Today we are joined by Kristi Jones who is here to talk about her new book The Corpse Goddess. When she's not writing you can find her at her website, on facebook, or at her blog! Enjoy the excerpt from her new book!
What is a Valkyrie, anyway?
When I tell peoplethat my debut novel is about a young woman who discovers she's a Valkyrie, theusual question to follow is What is a Valkyrie,anyway?
According to Norselegends, a Valkyrie is a goddess of death, a woman who chooses which warriorsslain in battle will ascend to Valhalla, a warrior’s paradise. Think of her as a sort of corset-cladgrim reaper.
My obsession with Valkyriesstarted long ago, when I was in seventh grade and attending HarkenbergHauptschule in Hoerstel, Germany. While other American kids were reading aboutsuperheroes and princesses, I was reading about Nordic gods and kick-assValkyries with major family issues.
For my debut novel, The Corpse Goddess, I've used bits andpieces of the various legends to create a world where Valkyries walk the earthin the here and now. These lowergoddesses receive one human lifetime before taking up their duties as animmortal. Their first duty is to walk with the dead.
In The Corpse Goddess, Meg Highbury is justa college student looking for a good time, but when a late night seance goesawry, she accidentally kicks off this Death Duty.
Fighting to stayalive and retrieve her single human lifetime, Meg is pitched into a moralquagmire where Valkyries struggle to adapt to a changing world and battle thegods who direct their destiny.
Excerpt from The Corpse Goddess
Hundreds of birdsflew in. A deluge of beating wings. Not just crows, but brown sparrows andwhite doves, gray owls and red cardinals.
They advanced, anairborne army, then split into two columns, lining both sides of the DairyQueen dining room.
Black Bird flew outof the night and landed on one of the Formica tables. When the hummingbirdsflew in, Meg dropped the fryer basket and the ice scraper, barely registeringtheir clattering crash to the floor.
Hundreds – maybethousands – of hummingbirds flew in two parallel lines, like swordsmen in a royalprocession. Meg wasn’t completely shocked to see Mother appear between them.She took a step back, colliding with Cousin Ed. The zombie gripped her frombehind, its finger bones digging into the softening flesh of her arms. Meg wastoo stunned, mesmerized by the vision in front of her, to take much notice ofthe zombie's grip. She felt like a shield held between Mother and Cousin Ed.
Mrs. Highbury wore ablood-red corset and white, flowing skirts. Her long, raven black hair wasloose, a mantle curling down her back. She had snow white skin and gray blueeyes that always left a block of ice in Meg’s throat.
Mrs. Highburyhovered a good foot off the ground, looking ethereal in the scant Texas moonlight.
“Ay Dios mio!” Armando gasped. Dr.Gonzalez jumped to his feet. Armando eased onto his knees and crawled backward.
The hummingbirdsflitted from table to chair, chair to table, looking for a place to rest. Mrs.Highbury puckered her red, red lips and whistled. The little birds flew to theside walls, joining the others, their soundless wings twirling like whirligigs.
A cathedral hushfell over the Dairy Queen dining room. Only the sound of the larger birds’wings, snapping like flags in a high wind, interrupted the quiet.
Mrs. Highbury landed at the gaping holewhere the swinging doors had been, her shining black boots coming to asoundless rest.