Mythos Academy Series
The Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series focuses on Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old Gypsy girl who has the gift of psychometry, or the ability to know an object’s history just by touching it. After a serious freak-out with her magic, Gwen is shipped off to Mythos Academy, a school for the descendants of ancient warriors like Spartans, Valkyries, Amazons, and more.
Note: Works listed as stories are generally 10,000 words or less. E-novellas are more than 10,000 words, while books are generally 85,000 words or more (young adult books) or 90,000 words or more (adult books).
A Clash of Inspirations
I blame Clash of the Titans for these books. When I was a kid, it seemed like every time we had a movie day at school we would watch one of two films – The Princess Bride (inconceivable!) or, you guessed it, Clash of the Titans (the old Harry Hamlin version, not the new one with Sam Worthington).
Ideas for books don’t always come to me overnight. Sometimes, it seems like they are years in the making. I think this is the case with Touch of Frost and the Mythos Academy series. It all started with movie day. I remember thinking how cool the movie made mythology seem. But more than that, I thought it was interesting how all these gods, goddesses, humans, and monsters interacted with each other.
Over the years, I read various mythology-based works, including The Iliad and The Odyssey, among others. Mostly, I read these stories for class assignments, but I enjoyed them all the same. Well, most of them, anyway. Some are better than others. But it always amazed me just how many different stories and different versions of those stories were out there.
Any my interest in mythology didn’t stop there. I read more stories and watched more movies and more TV shows.
Many years later, I watched my first episode of Xena: Warrior Princess. I was immediately hooked. Here were fun (and admittedly campy) stories about gods, goddesses, and the ultimate kick-ass warrior chick who could hold her own against all of them. How cool was that?
And then came the movie 300, which was just a loud, brash, bloody, violent, visual spectacle. I enjoyed the entertaining story about warriors bravely battling on even in the face of impossible odds.
Somewhere along the way, in the back of my mind, I thought that it would be cool to someday write my own mythology-based story and put my own spin on things with my own characters, magic, and more.
I don’t remember the exact day that the lightbulb went off inside my head. I had been thinking about writing a young adult book for a while, but I was struggling to come up with a concept. Then I thought what if I had a smart, plucky, slightly snarky heroine and put her in a world full of ancient warriors and magic that she didn’t really believe in? What if there was an evil god who was trying to take over the world? What if my heroine was the key to stopping this evil god? What if she was stronger and more of a warrior than she ever thought she could be?
The idea just snowballed from there until it finally became Touch of Frost and the basis for the Mythos Academy series – magic, myth, and monsters. I hope that everyone has as much fun reading the book as I did writing it – and that the gods don’t take too much offense at my reimagining of them. Happy reading!
Question: What are the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy books about?
Answer: The Mythos Academy books focus on Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old Gypsy girl who has the gift of psychometry, or the ability to know an object’s history just by touching it. Gwen’s magic lets her see everyone who has ever touched or used an object as well as feel their emotions — the good, the bad, and the ugly.
After a serious freak-out with her magic, Gwen finds herself shipped off to Mythos Academy, a school for the descendents of ancient warriors like Spartans, Valkyries, and more. The academy is located in the fictional suburb of Cypress Mountain, North Carolina, and the kids there are training how to use their magic and various skills to fight Reapers of Chaos. The Reapers are some seriously bad guys who want to free the evil god Loki from his mystical prison so Loki can take over the world and enslave everyone.
Gwen doesn’t think that she belongs at the academy or that she’s any kind of warrior, but she’s wrong — and she’s a lot stronger than she realizes.
Question: How many books will be in the Mythos Academy urban fantasy series?
Answer: There will be a total of six books in the series.
Each book in the series will tell a complete story, answer some questions, and raise a few new questions for the next book, much like the books in my Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series.
The six books in the series will let me finish out the big story arc about how Gwen and her friends stop Loki and his Reapers. I’ve enjoyed writing the series and may write more in it or even do a spin-off series at some point, but for now, these six books will be the end of the series.
Question: What kind of magic/world building is in the Mythos Academy series?
