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R.C. Berry

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Set In Stone: The Life & Death of Medusa
by R.C. Berry   

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Category: 

Historical Fiction

Publisher:  Touche Publishing ISBN-10:  0984453288 Type: 
Pages: 

256

Copyright:  Feb, 2010 ISBN-13:  9780984453283
Fiction

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Enter the home of the Gods, where anything is possible and, your every desire can come true. Relive the life of a beautiful young girl, who finds herself immersed into the decadent and glamorous life on Mount Olympus. Unique and innocent, she becomes alluring to many of the gods, and ends up caught in the middle of rivalries, lust, and the fight for supremacy. In this world, she discovers a love that will test a friendship, and experiences a betrayal that will brand her a monster.

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Medusa is perhaps one of the most intriguing characters in all of Mythology.  However, she is also the most mysterious.  Everyone is aware of her existence, the serpent-headed moster of old, whose very gaze turns all to stone.  But, how did she come to that? How did a being of such power meet her end, decapitated by a mere mortal?  Most importantly, what truly makes one a monster?

Born to ancient sea gods, and the only mortal of her kind, Medusa was taken from her home at birth.  Raised on earth, by a consort of the gods, she was a product of both worlds, yet belonged to neither.  Her beauty became legend in her village and, once her cousins noticed the beautiful young woman she'd become, they invited her to Mount Olympus.

Faced with the prospect of attending Panathenia, the birthday celebration of the goddess she worships and admires, Medusa could hardly refuse.  At sixteen, she is thrust into the world of Olympus, where decadence abounds, and every desire is fulfilled.  Surrounded by those with unlimited power, she felt that anything was possible.

Because of her beauty and spirit, she is noticed by more than one god, quickly becomes a favorite and, inevitably, a prize to be won.  In the home of the gods, medusa finds acceptance, friendship, and love.  She also finds herself in the crossfire of rivalries dating back centuries.

Fall into a story of love, jealousy and betrayal.  Immerse yourself into the world of the Immortals.  Follow the journey of one woman's life, where every choice can mean the difference between life or death.  Experience the wrath of the gods, from which she never survives... or does she?


Excerpt

Welcome To Mount Olympus

A lofty staircase extended before them. The first step was roughly hewn from the mountain rock. Each subsequent step was a little more finely
crafted than the last, until a thin layer of fog began to cover them. Looking down, Medusa could no longer see her feet. It was as if she was
walking on air. There in front of her, loomed an immense palace, etched from the finest marble. The palace was a stark white, as white as the
clouds it seemed to reside on. They stood in front of gilded double doors, reaching fifty feet into the air. The doors opened before them,
revealing a grand foyer. Once her foot hit the first step, she had a strong sense of foreboding. Suddenly afraid, she quickened her steps. Once
they crossed the entrance, it was as if she was had entered a completely different world. For all the beauty and serenity of the outside, there
was equal chaos on the inside. Ahead to the right was the great room, where the greatest commotion was coming from. There was no doubt
that a festival was occurring. There were Gods, Demigods, and even humans, everywhere. The entire place pulsed with power.

“Daughters!” The exclamation brought with it a crash of thunder. Just on the other side of the entrance to the great hall, Medusa stood
immobilized by the booming roar. Zeus turned his full attention to his daughters. “So, my dears, what is it you have brought to your sister’s
celebration?”

Aglaea stepped forward then. “We have brought our cousin, Father. Daughter of Ceto and Phorcys. Brought into the world by our own hands,
and nurtured by our mother’s breast.” Reaching behind her again, she felt for Medusa. After a second, she felt a hand intertwine with her own.
Grasping it, she pushed Medusa into the great hall. Gasping, Medusa stumbled forward into the middle of the room. She froze in her tracks,
wishing she could melt into the floor. She stood there, feeling as if all eyes were upon her. Automatically, she bent her head low. As she did, a
lock of hair escaped the hood.

