Today is the release day for Deadly Descendant, the second book in my Descendant series about private eye Nikki Glass, who found out in Dark Descendant that she’s descended from the goddess Artemis. It has a striking, sexy front cover (though I can’t help wondering why Nikki is wearing that in the snow), and I think my publisher did a great job with the back cover copy, which is fun and clever. (I can say that because I didn’t write it!)
As a living descendant of Artemis the Huntress, private investigator Nikki Glass knows how to track someone down. But when an Oracle shows up, warning the descendants about wild dog attacks in Washington D.C., Nikki is afraid it might be a trap. The Olympians believe the “dogs” are jackals, controlled by a blood-crazed descendant of the Egyptian death-god Anubis. Whatever. . . . If Nikki hopes to muzzle Dogboy, she’s got to catch him in the act. But when she stakes out a local cemetery, she ends up face-to-snout with a snarling pack of shadow-jackals whose bite is worse than their bark. These hellhounds are deadly—even for an immortal like Nikki. “Dog” spelled backwards may be “god,” but that won’t stop Nikki from teaching these old gods some new tricks. Like playing dead.
I’ve loved mythology (particularly Greek/Roman mythology) ever since I read Edith Hamilton’s Mythology in (if I remember correctly) eighth grade. The writing is rather dense and old-fashioned (it was originally published in 1940), but it’s still my go-to source for Greek and Roman myth. (I also have and use Bullfinch’s Mythology, but that one doesn’t have as special a place in my heart.) Of course, just as I’ve used loose interpretations of vampire, demon, and faerie lore for my Guardians of the Night, Morgan Kingsley, and Faeriewalker series, I’ve played around with the mythology in my Descendant series. I guess I’ve never been a big fan of coloring within the lines, and I love taking the lore and myths behind my characters and using them as a jumping off point rather than a road map.
So yes, in the mythology, Artemis is usually referred to as a virgin goddess. Obviously, in that case, she couldn’t have any descendants, and therefore Nikki in her current form couldn’t exist. But every myth out there has about twelve thousand variations, and in a world where those myths are supposed to be based on reality, it seemed reasonable to add my own variations. So in my version of mythology, Artemis wasn’t literally a virgin, and therefore she can have one (or more) descendants alive in the world today.
This may ruffle the feathers of a few mythology purists, but hey, it’s my world, and if I want to play with the myths, I will. I like giving my imagination as much freedom as possible, and writing strictly within the confines of the existing mythology just wouldn’t be as much fun for me. And let’s face it, being a full-time writer is filled with stress and frustrations, and the business side especially sometimes seems to be doing its best to break us. If we don’t love what we’re writing (at least most of the time), if we’re not having fun with it, then there’s no point in putting up with the Mr. Hyde side of this career.
Now, on to the giveaway. This will be a quickie (in part because I’m so scattered on release week that I can’t trust myself to remember things for more than a day), and I’ll be picking the winners around noon EDT tomorrow (April 25). I’ll give away three copies of Deadly Descendant (or of Dark Descendant, if you prefer). The contest is open internationally, but if you’re not in the U.S., I’ll be sending your book via the Book Depository, so it won’t be signed. To enter, just leave a comment before noon EDT on April 25. Good luck!