Answer: As the name suggests, the Mythos Academy series is all about mythology. I’m drawing a lot on Greek and Norse mythology, including folks like Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, and Loki, who is Norse god and something of a trickster. The books also feature my own take on famous warriors like Spartans, Valkyries, Amazons, and more, as well as mythological creatures.
I’ve always loved mythology and fairy tales, so you’ll see gods, goddesses, myth, monsters, magic, and more in the books.
Question: How much sex, violence, and bad language are in the Mythos Academy books?
Answer: There is some sex, violence, and bad language in the books. The books are urban fantasies so they still have that dark, gritty, urban fantasy edge to them. The kids at Mythos Academy drink, smoke, swear, and have sex just like kids in the real world do. Plus, the kids are warriors training to fight bad guys and an evil god, so there are quite a few fight scenes as well — and some characters die.
Overall, I would compare the tone of the Mythos Academy series to the Vampire Academy books by Richelle Mead or the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa.
Question: What are young adult books anyway?
Answer: They are simply books for young adults, around ages 13 and up (the age range depends on who you talk to). Young adult or YA books range from fiction to nonfiction, fantasy to stories set in the real world, and everything in between, just like adult books do — they’re just written for a younger audience.
Some of my favorite young adults books include Graceling by Kristin Cashore; The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins; Beastly by Alex Flinn; Beauty by Robin McKinley; and Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls.
Question: Why did you decide to write a young adult series?
Answer: I decided to write a young adult series for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, I thought it would be fun — and it certainly has been so far. I’ve been wanting to write a mythology-based book for a while, and when I had the idea for the Mythos Academy series, it just seemed like it would work better as a young adult book. So that’s how I wrote it.
Also, the young adult genre is one area that had really taken off in popularity in recent years, thanks to the Harry Potter and all the other great books out there. I saw writing a young adult series as a way to hopefully increase my readers.
Plus, I know that my Elemental Assassin urban fantasy books are pretty dark and gritty and that not everyone likes to read that level of sex and violence. So that was another reason I decided to write a young adult series that wasn’t quite as dark as the Elemental Assassin books.
Question: Is the Mythos Academy series just for teen readers?
Answer: Not at all. Adults can read the books too. Personally, I love reading young adult books — they’re just as good as adult books. They are so many great young adult books out there that you’re bound to find some that you like.
In fact, the Mythos Academy books have a lot in common with my Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series. Both series feature a strong, sassy heroine, cool magic/world building, lots of fight scenes, and even a little romance. The only real difference is that the sex and violence levels have been toned down in the Mythos Academy series, although the books are still fairly gritty for the young adult genre.
Gwen (Gwendolyn) Frost: Gwen is a Gypsy with the gift of psychometry, or the ability to know an object’s history just by touching it. Gwen’s a little dark and twisted in that she likes her magic and the fact that it lets her know other people’s secrets — no matter how hard they try to hide them. She also has a major sweet tooth, loves to read comic books, and wears jeans, graphic T-shirts, hoodies, and sneakers almost everywhere she goes.
Daphne Cruz: Daphne is a Valkyrie and a renowned archer. She’s also has some wicked computer skills and loves Hello Kitty, designer clothes, and expensive purses. Daphne is also rather obsessed with the color pink. She wears it more often than not, and her entire dorm room is done in various shades of pink.
Logan Quinn: This seriously cute and seriously deadly Spartan is the best fighter at Mythos Academy — and someone that Gwen just can’t stop thinking about. But Logan has a secret that he doesn’t want anyone to know — especially not Gwen.
Carson Callahan: Carson is the head of the Mythos Academy Marching Band. He’s a Celt and rumored to have come from a long line of warrior bards. He’s quiet, shy, and one of the nicest guys that you’ll ever meet, but Carson can be tough as nails when he needs to be.
Oliver Hector: Oliver is a Spartan who is friends with Logan and Kenzie and helps with Gwen’s weapons training.
Kenzie Tanaka: Kenzie is a Spartan who is friends with Logan and Oliver. He also helps with Gwen’s weapons training.
