As a fan of history, I feel a strong pull towards the periods I write about and I'm deeply passionate about my chosen eras. I suppose I have to be if I'm going to be carrying out such extensive research.
However, I’ve often wondered if there’s something deeper going on here, like a past life link.
I have always believed in reincarnation. It makes sense to me. And I truly believe in the idea of soul mates, but not nessessarily the happy-ever-after-only-one-soul-mate-for-me ideal. No, I believe that soul mates are meant to teach us something and that there is a reason they come into our life.
Could I have lived in the times I choose to write about? Well, who's to say that I didn't?
In my novel Frozen In Time (Book 1 in the Blood of the Gods Trilogy), the setting is Ancient Greece, which is an era I've always been fascinated with ever since I was a young girl. In Book 2 of this trilogy we will be travelling through the Middle Ages of England and Renaissance Italy, both time periods that also interest and inspire me. And then, in Book 3, we arrive in Regency England and travel on to Italy and Switzerland. I am working on both these books now and hope to be publishing them by the end of this year.
Another thing I've always loved and seems to conjure up past life memories for me is Celtic music. I cannot explain how much this music connects with my soul. It really gives me shivers when I hear it. Though I've yet to write a novel about the Celts, there is an element of Celtic myth in Frozen In Time, where I've kind of mixed Greek myth with Celtic myth, and not forgetting the little sprinkling of Norse myth I added too.
And talking of Norse, I recently discovered a new fascination with Scandinavia. On my first visit to Sweden ten years ago, where my brother lives, I felt quite strange and tearful when I first caught sight of the little wooden houses along the shore as the plane landed. I became instantly enchanted and felt that I was entering a fairytale land.The scenery was absolutely breathtaking, even if it was quite foggy at the time. It all seemed familiar to me, and yet I’d never really known anything about Scandinavia up until then. I mean, I naively thought it always snowed!
So, whether I actually lived in these times or in these lands in a previous life, it doesn't really matter because my fascination inspires me to create stories, which is what I truly love to do.
Thank you for having me on your blog.
FROZEN IN TIME
Set in Ancient Greece, at the time of Alexander the Great, a time when the spirit world of gods and goddesses and other immortal beings bleeds into the world of mortals, Frozen in Time is an engaging story of a love that can transcend anything. Even death or banishment to otherworldly realms and the transformation of the lovers into immortal beings.
After the death of his wife in childbirth, Philip, grief stricken and suicidal, joins the army of his half-brother Alexander, with whom he has a very uneasy relationship. But the world of immortals has other plans for him and the vampiric monster Scylla plays on his grief by seducing him in the form of his dead wife. Horrified when he discovers that he too is now one of the immortals, it becomes his life’s quest to escape Scylla, find a way of destroying her forever and to reunite himself with his beloved wife's soul.
FROZEN IN TIME EXCERPT
Philip could not believe his eyes. His Amaranthea. Sweet Amaranthea - a temptress in the silver moonlight.
He felt as if he were in a trance. Perhaps all the wine he had consumed had gone to his head. Trying to blink the vision away, he realized this was no alcohol-induced apparition. No, this beauty was alive. Solid. As clearly defined as the craggy rock at his side, a glorious sight clad in a scarlet cloak.
Strange mysterious music rang out as she called his name. Bewitching. Caressing.
‘Come my love, be mine.’
Without a second thought, he took her jewelled hand and let her lead the way along the rocky mountainside.
The air was thick with dust. Down below in Darius’ camp the flames from the torches outside the tents glowed brightly, flickering in the light breeze. Alexander had instructed his men to monitor Darius’ every move and nothing should have deterred Philip. But Amaranthea was his life.
Had been his life.
He wouldn’t even be in this war if it had not been for her. In all honesty, it meant nothing to him. He cared not whether he lived nor died.
Amaranthea led him to an opening buried deep within the jagged rock. Philip hesitated, turning to glance back at the campsite he had just left behind.
Through the hazy air he could see in the distance the masses of tents where the army rested for the night. They had all feasted well, as if tonight was their last, in preparation for tomorrow’s battle. By walking away, he had betrayed them all. Betrayed Alexander.
