Monday, July 21, 2014

Mythical Monday (57)


It seems there are many books based on or influenced by Myths and Mythological Beings.

There are so many different Mythology and Mythological Beings recorded. Some are very popular and well known, others not so much. There are many similar beings, yet different depending on the culture it’s based in.  The definition of Myth covers about anything in the Urban Fantasy/Fantasy realm to me.

I’ve invited authors to share briefly the Mythological being or Myth that influenced their character(s) or story, or what their character(s) are based on influencing their books.  Hosting here, one author and being or myth per week.


This week we have:
Author Kerry Schafer
Talking of Dragons.


Let There Be Dragons

Why dragons?

The world of the Between is open to pretty much any sort of creature that has ever squeaked, creaked, or roared its way into a tale (or a nightmare). And, in fact, there are plenty of other creatures that do find their way into the books, some of them entirely of my own creation. The Slime Toad, for instance, big as a dragon with dangerous teeth and a sticky tongue and acid slime that will burn holes in your skin. Or the flying fire ants that literally set you alight wherever they touch clothing or skin.

But dragons are different. Dragons go deep.

They wind their sinuous way through the mythologies and fairy stories of nearly every culture. Some breath fire and destruction across the skies, steal the villagers sheep, burn their cottages and eat their young. In fairy tales they are often cast as the greatest obstacle a young hero must face in his pursuit of both a princess and a kingdom. In the biblical version of the epic clash between God and the Devil, the dragon represents the greatest evil possible, wreaking destruction even in heaven.

Fire dragons, water dragons, dragons of ice and air. Sometimes greedy, sometimes wise, always powerful and capable of great destruction.

When a dragon finds its way onto the pages of a book—no matter what kind of a dragon the writer turns it into—all of those historical and mythical echoes come along. Which is awesome all in itself.

Add in the tales from eastern mythology about the dragon ladies, and it just keeps getting better and better. Yep, the oriental folk stories had dragon shifters long before modern writers decided to tap into that idea. One of these is the tale of Toyotama-Hime, The Dragon Princess of the Sea. It goes, more or less, like this.

Once upon a time, Toyotama-Hime lived at the bottom of the sea with her father. One eventful day a young hunter chose to spend his time fishing rather than hunting. His name was Hikohohodemi-no-Mikoto. (I am not going to type that again, and I have no suggested translation, so we're going to call him Mikoto). Mikoto had borrowed his brother's best fishing hook for the day, and somehow managed to lose it. He was so desperate to find it that he ventured below the waves and down to the sea bed in a quest to retrieve it.

In the way of fairy tales, Toyotama-Hime saw him and fell instantly in love. She begged her father to help the handsome young man, and her father, who could refuse her nothing, agreed. As fate would have it, when Mikoto saw Toyotama-Hime in her human form he fell in love with the beautiful princess, forgetting all about his brother and the fishing hook. The two were married and lived happily together, but only for a time.

There came a day when Mikoto began to pine for the world above the sea - for the wind in the trees and the grass beneath his feet. He begged his beloved wife to come live on dry land with him and, because she loved him and was pregnant with his child, she agreed. The young hunter built a house for her and for a short while they were happy once more.

When the time came for her to give birth, the princess urged her husband to leave her alone, and not to look until she gave him permission. Long he waited outside, pacing and worrying. At last he broke his promise to his wife and peered in through a window. There he saw a black dragon holding a newborn baby. Toyotama-Hime was so embarrassed to be seen as her dragon self, that she fled back to her old home beneath the sea.

No HEA for this couple.

Being a dragon shifter causes some complications for Vivian, the heroine of the Between stories as well. She's chosen to spend her life as a healer and is working as an ER doc in a small town when things get weird. Discovering that she's got some dragon blood in her is a little, shall we say, disconcerting for her and learning to accept this aspect of who and what she is causes her distress along the way.

To make matters worse, there is Zee. Zee is born to be a dragon slayer; this is as deeply embedded in his genetic code as Vivian's dragon nature is in hers. As you can imagine, this serves to complicate the love that is growing between them.

Will they do better than Toyotama-Hime and Mikoto in the HEA department? Only time will tell. In the meantime, as the books are more adventure than romance, they've got a lot of other things to think about. Dangers to face. Slime toads, for example. Nefarious plots. And a dark and powerful dragon who wants to destroy all the worlds.


Author Bio:
Kerry Schafer is licensed both as a Mental Health Professional and an RN, and spends most of her daylight hours helping people--usually even with a smile. In books, she gets to blow stuff up and kill people (or possibly dragons and exploding slime toads). She has published two novels with Ace Books: Between and Wakeworld. She is also the author of The Dream Wars e-novellas.

Kerry and her Viking live in Colville, Washington, in a little house surrounded by rocks, trees, and gangs of deer and wild turkeys.

Find Kerry:
Her Site & Blog
Twitter:  @KerrySchafer
Facebook
Goodreads
Pinterest

Purchase at:


Barnes & Nobles:
Between
Wakeworld

Book Depository
Between
Wakeworld

8 comments:

  1. Oh I like that dragon story and I hope they get a better HEA. I do want to read these books! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melissa (B&T) I'm with you! :D On all accounts. lol. I so need to get these. Thank you for visiting!

      Delete
  2. I LOVE Dragons and these books sound really intriguing... Thanks for the great post! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Silvia, so glad you enjoyed the post! :D Thank you! :D

      Delete
  3. Sorry for being a bit late on this, had a terrible week. :(
    Anyway, I LOVE Dragons and your post is great! Thanks for giving me another book to check out! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Franny, no worries. Live has been a crazy roller coaster ride here as well. :) Hope the weeks are getting a bit better for you. Glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you!

      Delete

Sorry, got 106 spam comments in less than 24hrs. Had to turn on again.

I love comments! Please share your thoughts. I will respond here in the comments back to you.

I'll try again without word verification, but if Spammers get out of hand again I'll turn it back on.

Thank you for visiting!