Today I am so pleased to welcome Amanda Meuwissen to Joyfully Jay. Amanda has come to talk to us about Last Courtesan of Olympus. Amanda has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving a big welcome!
I dreamed of indulgence that ended in terror, myself upon a platformed bed, with each of the gods I’d known and those I had yet to experience pawing at different pieces of me and eventually tearing me apart in different directions. That might still be my fate if I failed even once, and I woke with my fear in my throat choking me like water down my windpipe.
Perhaps because there was no water, not around me anymore or sustaining my breath, and that strange new weightlessness was gone. I was a man of the land again, not of the sea.
Or possibly of the air, because all I could perceive when I opened my eyes was sky.
“I feared you might miss the sunrise.”
I sat up and gripped the edge of the chariot I rode upon in fear that I might tumble out of it and plummet to my death. I was higher in the sky than any mortal had ever been. I could see the curve of the earth and the start of Atlas’s hands around it.
I couldn’t miss the sunrise. I was leading it.
And oh, Apollo driving his chariot across the sky to bring about the dawn was luminous.
Before Eros was born, he’d long been glorified as the most beautiful of the male gods. Everything about Apollo was gold, as he held the reins of his four fiery horses. His golden hair, almost fiery itself and ruddier in color than the soft yellow or dark blond of Eros and Hermes. His sun-kissed skin. His gleaming eyes that glowed like Poseidon’s blue, their own separate little suns. He was clean-shaven like the fairer gods, for surely the rest of him would singe any stubble to its roots.
He was most like Hermes in build, slight, slender, supple, and youthful, but without the erratic energy of the messenger god. After all, a sunrise was a lengthy experience to be relished, taking its time each day or at risk of scorching the earth.
His robes seemed to change like the heavens, mapping the way the sky looked from when the sun first rose, gleaming high, and then dipped to sunset colors. Each clasp that held the robes together at his shoulders and waist was its own golden sunburst.
The chariot he drove was larger than I would have expected, large enough for him to stand up front, while I lounged on a bed in the spacious rear, with pillows to lean on, as I enjoyed the view. Each of his horses were a different color of flames: blue, white, orangey-yellow, and burning red. If the time of year had been the changing of the seasons, I imagined his swans would have been pulling us as we winged north or south.
Below us was Atlas holding the earth, and above was the star-riddled sky with the sun following us as a brilliant orb with soothing warmth that washed over me to banish the prickle of cold from the open heavens. The speed with which we traversed the sky didn’t seem any faster than a pleasant gallop in a chariot on earth, but I knew we must be going as fast as a shooting star. Still, the wind was gentle, not enough to blow me overboard.
“The sun god has given me a great gift,” I said, not hiding my awe, for he clearly wished to inspire it.
“Greater than Poseidon’s?” Apollo asked with a strangely stoic smile as he glanced back at me.
“Possibly. I try not to be quick to judgment. I have been proven wrong too often, especially recently. Tell me, if I may ask, what does the great god Apollo wish for in return for this boon?”
His ember-like eyes were more intense than Hephaestus’s, bubbling with the possibility of eruption. That he otherwise appeared so calm made the threat of being scorched seem somehow more likely. His stories were often of mortals boasting they could best him at something and being not only sorely proven wrong but made to suffer for their arrogance.
My usual glibness would not work here.
Apollo tied off the reins, allowing his steeds to drive themselves, and came back to the bed to join me. I could feel the heat from him, as if he were the center of the sun instead of what followed us. “Fear not. The horses are on their course now. Sometimes they can be difficult to wrangle in the morning, but once in motion, they are quite capable of this trek on their own. Otherwise, when would I have time for worthwhile distractions?”
He smiled, so seemingly sweet, but none of the warmth I felt from his body exuded from the expression. It was an illusion, a mask that was ice-cold beneath, like when the sun shone in winter.
I couldn’t read him. I knew he was giving me a false face, but I couldn’t decipher what his true motivations were. I hadn’t been in his presence long, yet I knew, just from having him closer to me with that chilling smile, my ability to read him wouldn’t change. I would have to adapt to his desires within a moment’s notice.
“You wish for distraction then?” I asked.
“Do you know my stories?” he asked back, lounging more comfortably upon the pillows.
I mirrored him. “Some. Perhaps not all. I would like to learn more if you wish to tell me.”
“Would you? I have always been the pursuer with my companions, you see. Always the pursuer. Today, I would like to be pursued until I say otherwise.”
MM encounters to shake the heavens.
Aikos is the best at what he does, the most skilled and coveted acolyte of Aphrodite, and he knows it, but when his beauty and allure attracts the attention of the gods themselves, his ascension to courtesan takes a turn he never expected.
Straight to Olympus.
Given by Zeus as a gift to eight of the male Greek gods, Aikos must please each of them and decide between them who he will serve, without earning himself a tragic end. Can he choose when the one tenet of Aphrodite’s temple he knows the least—love, in all its forms—is the one he most needs to understand now?
Indulge in the divine desires of the gods in this enticing standalone novel, with content warnings before each chapter, such as roleplay, wing-play, tentacles, and more.
Universal Buy Link: https://mybook.to/lastcourtesan
Amanda Meuwissen is a queer author with a focus on M/M romance, dabbling in every subgenre from fantasy to paranormal, occasional contemporary, and more. Amanda is the author of LGBTQ+ Fantasy #1 Best Seller, Coming Up for Air, LGBTQ+ Horror #1 Best Seller and #1 New Release, A Delicious Descent, and #1 New Release in both Fantasy and Gay Erotica, Last Courtesan of Olympus, among 30+ other titles.
Amanda has brought a signed paperback of Last Courtesan of Olympus to give away to one lucky reader. If there is an international winner, due to postage costs, the prize will instead be an eBook copy, and an additional eBook from the author’s backlist. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Saturday, December 2nd at 11:59 pm ET.
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