By Elizabeth Andrews (Guest Blogger)
As some of you may have guessed from that title, I am a big Princess Bride fan. Okay, that may be an understatement. I saw the movie in the theater when it was originally released eons ago, and I cannot even begin to guess how many times I have seen it in the years since. So many times that my children refuse to watch it with me, because they hate when I recite lines with the characters. (Of course, my children feel the same way when I recite lines with Harry Potter and his friends, or when I'm watching any LOTR films, or Dirty Dancing... Now that I think about it, my sons may have a point and I might have a problem.)
Anyway, one of the best parts of the movie, aside from the romance and the humor, is Inigo Montoya and his quest to avenge his father's death. He's been on this mission nearly all of his life, and he hasn't thought past his search for the six-fingered man. I suppose, having been on that hunt for so long, he may have given up hope of succeeding, which would account for not thinking about what he might do after he's killed the six-fingered man. After all, he's failed for so long, success must seem unattainable. Then, when he finally reaches his goal, well, what's next? He's survived and now he has an unplanned future staring him in the face. Now what?
While I was thinking about Inigo, I realized he isn't the only character I enjoy who's got revenge on his mind. Westley gets his own revenge on Prince Humperdinck for killing him and trying to marry Buttercup, though his is less final, more 'haha, I won, you lost'. I just sat through Wyatt Earp again last week, and there's all sorts of vengeance-seeking in that one, old West-style, on both sides. A really terrific revenge story arc takes place over the course of the most recent Batman movie trilogy, with events in the first movie setting the stage for the daughter of Ra's Al Ghul to get some payback on Bruce Wayne in the third installment for killing her father.
Another of my favorites is Troy, though Agammemnon shamelessly uses his brother Menelaus's quest for revenge on Paris for the theft of his wife as a really good excuse to take over another country. But Achilles does seek and get revenge on Hector for his accidental killing of Achilles's cousin. I must admit, though, that all the revenge is not my favorite part of this movie--it's the Greek mythology (okay, and Sean Bean, if I'm being totally honest; that man is mine! Mine, I tell you! Ahem.) If you're a fan of Greek myths, as I am, there are plenty of great stories there filled with quests for revenge, not to mention romance! The gods and goddesses aren't above getting their own vengeance either, taking many opportunities to show one another up or smack down a fellow deity for a slight. Aphrodite's unlovely husband Hephaestus gets a little revenge on his unfaithful wife when she strays with Ares. Even Zeus's wife Hera seeks revenge more than once on the objects of her husband's affections, or on the offspring his extra-marital affairs produce. Poor Hercules. She really puts that guy through the wringer before grudgingly allowing him to take his place on Olympus.
A Greek myth I've always found fascinating has to do with Perseus and Medusa. Medusa, depending on the version of her story that you read, has either been extremely foolish and bragged about her hair being more beautiful than Athena's, or been raped by Poseidon in Athena's temple, and then turned into a monster. Either way, I feel bad for her.
Perseus, however, is on a quest to rescue his mother from the clutches of a lech. Perseus hasn't had it easy--his grandfather locked his mother Danae away in a tower after being warned her son would one day kill him. Pretty girl locked in a tower = no son, right? That's what Acrisius thinks, but he's forgotten about Zeus and his proclivity for shapeshifting to get his women. Fast-forward a few months, and Acrisius locks his daughter and infant grandson into a trunk and dumps them in the sea. Except a fisherman rescues them.
Eventually, the king Polydectes sets his sights on Danae, who has no interest in being his queen. The king is persistent, and wily. He pretends he's chosen a new bride and each of his subjects must give him a gift; Perseus must bring him the head of Medusa. Eventually, after a series of adventures and misadventures, he does just that, wielding it to turn Polydectes to stone and get a bit of revenge for his treatment of Perseus and Danae.
In my paranormal romance, Hunting Medusa, I've taken Medusa and Perseus's story and twisted it a little. My hero Kallan Tassos is a descendant of Perseus, and he's still bent on killing Medusa, getting revenge for her escaping his family for millenia and some glory for himself. Only the Medusa isn't the monster he's been taught about all his life. And there go all his plans for revenge.
I want to offer enormous thanks to Lisabet for offering to host me on her blog. This has been so much fun for me, and hopefully for you, too! I would love to hear about some of your favorite stories of revenge, whether movie, book, or mythology. For everyone who tells me about those revenge stories within seven days of this blog post, I'll enter you into a drawing for my ebook!
~ Elizabeth Andrews
The Medusa Trilogy, Book 1
When Kallan Tassos tracks down the current Medusa, he expects to find a monster. Instead he finds a wary, beautiful woman, shielded by a complicated web of spells that foils his plans for a quick kill and retrieval of her protective amulet.
Andrea Rosakis expects the handsome Harvester to go for the kill. Instead, his attempt to take the amulet imprinted on her skin without harming her takes her completely by surprise. And ends with the two of them in a magical bind—together. But Kallan isn’t the only Harvester on Andi’s trail…
It was one of those days when having the Medusa’s fabled power to turn people to stone would really come in handy.
