Since the second book in my Gods & Goats series released a few weeks ago, I thought it would be spiffy to share an excerpt! Of Heroes & Hay Bales continues the story of our lovely widowed maker of goat milk soap Libby Simons, and her leading man, the eternally handsome and hunky Ares, Greek god of war and manly courage.
Ares and Libby are caught up in a battle against the god of the dead, Hades, and are valiantly trying to save the world and the Greek pantheon. Not an easy task while you try to hide the fact that gods do exist from your rural neighbors and friends!
In this excerpt Libby and Ares are having a romantic moment beside a lake on a lovely 4th of July evening, when suddenly . . .well, I`ll let you read what happens.
I scowled and crossed my arms over my breasts petulantly. Fifteen minutes passed as Ares and the mayor talked. When I could jerk the jerk from the conversation, I did so. I stomped along the small path leading away from the hundreds of nosy campers and politicians.
“Why are you so belligerent of a sudden?” the man behind me asked. I let the pine bough I was holding snap back and smiled devilishly when I heard it impact his face. My caboose stopped so quickly I thought my arm might dislocate. I was tugged back, spun around and enveloped in a pair of arms that felt like steel bands. “Speak to me of what ails you, Bunting. Has your monthly female course come upon you?”
“Why is it that men always think that when a woman`s mad it`s because of her friend?” I snapped upward. It was hard to make out his face in the dark but his massive shoulders rose and fell, the motion lifting my arms up and down as he held me.
“I did not ask if Lora-Mae were upsetting you. I asked if `twas your menses that has you in such a foul mood.”
My mouth opened. Then closed silently. A smile replaced the frown I had been wearing. I shook my head and rose up to my toes, snaking my arms free so I could run my fingers over his beard.
“No, it`s not my menses that has me so riled. I haven`t gotten it yet,” I whispered, moving my hands to the back of his block head. I tugged and he lowered his forehead to mine. Wood-smoke from the many campsites blew across us, as did the wet, earthy smell of Lake Ironbottom. “I just want a little time with you alone.”
“Ah,” he replied. “Aye, I too would like some time alone with you. I still carry the passion of this morning.”
When his pelvis crushed against mine I could feel he was still carrying passion. I wet my lips.
He was all up for that. And a few other things as well. Off we went, skipping through Penn`s Woods like a couple of nymphs, until all we could hear was the sound of bullfrogs and the first set of fireworks whizzing into the night sky. I squinted and peered through the thick copse beside the lake. Only a few fires could be seen. Then I turned and launched myself at Ares. His mouth came down over mine roughly. It didn`t take long for us to get into a froth.
I was now hanging from him, my head back and my left leg riding up his side. His teeth and tongue were moving up and down my neck. I watched an explosion of red and green illuminate the sky. I made a sound of appreciation but rest assured, it wasn`t because of the gunpowder light show overhead. My sandal slid from my foot when Ares grabbed my thigh and hiked my leg higher on his side. Something then hit Ares in the back with so much force the man flew forward. I was summarily dropped and landed on my ass.
I heard the war god collide with a tree and his breath rush from him. I got to my feet right before whatever the hell it was backhanded me into the lake. I came up sputtering and madder than a wet goatherder, trying to catch the breath that had been knocked out of me. Another volley of sound and light erupted and I caught a glimpse of what Ares was now wrestling with on the shore. For most normal caprine raisers, the sight of a winged person/deity/monster with three human bodies from the waist up, all clad in silver armor might put you off your oatmeal. I, it is well known, am not normal.
All I felt was anger for having what was promising to be one hell of a tumble beside the lake interrupted. That and some deep pain across my chest. Whatever the hell that creature was, and I had a damned good notion hell was the right word to use; it was giving Ares all he could handle and then some. The fireworks fizzled out. Darkness engulfed the lake once more.
I pushed from the warm water, my curls hanging down over my face and my pretty striped dress stuck to me. The two behemoths were in full battle mode. The sound of their fists meeting each other’s flesh was chilling. As I slogged to the edge of the muddy shore, the sky lit up once again. Blue and red light fell over the combatants.
I saw dark leathery wings open up. My mind was working to place this hellion as a carp nibbled at my bare toes. I kicked at the bottom feeder. I was drawing a blank as to who it was Ares was getting all Hulk Hogan with. So I quit worrying about who it was and concentrated on helping my main god. Grunts and curses in Greek bounced off the lapping edge of the lake. I slipped and slewed across the clay mud, falling down a few times. The last time I went to my knees, my hand fell on a long piece of driftwood. I wrapped my fingers around it and crawled to the high grass edging the water.
“Ares, I need you to give me a shot!” I shouted, palming my soggy Louisville slugger like I was waiting for a curveball to come over home plate. For once, the man actually listened. Sort of. When he went flying through the woods I drew back and clobbered the beast across one of its heads. It turned. A parade of fireworks raced upwards. “How`d that feel?!” asked the Queen of Witty Repartee.
“You dare strike Geryon?” the head in the middle inquired. Its wings snapped in anger as it reached out for me. I ducked and swatted Geryon in the kneecap. He did not like that and his roar would have sent every camper nearby running in a fit of horror if the explosions over our heads hadn`t drowned it out. I stared up at the trio of male faces, each one bearded as most ancient warriors were. None of them looked happy. So I took the advantage and waffled the heck out of him again. Now that he had said his name, I knew who he was.
Supposedly this grandson of Medusa had some cattle he was quite fond of. Old Heracles came along, ready to kick ass and chew Bazooka for his tenth labor, and battled Geryon. Herc finally did him in with a very well placed arrow dipped in the venomous blood of the Learaean Hydra. Apparently the F.D.A. now has a cure for hydra venom shot into a forehead with Herculean strength. Or the ugly son-of-a-gun just healed as immortals do. Heck, maybe Hades played Marcus Welby M.D. just to send him up here to do…what, exactly? I had a sneaking suspicion I already knew.
Talk about terrible timing! If you`d like to read more you can grab a print copy here-
From My Shelf Books & Gifts
Or for those looking for a digital copy you can find one here-
I hope you enjoyed that snippet from my latest novel. Remember, we`re all heroes inside.