Now that the Christmas cookies are gone, gifts unwrapped, and your holiday visitors have left, you’ve earned some well-deserved TLC. Evernight authors not only have the cure for your holiday hangover, they have fantastic new books for your 2015 reading list, too!
Be sure to visit every stop on the hop and answer each question. The more you blogs you hop, the more chances to win the GRAND PRIZE of an iPad Mini sponsored by Evernight Publishing (one entry per blog). Plus, hop each blog for a host of other fabulous prizes.
So sink into your favorite chair and enjoy your holiday hangover!
Hey, folks, Nicola here, and it’s time to add my personal bit to this post. We were requested to use a New Year’s or hangover theme for our post, so I thought, “What would be more appropriate than three gods sitting around a kitchen table drinking wine and commiserating”
Yes, it’s the (unedited) opening scene to Book Three in my Olympic Cove series, Deep Water. And if you want to see how it all got started, please check out Storm Season (Book One) and the newly released Breaker Zone (Book Two). Enjoy!
Three gods sat in a tidy cottage kitchen, sharing a bottle of rather fine wine.
This wasn’t an unusual occurrence for that particular kitchen. With mid-afternoon sunlight playing on its rack of copper pots and aged wooden cabinets, the room radiated a certain cheerful homeliness that could make even a divine being feel welcome. And 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-mortal dwelling.
He definitely appreciated the vintage he was about to receive. Admiring the play of sunlight on crystal and liquid as the level of wine rose in his glass, he nodded when it had reached an acceptable amount.
The male across from him stopped pouring, putting the wine bottle back on the table. Poseidon found the simple act somewhat startling. 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, the new Atlantian God. And, by an incredible concatenation of events that even I find hard to believe, my son-in-law.
Nonplussed, he took a sip. The rich, earthy taste of an excellent Bordeaux rolled over his tongue, and he swallowed with relieved pleasure. “From your wine cellar, I take it?” he said.
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 believe so,” Bythos said. “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 does come as a surprise. But it explains how she’s been able to turn various creatures into monsters.” He studied his son, whose had been briefly poisoned by the Mad Nereid’s venom. It had required Ian’s new powers, guided by Gaia, to cleanse him of the infection. “Do you know how she obtained this nanotechnology?”
“Unfortunately, no,” Bythos said. “And Nick didn’t mention any identifying marks on it.”
Dr. Nick Gardiner, a friend of Ian, had arrived at the cove a week ago after fleeing a deadly lover. He’d become the Bearer of the Rod of Asclepius in the process, and had endured his own encounter with the Mad Nereid. “Nick had to do his original analysis through Pythia and the Rod,” Ian pointed out. “Plus he had Thetis breathing down his neck. If we can get him some new samples, he might be able to ID who created the nanotech. There can’t be a lot of companies to choose from.”
Poseidon leaned back in his chair, long fingers toying with the almost full wine glass. “Best we take samples from an ilkothella, then,” he said. “It won’t be as powerful as Thetis’s venom, but it should still carry this nanotechnology.”
“Yes, except that the ilkothella has to be captured alive,” Bythos said. “Remember, they turn to sludge when killed.”
Ian shuddered. “How are we going to get one?”
“Aphros and his tritons are more experienced with the creatures,” Poseidon said. “I’ll have him set a squad on capturing one. Where would Nick wish to study it?”
“The cove would be the best place,” Bythos said, “but the protective geas would kill an ilkothella as soon as it came in. I’ll see about setting up some kind of holding pen outside the cove entrance.”
Ian grimaced. “Do we need to keep it alive once we have the sample? I mean, what if it breaks loose?”
Belatedly, Poseidon remembered that a small human town lay close to the cove. During summer, its residents would undoubtedly be spending time in the warm waters of the Atlantic, providing a veritable buffet for an ilkothella. “Make sure it does not break loose,” he ordered. “I have no wish for humans to become panicked if some of their number disappear while swimming.”
