THUNDERSTRUCK by Brenda Drake … win this swag pack & read the first chapter!
I’m so excited for the release of THUNDERSTRUCK on September 11! If you’ve pre-ordered a copy or planning to pre-order it, sign up for a chance to win the above swag pack. The pack includes Wonder Woman socks, a Thor lanyard, and a necklace with Thor’s hammer flanked by a raven and a wolf. The hammer, wolf, and raven all appear in the novel and Stevie Moon dressed up as Wonder Woman for her comic vlog. The socks are adorable and I so had to buy an extra pair for myself. You enter the giveaway in the Rafflecopter below.
Also, I wanted to share the first chapter of THUNDERSTRUCK today. I hope you enjoy it.
Releasing September 11, 2017
Entangled Teen – Crave
Will be available in print soon.
Add it to Goodreads
About the book …
One strike will bring them together.
Stevie Moon is famous…at least to the subscribers on her comic review vlog. At school, she’s as plain as the gray painted walls in the cafeteria. So when Blake, the hot new guy at school, shows an interest in her, she knows trouble when she sees it. Been there. And never doing it again.
As the son of the god Thor, Blake Foster’s been given an important mission—to recover the Norse god Heimdall’s sacred and powerful horn before someone uses it to herald in the destruction of the entire universe. But while Blake is great in a fight, the battlefield that is a high school’s social scene is another matter.
Blake knows his only choice is to team up with the adorable Stevie, but she’s not willing to give him even the time of day. He’ll need to woo the girl and find the horn if he hopes to win this war. Who better to tackle Stevie’s defenses than the demi-god of thunder?
“Every page brims with captivating Norse mythology and deliciously creative worldbuilding.” Pintip Dunn, New York Times bestselling author
First Chapter …
Many have scribed about Midgard’s sun, yet none had captured the true feeling of its kiss against skin or its blinding touch to the eyes.
Bright sunlight blinked through the orange, red, and brown leaves clinging to the nearly bare trees. Einar leaned against the door of his silver Prelude. At the end of each school day, he waited there to catch a glimpse of her. He had tried to talk to her several times, but failed horribly. As though he weren’t the son of a powerful god.
The smell of exhaust fumes and autumn’s decay filled his nostrils. The air on Midgard wasn’t as sweet as back home. Nor were the plants and flowers as vibrant. But still he preferred this strange world to his own. Humans had more fun, felt more emotions, and ate unusually good food like pizza. They had more books than a being could read in a lifetime, and acted out their plays on big screens.
He opened Macbeth, the book his teacher had assigned in class. Before flipping to the spot he’d stopped on last, she came out the double doors.
Stevie Moon. A senior. She had caught his attention when he’d first arrived in Midgard. If his father had sent another emissary to find the treasure, he or she would not have noticed Stevie. A wisp of a girl with a weak heart, she didn’t stand out from the other girls. It was as if she tried to hide within the chaos of what this world called high school.
Her kindness was genuine. He’d seen her give part of her lunch to a boy who’d forgotten his, run to the nurse’s office when a girl had received a nasty cut on a poster board, and stood in the rain with another girl, shielding them with her umbrella. On his first day, she had even been generous to him, lending him a pen and several slips of paper to copy down the teacher’s notes when he had none.
He liked that about her.
He liked her.
Whenever he’d see her, he couldn’t help a smile spreading across his lips. He hadn’t felt that way about someone in a long time. Asgard held darkness for him. Midgard held the sun. And her name was Stevie Moon.
She stopped just outside the door, hugging her books and searching for something or someone. From this distance, she looked as frail as the white doves his mother kept in her chambers for companions.
Her eyes landed on him, and she headed his way.
She was looking for me? They’d hardly spoken three sentences since he’d enrolled in the school.
Einar lowered his gaze and pretended to read. What did she want? He’d tried to speak to her many times, but he felt unstable on this world. Everything on Midgard was new and
strange to him.
