Monday, August 5, 2013

Justice byJennifer Harlow: Trial of Author Jennifer Harlow and Excerpt

The Trial of Author Jennifer Harlow
All Rise, the Hon. Judge Calliope Muse Presiding
The Plaintiff: Det. Joanna Fallon, Galilee Falls P.D.
The Defendant: Jennifer Harlow, her creator 

The Case:

The Plaintiff had brought her creator on trial for the many, many trials and tribulations the defendant has made the plaintiff endure, not limited to but including: her alcoholic mother, the murder of her father, her attempted suicide, two decades of unrequited love, forcing her to become the target of an acid-spewing supervillain, and making her live in a city with the highest concentration of superheroes and villains in the world. 

Judge Muse: Let the bickering commence! 

Jennifer Harlow: Your honor, I object to this entire proceeding! My whims and actions should not be questioned. She would not be here, in existence, without me. Who is she to summon me into court? 

Judge: Need some help off that high horse, missy? Gonna throw some thunderbolts or a plague of locusts at us too? Haughty is not a good look on you, dear. You’re here now. You will answer the detective’s questions.  

Harlow: [muttering under breath] I should so throw a thunderbolt at you. Douche. 

Judge: I heard that.

Det. Joanna Fallon: [rising] Thank you, judge. Ms Harlow, I have just one question for you, then you may leave to ruin more lives. And don’t roll your eyes at me.  

Harlow: [rolling eyes] The question? 

Fallon: Why the hell are you so damn cruel? What the fuck did I ever do to you? What the hell do you have against me? 

Harlow: The truth? [pause] Darlin’, you are my greatest damn creation. Don’t tell your sisters, Bea and Mona, but you are my favorite. 

Fallon: [silence for a few seconds] Excuse me? 

Harlow: Don’t get me wrong, I love your sisters. They’re a hell of a lot of fun to write, and I hope read, but with you…you let me run with my inner bitch. You don’t pretend to be nice. You say what’s on your mind, are true to yourself, and don’t take shit from anyone. But you’re flawed.  So flawed and layered. Quite frankly, I didn’t know I had you in me. 

Fallon: Be that as it may, you still haven’t answered my question. Why are you so damn cruel to me? You took my father, gave me an abusive mother, then there’s Justin…you’ve made me love him for two decades when that love is not returned. You gave him Rebecca. Why not me? And to top it all off, I have a man who literally spews acid from his body gunning for me and I don’t know why. Can’t I have one, just one damn good thing in my life? 

Harlow: Let’s take my so-called crimes one at a time, okay? Without the murder of your father, you never would have met Justin. You never would have wanted to become a police officer. Without that event, dozens of people would still be in abject misery because they never had Joanna Fallon to save them. Bring their villain to justice. Your mother, well…without her you never would have known what you didn’t want to be like. She forced you to mature, survive in hostile environment. Tell me that hasn’t served you well in life. And in the end, she brought you closer to Justin. 

Fallon: Yeah. Justin. What’s your excuse for him and me? You made me fall in love with him at first sight. Twenty years. Twenty fucking years of longing, and desiring him, then you create perfect Rebecca for him. Why? 

Harlow: You think you’re the only one who’s ever experienced unrequited love? Happens to the best of us, sweetie darling. And it’s been my experience friendships can be a hell of a lot deeper than people believe. Soul mates don’t have to be the person you’re married to. But the truth is, I didn’t want yours to be a traditional romance. I can’t think of another book that deals with unrequited love. Can you? And I did give you Harry. Do I get thanks for that? No! He may be your boss, and you may have to keep the relationship secret at present, but doesn’t that just add to the fun? He’s a good man, better than Justin in many respects. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, sweetie. 

Fallon: And Alkaline? You sent a psychopath who shoots acid from his body after me. That’s not a fair fight. How exactly am I supposed to fight against him?  

Harlow: You want fair, read a children’s book. Watch a romantic comedy. And do you know how lucky you are? “Oh, brave new world that has such people in it.” You live in one that people in my realm would literally kill to live in. A world of miracles of evolution or God or whatever you believe in. People standing up for what’s right, even if they have to wear a mask to do so. Epic battles between living gods. 

Fallon: One you’ve siced on me for no apparent reason on top of everything else. How— 

Harlow: Look, I know I’ve thrown a lot at you. I do. And I will continue to, but I know you can take it. And you will take it with a gun in your hand and wise ass remark on your lips. I’m not promising you an easy path, or even a happy ending, but I do promise your life will never be boring and quite frankly, happiness is so damn hard to write because it is so freaking boring. Some people are happy riding on a merry-go-round. Little ups and downs but really you see the same thing over and over again. Don’t know about you but I prefer a roller coaster. So scary, so thrilling, it tests your mettle. You get more out of a roller coaster. So buckle up sweetie, and enjoy your highs, lows, and curves. And this is only the first chapter. You’ve got two more to go, and they will be just as wild and twisty. Curse me all you want, but it will be a hell of a ride. But let’s let the readers be the real judges, shall we? [The defendant rises] Now, unless you want that plague of locusts you mentioned which is totally within my power, I have to get back to work. More lives to ruin. Ciao! 

The defendant strolled out of the court, after blowing a kiss to the Judge, with a smug smile on her face.  

Judge: Um…so, you, the readers, do you find the defendant’s justifications valid? Does this sound like a world you’d want to live in? Sound off below.




