The Galilee Falls Trilogy
Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Devil on the Left Books
Date of Publication: 12/10/13
Number of pages: 282
Word Count: 102,000
Cover Artist: Damonza
Love in the time of superheroes...
The year since Galilee Falls lost its reigning superhero Justice has not been kind to Joanna Fallon. She's lost her best friend, her boyfriend, her badge, even her mind. The city of Galilee Falls hasn't fared much better with supervillain related crime skyrocketing to cataclysmic proportions.
Deliverance for the city arrives in the guise of The Royal Triumvirate--King Tempest, Lady Liberty, and Lord Nightingale--who vow to be the heroes the city needs. Salvation for Joanna appears in the brilliant form of Dr. Jem Ambrose, another lost soul in need of saving. But salvation comes with a high price.When Emperor Cain, an old nemesis of The Triumvirate, decides he will stop at nothing to make sure there is no city left to defend, it is up to Joanna to rise not only for her city, for her new love, but for herself as well…
His last words were, “I love you.”
My tear filled eyes fly open, and I spin around. Jem stands a few feet away, concern radiating from his every pore. His hair is a mess, wild and his clothes rumpled. No glasses either. He came in a hurry. Not like him to forget the details. “Joanna, please get away from there. It’s dangerous.”
I turn back to the abyss. “I was just thinking. About last words.”
“Yeah. I read the most common are, ‘Oh, shit’ or ‘Oh, God.’ Justin’s were, ‘I love you.’ He looked me square in the eyes and told me he loved me. He’d said it in passing a few times, the usual, ‘You’re my friend, I love you,’ type of thing, but deep down I never really believed him. If he loved me then he should love me, you know? Like I did him. But at that moment, his last moment, I finally became a believer. Because that’s what love is, right? Putting someone before yourself? For twenty years he loved me, and I think I just now realized he loved me a hell of a lot more than I loved him. If I even really did love him. Maybe I’m just not capable of it. Two people were on that fence, and the thought of letting go never even crossed my mind. Not even for a millisecond. But it crossed his. Because he was good, and strong, and capable of the biggest love of all. And he’s dead. And I’m here. It should have been me.”
“No,” Jem says forcefully. All of a sudden he’s next to me, grabbing and turning me toward him. “No.”
“Anyway you look at it, his life was worth more than mine. I die, a few people are sad for awhile, but they move on. He dies, the whole city implodes.” I wipe a tear off my cheek. “Who the hell am I? I’m nothing. A traumatized alcoholic who ruins everything and everyone she comes into contact with.”“That’s not true.”“It is. I hurt everyone I care about. Justin, Harry, Lucy. I make everything worse. I mean, why the hell would God let me live when such better people die? Rebecca, Daisy, my dad, Justin. It-It-It doesn’t make sense.”“No, it doesn’t. That’s why it’s the eternal question: why him and not me? Why does a murderer go free while an innocent man is convicted? Why does my brother draw breath but Uma doesn’t? There is no answer, Joanna. I’ve searched for it all my life and haven’t found a clue. And believe me when I say if you let that question take over your life, it can nearly destroy you. Pursuing that question allows guilt to guide your life, and that is no way to live it.” He closes his eyes. “Believe me.” He opens his beautiful eyes again, looking square in mine. They’re brimming with sadness and hope. “You-You turn around and survey your life, your goals, and you don’t recognize them. Or yourself. But you continue looking because the quest is all you have. And you’re alone. So alone for so long with only that guilt to drive you that when someone wonderful comes along, so wonderful you actually begin to imagine another life for yourself full of love and joy, it rocks you to your core. You’ve seen the dawn after a million starless nights, and it’s beautiful, but you’re afraid it’s just an illusion. That it’ll be taken from you, or that you never really saw it, and you’re alone again once more with that ache. I don’t want that for you. Justin wouldn’t either. You survived. You’re alive. So live.”I can’t hold back a moment longer. I fling myself against him, wrapping my arms around his torso in a hug. His limbs envelop me as I finally allow myself to burst into tears right against his pulsing heart. It beats so fast and strong against my cheek. Our limbs melding, his warm body feeding my cold one, his smell of stale sweat mixed with faint cologne, all of it bliss.We remain like this for one perfect second before I sense him gazing down at me. I pull apart to look up but don’t dare meet his eyes. His hands move to my cheeks, cradling my face. His thumbs wipe my still falling tears, and I place my hands over his. “Please tell me I’m not crazy,” he whispers desperately. “Please tell me I’m not imagining this. Please tell me you feel this too. Please.”I want to speak, but the words won’t come out. Everything becomes real when you say it out loud. Somehow I find the courage to gaze into his eyes, the sadness brimming in them shifts to awe and something else that scares me to fucking death. I leap away. “I-I have to go. I-I can’t…I’m sorry. Bye.”Like the fucking coward I am, I sprint off that rooftop as fast as I can, down the stairwell, and out of the hospital before all my resolve fades. I can’t take much more of this. I can’t keep this up. He just needs to…no. I stop at the edge of the dark river to catch my breath. No more. This needs to end one way or another. I’m done.I quit.
