Of course I’m doing NaNoWriMo. And for all you Olympic Cove fans, there is reason to rejoice — not only is Breaker Zone coming out late this month or early in December, but this year’s NaNoWriMo book is Book Three in the series (the working title is Deep Water). I’m currently closing in on 7K and hope to have the entire 100K first draft done by November 30. So you might actually get Poseidon’s story early in 2015. I’m a giver that way, you know.
And because I’m in such a good mood, here’s a completely unedited teaser from Chapter One:
Three gods sat in a tidy cottage kitchen, sharing a bottle of rather fine wine.
This wasn’t an unusual occurrence for the cottage, or even the kitchen. With mid-afternoon sunlight playing on its rack of copper pots and aged wooden cabinets, the room radiated a certain welcoming homeliness that could make even a divine entity feel comfortable. No, the only odd thing was the *identity* of one of the gods currently sitting around the retro kitchen table.
If pressed, Poseidon (Ruler of the Sea, Earth-Shaker, Lord of Horses, et al.) was willing to admit that he felt surprisingly comfortable in his sons’ oh-so-human dwelling. And he definitely appreciated the vintage he was about to receive. He admired the play of sunlight on crystal and liquid as the level of wine rose in his glass, nodding when it had reached an acceptable amount.
The storm god across from him stopped pouring, putting the wine bottle back on the table. Poseidon found the simple act somewhat amusing. After millennia of being served by daimons, the invisible spirits of the air that tended the gods of Olympus, he wasn’t used to corporeal hands doing something as mundane as pouring him a glass of wine.
Especially when those hands belonged to Ian West, first of the new Atlantian Gods. *And, by an incredible concatenation of events that even I find hard to believe, my son-in-law.*
He covered his distraction by taking a sip of wine. The rich, earthy taste of an excellent Bordeaux rolled over his tongue, and he swallowed with genuine pleasure. “From your wine cellar, I take it?”
The other occupant of the table, a lean redhead with grey eyes, nodded. “I thought it would help, considering what we’re here to discuss,” the sea demigod Bythos said.
“Mm. So you have new information about the cause of Thetis’s madness?”
“We do. Nick was able to analyze some of her venom while she had him at her lair. He said it contained some kind of nanotechnology. That’s—”
“I know what nanotechnology is,” Poseidon said crisply. “That … is a surprise.” Thick red brows furrowed as he thought. “But it does explain how she has been able to turn various creatures into monsters.” He glanced briefly at his son, whose face had gone taut at the memory of being poisoned by the Mad Nereid’s venom. It had almost turned Bythos into a deadly monster, but Ian, guided by Gaia, had been able to purge him and save his life. “Do you know how she obtained this nanotechnology?”
Bythos shook his head. “If we still had a sample Nick might be able to study it in more depth, see if it had some sort of logo or marking symbol on it.”
“But Nick never physically had any of the venom,” Ian pointed out. His friend Dr. Nick Gardiner had arrived at the cove a week ago after fleeing a deadly lover, and had become the Bearer of the Rod of Asclepius in the process. “He did his analysis through Pythia and the Rod. As for Thetis’s lair,” Ian raised his hands and twitched both index and middle fingers at the last word, “it’s currently sitting under Barnard Whitfield’s yacht. I doubt there’s anything usable left.” The grim look left his face, replaced by sorrow. “I just wish I’d known—”
“It wasn’t your fault,” Bythos said, covering his mate’s hand with his own. “Thetis played us all cleverly, beloved. And there’s no guarantee you could have saved Claire. From what Nick said, the venom was much farther advanced in her than it was in me.”
Ian sighed. “I still wish I could have tried, dammit.”
Poseidon leaned back in his chair, long fingers toying with the almost full wine glass. Thetis’s latest move in their ongoing battle had been to go beyond the mutated mermaids known as ilkothella and turn more powerful creatures into twisted versions of themselves. Ideally these creatures would still maintain their original intelligence, but follow Thetis faithfully. With that in mind the Nereid had poisoned a sea goddess named Claire with the intention of turning the resulting monster into a leader of her army.
But the brave goddess had defied Thetis, choosing to end her life and return to Gaia rather than become one of the Nereid’s minions. A new coral reef had blossomed instantly on the site of Claire’s sacrifice, forever memorializing her courage. While this was a setback in Thetis’s plans, Poseidon had no delusions that it would dissuade the Nereid from her course of revenge.