Haydee Miller is on the brink of panic. When she was sixteen, she swore that she’d be married by her thirty-third birthday. It’s part of Haydee’s grand Plan, which saved her sanity when her mother died and her father was too overcome by grief to remember he had a teenage daughter. The Plan has guided Haydee for half her life and never failed her. Until now.
With her birthday looming and no Prince Charming in sight, Haydee is surprised to discover that her bookstore’s newest employee is the gorgeous Goddess of Love, Venus herself.
Venus is certain that Haydee’s One True Love is the darkly handsome Derek, a world-renowned photographer who has returned to his hometown to settle down. The only problem? Derek and Haydee fell in love ten years ago—before he abandoned her without a word of farewell, leaving her with a broken heart and a secret she has never revealed.
Somehow Venus must heal this damaged woman and reunite her with her True Love. It won’t be easy. Every man in town, married or not, is pursuing Venus, even when she makes herself over into the ugliest woman on earth. Are her goddess powers malfunctioning? Can she make a Love Match without them?
|Publisher:||Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC|
|Edition description:||First Edition|
|Product dimensions:||4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
A firm believer in Happily Ever After, SHANNON MCKELDEN lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband, two children, a dog, and four cats. Her first novel was Venus Envy.
Read an Excerpt
It’s not every day that an actual sign seems like "a sign."
Most "signs" are things like, you know, your treadmill breaks, which is clearly a sign that you really didn’t need to do all that sweaty exercise anyway.
Or, that boutique you love has Donna Karan on sale for, like, two percent off, which is soooo a sign that you need to pick up that new little black dress you’ve been dying to indulge in, even if it’s still over your bud get. (Not that you should let a little thing like a bud get ever stop you from treating yourself to wardrobe indulgences, anyway.)
Or, when you find yourself slaving on Earth as a fairy godmother— when you’re really a goddess who should be enjoying a life of luxury. That’s a sign that your father, who may be King of the Gods, is also a pigheaded ass who doesn’t understand you at all, and is just flaunting his authority . . . well, that’s not important now.
What’s important is that I have seen a sign. A real sign. One that says "Mount Olympus Books." This is most definitely a sign . . . if you disregard the "books" part, which I do, because, really, all those words cluttering up perfectly good paper? Not so much my thing.
Mount Olympus on the other hand? So. My. Thing.
This can only be a good sign. Not only is there a real sign denoting my favorite place in the whole cosmos— home—there’s also a window display dedicated to Greek mythology. With, I might add, a prominent showcasing of my favorite statue— the Venus de Milo— which even makes me more willing to overlook the blatantly un-PC use of the term "mythology" when referencing the goddesses and gods that make up me and mine.
Not that there aren’t some gods and goddesses who I wish were myths. Starting with Daddy Dearest.
A rumble of thunder warns me to get my thoughts back on track.
Fine. I duck into the bookstore, a bell announcing my presence, dragging my bags behind me, in case Zeus should decide to soak me with a rainstorm out of spite. I have better things to turn my attention to anyway. Like getting on with fulfilling my quota and getting off restriction. Is that not the stupidest thing you ever heard? Putting a grown goddess on restriction? I’m far too old to be grounded just because Daddy was "disappointed in my behavior." I’m disappointed in his behavior, too, but do I get to do anything about it? No.
The only way to get off this Zeus-forsaken planet and back to Mount Olympus is to pick another godchild— like I haven’t already had hundreds over the last two millennia— and find her a match made in heaven.
So, with that in mind, I prop my suitcase against the wall beside the door and take in my surroundings in a clinical, yet professional, manner. I decide that taking seriously my job (read: punishment) as a fairy godmother is necessary. However, I cannot overlook that I appeared for this par ticular job in front of Mount Olympus Bookstore. Coinkeedink? I think not.
At first glance, the store is deserted, and I see nothing to reveal my purpose here. It’s a bookstore. They sell . . . books. I try to avoid books. I read catalogs. Reading books seems like a waste of perfectly good shopping time, in my opinion.
"I’ll be right up," a voice drifts up the stairway to the right of the front door. Running parallel to the front of the store, it leads down to a lower level— probably full of more books.
I shudder. "Don’t hurry," I instruct the voice. It’s not like I’m going to buy anything anyway.
Suddenly, it occurs to me—
If Zeus thinks he’s getting me to give up shopping and become a bookworm, he has another freakin’ think coming. I know his tricks. I know his schemes to try to change me. And it’s not going to work!
Following the scent of strong coffee to the left, I find the front counter, so I meander over there. A short-haired black feline is curled into a ball in one corner. On my best days, I don’t care for cats. They’re too . . . lower-life-form for me. (Oh, and lest you think I am prejudiced against cats . . . I don’t much care for dogs, either. I’m an equal opportunity pet hater.) This particular cat isn’t earning any brownie points, either, as he’s raised his head from the counter and is staring at me. And not in a friendly way. Like I care. I’m here to find a godchild, not to win a popularity contest with hairy beasts who just shed all over my designer togs.
A stack of business cards tells me I’ve arrived in Bander, Oregon. Never heard of it. Obviously I’ll not be hanging with the glitzy and sequined famous here. A year-at-a-glance calendar on the wall behind the counter (with all the bygone days meticulously crossed out and another day about six weeks from now circled boldly with red pen) reveals that it’s nearly mid-May. Six months from the time I finished up with my last love life make-over. Thank goodness, being immortal, jumping around in time doesn’t have quite the same discombobulating effect on me as it would on humans if they were to do the same thing. I’ve bounced around so much over the last two thousand some years, I couldn’t possibly give you an accurate timeline of world history. It’s like being on a loop-de-loop roller coaster sometimes. Except I’m looping through time.
