Tag Archives: Against All Gods

Against All Gods……

12 Feb

The GSP Romance Promo welcomes Steven R. Southard.


Growing up in the Midwest, Steven R. Southard always found the distant oceans exotic and tantalizing. He served aboard submarines and now works as a civilian naval engineer. In his stories, he takes readers on journeys of discovery in many seas and various vessels. Steve has written in the historical, science fiction, fantasy, horror, and steampunk genres. Come aboard at http://sites.google.com/site/stevenrsouthard/ and voyage with his intriguing characters in tales of aquatic adventure.

Visit Steven’s new website at: http://www.stevenrsouthard.com/


His book we are highlighting today is Against All Gods.


In ancient Athens, trireme commander Theron and the woman he loves, Galene, have each earned the wrath of jealous gods. To marry Galene, Theron must voyage to all seven of Wonders of the World. At every stage the immortal gods test their love with all the power and magic at their command. While Galene suffers anguishing torment in Athens, Theron faces overwhelming challenges at every Wonder from Ephesus to Rhodes to Babylon. Theron and Galene may be devoted to each other, but it’s doubtful whether mere mortal love can survive…against all gods.



Piraeus Harbor near Athens, 7th day of Hekatombion, Year of Archon Lysitheides (253 B.C.)

Galene loved Theron and—equally wondrous—knew he loved her, too. When he went on his voyages, she missed him each day until his return. This separation would be for several weeks, but when his ship came home this time, they could marry. Yet even that knowledge didn’t cheer her. Her sweet Theron would soon sail away from her again. She brushed away a tear before he could see it.

They stood together on a pier in the Athenian port city of Piraeus. Moored sailing ships rocked with the lapping waves; sea-birds swooped among the rocky crags of the shore; and a salt breeze wafted out of the evening sky. Behind them, servants of her father watched both her and Theron, ready to report to her father anything inappropriate such as holding hands, embracing, or—worse—kissing.

Avoiding such contact required all of Galene’s self-restraint. She’d been pursued by, and resisted many men, but this one, Theron, stood out like a horned buck among wild boars. She adored his personality, a pleasing combination of kindness, commanding presence, and wit. His handsome face framed with curly black hair and beard, his broad shoulders and powerful chest, had not escaped her attention either.

“You’re being brave,” Theron spoke in his sonorous baritone. “You grieve, but do not cry.” He smiled with warmth. “Still the most amazing woman I know.”

Gazing at his blue eyes, Galene didn’t know how much longer she could stay her tears. By the gods, she would miss him so much. “Please, just don’t speak about leaving,” she said. “I’ve cried enough about it already, alone at night. Speak only of your return when we’ll be together again. Here, I made this for you.” She held out one of her arrowheads with a leather cord to go around the neck. “Wear it and remember to return to me.”

Theron smiled and took the gift. “I will wear it always, though I need no arrow to remember my huntress. Here, take this and never forget me.” He handed her a small, spiral sea shell on its own leather cord.

Galene could hardly wait to put it around her neck and thought it looked beautiful.

“Don’t forget,” Theron said, “When I return, we can get ma—”

She felt a sudden gust of wind, strange on such a calm day. More than that, it felt as if something large had flown past her.

A tall figure appeared before them. Clad in winged helmet and winged boots, the messenger god Hermes held a golden caduceus in his right hand. He towered over them both, their heads just even with the god’s chest.

After the gusting breeze of his arrival, no other sound reached her ears. Waves and birds had halted in mid-motion. The servants appeared frozen as well.

Galene started to kneel out of respect and fear, but Hermes gave a laugh.

“Rise, Galene, daughter of Hypatos and Photine,” he said. “Theron, son of Dareios, I bring tidings for you both.”

Galene looked behind her. “Swift Hermes, what has happened to—?”

“Fear not for them,” the god smiled, showing boyish dimples. “My words are for you two alone. When I depart, all will return as it was.”

Galene had never seen a god before, and until this moment had held doubts there were any. She doubted no longer.

“There is much talk of the two of you on high Olympus among the other gods and goddesses,” Hermes said, and Galene thought she saw him smirk.

“Talk of us?” Theron asked.

“Each of you has angered a deity in recent weeks.”
Galene couldn’t believe it, and saw Theron looking at her with a puzzled expression.

Hermes smiled as if relating a joke. “Theron, you spurned Hera when she came to you in human form.”

Theron frowned, and then rubbed his beard. “There was a beautiful woman who seemed interested in me, but I turned her away, for I love Galene.”

Hermes pointed at Galene. “You rejected Zeus himself.”