Today I’m hosting the lovely Laura Lam, as I couldn’t be more excited about the publication of the long awaited third installment in the Micah Grey Trilogy, Masquerade. I’m a huge fan of Pantomime (which I gave a rave review in 2012…!) and I’m thrilled to now be part of the blog tour to celebrate this series being complete, and with gorgeous new covers to boot!
Each chapter of the book contains an italicised header which relates to the book in some way, and Laura is here to explain a little bit about this particular myth.
The Princess and the Lily
by Laura Lam
All have heard the tale of Olivia Hyacinth. While her story may have had a basis in fact, it has grown to a myth in the retelling. Her child was stolen by a Chimaera while she was hanging out washing on her farm in Girit.
She’d only turned from her babe for a moment, and when she turned back, a Siren had him in its slick, four fingered front paws. The creature had no hair, and skin like a salamander’s, orange as a sunset and speckled with black spots. Her child was wrapped in a blanket, and the creature wasn’t touching the baby’s bare skin, which was lucky, as many Sirens have a touch of poison.
‘Please, give me back my child,’ Olivia implored.
The creature only stuck out its sticky tongue in response, as if testing the air.
Desperate, Olivia grabbed for the child, but the Siren darted out of the way, and within a blink was gone. Olivia screamed in rage and soon took to the swamps where the Sirens were said to nest, searching until, finally, she saw the speckled orange Chimaera. It had been six months by this point, and her heart hurt to see her baby so much bigger. But he was still alive, a smiling boy with wispy dark curls. A few drops of skin oil in the baby’s milk a day had made the baby immune to the Siren’s deadly touch.
Olivia took out her weapon and snuck closer. She knew that nothing would keep her from her child. Not even one hundred Sirens, or the Lord of the Sun or Lady of the Moon themselves. She moved silently through the swampy marshlands. The Siren had curled up to sleep protectively around her child. Olivia didn’t hesitate, and struck off its head. Her child cried, but soon quieted when she picked him up. She went back to her farm, keeping an even closer watch on her child from thereafter.
— Myths and Legends of Ellada and Girit, Professor Caed Cedar, Royal Snakewood University
Every chapter in the Micah Grey series has a short found document at the start, ranging from a variety of sources: history books, diaries, songs, poetry, and more. It’s basically a sneaky way to add in more worldbuilding and detail about Ellada & the Archipelago.
This is one of the longest excerpts in the book. Professor Caed Cedar is a historian who has written extensively about various aspects of Elladan culture, as well as the cultures of the other islands of the Archipelago. He’s taken a turn to folklore here, telling a myth involving a Chimaera. Chimaera are beings that are somewhat synonymous with fairy stories in our world. They were rumoured to leave changelings or steal babies outright, and thus were feared. They were meant to have vanished long ago, if they ever existed at all. In this trilogy, they might be returning. . .
If you buy Pantomime or Masquerade & send your receipt to Laura, you can claim a free 10k short story, “The Mechanical Minotaur,” set in the same world. If you buy all three, you can claim 60k of free fiction as well. More details here.
The gifted hide their talents, but dare they step into the light?
Micah’s Chimaera powers are growing, until his dark visions overwhelm him. Drystan is forced to take him to Dr Pozzi, to save his life. But can they really trust the doctor, especially when a close friend is revealed to be his spy?
Meanwhile, violent unrest is sweeping the country, as anti-royalist factions fight to be heard. Then three chimaera are attacked, after revealing their existence with the monarchy’s blessing – and the struggle becomes personal. A small sect decimated the chimaera in ancient times and nearly destroyed the world. Now they’ve re-emerged to spread terror once more. Micah will discover a royal secret, which draws him into the heart of the conflict. And he and his friends must risk everything to finally bring peace to their land.
About Laura Lam
Laura Lam was raised near San Francisco, California, by two former Haight-Ashbury hippies. Both of them encouraged her to finger-paint to her heart’s desire, colour outside the lines, and consider the library a second home. This led to an overabundance of daydreams. She relocated to Scotland to be with her husband, whom she met on the internet when he insulted her taste in books. She almost blocked him but is glad she didn’t. At times she misses the sunshine.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour!