A woman of keen instinct and unshakable loyalty. A proud warrior prince and his wounded half-brother. Glory, passion, treachery and conspiracy on the grandest scale.
As I prepare to release Falcon Blue, Book Six of The Child of the Erinyes, I’m putting the boxed set containing full-length versions of books 1, 2, and 3 on a 99 cent sale from July 19 through July 22. I want to provide new readers an easy way to begin at the beginning with little financial pain and get nearly caught up. This three book bundle takes place in ancient Greece and Crete, and I sometimes refer to it as magical historic fantasy.
Myths, both well known and intriguingly esoteric, the supernatural, my own vision, and real history are all entwined in these stories. Beginning in the Bronze Age, a matriarchal society on the island of Crete walks a fine line with its opposite on the mainland. The Year-god’s Daughter introduces Aridela of Crete and two brothers—Chrysaleon and Menoetius of Mycenae. It builds the world of ancient Crete, sets the stage for a tragic love triangle, and ignites the contest for ultimate power that will span millennia. Unforeseen consequences follow the eruption of the Santorini volcano in The Thinara King. This was a super volcano, the worst of the worst. In the Moon of Asterion is my interpretation of the famous myth of the Minotaur and the final struggle as the once-insulated Cretan culture collides with the changing world. All three books revolve around the king-sacrifice, a controversial custom in some ancient societies, which was at times replicated in ancient Britain.
After their sometimes selfish, sometimes misguided actions draws the wrath of the gods, (where would storytellers be without “the wrath of the gods!”) this trio is cursed to live seven times in order to satisfy their moera, or fate. The planned eight-book series follows them through their various lives.
At its heart, the series is a story of the clash of cultures: the matriarchal culture on Crete versus the rising power of patriarchy on the mainland of Greece, and how history was defined by it.
The boxed set includes an excerpt from Book Five, The Sixth Labyrinth, and teasers from Falcon Blue and Swimming in the Rainbow (Book 8, the finale of the series.)
Five books in The Child of the Erinyes series are currently available, with the digital version of book number six, Falcon Blue, oh-so-close: it’s up for preorder at Amazon, B&N, iTunes, & Kobo and is also 99 cents until publication day. It will go live on August 4, 2018, at which point I will begin work on book seven, When the Moon Whispers—the climax of the series. The denouement is coming at last!
The middle trilogy of the series takes place in Britain, which is not as completely off the wall as one might think. There was a lively trade of tin, silver, bronze, and other goods between ancient Crete and ancient Britain, plus Menoetius’s mother was a priestess of Avalon—a woman gifted with a life of ten thousand years.
Each book in the middle trilogy is a completely-told story or “life,” and each is set in a different era: The Moon Casts a Spell takes place in the 1850s during the potato famines, and leads into The Sixth Labyrinth, set in the 1870s in the aftermath of the Clearances in Scotland. Falcon Blue goes back in time to the Cape Wrath area, and tells the story of the first reincarnation after Crete. It is set in the year 502 AD.
Every life lived by my triad builds to the climax of When the Moon Whispers, which manifests in the future—but not too far in the future. I admit I’m looking forward to using modern language and slang for a change. It will be nice not to have to ponder what word is acceptable for “toilet.”
Because I’ve structured the series so that each book occurs in a different era, with characters who look different and are always on a new learning path, it never gets boring for me. I hope that’s true for the readers as well. My wish is that the series carry the reader away from cares and problems for a little while, provide an escape to another place and time, with characters who can be identified with, rooted for, and in some cases reviled, as they stumble, fall, and rise again.
And to think it all began with D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths, which I devoured at about the age of seven. It was out of print for many years but I think it’s been re-released, for all the parents out there…
Many of my writing compatriots have talked about how becoming an author changed their lives, about the importance of writing, and how they are always writing, even when they’re not sitting at a computer but fixing dinner, running errands, toiling at a paying job or showering. (Showering especially.) How everything is seen through the lens of a story. Some authors liken writing to a lifeline. That’s sort of how I feel about it. I was under ten when I started writing and let me tell you, I had to deal with active ridicule and intense attacks. I could have given it up, but I didn’t. If anything, I affixed myself to it with every fiber of my being.