Before he could add anything else, there was a knock at the back door. It opened, revealing a lovely brunette carrying a leather messenger bag. “Aphros, are you home? I—”
She stopped as she spotted Poseidon, her bright expression changing to a bland mask. “Oh. I’ll come back later—”
Poseidon jumped to his feet. “No, wait,” he said, the words leaving his mouth before he could call them back. Embarrassed, he cleared his throat. “Aphros isn’t here, but if you wish to speak to Bythos I can step out for a moment.” He tried to smile. It didn’t come out well at all.
His consort Amphitrite glanced at their son, her expression gentling. “No, that’s all right. I just wanted to ask Aph about a recipe,” she said. “Liam wants to try making something called cassoulet. Apparently it’s Nick’s favorite dish.”
Bythos stood, crossing to his mother and kissing her cheek in greeting. “Aph is having a tactical meeting with his tritons,” he said. “He should be back in a few hours.”
Her smile returned. “Then I’ll come back at that time. Gentlemen.” She nodded at Ian and Poseidon.
Poseidon nodded back stiffly, not knowing what else to say. He waited until Bythos had walked the goddess out before dropping back into his seat. What with Nick and his mers joining, it appeared that Olympic Cove was a charmed place for those searching for their soul mates.
I curse both of you for your betrayal. May you never find happiness together.
His hand clenched at the memory, the voice still so familiar after all these centuries.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
He blinked, then glared at Ian. “I beg your pardon?”
The storm god sighed. “Look, it’s obvious you two have some long-standing problems. You’re free to tell me to fuck off, but if you want to talk about it, I’ll listen.”
For a fraction of a second Poseidon considered the offer. Then he realized how his sons’ mate was likely to respond to the revealing of his greatest failing. The very thought of it made him want to destroy something, preferably a continent.
“I … thank you,” he finally said through stiff lips. “But there is nothing on earth that can help.”
Ian’s eyes narrowed at that, but before he could say anything else Bythos came back into the kitchen. “Father, there’s a triton in the cove,” the demigod said, frowning. “He has a message for you from the Oracle.”
The Oracle of the Waters was one of the last surviving seers, the mouthpiece of the Fates themselves. “Why didn’t you bring him in?” Poseidon asked.
“There are humans on the beach launching a boat,” Bythos said, hooking a thumb over his shoulder. “It would be rather noticeable if an armored man suddenly walked out of the water. I told the triton to stay in the cove and wait for you.”
“A boat?” Ian went to the kitchen window, peering out at the beach. “That can’t be Nick’s. He doesn’t know how to sail.”
Bythos gave his mate a wry smile. “I suspect Ms. Kuttner has finally managed to rent out one of the other cottages,” he said. “It was bound to happen at some time. We’ll need to be more cautious moving in and out of the water. Speaking of that–”
He reached into thin air and pulled out a dusty bottle, handing it to Poseidon. “For the Oracle,” he said. “He does appreciate his tribute.”
Poseidon noted the bottle’s vintage, eyebrows rising in appreciation. “He does at that. Thank you, my son. This is … unexpected.”
A faint smile played over Bythos’s lips. “Let’s just say I’m hoping for good news.”
Poseidon nodded in silent agreement, then concentrated. The air molecules around his body shifted, rendering him invisible. Exiting the cottage, he spotted the crew of mortal laborers Bythos had described easing a sailboat into the calm water.
Poseidon tamped down a flicker of irritation. Passing undetected among mortals was simple enough to do, but he’d enjoyed the relative freedom of Olympic Cove and being able to move about without disguising himself. Oh, well. All good things must come to an end, I suppose.
He stepped into the warm water, moving swiftly into the depths and letting them close over him. He automatically checked the condition of the cove; the water was clean, the creatures in it healthy and thriving, and the protective geas laid on it by Bytho still held. No evil would enter the cove to threaten his sons and their mate, or their friends.
At least, not yet.
Okay, fine, I hear you say, but how do I get a chance at winning Evernight’s GRAND PRIZE of an iPad Mini and your blog prize, a saucy little plush merman doll named Dougal?
Simplement, mon ami! Just answer this question in the comments (be sure to include your email address to be eligible to win): What was your most memorable New Year’s Eve?
And now, let’s continue with your Holiday Hangover hop!
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