Happy release day!
Today, the sequel to Persephone, and second book in the Daughters of Zeus story has been released!
Below is a never before seen, extended excerpt! Want to win a copy of Daughter of the Earth and Sky? Answer the trivia question below in the comments. For additional chances to win, follow me here, or twitter, or Facebook, linked in, google plus, tumbler, Pinterest or anywhere else you can think of! Be sure to comment for each follow!
One lucky winner will be chosen at midnight to tonight! Good luck!
“Your mom’s shop is right around here, isn’t it?” Joel motioned out the window, though all we could see from our vantage point was the gravel parking lot and a steady stream of cars flowing down South Lumpkin Street.
“Yeah, just up the road. Don’t tell me you’ve never been.”
Joel laughed. “I’ve seen her work. You guys do all the centerpieces for school stuff, right?”
I nodded and fiddled with my necklace.
“But I haven’t been to the shop. As much reason as I’ve had to buy flowers…”
I kicked him lightly under the table. I knew he didn’t have a girlfriend, but flowers weren’t just for couples. “What about your mom or aunts or something?” I didn’t know if Joel had any sisters. None had attended Athens Academy, but he could be the youngest child.
Joel hesitated. “I don’t…My mom’s not…” He scowled at the table, rubbing at a spot with his thumb. “She was murdered. Forever ago.”
I gasped. “I’m so sor — ”
Joel cut off my apology with a wave of his hand. “Don’t. I never mentioned it to you before. I just don’t like to talk about my family. I’d send flowers to the extended members, but I don’t think they’d appreciate the reminder I still exist.” He shrugged and changed the topic. “If I were to get someone flowers, what would you recommend?”
“My favorites are daisies. But most people prefer something more elaborate.”
He gave me an easy grin. “Daisies, huh? I’ll keep that in mind.”
A movement in the corner of my eye caught my gaze. A man stepped through the door of the Smoothie King. No one else seemed to notice his entrance, but that wasn’t surprising. The light fractured around him, bending oddly and seeming to absorb into his black robes.
The Reaper met my gaze and stood behind Joel, hand hovering over his shoulder.
Joel followed my gaze past the Reaper. “Stop what? What are you looking at?”
I smiled brightly at Joel. “Being such a shameless flirt. I’m not impressed.”
“Still got a boyfriend?” Joel asked.
I eyed the Reaper, and he gave me a malicious grin. I turned my attention to Joel. “I have…you know, it’s kind of complicated.”
Joel looked at me over his cup. “Is it exclusive?”
I did my best to ignore the Reaper’s hand hovering over Joel’s head. I had no idea what Hades and I were right now. Everything had gotten so weird. “I’m not interested in anyone that isn’t him.” I shrugged. “I’m flattered, really, but I don’t want to lead you on.”
Joel folded his straw paper into a tiny accordion. “It was worth a shot. Still running buddies?”
When I hesitated, he looked me in the eye. “I can date other girls. Friends are harder to come by. Plus, running alone is dangerous. I could fall and break my ankle, or some random stalker could push me off the path. You never know what kind of crazies are out there. Please?”
I laughed. “Yeah, okay. So what classes are you registered for?”
When he launched into his answer, I dropped a shield so Joel couldn’t hear me and raised my smoothie in front of my mouth. “If his name was on the list, he’d be dead by now.” I kept my voice calm as I addressed the Reaper. “Thanatos doesn’t want to attract attention by taking the wrong souls, so you can cut the theatrics.”
“Thanatos sends his regards,” the Reaper said softly. His threat was completely undermined by his puppy-dog brown eyes. I frowned, trying to focus on his soul instead of the light bending around him. He was not much older than me. How long had he been dead? Why did he decide to become a Reaper instead of just spending his afterlife in the Underworld?
“Bring me to Thanatos,” I demanded.
It was a long shot, but I was Queen of the Underworld, and that included Reapers. He might listen to me. I just needed one second of eye contact to charm Thanatos, and I could uncharm this mess. But so far I hadn’t been able to get near him. Each time I’d gone to the Underworld, he’d managed to be elsewhere.
The Reaper gave me a cutting glare and meandered behind the counter. The brunette girl who’d made our smoothies shivered as though she sensed his presence. He touched her shoulder and she collapsed.
Joel swore and sprang from his seat, rushing behind the counter to check on the girl. I forced myself to stay in my seat and ignore the scream of rage and horror that threatened to erupt from my chest. I buried it and kept my face impassive as I stared down the Reaper. I couldn’t show any weakness. Not to him.
“Your move, Queen.” His lips curved in sarcasm as he gave a shallow bow and vanished.
Trivia question: why doesn’t Persephone think the Reaper will kill Joel?