Tag Archives: Rita Bay

The Last Trojan Hero: Aeneas

AeneasStatueMy last post we left Troy in flames—its heroes fallen and the women and children brutalized and enslaved. A few, however, escaped. Aeneas, one of Troy’s heroes who was honored second only to Hector, led a small group of refugees out of the city when the gods ordered him to leave. He escaped the doomed city carrying his elderly father Anchises and his son Ascanius. His wife Creusa was lost in the confusion of the burning city and when he returned for her he was greeted by her spirit who told him about his destiny and sent him on his way.

Aeneas’ father Anchises was a cousin to King Priam; his mother, the goddess Aphrodite. Aeneas is mentioned as a hero of Troy in Homer’s Iliad. The Latin poet Virgil’s Aeneid, an epic poem, chronicled the life of Aeneas as he left Troy, wandered much of the known world and eventually ended up in Italy, where he became the progenitor of Rome. Julius Caesar’s family claimed descent from Aeneas’ son, Ascanius.

Aeneas’ most famous stop on his journey was outside of Carthage (a city in North Africa) where he fell in love with Queen Dido. He later deserted her to fulfill his destiny and she committed suicide in her anguish. On a personal note, Virgil’s Aeneid was the bane of my senior year in high school when the homework for my Latin IV class involved nightly struggles translating multiple stanzas of the damned poem.

The statue on the right by Gian Lorenzo Bernini was commissioned by Cardinal Scipione Borghese in 1618. It was completed in 1619 when Bernini was only twenty years old and is housed in the Galleria Borghese in Rome.  The statue depicts the moment that Aeneas carries his father, the elderly Anchises, and his son Ascancius from burning Troy.




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Farewell to Defiance – for Now

Oops! A tad late posting. Thought there would be a guest for our 7-7-7 Celebration where authors share seven lines starting with the seventh line of the seventh page a work in progress. My bad, but good too because one of my first posts was an early review of Defiance. Tonight we bid farewell to Defiance with the season finale that promises to be packed full of excitement. Datak Tarr , the Castithan businessman/crime lord, has been campaigning against incumbent Mayor Amanda Rosewater. Datak Tarr is a lower caste Castithan who is not particular about the means he uses to achieve his ends. Word is that someone ends up dead tonight.

After watching all the episodes, I’m still not loving it. In my initial review, I stated my concern about SEVEN races (in addition to TWO human races) and TWO languages. Fortunately, viewers weren’t bombarded with an info dump about the races but, alas, we suffered through subtitles of the Votan languages. Viewing Defiance is more like watching a thirteen hour movie than a series. The plot within the episodes of the series is connected.  If you miss one episode, you’re sunk.

On the positive side, the characters have depth and the action is non-stop. Joshua Nolan, the sheriff, is a sympathetic character (for me) because of his history and flaws. Wish we’d seen more of his adopted daughter, Irisa, who is an Irathient warrior. Don’t know anything about the Defiance game, though the graphics look realistic. Combining series action with gaming is an interesting concept.

Defiance’s ratings have been good with almost two million viewers last week. The reviews have been mixed. (How dare anyone compare Defiance to that scifi icon Battlestar Galactica!). The good news for Defiance fans is that the show has been renewed for 13 additional episodes that will air in 2014. ‘Til next week, Rita Bay.


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The WOTI 7-7-7 Challenge Kickoff

Have you ever picked up a novel, opened it to a random page and read a snippet to see if the book was worth reading? During July, the Worlds of the Imagination writers are going to put our books to the ‘snippet test’ with the 7, 7, 7 challenge. We will be posting 7 lines starting from the 7th line of page 7 or 77 of our latest works. Check it out and let us know how we do! (Thanks to Audra Middleton for the “snippet.”)

Since I’m first, I’ll share a snippet of my next Champagne release and for tomorrow tag Graeme Brown.