Intrigued, Zeus dismounted his throne and approached her. Medusa’s stomach leapt into her throat. She kept her head lowered and her gaze
on the floor. Before long, a pair of large feet came into view. Her chest was heaving with every breath, and she hoped that she could stay
upright, at least until he lost interest. Reaching out, Zeus pulled the tie on her cloak. As he slid the hood from her head, the cloak fluttered to
the floor. Audible gasps could be heard throughout the room. Medusa even noticed the rise of Zeus’s chest. Feeling even more like a freak,
she kept her eyes glued on the ground.

Hearing the uncharacteristic silence, Poseidon turned away from the goddess he was courting and made his way towards the center of the great
hall. He could see his brother, and moved to the side to see what had caught everyone’s attention.

Zeus stared at the top of Medusa’s head, taking her all in. Taking her chin in his hand, he raised her head. At the very last moment, their eyes
met. She had the most interesting green eyes he’d ever seen. Her hair was like sunlight, and her presence was like a mother’s bosom.
Instinctively, Zeus leaned into her. Speaking lower than he intended Zeus said “What is your name, child?”

As she responded, from behind Zeus, a whisper escaped Poseidon’s lips. “……Medusa,” he spoke in wonderment.

Remembering himself, Zeus took a step back from Medusa. Looking around, he noticed everyone’s mesmerized faces. “What an entrance you
have made. It appears you will fit in quite well here. Welcome to Mount Olympus, Medusa,” With a smile, Zeus returned to his throne.

Poseidon finally cleared the fog in his mind. By Zeus! It was Medusa. How long had it been? When he had last visited Eurynome, he
remembered a lovely mop of a child, lovely, sure, but still just a child. What he saw today was no child. But one thing was for sure, it was
certainly Medusa. There was no mistaking that hair. Poseidon decided then and there that he would have her. Not just have her, he would
possess her completely. She would die for him, and she would live for him. She would beg for the chance to be his.


Nearing Zeus’ throne, Medusa felt her legs turn to water. To Zeus’s right… was Athena. She could barely contain her excitement, or her fear.
Medusa never believed this day was even possible. The one Goddess she had always worshipped, not just in deed, but in mind and heart, and
she was seconds away from meeting her. As they approached, Medusa dropped into a deep bow.

“Athena, I would like to present Medusa,” Zeus said.

Medusa gazed at her fully for the first time. Her breath caught in her throat. Athena was extremely tall. She had wide, clear, gray eyes, so sharp
they pierced. They were set in a full face punctuated by a bow mouth. Her braided hair was the color of wheat on a summer day, and coiled
around her head like a serpent. Her neck curved down to broad shoulders and sinuous arms. Her every pore exuded strength. Nearly
breathless, Medusa spoke reverently, “I apologize for not bringing you a gift, My Lady. My visit here was…unexpected.”

Athena extend a hand to her. “Come sit with me, little one.”

Medusa nearly fainted from pleasure. Fighting the urge to giggle, she climbed the stairs, and lounged on a large cushion at Athena’s side. The
Charities chose a spot together, near their father. Medusa felt like she could die at this moment, for she could never be any happier.

“Well, I arrive just a little late, and I’ve been replaced,” a voice teased. Chuckling it continued. “I have not been able to take one step without
hearing of this unbelievable beauty that has stumbled into Mount Olympus… quite literally from what I‘m told.”

Medusa felt the force coming nearer and fought back the panic that was rising. She’d always been told about the jealousy of the Gods, and
hoped beyond hope that Aphrodite did not take offense to her unexpected popularity. She felt a strand of her hair lift.

“What lovely hair. Come dear, turn around and let me look at you,” she said gently.

Shyly, Medusa turned and stood, facing Aphrodite. She was more beautiful than Medusa had ever imagined. Her eyes glittered like ocean
jewels and her lips looked like ripened plums. Medusa felt herself being drawn into her, wanting to be held by her. Aphrodite stared at Medusa
in amazement. It was as if she had been created by her own hand. After a moment, Aphrodite smiled fully at her and clapped her hands,
giggling in glee. “Oh she is absolutely ravishing! How marvelous. Well Medusa, you certainly have turned Mount Olympus upside down,” she
said. Aphrodite watched her intensely. She was such a vibrant thing. She came streaking though Mount Olympus like a shooting star. She held
the promise of fulfilled wishes, and they all wanted to grab a hold of her. Looking up, she caught Athena looking at her.

