Excerpt From Hellbent by Tina Glasneck
I’m Tina Glasneck. Thanks Sam for allowing me to be a guest on your blog today.
Can I be honest with you? I’m obsessed with the Norse pantheon. This happy obsession comes to life in my series of gods, monsters, and heroes. Today, I’m ecstatic to share a glimpse into my novel HELLBENT with you.
What happens when Thor, the Norse god of Thunder, pulls me out of my mundane life by claiming me as the Chosen One?
“In this Sif is a struggling college student caught in-between the gods for an epic battle. All is well until both Lady Hel, the goddess of death, and Thor show up to pay her a visit. Fast paced and full of action and mythology and magic and is so good you will not be able to put this down!” Amazon Review
Have you ever wanted to be something more? To dive head first into an adventure that completely changes your world?
Then meet Sif! Her life is about to change…
(Let’s set the scene for you. Sif is with her friends, Chi, Emili, Ola and Kristen at their local Comic Convention, and when destiny comes calling…)
We were dressed in our Comic-Con outfits—me as punk rock-looking Amazonian—bracelets and all. I was accompanied by a league of badass heroic women, including Chi as an elven archer.
In the corner of the room, one seller had set up privacy screens that resembled true walls. The exterior appeared like the outside of a small mom and pop’s shop, roof and all, and a bright sign hung that said, Madam Petulia Tells All. The Welcome sign was lit up.
“I don’t know about this,” I said with a pause.
“You are the adventurous one,” Emili giggled.
Chi took my elbow. “Don’t worry. It will be fun.”
Fun is relative, like tattoos and tequila.
Before I could dig in my heels, Chi and Ola pulled me forward and pushed me through the beaded doorway. Myrrh incense filled the air, wafting and swirling around us, while chanting music played in the background.
Stepping across the threshold, my stomach clenched, tears welled in my eyes, and I swayed a little on my feet.
“You okay?” Chi asked.
I nodded and walked farther into the shop. The esoteric surrounded me, from Wiccan scythes and tomes, to New Age dream catchers.
How could all of this be in this little tent?
I looked around and behind me and still saw the dealers’ room outside.
“Don’t worry. It’s not like this woman is going to tell you something you don’t already know,” Kristen said.
She was the cynic among us, for sure. Everyone had their own role, their own place. They knew where they fit—I didn’t, and I had to learn how to navigate it.
“Are you all seeing this?” I asked.
“It’s just an illusion. Go with the flow,” Ola said.
When the woman appeared, she moved forward wearing a colorful dashiki that flowed around her. Her twists of hair hung long behind her.
Chi, you are right on time,” she said and then smiled welcomingly at me. She eyed me as if she knew who I was.
What had I done?
Her table was set out with runes and colorful clothes, and an array of jewelry, hair pins, letter openers, and other oddities.
“And this is the one who is seeking her adventure and a date with Thor?” She said it aloud, and I turned and looked at everyone.
At the mention of his name, the ground shook and lightning crashed loudly, and I could hear thunder rolling in from the dealers’ room.
“Come. Come. It appears that the gods are ready to hear your request.”
Madam Petulia snapped her fingers, and an assistant pushed forward a cake shaped like a … well it had a long shaft and a heavy two-part base. On the symbol on the base implied enough to let me know it was supposed to be a large Mjölnir, hammer-shaped cake.
In unison they all began to sing Happy Birthday, off-key, except Kristen who sang like a sweet chickadee.
We all began to laugh, and I clapped my hands, struck by their generous surprise. “Wow! Y’all did this for me?”
“Of course, couldn’t let your Asgardian-themed weekend go to waste—although I’m still not sure how Wonder Woman fits into it.” Kristen said.
“Well, she has to be related to the gods. If she takes off her bracelets, she becomes a berserker.”
The girls laughed and normally I might have, too; but three men holding a struggling Verdandi appeared suddenly in the tent. This was not part of the birthday surprise. One was bulked up as if on steroids, and his companion’s bulging pockets warned me about the weapons in his possession. I could feel his intention.
Before he could remove his gun, I felt my body shifting and moving.
There are no shortcuts to greatness, Sif, said the shrill voice in my head. Her face wasn’t seen.
“It was a mistake.”