And while I wouldn’t exactly recommend my parents’ child rearing style, when I look back, I realize how seamlessly it formed me for this career. I spent so much time alone that I learned to love solitude. My imagination became my best friend…and there was an amazing forest behind my house where I wrote one tale after another, tales that eventually, thought by thought, word by word, year by year, evolved into The Child of the Erinyes.
Though the actual story of The Child of the Erinyes is purely fictional, invisibly woven through every line is my history—the world I have witnessed, lived, and dreamed, the world I, and many others, have had to grapple with over and over again.
Hey everyone, I hope summer is going well for you!
Beginning Wednesday, August 24, 2016, through Saturday, August 27, Erinyes Press invites you to pick up the first four books in The Child of the Erinyes series for just $1.99! Catch up on the series with this convenient boxed set. Over 900 pages of award-winning historical fantasy!
This is nearly 90% off what it costs to buy each book separately.
This boxed set includes: The Year-god’s Daughter… The Thinara King… In the Moon of Asterion… & The Moon Casts a Spell, which kicks off the middle trilogy, set in Scotland.
The center trilogy includes The Sixth Labyrinth and Falcon Blue (not yet released.)
Here’s a handy universal link to all the retail sites where you will find this limited-time boxed set: Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, etc. CLICK HERE.
“Duh,” you might be thinking. “Why did she never do this before?” Good question. A light bulb finally went off in my brain and I have rectified my lapse, which means that a digital box set of the first three books in The Child of the Erinyes series is available at Amazon!
Honestly, the Bronze Age segment of the series was always meant to be ONE book. That’s how it was written. But it was just too big. Put all together, it runs nearly 900 pages. As a new author, I didn’t think anyone would be willing to take a chance on such an enormous story, especially in print form, (so heavy!) and those with far more experience advised me to split it up. But my heart always wanted it to be one, so I am thrilled to announce this new release. The entire Bronze Age portion can now be read in one fell swoop, and priced at $7.99, that makes one of the books FREE when compared to buying each separately.
The ebook boxed set includes the following full-length novels: The Year-god’s Daughter, The Thinara King, and In the Moon of Asterion. There is also a preview to Book Four, The Sixth Labyrinth, at the end, and NEW CONTENT, never before posted anywhere, from Book Five, When the Moon Whispers, and Book Six, Swimming in the Rainbow.
As you may or may not know, the first three books encompass the “beginning,” of The Child of the Erinyes series. All three are set in the Bronze Age–1600s BCE Crete, (and Mycenae)–to be exact, during the era of the cataclysmal volcanic eruption on the island north of Crete, nowadays called Santorini. (In my books, it’s called Callisti, one of its ancient names.) It’s a coming of age tale, a mythic saga, a story of love, hate, lies, subterfuge, the struggle for power, and the hope of redemption.
For ninety days, I’ll be pulling the books from other retailers in order to comply with Amazon’s requirements so that I can run a few handy-dandy promotions. Which means two things: if you read books on a Kindle, keep an eye on Amazon for upcoming special deals on the individual books, and, if you’re a member of the Amazon Kindle Unlimited program, you can read each book for free.
Once the box set is up and running, I’ll be able to get back to work on The Sixth Labyrinth. It, too, is a colossal book: nevertheless, I’m hoping to publish it in one volume, and the one after that, as well, if possible. The last book of the series (Swimming in the Rainbow) is currently a mere 70,000 words–hardly bigger than a novella!
For those of you who have already read the Bronze Age portion of the series, I hope to whet your appetites for what is still to come.
A silenced but enduring Goddess has seen her place in the souls of humans systematically destroyed, but she bides her time. For Athene, thousands of years mean nothing.
The Bronze Age prophecy:
I have lived many lives since the beginning, and so shalt thou. I have been given many names and many faces. So shalt thou, and thou wilt follow me from reverence and worship into obscurity. In an unbroken line wilt thou return, my daughter. Thou shalt be called Eamhair of the sea, who brings them closer, and Shashi, sacrificed to deify man. Thy names are Caparina, Lilith, and the sorrowful Morrigan, who drives them far apart. Thou wilt step upon the earth seven times, far into the veiled future. Seven labyrinths shalt thou wander, lost, and thou too wilt forget me. Suffering and despair shall be thy nourishment. Misery shall poison thy blood. Thou wilt breathe the air of slavery for as long as thou art blinded. For thou art the earth, blessed and eternal, yet thou shalt be pierced, defiled, broken and wounded, even as I have been. Thou wilt generate inexhaustible adoration and contempt. Until these opposites are united, all will strangle within the void.