Andrea Rosakis did not, however, have that ability, not this week, anyway. Even though she was the reigning Medusa.
She glared at the man on her back porch, wondering if he could ever understand how lucky he was she wasn’t suffering from PMS this week. And why wouldn’t he stop talking? Her fingers itched to slam the door.
“…if you just have five minutes, ma’am,” he concluded.
She narrowed her gaze on the vacuum beside him. “No, thank you.” And how the hell had he found her all the way out here? No one ever bothered to follow her rough, muddy driveway all the way to the top, even if they did ignore the “No Trespassing” signs posted at the foot of it. Not to mention the protective warding she had set at the boundaries of the entire property. Sure, it wasn’t the heavy artillery of protection spells, but no one else had ever gotten past it. This man however, had not only ignored the signs and the subtle “go away” protections, but managed the entire bumpy, muddy track into the woods and halfway up the mountain. Just to hear her say, “No.”
And he didn’t look discouraged. At all.
Andi almost wished she were PMSing this week, though it would be a real pain in the ass to have to get rid of a life-sized stone statue of a vacuum salesman.
Or maybe she could keep it. He was very pretty, even if he annoyed her. He was tall and broad, his inky black hair was a tad too long, and his bright green eyes held her attention. At least as stone, he’d be silent and still pretty. She gave herself a mental shake. “I’m sorry, but I don’t have time for this—”
“When would be a better time?”
He did blink at that, but his smile never disappeared. “I’ll have to check my calendar.”
She snorted, then clapped her free hand over her mouth. Laughing would not discourage the man. “Look, I’m sure it’s a great vacuum, but I don’t need it. I don’t want to see how it works, and I’d like you to get off my property.”
His smile did fade a little bit. “Well, I suppose, if that’s what you really want.”
She quirked an eyebrow, trying not to smile again. He had the faintest hint of an accent, but she couldn’t place it. Not without hearing him talk some more, and she didn’t want to encourage that either, or he’d just keep trying to sell her an expensive vacuum she didn’t need.
“Maybe I could talk you into meeting me for coffee sometime then,” he said.
Her jaw dropped. The cute salesman was hitting on her. For half a second, she indulged the fantasy of a date with the hunk. A real date, maybe ending with a real kiss. Her pulse quickened. Then she remembered one good date led to more, and eventually, it led to guys running away from her, gibbering like idiots when PMS struck. She shut her mouth and ignored the regret burning in her middle. “Sorry, but no.”
“You’re a hard woman,” he said lightly, his bright gaze sliding down to her mouth. “I’ll leave my card in case you change your mind. About the coffee, that is.” He forced a small card into her hand and picked up his vacuum.
Andi stared after him as he strode off her porch. The bulky vacuum looked like it weighed nothing in his hand, swinging at his side on his way to the shiny, new truck parked behind her car.
When he took one hand from the steering wheel to wave at her, she stopped herself from lifting her hand in response. He turned the truck around and vanished down the drive into the trees. Frowning, she went back inside and shut the door, then locked it and re armed the alarm. He’d tossed the vacuum into the bed of the truck. A very strong salesman.
Who didn’t seem to care the impending rain was going to damage his expensive vacuum.
She turned back to the door and stared out the narrow window beside it, her heart beating faster now with alarm. Maybe he didn’t realize. Or maybe he really hadn’t come here to sell her a vacuum.
She swallowed hard.
Aunt Celosia had always told the cousins stories of the Harvesters, the men who still hunted for the Medusa. Somehow, Andi had always thought they’d be more frightening. More obvious. Ugly men intent on murder.
If this vacuum salesman was a Harvester, he was sneaky. Of course, if he was a Harvester, he would be sneaky, as Perseus had been when he killed the first Medusa.
She was in a lot of trouble.
Hunting Medusa is available now from Samhain Publishing:
About the Author
Elizabeth Andrews has been a book lover since she was old enough to read. She read her copies of Little Women and the Little House series so many times, the books fell apart. As an adult, her book habit continues. She has a room overflowing with her literary collection right now, and still more spreading into other rooms. Almost as long as she’s been reading great stories, she’s been attempting to write her own. Thanks to a fifth grade teacher who started the class on creative writing, Elizabeth went from writing creative sentences to short stories and eventually full-length novels. Her father saved her poor, callused fingers from permanent damage when he brought home a used typewriter for her.
Elizabeth found her mother’s stash of romance novels as a teenager, and-though she loves horror- romance became her very favorite genre, making writing romances a natural progression. There are more than just a few manuscripts, however, tucked away in a filing cabinet that will never see the light of day.
Along with her enormous book stash, Elizabeth lives with her husband of twenty years and two teenage sons, though no one else in the house reads nearly as much as she does. When she’s not at work or buried in books or writing, there is a garden outside full of herbs, flowers and vegetables that requires occasional attention.
Blog: Elizabeth Andrews Writes http://elizabethandrewswrites.wordpress.com/