Date Published: April 1, 2017
From author Angelina Kerner (Seven Hours: Challenge Accepted) comes an all-new fantasy series about Gardenia, a daughter of Athena, and her 100 years of coursework on how to create whole new worlds and subjects of her own.
A sheltered schoolchild in a realm of condescending gods and goddesses, Gardenia goes to Earth on a dare to witness the unsavory side of mankind for herself. Believing she can do better, she undertakes the formation of an entire galaxy, but without permission from Zeus.
Zeus disciplines her by assigning an epic 13-fold creational lesson destined to take her a century to complete. But he is taken aback once more when she makes an odd choice. She vows to fulfill this knowledge quest by tracking down a lost race of dragons, and discovering the secrets they’ve kept since time began.
Searching the universe to meet even one dragon may be a fool’s errand, but that’s the least of her worries. For ancient wartime resentments linger between the nations of dragons and deities, and some dragons would attack Gardenia on sight!
Yet she ventures out undaunted, learning unexpected things about nomadic life, tender love, and mortal peril along the way. The biggest surprise of all, though, goes by the name of Ri. Ri may be the man of her dreams, the voice in her head, the dragon she’s seeking, or all these things and more…
Meanwhile, the Fates brew sordid plans of their own and Hera jealously sets traps and trials for Gardenia at every chance. What’s a young goddess to do? Flight or fight?
About the Author
Angelina Kerner, a Pisces, was born during the Chinese astrological year of the Snake, which she absolutely adores. Angelina loves snakes, and was once allowed to feed one a rat. That was an experience of a lifetime.
She moved around during her young years from Novosibirsk to Kaluga in Russia. Finally settling in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, her teenage years were spent dancing in troupes and performing on stage. The dances ranged from waltz to tango, from Jewish to Russian, and finally belly dance. She was accepted into six out of seven universities, and decided to stay close to her family. Angelina pursued a psychology degree until she saw graduates working for Starbucks and then decided to pursue another career path in the department of Social Sciences. The difficult coursework, her job, and finding her life partner inspired her to turn to writing which, at the time, wasn’t so much a hobby as a way to escape daily routine.
She worked on countless stories, never really finishing them, but came to understand that flash fiction wasn’t for her. After finding an online community where she met her best friend, her writing flourished, making publication a possible next step. She is now the author of one published novel for both young adults and adults, and aspires to publish her other fantasy and crime fiction works soon. Her next project involves a competition for a beautiful phoenix. That novel will, hopefully, make its debut in 2017 or 2018. Angelina currently divides her time between her family, work, writing, and a lot of cats.
Visit her website at www.kernerangelina.live
“Now,” Zeus started, “onto your punishment.”
“Which is?” I asked.
He tossed the empty wine bottle into a bin by the door.
“You are sentenced to study the thirteen days of creation for a hundred years with thirteen teachers,” Zeus explained.
“Great,” I responded with sarcasm.
“You will study each day for about two thousand and seven days. Give or take a day,” Zeus continued, “that is about eight years per creation day.”
“Great,” I repeated.
“You will not play any practical jokes on your thirteen teachers. You may choose your teachers, yourself. Choose wisely. You will not embarrass me again,” he said sternly. “Also know that if you take breaks you may not finish on time and then you will fail. If you fail once more, you will study for another hundred years and you will study until you will be a success.”
“Fine,” I muttered.
It wasn’t really a punishment. I knew that I had to wait a hundred years to continue working on my galaxy anyway. He was sentencing his brethren, not me.
“Everyone will know that you are my daughter soon, news travels fast, especially when Cleo talks. You don’t have to accept me as your father, but you will not embarrass me again,” he repeated himself.
You can rot in the underworld for all I care.
“You made your point,” I snarled, “now leave.”
He needed to leave. I didn’t know for how long I could maintain composure. At any moment, I’d be screaming or crying.
“Don’t take too long to choose your teachers. Every day you spend recuperating, you lose a day from your hundred years. Believe me, you need to pass and, this time, do not dare continue with your creation until I approve.”
He finally left and slammed the door behind him.
I listened to his footsteps outside my room, echoing away from me. Then I closed my eyes and tried to get my breathing under control.
“If the steps of creation must be done without pausing, will he destroy my galaxy and force me to start over? ”
“Actually, I doubt it,” my mother said thoughtfully. “He has the power to hold your galaxy in limbo for a hundred years, so he probably won’t let it go to waste.”
“Great,” I said for the third time in an hour. “Thirteen days… thirteen days.”
“You’ll be fine,” assured my mother. “just choose the best family members. I can be one of them, now you need twelve more.”
“No,” I responded and looked directly into my mother’s eyes.
“Why?” she asked, taken aback.
“I want teachers who are older than the Fates,” I responded.
Either way, the family would continue hating me.
“Older?” my mother questioned.
“I think our family has forgotten that before the Fates and Zeus, there were the dragons. They refused to be the creators of life. Instead, they became the watchers or observers. They will be my teachers,” I explained, then stared off into space as I got myself used to the idea. “Dragons will be my teachers.”