broken dream and coolly met his gaze.
She couldn’t shift and hunt prey, so she needed to scrape together what coins she could just to buy meat. Unlike most Lykae, she couldn’t turn wolf to heal her injuries. Her heart told her to run through the forest and let off steam, but her twisted knee prevented her enjoying such a simple thing. Thanks to the beating that killed her inner wolves, that was another pleasure Zebadiah had stolen from her.
Lately, she’d been teaching herself to shoot with a bow and arrow, but archery didn’t come easy to her. What spare time she had, she spent tending her vegetables and herbs, but all that bending made her knee feel like someone hit it with a hammer—again.
She persevered because she needed fresh food to survive. The herbal remedies and potions she’d crafted from her surplus and traded for fresh meat were an unexpected bonus. After all, a wolf couldn’t live by vegetables alone.
The stranger’s eyes darkened until his gaze felt like copper blades cutting through her composure and condemning her poverty-stricken surroundings. His disgust curdled something inside her, but his narrow-eyed look and curled top lip were all too familiar. The pack had looked at her that way for years.
Her fleeting attraction for Tansy’s rescuer shriveled beneath his I’ll-wipe-you-off-the-planet gaze. With his huge muscles, short-cropped hair, and inbuilt arrogance, he looked more a brawler than a hero. She should shove him out the door, not that her flimsy wattle and daub hut would protect her. Then, despite everything, her stupid hormones flared with desire—for him.
The bend in his nose, as if he’d broken it and it hadn’t healed right, puzzled her. Most Lykae healed when they shifted, but not him. When he wasn’t looking daggers at her, pained shadows filled his eyes.
Her antagonism melted when she thought of how he’d rescued Tansy from the murder thorn. Viola wanted to curl her body around his and taste every inch of him. Why was it that the only wolf her stupid oversexed body wanted in her bed had already condemned her.
He glanced down at Tansy, then turned his death stare back on Viola. “Bustle about, or I’ll find the Rock Prowler pack a new healer. Anyone with an ounce of compassion would be better than you.”
She blocked the bedroom doorway. “You will pay me?”
He hurled three gold coins onto the floor of her hut. “There. Take your blood money. The drayman who pointed out your home said you were a hard-hearted bitch. Stupidly, I dismissed his opinion. Biggest mistake I ever made. I should have flashed that poor woman to someone who knew what they were doing, not depended on an unskilled hedgewitch like you.”
How dare he! Viola’s hands shook, and her cheeks flushed. She opened and closed her mouth, then clenched and unclenched her fists. She’d never wanted to hit anyone so badly. At least he’d paid her, so she’d ignore him and help Tansy—just as she’d intended all along.
This stranger watched her intently, and under his scrutiny her hands shook. What sort of man could walk in and announce he’d replace her? Someone important, that was for sure. If he voiced his misgivings to the alpha, Zebadiah would have the perfect excuse to cast her out completely. He’d wanted to do it for years. If she knew of any safe haven, she’d have already left. Not that any of the other packs would adopt a damaged wolf like her.
All she could do was stay put and take life one day at a time.
Pack members could take their woes to Zebadiah, the pack alpha, and on a good day he might even listen, but an omega wolf was a different story. He’d just laugh Viola and her troubles out of the great hall. Besides, she’d already suffered enough at his hands. She should warn Mr. Fix-It about the alpha’s murderous tendencies. Strangers who strolled into Rock Prowler territory didn’t usually stroll out.
Even though he condemned her, this stranger oozed so much masculinity that her mouth watered. Not that she would ever act on the deliciously sexual feelings he kick-started in her womb. Omega wolf, remember?
Looking at him rekindled her dreams of love and romance, the ones the alpha’s thugs had beaten out of her. This newcomer woke something wild inside her, but Viola had long since resigned herself to a solitary
Zebadiah’s harsh rule crushed the Rock Prowler pack, and even the cockiest of the Lykae males didn’t dare defy him. Too many sisters and mated she-wolves had vanished from the families that protested his rule.
Viola poured distilled wine over her hands and winced when some ran into a cut in her finger. “Who are you? And do you have the alpha’s permission to cross Rock Prowler lands?”
He shoved past her and carried the unconscious woman into the back room of her hut. “I’m Titus, and I’m here by your alpha’s invitation. He wants me to marry his daughter.”
Any attraction Viola felt toward him withered. She had no respect for any friends of Zebadiah Lightfoot—the man she refused to call father ever again. Even if she didn’t despise Titus, she didn’t own a chair she could offer him. Then again, since he’d come here at her father’s behest, she should ram her hands against his chest and shove him out the door. Not that she could move a man-mountain like him.