Monday, December 01, 2014
Monday Musings: Excerpt 2 from The Bear Goddess, New release by Kelley Heckart
Book Title: The Bear Goddess
Author: Kelley Heckart
Genre: Greek myths/fantasy/shapeshifters/romance
Page Count: 284
Forbidden love… Broken vows… Betrayal…
Callisto, daughter of the great Arcadian King Lycaon and the nymph Maia, has studied all her life to attain the high position of Bear Goddess among the nymphs of Artemis, taking a sacred vow of purity. But when she meets a mysterious man, her life changes forever.
Kasin is a prince among the fierce centaurs and one of few who can take human shape. A follower of Zeus, he is mystified to save a nymph’s life and even worse, to fall in love with an enemy of the centaurs. He is torn between his duty to his people and his love for Callisto.
When the nymphs capture Kasin for their next sacrifice, Callisto cannot allow him to die, but before she can help him escape, they are caught together and their secret connection exposed. Surrounded by armed guards, they manage a daring escape. On the run from the nymphs, danger and betrayal follow Kasin and Callisto. To survive, they must evade a god obsessed with having Callisto for himself as well as others who also want to keep them apart. Will their love for each other be enough to save them?
He should have killed her, but his bronze dagger was powerless against such a being. Only silver could kill a nymph. As soon as he distracted the boar, the giant beast would go after her. That boar with its silver-tipped tusks had been created to kill a nymph.
She opened her eyes and stared outside the opening.
A sudden realization about nymphs came to him. “Why am I being used as bait when you can change into a bird and fly to your spear?”
Her lips tightened. Had she thought he was so stupid he couldn’t tell she was a nymph?
“Not that it is any of your business, but in this instance I cannot use magic.”
He raised one eyebrow. “Why even have such magic when you cannot use it when you need it most?”
She sent him a disapproving look. “You do not have to distract the boar if it frightens you.”
He bristled. “It does not frighten me in the least. In fact, I find it quite a thrill.” Bending, he grabbed a couple of fist-sized rocks, straightened, and looked to Callisto for the signal, unable to believe he was taking orders from a nymph.
She unsheathed her dagger, her eyes taking on a serious, determined look that oddly excited him. “I am ready.”
They exchanged quick, encouraging smiles, like the ones shared between him and his companions before a dangerous hunt or battle. In that moment, he sensed an unexpected bond between them, slight though it was.
He stepped through the opening, hoping the gods smiled upon him, and made a silent promise to give them a generous offering later.
Moving at a deliberate pace, he waited for the boar to see him. Gods, the creature was huge, about the size of a bear. He made sure to walk toward the forest, away from the cave.
The boar looked at him and lowered its head, snorting, a stance Kasin was familiar with. He took a deep breath to calm his racing heart. To make sure the boar would chase him, he threw the rocks in a quick succession, hitting the beast.
Letting out a ferocious snort, the boar charged.
Multi-published author Kelley Heckart lives in Arizona with her musician husband, dog and a number of backyard “pets,” including Godzilla the desert iguana. Her stories reflect her passion for ancient and medieval time periods, storytelling and the supernatural. Inspired by the ancient Celts, her tales are filled with fierce warriors, bold women, otherworldly creatures, magic and romance. When not writing, she works as an editor/proofreader and practices target archery. She can be found online at http://www.kelleyheckart.com/
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Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author