Friday, June 15, 2012

Lost in Mythology - Medusa, A Love Story

Have you heard the term ‘method’ actor? These are the actors that don’t break character, even between takes. Daniel Day Lewis and Dustin Hoffman are two such actors. Dustin Hoffman didn’t sleep for days to prep for a scene in Marathon Man. Daniel Day Lewis maintained his John Proctor façade the entire time he was shooting The Crucible.

I think I’m a method writer. That’s not to say I sit around wrapped in linen robes, using oil lamps for light, and speak with a more formal vocabulary. I couldn’t get away with it – my husband and kids are supportive, but… I admit, it does sound divine.

BUT when I’m working on my Loves of Olympus series, the feel (the way I imagine that time/place to be) takes over. Food, scents, textures, sounds, and the rhythm of life changes a little. Research helps, I’ll admit. From historical costuming books, map books, various ‘Life in the…’ books, and numerous mythology tombs – I am easily (and eagerly) transported.

Another essential tool that helps me get lost in my pages: music. I am always on the lookout for new songs to add to my YouTube playlists. I have specific lists for each book, but there are a few songs that I’ve listed on each list. Some sound very authentic to me, while others impart the mood I’m hoping to write. One song that’s made it onto all my playlists is listed below.

I hope you enjoy the song. And that you’ll enjoy Medusa, A Love Story too! 

Medusa, A Love Story
By Sasha Summers


It's said love can change a person. Medusa wasn't always a monster...

Medusa is ruled by duty, to her Titan father and the Goddess Athena. She's no room for the tenderness her warrior guard, Ariston, stirs. When Olympus frees her from service, her heart leads her into the arms of the guard she loves... and curses her as the creature with serpent locks.

Ariston goes to war with a full heart... and dreadful foreboding. He learns too late of the danger Medusa faces, alone, and a Persian blade sends him into the Underworld. But death, curses, nor the wrath of the Gods will keep him from returning to her.

Poseidon will use Greece's war to get what he wants: Medusa. He does not care that she belongs to another. He does not care that she will be damned. He is a God, an Olympian, and she will be his.

"This tragic and beautiful retelling of one of the world's oldest stories tackles the eternal battle between duty and happiness. Medusa, A Love Story broke my heart then filled in the cracks with joy. Sasha Summers is simply a mesmerizing new talent."  ~Stephanie Dray, Author of the critically acclaimed Song of the Nile


“You asked for an audience, you have it. Now tell me, where do you belong?” Hades’ voice was deep, emotionless.
            Ariston swallowed. “Athens.” He met Hades’ gaze, but the God revealed nothing to him.
“Why? You died with honor and glory. Is that not what every soldier wants?” 
             “My wife…” His voice wavered.
Hades brow lifted slightly. “Lives. You do not.”
            “She is in danger.”
            “Earthly danger. She is no longer your concern, Ariston.”
            “The danger she faces is not earthly, but far from it…” Ariston’s voice was hoarse, his desperation mounting. He took a wavering breath before he began again. “She is everything to me. I am proud of my death, but it means nothing if she is in peril. I must know.” Ariston kneeled. “I beg you. I beg you to return me to Athens.”
            Ariston waited, willing himself to be strong.
            “Who is this wife?” Hades asked.
            “Medusa of Athens.” He paused. “Now of Rhodes.”
            Hades was silent, his dark blue eyes regarding him steadily.
            “When I die—” Ariston began.
            “You are dead,” Hades assured him.
“When I return…die again, I would serve as guardian to Tartarus. I am a skilled warrior, a skill I might offer you.” He spoke with confidence.
            “You vex me,” Hades muttered, the slightest crease appearing between his eyes. “You offer this to me for a woman?”
            Ariston nodded. “She is worthy.”
Hades was silent again, his eyes shifting to the blue-white flames in the massive
“My words do not…adequately express the love I have for this woman. But I cannot leave her. She is at risk. I must return.” The words came without thought. How could he justify such emotion to a God who reviled affection or companionship? “As Olympus has my arm and sword, she has my heart – a mortal, and perhaps weak, heart.”
The room was silent for too long. He would have to fight his way out…
            “It is a weakness not reserved for mortals alone, Ariston of Rhodes.” Hades’ words were so soft Ariston feared they’d not been spoken. But Hades continued, strong and clear. “I will return you to your ship so that you may lead your men to victory. Too many have fallen from this war and I would see it end. When that is done, you may go to your wife.” He paused then added, “When you return to my realm, I will have your fealty.”
            The God of the Underworld, Lord of Death, gave him mercy? Mayhap there was one God he might serve with honor. 
Ariston vowed, “You have it.”


Some books speak to a reader before the first page is turned. That’s exactly how I felt about Medusa, A Love Story when I saw its cover and read the background information. And, fortunately, it lived up to the expectations.

Author Sasha Summers takes one of the most feared mythological creatures – Medusa, a vile woman with serpents swarming in place of hair, who turns any man who looks upon her into stone – and instead creates a complex, loving woman who dotes on her family, and gives up her happiness for that of others.

Not all born into families look like their siblings and parents. Before Medusa took on the characteristics a dreaded Gorgon, she was but a lady, a priestess in Athena’s temple. She took the position as payment for her parents’ misdeeds.

“Love had never been peaceful, not for Medusa. In truth, she’d seen very little to indicate love existed. Duty was her fate. Duty did not waver. It was constant. And she was content with her station – most of the time.” (p. 19)

Medusa’s view of love shifts with her new guard duty, Ariston. As a leader of soldiers, Ariston is supposed to escort Medusa to and from the temple, but something about her calls to him.  

“She was indeed well, easing his worry while tempting his soul. Her veils offered no buffer to his heart, the whisper of her smile was a shadow through its gossamer fall – enticing him all the more.” (28)

For those knowledgeable of Greek mythology, or even viewers of Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Medusa’s life doesn’t end happily-ever-after. While Summers stays pretty true to the classic tales, she offers an ending that should leave readers satisfied.

In Medusa, A Love Story, Summers doesn’t weave a simple tale of romance, but an epic adventure of the heart. 

Author Bio:

Sasha Summers is part gypsy. Her passions have always been storytelling, history, and travel. It's no surprise that her books visit times past, set in places rich with legends and myth. Her first play, 'Greek Gods and Goddesses' (original title, right?), was written for her Girl Scout troupe.

She's been writing ever since. She loves getting lost in the worlds and characters she creates; even if she frequently forgets to run the dishwasher or wash socks when she's doing so.

Luckily, her four brilliant children and hero-inspiring hubby are super understanding and supportive.

Sasha is an active member of RWA and several Texas Chapters. A self-proclaimed movie-addict, she is full of all sorts of useless movie tidbits and trivia.

Facebook Author Page:

Twitter: @sashawrites

1 comment:

  1. Louisa, Thank you so much for reading and reviewing Medusa. I'm so pleased that you enjoyed the book. I will treasure your review. Especially: In Medusa, A Love Story, Summers doesn’t weave a simple tale of romance, but an epic adventure of the heart. ~ Awesome