The Galilee Falls Trilogy, Book 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy (Superhero)
Publisher: Devil on the Left Books
Date of Publication: May 22, 2013
Number of pages: 320
Word Count: 100,000
Cover Artist: Damonza
It’s hard being a regular police officer in Galilee Falls, a city with the highest concentration of superheroes and villains in the country. It’s even harder watching your best friend, the man you’re secretly in love with your whole life, planning to marry another woman. Detective Joanna Fallon has to contend with both. When the vilest supervillain in the city’s history, Alkaline, the former crime boss who can shoot acid from his wrists, escapes from the maximum security prison, the whole city is gripped by panic.Excerpt:
Leading the pursuit is Captain Harry O’Hara, Joanna’s boss and secret lover, and the city’s champion superhero Justice, who caught the villain last time, much to Joanna’s chagrin. Before her father was murdered in a mugging twenty years earlier, Joanna worshiped the hero, but when he disappeared and failed to save her father, that adoration turned to contempt for all supers.
After Alkaline attacks too close to home and targets Joanna as his next victim, tough-as-nail Joanna has to contend with her increasing fear while struggling to choose between her life-long crush and her new-found love.
At turns vulnerable and fierce, equally mordant and winsome, Joanna is an earnest yet emotionally damaged heroine, who despite the tough breaks of her childhood sees the good in people and vow to protect her beloved city at all costs. An ass-kicking petite firecracker with no superpowers of her own, she charges after supervillains unflinchingly, never losing her wit even when facing her toughest fight. With a coy blend of whimsy and vivid imagination, she delivers both humor and thrills in an action-packed and edgy blend of comic book cool, fantasy-noir, and bitter-sweet romance.
“‘Can you be so cruel?’‘Yes, I can be very cruel. I have been taught by masters.’”-Paramount Picture’s The Heiress (1949)
The wolves are at the gate.
I count thirty police officers on my security monitors, including SWAT, all armed to the gills led by him. I always knew this day would come. It has been almost twenty years in the making, but now it’s here…this must have been how Nero felt as he played that fiddle. My Rome is burning. Soon my freedom will be gone and yet I could still manage a tune. First things first.
Waverly, one of my loyal employees these two years, runs into the study. His fear does not inspire confidence. “Sir, what are we supposed to do? The police and—”
“Stop sniveling for one,” I say, taking a sip of my Scotch. I will miss this.
The bullet I put between his eyes stops the rest of that sentence. I don’t have time to answer a million questions. Company’s coming. I down the rest of my drink as I run the electromagnet over my computer. Cleaner than the day I bought it. Must leave things tidy. I’ve already set the timers in the file cabinets. Thirty more seconds before, like Nero, all that remains of my empire is ashes.
The bombs detonate as I walk down the hall, no louder than gunshots but still rocking the walls sprinkling dust on my paintings. I wonder what will happen to my art. Probably sold for victim reparations. The Degas alone will cover the cost of the library we destroyed today. Smith and Rees are waiting in what is left of my living room. Just looking at it, especially what’s left of Bradley under that bloody sheet, I feel embarrassed for myself. I never lose control like that. I don’t know what I was thinking. I suppose I’m paying the price now.
“Sir, where do you want us?” Smith, a five year veteran of my service, asks.
I turn over the couch with a sigh. “Gentlemen, I want to thank you both for your loyal service through the years. You have both been invaluable. I wish things could have gone a different way. I apologize.” I fire a single shot into Smith’s forehead. Poor Rees is too shocked to even draw on me before he meets the same ending. The loose ends are no more. The rest is in the hands of the fates.
The last of my security doors fall, the sound of steel hitting marble echoing through the room. I cross my leg, wipe the speckles of dust off my costume, and put a smile on my face. The bane of my existence, the man I hate, who has consumed my life for years, super-speeds into my living room as if he owns it. And the press calls me arrogant.
“Alkaline,” he says beneath that dark mask.
“Justice,” I say with a nod. We stare at each other for a few seconds, even now locked in battle. “Grace?”
“She’s safe. You can’t hurt her or anyone else ever again.” He pauses for dramatic effect, or to savor his victory. “Will this be easy or hard?”
For a moment, I consider an attack. It always gives me almost orgasmic pleasure when my fist hits his body and he cries out in pain. One last taste for the road? No, I quell this urge. My body has not completely healed from our fight a few hours ago and quite frankly, I need a break. Being the scourge of the city is exhausting. “You may take me to jail now.”
As I’m led out past the frightened police and gawking bystanders, I keep that smile on my face. Not because I’m arrogant, not to save face, because…I may have lost this battle, but the war has just begun.
Then Rome will truly burn.
Today, we welcome Jennifer Harlow to Musings and Ramblings. Let's all give her a big Geeky welcome!
I have some questions for you that are writer specific as well as some fun stuff so that we can really get to know the real you. *grin* Plus we will finish things off with round of Think Fast. Ready to begin?
1. Tell us something about yourself that's not in your bio.
Hello, my name is Jennifer Harlow and I’m an alchoh…okay, maybe not that. Um, I seem to be Benjamin Button. When I was younger I was super responsible and serious, and now I’m getting older I have morphed into a teenage boy, playing video games, reading comics, and laughing at my own farts. And let me tell you, being a teenage boy is waaaaaay more fun.2. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I have four books out this year (What’s A Witch To Do?, Justice, Death Takes A Holiday, Galilee Rising), I’ve done nothing but write and sleep since March. But usually I read, play video games, and shop. God I miss those.3. How did you choose the genres you write in?
