Cover for Goddess of Love!
Thought I'd share the cover for my June 07 Goddess Summoning Book, GODDESS OF LOVE. It's the fifth book in this fabulous series, and it was certainly fun to have Venus has a heroine. Goddess of Spring fans - Persephone has a cameo in this one, too. Meddlesome Hera also plays a part. Here's an excerpt teaser:
The set up - Persephone has taken Venus shopping in Tulsa. This is the Goddess of Love's first visit to the modern mortal world, and they are capping off their lovely shopping day by relaxing with martinis at Persephone's fav Tulsa restaurant (coincidentally, it's my favorite Tulsa restaurant, too!), Lola's at the Bowery.
Persephone shook her head and tried, unsuccessfully, to stifle a giggle. “I can’t believe you actually bought that thing.”
“How could I not after reading its name?” She pointed to the shiny black box that had the word VENUS D’MY LAY written in bright scarlet letters across it. “How do you open it?”
“You’re going to open it? Right here?”
Venus glanced up at her, violet eyes bemused. “Why not?”
“Well, it looks like a...”
Venus managed to wrestle open the lid and slid out its contents. Holding it up, she finished for Persephone, “A big, black phallus!”
“It certainly does.” Persephone stared. “Actually, it’s disturbingly real. What does it feel like?”
Venus caressed the long, black shaft, running her slender fingers knowingly over its rounded head, and flesh-like ridges and veins. “It feels nice. Much more realistic than the phalli the ancients carve. I mean, really. Not even a god’s penis truly gets as hard as marble, no matter what Apollo may boast. How does it work?” Venus enthusiastically shook the huge dildo with a jerking-it-off motion, getting several interesting looks from men sitting at the bar, which she chose, for the moment, not to acknowledge. “It says it vibrates, but it’s not vibrating,” she frowned.
“Give me that thing. You have to put in the batteries.”
“Modern magic that makes it work.”
“Oooh.” Venus sipped her martini while she watched Persephone insert batteries into the shaft of the phallus. “So those odd looking things will really cause it to vibrate?”
“That’s what the girl at Pricilla’s Toy Box said.”
“She was oddly pierced. Did she remind you of an Amazon warrior, too?” Venus asked.
“Now that you mention it, there was something wild and warrior-like about her. She might not quite be an Amazon, but I think Diana would approve of her.” Persephone said. “Here. Try turning it on now.” She passed the penis across the table and pointed to the hidden switch in its base. Venus stroked it on. The huge member came alive, humming happily.
Venus gasped. “By Zeus’s swinging testicles! It is magic!”
“Okay,” Persephone looked quickly around the chic restaurant, frowning severely at the men at the bar who were clearly being very entertained by Venus’s uninhibited show. She took the vibrator from the goddess, flipped it off, and put it back in its box. “You really might want to rethink the divine genitalia cursing.”
“The tits and testicles of the Olympians just aren’t used as curses here.” She dropped the VENUS D’MY LAY in the shopping bag and unobtrusively kicked the bag under their table.
“Persephone. I am Goddess of Love,” Venus kept her voice low but firm. “It’s always appropriate for me to curse using references to genitals. Anyone’s genitals.”
“Do you want to fit in here?”
“Of course! I adore modern mortals. I can already tell that the men are appreciative without being sycophants. And the women move with such a delicious sense of freedom and power. I plan on spending many happy days exploring this wonderful kingdom.”
“Then leave the genitals of the gods and goddesses out of it.”
Venus frowned, looking unusually pensive. “I’m not sure I can. You know I prefer to refer to love whenever I can.”
Persephone raised one delicate eyebrow. “Love?”
“Naturally. Genitals equal love – love equal genitals. Persephone, darling, do we need to have a more private talk? How have your orgasms been lately? Are you experiencing multiple releases? And when you don’t have a partner, have you been pleasuring yourself adequately?”
Persephone raised her hands, palms out. “Stop. You win. Use whatever curses please you most. Just be prepared to be questioned about them.”
“I’m always prepared to answer questions about love,” Venus smiled sweetly. “But first I want…” she caught the young waitress’s eye and waggled her fingers at their two almost empty martini glasses.