His heightened senses could hear the racing of her heart as she approached. Was she nervous?
“Hey, Blake,” she said.
He kept his head down, lost in his thoughts, the words out of focus as he stared at the page. He couldn’t figure this girl out. The others in the school had been easy to grasp. Not her. She never hinted to her thoughts.
“Blake?” There was frustration in her voice, and he raised his head. The name she used for him hadn’t registered.
Blake Foster. His father gave him the alias to use while on his quest.
He met her gaze. Her large, dark eyes were the color of the night sky with only a sliver of moon in it. “Hello,” he said, a smile pressing his cheeks.
Something shook her, and she glanced around the parking lot as she spoke. “You didn’t return after your restroom break. Mr. Lee assigned groups to act out Macbeth. He asked me to find you. Here.” She held out a slip of paper. “That’s your assignment. You’re in Grace Kirby’s group.”
He took the note. A breeze lifted her hair and his nose filled with the scents of honey and almonds. Her shampoo?
She waited for something. He wasn’t sure what she wanted, so they stood there holding each other’s stares for several seconds before she said, “Anyway. See you in class.”
Her rich-brown hair fanned through the air as she whirled around, and without another word, she crossed the parking lot.
A friend, her name slipped his mind, waited for Stevie by a tiny car that shouldn’t be able to fit a family of dwarfs let alone the group of basketball players crammed inside the
vehicle. Stevie said something, and her friend straightened and glanced at Blake. He returned to feigning attention on his book. One sentence stood out from the others on the page.
Something wicked this way comes.
“Well, well, don’t you look the scholar?” Blake flinched at the sound of his brother’s voice.
He closed his book. His brother had hair the color of a fox’s fur just as their father, whereas Blake had gotten his mother’s sandstone tresses.
Dressed like what their fellow students called a jock, Lajos had that chiseled-bone structure and wide shoulders the girls at school loved. Back home, Lajos was just one of many gods. Nothing special. But on Earth, he stood out.
“What are you doing here, Lajos?” Blake asked.
“Hush.” His eyes darted around the parking lot. “Do you mind? It’s Kyle down here. Kyle Lieberman.” He leaned against the passenger door beside Blake. “I was hurt to find that Thor sent you on this mission instead of me. After all, I’ve been to Midgard before, and you haven’t.”
The use of their father’s given name hadn’t gone unnoticed by Blake. His brother had lost their father’s favor. Lajos was reckless and had a habit of finding trouble.
Kyle continued, “What will Sif do to him when she discovers he sent her baby on this dangerous crusade?”
It seemed such a long time since Blake had met with his father about coming to this realm.
“Do you see that blip there,” Thor had said, pointing to a light the size of a pinprick on the globe of Midgard. Clouds moved across the living sphere.
Einar leaned closer. “I do.”
Thor’s chamber was spacious. As a boy, he’d run around the blue-glass tables and pillowed chairs, chasing Lajos. When his father wasn’t looking, they’d study the globe for hours. Clouds would move across the sphere and the sun and moon would avoid each other as the earth spun on the crystal stand holding it.
“It was quick,” Thor said. “We almost missed it. Someone opened and quickly closed the box holding Heimdall’s Horn, Gjallarhorn.”
“I thought it a myth,” Einar said.
“What are the scholars teaching you?” Thor returned his attention to the globe. “I assure you it is real. In the beginning, the horn was to announce the beginning of Ragnarok, but the Three Norns changed its destiny. Now the end of the worlds can only happen when Gjallarhorn is sounded.”
Einar remembered hearing it mentioned during his lessons before, but it was a distant thought since no one spoke of it outside of his studies.
“We must prevent it from falling into the wrong hands,” his father was saying. “Its power came from this location.” He drew a circle with his index finger on the globe where the tiny light was, and a three-dimensional image of a wide two-story building sprouted and hovered over the globe.
“What is it?” Einar asked.