Savannah Warren: Savannah is an Amazon who is dating Logan.
Talia Pizarro: Talia is an Amazon and one of Savannah’s best friends. Talia has gym class with Gwen, and the two of them often spar during the mock fights.
Helena Paxton: Helena is an Amazon who seems to be positioning herself as the new mean girl queen of the academy, or at least of Gwen’s second-year class.
Coach Ajax: Ajax is the head of the athletic department at the academy and is responsible for training all the kids at Mythos and turning them into fighters. Logan Quinn and his Spartan friends, Oliver Hector and Kenzie Tanaka, are among Ajax’s prize students.
Grandma Geraldine Frost: Geraldine is Gwen’s grandma and a Gypsy with the power to see the future. Grandma Frost makes her living as a fortuneteller in a town not too far away from Cypress Mountain. A couple of times a week, Gwen sneaks off the Mythos Academy campus to go see her Grandma Frost and enjoy the sweet treats that Grandma Frost is always baking.
Grace Frost: Grace is Gwen’s mom, who was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver. Grace was a Gypsy with the power to know if people were telling the truth or not just by listening to their words. Gwen misses her mom like crazy. Even worse, Gwen feels responsible for her mom’s death. One of Gwen’s friends was being abused by her stepfather, and Grace was out trying to help the girl the night that she was killed.
Nickamedes: Nickamedes is the head librarian at the Library of Antiquities. Nickamedes loves the books and the artifacts in the library more than anything else, and he doesn’t like Gwen at all. In fact, he seems to go out of his way to make more work for her, whenever Gwen is working after school in the library.
Professor Metis: Metis is a myth-history professor who teaches students all about Reapers of Chaos, Loki, and the ancient Chaos War. She was also best friends with Gwen’s mom, Grace, back when the two of them went to Mythos. Metis is the Champion of Athena, the Greek goddess of widsom, and she’s become Gwen’s mentor at the academy.
The Powers That Were: A board made up of various members of the Pantheon who oversees all aspects of Mythos Academy, from approving the dining hall menus to disciplining students. Gwen’s never met any of the board members that she knows of, and she doesn’t know exactly who they are, but that could change—sooner than she thinks.
Artifacts: Artifacts are weapons, jewelry, clothing, armor, and more that were worn or used by various warriors, gods, goddesses, and mythological creatures over the years. There are Thirteen Artifacts that are rumored to be the most powerful, although people disagree about which artifacts they are and how they were used during the Chaos War. The members of the Pantheon protect the various artifacts from the Reapers, who want to use the artifacts and their power to free Loki from his prison. Many of the artifacts are housed in the Library of Antiquities.
Black rocs: These creatures look like ravens — only much, much bigger. They have shiny black feathers shot through with glossy streaks of red, long, sharp, curved talons, and black eyes with a red spark burning deep down inside them. Rocs are capable of picking up people and carrying them off — before they rip them to shreds.
Champions: Every god and goddess has a Champion, someone that they choose to work on their behalf in the mortal realm. Champions have various powers and weapons, and can be good or bad, depending on the god they serve. Gwen is Nike’s Champion, just like her mom and grandma were before her.
The Chaos War: Long ago, Loki and his followers tried to enslave everyone and everything, and the whole world was plunged into the Chaos War. It was a dark, bloody time that almost resulted in the end of the world. The Reapers want to free Loki, so the god can lead them in another Chaos War. You can see why that would be a Bad, Bad Thing.
Fenrir wolves: These creatures look like wolves — only much, much bigger. They have ash gray fur, razor-sharp claws, and burning red eyes. Reapers use them to watch, hunt, and kill members of the Pantheon. Think of Fenrir wolves as puppy-dog assassins.
Loki: Loki is the Norse god of chaos. Once upon a time, Loki caused the death of another god and was imprisoned for it. But Loki eventually escaped from his prison and started recruiting other gods, goddesses, humans, and creatures to join forces with him. He called his followers the Reapers of Chaos, and they tried to take over the world. However, Loki and his followers were eventually defeated, and Loki was imprisoned for a second time. To this day, Loki seeks to escape from his prison and plunge the world into a second Chaos War. He’s the ultimate bad guy.
