Today I’m hosting Maria Siopis, author of Leto of the Ionian Sea, part of the Resist and Triumph anthology. All profits from this anthology, put together by Grace R. Duncan, go to The Trevor Project and GLAAD. Keep reading for an excerpt and giveaway below!
Tricia, I’m truly grateful for hosting me on your blog,
First of all, I want to thank Grace R. Duncan for taking an action toward what she felt was unjust and unfair, and all the writers who donated their stories and talent for a worthy cause. Each story has a voice, and each author skillfully produced fascinating characters to remind us that humanity could be saved if we only let words guide our way.
Similarly, I let the amorphous words in my head lead the way thus creating, Leto of the Ionian Sea, which is a story of resistance and triumph and draws a lot from my background. However, that was not my initial intention when I began typing the first letters on the screen, but soon my mind, heart and Homer took over. His legendary writings of Iliad and Odyssey filled me expending my desire to create something entirely different of what he offered to humanity. Besides where could we uncover democracy other than ancient Greece?
I hope that my miniscule contribution will make a difference in a world that is full of the modern plagues of hate, prejudice and governmental uncertainties. I hope our collective effort is successful. Below is an excerpt of my story where I introduce the idea of equality:
The sun was brighter today than any other day. Leto squinted her eyes and let the warmth engulf her face and body. She stayed in front of the gates as if she was afraid to progress forward. She was terrified of what the gods would reveal. She looked back at the palace and then moved forward. Melpo was behind her holding the basket with the gods’ offerings: Honey, and oils to burn for them. Leto wished to please them first before she evoked from them to reveal her fate. The pathway to the temple was narrow and wrapped around the mountain that was infertile of any vegetation. The soil was dry already, and the rain was evaporated returning to the gods. Dust cloaked Leto’s feet, and her sandals collected specks of dirt, but she continued walking. She could see the temple emerging gloriously at the peak of the mountain. The sculptures of deer were in full view, and the three steps at the entrance were decorated with leafs of daphne. She sat on the steps wiping off the sweat from her forehead and stared at the golden sea.
“My lady we have to go in before the sun reaches its zenith. It will be disrespectful to do it afterwards.”
Leto knew that Melpo was right. The offering had to be done before the sun was on top of the temple. How did she know her land’s customs? She was new and came from another state. Did her people make their offering to the gods the same way?
“You look perplexed my lady. We do our offerings to the gods the same way. Yet, my land is better…” Melpo said but stopped realizing that what she uttered was offending. “I’m sorry for being so blunt. I miss my land.”
“How did you get captured?”
“Our ship capsized. Poseidon was angry with us for an unknown reason. I was the only one not to cross Tartarus and I was saved by your people. The gods have plans for me.”
“Are you from the upper class?”
“There is no upper class in my state. Everyone is equal.”
Leto thought about this new idea that never crossed her mind before and made her reconsider what was known to her. She always felt that her land’s law was unjust, but no class would create turmoil and unrest. She wanted to ask this new servant how it was possible to maintain order, but the sun was progressing. She got up and offered her hand to the slave as if they were equal.
Blurb of the anthology:
As 2017 opened, the United States took several steps back in the progress toward equality. In response, a group of authors has stepped up to offer positive stories of hope and love. In an effort to help fight and support those groups who are facing even greater challenges, we wrote these stories to offer a small amount of aid.
Stories of hope, resistance, and ultimately triumph fill the pages of this anthology.
All proceeds of the anthology go to The Trevor Project and GLAAD to help fight the effects of the dark times we’re facing.
Rafflecopter: We are offering a free paperback copy of Resist and Triumph so we encourage everyone to enter our giveaway. It truly is a remarkable anthology.
Maria Siopis possesses a MPA in Emergency Management and Homeland Security. She completed her dissertation, “Avian Influenza (H5N1): The Doctrine of Social Disassociation, Quarantine, and Emergency Preparedness,” in 2006 tackling a non-fictional theme. Other than writing she obsesses over climatic or manmade catastrophes and continuously attempts to conceptualize needed actions. Her first novel, The World That Will Never Be, was published in 2017. The author lives in New York and is currently working on her second novel, The Music Hall of Dreams which will be released late in 2018.