She vowed to bring back her daughter and “an immortal corps” of followers, and she does. Aridela and her companions experience history first hand, living it as it unfolds, not as royalty any longer but as ordinary human beings with extraordinary psyches.
The Sixth Labyrinth: nineteen-year-old Morrigan Lawton knows she is different–fears she could be a changeling, or even mad. She tries to hide her oddities, because this era in history is quite fond of their insane asylums–especially for women. She is plagued by nightmares, sacrilegious thoughts, an intense imagination, and an indomitable nature that just doesn’t fit in straitlaced, conservative Stranraer, Scotland, during a very tightly corseted and patriarchal Victorian era.
Her wild, high-flying spirit is nearly crushed beneath the expectations and mores of the time, not to mention her father’s iron fist. Thankfully, change arrives in the form of one Curran Ramsay, a young landowner from the Highlands. Is their meeting chance, or was it designed? Where is the third point of the triad…and the rest of the immortal corps promised by Athene? All are brought together again, to live and learn in a place very far removed from the palace and labyrinth on Crete so long ago.
The setting has a big role to play in this sweeping tale, from sleepy Stranraer on the shores of Loch Ryan to the remote, enchanted village of Glenelg, tucked beneath the imposing summits of the Five Sisters of Kintail. Here, in a spot still utterly devoted to the mystical beliefs of a rich Celtic past, Morrigan comes face to face with destiny. The story stays on the move, to moody Loch Torridon, to the thundering 900 foot cliffs at Cape Wrath, to cosmopolitan London, and finally, to the awe-inspiring, sea-scoured Hebrides islands.
Why Scotland? I needed a change of scene, a completely different culture, new research challenges. So did my protagonists! Scotland is a magical place, where the veil between ancient myth and mortals is thin. I spent a month in Scotland visiting these settings while researching the book, and believe me, there is something about it that I have never sensed anywhere else–especially at the haunting ruins of Castle Kennedy, not far from Stranraer.
The Sixth Labyrinth will be accompanied by two companion novellas: these can be read before, after, during the main story, or not at all. If you read The Sixth Labyrinth and find yourself wondering more about Morrigan’s father and mother, or what sparked the instant, incomprehensible attraction between Morrigan and a certain poor fisherman, all is revealed in the novellas. There are hints of future events as well.
I was raised on huge books. I like feeling immersed in a big, encompassing tale. I hope there are others who feel the same way, and if A Game of Thrones is any indication, there remains a healthy contingent of long-story lovers out there. So I offer my usual disclaimer: it’s not for everyone, but if you enjoy disappearing into a long, complex saga with sequels, what I like to call a myth with meat, I hope you’ll give The Child of the Erinyes a try.
Bibliographies, myths, history, links to excerpts, and more can be found at my website: Rebecca Lochlann
The Thinara King, multi-region link: Amazon
In the Moon of Asterion, multi-region link: Amazon
Along with the annual Games, the eruption of the volcano on Thera (Santorini), and a well-run matriarchal society, there’s an epic love story in the pages of The Year-god’s Daughter. Find out for yourself! The Year-god’s Daughter is part of the great Cyber Monday Amazon sale. (But it’s also on sale at Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iTunes.)
Booksquawk, January 1, 2014, in which In the Moon of Asterion was named, “Squawk of the Year.”
Melissa Conway: In the Moon of Asterion is the third in her excellent Child of the Erinyes series. In my original review of it here on Booksquawk, I wrote, “as a reader, I was captivated, caught up in a boiling whirlpool pulling me toward the inevitable conclusion.” It would be well worth your while to add this historical fantasy fiction to your TBR pile.