But the life of a soldier didn’t suit him. The thought of the terror and bloodshed he witnessed made him want to vomit. He had no real desire to kill anymore. And yet he had. So many times. It was what he was paid to do. But there were also times when he simply wished that an enemy spear would soon put an end to his misery.
Amaranthea’s voice drew him out of his dark thoughts, ‘Come, my love,’ she said, the breeze catching her long red hair.
He turned towards her, meeting her dark gaze. How could I have wished to die? he thought. We are together again.
They stepped into the vast cave. It was pitch black, but as Philip followed Amaranthea she seemed to glow, lighting his way up ahead. Philip blinked in astonishment at the network of passages that clearly came into focus.
As they walked the light illuminated something. Philip jumped back as the figure of a winged serpent with a woman’s head leapt out at him. The cave was painted. Walls covered in images, both beautiful and terrible. Recoiling, Philip caught the image of a serpent woman devouring the head of a child.
‘Why have you brought me here?’ he asked.
No reply. He paused, staring at the figure of Amaranthea walking steadily ahead of him. More paintings of monstrous creatures and women with half-serpent bodies, of winged maidens and warriors with snakes and torches in their hair came to view.
‘Why have you brought me here?’ he asked again.
Still no answer, but he could not help but follow Amaranthea towards a welcoming gleam of light. The sound of gently plucked harp strings floated in the air towards them, a melody so calming to a man whose ears had grown accustomed to the cries of war.
On entering the chamber, the intense heat hit Philip’s face. Fires and torches blazed brightly. Shadows from the flames danced on the ochre-painted walls, and fragrant oils burned - awakening his senses to memories of times long passed. On the ground, he noticed a scattering of rose petals. Whatever this dwelling-place was, he soon began to feel at ease.
Amaranthea guided him towards a large bed draped in shiny silk of crimson and gold. Philip sat his aching body on it. He so longed for a good night’s sleep. To lie back on those sumptuous cushions.
Amaranthea stood before him, holding his gaze. Her dark eyes flashed. Removing her scarlet cloak, she let it drop to the ground. Naked, her pale skin glistened in the glowing torch light, her red hair cascading over her shoulders. Philip had never seen anything so beautiful. So perfect, like a goddess. Overwhelmed with desire, he pulled her to him...
They made love. He had waited a long time for this.
‘Amaranthea,’ he cried.
Then everything changed. She hissed like a snake. Alarmed, Philip opened his eyes and to his disgust, he found himself staring into a pair of red demonic eyes. This was no longer Amaranthea but a strange woman that hissed like a serpent. In place of Amaranthea’s slender hands, sharp claws reached for him.
He tried to move away but it was too late. Something sharp pierced him in the neck and he felt his blood oozing out from the wound. He roared with pain. The creature pinned him down and began to suck his blood, licking and devouring it. He grew weaker. Then once again, he heard Amaranthea’s sweet voice.
‘My love, you are dying. I will give you back your life if you promise to be with me always. Until the end of time. I will not let the gods take you from me. You are far too beautiful for that. But you must be mine. Always. You will never love another. Do I have your word?’
He could barely speak. ‘Yes.’
Blood gushed into his mouth. He tasted it and hungered for more.
As more hot blood flowed into his veins, his heart throbbed strongly, its pulse heavy in his ears. He shuddered, felt cold, shivered. His eyesight began to flicker. Images of his life flashed before him. His childhood. His mother. His brothers. His wedding to Amaranthea …
Marie Symeou was born in North London, where she still lives. She is the author of FROZEN IN TIME, the first part of a historical fantasy trilogy set in Ancient Greece, and AGE OF DREAMS, a semi-autobiographical tale of fame, love and addiction set in the 1980s. She is also a singer/songwriter and an aspiring screenwriter.
Frozen In Time on Amazon:
Frozen In Time on Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/frozen-in-time-marie-symeou/1107079937?ean=2940032825166
Frozen In Time on Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/98194