“They call it a high school. It’s located near a place mortals call Seattle.” Thor tapped the image and it receded into the globe. “I cannot send your brothers. Magni and Módi are too old for that place. And Lajos thinks only of himself and his gains. You shall locate Gjallarhorn and bring it to Asgard. There are those who wish to bring about Ragnarok—to end the worlds and the rule of the gods. You must be careful, for danger follows you.”
A horn blared across the parking lot, drawing Blake away from the memory. Two male students in a white truck were yelling something to Grace Kirby and the group of girls always surrounding her.
Blake looked pointedly at Kyle. “You have avoided my question.”
Kyle gave him a slow smile. One that held contempt for his brother. “I’ve been sent by my mother.”
“Járnsaxa?” Blake’s gaze traveled across the parking lot to Stevie. It seemed as though she and her friend waited on the curb for someone. Blake pushed off the Prelude and turned to face Kyle. “What does your mother have to gain from this?”
“She figured I should find the horn,” Kyle said, his eyes going to where Blake’s had just been. “Give it to Father. Win his favor. He’ll be so disappointed in you, I’ll move up the food chain, so to speak. He’s already frustrated that you’ve been here a month and haven’t found—” He caught Blake glancing at Stevie again. “So, you’re interested in that Moon girl. Why? She’s isn’t your usual type.”
Blake slipped his hand into his front pants pocket and gripped his key chain. The small trinket-size hammer jingled against his keys. “How would you know? You just arrived here.”
“I’ve been here three days, stalking you.”
“There hasn’t been any sign of the horn,” Blake said, deciding to give Kyle what he wanted so he’d leave him alone. He dropped the keys and they weighed down his pocket again. The ring his father gave him was heavy on his finger. The lightning-shaped rune on it was supposed to light up when, or rather, if whoever had the horn opened the box. Blake was beginning to think it wasn’t operable. “No one has opened the box.”
“No worries. Big brother is here. I should have that horn within hours. We’ll be back home before you know it.”
“We shall see.” Blake hated when Kyle bragged that he was older. They were born on the same day, only minutes apart. Almost twins, if not for the fact that they had different mothers.
Kyle straightened and clapped Blake’s chest. “Take my advice, not that I want to help you, but binge some shows set in high school on Netflix. Your language sounds stiff. You’re a teenager, for chrissake.”
Blake gave him a confused look. “What’s Netflix?”
“My point, exactly.” Kyle laughed and walked off, saying over his shoulder, “I have football tryouts. Gotta show those boys what a god can do.”
Stevie stared at Blake from across the parking lot. She reminded him of Maggie. Her dark hair and wide eyes of the same color resembled the other girl’s features. His father had brought Maggie to Asgard after the Frost Giants had killed her family. They were after Thor. The family happened to be on the quiet stretch of road where the giants had ambushed him. The family was simply in the way. Casualties in a war spanning an eternity.
“If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?” Maggie had asked him on the balcony off the corridor leading to the throne room.
He remembered the sky was the deepest purple he’d ever seen, and the sun almost touched the cliffs just a ways from the castle.
Einar had brushed her dark hair from her face and kissed her. “Wherever you are,” he had said against her lips.
She had smiled, her lips still touching his. “Good answer.”
He frowned at the memory of Maggie. He’d fallen in love with her. But the Frost Giants had touched her. Frozen her insides. Thor had used a bolt of lightning to bring her back to life after he’d found her barely breathing, lying beside her dead parents. She was never the same again. Soon after that kiss on the balcony, she’d grown weak, dying in Einar’s arms when many of her human organs had stopped after an exerted hike across Asgard’s foothills.
Stevie was weak, as well, but strong-willed like Maggie. She had dropped a medicine bottle in class on his second day at the school, and he’d retrieved it for her. He had overheard someone say her pills were for a heart condition, which had stunned him in his place. The similarities haunted him.
She haunted him.
Enter the giveaway here …
*This giveaway is open Internationally.