Genesis Release Day!
Welcome to release day for Genesis, the third in the Legend of Glory Trilogy by best selling author Devin O'Branagan. I'm reading the book right now and will be posting a review soon. For now, enjoy this excerpt and be sure to pick up your copy of the book.
Summary of Genesis by Devin O'Branagan
Genesis is the thrilling conclusion to the epic urban fantasy trilogy, The Legend of Glory. Eighteen-year-old Glory Templeton has returned from a time travel event pregnant with a child named Genesis whose DNA is predicted to save the world from genocide. However, evil forces of both natural and supernatural origins want Glory’s baby.
Meanwhile, Genesis’ father, Zane, struggles to find his way back to Glory after nearly two centuries of living in darkness. Angels, witches, vampires, and demons come together to do battle, and the human race is the prize. A moving tale of love, courage, and fighting the good fight against evil. Although the third book in a trilogy, Genesis is also a satisfying standalone read.
Here's the Book Excerpt of Genesis by Devin O'Branagan
The universe tipped on its side, and then I was somewhere else, standing in Jesse’s tight embrace.
He buried his face in my neck and took a deep breath. “You always smell like vanilla, Glory. I’ve missed that.”
Dizzy, it took a moment for me to be able to think. I was in my kitchen, and now here ... wherever here was. “What have you done, Jesse?”
He released me, stepped back, and grinned. “Sometimes you just gotta take what you want in life. And I really want you.”
Jesse had expressed romantic feelings shortly before he stopped being human, which totally blindsided me.
“You were my best friend for so long. Please don’t do this,” I said.
“It’s time to ramp this friendship up to the next level, don’t you think?”
It had only been a little over three months since I saw him, but he looked different. He seemed bigger now. Even more attractive than before. Intense. And, if the hard glint in his eyes was any indication, mean.
His fingers gently caressed my black eye. “Who slugged you? You want me to smite them?”
I almost laughed, but his angry expression stopped me cold. “No smiting required, but thanks for the offer.”
“Who did it?” he asked again.
“No one you know.” At least I hoped he didn’t know her. Raven’s final words ricocheted around my brain: Glory, I’m sorry. Those protective wards didn’t compromise themselves. If Raven had done it, then surely she and Jesse were in cahoots.
His eyebrows quirked. “Oh, secrets? I do love a mysterious woman.”
This sarcastic jerk was not the Jesse I knew. “Who are you and what have you done with my friend?”
“Hi. My name is Jesse, and I’m a demon.”
I looked him up and down. He wore faded jeans, an untucked white dress shirt with the collar open, and in place of a traditional necktie, a long blue silk scarf tied in a loose trinity knot. The very cool three-quarter length black wool coat with the popped collar and scuffed black boots rounded out the look. Well that, plus his artfully tousled hair, gold earring, and alluring aftershave. “Looking good. Is this British rock star chic? Retired the James Dean look once and for all?”
“I’ve always had my own special style.” At least his cockiness was familiar. His arm swept our surroundings. “Welcome to Hell.”
I looked around. “Not what I would have imagined Hell to be.”
“‘Hell’ just means ‘to hide.’ Demons hide in plain sight, not in fiery splendor somewhere deep within the planet.”
It was an elegant, sprawling apartment, and from the unobstructed view of the mountains through the huge picture windows—high in the sky. I walked to a window and peered into the deep twilight. Mountains of black stood silhouetted against the final bloody orange glow of the winter sun. Below, an abundance of city lights twinkled. “We’re in Denver?”
“In a penthouse. Up here, absolutely no one will hear you scream.” He spoke the words softly, adding to their menace.
I took a deep breath and looked around. The ebony grand piano held center stage in the sprawling living room, but the impossibly huge TV was equally imposing. A stark black and white oil painting on the wall held a quote from Dante’s Inferno: “Hope not ever to see Heaven. I have come to lead you to the other shore; into eternal darkness; into fire and into ice.” Tons of books lined shelves, a marble fireplace contained glowing coals, but what captured my attention were the red sigils drawn above doorways and windows.
“Angel warding,” Jesse said, shaking his head. “Goddamn angels.” His eyes drifted down to my belly. “I see you were touched by one.”
He thought Dominic was Genesis’ father. Given the truth, I decided to let it be. “Dominic’s not an angel anymore.”
He barked a harsh laugh. “Yeah, I imagine his wings got clipped in a hurry when that happened.”
“What do you want with me, Jesse?”
“We are going to make such a hot power couple. All the demons will be envious.”
“Wow, the nerve on you.”
