Book Tour & Giveaway (US/Int): Lori Sjoberg on the mythology of death
Please help me welcome Grave Intentions author Lori Sjoberg!
Thanatos. Yama. Cù-Sìth. The Grim Reaper. The list goes on and on. The idea of death as a sentient being has been kicking around since the beginning of recorded history, and can be found in the mythology of almost every culture. Some believed the Grim Reaper actually caused death, while others thought his/her purpose was to guide souls to the hereafter. The personification of death came in many forms: old and young, male and female. Sometimes, Death even came in the form of an animal.
A minor figure in Greek mythology, Thanatos is the personification of death. Usually, he’s described as winged with a sword sheathed in his belt. Regarded as merciless and indiscriminate, his job is to escort the dead to the underworld of Hades. Once there, he hands the dead to Charon, who mans the boat that ferries them across the river Styx . If the dead fail to pay Charon, he’ll refuse to deliver them to the underworld and their souls will be left by the side of the river for a hundred years. While Thanatos is typically considered just and gentle, his sisters, the Keres, are the spirits of violent death.
Thanatos, as depicted at the Temple of Atemis at Ephesos, c. 325-300 BC.
In Hindu and Buddhist scriptures, the lord of death is Yama (or Yamaraj). He rides a buffalo and carries souls back to his home of Yamalok. Once there, he weighs a person’s good and bad deeds and decides where the soul will reside in its next life, tying in to the theory of reincarnation.
Yama, the Hindu lord of death, presiding over his court.
In Chinese mythology, Yanluowang is the god of death and the ruler of Diju (purgatory). He’s seen as a large man with a scowling red face, bulging eyes, and a long beard. He wears traditional robes and a judge’s cap or a crown bearing his title. Not only is he the ruler, but he also passes judgment on the dead. Men or women of merit are awarded good future lives or even revival in their previous life. Those who committed acts of evil are sentenced to torture or miserable future lives. After judgment, spirits are returned to Earth in new bodies.
Celtic lore is filled with tales of death. The Bretons speak of Ankou, a tall, haggard figure with long white hair who drives a wagon piled high with corpses. Irish folklore warned of the dullahan, a creature who keeps a head tucked under his (or her) arm, while the Scottish believed in Cù-Sìth, a huge black or dark green dog that takes the soul of a dying person to the afterlife.
In Grave Intentions, the Grim Reaper is far from a solitary position. Worldwide, over 150,000 people die every single day, an impossible task for one person to handle. Think of the logistics! David Anderson is one such reaper. He leads a group of reapers working in central Florida. And while he’s very good at what he does, sixty years of harvesting souls has left him burned out and emotionally dead. That is, until he meets Sarah Griffith. She likes him quite a bit. I hope you do, too. And don’t worry, he doesn’t look like any of the beings above. Actually, he looks something like this:
He’s handsome, reliable, and punctual-the perfect gentleman when you want him to be. But this dream man is Death’s best agent-and now he’s got more than his soul to lose . . .
One act of mercy before dying was all it took to turn soldier David Anderson into a reaper-an immortal who guides souls-of-untimely-death into the afterlife. But the closer he gets to atoning for his mortal sin and finally escaping merciless Fate, the more he feels his own humanity slipping away for good.
Until he encounters Sarah Griffith. This skeptical scientist can’t be influenced by his powers-even though she has an unsuspected talent for sensing the dead. And her honesty and irreverent sense of humor reignite his reason for living-and a passion he can’t afford to feel. Now Fate has summoned David to make a devastating last harvest. And he’ll break every hellishly-strict netherworld rule to save Sarah…and gamble on a choice even an immortal can’t win.
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About the author
Growing up the youngest of three girls, Lori never had control of the remote. (Not that she’s bitter about that. Really. Okay, maybe a little, but it’s not like she’s scarred for life or anything.) That meant a steady diet of science fiction and fantasy. Star Trek, Star Wars, Twilight Zone, Outer Limits – you name it, she watched it. It fed her imagination, and that came in handy when the hormones kicked in and she needed a creative excuse for staying out past curfew.
|After graduating from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Science, Lori worked for nearly a decade in retail management. When that got boring, she switched to financial planning, and then insurance. The writing bug bit a few years later. After completing her first manuscript, she joined the Romance Writers of America and Central Florida Romance Writers. Now she exercises the analytical half of her brain at work, and the creative half writing paranormal romance. When she’s not doing either one of those, she’s usually spending time with her husband and children of the four-legged variety.|
Lori is giving away two e-copies tour-wide of Grave Intentions. To enter to win, leave a comment below with a question or comment for Lori, then fill out the Rafflecopter!