Friday, November 16, 2012

Guest Post: Author Jessie Harrell

Today I am excited to have author Jessie Harrell stop by the blog to tell us a bit about her book "Destined"!

Since my book baby, Destined, is turning a year old tomorrow (*sniff* where has the time gone?) – and since it’s set in ancient Greece – I thought I’d share with you a factiod about birthdays in ancient Greece: They didn’t celebrate them.

What? No cake and ice cream?

Nope. In fact, the Greeks considered the day of one’s birth a “dirty day.” Certainly not cause for celebration. At least, it wasn’t a cause for celebration for mere mortals. The gods on the other hand… well, let’s get the party started. For example, Artemis got a birthday party every lunar month since she was the moon goddess. She was brought round cakes (shaped like the moon) , alight with candles to represent the moon’s glow. (I sense the beginnings of a tradition here…)

So, that being the case – gods got celebrated and mortals don’t – how would a mortal/immortal couple spend the mortal’s birthday? Surely a love-struck god would want to shower his beloved with attention. Or at least I chose to think so. Here’s how I imagined Eros (a/k/a Aris - at this point, he’s in disguise and Psyche doesn’t know who he really is) and Psyche spending her birthday ~

That evening, I sat on the bed and watched the sun set behind the gardens, casting a glow of brilliant oranges and reds across the landscape. Just as he had done the past two nights, Aris’s darkened form flew in through the window. My breath caught in the back of my throat as I gazed at the obviously powerful creature now standing before me.

He didn’t speak right away, then cleared his throat. “Sorry about passing out on you last night. Not exactly how I’d planned things to go.”

I shrugged. “Don’t worry about it. Seriously. You obviously needed the rest. I didn’t mind.”

“Yeah, well, I felt like I did all the talking last night and I want to know more about you. I already know my past.”

“I thought you already knew everything about me.” I couldn’t help the playful barb; I probably even threw in an eyelash flutter for good measure.

He chuckled and I heard fabric shifting under his personal cloud. “I don’t know nearly enough. So I figured you could tell me everything -- over cake.”

I took the package he held out to me. Once I’d untied the string and pulled away the cloth wrapping, I saw an amazing-looking cheesecake.

“Happy birthday to you,” he sang in a low voice.

“How’d you know?” I asked.

“I figured it was something I ought to remember.” He cleared his throat again. “I hope you like cheesecake.”

“Who doesn’t?” I slid onto the stool at my vanity, pulling the cake closer and breaking off a piece to pop into my mouth.

He stopped my hand before I could indulge. “Wait… this game has rules.”

I looked at him with narrowed eyes. Since when does eating cheesecake have rules?

“I want one fact for every bite,” he said. “Talk first, eat second.”

Reluctantly, I backed the cake away from my already-parted lips. If he wanted to make a game out of this information exchange, who was I to complain?

So, yes, I took some liberties with past traditions in an effort to ensure Eros comes across as romantic as possible. And if you think a surprise cake is sweet, just wait till you see what else he has in store for Psyche. If you’d like to know more, here’s the back cover blurb:

When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear.

As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she's come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined.

About the Author: By day, I'm an appellate lawyer. By night, I'm a wife, mother of two, and author/lover of all things Greek mythology. I'm a native Floridian, frustrated world traveler, unrepentant dreamer, lover of acoustic music and not-so-closet geek. Destined, released November 17, 2011, is my first novel. Stay tuned for Beneath the Surface, co-written with the amazing Brooklyn Grant, coming summer 2012.



  1. Thanks so much for hosting me today! I hope everyone has fun learning a little more about ancient birthdays.

  2. Thanks so much for hosting me today! I hope everyone has fun learning a little more about ancient birthdays.

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