Mythos Academy: The academy is located in Cypress Mountain, North Carolina, which is a ritzy suburb high in the mountains above the city of Asheville. The academy is a boarding school/college for warrior whiz kids — the descendants of ancient warriors, like Spartans, Valkyries, Amazons, and more. The kids at Mythos range in age from first-year students (age sixteen) to sixth-year students (age twenty-one). The kids go to Mythos to learn how to use whatever magic and skills they possess to fight against Loki and his Reapers.
Nemean prowlers: These creatures look like panthers — only much, much bigger. They have black fur tinged with red, razor-sharp claws, and burning red eyes. Reapers use them to watch, hunt, and kill members of the Pantheon. Think of Nemean prowlers as kitty-cat assassins.
Nike: Nike is the Greek goddess of victory. The goddess was the one who defeated Loki in one-on-one combat during the final battle of the Chaos War. Ever since then, Nike and her Champions have fought the Reapers of Chaos, trying to keep them from freeing Loki from his prison. She’s the ultimate good guy.
The Pantheon: The Pantheon is made up of gods, goddesses, humans, and creatures who have banded together to fight Loki and his Reapers of Chaos. The members of the Pantheon are the good guys.
Reapers of Chaos: A Reaper is any god, goddess, human, or creature who serves Loki and wants to free the evil god from his prison. Reapers are known to sacrifice people to Loki in hopes of weakening his prison, so he can one day break free and return to the mortal realm. The scary thing is that Reapers can be anyone at Mythos Academy and beyond — parents, teachers, even fellow students. Reapers are the bad guys.
Sigyn: Sigyn is the Norse goddess of devotion. She is also Loki’s wife. The first time Loki was imprisoned, he was chained up underneath a giant snake that dripped venom onto his once-handsome face. Sigyn spent many years holding an artifact called the Bowl of Tears up over Loki’s head to catch as much of the venom as possible. But when the bowl was full, Sigyn would have to empty it, which let venom drop freely onto Loki’s face, causing him great pain. Eventually, Loki tricked Sigyn into releasing him, and before long, the evil god plunged the world into the long, bloody Chaos War. No one knows what happened to Sigyn after that …
Gwen’s class schedule
First period: English lit. I love books – really, I do – but would it kill the professor to let us read some freaking comic books or graphic novels every once in a while? Seriously, they’re so much more fun than all this so-called classic literature that I’m stuck reading all the time.
Second period: Calculus. I’m good at calculus, but I totally do not see the point of it. All those xs and ys are all hypothetical anyway, right?
Third period: Geography and world politics — The geography is interesting, but the world politics part is a total snooze. Besides, everyone knows that politicians lie.
Lunch break: Where I get to eat by myself in the back of the dining hall while everyone else hangs out with their friends. Oh, goodie.
Fourth period: Chemistry. Meh. I’m totally ambivalent about chemistry.
Fifth period: Gym/weapons training – I hate gym class. Hate it, hate it, hate it. Why can’t I just be book smart? I have a 4.0 GPA. Why do I have to be coordinated, too? That’s just too much to ask.
Sixth period: Myth-history. Professor Metis is pretty cool, but it cracks me up that she and the other kids actually believe all this stuff about gods, goddesses, mythological monsters, and Reapers of Chaos. It’s not history, and it’s certainly not real. Uh, is it?
After-school detour: Yeah, I’ll admit it. I sneak off campus every chance I get, hop on a bus, and go see my Grandma Frost who lives close to the academy. What are the Powers That Were at the academy going to do – expel me?