He strode up to me and placed his hand on my baby bump. “Don’t get too attached to this, Glory, because a baby isn’t in my plans for us. I’ve made a deal with Nyx—she helped me get you, so she gets the kid.”
Horror stole my breath. “You made a deal for my baby?”
His whisper mimicked my own. “Demons make deals. It’s our best thing.”
I shoved him away. “You son of a bitch.”
Jesse’s smile didn’t make it to his eyes. “I love your feistiness. Always did.” He took off his coat and threw it onto a chair, then walked to the bar and held up a brown bottle. “Grand Marnier. Tastes like oranges. Want some?”
“No. How old are you now—like thirty?”
He poured an inch of the amber liquid into a snifter, then sauntered to the plush couch and sprawled across it. “Demons are timeless. My body will always be eighteen, but my mind ... well, there are no limits now, Glory. It’s heady stuff.”
My knees felt weak, and I sank onto an easy chair. “I really don’t know much about demons.”
“Remember the Bible?”
I shook my head. “You know me. Not big on religion.”
“Right.” He saluted me with his drink. “Kudos to your common sense. Bible 101. When God and Lucifer had their little family squabble, God cast Lucifer from Heaven and banished him to Earth. A tug-of-war started for the first humans—call them Adam and Eve, if you like. Whose side would they choose? Since then, if a human chose Lucifer, he owned their soul. From that pool of souls, he fathered a new species—demons. The work of demons is to deliver him more souls for the war effort.”
“I don’t understand what you get out of this, Jesse.”
He laughed. “Seriously? Look around you.”
“So, it’s about having cool stuff?”
“No, it’s about power and the fact that demons don’t have a fear gene. Not to mention I’m down with the whole strong father figure thing. You know how I’ve always admired rebels? Well, Lucifer’s the ultimate rebel. My job rocks. I’ve got a mission. I’m a rebel with a cause now. I get to do something really great.”
Confusion muddled my brain. “What’s great about turning people away from God?”
“God? Let me tell you about God.” He set his glass down on the coffee table and his hands became animated. “God’s way overrated. He wants people to love Him and surrender in a sickeningly sweet goo-fest of mindless, messy emotions that cloud reason. Sentimental crap. Lucifer wants his children to use their minds, think for themselves, be powerful.” He pointed to the bookshelves. “The forbidden fruit in the Garden was knowledge. Way to dumb down the race and keep them all blindly worshipful, right? The things the mind has the power to do, Glory. When we’re turned, Lucifer unlocks parts of the brain that are normally untapped. It’s how we teleport, and”—he snapped his fingers, and a wad of money appeared in his hand—“create anything we want.” He threw down the cash, jumped to his feet, and went to the piano. “Check this out.”
In all the time I had known him, I had never seen him this hyper. He radiated excitement.
Sitting on the bench, he began to play. Starting with a slow, bluesy number, he stroked the keys sensually and expertly. Then the tempo increased, and the rhythm started to really rock. He closed his eyes and seemed to lose himself.
Before I realized what was happening, I stood at the piano absorbing the magic of his talent. The air sizzled with electricity. I felt breathless, and the sound had me utterly spellbound. It stirred things I couldn’t define. Passionate things. What was he doing to me? Was this part of his new supernatural skill set?
Suddenly, he stopped playing, opened his eyes, and looked at me. “Remember what we did in Mrs. Wells’ art class our junior year?”
I stood silently for a moment, lost in the music still haunting the air. I shook my head to try to snap out of my hypnotic stupor.
He looked stunned. “No? How could you forget one of our best times together?”
I remembered. Everyone was showing a substitute teacher their independent art projects and when Jesse’s turn came, he pulled me up on top of her desk and announced that our project was a Polynesian fertility dance from the tribe Mongawunga. Then the students spontaneously broke out into tribal handbeats on the tables and without even a heartbeat of hesitation, I got into the groove and we gyrated and ground against each other until the assistant principal stepped in and sent us to the office.
Despite everything going on, the memory reminded me of better times and I burst out laughing. “Yeah, but was that dance really so bad that we deserved a three-day suspension?”
“Well, the sub did run out of the room screaming. I guess they had to punish us somehow.”
The delighted smolder in Jesse’s eyes as he relived our infamous mating dance surprised me. How could I have missed the signs of his attraction to me?
He smiled a real smile. “You’re so beautiful when you laugh.”
I could see the man he might have become if he hadn’t embraced this madness, and my heart broke for him again. “Oh, Jesse.”
“I’m one hell of a guy, you know. Give me a chance.”
I held out my hands in supplication. “Seriously?”
“You fell in love with a vampire and an angel. So, you end up with a demon. Being all conventional was never your thing, right?”