Is this when you become a reluctant hero? You are like us all, greedy and think only of yourself. You are like all of us here. I can help you, but you must let us.
I quickly snatched up hairpins, and at the end two men were on the floor, with the pins in their throats and the girls were gaping at me. Outside of my body, I watched as I did moves I didn’t know I could do. Sure, I could climb buildings and do gymnastics, but hand-to-hand combat wasn’t a part of my repertoire.
The third man raced away pulling Verdandi behind him and whatever I had become let him.
I fell to my knees.
“That was the weirdest thing ever.” I rubbed my goose-bump-riddled arms. I felt uncomfortable in my skin. “What happened?” I asked.
They stared at me and said nothing.
Whatever was in that stone now possessed me, protected me, and used me.
“Excuse me, ladies,” someone with a deep voice said.
We stopped and turned at the sound. It belonged to the teaching assistant hottie from Professor Gaines’ class.
“I don’t wish to bother you, but it seems you all might need a hand.”
Chi got her voice back first. “What gave it away? The dead men on the floor, her bloodied hands, or did you just hear someone calling out a Norse god’s name and decided to show up for a how-are-you-doing sort of moment? Damn it, man, with all of this strangeness going on, you are really suspect right now!”
Maybe it was his costume. “Dressed as Thor, too, huh? Well, if Thor was a historical reenactment of a Viking hero ” She placed her hands on her hips as if she were readying for more of a fight.
I took in his appearance: a golden helmet rested on his head, while over his broad shoulders a long cloak was draped—and it was fluttering behind him despite there being no wind. Sophisticated gold armor hugged him and covered his tunic. His large hands were hidden in gloved bands, and around his waist rested a thick, ornate belt. This was no comic book Thor, but one that shared the true Norse god’s fortitude.
“Thor?” I chuckled. “You guys went all out.” I turned and looked at them, and they looked at me.
“Nope, this is all on you,” Chi said. “Madam Petulia did say that the gods heard you. Can you tell me what we should do with the bodies now?”
“Don’t ask me. You just served me a penis cake, and I am all out of ideas.”
Madam Petulia muttered, “Sorry about that. I tried to create a hammer—it just didn’t come out so well.”
I laughed at that, too. Who knew a birthday would end up with a penis cake, a hottie dressed as Thor, and, of course, two dead men who I’d killed?
“What do we tell the police now?” Chi asked.
“Why not just offer them a piece of cake?” Ola laughed. “It worked for Marie Antoinette.”
Before another chuckle could leave my lips and I could bat my eyelashes at the handsome man before me, a bright light boomed around us.
Madam Petulia nodded. “I fear that this might not be the end.” She ducked and raced away.
He grabbed my hand.
“Come, Sif, we don’t have as much time as I thought,” Mr. Hottie said.
“Huh?” I asked. “I don’t think I need you to save me. I can save me.”
“Right now, my dear, you don’t have a bloody choice.” The urgency in his voice, the plea in his gaze, left little time for me to react. I grabbed Chi’s hand, who took Emili’s hand, and Emili took Ola’s and Ola took Kristen’s. A human chain. As he pulled me after him, what I can only guess was a nuclear wind blew toward us. He wrapped himself around us, protecting us from the chunks of concrete and insulation that came crashing down on us. Thousands of tons of rubble.
In that small cave, with me held tightly to him, he raised his iron-gloved hand, and struck the wall. It sparked and spat until a hole appeared and we finally gasped the night air.
Seeing him, I knew it to be true. It was all coming back to me. Everything that Verdandi had spoken of, had shown me, and all that Freyja had whispered.
“Until we meet on the other side.” He pushed us through.
So, what do you think? Could this be Thor?
Find out, and read HELLBENT from THE HELL CHRONICLES series!
HELLBENT is a dystopian fantasy series with strong romantic elements. Readers who enjoy dystopian fantasy fiction with Norse mythology, rising romantic tensions, and action and adventure will adore this fascinating series of gods, monsters and heroes. Learn more at https://books2read.com/THOR
Thanks for spending time with me and reading my excerpt. Connect with me and learn about my obsession with the Norse gods at my website
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About the Author:
S. K. Gregory is an author, editor and blogger. She currently resides in Northern Ireland.
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”