Please welcome the fabulous Cody Kennedy, glitterati, to my blog! Cody’s got a brand new release from Harmony Ink Press he’s here to tell us about. And… pasties. Yep. Pasties. But I’ll let you figure out how that fits in! Welcome Cody! -Shira
When I write for young adults, I try to include information about different cultures, history, and old and new music. I try to teach youth history in a way that they will remember it and joking about it usually helps it stick. As such, throughout Slaying Isidore’s Dragons, there is running subtext about Alexander the Great and Hephaestion. It begins with Isidore being frustrated about his homework and Declan trying to help him:
“Some believe the story of Alexander and Hephaestion is one of the greatest love stories in all of history, and that it was the death of Hephaestion that caused Alexander to go on a rampage in an attempt to conquer the remaining known world until his death ten months later. They were great lovers and open about it.”
“Wow, didn’t know that. So?”
“My assignment is to write of the last year of Alexander’s life. How can I do that without speaking of his rage over the death of Hephaestion?”
Now, a little history. We know that Alexander the Great was, well… great! He lived from 356 BC to 323 BC, was the son of Phillip the II, inherited the throne in 336 BC, grew up with Hephaestion, and both were tutored by Aristotle. Further, Bucephalas, Alexander’s horse, played a big role in his life. No one could break him. Alexander bet his father that he could break him and did within a very short time once he figured out that Bucephalas was afraid of shadows. He simply turned the horse to the sun and all was well. Bucephalas remained Alexander’s battle horse throughout his adult life. But our knowledge of Alexander is limited to that of men who lived five hundred years after he died. 1) Ephemerides, Alexander’s royal journal, is a case of the victor rewriting history; 2) The Alexander Romance, often cited as authority, is fiction; and two chronicles by Arian and Plutarch, both reputable chroniclers.
There are two diametric opinions about Alexander:
The first is that of great benign conqueror and statesman. A great military commander, politically shrewd, a Greek who ultimately became a Persian, and the first person to unite the then known world. His conquests were bloody and brutal because that’s war, and he had little tolerance for petty nationalism. After he died, his generals divided his empire among themselves, which insured that Greek culture dominated for centuries. The Hellenistic age changed Western Civilization.
Alexander slaughtered people on an unprecedented scale, squandered the resources of the lands he acquired, murdered friends out of paranoia, and led most of his troops to early deaths. In short, a gambler who staked his life and the lives of those around him on chance, and there was nothing magical about him.
In any event, two elements of history are consistent irrespective of the foregoing opinions. First, his empire became prey to his generals and they played finders-keepers with his body after he died—a story for another time—and, second, he was in love with Hephaestion, his life-long companion who was also his general. The former is accurate, the latter no one likes to discuss. But I discuss it in Slaying Isidore’s Dragons and hope youth remember it.
When Isidore has nightmares and can’t sleep, Declan tells him stories of Alexander and Hephaestion making the stories up as goes. Here is the smut on Alex and Hephy:
“You’re looking rather chipper this morning, Isidore,” Sorcha complimented as they rode to school.
Isidore shook his head and looked away with a shy smile.
“He had a nightmare last night, and I told him the story of Alexander and Hephaestion to put him back to sleep,” Declan said.
“You did not,” Isidore retorted, his smile one of his priceless genuine smiles.
Declan grinned. “I sort of made it up as I went.”
“This is what you did. I am certain no literature exists wherein Hephaestion favored women’s clothing and accessories.”
“Sure he did. Especially pasties. They were his favorite,” Declan teased.
Sorcha howled in laughter. “Declan David de Quirke the second, you didn’t!”
Isidore giggled and shook his head again. “Yes, Sorcha, he did and worse. Can you imagine Hephaestion leading men into battle in pasties, stockings, and heels?”
“It kept you from having another nightmare, didn’t it?” Declan defended.
“It did and provoked others.”
“I don’t believe you, Declan,” Sorcha said through her laughter. She had tears in her eyes by the time they reached the school. “Both of you try to behave. I’ll see you this evening.”
By the end of the book, pasties are an issue to overcome. There you have it. The very unofficial smut on Alex and Hephy. Enjoy Slaying Isidore’s Dragons!
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About Slaying Isidore’s Dragons
5 Best friends
4 Vicious brothers
3 STD tests
2 Guys in love
1 Car bombing
Nowhere to run
Follow the burgeoning love of two teens during the worst year of their lives. Irish-born Declan David de Quirke II is the son of two ambassadors, one Irish and one American. He is ‘out’ to his parents but to no one else. French-born Jean Isidore de Sauveterre is also the son of two ambassadors, one Catalan and one Parisian. His four half brothers have been told to cure him of his homosexuality. Both teens have lost a parent in a London car bombing.
5 Weeks of hell
4 Attempts on their lives
3 Law enforcement agencies
2 Dead high school seniors
1 Jealous friend
A love that won’t be denied
Declan and Isidore meet at the beginning of their senior year at a private academy in the United States. Declan is immediately smitten with Isidore and becomes his knight in shining armor. Isidore wants to keep what is left of his sanity and needs Declan’s love to do it. One is beaten, one is drugged, one is nearly raped, one has been raped. They are harassed by professors and police, and have fights at school, but none of it compares to running for their lives. When the headmaster’s popular son attempts suicide and someone tries to assassinate Declan’s mother, they are thrown headlong into chaos, betrayal, conspiracy, allegations of sexual coercion, even murder. And one of them carries a secret that may get them killed.
5 New family members
2 Extraordinary Psychologists
1 Courageous Mother &
A new beginning for two young men in love
Read Chapter One of Slaying Isidore’s Dragons
About Cody Kennedy
Raised on the mean streets and back lots of Hollywood by a Yoda-look-alike grandfather, Cody doesn’t conform, doesn’t fit in, is epic awkward, and lives to perfect a deep-seated oppositional defiance disorder. In a constant state of fascination with the trivial, Cody contemplates such weighty questions as If time and space are curved, then where do all the straight people come from? When not writing, Cody can be found taming waves on western shores, pondering the nutritional value of sunsets, appreciating the much maligned dandelion, unhooking guide ropes from stanchions, and marveling at all things ordinary.
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