Anyway, back to the ever-present present. The rest of the store reveals books, books, and more books. Arranged . . . alphabetically? Artistically? Astrologically? I wouldn’t know. It’s not like I’ve ever purposely entered a bookstore before. Multiple broad windows and a set of French doors run along the entire wall opposite the front door. Beyond them, I can see a deck and, beyond that, the ocean. A few cozy settings of chairs face the windows. Like for people to sit and read in, I guess. What ever.
Twirling, facing back toward the front of the store, I notice a sign on the wall near the stairs indicating that customers will find the children’s section downstairs, as well as computer manuals and various and sundry other inconsequential subject matter. Upon Zeus, why would people want to buy computer manuals? Computers are another waste of time that could be spent on valuable retail activities— unless, or course, you’re shopping online. And I highly doubt anyone would need a manual to perfect online shopping techniques. It’s simply a matter of point, click, and checkout. Not too highly brain-taxing.
Voices drift up the stairwell again. Probably discussing which boring old books to waste their money on. Hey, if they have American Express accounts wanting use, I’m more than willing to take some credit off their hands at any boutique in town.
But I have more important things to think about right now. Finding a new godchild. Fixing what ever’s wrong with her. And getting the heck back to the real Mount Olympus. I need a plan. Because I’m bound and determined to do it right this time. To follow the rules (which I’m aware will require actually reading the rule book more thoroughly; still, it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make if it means I’ll find out what I’ve been doing wrong all these years). I’m going to ace this love match, I just know it!
I go back to looking around, waiting for another sign, and growing more bored by the moment, until I remember why I entered the store in the first place— aside from digging its name. The front window display.
I can’t suppress my little happy dance when I spy that the back of the display window is open. It contains several glorious picture books with such titles as Venus, Goddess Extraordinaire and The Art of Aphrodite, as well as framed prints of various artists’ renditions of moi. While my mind continues to plan firmly my next step, my ever-so-eager ego can’t help but shiver with joy that someone who works in this store obviously has an obsession for all things goddesslike. Or at least Aphrodite-like. And, after all, isn’t she— me!—the most significant goddess?
Anyway, I need to choose a new godchild and, unlike my last Extreme Love Life Make over, when I picked my godchild at random (she liked my Gucci bag, what can I say), this time I will not use such frivolous means to choose a project. This time, it will be all about level-headedness and common sense.
I barely stifle a squeal and reach into the window display to snag the Venus de Milo replica. Clutching the statue to my breast, I savor the flood of memories that could potentially make me do something really stupid. I loved posing for this statue . . . the original one, I mean. My godchild at that time had been a house maid in the home of a sculptor. It had been the best make over ever . . . mostly because the little waif’s boss had taken a liking to my, uh, form, and the focus had turned— rightly—to me. Oh, I got that job done, of course. And I’d done it with gladness. With joy. Maybe because I had been adored and worshipped. Maybe because . . .
Concentrate, I think. But I don’t let up my grip on Mini Me. I’d last seen a reproduction like this during a match I’d made years ago. A good match. A happy match. I need another one of those. I need to get my groove back.
This time, I vow, I will choose the perfect godchild. Based on study and contemplation. After interviewing candidates and giving the pro cess much thought and deliberation. Only then will I—
"Is Aphrodite your favorite goddess, too?"
I whirl around to face the speaker.
And I know instantly, that this time, I will choose a godchild who obviously idolizes me like I haven’t been idolized in Far. Too. Long.
Excerpted from Venus Guy Trap by Shannon McKelden.
Copyright 2009 by Shannon McKelden Cave.
Published in January 2010 by A Tom Doherty Associates Book.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Really wasn't at all enamored about this book. I picked it up because the woman next to me at a book sale raved about how good it was. Since it was set in a bookstore, I had hopes it might be interesting (and it was a book from Tor, one of my favorite publishers.) Plus, I thought that maybe some of my chick-lit loving friends would like it but after struggling to read it myself, cannot offer it to them. I found the main characters annoying, each in their own way. When you find yourself thinking that the back-story to a book sounds waaaay more interesting than the book you're reading, it's time to put put the book down and back away slowly (preferably to your bookshelf, where you'll find something better to read.)
Venus "Aphrodite" Cronus may be the Goddess of Love and daughter of Zeus, but she is slaving on earth as a matchmaker. In Bander, Oregon she finds a sigma in a bookstore window that is her target for a love life makeover. Her name is Haydee Miller, whose parents she matched over three decades ago. Haydee has been going out lately with losers and fears she will fail at the next step on her list; getting married at thirty-three. The list is sacred to her as it gave her comfort when her mom died when she was sixteen. Any deviation has been disastrous. She has six weeks plus to find her mate. Venus introduces herself and for some unknown reason Haydee hires her and allows her to move into her home. Venus insists she is the Goddess of Love. Two days later Venus says Prince Charming is entering the store. Haydee has a convulsion as anyone but Derek Reed is acceptable. He deserted her to become a world famous photographer. Haydee tells Venus she stinks at matchmaking. They met soon after her mom died and he blew a knee ending his football ambition; they became an entry until he left abruptly. Haydee asks Derek why he is back. He says he missed her. Venus knows her mission is more than matching soulmates with a history; as she also needs to reconcile father and daughter while eluding men who want her and women jealous with Venus Envy. The cast is extremely well drawn, Aphrodite owns the show as the matchmaker Goddess of Love insists the one man the lead female hates is her true love while she also deals with every male wanting her at a time she wants to go home. The rotation of lead between Venus and Haydee provides a wider perspective to this fun lighthearted urban romantic fantasy. Harriet Klausner