After-school job: I have to hustle from my Grandma Frost’s house back to the academy so I can work at the Library of Antiquities a few days a week. Boring. But the worst part is Nickamedes, who actually thinks that all the dusty pieces of junk in the glass cases are real artifacts – that they actually have magic attached to them. Whatever, dude. I think you’ve been stuck in the library a little too long. Although, there’s this sword that I just can’t seem to stay away from …
Mythos Academy warriors and their magic
The students at Mythos Academy are the descendants of ancient warriors, and they are at the academy to learn how to fight and use weapons, along with whatever magic or other skills that they might have. Here’s a little more about the warrior whiz kids, as Gwen calls them:
Amazons and Valkyries
Most of the girls at Mythos are either Amazons or Valkyries. Amazons are gifted with supernatural quickness. In gym class during mock fights, they look like blurs more than anything else. Valkyries are incredibly strong. Also, bright, colorful sparks of magic can often be seen shooting out of Valkyries’ fingertips.
Romans and Vikings
Most of the guys at Mythos Academy are either Romans or Vikings. Romans are super quick, just like Amazons are, while Vikings are superstrong, just like Valkyries are.
Brothers and sisters born to the same parents will have similar abilities and magic, but they’re sometimes classified as different types of warriors. For example, if the girls in a family are Amazons, then the boys will be Romans. If the girls in a family are Valkyries, then the boys will be Vikings.
However, in other families, brothers and sisters are considered to be the same kind of warriors, like those born to Spartan, Samurai, or Ninja parents. The boys and girls are both considered to Spartans, Samurais, or Ninjas.
As if being superstrong or superquick wasn’t good enough, the students at Mythos Academy also have other types of magic. They can do everything from heal injuries to control the weather to create lifelike illusions. Many of the students have enhanced senses as well. The powers vary from student to student, but as a general rule, everyone is dangerous and deadly in their own special way.
Spartans are among the rarest of the warrior whiz kids, and there are only a few at Mythos Academy. But Spartans are the most dangerous and deadliest of all the warriors because they have the ability to pick up any weapon — or any thing — and automatically know how to use and even kill someone with it. Even Reapers of Chaos are afraid to battle Spartans in a fair fight. But then again, Reapers rarely fight fair …
Gypsies are just as rare as Spartans. Gypsies are those who have been gifted with magic by the gods. But not all Gypsies are good. Some are just as evil as the gods they serve. Gwen is a Gypsy who is gifted with psychometry magic, or the ability to know, see, and feel an object’s history just by touching it. Gwen’s magic comes from Nike, the Greek goddess of victory.
Want to know more about Mythos Academy? Read on and take a tour of the campus:
The heart of Mythos Academy is made up of five buildings that are clustered together like the loose points of a star on the upper quad. They are the Library of Antiquities, the gym, the dining hall, the English-history building, and the math-science building.
The Library of Antiquities
The library is the largest building on campus. In addition to books, the library also houses artifacts—weapons, jewelry, clothes, armor, and more—that were once used by ancient warriors, gods, goddesses, and mythological creatures. Some of the artifacts have a lot of power, and the Reapers of Chaos would love to get their hands on them to use them for Bad, Bad Things.
The gym is the second largest building at Mythos. In addition to a pool, basketball court, and more, the gym also features racks of weapons, including swords, staffs, and more, that the students use during mock fights. At Mythos, gym class is really weapons training, and students are graded on how well they can fight — something that Gwen thinks she’s not very good at
The Dining Hall
The dining hall is the third largest building at Mythos. With its white linens, fancy china, and open-air indoor garden, the dining hall looks more like a five-star restaurant than a student cafeteria. The dining hall is famous for all the fancy, froufrou foods that it serves on a daily basis, like liver, veal, and escargot. Yucko, as Gwen would say.
The English-History Building
Students attend English, myth-history, geography, art, and other classes in this building. Professor Metis’s office is also in this building.
The Math-Science Building
Students attend math, science, and other classes in this building. It’s also rumored that there’s a morgue located in one of the sub-basements. Creepy, huh?
The Student Dorms
The student dorms are located down the hill from the upper quad, along with several other smaller outbuildings. Guys and girls live in separate dorms, although that doesn’t them from hooking up on a regular basis.
Statues of mythological creatures — like gryphons, garygoles, and more — can be found on all the academy buildings, although the library has the most statues. Gwen thinks that the statues are all super creepy, especially since they always seem to be watching her …
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