Book One of The Galilee Falls Trilogy

Jennifer Harlow
Genre: Urban Fantasy (Superhero)
Publisher: Devil on the Left Books

Date of Publication:  5/13

ISBN: 978-0-9893944-0-6 ebook

ISBN: 978-0-9893944-1-3 print


Number of pages: 320
Word Count: 100,000

Cover Artist: Damonza


Book Description:

It’s hard being a regular police officer in Galilee Falls, a city with the highest concentration of superheroes and villains in the country. It’s even harder watching your best friend, the man you’re secretly in love with your whole life, planning to marry another woman. Detective Joanna Fallon has to contend with both. When the vilest supervillain in the city’s history, Alkaline, the former crime boss who can shoot acid from his wrists, escapes from the maximum security prison, the whole city is gripped by panic.

Leading the pursuit is Captain Harry O’Hara, Joanna’s boss and secret lover, and the city’s champion superhero Justice, who caught the villain last time, much to Joanna’s chagrin. Before her father was murdered in a mugging twenty years earlier, Joanna worshiped the hero, but when he disappeared and failed to save her father, that adoration turned to contempt for all supers.

After Alkaline attacks too close to home and targets Joanna as his next victim, tough-as-nail Joanna has to contend with her increasing fear while struggling to choose between her life-long crush and her new-found love.

At turns vulnerable and fierce, equally mordant and winsome, Joanna is an earnest yet emotionally damaged heroine, who despite the tough breaks of her childhood sees the good in people and vow to protect her beloved city at all costs. An ass-kicking petite firecracker with no superpowers of her own, she charges after supervillains unflinchingly, never losing her wit even when facing her toughest fight. With a coy blend of whimsy and vivid imagination, she delivers both humor and thrills in an action-packed and edgy blend of comic book cool, fantasy-noir, and bitter-sweet romance.


“‘Can you be so cruel?’
‘Yes, I can be very cruel. I have been taught by masters.’”
-Paramount Picture’s The Heiress (1949)


The wolves are at the gate.
I count thirty police officers on my security monitors, including SWAT, all armed to the gills led by him. I always knew this day would come. It has been almost twenty years in the making, but now it’s here…this must have been how Nero felt as he played that fiddle. My Rome is burning. Soon my freedom will be gone and yet I could still manage a tune.  First things first.
Waverly, one of my loyal employees these two years, runs into the study. His fear does not inspire confidence. “Sir, what are we supposed to do? The police and—”
“Stop sniveling for one,” I say, taking a sip of my Scotch. I will miss this.
“Did Grace—”
The bullet I put between his eyes stops the rest of that sentence. I don’t have time to answer a million questions. Company’s coming. I down the rest of my drink as I run the electromagnet over my computer. Cleaner than the day I bought it. Must leave things tidy. I’ve already set the timers in the file cabinets. Thirty more seconds before, like Nero, all that remains of my empire is ashes.
The bombs detonate as I walk down the hall, no louder than gunshots but still rocking the walls sprinkling dust on my paintings. I wonder what will happen to my art. Probably sold for victim reparations. The Degas alone will cover the cost of the library we destroyed today. Smith and Rees are waiting in what is left of my living room. Just looking at it, especially what’s left of Bradley under that bloody sheet, I feel embarrassed for myself. I never lose control like that. I don’t know what I was thinking. I suppose I’m paying the price now.
“Sir, where do you want us?” Smith, a five year veteran of my service, asks.
I turn over the couch with a sigh. “Gentlemen, I want to thank you both for your loyal service through the years. You have both been invaluable. I wish things could have gone a different way. I apologize.” I fire a single shot into Smith’s forehead. Poor Rees is too shocked to even draw on me before he meets the same ending. The loose ends are no more. The rest is in the hands of the fates.
The last of my security doors fall, the sound of steel hitting marble echoing through the room. I cross my leg, wipe the speckles of dust off my costume, and put a smile on my face. The bane of my existence, the man I hate, who has consumed my life for years, super-speeds into my living room as if he owns it. And the press calls me arrogant.
            “Alkaline,” he says beneath that dark mask.
“Justice,” I say with a nod. We stare at each other for a few seconds, even now locked in battle. “Grace?”
“She’s safe. You can’t hurt her or anyone else ever again.” He pauses for dramatic effect, or to savor his victory. “Will this be easy or hard?”
For a moment, I consider an attack. It always gives me almost orgasmic pleasure when my fist hits his body and he cries out in pain. One last taste for the road? No, I quell this urge. My body has not completely healed from our fight a few hours ago and quite frankly, I need a break. Being the scourge of the city is exhausting. “You may take me to jail now.”
As I’m led out past the frightened police and gawking bystanders, I keep that smile on my face. Not because I’m arrogant, not to save face, because…I may have lost this battle, but the war has just begun.
Then Rome will truly burn.


Jennifer Harlow spent her restless childhood fighting with her three brothers and scaring the heck out of herself with horror movies and books. She grew up to earn a degree at the University of Virginia which she put to use as a radio DJ, crisis hotline volunteer, bookseller, lab assistant, wedding coordinator, and government investigator. 

Currently she calls Northern Virginia home but that restless itch is ever present. In her free time, she continues to scare the beejepers out of herself watching scary movies and opening her credit card bills. 

She is the author of the Amazon Best-Selling  F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad and Midnight Magic Series. For the soundtracks to her books visit  Tales From the Darkside Blog

1 comment:

Goldenmane said...

This sounds like an interesting premise. A little confusing to start with, though. But the excerpt was so good, I'll have to read it.