I am excited to announce the release of “The Younger Gods” by Michael R. Underwood. I was over halfway through my Galley when the publisher contacted me to ask if I would like to feature the title and host a giveaway. I was quite enjoying the story, so I happily accepted. “The Younger Gods” is a fun new Urban Fantasy series complete with mythical creatures, fun characters, and evil cultists bent on bringing about the apocalypse. Everything you could ask for in an Urban Fantasy, really, and just in time for Halloween! I am giving away two free copies. Check out the summary and excerpt below and enter the giveaway. The winners will be announced when I post my review on Monday, October 20th.
- By: Michael R. Underwood
- Publisher: Pocket Star
- Pub Date: 10/13/2014
- ISBN: 9781476757797
- Price 4.99
- Format: eBook
Jacob Greene was a sweet boy raised by a loving, tight-knit family…of cultists. He always obeyed, and was so trusted by them that he was the one they sent out on their monthly supply run (food, medicine, pig fetuses, etc.)
Finding himself betrayed by them, he flees the family’s sequestered compound and enters the true unknown: college in New York City. It’s a very foreign place, the normal world and St. Mark’s University. But Jacob’s looking for a purpose in life, a way to understand people, and a future that breaks from his less-than-perfect past. However, when his estranged sister arrives in town to kick off the apocalypse, Jacob realizes that if he doesn’t gather allies and stop the family’s prophecy of destruction from coming true, nobody else will…
I’d never met lycanthropes before. There were no packs in the Dakotas. My father and grandmother had seen to that years ago.
I was starting to understand why. Our family’s sorcerous might was unmatched, but a wolf moving through thick brush, especially with a pack at her back, could make quick work of an unprepared sorcerer, unless the sorcerer was willing to bring down an entire forest to protect themselves.
It’s what Grandmother had done.
One of the many races made by the gods in the first days, lycanthropes could move among humans without notice, only revealing their power when they wished. When their creator, the moon, was strongest, so were they.
Antoinette cleared her throat. “I am Antoinette Laroux. And a friend told me to show you this.” She produced the Nataraja statue, holding it out in the scant inches between herself and the looming wolf-woman.
The woman chuffed once, very canine in that moment, all pretense of humanity cast aside. She looked Antoinette dead in the eyes, then sized her up, gaze going to her feet and then back up to her eyes.
She took a single step back.
“So you know the Nephilim. Fine. Why are you here?” “Someone’s after the Hearts. She’s trying to awaken the Younger Gods.”
The wolves snarled as one. All of them, the woman included. “And you’re here, what, to warn us? As if we aren’t always on guard? There’s precious little of the earth left in this place. You think we aren’t always vigilant?”
“We want to help,” I said, breaking with Antoinette’s request.
The woman snapped at me, baring her teeth. “You smell of the Deeps, boy.”
Again, judged before I was known. Even thousands of miles away from my family’s center of power, I was just a Greene to them. Even if I bested Esther, would I ever be rid of that stain, or would I carry it with me my whole life, my family’s sins painted clearly across my face with the distinctively bland look of our family?
“We’ve had a long day already,” Antoinette said, by way of explanation. “But he’s right. We’re trying to get the whole city to join up so we can stop this woman. She’s ridiculously powerful.”
“Her power means little here,” the woman said. “Her power comes from the Deeps, but this is the horizon, the union of earth and sky, and we are protected.”
“Tell that to the Hidatsa and Arikara packs,” I said. They’d been the last two to give up the fight. The Hidatsa had fled west. The Arikara had been eradicated.
“We are not them. But we take your offer as it is intended, in recognition of the Nephilim’s friendship to our pack. Go. This island is sacrosanct. Help the others, and when the time comes, call for us and we will be there. Our fangs will tear her throat and spill her lifeblood. It will be washed away by the Hudson and her stain sent out to sea.”
A cheery sort, this one. I could just imagine what she’s like at parties.
“Care for some juice?”
“I will rip this cup to broken shreds and see its ruin smote upon the mountain.”
“No, thank you.”
“Thank you for your time,” Antoinette said. “How will we call you?”
The woman reached into her sweatshirt, and produced a spent exoskeleton. Cicada, possibly a grasshopper. I’d always been an indoor child. “Crush this beneath your boot and we will know.”
“Will you know where as well?”
The woman snarled at me. “We will know.”
I elected not to probe further, trusting the wolf-woman’s confidence.
Antoinette accepted the exoskeleton, handling it with care and sliding it into the pocket with the Shiva Nataraja statue. “Thank you for your time. We will go now.”
The woman nodded, and another wave of shadows passed over her, leaving behind the wolf she had been before.
In an unexpected act of kindness, the wolves led us to another way down the hill, such that we were able to leave the park with no more bruises and scrapes.
About the Author
Michael R. Underwood is the author of “Geekomancy”, “Celebromancy”, “Attack the Geek”, “Shield and Crocus”, and “The Younger Gods”. By day, he’s the North American Sales & Marketing Manager for Angry Robot Books. Mike grew up devouring stories in all forms, from comics to video games, tabletop RPGs, movies, and books. He has a BA in Creative Mythology and East Asian Studies, and an MA in Folklore Studies. Mike has been a bookseller, a barista, a game store cashwrap monkey, and an independent publishers’ representative. Mike lives in Baltimore with his fiancée, an ever-growing library, and a super-team of dinosaur figurines and stuffed animals. He is also a co-host on the Hugo-nominated “Skiffy and Fanty Show”. In his rapidly vanishing free time, Mike studies historical martial arts and makes homemade pizza. He blogs at MichaelRUnderwood.com/blog and Tweets @MikeRUnderwood.
This giveaway is sponsored by the Pocket Star Publishing, an imprint of Simon and Schuster. Winners’ e-mail addresses will be given to the publisher who will e-mail back promo codes. Two winners will be chosen on 10/20/2014. Each will receive one promo code from the publisher for an ebook copy of “The Younger Gods”. EBooks are available for download in all file formats save for Kindle.