With a two-week trek through Greece the centerpiece of my month, I've got mythology on my brain this month. Mythology has always captured my imagination in a unique way. Something about those naughty, all-powerful gods and those incredible, larger-than-life monsters.

Greek mythology is the set of mythical stories I learned earliest in life, and it has a special place within my imagination (if you want proof, just read Mud). In fact, it was a major driver behind my desire to go to Greece in the first place.

I promise, pictures and stories from my actual trip are coming very soon! But in the meantime, behold this list of my very favorite contemporary novels inspired by Greek mythology, over at Book Riot.

Hey readers. Hope your summer is off to a great start. I have big plans for travel and lounging by the pool--how about you?

What do all my summer activities have in common? They require a huge pile of books to read.

If you're looking to pad your TBR in prep for summer, I've got just the thing. I've teamed up with several other sci-fi/fantasy authors, and we're all giving away a book for free, including my Third Realm Wars novella, Rain.

Get free sci-fi & fantasy books here

And hey, real friends tell friends about giveaways--why not share Rain and more with your friends? Tweet this.

1. Medusa is one of the Gorgons.

Gorgons are winged human females with a hideous face and living venomous snakes in place of hair. So if you are aware of Medusa, this should sound familiar.

2. She is the granddaughter of the Earth (Gaia) and the Ocean (Oceanus).

Kinda cool, right?

3. And her parents are Phorkys and Keto, god and goddess of the sea, who represented the seas dangers.

Bonus fact: Ketos also refer to sea monsters.

4. Medusa’s gaze turned men to stone.

Some versions of the myth say this is because of her monstrous ugliness; others because of her incredible beauty.

5. She has two sisters, Sthenno and Euryale.

Medusa was the only mortal of the three. As far as I could find, there is no explanation for this, so I figure it’s kind of like how some of us are just born muggle and others get to be wizards.

6. Medusa’s monstrous form was said to be punishment from Athena for seducing Poseidon.

Of course other versions say Poseidon raped her, so … victim blame much?

7. It’s said her monstrous character followed, as the world turned against her.

A pre-Frankenstein's monster, if you will.

8. In her despair, Medusa fled to Africa.

As she wandered, snakes dropped from her hair. This is how Africa got its venomous reptiles. Still no explanation for Australia.

9. Medusa was ultimately beheaded, of course, by Perseus.

Her sisters tried to avenge her, but Perseus dodged them  by using Hades’ cap, which made him invisible.

10. Perseus, classy guy that he was, continued to use the head as a weapon.

Even after her death, Medusa’s head retained its ability to turn people to stone. Eventually Perseus gave it to Athena, who placed it on her shield.

11. And then she became a symbol.

In classical antiquity, Medusa’s head came to appear on the Gorgoneion, which was an evil-averting device. Not a bad ultimate legacy, albeit from a pretty rough life.

Wonder Woman releases today!

As the raving reviews start pouring in, a wave of supplementary reading has released across the web too

To celebrate, I’ve rounded up some of my favorites.

Enjoy! And be sure to go see Wonder Woman this weekend!

Everything You Need to Know About Wonder Woman Before Seeing the Film

75 Years of World-Saving: Everything You Need to Know About Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman's Unwinnable War

With Wonder Woman, DC Comics Finally Gets It Right

Wonder Woman Saves the Day, Crushes Stereotypes

Reading Pathways to Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman Saves the Day, Crushes Stereotypes

Wonder Woman’s Gal Gadot and Chris Pine Role Reversal

Remember That Time When Wonder Woman Was A U.N. Ambassador?

Before Gal and After Lynda: All the Stars Who've Played Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman Day on Saturday Means Big Deals and Freebies!

Share your own favorite Wonder Woman article in the comments 🙂

As demonstrated so very recently by La La Land, artists do tend to enjoy the occasional deep dive into their own wallows.

A writer myself, I’m a total sucker for it. The highs and lows that come with artistry expose our internal quirks and vulnerabilities like nothing else.

Writers are far from impervious to the occasional navel-gazing whim. Here are a few of my all-time favorite books that indulge in some intense navel-gazing.