“What’s Nyx going to do with my baby?”
He shrugged. “Eat it. Demonize it. Whatever she wants.”
I couldn’t wrap my head around his callousness. Well, he had killed his own sister; what did I expect from him? “Did you have to kill Belle Starr?”
“Yes. Yes, I did.” He said it without a hint of remorse or guilt. “She’s better off dead. Parents? Batshit crazy.”
Jesse was the insane one. I thought it wise to change the subject.
“When did you learn to play piano like that?”
“Now I can do whatever I decide to do.”
“Why didn’t you learn to play music when you were human?”
“Sure, in between cleaning up my mom’s puke from her boozing, and doing work on the farm that my dad was too stoned to take care of. Not to mention raising Belle and trying to keep her safe from them. Yeah, I had loads of free time to follow my dreams. Oh, and let’s not forget the dodging of fists.”
“It was your mom who beat you, wasn’t it? I always thought it was your dad until I saw how your mom behaved the night ... well, the last time I saw you.” The night Jesse killed Belle Star their mother was drunk and vicious to them both. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Share the misery? A dad slugging a son is one thing. Whole different animal when it’s a mom. What kind of friend would I have been if I laid that burden on you?” He stood. “Hungry? I can snap”—he snapped his fingers—“you up a steak dinner?”
I shook my head.
“Well, if you change your mind, I stocked the kitchen. Chocolate, fresh fruit, and a lot of stuff you probably haven’t been able to get hold of in a long time.” He grabbed his coat off the chair where he had thrown it, removed a set of keys from the pocket, and slipped them into his jeans. Then he threw the coat back.
I registered the fact that he had secured the keys. Would those keys get me out of here? A plan born of desperation popped into my mind. “Please, Jesse? Please let me go.” Deliberately releasing the tears I had been fighting back, I threw my arms around him. He embraced me while I gave vent to those tears, but when my hand strayed down toward his pocket, he grabbed my wrist.
“Glory, Glory, Glory,” he whispered in my ear. “I taught you how to pick pockets, remember?”
I sagged with defeat.
He held me tighter. “What am I going to do with you, babe?” His voice sounded amused. And aroused. “Well, actually, I have a few ideas.”
“I’m in love with someone else.”
“My ideas have nothing to do with love.”
“Please don’t do this, Jesse.”
“Your disappearance is really going to break Dominic’s heart.”
“Yes, it will.”
He released me, picked up his drink, snapped his fingers, and the liquor erupted in blue fire. Then he drank the flaming spirits without flinching. “I’ve got mad skills. Don’t try to one-up me again. It won’t end well.”
I glanced at the front door, saw there was a double-keyed deadbolt, and tried to figure out what I could use to pick the lock.
“Yeah, I taught you how to do that too. Not gonna work here.”
I thought about how dire my situation. Jesse was an insane demon with true mad skills, Nyx had a claim on my baby, this little corner of Hell had wards against angels, and no one knew where to find me. I didn’t have a snowball’s chance. “Good times,” I muttered.
“We will have them. Trust me.”
I had the urge to slap that smug look right off his face.
“I’m calling it a day.” He gestured to a closed door. “My bed’s in there if you want to join me.”
“Not going to happen.”
“I could just take you.” He stepped in my direction.
“Yes, but you won’t. You want me to want to be with you.”
“You always were a smart girl.” He moved closer. “There is a guest room, but you could have a lot more fun in mine.”
I tried to back away from his slow, deliberate approach, but ended up against the bar.
He leaned in, grasped my head with both hands, and looked deep into my eyes. “Relax. We’re just getting to the sexy part.”
I tried to turn away, but he held tight and kissed me. His soft, seductive lips tasted sweet, like oranges.
Finally, he released me. “I love it when girls play hard to get. Makes the winning so much more fun.” He winked and headed toward his bedroom, but turned back to face me. “Oh, and you really might want to rethink your sleeping arrangements before Nyx gets here. She’s planning on using this as a base of operations for a while, until your baby comes. Wants to be here for the blessed event, and all. You might feel safer in my arms. The devil you know, and all that.” He went into his bedroom, and the door slammed shut behind him.
“Well, hell,” I said to the walls of Hell.
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About Best Selling Author Devin O'Branagan
Bestselling author Devin O'Branagan weaves tales of uncommon heroes. Her genres include paranormal thrillers, young adult urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and romantic comedy. Devin’s books have been published by Simon & Schuster's Pocket Books, German publisher Heyne Verlag, Turkish publisher Dogan Egmont, and indie publisher Cornucopia Creations. They are available in print, eBook, and audio formats. Her website is www.DevinWrites.com
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