Fighting for the PJV – Stephanie Draven’s Ray Stavrakis
Name: Ray Stavrakis
Book Series: Dark Sins & Desert Sands – HQN Nocturne
Job: Ex-Military translator
Hair Color: black
Eye Color: dark black, like burnt coal
From (Location): America.
Significant Other: Layla Bahset
Signature Move: Entering the minds of his prey; controlling people to do his bidding
Enemies: Seth Carey, Layla Bahset
Favorite Pastime: Serving his country, uniting with his family
Other Facts: Ray angered his Muslim family greatly by joining the army. His mother took great umbrage with his tattoo, his father was disappointed that he was not an engineer or a lawyer. As an Islamic man in the military, Ray encountered many frictions. He was placed in prison, called a ‘traitor’, and tortured to gain a confession.
How a Modern Day Minotaur Hunts His Prey by Stephanie Draven
Hero: Rayhan “Ray” Stavrakis, former Army soldier, Modern Day Minotaur
Build: Big, bulky with supernatural bull-like strength.
Main Supernatural Power: Mind control, shape-shifting ability
How It Manifests: Ray Stavrakis is able to take one look into the eyes of his enemies and break through the bulwark of their minds. Once inside, he can hunt them down inside the maze of their own memories, trapping them in the horrors of their own worst fears.
Signature Move: Ray likes to ram things, smash things, break them apart. He flies into violent rages against those who would harm him or the woman he loves. His fists are deadly weapons, and by choking the breath out of someone he can stare into their minds and make them his puppets.
Ray Stavrakis is an American soldier who has been wrongly-accused of treason and broken by torture so severe that it helped transform him into a modern day minotaur. He looks like a man, but his heart beats with the scarlet red rage of a rampaging bull. His mission? To confront his accusers, prove that he isn’t guilty, and get his life back. If that means he must smash, break, and destroy the bodies and minds of those who have persecuted him, so be it.
The first scene in the book was one of my favorites to write. My hero is stalking a Syrian torturer down the twisting labyrinthine streets of Aleppo–a modern city with an ancient past. Ray catches him under a lamplight and nearly chokes the life out of him with his bare hands, but he needs the man to be able to speak long enough to give him the information he needs. What does he want?
The woman, he says.
I won’t spoil the story for you, but what’s this minotaur’s one weakness? A soft-spot for the beautiful but cool-eyed interrogator who broke him. She’s lost her memory; his powers to read her mind are nearly useless because she’s no ordinary mortal. This is because the woman he loves is an ancient riddler from Egyptian mythology who is pledged to a dark and evil god of war. Together, Ray and Layla must both find redemption for their past, rediscover their fundamental humanity, and find love along the way.
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