Sunday, May 9, 2021

Cora: Rise of the Fallen Goddess by A.L. Hawke

Release date: May 10, 2021
Subgenre: Historical fantasy, Greek mythology

About Cora: Rise of the Fallen Goddess:


Abandoned. Imprisoned. Loved.

Cora is the goddess Persephone, living in Greece in the fourteenth century B.C. In order to shelter her from prophecy, her mother, Demeter, sends her away to Azure Blue. The young girl is raised and protected by the nymph queen, Nephrea, in a dreamlike crystal palace among azure trees and amethyst fields under a green sun. She’s adopted into the Amazon code of honor, bravery, and righteousness. But Cora is not an Amazon nymph. And prophecy holds quite a different fate for her as she grows into adulthood—Hades, Lord of the Underworld.

Upon Persephone’s fall, Demeter rages and threatens to freeze the entire world under ice and snow forever. Nephrea offers a sacrifice to quell her rage, but down in the fiery world below, it might be more than just the goddess who will need saving.




Nephrea climbed over the top lookout, but Cora was gone. As she walked along the parapet, she could see why Cora had been gazing along the horizon. There was beauty in the ugliness. The whole bustling city below and the fire lakes far beyond surrounded her. But most interesting was that, at this height, Nephrea could finally make out the shadow of the farthest rock walls of the valley and the stone ceiling above. Perhaps it was the rock wall borders of the Underworld that Cora had been surveying—the farthest walls of her prison.

She looked down and was surprised to find that she could peer through the floor. And through the crystal floor beneath her was a magnificent chamber. It was a room the width of the tower, with a giant bed on one side and couches and chairs, like the chairs in Azure, on the other. White Doric columns held up the glass ceiling, the floor was a shiny white marble, and gilded walls separated sections of the room. But most spectacular was a stream of water that flowed from one side of the bedroom to a small pond with a waterfall at the other side of the room. It was a royal chamber. No, far grander. A bedchamber for the gods. There were elaborate vases and even life-sized marble statues of the gods and goddesses. But none of this majesty meant anything to her compared to the sight of a young girl sitting in a large wooden chair beside a vanity mirror, running a brush through kinks in her long, flowing, golden hair. Cora.

Nephrea tapped her foot on the glass. Cora didn’t stir. She stomped harder. Nothing. Then she got on her knees and bashed the crystal ceiling with her fists. Nothing.

Nephrea searched along the outdoor walkway for an entrance to the building. She ran across the glass floor, sliding once on the slippery surface, searching the wall for a door to enter. Turning another corner, she found a wooden door. But she also found two guards.

Nephrea unsheathed her sword.

“Stop! Who are you? Who—” He lunged his blade at her; she parried. She thrust her sword. He blocked. Then she found an opening and ran her sword along his black metal breastplate. She turned the blade and rammed it into his chest. Even with her special blade, the Eruboan’s armor was strong, but the sword finally cut through the black metal and the man fell. Then the other guard swung his sword at her. She blocked, jabbed, and blocked some more. She had fought Eruboi in the Napean wars. She knew they were fierce, well-trained warriors. These two were quite skilled. But so was Nephrea.

“Who are you?” asked the man hacking his sword at her with both hands. He looked down at his fallen comrade. “What are you doing here near the queen’s chamber? You look like a nymph.”

“Nephrea. Queen of the nymphs.”

His eyes opened wider under the helmet. His surprise made him unstable. Nephrea found an opening in his defenses and lunged. The sword penetrated his stomach. He winced and fell beside his companion. Then Nephrea fell to her knees over the two slain men, winded. To her horror, when looking down through the glass again, Cora was gone.


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About A.L. Hawke:

A.L. Hawke lives in Southern California torching the midnight candle over lovers against a backdrop of machines, nymphs, magic, spice and mayhem. The author specializes in fantasy, paranormal romance and science fiction.

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