We’re so pleased to welcome author Vanessa Mulberry today, with an excerpt from her new novella, Hector and Anatolius. Enjoy and then be sure to check out the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.
Prince Hector may feel like a strange choice to play the hero in a romance novel. He’s a tragic character: essentially good, but he pays the price for his decency during the Trojan War. Knowing his fate, why cast him in a romance?
On a personal level, I’ve had a Mount-Ida-sized crush on Hector for a long time now. He is loyal, noble, loves his family and cares for his people. He has his faults, but he would be great husband material. The one thing he was missing was a happy ending. When I began to draft ideas for an ancient world romance, I pictured in my head all the things I wanted my first hero to be, and I thought of him.
He is also a character that has been reimagined countless times over the millennia, so although I initially had reservations about playing fast and loose with Homer, I decided to go for it. I knew I couldn’t write anything that was remotely like the narrative as I knew it, so I set my book long before the events of The Iliad and decided to foreshadow the catalyst for the war instead.
The other thing that begs the question, I suppose, is why Hector for an MM romance? Mythology is awash with LGBT characters, so why choose one who is not known for his interest in young men? The simple answer is that I didn’t want to write an MM series featuring Trojan Men without him because he has long been my favourite character. I toyed with several ideas based on various mythologies, but I kept returning to Troy. Regardless of the archaeology, literature has painted it as a magnificent city full of brave heroes. It sounds like ripe fodder for romance in its glory days.
The second book will be about long-lived Sarpedon, who did have a taste for comely youths, and, because I’ve always loved the idea of redeeming unpopular characters, there will be a romance featuring Paris, and a gender swapped Helen. Hector will be a minor character in the later books. I’m not done with him yet.
This isn’t your Classics teacher’s Homer—it’s not written in dactylic hexameter for a start!—it’s an original romance using characters from mythology. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. But if, like me, you always wanted Hector to have a happy ending of his own, I hope you enjoy the book.
About the Book
Title: Hector and Anatolius
Author: Vanessa Mulberry
Series: Trojan Men #1
Release Date: May 9th 2016
Genre: Historical MM Romance, Paranormal
BLURB: Hector has been a dutiful son and prince his whole life until his father orders him to marry. The Trojan was meant for no woman, and when he meets a handsome youth named Anatolius, he is more determined than ever to rule one day with a man at his side. However, after he is betrayed by his brother Paris his fate seems unavoidable. Hector needs all the courage he has learned in battle, and the assistance of a goddess, to win the hand of the man he loves.
This is a gay (MM) romance novel set prior to the events of the Trojan War. It depicts romantic and sexual love between two men in a broadly tolerant society.
After the meal, Hector drew the lad to him, and they relaxed on the shared kline to talk about their histories and their beliefs. Both drank strong wine, but Hector watched Anatolius carefully, mindful of its dizzying effects. “Just a little,” he said when Anatolius asked one of the servants for a third cup. “I won’t touch you if you’re sotted, and you will have to wait another day for my attentions.”
Anatolius appeared embarrassed, but when the servant stepped away, he whispered, “Thank you. I don’t want to wait.”
When the conversation lulled, Hector scooped his guest up and carried him from the room.
Anatolius put his arm around Hector’s neck and rested his head against the prince’s powerful shoulder. He laughed and said, “I will walk to your bedroom if that is where we are going. I’ll run if you like.”
Hector strengthened his grip, pulling him a little closer. “You may race me there another day, but tonight you go in my arms.”
“Don’t you think you can beat me?”
“It wouldn’t worry me if you did. I carry you because I want it to be known I will be your man tonight. Tomorrow I will follow you to the bed if you wish.”
Soon they reached his private apartment. It was a magnificent space: large and airy, with room on one side for cozier entertaining than the andron permitted and a soft bed for afterward. It led onto a terrace, which looked down over the city, and, as the night was warm, the imposing doors to it stood open, their silver casings glowing faintly in the moonlight.
The lamps were already lit, illuminating murals dedicated to Eros. Hector set Anatolius down and saw the lad’s eyes widen as he looked around at the walls. “Gods,” he murmured, “is this a shrine or a bedchamber?”
Hector had worshiped a lot of men in that room, but he didn’t think the pictures so unusual. He reminded himself that Anatolius hadn’t been in as many beds as him.
“Do you want to pray? I don’t usually conduct rituals in the palace, but we can if you like.”
Anatolius continued to stare at the walls. Hector saw his eyes rest on an image of two men making love. One was bent over, being penetrated by the other who kissed his back.
“Do you think we should? I want my first time to be pleasurable.”
“You needn’t ask Eros for such a blessing. I will ensure that.”
About the Author
Vanessa Mulberry lives in England with her husband and daughter. Her achievements are numerous and of no interest to anyone reading this. Her hobbies include cheap alcohol and romance novels. Growing up, Vanessa dreamed of becoming Mr. T, but the position has not yet fallen vacant. She has settled for being a romance novelist instead.
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