Hi Jennifer :) Glad to have you here.
Now, to start, what inspired you to write the "Galilee Falls Trilogy"?
This series really has its roots in Batman. When I was about six, my father took me to see Tim Burton’s version and I just became obsessed with the world. How dark it was, how one normal man could make a difference, and all the cool action (yes, I was very weird even at six.) From there I really got into comic books and Batman led to X-Men which led to all things geeky. My F.R.E.A.K.S. series is more X-Men, super powered people fighting supernatural forces but Galilee is more Batman. I just really wanted to explore a character and world where a normal person can contribute to the world even when faced with super situations and people.
How would you describe the series to someone who hasn't read it yet?
I always have a hard time describing the series because it’s so many things. It’s an action adventure, it’s sci-fi, it’s a thriller, it’s fantasy, but at its core it’s a love story between friends, between a woman and her city, and in the second book it’s a love story between a damaged man and woman. It just happens to have superheroes and supervillains.
Describe Joanna 3 words.
Fierce, loyal, wise-ass.
What scene did you have the most fun writing? Why?
Not to give too much away, there’s a scene in the second book GALILEE RISING where someone makes a declaration of love and the recipient doesn’t have the usual happy, sweet, hearts and flowers reaction. I didn’t plan for the character to react that way but it made sense when I wrote it. I always crack up when I read it. Hope y’all do too.
Why did you write a superhero urban fantasy?
I did it because it hadn’t been done before, or at least when I started writing the first one. The genre is growing but still is lesser known. I adore superheroes and especially supervillains. I read comics all through my childhood and still do sometimes. Really, in my other series I write vampires and werewolves and the difference is so slim. Both superheroes and supernatural creatures are tortured, often have double lives, and have to acclimate to a world where they’re freaks. If you like vampires and werewolves that make up the glut of urban fantasy, you’ll like superheroes and villains as well. I know I do.
Where do you see the trilogy going?
I have one more left, FALL OF HEROES, which God willing will be out next year sometime. I can’t say much about it without giving away the big spoilers from the first and second book, but I can say just when things seem great for our tough heroine, her world is rocked once more by a double betrayal while a virus begins decimating the superhero population. That’s all I can say, sorry.
Do you listen to music while you write?
I can’t write without it. I don’t do silence well. And if you go to my website, www.jenniferharlowbooks.com I always post a soundtrack.
Did you always want to be an author?
I’ve always been a storyteller, but I fought against being an author. The pay sucks and you’re rejected constantly by both publishers and readers. It’s beyond soul crushing. If I could be anything else, I would. But I can’t not write. I love it so much. It’s in my blood, my heart, my soul. I wrote books for ten years before I ever even got an agent let alone saw my book in print. Being an author is not for the faint of heart.
Does your family read your books?
The women in my family do, but not the men. Besides my dad, who only reads spy novels and non-fiction, none of the men read at all. I don’t force the books on anyone in my family and I don’t take it personally when they don’t. They do recommend them to their gal friends. That’s good enough for me.
Can you tell me some of your favorite authors? How about books?
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 was 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.
What are you currently working on?
In February the second of my Midnight Magic Mystery series WEREWOLF SINGS THE BLUES comes out, so I’ve been doing the final edits on that for publication. I just finished writing the third in that series and am deep into edits right now. It’s been twelve hour days all this month. For next year…I don’t know. I want to publish the third in this series but haven’t even begun writing it yet. I’m about 2/3 done writing the forth in my F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad series, which I will now indie publish so I want that one out next year. And off and on I’ve been editing a steampunk romance I wrote years ago and will probably indie pub it too next year. So, really, I’m editing three, writing two, and at night working out the major plot points for one. It hurts my brain thinking of it all.
A few short answer questions:
Tea or coffee?
Mocha Frappachino with whip cream
Do you prefer the seaside or the mountains?
Sweet or salty?
Print or ebook?
Movies or TV shows?
About the Author:
Jennifer Harlow spent her restless childhood fighting with her three brothers and scaring the heck out of herself with horror movies and books. She grew up to earn a degree at the University of Virginia which she put to use as a radio DJ, crisis hotline volunteer, bookseller, lab assistant, wedding coordinator, and government investigator.
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, Midnight Magic Mystery series and Justice, the first in the superhero thriller trilogy. For the soundtrack to her books and other goodies visit her at www.jenniferharlowbooks.com