It’s difficult to write a review for the third book in a series without touching on plot points in the first two that would amount to spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read them. But if you have read them (and you really should), you’ll understand why I’ve excerpted the following from dictionary.com:
In The Moon of Asterion may be the grand finale of The Child of the Erinyes trilogy, but as the author points out in the blurb for the first book, “What seems the end is only the beginning.”
The mythological Erinyes are more commonly known as Furies; goddesses of the earth, the incarnation of vengeance on those who have sworn false oaths. From the name of the series alone we expect to read of classically tragic, legendary matters – and Lochlann does not disappoint. However, as it turns out, the scope of the legend is grander than a single trilogy can portray. The first trilogy is set in the Bronze Age, but it’s the first in a series, or perhaps the better description would be to call it a saga that continues through time – eventually to the present day.
In the first three books, our main players are known as Aridela, princess of Crete; Chrysaleon, son of the High King of Mycenae; and Menoetius, his bastard brother. The complicated relationship between them is not that of a mere love triangle – no, the nature of the bond between the brothers makes their situation uniquely bleak, with a divine twist of epic proportions.
Themiste, the prophetess whose job it has been to interpret her own visions and those of others, is given hints throughout the narrative from the goddess Athene regarding the importance of this bond:
Aridela told me she looked first at Menoetius then Chrysaleon, and for one strange instant, she said they merged into each other, and wore each other’s faces. Then the voice said more.
“I have split one into two. Mortal men have burned my shrines and pulled down my statues. Their arrogance has upended the holy ways. I decree that men will resurrect me or the earth will die.”
So much in this book rides on each character making the right choices, and yet, always the wants and desires of humanity assert themselves, leaving them seemingly blind to the big picture. And here is where I begin to verge on giving too much away. I don’t want to spoil the ending with this review; just perhaps prepare the reader for the shocking, yet ultimately satisfying finish. All I can say is that as a reader, I was captivated, caught up in a boiling whirlpool pulling me toward the inevitable conclusion. Now that I’ve reached the end, I can’t wait for the next beginning.
From author, Lucinda Elliot, at her website Sophie De Courcy:
‘The Year God’s Daughter’ and ‘The Thinara King’ were page turners but this is where the real fireworks take place!
You won’t be disappointed with this, the third book, which concludes in a series of shocks that even surpasses the giant shock of the earthquake so brilliantly and terrifyingly depicted in ‘The Thinara King’.
Readers of the earlier books will remember how there are two half-brother rivals from the mainland who aspire to lovely Aridela (the older name for the Ariadne, I’ve discovered), now Queen of ancient, matriarchal Crete – Menoetius, the illegitimate son of the aging King, Idomeneus, dark and serious minded, once so handsome, now left scarred as much internally as externally by the mauling by the lioness, and Chrysaleon, his golden-haired, arrogant heir.
Chrysaleon has won the games and slain the now dead Queen’s consort, earning the right to be her heiress Aridela’s King for a Year. As a mainlander he bitterly resents his impending fate, but fought in the games as he found the thought of any other man winning her unendurable; will he honour his obligation?
Chrysaleon has also won Aridela’s heart – but has her old feeling for her childhood hero Menoetius vanished along with his good looks and his joy in life?
In this book we find out both Menoetius’ and Chrysaleon’s ‘truth’ (the term used by Aridela’s mother) and also the integrity of some of the other characters. Chrysaleon and Meneotius are not the only ones to be tested. Both Themeste and Selene will be tried to the limit, and only one of them holds firm.
One thing is certain, and that is that Alexiare, Chrysaleon’s devoted slave, will stop at nothing to further his interests.
But Aridela’s awful sufferings at the hands of Harpalycus have changed her, just as her taking on the responsibilities of a ruler must, and she is gradually developing a different perspective from that of the careless worshipper of external beauty we met in the first volume.
It is in this volume that the full meaning of the ancient prophecies is revealed – and the terrible implications of Harpalycus’ vaunted immortality.
There are murderous fights, bitter intrigue, and of course, a strong theme of romance running throughout. All the ingredients for an epic story.
If, like me, you are so drawn in that you keep on reading until the small hours, do save the enthralling last section of the book for when you can do justice to the enthralling denouement.
I look forward to reading about the main characters again, in another age.
