My first novel, The Gods Defense, is out in ebook now! Paper version’s coming next month so keep an eye out for the cover for print reveal 🙂
In a world of magic, even gods have something to fear.
When the gods woke and brought magic back to the world, society held it together. Sure, now people suddenly have powers, plants can talk and the laws have to change to accommodate magic, but the world goes on… at least until the reason the gods went to sleep in the first place comes around.
Prosecutor Cassandra Berry isn’t a fan of the gods gathering naïve people into their new religions (cults) and doesn’t like that they won’t tell people why they’ve been asleep for thousands of years, but her latest assault case has hit a wall.
The defendant is claiming the new “Gods Defense,” that Dionysus made him do it, and the judge is actually allowing it! Cassandra knows Dionysus will ignore a subpoena and pulls the only string she has, Apollo, the god who has been trying to get her to be his personal lawyer since she graduated last year just because she’s a powerful psychic.
If only that were Apollo’s true goal.
Cassandra gets dragged into the gods’ world kicking and screaming as Apollo’s familiar, but changes her tune when Apollo answers the question humanity’s been asking for two years – why did the gods take magic into hibernation?
Now, she’s in the middle of a celestial civil war, and as the solstice nears, the answers come pouring out and more questions arise… like is she even on the right side?
As the battle heats up and the magic grows, Cassandra has to decide what world she belongs in. The humans’ or the gods’? Before that choice is taken away from her.
Can she accept her powers before a plan fifteen thousand years in the making comes to fruition and breaks over the world?
I whirled with a gasp, hands flying up as though to toss away the words, my heart so high in my throat I was surprised I couldn’t taste blood.
Apollo stood barely three feet away.
He hadn’t been there the whole time. No way. The first time we met, he was playing human to talk to law students who were planning to take the Tennessee Bar. I didn’t know it then, but he was scouting for someone to be his counsel.
I’d known he wasn’t normal right away. He’d set my teeth shaking like that door had. I’d just thought he was another psychic or a witch at the time. He was impressed I’d sensed his power at all.
The point is, if he’d been in the room, I would’ve felt it.
I crossed my arms, swallowing past the lump in my throat.
“Kidnapping, Apollo? Really? I don’t know what you think you’re going to accomplish by this, but I’m not going to agree to work for you just because you threaten to hold me hostage. There are plenty of lawyers out there. Go bug one of them.”
Pretty good speech considering I could barely breathe.
Apollo’s not movie star hot like a lot of people think gods should be. He looks like he belongs on a college campus: physically an indeterminate twenties or thirties, about five ten, with solid but not bulky muscles, skin a gold-kissed tan, short, buttery yellow curls and sharp features: pointy, almost girly chin, high cheekbones, long forehead, aristocratic nose.
He was wearing a tailored black suit that probably cost more than I netted in a month, with a sky blue top and patterned gold tie. I don’t speak designer shoes like Tyler, but I was betting his loafers cost a pretty penny, too. Shouldn’t a god have been lounging around his bedroom in a toga and sandals or something?
The only things that’d make him stand out at a Vandy Law party were his eyes. Amethyst with dark-blue six pointed stars around the pupil. He could hide them with a simple illusion and walk down the street without turning more than the average strapping young male’s amount of heads.
“Yes, but you’re so much more fun to bother than someone who actually likes me.” He smiled, emphasizing his full lips. My stomach tightened.
Again, he was good looking, but not mouthwatering. So why was I struggling to breathe? Why were my insides melting into goo like marshmallows?
Why did I want to turn tail and run away from something that powerful but jump him at the same time?
I blamed his voice. It wrapped around my skin, thick yet silky… huh, kind of like the cover on his bed. Was that a coincidence? Or maybe just my overactive imagination?
“Ohhhh,” I said with my widest eyes, letting my hands fly in front of me. “So if I had kept being nice to you, you’d have left me alone? Geez, if I’d only known then, we both could’ve saved ourselves a lot of trouble. See, in our time, we’re mean to people to let them know we don’t like them and to leave us alone. If I’d known in your time that girls were mean to get a guy’s attention, I would’ve been nice to you.”
“What is it about your sarcastic abilities that is so infuriating yet charming all at once?”
Was that a rhetorical question? Probably.
“Let’s cut the bullshit. What do you want?”
He met my eyes. “You.”
I blinked, taking a step back. That was very straightforward for Apollo.
And I was in his room. Trapped… at his mercy… oh shit! I took another step back. Sure I had a gun, but it wouldn’t kill him. It’d hurt him. Maybe I could…
“Oh.” He waved a dismissive hand. “Not for sex. Though that would be nice and we will in the future.”
“I want, actually, I need your power. I was not positive before, but I am now since you knew the door was an Olympian entrance.” He frowned. “If you had agreed to meet with me earlier…”
He waved his hand again. “No matter, though. What’s done is done. And I do like the symmetry of today. Even if we are cutting this dangerously close. One and two being three and nine being that squared is beautiful mathematics. Of course, the-”
“Apollo,” I said, putting on my sweetest smile, “if you don’t stop talking in riddles and tell me what the hell’s going on, I’m going to punch you on principle.”
He drew a deep breath. “Right. You are linear.”
I scowled at him. “What? No, never mind.” I shook a finger. “Just tell me what you meant by all that, and make whatever stupid offer you want to make so I can say no and go home.”
He smiled, eyes focusing on mine as his lips twisted into pure condescension. It changed his entire face. No longer the carefree young professional. Without the help of any illusion or spell, his face morphed into an arrogant god’s.
“Please don’t tell me you’re naive enough to think I’m going to let you go home?”
“You can’t keep me here.”
“Of course I can.”
“You can’t make me work for you.”
“There, you are correct.”
Apollo walked towards me and I darted to the side. He went past to the bar, reaching into the clouds and pulling out a crystal decanter of amber liquid. He set it on the top and it stayed there.
“However, I merely wanted you to be my lawyer. Two birds with one stone and all that. I need your power.” He reached into the cloud again and pulled out two bar glasses. “Drink?”
“I’m not stupid, Apollo. You don’t eat or drink anything from the gods. Then you would be able to drag me back once I get out of here.”
“You will come back of your own free will once you accept my offer.”
Like the excerpt, check out the book.