I don’t know where it comes from but I’ve always been drawn to horror, the paranormal, and the fantastic. My grandmother was worried I’d go over to the “dark side,” as in become a feature on Deadly Women or something, but the darkness has always fascinated me. I like horror because it’s so dramatic like riding a roller coaster. You get to touch that darkness, that danger, but it can’t touch you back or hurt you. The paranormal is the unexplained, and we fear what we don’t understand. Plus with the paranormal you get to have a little magic in your life, even if it’s only in a book. And with superheroes, they’re like gods on earth, having to fit in with us mere mortals. Would we shun or worship them? I like these moral quandaries.4. Is there any particular author or book that has influenced you or your writing?
Without question Janet Evanovitch, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Stan Lee. From Evanovitch I learned how to incorporate humor, mystery, and sexual tension while keeping a quick pace in the story. Hamilton showed the perfect way to combine two genres effectively, thriller and paranormal, and that a heroine doesn’t have to always be a sweet, perfect woman. She can have a hard edge and still be likable. From Stan Lee’s comics, especially X-Men, hidden in the action scenes and love triangles was a parable on prejudice and acceptance of self no matter how different you are from the crowd. I can only pray I do my idols justice with my own work.5. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Criticism? My characters tend to be whiny. I don’t see them like that, and quite frankly after all the crap I put them through they need to vent sometimes. But the best compliment was with my latest, Justice. Someone told me I made them cry multiple times. It doesn’t get much better than that.Fun Stuff
6. If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, fictional or real, who would it be and why?
Nathan Fillion so he could fall madly in love with me. IT WILL HAPPEN!!!~ He is the Geek Girl's Dream Guy (okay, well this Geek Girl's anyway)
7. You are going to be stranded on a deserted island and bring 3 luxury items. What would they be?
Air conditioning, my Kindle with How To Survive on a Deserted Island on it, and a monkey butler who knows how to make coconut daiquiris. His name would be Mr. Sprinkles.8. Pick two celebrities to be your parents. Who are they and why?
I so want Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to adopt me. They’re cool people, and rich. So rich.9. What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Um, baking soda and olives. I need to go shopping.10. If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
Her Ass Was WiseThink Fast
Summer or Winter? Winter
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Cake or Pie? Cake
Car or Truck? Car
Print or Electronic? Print
Thanks for coming by and spending some time with us. Any final words of wisdom to pass along?
Dare to be different.
This is the first book in the Galilee Falls Trilogy by Jennifer Harlow. I haven't read anything by Ms. Harlow before, but when I saw this was about Super Heroes, I decided to give this book a try. After all, Geek Girl here, and we do love our Super Heroes. :)
The story opens with a prologue from the villain's POV. Our bad guy, Akaline, is about to be captured by the police in his home base and is tying up loose ends in preparation of going to jail. But we know from his commentary, that this is just a small set back. He plans to win the war, even if he has lost this battle.
Chapter one begins three years. Detective Joanne Fallon is at a party to welcome her best friend's fiance's mother to town, as she has come to help with their wedding. This is incredibly tough on Joanne since she has been in love with her best friend Justin for over 20 years. Since the night he stopped her from jumping off a bridge at 12 years old and then became her best friend. But Justin doesn't see Joanne that way and never has. Justin's fiance Rebecca, is the perfect in Joanne's eyes. She is an pediatric surgeon, is gentle, kind and has the sweetest most even disposition. She even has a young daughter, Daisy, giving Justin the instant family he has always wanted. The worst part as far as Joanne is concerned is that Rebecca wants to be her best friend too. It's all just one big happy family.
Joanne feels that she has gotten a reprieve when she gets a call from her partner Terrance Cameron about an interview that needs to be conducted at the prison immediately. But when they get there and get inside, it turns out that Alkaline has engineered an escape plan. Joanne recognizes him just a bit too late and he escapes into the night. This leads to a task force being set up and calls for Justice, the masked hero who tracked Alkaline down and captured him once, to do so again. A fact that irks Joanne no end. See she can't stand Supers. Thinks they do more harm that good, with the destruction they bring. After all, several of the local villains had donned masks specifically to take down some of the local heroes. Joanne thinks that the Supers should all leave the hero work to those actually trained to to it.
This was an awesome book. I can tell you how good it is with this anecdote: I was having lunch at a local fast food restaurant and reading this on my ereader. When I got up to leave, a woman at the next table stopped me and asked what I was reading. She said that it must be a good book, because I kept smiling and giggling to myself. When I told her a little about what was going on, she wrote the name and author on a napkin to take home to look up herself. Of course, it was a good thing it was early in the book while I was there. Later on that evening, when I got towards the end of the book, there were several times when I was crying and sobbing so hard I couldn't read the words on the page. Oh, yes, sobbing, I who hates to read books or watch movies that I know will make me cry. It's a superhero story for heaven's sake!!
This book took my on a roller coaster of emotional highs and lows. All wrapped up in the beautiful geekiness of a superhero universe. At this point I don't know how Ms. Harlow plans to aim higher for book 2, but rest assured, I will can't wait to find out. This was a most awesome Goodreads 5 star review.
Tourwide Giveaway: 10 ebook copies of Justice in any format
Book Tour Info:
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Currently she calls Northern Virginia home but that restless itch is ever present. In her free time, she continues to scare the beejepers out of herself watching scary movies and opening her credit card bills.
She is the author of the Amazon Best-Selling F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad and Midnight Magic Series. For the soundtracks to her books visit www.jenniferharlowbooks.com.
To connect with the author online:
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