“Finding Eve,” Book 2 of The Lyons Tales from Champagne Books in September

Lady Bat nodded. “I knew Ellen was evil, but I couldn’t prove anything. In all my years, I’ve never seen any of the People behave as she did.” She looked through the bag of snacks. “I asked Cynthia to keep an eye on her. She had performed sensitive work for me before, but she was never able to catch Ellen at anything. The bitch played on everyone’s sympathies over the loss of her family. Can’t believe that she remained at Lyons’ Den so long after her welcome had worn out. Ellen had no friends. Only the one grandson survived from her family.”

Marie shook her head. “And now he’s dead while following her orders.”

Tomorrow, Graeme Brown meets the challenge.


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Myths & Legends: Cassandra’s Cruel Fate

CassandraIn Homer’s Iliad, one of the themes is the fate of those who cross the gods. Cassandra was the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba. She was the sister of Hector, who was a hero of Troy and the subject of last week’s post, and Paris whose elopement/abduction of Helen had started the Trojan War.  She was described as beautiful, elegant, intelligent, charming, insane, and cursed.

The last two—insane and cursed—were linked. Cassandra had attracted the attention of the god Apollo. Because of his love for her and evidently her promise to become his consort, Apollo granted her the gift of prophecy. In his anger when she spurned him, he decreed that no one would believe her prophecies.

Cassandra was hurt and frustrated when no one would believe her and upset when most believed her to be insane. She foresaw the destruction of Troy, the Greeks’ subterfuge with the Trojan Horse, and her own cruel fate. When Troy fell, Cassandra was taken from the Temple of Athena (See Pic of 4th century BC Greek vase) and assaulted by Ajax. She was given to King Agamemnon as a concubine. Both of them were murdered soon after their arrival in Greece by Agamemnon’s queen, Clytemnestra and her lover.

Two Greek quotes describe Cassandra well: “Those whom the gods love die young” and “Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.”

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Myths & Legends: The Doomed Trojan Hector

HectorOur Trojan hero this week is Hector, the first-born son and heir apparent of King Priam. He was the commander of the Trojan army, even though he didn’t approve of the war with the Greeks.  He was known for being thoughtful and peace-loving,  a loving parent and a good husband  to Andromache. When the Trojans were arguing about omens he asserted that “One omen is best: defending the fatherland.”

Although he was a peaceful man, Hector battled the Greeks fiercely. He led an attack on the Greek ships. He engaged with several Greeks in personal combat. Eventually, he was killed by Achilles in revenge for his friend  Patroclus’ death. After his death, Achilles dragged him behind his chariot around the walls of Troy (See Pic) . His body was abused for twelve days until his father retrieved his body for burial.  Hector knew  his end was near during the battle and says this about it.

Alas! The gods have lured me on to my destruction. … death is now indeed exceedingly near at hand and there is no way out of it- for so Zeus and his son Apollo the far-darter have willed it, though heretofore they have been ever ready to protect me. My doom has come upon me; let me not then die ingloriously and without a struggle, but let me first do some great thing that shall be told among men hereafter.

Next week, A Heroine Lies—or Not   Rita Bay


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Homer’s Iliad

Iliad“Sing, goddess, the anger of Peleus’ son Achilles” The Iliad is an ancient Greek epic poem attributed to the Greek poet Homer written in Homeric Greek in dactylic hexameter (six feet to a line with one long syllable followed by two short syllables to a foot). Imagine the poem being recited in rhythm accompanied by music to a rapt audience.

The listeners who lived in a world filled with gods and goddesses knew well the danger of attracting the attention or anger of the pantheon. In the worldview of the ancient Greeks, the gods and goddesses lived and walked among them – involving themselves in the affairs of men, punishing and procreating at will.

Written during the 8th century BC, The Iliad and its sequel, The Odyssey, are among the oldest extant works of Western literature. The Iliad is set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy (Ilium) by a coalition of Greek states. While relating the tales of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles in the last year of the war, it actually tells the whole story of the ten-year-long conflict.

Loads have been written over the centuries about Homer (see pic), mostly guesses and speculation. Early stories place him coming from various parts of Greece. Tradition has him blind, but that could just be a myth perpetuated by later generations based on a mistranslation of an early author. His own writing tells little about him but his heroes are the rich and famous rather than of the poor.