Then and there, a challenge was put forth, and accepted. Battle lines were drawn, and a silent war would ensue. Athena shot Aphrodite a
triumphant smile. War is what Athena did best. The other goddesses recognized the old rivalry, and began silently wagering on which of the
goddesses would win the worship and devotion of fair Medusa.



Professional Reviews

Awesome read
I loved this story. I couldn't put it down! I liked the romantic and sympathetic aspect on a story we all learn ed in grade school. Fantastic read!

Awesome For Fans of Greek Mythology
Are you a fan of the Greek Mythology ? Love reading the tales of the Greek Gods and Goddesses ? What mischief they get up to at Mount Olympus ?
Set in Stone is the perfect tale for anyone that has ever wondered about Medusa , daughter of a human and a god - the daughter of Eurynoma and Posiedon. Medusa , grew up on earth and experienced all the ways of living like a human but due to growing up being a demi-god - Medusa had the gift of beauty. As she grew older, her beauty became more and more defined. On one occasion , Medusa is invited back to Mount Olympus with her goddess cousins as a teenage girl - it is here that her beauty is discovered by those around her including Aphrodite. As the novel goes along, we read as Aphrodite and Medusa become involved and the tale tends to spin the way of becoming an lesbian tale of love. Feeling hurt , Medusa returns back to Earth and the novel fast-tracks to when she is a women and even stunning than before - she returns to Olympus and it is here that she rekindles her spark with Aphrodite. However, Athena is not impressed with Aphrodite's infatuation with Medusa and from then on it is all downhill for Medusa as she becomes cursed due to her beautiful looks and unfortunately, this is one novel that the sayings "Beauty is a Killer" and "If Looks Could Kill" ring true as we all know how Medusa ended up with a head full of snakes and anyone who looked into her eyes became a statue of granite.
A fun and fantastic tale of what life for Medusa may have been like.
Set in Stone is the perfect read for anyone interested in reading fictional based Greek Mythology novels.


Excellent Read!
Set in Stone does for Greek mythology what Wicked did for the Wizard of Oz! It changes your whole perception of Medusa. Most people just accept that she was a monster to be feared and despised, but was she really? I don't want to give too much away, but if you don't feel something for her by the end of this book, you may want to check your pulse. Great job R.C. Berry, I anxiously await your next book!


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Reader Reviews for "Set In Stone: The Life & Death of Medusa"

Reviewed by May Torres 2/15/2010
When I was first invited to a special preview event to read Set in Stone: The Life and Death of Medusa, I was excited. After having read the novel, not only am I still excited, I’m also honored for having had the opportunity to read it before the general public. What an exquisite journey into Greek Mythology!

Right from the very beginning, with the prologue, R.C. Berry thrusts the reader into a new world. A pair exploring a cave in Greece comes upon an astounding discovery of an ancient sculpture. The two marvel in the beauty of the feminine form before them, questioning why such a masterpiece is without a head.

R.C. Berry quickly answers the query, when she eloquently, begins the tale of the life and death of Medusa. Berry’s descriptive storytelling grabs hold of the reader, and doesn’t let go until they’re fully immersed in the decadence that is, Mount Olympus.

Right away, introducing the most recognizable Greek god and goddesses, R.C. authentically captures the essence of ancient Greece. We get a glimpse of the gods at play, as Berry shows us how insignificant mortals were to the great gods.

R.C. Berry introduces a Medusa unlike ever seen before. Most people have a preconceived notion of who she was, but Berry changes everything we ever thought we knew about Medusa’s life and death. The back story told in this novel, is enough to make one believe that this, is the true story surrounding the Greek myth.

The fast pace of the storytelling makes it difficult to stop turning the pages. What I really love about the novel is the fact that there is something for everyone to enjoy. The hopeless romantic to the hard core Greek mythology buffs will find this a great read. After experiencing Set in Stone, I found myself rethinking my fondness of certain gods and goddesses, and am certain others will too. Well done R.C. Berry!


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