Welcome to my blog. I am a Historical fantasy/Paranormal romance author, editor, musician, and artist living in Arizona. My latest series is based on my time as a rock and roll bassist. All five books in my Shadow-walkers series are available now on Amazon: Awakening, Awakening the Wolf, Awakening the Vampire, Awakening the Fae, and Awakening the Dragon. This blog is all about writing and other aspects of my life.
Monday Musings: The Crow Maiden--Revenge themes in books and movies
Revenge is one of the oldest themes
in literature. It’s a huge part of Beowulf
when Grendel’s mother decides to seek vengeance against the Danes for killing
her son. Then Beowulf kills her in revenge. Shakespeare’s Hamlet also has a revenge theme.
Nothing gets readers’ hearts
pounding harder than a good revenge story, especially when a nasty villain is
getting just what he deserves. I found a list of the 7 best revenge stories in
1. The Iliad by Homer. This is one of my favorite reads, one that is
filled with revenge. Menelaus raises the entire Greek army to get revenge on
Paris for stealing his wife, Helen. Achilles gets revenge on Hector for killing
his cousin. Even the gods are involved.
2. Carrie by Stephen King. I read this one a long time ago. What’s
better than getting revenge on all those nasty kids at high school that
3. Hamlet by William Shakespeare.
4. True Grit by Charles Portis. Gotta love the spunk of the teenage
girl seeking vengeance for her father’s death.
5. The Princess Bride by William Goldman. “My name in Inigo Montoya.
You killed my father. Prepare to die.” Enough said.
6. Sin City: The Hard Goodbye by Frank Miller. I’m not familiar with
this one, but it sounds like a great revenge story.
7. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumos. This might be one of
the best planned retaliations of all time. Edmund Dantes was so patient. Maybe
this is where “the best things come to those who wait” came from?
The Crow Maiden has a revenge theme
with a twist. Nahla to Balin: “We are bound by revenge. What good can come of
She rummaged through the chest.
“You have a comb in here and a mirror and a razor.”
Rolling her eyes, she set those
items to the side and continued searching inside the chest. Nahla removed a
wide belt made with gold plates as he put on the tunic then strapped on the
belt. She stood in front of him holding the razor.
He eyed it with suspicion. “What
are you planning to do with that?”
“Trim your beard.” She gestured for
him to sit again.
He rubbed the thick hair that had
sprouted on his usually clean-shaven face. “I am quite pleased with my beard.”
She put her hands on her hips. “I
know how you Hellenes feel about your beards, but you look like the wild goat
man who lived in the forest near the temple. He thought the goats talked back
He peered at her through slitted
“Sit.” She challenged him with a
determined set to her mouth.
“Do not shave it all the way off.”
He gave her a hard, warning scowl and sat on the edge of his bed. “I will have
you know that I had adopted the Cretan custom of shaving.”
“It is not such a terrible custom.
I prefer a man’s face clean and not hidden beneath thick, wiry hair.”
“Do you now? It is my face, and I
have grown fond of my thick, wiry hair, but I will allow you to trim it.” He
turned a wary glance on the razor. “Only trim it.”
She impatiently raised a delicate
brow. “If you continue to halt me, I might decide the entire beard needs to be
gone.” She reached down and pulled her dress up to gather the shavings. “Hold
my dress like this.”
Sending her a defiant stare, he
took hold of her dress. He sat still as she started the first cut. If she
shaved off the whole beard, he could grow another, but he didn’t care for a
woman telling him what to do.
She stood so close he smelled her
flowery scent and felt the warmth emanating from her. His gaze rested on her
bare calves, smooth and flawless. He averted his eyes only to discover her
breasts close to his face while she worked on his beard. Unable to get the
image of her bare, pert, brown-tipped breasts out of his mind, he closed his
eyes so she wouldn’t know his carnal thoughts. She hovered in front of him,
carefully clipping his beard. Her sweet, natural, womanly perfume was
“There, that should do it.” She
lowered the razor.
He opened his eyes and ran his hand
along his jawline. She had left a layer of stubble. She held on to her dress
and stepped back to admire her work. He wished he could read her mind to know
what she truly thought of him.
For a moment, the hardness in her
eyes softened, and then she smiled. “I approve of the trimmed beard. Now you
look like someone with noble blood.” She backed toward the opening to get rid
of his hair shavings. “Shall we eat now? I am starving.”
Her smile brightened her green
eyes. His heart thundered inside his chest. This strange woman who had come
into his life had him spellbound. His gut tightened. How could a beautiful,
passionate woman like Nahla ever desire a defeated, crippled king? The only
reason she was here with him was to gain her freedom from Aramon.
Forcing away his unhappy thoughts,
he stood and limped toward the food shelf to grab the bread basket. He’d have
his revenge soon. Once he was free of her, he could finally move on with his
(The Crow Maiden is a standalone story in the Arcadia
She betrayed her goddess for him…
He betrayed her.
Plotting her revenge is her only
solace. Until now.
Nahla is the Crow Maiden, an
Arcadian, and once a priestess of Artemis. Now she is a captive, a being who
lives in the shadows until her vile master the sorcerer-king Aramon summons
her. Another releases her from the Shadowlands, and while he might be the
champion she has waited for, the gods must be playing a cruel joke. Her
champion is crippled.
An Achaean lord who once ruled a
great city, Balin is a broken man. He has lost everything—his kingdom and his
family. Revenge consumes him. Although wary of the mysterious, cold-eyed female
who appears and claims he summoned her, she may be his only hope to exact
vengeance on the king who ruined him, the same man Nahla seeks to destroy.
They are bound by revenge, and
soon, both learn they are bound by much more, but the secrets she hides might
tear them apart and ruin their only opportunity for vengeance—and their chance
to love again.
“Ms. Heckart draws the reader
into the pages and enchants them with her words.”
Karen McGill, Coffee Time Romance
Multi-published author Kelley Heckart lives in Arizona with
her musician husband, dog and a number of backyard “pets.” 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 a freelance editor and practices target archery. She can
be found online at http://www.kelleyheckart.com/