Reviews at Amazon: read them all
A milestone and personal goal has been reached at last! I’m so happy to announce the digital release of Book Three, In the Moon of Asterion! This book concludes The Bronze Age segment of the series, and kicks off the next set.
In celebration, I’ve set Asterion‘s price at .99 cents, plus I’ve dropped the price of Book One, The Year-god’s Daughter, to .99 cents as well. I invite you to pick up a copy and give the series a read if you like series books. (Links at the bottom of this post.)
I’ll be retreating into my lonely writing garret as I work hard to get Book Four, The Sixth Labyrinth, polished and ready to go. As you might have read here on the site, The Sixth Labyrinth takes a giant leap forward in time and space, to 1870s Scotland. How is it that we can still follow the lives of Aridela, Chrysaleon, Menoetius, and their followers in such a different place and time? Well, you’ll have to read on to find out. An excerpt of the first three chapters has been included at the end of Asterion.
Meanwhile, a short excerpt from In the Moon of Asterion:
Aridela remembered how the guards had struggled to open the heavy oak door, but for her, it moved effortlessly, at the touch of a finger.
“Asterion,” she whispered. The chamber was not so well lit as last time. There was but one lamp now, giving off a faint glow that only intensified the weight of darkness.
Again, she heard rustling beyond her vision. This time, instead of fear, she felt a thrill of anticipation.
The Beast loped into the circle of light. Incredibly huge, he smelled pungent, musky, like the wild aurochs they captured for the ring. He nuzzled the palm of her hand. She stroked his face, clasped his heavy horns, and kissed his forehead, where a gold rosette glowed.
He prodded her with his snout until he had her trapped against the wall of the chamber. There he kept her, between his implacable enormous head and the immovable wall, snuffling at her stomach as though he could smell the baby. He backed up, snorting, swinging his head from side to side. His eyes were white-rimmed; she sensed the danger and covered her abdomen, afraid, but then divine Athene transformed him, and he who pressed against her was a man.
Anything could happen in the place of dreams, where no boundaries existed.
There is a beast in the labyrinth… a monster. The people say he is both man and bull; they call him Asterion.
Of all Crete’s citizens, only two dare enter his lair. One bears his child. The other sees the Goddess in his eyes.
Terrifying yet compelling, the beast offers Crete’s only hope for redemption.
In the third installment of The Child of the Erinyes, Queen Aridela sets out to rebuild her devastated country. Will she sacrifice her beloved consort as ancient tradition demands?
Chrysaleon seeks a way to escape his vow of death and subjugate his adopted land. Can he thwart the Goddess and survive?
Menoetius must offer his allegiance. Who will win his loyalty? His brother, or the woman he loves?
The choices these three make have unforeseen, horrific consequences, changing the course of history and propelling Goddess Athene’s triad toward fulfillment of a bold, far-reaching design.
“What seems the end is only the beginning.”
One of my favorite reader reviews: “The Year God’s Daughter and The Thinara King were page turners but this is where the real fireworks take place!”
iTunes (Only The Year-god’s Daughter as of now)
(paperback of Asterion will be out in May, 2013)
An author, once she or he publishes that debut novel, imagines, expects, and hopes for many things. I am no different. Something I never anticipated, however, was becoming a college assignment.
A professor at the university in question happened upon The Year-god’s Daughter. She read it and contacted me to let me know she was assigning it to her spring 2013 semester class. They’ll be writing up essays on the culture and ideologies covered in the book.
She asked me to provide a statement about my research, which I was happy to do and which was fun to write, though it taxed my memory. Eight pages later, I felt like I was back in class myself!
To those students in the class who dislike historical fantasy, love stories, and/or class assignments, I’m sorry you’re being dragged through this, (and I do remember some of my own university assignments…. some better loved than others….)
First and foremost, I sincerely hope the tale is enjoyed!
FREE FOR THREE DAYS: MAY 23, 24, AND 25, 2012!
Be sure to check the price before clicking on “purchase.” I’ve done my best to make sure these promotional days are activated, but I have been notified by other authors of problems getting their promo days to actually appear.
FREE FOR THREE DAYS: MAY 23, 24, AND 25, 2012!
Be sure to check the price before clicking on “purchase.” I’ve done my best to make sure these promotional days are activated, but I have been notified by other authors of problems getting their promo days to actually appear.
