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I spend most of my time daydreaming and creating otherworldly tales steeped in myth, magic, and romance. All of my heroes have long hair, and my heroines are strong-willed. Prior to being a writer, I played bass guitar in an all-girl hard rock/metal band in southern California. When I'm not writing, editing, or reading, I enjoy practicing target archery.
 

Monday, September 11, 2006

Excerpt from White Rose of Avalon by Kelley Heckart

Visit my website for more information and to view the enchanting book cover. White Rose of Avalon is scheduled to be released in 2007 by Awe-Struck.

With the land falling into Saxon hands, the Christian monks make a pact with Morgaine, Queen of the Faeries. She promises to give them a High King who will unite the Britons against the Saxons if he takes a queen from the faery realm. She hopes this will restore the Goddess faith, bringing Avalon back to its rightful place and not hidden within the mists.

Morgaine’s lover, Lancelot, is sent to guard the future High King, Artorius. The Saxons are driven back by Artorius’ army and his kingdom reigns until he weds Gwenhwyfar. A love potion meant for Artorius and Gwenhwyfar falls into the wrong hands, sending the kingdom into ruins. Gwenhwyfar is the only hope for the future of Britain, but betrayal, revenge and forbidden love surround her, threatening to destroy the lives of four people.

Excerpt:
A cold ethereal wind blew into her house, fanning the central fire. Morgaine sat up in her bed, her heart pounding with fear. Otherworldy voices whispered to her, warning of treachery. The face she saw was Gwenhwyfar’s sweet face. Innocence and beauty was a clever disguise for evil and even beautiful white roses had dangerous thorns.

Morgaine frowned. She had raised Gwenhwyfar herself and had sensed only goodness in her despite her initial vision of a possible betrayal, but Myrddin had warned that he had seen Gwenhwyfar’s betrayal. That was why Morgaine had used magic to bind her love to Artorius. Could something have gone wrong? Myrddin would have reported any odd behavior to her.

Unable to go to back sleep, Morgaine needed to glimpse what her seeing pool would show her. On bare feet, she slid out into the almost moonless night, a shadow among the still night. The dark pool was hidden in hazel and willow trees deep in the woodlands.

Kneeling before the pool, she waved her hand across the water. Ripples coursed over the small pool revealing images clear as glass. What she saw there made her gasp. Her sweet Gwenhwyfar was standing naked, beckoning Lancelot like a seductress. Their possible betrayal left Morgaine shaking and pale.

Morgaine fumed with jealousy at the thought of Lancelot and Gwenhwyfar together, but Lancelot was a man. She was aware of his occasional trysts when he was away from Avalon, but they meant nothing to him and he always returned to her. A sense of foreboding warned her this could be different. Though she knew it was hard for him to resist such female wiles, Gwenhwyfar should know what she was doing could bode ill for everyone. She was not only betraying her husband, Artorius, but she was betraying the land and Goddess as well. And worst of all, she was betraying Morgaine.

She hoped that her vision of Lancelot and Gwenhwyfar’s betrayal was not a true one. Her visions were not always accurate. She was convinced that it had to be a false vision because the love potion she made was a powerful one. Anger fumed inside of her though when she thought of Gwenhwyfar betraying her.

“If this be true, you will be punished for your treachery Gwenhwyfar!” Morgaine roared. A flutter of wings erupted in a nearby tree. Her sudden shouting had startled some sleeping birds. A raven landed near her on the ground, watching her with sharp eyes. Morgaine reached out and plucked a glistening feather from its tail.

Holding the black feather in the palm of her hand, she whispered ancient words of a faery curse. She blew on the feather, sending it off into the night of the waning moon. An eerie silence fell upon the land.

Copyright 2006 by Kelley Heckart
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