Excerpt from THE IMMORTALS:
Feeling as if she’d awoken from someone else’s dream, Selene grasped at the swiftly receding images. A needle, she saw in the final flash. He had a suture needle and black thread. She reeled, sitting down hard on the rock, clutching her hand to her chest with a gasped curse.
Selene hadn’t received a vision of a woman’s last moments since the Diaspora. Why now? Why this? Her heart still raced with the woman’s fear. Selene could picture her, braids streaming as she ran from her attacker, a modern simulacrum of the innocents who’d once prayed at the altar of Artemis.
The image brought swift rage to blot away her terror. She rose to her feet, frantically scanning the riverside once more. The names she’d rejected only hours before now sprang to her lips. “I am the Goddess of Virgins,” she seethed under her breath. “I am the Protector of the Innocent.” For millennia, she’d guarded her own virginity, the most sacred of her divine attributes. Much of the time, such abstinence felt like an anachronism: Few of the women she helped were virgins any more. Yet she had never forgotten the duty she owed her ancient worshipers.
She reached for her bow.
Then she froze, uncertain.
In ancient days, she would’ve already known the perpetrator’s identity. As Artemis guided the Moon across the sky, she heard the pleas of women and witnessed the crimes of men. No one could hide from her swift vengeance. But she’d lost such supernatural abilities more than a thousand years before. Selene raised a finger to the swollen bruise on her chin, feeling the silky texture of the powder, a tangible reminder of how far she’d fallen.
In recent decades, she’d preferred to work in the shadows, defending only women who asked directly for her help—those like Jackie Ortiz, whom the cops usually ignored. Now, if even a bully like Mario Velasquez could overpower her, what use would she be tracking a murderer? Then again, how could she not try?
She looked down at the woman. You were killed steps from my home, she realized. Sacrificed as a sick invocation, a perversion of rituals I once held sacred. And I did nothing to stop it. Disgusted, she thrust aside her self-pity, her hopelessness, her despair. I may be only a shadow of what I once was, but that doesn’t mean I’m powerless. Not yet. “I promise,” she said aloud, “this will not go unpunished.”
She would let the cops do most of the legwork, but she didn’t intend to let them arrest the murderer. This heretic would die. Not in some cell, after a drawn out trial and years of appeals, but at the swift and deadly point of a goddess’s arrow.
Intrigued? Need more mythology in your life? THE IMMORTALS comes out in paperback this month! The sequel, WINTER OF THE GODS, comes out February 14!
If you missed Jordanna’s interview, click here to find it and more information about her books!