“Did you ladies want another round?”
“Darling, you said your name was Jenny, didn’t you?” Venus asked.
“That’s right,” the waitress smiled. “Two more martinis?”
“Yes, but this time let’s try The Wake,” Persephone said.
“Excellent! You’ll love it. I bring those right out.”
“The Wake?” Venus asked Persephone after Jenny hurried off.
“It’s yummy – chocolate liqueur, espresso, vodka, ice crystals…” she licked her lips and shivered in delight. “Trust me on this.”
“Oh, I do! It sounds decadent. I’m certain I’ll love it. I’ve loved everything else in this kingdom.”
“Okay, you’re really going to have to quit calling it that. There’s no such thing as a kingdom of Tulsa. It’s just Tulsa. Like Rome is just Rome, not the kingdom of Rome.”
Venus scoffed. “Try telling those obsessively patriotic ancient Romans they’re not a kingdom.”
“Point taken. I used a bad example. Here’s the thing – you can be eccentric and different here – that’s fine. You’re incredibly beautiful–”
“Why thank you darling!” Venus interrupted.
“I’m just stating the truth. Anyway, you can get away with being…well…what modern mortals will consider weird because of your beauty.”
“Weird? I am not weird.”
“By Athena’s widening ass you certainly are!” Persephone said, mimicking her friend’s voice and using one of her all-time favorite curses.
Venus’s violet eyes sparkled. “Athena’s ass is getting big. Come on. Admit it. She’s become far too serious! All ‘Look at me! I’m the grey-eyed Goddess of War, Wisdom, and the Arts.’” She exaggerated a yawn. “She needs to loosen up, and in more ways than one. A few stretching exercises and a good jog would help her out as much as taking a lover or two.”
“You’re incorrigible,” Persephone laughed. “And you’re not going to get me off the subject that easy. You can use your genital curses. You can even get way too personal about other people’s love lives. But you can’t go around calling Tulsa a kingdom.”
“Fine fine fine. It’s not a kingdom. It’s a city. I’ve got it. I’ll remember. It’s just that I’m having so much fun! I adore Tulsa and its mixture of cheeky modern men and confident modern women, especially because none of them have any idea who I am.”
“I told you it would be a freeing experience to visit the modern world.”
“Well I am Love, and I can officially say that Love is in love with Tulsa!”
The waitress put two fresh martinis on their table, along with two slender white slices of an exquisitely decorated cake. “Here are your Wakes, ladies. And the owner, Lola, is testing out a new dessert – personal wedding cake. Please sample it with her blessing.”
“Wedding cake!” Venus laughed and clapped her hands together in a spontaneous show of girlish pleasure. “How perfectly appropriate.”
“Are you getting married?” The young waitress asked.
“Me? No! I’ve been married forever. That’s not why it’s appropriate. It’s just that I am Love. Naturally, wedding cake should be a favorite of mine.”
The waitress continued to smile politely, but her face had turned into a question mark.
“She means she’s fixed up a lot of her friends. Sometimes we just call her Love,” Persephone explained.
“She’s good at fixing up people? That’s cool.”
“You have no idea,” Venus mumbled through a big bite of wedding cake. “Paris and Helen…Pygmalion and–”
“Thanks for the cake!” Persephone interrupted smoothly. “And keep an eye on our martinis; we’ll want at least one more round.”
When she was gone Persephone bit into her own slice of cake while she shook her head at Venus.
“What? You don’t like the cake. I think it’s wonderful.”
“The cake is excellent. You, on the other hand, are a mess.”
Venus took a sip of the new martini and moaned softly in pleasure. “By Apollo’s golden phallus this is delicious!”
“Venus, could you please please please try to remember that to the modern mortals Troy existed thousands of years ago? And to them Pygmalion carving Galatea out of marble was just a myth.”
“Pygmalian? A myth? Impossible. He was a dreadful woman hater before I played matchmaker.” She grinned mischievously. “Matchmaking with a statue. I must say that I outdid myself that time. How could people believe that love story was a myth?”
“You knew them!” Persephone hissed. “And you’re used to magic, unlike modern mortals.”
