This fortnight, the Darkside Down Under is proud to present... A Bite of Harbinger by Peta Crake.
Can you, in less than five words describe your book, Harbinger?Modern girl + manipulative gods = trouble
What inspired you to write it?
Firstly, was the frequently heard comment that nothing ever happens in Perth. It got me thinking about the sort of things that could happen in Perth. What creatures could walk the city streets while the rest of the population remained oblivious?
The answer came from a writing exercise where I had to finish the sentence: “On the morning of my sixteenth birthday…” Ophelia, the heroine of Harbinger, popped into my head and answered, “…my mother told me my father was a god. I, of course, laughed my arse off and told her it was impossible. The next day she was dead and I was left to discover the truth on my own.”
Finally, I was listening to a song I had heard a hundred times before, “Sex and Candy” by Marcy Playground. I suddenly saw an image of a man in a bar watching a girl. It all fell into place. The girl was Ophelia and the man was Aden, a demigod. That song became his theme song for the opening scene of the book, part of which you can read below.
And without further preamble, here's the excerpt!
He leant down, until his mouth was just inches away; the scent of sandalwood enveloped me and drove away the old beer smell of the bar.
‘Seriously, you don’t know what you’re missing. I promise you will have the best night of your life.’
For one second I was tempted. If he were as good as he looked, it would definitely be a night to remember. But I still had a job to do, and with some god living in my neighbourhood, things were going to be difficult enough without throwing a one-night stand into the mix.
‘Tempting . . . but no.’
A smirk curled the corners of his mouth. He raised his hand and slowly crooked his finger at me.
‘I think I’m close enough,’ I said.
His mouth uncurled. He looked at his finger, crooked it again, and then looked at me expectantly. I stared at his curled digit and sighed.
‘It doesn’t matter how much you do that, I will not come any closer.’
‘You can resist me?’
I raised my eyebrows and sniggered. ‘Well, it isn’t hard. It takes more than a tacky one-liner. I can’t be the first to say no to your charming personality.’
He glared at me, his eyes more storm cloud than arctic ice. Then he smiled and cocked an eyebrow. I got a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach, like that nervous dread you feel when you just know someone is about to tell you bad news.
He crooked his finger at a random girl, then folded his arms, and grinned like a cat that just ate the prize goldfish. Before I could remove the puzzled frown from my face, the girl left her boyfriend and walked over to us. She looked up at him as if he were the only man on earth and dragged his head down to plant a kiss on his lips. The girl might just as well have not been there at all, as his eyes never left mine. For a second, a wave of despair filled them, flooded over me and made my heart clench. Then it was gone and the arrogance returned. He winked, snapped his fingers, broke off the kiss, and pushed the very confused girl at her fuming boyfriend. She burst into tears and scurried after him as he stormed out of the bar.
‘You arsehole. That was incredibly mean and . . . ’ My tirade stuck in my throat. ‘Oh shit, you’re Aden, aren’t you?’ My mind went into overdrive as I tried to remember if I had ever been as rude to a god before.
‘In the flesh, and you are?’
‘I have a message for you.’
I thrust the scroll at him and desperately wished I could crawl into the corner and disappear. Heat spread across my face until it had to have been as red as my dress. I had been rude to a god and in the process hurt two innocent people. I was going straight to hell on an express train. How much more stupid could I get?
The scarlet seal on the black scroll glowed and disappeared as soon as it touched Aden’s outstretched hand. His eyes flicked up to look at me; the spark of interest in them sent warning shudders down my spine. He slowly looked me up and down, as if appraising a piece of furniture he wanted to buy.
‘So you are one of Hermes’ little friends. Glad to see he is making his messengers more attractive.’
‘I’m sure Daddy dearest didn’t do it for your benefit.’
Aden couldn’t have looked more surprised if I had slapped him across the face with a fish. ‘Hermes is your father?’
‘Supposedly.’ I wasn’t about to tell him I had never met the god and the only thing Hermes had ever given me was my job and a lonely mother. I hadn’t even inherited any demigod powers.
Aden’s forehead crinkled as he slowly re-read the message. I would have given anything to see what Aunt Hera had written, but that was not part of my job description. I could touch but not look. He glanced up at me again, eyes full of speculation. Time to go. If I didn’t, I was going to say something I would regret. The guy seriously set my nerves on edge.
‘Wait.’ He touched my arm to stop me from leaving, and then waved his hand over the scroll to record a new message. It sealed automatically as he handed it to me, the red wax forming a perfect circle as a pulsing gold bar of light flowed through it.
‘Take this to Nym Dryad.’
‘Your wish is my command.’
‘Oh yes, I know.’ He dismissed me with a cocky grin and a flick of his hand.
If you want to read more you can find Peta here;
For purchase and/or buy links (Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, Google) go to;
Thank you for sharing Peta, love the comment about Perth - I get it all the time too!