Excerpt: A Girl’s Guide to Landing a Greek God

Excerpt: A Girl’s Guide to Landing a Greek God

Book 1: The Mythmakers Series

Chapter One

As the ancient pipe organ at Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church belched out the first few notes of “The Wedding March,” Angie Costianes of Astoria, Queens, the daughter of a man who’d jumped off a bridge and a woman she often wished would follow suit, fought off a last-minute attack of the dry heaves and sashayed toward her destiny.

I’m doing the right thing. I know I am. 

She was almost thirty, for godsakes. It was time. And it wasn’t like she was settling. Nick was a damn good catch, with a full head of hair, a knowledge of baseball that rivaled her own, and a recession-proof job at FedEx. Not to mention he really, truly cared about her. Always had, ever since they were in the third grade and he’d flatten anybody on the playground who dared call her “Gi-gan-gie.” So what if he was the one who had come up with that nickname. So what if his idea of the perfect evening was a bucket of hot wings and an Adam Sandler flick followed by ten minutes of welt-inducing sex on his corduroy couch. So what if he got a little stupid after two shots of Ouzo and developed a wandering eye after three. Seriously, what man in her little pocket of New York didn’t?

And if she wasn’t head-over-heels, weak-in-the-knees, heart-thumping-out-of-her-chest in love with him, she could honestly say she felt comfortable around him. Free to be herself, warts and all. That was enough to make a go of things, right? It wasn’t like she was some starry-eyed teenager mooning over a Yankees player who happened to smile in her general direction. She was an adult, with miles of dating experience in her rearview. An adult who’d long since abandoned the notion that Prince Charming was out there somewhere, ready to come charging up in his white Porsche and sweep her off to a land of multiple orgasms and limitless credit cards. How did her mother put it? “Fairy tales are for children and the emotionally retarded. And the sooner you accept that, the sooner you’ll be able to settle into a nice, ordinary life.” Her mother said a lot of things that drove her nuts, but that one had a ring of reality to it. 

So Angie slowed her sashay — might as well give the people their money’s worth of this gorgeous gown and killer ’do — and worked up a homecoming queen smile. And just as she did, Nick turned and looked at her, his face so full of pride that she felt her eyes misting up. 

Then he adjusted his crotch. And Angie Costianes did the only thing she could under the circumstances. She kept right on smiling. 


Milos stood on the cliff, his bronzed feet clinging to the rocky outcropping above the tortured sea. And although the rain was pelting him from all directions, he didn’t even feel it. His mind — and his heart — were half a world away.

She cannot be doing this thing, he thought. It is beneath her. 

Nevertheless, there she was, marching that gloriously voluptuous body of hers down the aisle toward that imbecile. A man who wasn’t fit to gaze at a single star in her constellation.

Oh, how I wish I could reach out and smite the little slug.

That, of course, was forbidden — a lesson he’d learned the hard way several years ago. But he’d do it again in an instant if it meant keeping her safe. 

As she drew closer to her groom, a frightening thing happened. She smiled. Not hesitantly, but full-on with what appeared to be an abundance of joy. And although these images of his were never as clear as he wished them to be, there seemed to be no one in the vicinity training a firearm on her. She was doing this of her own free will.

A scorpion wriggled up to his big toe and playfully reached out a pincer, hoping to endear itself to him. Without a blink of hesitation, Milos crushed it under his foot, perceiving its almost childlike sense of bewilderment seconds before he felt its spirit soaring into the cosmos.

And when that act of dominion failed to bring him satisfaction, he zeroed in on another target — a cypress tree whose undulating dance seemed to be mocking him. At lightning speed, he bolted over to it, snapped it off at the roots and made quick work of the branches. Then he stepped up to the precipice, thrust his arm back, and heaved the thirty-foot trunk into the sea with the same warrior’s cry his brethren had been making since their glory days. The sea received it, then retaliated with a towering wave that sent him flying backward onto the rocks, landing squarely on his butt. 

As Milos stood up, smarting from the pain in his backside, he couldn’t help but smile. The sea, his father’s sea, had responded to his tirade by putting him in his place. And deservedly so. 

Who in Hades do I think I am, the supreme ruler of the universe?

In truth, he’d always taken himself too seriously, a criticism that had been leveled at him since his first conclave. He’d also been warned repeatedly about this long-distance obsession. Despite his fiercest hopes, this was not the destiny that had been laid out for him.

He sighed. Maybe after countless years and untold yearning, it was time to close the book on this earthbound creature and embrace the chosen path.

But could he?

Sadly, this wasn’t some passing infatuation. For nearly two decades, he’d ached for this woman, even though she wasn’t even aware of his existence. She was the first thing he thought about when the sun greeted him in the morning and the last thing on his mind when the world fell into its blackest slumber. She was his alpha, his omega, his very reason for being. Would he ever be able to put her behind him and love another as deeply as he loved her? The answer to that question was in every tear that fell from his eyes.

He let out a groan. No doubt about it, love was … what was that expression his brother used? A suckfest. Indeed, love was a suckfest. And he was the biggest sucker of them all.

