Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Every Story Needs at Least One Good Myth" Guest Post by Elisabeth Naughton

Thanks so much to Brooklyn Ann for inviting me to stop by during my TEMPTED blog tour! I’m thrilled to be here talking about the third Eternal Guardians book, which just released last week!

For those who are new to the series, the Eternal Guardians are seven warriors descended from the seven greatest heroes in all of ancient Greece who defend the mortal realm from threats of the Underworld. TEMPTED is Demetrius’s book. He’s the biggest of the Guardians, a descendant of the famed hero Jason, and he harbors a dark and deadly secret. One that could destroy the world. But when the princess of Argolea goes missing, he’s suddenly the only Guardian who can save her.

I’ve been in love with Greek mythology since I was kid. It started at a young age when I would secretly flip through my mother’s art books (she was an art major in college) and found all those naked pictures of gods and goddesses from mythology. After I got my fill of nakedness, I discovered that the images weren’t simply pornography, they were famous paintings of the Ancient Greek myths. And every image had a story. I slowly started acquiring my own books (not for the nakedness, mind you, but for the stories), and now I have whole shelves filled with books about the different myths, who did what to whom and when, books about heroes and monsters and the all-powerful gods.

When I came up with the idea for the Eternal Guardians books, I didn’t yet know how I was going to work it into Greek mythology – I just knew that somehow I would. But there were already books about gods and goddesses and their interactions with mortals. I didn’t want to do something that had already been done to death. Then one day I was perusing a blog, and someone left a comment saying they’d like to read about the heroes from Greek myth…and voila. I knew exactly who my warriors would be.

Each of my warriors are linked to a different hero from the ancient myths. Each has a different gift, and each has a weakness. Theron, in MARKED - book one - is Heracles’s descendent.  Because Heracles was this super strong guy who could do amazing things, Theron is blessed with extreme strength. His line is the purest of all the Guardians, but he’s limited by his personal bias against the human race. He believes in duty to the Guardians, yet he doesn’t care about the humans he’s been assigned (by Zeus) to protect. In many ways, he’s a conundrum. His book then, is all about getting in touch with his humanity—something he never thought he would ever do—and becoming a true hero in every sense of the word.

Zander is the hero in ENTWINED. Zander can link his heritage back to the famed hero Achilles, who could only be killed by an arrow piercing the back of his foot. In ENTWINED, every hero from Zander’s line has a vulnerability—the one place they can be struck that will result in immediate death. But after 829 years, Zander hasn’t found his vulnerability yet. Since most Guardians only live to be 700 years or so, and Zander’s showing no signs of approaching old age, he begins to think he’s immortal. Which is great for fighting—he’s the toughest warrior out there, able kick daemon ass, no problem. Not a bad thing, right? Wrong. For Zander, who’s already lost the only woman he ever loved, looking at an eternity alone with no joy ahead is the worst thing in the world.

And then there’s Demetrius. Demetrius’s forefather is Jason. Jason is one of the most fascinating heroes to me. He didn’t do anything extraordinary except gather the Argonauts and sail in search of the Golden Fleece. And he never would have succeeded in that quest—the one that launched him to hero status—had it not been for Medea, the sorceress he fell in love with on his journey who gave him a magical potion (among other things), which he used to slay the dragon guarding the Golden Fleece. A sorceress he was tricked into falling in love with by the conniving goddess Hera. Jason’s life ended in tragedy when he betrayed Medea, and Demetrius’s life has been one lie after another, many of which he blames on Jason’s history. Working the mythology of Jason’s past tragedy into Demetrius’s current life was a really fun part of writing TEMPTED. It shaped Demetrius into who he is today, and bringing that out in TEMPTED, making him realize he’s not responsible for sins of the past he had no control over, was a real challenge.

I have several heroes yet to write about. The hero in my April 2012 book is linked to Perseus, so I’m having a lot of fun playing up his mythology in that book. And I’m constantly trying to work other myths into these books—Hades & Persephone, Prometheus & Io, Athena & Medusa. Taking the tragedies from Greek mythology and twisting them into happily ever afters for my characters is really the best part of writing this series.

To celebrate the release of TEMPTED, Sourcebooks is giving away two copies of TEMPTED (US/Canada shipping only) to two lucky commenters, and I’m giving away a copy of MARKED and another of ENTWINED to two more! (International shipping okay on Marked & Entwined). So four winners total! To be entered into the drawings, just leave me a comment telling me your favorite myth from Ancient Greece and which one you think I should write about next.

DEMETRIUS—He’s the hulking, brooding warrior even his fellow Guardians avoid. Too dark. Too damaged. And given his heritage, he knows it’s best to keep everyone at arm’s length.

Isadora is missing. The words pound through his head like a frantic drumbeat. For her own protection, Demetrius did all he could to avoid the fragile princess, his soul mate. And now she’s gone—kidnapped. To get her back, he’ll have to go to the black place in his soul he’s always shunned.

As daemons ravage the human realm and his loyalty to the Guardians is put to the ultimate test, Demetrius realizes that Isadora is stronger than anyone thought.

And finally letting her into his heart may be the only way to save them both.


A former junior high science teacher, Elisabeth Naughton traded in her red pen and test-tube set for a laptop and research books. She now writes sexy romantic adventure and paranormal novels full-time from her home in western Oregon, where she lives with her husband and three children. Her work has been nominated for numerous awards, including the prestigious RITA Awards of Romance Writers of America, the Australian Romance Reader Awards, the Golden Leaf, and the Golden Heart. When not writing, Elisabeth can be found running, hanging out at the ball park, or dreaming up new and exciting adventures. Visit her at www. Elisabeth Naughton .com to learn more about her and her books. Her next book in the Eternal Guardians series,Enraptured, will be in stores in April 2012.

Thanks so much for coming today, Elisabeth! Seriously, guys, this series is awesome. Marked held my attention the entire time I was getting my first tattoo.


  1. Elisabeth - I've been out of school way, way too long to even remember my greek mythology to have a clue of who to suggest you write about next. I enjoy reading these books that bring the myths to life - they nudge my brain cells to remember by "ancient history" of HS and under-grad. I would love to win copies of your books for my library.
    loribooklover62 @aol.com

  2. I think Dionysus would be great! God of fertility and wine. Son of Zeus and Semele. (Only God to have a mortal parent.)

    These books sound great! I'd love to read them all!

    Thanks for the great post and interview.


  3. Thanks much for coming today, Elisabeth! ...though I confess some envy to everyone here since I'm not in the running for TEMPTED.

  4. The story of Hades and Persephone, please. Given the right twist, it could be a great romance!

    julieguan AT gmail DOT com

  5. I used to love the greek myths and enjoyed the stark reality in some of them. However, I could never understand why all the men got all the glory. I mean there are Goddesses who don't get a whole lot of ink. What is their story? And, what happened to Medusa to make her how she is? Was she born with the snakes? (If so, I really feel for her mother; what a trippy experience that would have been!) Was she the kid who was always picked on for being different? I realize she ends up getting her head chopped off (I am really sorry, but I don't remember the whole story just that the movie is Clash of the Titans and the actor was cute), but what led her to be so reviled? You did say your books are about the heros, but I am intrigued by Medusa's story.

    Awesome post! Thank you!