“There was a tendency in Minoan Crete to combine the goddesses into one deity.” Rodney Castleden, The Knossos Labyrinth
Athene is mentioned again and again on the tablets and records from Crete. Her name was spelled “a-ta-na,” and most agree this was an early form of Athene. On at least one
tablet, the name “a-ta-na” is combined with “po-ti-ni-ja,” which is thought to be Potnia. Thus in my book, you’ll see the declaration “Potnia Athene,” used several times. It simply meant “Lady,” or “Mistress.”
It’s important to remember when reading The Year-god’s Daughter (and the connecting books, The Thinara King and In the Moon of Asterion,) that what we know about these ancient, pre-Hellenic deities is sparse and fragmented. That Athene existed on Crete and was very important is pretty clear. That there were other goddesses is not so clear; the various names might well have been titles used for different aspects or roles of the same goddess. My story takes place before the familiar pantheon we all know from Classical Greece. Most experts agree that Athene existed long before they did, and that she came from somewhere else, not Greece. So I chose to use Athene almost exclusively, incorporating the various names as alternate names for her. Athene was The Great Goddess, basically, and all these other images or personalities were simply variations of her. Robert Graves also influenced my decision to use Athene this way. In The Greek Myths, he talks again and again about Athene being a pre-Hellenic goddess of vast importance, to whom the sacred kings were sacrificed, and he shares with his readers many of her Names and Titles.
Many mythologists call The Goddess “She of Many Names.” Here are a few titles and names I used in The Child of the Erinyes.
POTNIA: “Mistress,” or “Lady.”
“The Great Goddess or Mother Goddess held sway until the very end of the Minoan civilization and was even for a time in a dominant position in the Mycenean pantheon, until her position was supplanted by Zeus. The Great Goddess seems to have been called Potnia, at least in the final decades of the Labyrinth’s history. The name recurs in place after place, not just on Crete but throughout the Mycenean world. Meaning no more than ‘The Lady’ or ‘The Mistress’, it nevertheless carried powerful connotations and resonances: it was clearly the proper name of an important goddess.” Rodney Castleden, The Knossos Labyrinth
“Potnia had a domestic aspect as a guardian of households and cities. She was the wife and mother, the dependable figure of order and reason. In a sense she represented the conscious mind. Hers, probably, was the double-axe symbol that we find at so many Minoan sanctuaries on Crete, but possibly the pillar and the snake were her symbols too.” Rodney Castleden, The Knossos Labyrinth
BRITOMARTIS: “Lady of the Wild Things.”
“There were wild goddesses too, associated with untamed landscape and consorting with wild beasts. . . . A chaste and free wild goddess, who was a huntress and tamer of wild beasts, is now often referred to as the Mistress of Wild Animals or Queen of Wild Beasts. It seems that the Cretans called her Britomartis, said to mean ‘sweet virgin’, and she became the Artemis or Diana of the classical period.” Rodney Castleden, The Knossos Labyrinth
Eleuthia: Goddess of mothers and childbirth
“She was named in the temple records at Knossos and her nearest sanctuary, the Cave of Eileithyia as it is known today, is at Amnisos. The Cave of Eleuthia was an important centre of worship from neolithic times right through the bronze and iron ages, into the Roman period. It is even mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey, Book 19. Inside the Eleuthia Cave is a natural stalagmite protected by an artificial stone wall, the focus of the cave cult and probably regarded as the manifestation or dwelling of the goddess Eleuthia.
Dictynna: Goddess of fishermen, or “of the net.”
It appears that Dictynna, too, was later merged with Artemis. Imagine how important fishermen were on an island like Crete. It’s not surprising they would have their own special goddess, “She who cast the nets.”
“grim faced.” A title of Athene’s, according to Robert Graves. The fearsome aspect, the face of Athene at the moment of death.
Meaning unknown, but this was one of Athene’s titles and/or names. If one types “definition of Areia” into Google search, what comes up are several sites describing Athene.
Laphria: “the goat goddess.”
Graves says that this was Athene’s title representing her as a “goat goddess.” He says that the word Laphria suggests that “the goddess was the pursuer, not the pursued.”