Sunday, November 6, 2011

Excerpt 1 from Beltaine’s Song, Historical/fantasy, PG

Samhain is a somber night for the main characters in the second book of my Dark Goddess trilogy because they are haunted by the vengeful goddess called Cailleach who wants to destroy them. My story is set in a time when Christianity began taking hold in parts of Scotland, but the pagan ways were till very much alive, especially among the farmers. In this Dark Age time period kings were likely to be Christian, but most were Christian in name only.

AS_HeckartKelley_BeltainesSong_EB_Final

Available in Print and Ebook

http://kelleyheckart.com/BeltainesSong.html

Beltaine’s Song, Book 2, Dark Goddess Trilogy, Celtic historical/fantasy

Blurb: For each of them, spring's song has a different meaning.

Aedan and Domelch must battle earthly foes—enemy kings and traitorous allies. For the first time, the arrival of spring heralds the sound of a harsh battle horn as their foes close in. Through all this turmoil, can their love survive?

For their son, Gartnait, spring brings with it the promise of new love and the thrilling sound of the battle horn, putting those he cares about in danger.

Excerpt:

Wood smoke scented the air. Through the wide branched oak trees, nearly bare of leaves, the valley below glowed with bonfires, which would be snuffed out to symbolize the dying of the sun and relit in the spring when the sun was reborn. To some, this still symbolized the death and rebirth of the sun god. A blood red moon gazed down on the somber scene and a sense of relief washed through her. Cailleach's power lay in the waning moon and the full moon gave Domelch comfort.

A few brave souls gathered near the bonfires. The sorrowful notes of a flute stirred Domelch's heart. The somber notes echoed within the mist that crept from the darkest corners. Voices joined the flute, chanting in mournful tones, the words lost in the night. Mist swirled around the valley, hovering above the reaped fields and rising toward the pointed thatched roofs of the village homes. Next to the homes, the new Christian church, built outside the fortress to accommodate the growing village, lay in darkness. She imagined the monk, huddled in the back of the church where he lived, trembling beneath his blanket on this night when the veil grew thinnest between the earthly realm and the land of the dead. Sensing the sorrow of the night, she knew candles burned in each house to honor those family members who had died.

She tried to see Aedan's face in the moonlit night to judge his reaction to the scene below. “Does it bother you that they still celebrate pagan holidays?”

“Nae. As much as I want to believe the Christian doctrines, a part of me understands how important it is to honor the spirits of the land, of nature.” He pulled her closer to him.

A warm feeling washed over her. She knew he would never admit that to anyone else except her. The villagers continued chanting, snatches of their words floated up to them. Gone were the long ago large gatherings and rituals to honor this dark time of the year, marking the beginning of the new year, but parts of the rituals were kept alive by the few who still believed.

“I hope they do not draw her attention.” Domelch shivered despite the warmth of her cloak and Aedan's arms. She thought the back of her neck tingled where the cat's claw brand had once bound her as Cailleach's servant. Somewhere off in the shelter of trees away from prying eyes, people still gathered to honor the goddess of the land in her aspect of Destroyer, possibly offering human sacrifices to her to ensure that the cycles would continue unbroken.

“She will not come.”

“How do you know that?” The confidence in his voice surprised her.

“I cannot explain it. 'Tis a feeling I have.”

She remembered the secret she kept from Aedan, the one she promised Columcille she would never tell him—that he had fae blood, even worse, it was Cailleach's blood. What it meant, she had no idea, but he probably had some kind of connection to her through his blood.

The chanting chilled her heart, the sense of spirits running free hidden in the mists, nagged at her. Even if Cailleach's shadow did not hang over them every year at this time, this night still gave her a sense of fear. A large talon seemed to reach out of the darkest part of the earth and snatch the sun away, blighting the land with snow and death.

****

Kimberly
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

‘This story is a remarkable one on so many levels. The theme spoke to my soul and touched my heart. The warrior women made this story sing for me…I adored the way Ms. Heckart tangled religion and politics into a tale that held my interest to the very end.’

Kelley Heckart

'Timeless tales of romance, conflict & magic'

http://www.kelleyheckart.com

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My book page at Mundania Press

http://www.mundania.com/author.php?author=Kelley+Heckart

My author page on amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/Kelley-Heckart/e/B002BMOQ3C/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

 

2 comments:

Debby said...

Book 2 now, getting closer. I like to start with one and this series looks great!
debby236 at gmail dot com

Celtic Chick said...

Hi Debby, Thanks for commenting on all my posts. Glad you are enjoying the excerpts.