Over the next few weeks, while I’m immersed in one of my writing marathons, my Monday posts will relate the tragic tales of the ancient Greeks that reflect themes that recur in literature across the ages.

Next week, The Hero of the Iliad  Rita Bay

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Prince Paris of Troy

Judg of Paris

Prince Paris of Troy was a common figure in Greek mythology. He is first seen when a seer predicted that he would bring about the ruin of Troy. Unable to kill the newborn prince, his parents gave him to a herdsman to expose in the country. legend has it that he was suckled by a bear until the herdsman returned and discovered that he was alive. He kept the child and raised him as a herdsman. When he grew up, he was recognized by the god Ares for his honesty in judging a bull fight. Later, when Eris, the goddess of discord, threw a golden apple labeled “for the fairest” into a wedding celebration of the Greek gods, Paris was asked to judge between three goddesses. Since the goddesses were all beautiful, he agreed to accept a bribe for his judgment.  Hera offered him ownership of Europe. Athena offered him warrior skills and wisdom. Aphrodite offered him the most beautiful woman. That happened to be Queen Helen of Sparta who was already married to King Menelaus. After some encouragement from Aphrodite, Helen ran off with Paris to Troy with Menelaus and all of the Greek kings and heroes in pursuit. What happened is a story for next week.

The Attic  red figure vase at Antikenmuseen in Berlin, Germany dates from the 5th century BC. Hermes (with the winged cap) leads the three goddesses Aphrodite (the figure in the middle), Athene and Hera to Paris for his judgement. The prize is a golden apple for the fairest. The Trojan prince sits in the doorway holding a royal staff and lyre. Before him stands Hermes, holding a kerykeion (herald’s wand) and wearing a chlamys (traveler’s cloak) and winged cap. Of the three goddesses, Aphrodite is veiled, and holds a winged Eros (god of love) and myrtle wreath in her hands; Athene holds a spear and helm; Hera is crowned and bears a miniature lion and royal lotus-tipped staff.  Paris is about to make a judgment that will  fulfill the prophecy made at his birth.


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WOTI Authors Celebrate New Releases

Release day is always a pleasure, even if it’s not your own.. When it is your own AND two other WOTI authors it’s even better. Congrats to Graeme and LT. Check out our books that will be released tomorrow. Click covers to read excerpts/buy.

are_the_pact_ecoverWill Lesterall has grown up in the safety of his father’s castle, where tales of the outside world ruled by warring kings and creatures of nightmare have never seemed a threat.  Yet on the night celebrating the two hundredth year of the sacred Pact that has kept Fort Lesterall safe, a secret intrigue ripens, and in the course of a few hours Will is confronted with a choice greater than he can comprehend.

Join an unlikely hero as destiny pulls him into the middle of an ancient conflict between fallen gods and ambitious women, one that demands blood, both holy and wicked, and the power of an ancient fire bound in steel.  As swords clash below a watching wood, hope and betrayal war as fiercely as fear and valor, and whether he lives of dies, Will Lesterall will never be the same.

are_12_dancing_ecoverFor almost a year, every month surrounding a full moon, young girls have vanished without a trace from their homes in their small town and its surrounding farms. Just before the next child is set to disappear, a young stranger arrives. Only, she too is a young girl, a strange traveling musician who holds a bond closer to her fiddle than to any human being, and those who hear her say she wields an otherworldly power when she plays.

FINALHerTeddyBare_200x300After breaking up with her unfaithful fiancé, Diana Harper accepts an invitation “to attend a private event at Miss A’s island retreat to experience your most secret dreams and fondest fantasies.”  Miss A gives “Teddy” to Diana as an “attendant.” Despite his best efforts, Teddy isn’t a submissive and the skimpy gold thong is ridiculous on a man his size. Although she’s not a domme, Diana plays his game to see where it leads. When Teddy offers her profound passion, the best sex ever, and the prospect of love, will she take a chance on another broken heart?

