Wednesday, May 11, 2016

LOVE STORIES: CASTO: Gods of War by Xenia Melzer

Welcome to my little exploration of love, how people fall in love, what keeps them together, and what keeps them apart. This week, we have  talking about the routines of love...and it's a beautiful and touching post. And please read on to check out her new book, Casto: Gods of War!

XENIA'S LOVE STORY: The Routines of Love
That night, I came home to a sleeping house. The cat was a bundle of rolled up ginger fur on the couch, ignoring me completely. The children were both cuddled with their stuffed toys in their beds, looking almost angelic. They’re so cute when asleep., I thought. Nothing compared to the two little devils I have to deal with during the day. I went into the bathroom to find my toothbrush prepared and I knew a hot water bottle was waiting for me under the sheets. When I climbed into the bed, my husband greeted me with a grunt and a sleepy half-smile. Once I was settled and comfy, he slung his arm around me, hugging me tight, never waking up in the process.

I gazed into the dark and wondered, not for the first time, how I’d gotten so extremely lucky. So far, I’ve spent fourteen years with my husband and we shared the good and the bad. We were caught in the early flush, embarrassment, and anxiety that comes with a new love. We outgrew that blissful, yet awkward stage, enjoyed our time together and then added children to the mix because it seemed like a good idea, like the natural thing to do. Watching and supporting my husband as he grew as a person while he did the very same thing for me was sometimes tiresome, but always rewarding. We helped each other along the path and each passing year saw us getting even closer. 

With the children and both of us working, our life has become more structured, the room for spontaneous actions has shrunk considerably, both for going out and having fun at home. Do I miss that time? I would be lying if I said ‘no’. But as much as I sometimes crave the lightness of the early days, I would never trade them for what I have now. To an outsider, it may seem boring, knowing what your partner is thinking, being able to tell from just a glance what his emotional state is. To me, it’s a soothing, comforting thought. No matter what the world throws at me, at home I have a safe haven, a person who is there for me to share the laughter and the pain, the little happy moments and the outbursts of anger. 

Do I think consciously about all the small gestures we have established between us when I go through them? Not anymore. Preparing his toothbrush when I go to bed first, placing his coffee mug in front of the coffee maker in the morning, wishing him good night and sweet dreams – all those things have become second nature to me. Does that make them less precious? I don’t think so. Routines they may be, but they are the routines of love.

CASTO: Gods of War
All is fair in love and war. 

Renaldo has lived happily by that proverb his entire life. But he has finally met his match, and he’s about to discover how unfair love and war can be.

When demigod and warlord Lord Renaldo takes a beautiful stranger captive during an ambush, he is delighted to have found a distraction that will keep him entertained during the upcoming siege. Little does he know, Casto is keeping more than just one secret from him. Slowly, Renaldo gets sucked into a turbulent roller-coaster relationship with his mysterious prisoner, one that begins with hatred and soon spirals into a whirlwind of conflicting emotions. And when it seems that things can get no worse, an old enemy stirs right in the heart of his home.

Determined to keep Casto by his side, Renaldo has to find a balance between the capricious young man and his own destiny as a ruler and god to his people.


Xenia Melzer was born and raised in a small village in the South of Bavaria. As one of nature's true chocoholics, she's always in search of the perfect chocolate experience. So far, she's had about a dozen truly remarkable ones. Despite having been in close proximity to the mountains all her life, she has never understood why so many people think snow sports are fun. There are neither chocolate nor horses involved and it's cold by definition, so where's the sense? She does not like beer either and has never been to the Oktoberfest – no quality chocolate there.

Even though her mind is preoccupied with various stories most of the time, Xenia has managed to get through school and university with surprisingly good grades. Right after school she met her one true love who showed her that reality is capable of producing some truly amazing love stories itself.
While she was having her two children, she started writing down the most persistent stories in her head as a way of relieving mommy-related stress symptoms. As it turned out, the stress-relief has now become a source of the same, albeit a positive one.

When she's not writing, she teaches English at school, enjoys riding and running, spending time with her kids, and dancing with her husband. If you want to contact her, please visit either her website, or write her an email: .    

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