I have so many stories that I want to tell. So many adventures I want to share and take readers along with me. This story, the story of 21 Champions, is my favorite of my ideas for many reasons. It’s the first idea I jotted on paper in college. It’s the first story I dreamed of writing after ZeQara was born. It’s a story infused with my own life story and the journies of healing I’ve been through.

I started writing it a few years ago and life got busy. I didn’t think it was something I’d pursue for a while. Then, 12 December 2020, my mother had a stroke. I realized so many things during those months while she was recovering. I watched her go from speechless, unable to move any of her body to relearning everything – swallowing, talking, eating, walking, and even writing.

My mom had written a book that she had been editing and working on for a while in a similar way. After her stroke, I think she realized life was too short and unexpected things happen all the time. Why hold onto these dreams we have? So, she published her first book. It was the only motivation I needed to get serious about this story. My mom has always inspired me throughout my life. Her resilience, her perserverance, her dedication to things astounds me. So, I decided that I needed to start writing again too. I decided that we could share this journey together and if the unexpected happened again there would be no regrets. I realized last year that, I don’t want to leave this world without putting this story on paper. I realized that I don’t want my mom to leave this world without reading this story. I want to follow my dreams – shooting for the stars, the only option.

So, here I am, struggling to find time to write and meet my goal of publishing this thing in 2023. The past few weeks, I feel like the entire story has just come alive all over again. Some of the details in the middle and the way I want the story to flow, has just sort of ignited like a wild fire. I’m trying to hold onto this momentum and just push, push, push.

The 21 Champions Saga will be 4 books. I finally nailed down 3 of the 4 titles and organized where the story will start and finish in each book. The ending… let’s just say, some will hate me for it. It’s going to be a wild ride!

An enemies to lovers romance filled with revenge, magick, and curses. The Gods fucked up and asked for a new generation to replace them. Retirement sounded appealing after centuries of dealing with humans. But then the world went to shit and these new Gods thought humans needed a do-over. Zeus has always had a soft spot for his humans though, and he will defend them to the very end – no, beyond his end. But someone must rule the gods. The throne must be earned and someone must become the Sole Champion.

Here is a snippet from the first book in the 21 Champions Saga, Champion of Chaos. Enjoy!

Sav’s nerves were in a bundle today. Between Xiya’s episode this morning, The Qualifiers starting soon, and the dress, he found himself knocking back a glass of smooth bourbon after breakfast. Besso had punched his arm and commented that he looked like shit. He had. Xiya’s screams would haunt his nightmares, he was sure, but not as much as the fear she had projected onto him. 

Sav was sitting in a large chair amongst the queen, his cousins, and Xiya’s aunt. The Qualifier arena was before them. They were perched in an open boxed off area above a small crowd, sitting in a small stadium. This side of the arena held around 100 commoners from the city and about 50 VIPs. The arena was open on either side of them, with no stadiums there. On the opposite side, another larger stadium held around 2,000 from the city. 

Many cities charged admissions to view The Qualifier events, but Queen Pretia had always enforced a first come, first serve basis. No one was guaranteed admission to both The Qualifier and The Trials, and no one was allowed to camp outside overnight to better their chances. Surprisingly, the people of her city were respectful and spread the wealth when it came to watching these events each day. Her notorious guard, the Ryps, stayed busy but rarely had to break up fights or control the crowds. Most of the city watched through holographic projections that played live, anyways. Most preferred to celebrate with alcohol and large spreads of food as they watched. The stadium was full today, filled with various races, from Romlins to Gergs to Valyrians. All of them filled with anticipation for the excruciating events the recruits would endure today. 

As the queen’s Ryps closed the gates to the stadium, an announcer began the usual opening ceremony. They played their city’s anthem, the announcer said a prayer of thanks to the gods, and then a slew of various dance routines occurred in the arena field below. There was still no sign of Xiya and her brothers when the final dance number began. It was a beautiful dance of battle and death. It depicted the war that trapped six of the gods and freed the Omicron City. Queen Pretia had fought in the war, leading the final battle against those gods. Sav had fought alongside her and her people. So had Aeth, Besso, and five other gods. The dance concluded, and the announcer began to explain the rules of The Qualifier, which were very few, the way points were calculated, and the first event – a race. Sav lifted his glass of bourbon to his lips, intent to put a damper on his nerves, when Xander and Xion entered the box. They greeted their aunt and found their seats. Sav took a gulp of his drink as Xiya walked in, trailing behind them.

Sav’s breath caught in his chest and he lowered his glass. It took immense concentration to keep from choking on his bourbon, suddenly forgetting how to swallow and breathe at the same time. Xiya had humored him, alright. She was wearing the leather dress he had left for her; the sleeves marked with those lace snakes that seemed to come alive on her skin. Her violet eyes were bright and color had returned to her tanned skin again. Her lips were painted a dark plum that complimented her dark violet hair, and black coal lined her eyes. Her hair was braided in a crown atop her head, tiny curls fraying out in some places. 

The dress had a modest neckline, revealing only her collar bone, but it begged Sav to put his lips there. Besso let out a whistle, but it was barely audible over his racing heart. Sav’s eyes trailed down the bodice of the dress, taking in how it clung to her hips. He would probably forget how to breath completely if she turned around. He had no doubt that leather clung to her ass gloriously before cascading to the floor behind her. He trailed his gaze back up to her face and met those beautiful violet, almond eyes. Xiya’s cheeks were flush with pink either from the slight chill in the air or sensing his sudden desire to put his lips on her, Sav wasn’t entirely sure.

Sav set his glass on the small table next to his chair and stood up, extending a hand in one smooth motion. To his surprise, Xiya accepted it. 

“You wore the dress,” Sav said, struggling for something better to say. 

Idiot.

“To thank you. For this morning,” Xiya whispered, little emotion present in her voice. “Besides, my other outfit didn’t fit. I guess Pinellas mixed up Helena’s measurements with mine.” It was an attempt to knock the smug look of victory off Sav’s face and it only served to add fire to it.

Sav smiled wickedly at Xiya and led her to the chair next to him. She sat and spoke to no one in particular, “Did we miss anything?”

Sav couldn’t stop staring at her. He had noticed her beauty before, recognized his own desire lurking, but there was something dark and alive inside those violet eyes today. He struggled to make words come out of his mouth. Maybe it was his suspicions about her episode this morning that was fueling his awareness of her today. Maybe he had just been so intent on finding her yesterday; the unexpected shock of finding the one they’d been hunting for decades in such a fragile form, that he hadn’t stopped to truly see her until this morning, until now. 

“Xiya look! The first event is about to start.” Sav finally snapped out of it at the sound of Xion’s voice. Xiya slid forward in her seat, turning her attention to the arena below them. As Sav watched her eyes light up with the sound of the first horn blast, he realized their plan, his plan, was growing more and more complicated by the minute.