Theodore Bareston will do whatever it takes to win Diana’s love, even though “whatever” includes wearing a thong and posing nude in chains when Diana’s interest in her art revives. As the sexual tension builds and passions explode, Teddy is determined to convince Diana that he is the only man for her.


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Creating SciFi/Fantasy Worlds

Creating a world is one of the most satisfying perks of writing scifi/fantasy. The task can be as simple as inserting an individual or race into contemporary society or as complex as creating multiple societies with multiple species on a distant planet.

VenusfigIt is not, however, an easy task. Consider archaeologists looking back on the past. Archaeologists process what they discover using the scientific method, a linear (methodical) way of observing, investigating, interpreting and explaining data.  Their conclusions, however, may reveal only an infinitesimal piece of the real, sometimes nonlinear, puzzle that is the past. It’s difficult to determine paleolithic or neolithic worldviews that differ immeasurably from the modern world where logic and the scientific method hold sway.

At times, rVenusavataresearchers allow their own values to color their interpretations. Check out the Venus figure (above, right) that some researchers referred to as “pornographic.” The description says more about the researcher than the creator of the object. My own avatar (right) across the internet is, at over 20,000 years old, one of the oldest faces of a human female (the rest of the body is missing). Is she a religious object, good luck charm, fertility object, or a portrait of someone’s beloved wife, chieftain, or shaman?

Authors, however, can allow their own imaginations free rein when creating a world. They can fill it with their own visions, values, beliefs, and prejudices. Regardless of what is being created, certain questions common to all societies and cultures must be addressed by the author. What is the society’s explanation of the world? Where are they heading (the future)?  What should they do (ethics and values)? How should they attain our goals? What is true and false (knowledge)? Where did they come from (origins)?

Next week we’ll look at myths and legends.  Rita Bay (ritabay.com)


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World Building, Vampires, The Aegis, and Release Day

the aegis ecoverThe Aegis, my vampire paranormal will be released today by Champagne Books. Since the villains are common – VAMPIRES – world building involved balancing the vampire villains with a group of heroes who hunt them. Both exist in the mundane world as we know it, but are governed by certain rules – like invitations to enter someone’s home. Everyone has his or her own ideas about vampires. Even about whether vampires are evil or not. I mean, really, somebody sucking your blood out of your living body doesn’t make for good friends.

My Light Warriors, all of them gorgeous and practically immortal, battle the evil vampires, who are not-so-gorgeous and smell like road kill. Of course, it’s a romance, so the heroine is a beauty who has no idea about her heritage as a vampire hunter, especially one who occasionally sprouts fangs herself. Melinda is surrounded by folks who know what’s going on with her as she prepares to take her place at her lifemate’s side, except, of course, Melinda herself. The humor of her situation is balanced by the danger that surrounds her and the Light Warrior who has pledged to protect her until she can become his Shield Bearer.

Check out the cover by Petra and blurb for The Aegis. Click the cover or HERE to read an excerpt or buy.


Melinda Kildare, antiquarian and rare book dealer extraordinaire, returns to her shop after an estate sale with a massive, sealed barrel. Too late, she discovers that the Aegis medallion that traps her head-first in the bottom of the barrel is the bait used by a family of vampires to capture and enslave women of power.

Light Warrior Damian Sinclair who has battled the Dark Ones for centuries answers Melinda’s call—the Call of a lifemate. While protecting her from the Dark Ones who pursue her relentlessly, he introduces her to passion, love, and her heritage as a Shield Bearer of the Light.

Will they find happiness as they unite to fight the Dark Ones or fall victims to the Dark forces ranged against them?


“Celebrating Romance Across the Ages”
ritabay.com with Rita Bay’s Blog

“The Aegis” Champagne Books, April, 2013
“Her Teddy Bare” Champagne’s Carnal Passions, May, 2013
“Search & Rescue” Secret Cravings, July, 2013
“Finding Eve” Champagne Books, September, 2013
“Into the Lyons’ Den” Champagne Books, 2012
“His Obsession” Siren BookStrand, 2012
“His Desire” Siren BookStrand, 2012


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