At that, Milos found himself laughing for the first time in days. Not just laughing, but chortling at the sheer lunacy of his predicament. So loudly, in fact, that a flock of seagulls flew off, presumably in search of saner harbor.


Who the hell was laughing? And right in the middle of her vows? She’d managed to write off the howl she’d heard earlier as an outburst from somebody’s kid — probably her cousin Patsy’s aggressively stupid eight-year-old. But this assault on the most spotlit moment of her life was impossible to ignore.

Angie whipped her head around and confronted the assembled. “Whoever’s doing that, would you please knock it off?” 

 But there didn’t seem to be a joker among them. Quite the contrary. Everybody was staring at her in confusion. Except her mother, whose steely glare seemed to be saying, Get on with it before he changes his mind. 

“What’s going on, Ang?” She felt Nick’s hand on her shoulder and turned to find him regarding her with the same troubled look the congregation was giving her. 

She bit her lip, puzzled. “You didn’t hear it? The laughter?”

His eyebrow twitched for a moment, then settled into a dubious arch. “I didn’t hear nothing, Babe. I think you’re losing it.” 

Still not ready to buy into that theory, Angie turned to her maid of honor for support. But even Sylvie had an off-kilter look on her face, like she was witnessing her cousin having the stroke they’d always feared would get them due to all the pot they’d smoked as teenagers. Even her normally unruffled brother, Anthony, looked worried. In fact, the whole damn wedding party was a collection of cupped hands and suspicious whispers.

A wave of dizziness hit her. What in the world was happening? Was she so keyed up about her big day that her imagination was playing tricks on her? Was she having a bad reaction to the Xanax she’d popped this morning? Or was she out-and-out losing her mind, like everybody said her father did at the end?

Whatever was happening, it wasn’t worth attracting further scrutiny. The last thing she needed on her special day was a crack from Nick about her mental state being brought on by PMS.

So she popped him on the shoulder and turned to Father Kontos. “Sorry about that, Father K. Nerves, I guess.”

Father Kontos, who’d never met a plate of baklava he didn’t like, nodded solicitously and picked up where he’d left off. “Nicholas, do you take Angelica to be your lawfully wedded wife? To have and to hold. For better or for worse. For richer or —”

And there it was again, that freakin’ laugh! Even louder this time. Like a deranged banshee or one of those shrews from Real Housewives. And it went on and on, even as Nick said “I do.” 

Then all at once, it hit her. She knew exactly where the laughter was coming from. And it sent a shudder all the way to her toes. 

My God, it’s my conscience!

That was it. It had to be. All this time, she’d been putting up a brave front about marrying Nick. For her friends, who claimed to like him but always seemed to find an excuse to bow out after an hour in his presence. For her Ya-Ya, who’d never stopped believing her only granddaughter deserved the best of everything. For her mother, who’d been bugging her since forever to marry Nick and give her a grandchild, presumably so she’d have a brand-new ego to crush.

But mostly, she’d been putting up that front for herself. Because she’d really wanted to believe this was the right thing to do. That after all the humiliating blind dates and toxic relationships and sexual surrender, she could finally close the door on wishing and hoping and thinking and praying and start the next chapter of her life. That in a world of compromise, life with Nick was a reasonable proposition. And that growing old with somebody, even somebody less than ideal, was a helluva lot better than growing old alone.

But she’d been kidding herself, big time. She’d taken all her doubts, stuffed them in a trunk and buried them deep inside herself, figuring they’d never find their way to the surface. But clearly, her conscience had had other ideas. First, through a scream, then through loud, nagging are-you-kidding-me laughter, it had awakened her to the cold, hard truth.

There was no way in the world she could marry Nick. 

She wouldn’t just be settling, she’d be raising the white flag of spiritual surrender. Starting that long march toward a fixer-upper in Long Island City and screwed-up kids and once-a-week appointment sex and hoping to God every Friday night he’d stay out super late at happy hour so she’d have a nice, long time to sit home with a bottle of wine and pretend she was still single and everything the world had to offer was still within her reach. 

And as the laughter in her head ebbed away, she let out a whoosh of a sigh. Who am I kidding? I still want it all. Dizzying sex, stellar companionship, and a man who sees heaven every time he looks in my eyes. I know it’s out there somewhere. And I’ll be damned if I’ll let it go to some other girl because she held out longer than I did.

Suddenly, Angie knew what she had to do. 

She ran.

Off the altar and down the aisle, past a blur of friends and family. If anybody was calling out to her, she didn’t hear them. If somebody grabbed her arm to try to stop her, she didn’t feel it. She kept right on running. Out the door and down the steps and through the driving rain of the gloomy June afternoon. Straight into the street.

And a split second after the beer truck hit her, as she was somersaulting through the air, she saw a face. A man’s face. Handsome and strong and chiseled and kind. With clear blue eyes and jet black hair and an impossibly dark tan. It was a face she’d never seen before, but felt she’d known all her life.

It was the most beautiful face she’d ever seen. And it was full of love. For her.

Then she hit the pavement. And the world went black.