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Shorter excerpt from The Gatekeeper’s Challenge, by Eva Pohler:

The Majorelle Garden in Marrakesh, Morocco bustled with tourists weaving up and down floral-lined stone paths and over bridges across ponds of lily pads and through antique stone buildings full of paintings. Cobalt blue fountains, railings, and trim unified the otherwise multi-colored flowers and foliage. Therese sifted through the crowd and found her way just outside the garden near the trails leading up the Atlas Mountains. A dozen tents and donkeys peppered the valley with the aromas of freshly cooked dinners wafting toward the sky. Picnic tables, scattered across the valley, held tourists eating the food these makeshift restaurants prepared beneath their tents. Therese’s belly rumbled at the delicious smells even though back in Durango, she’d just eaten a burger and was full. It was lunchtime back home; here, it was seven in the evening.

She wondered what these people thought of her wearing the silk robe, the golden scabbard at her waist, and the golden shield on her back, carrying a flute in one hand and a crown in the other. Maybe they thought she was an entertainer. It occurred to Therese that, indeed, she was, for Hades.

Awakening Your Inner Goddess (Sans Fifty Shades of Grey)

When I say girls need to awake their inner goddesses, I’m not referring to the kind of inner goddess described by E.L. James in Fifty Shades of Grey (though I’m not opposed to awakening that type either). What I’m talking about is the warrior goddess of power inside each one of us, often latent and unrecognized in girls who continue to live in a world where men hold the highest offices in government, church, and the work force.  Girls are less subjugated today than they were fifty years ago, and although the playing field still isn’t perfectly level, the real culprit holding back most girls is themselves. As Alice Walker has said, “The most common way people give up their power is by believing they have none.”

At the beginning of my Gatekeeper’s Trilogy, a young adult contemporary fantasy based in Greek myth, fifteen-year-old Therese Mills believes she’s the least powerful person on the planet. Her parents have just died. Her aunt has come to live with her in her beautiful home in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, but even though this means her friends and school won’t change, Therese is ready to give up on life to join her parents. Death, known as Thanatos, has other plans.

Thanatos briefly meets Therese while she’s in a coma. Avoided by all gods and mortals because of his job, he’s shocked when she throws her arms around him and calls him lovely. He later makes a deal with his father, Hades, to go to the upperworld to win her heart. In return, Therese must agree to avenge her parents’ murder.

Throughout book one, The Gatekeeper’s Sons, Therese struggles with her feelings of ineptitude. Thanatos’s sisters, the fierce and beautiful Furies, help her hunt for the killer, but their strength and efficiency make her feel weak. She feels small and insignificant until she learns her aunt’s life is in danger. The desire to protect her loved one helps her rise above her self-pity to become the warrior she never knew she was.

In book two, The Gatekeeper’s Challenge, Therese is required to complete a set of five challenges designed by Hades, who hopes to see her fail because he’s disappointed with the way things turned out in book one. Once again, her desire to protect a loved one—this time Thanatos—pushes her past her doubts and insecurities into determined action. One by one, she faces each seemingly impossible challenge—including Ladon (the one-hundred-headed serpent), the Minotaur, and the Hydra—because it’s the only way to spare Thanatos from an eternity of torment.

The final book of the trilogy, The Gatekeeper’s Daughter (to be released December 1, 2013), once again forces Therese to look inward. All gods and goddesses serve humanity or the world in some way, and in order to remain at Thanatos’s side, she must discover her unique purpose while protecting her loved ones against antagonistic forces. In all three books, power isn’t something Therese derives from her environment, but something she finds within her once she believes it’s there. Girls need to awaken their inner goddesses and wield their power.

To celebrate the completion of this saga, I’m holding a contest from January 1, 2013 to October 1, 2013 for my readers. Details can be found at my website at http://www.evapohler.com/contest.

Find Eva on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/EvaPohler

Find Eva at Goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4888434.Eva_Pohler

Visit Eva’s Blog at http://www.bookclubpicks.blogspot.com

To purchase copies of Eva’s books, please visit her website at http://www.evapohler.com/books

You can also contact Eva at evapohler@sbcglobal.net

Victoria’s Review:

I was given this book for an honest review.

I love Greek Mythology and Eva brings you on a tour of it with a creative spirit. Therese, the main character, goes through so many mythological stories and crosses path with so many characters that you have to admire this.

I love imagination and hope Eva has every success. The writing could be tightened up. There was some places I wished for more clarification, such as a god travel on page two needed way more explanation. And the more banal swim could be lessoned. Over all I started to get it when Poseidon whoops no it’s Hip showed up soon after that. I let the writer in my go and started following the journey to all the stories I learned about in mythology class. Good read if you love the classics and a fun jaunt through so much. I kept wondering what myth was to be thrown at me next.