"A coming of age story is wrapped up inside a mystical journey. Not only is Gardenia searching for herself, she is striving to rise above the path that has been laid out for her. The eternal question on whether or not someone can change their ‘fate’ is addressed in this delightful read." - Literary Titan
Published: April 2017
From author Angelina Kerner (Seven Hours: Challenge Accepted) comes an all-new fantasy series about Gardenia, a daughter of Athena, and her 100 years of coursework on how to create whole new worlds and subjects of her own.
A sheltered schoolchild in a realm of condescending gods and goddesses, Gardenia goes to Earth on a dare to witness the unsavory side of mankind for herself. Believing she can do better, she undertakes the formation of an entire galaxy, but without permission from Zeus.
Zeus disciplines her by assigning an epic 13-fold creational lesson destined to take her a century to complete. But he is taken aback once more when she makes an odd choice. She vows to fulfill this knowledge quest by tracking down a lost race of dragons, and discovering the secrets they’ve kept since time began.
Searching the universe to meet even one dragon may be a fool’s errand, but that’s the least of her worries. For ancient wartime resentments linger between the nations of dragons and deities, and some dragons would attack Gardenia on sight!
Yet she ventures out undaunted, learning unexpected things about nomadic life, tender love, and mortal peril along the way. The biggest surprise of all, though, goes by the name of Ri. Ri may be the man of her dreams, the voice in her head, the dragon she’s seeking, or all these things and more...
Meanwhile, the Fates brew sordid plans of their own and Hera jealously sets traps and trials for Gardenia at every chance. What’s a young goddess to do? Flight or fight?
I coughed and spoke out loud to myself. “If I don’t find a dragon in this cave, there’s always the other side of the canyon to explore tomorrow.”
“What does a young goddess want with me?” A loud voice echoed through the cave making me jump back from surprise.
Two big green orbs appeared high above me.
“H… hi,” I said.
No answer came.
I looked deep into the big green orbs, trying to find the right words all the while with my hands clutching my shirt and my heart pounding loudly in my ears.
“I want to be your student!” I reddened at my outburst.
He started laughing at me. At least I thought that the dragon was a he.
My hands dropped to my sides and I giggled from nervousness, but soon stopped because my ears picked up a sound of something huge sliding against the cave’s ground, making me step back.
The dragon’s steps were deafening. They felt like a small earthquake. I caught myself by leaning against a column. The green orbs seemed to glide closer than ever. They made my heart flutter with fear of the unknown. I wanted to turn myself into a butterfly and hide in one of the crevices of the cave, but all I could do was step back and hope for the best for the best for turning myself into a butterfly would be a rude jest.
The more steps I took, the more disoriented I became. My mind focused on the booms of his steps, the gusts his wing movements caused, and the sliding tail but there were other sounds all around. I also heard the screeching of bats that cowered in crevices, the droplets of water, and the crushing of the rocks. His tail reminded me of a gargantuan, slithering snake.
I continued to sidle until until a sharp outcropping grazed my back, making me jump forward a little so jagged edges wouldn’t puncture me.
The earthquake stopped.
He leaned forward. I could now feel his burning hot breath and see outlines of his teeth. I giggled again. His canines were indeed sharp.
“Not ever did a god or goddess come to learn from me or my family. Why would you want to learn from a dragon?” he questioned. “Your family taught you our joint history, did they not?”
His voice was loud, majestic, and curious.
“Dragons came first. I can’t learn from my family for they are liars They are greedy and corrupt. Time changed them over their immortal years. I’m the youngest goddess, who never felt part of the family. They look down upon me. I didn’t want the condescension,” I explained.
“So Mother Universe gave powers to the gods, She chose the wrong beings?” his voice made me feel mocked.
“Anyone would have turned corrupt. Immortality is a formula for corruption.” I shrugged.
He chuckled and stepped back. “Well said, young goddess.”
“Will you be my teacher?” I questioned him. My heart thumped nervously once again.
“What would you like to learn?”
“The first day of creation,” I answered.
About the author:
Angelina Kerner, a Pisces, was born during the Chinese astrological year of the Snake, which she absolutely adores. Angelina loves snakes, and was once allowed to feed one a rat. That was an experience of a lifetime.
She moved around during her young years from Novosibirsk to Kaluga in Russia. Finally settling in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, her teenage years were spent dancing in troupes and performing on stage. The dances ranged from waltz to tango, from Jewish to Russian, and finally belly dance. She was accepted into six out of seven universities, and decided to stay close to her family. Angelina pursued a psychology degree until she saw graduates working for Starbucks and then decided to pursue another career path in the department of Social Sciences. The difficult coursework, her job, and finding her life partner inspired her to turn to writing which, at the time, wasn't so much a hobby as a way to escape daily routine.
She worked on countless stories, never really finishing them, but came to understand that flash fiction wasn't for her. After finding an online community where she met her best friend, her writing flourished, making publication a possible next step. She is now the author of one published novel for both young adults and adults, and aspires to publish her other fantasy and crime fiction works soon. Her next project involves a competition for a beautiful phoenix. That novel will, hopefully, make its debut in 2017 or 2018. Angelina currently divides her time between her family, work, writing, and a lot of cats.