Venus cocked her head to the side and studied Persephone. “You seem very tense. When was the last time you orgasmed?”
“That has nothing to do with it.”
“Of course it does. When was the last time?”
“Five days ago.”
“See there!” Venus nodded vigorously as if she’d just proved an excellent point to an attentive audience. “That’s your problem.”
“I don’t have a problem.”
“Well you won’t if we get you properly laid.” Venus looked around the restaurant, clearly checking out the men at the bar.
“No. Really. I’m fine. And if I’m not I do have a rather long list of mortal men I can call on,” she said smugly.
“Excellent. Then do so. Five days without a proper orgasm is entirely too long. But are you sure you don’t want to me work a little love magic for you?” She waggled her long, shapely fingers and diamond-like glitter began to form in the air around them.
“No!” Persephone yelped, grabbing Venus’s hand and causing the love dust to fall in a small, sparkling heap on their table. She quickly blew on the powdery substance and then went into a sneezing fit when it danced in the air around them before disappearing back into the Goddess of Love’s fingertips.
“Be careful,” Venus said as she finished the last of her cake. “That stuff isn’t good for your lungs.”
“Thanks for reminding me,” Persephone said sardonically while she sniffed delicately. “Just nevermind on the love magic stuff. I’m doing fine on my own. Plus, you know what happens when you get too involved in the love life of the gods.”
“What are you talking about? I have made uncounted matches – happy matches.”
“Yes, you have. Happy matches between mortals. When you mess with our love lives, as in the immortals, of which I am one, things tend to go wrong. Drastically wrong.”
“Exhibit A – Athena and Odysseus. You decided Athena needed to love a mortal. Look me in the eye and tell me your meddling didn’t cause the man to be absent from his wife and family for 20 years.”
Venus shrugged and looked uncomfortable. “If Athena hadn’t been so obsessive that little affair wouldn’t have been such a bad thing.”
“So you’re admitting it was a bad thing?”
“Fine. Exhibit B – the Scylla/Glaucus/Circe debacle.”
“That’s not fair. I had no idea that Circe was so attached to Glaucus. I thought he and Scylla made a lovely match. You know I did think he was just scrumptious after he became a water deity. How was I to know that Scylla rejecting him would make Circe so jealous?” Venus pouted. “I really don’t know how you can hold that against me.”
“Okay. How about Exhibit C – Zeus and–”
“Okay! I get your point. Although how you could blame me for any of Zeus’s silly affairs I’ll never know,” she muttered. “Anyway, I won’t meddle in your love life. Right now,” she added under her breath. “But I do have the urge to, I don’t know, arrange something for these fabulous mortals. Kind of as a payback for having such a lovely time in their city.” She enunciated the word distinctly, getting a grin from Persephone.
“Hey, meddle away with the mortals. It’s fine with me. Whether they are aware of it or not, they’re lucky to have the Goddess of Love be so interested.”
“Really!” Venus brightened. “Matchmaking always gets my womanly juices flowing.”
“Venus. Please. TMI.”
“Too much information. Keep your woman’s juices to yourself.”
“You know, for Spring you really are a prude.” She narrowed her eyes at Persephone. “When was the last time you gazed at the beauty of your sacred lotus blossom with a mirror?”
Persephone choked on her martini.
“Just as I thought. You need to spend more private time with the core of your womanhood.”
“Mortals. Focus on the mortals, Venus.” Persephone said between coughs.
“If you insist…” Venus said, turning her attention to the morals surrounding them even while she filed away in her mind that she’d have Persephone sent a special mirror when she got back to Mount Olympus.
Then all thoughts of Persephone and mirrors fled her mind as a group of laughing men entered the restaurant. They took seats at the gleaming oak bar and began a good-natured flirtation with Lola herself, who had emerged from the kitchen and was one of those timelessly attractive women who could have been anywhere from thirty-five to fifty-five, and who would still be confident and sexy at sixty-five and seventy-five. Obviously, the group of men were regulars as well as favorites with Lola and her wait staff.
“Who are they?” Venus asked Persephone.
“Firemen…” Persephone purred the word.