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Writing means different things to me. I'm a storyteller, a book editor, and a songwriter. For me, it's like breathing.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Weird Word Wednesday

Bimah
      noun bi·mah \ˈbē-mə\
Definition of BIMAH

:  a raised platform in a synagogue from which the Torah is read
Variants of BIMAH

bi·mah also bi·ma \ˈbē-mə\

Origin of BIMAH

Yiddish & Late Hebrew; Yiddish bime, from Late Hebrew bīmāh, from Late Greek bēma raised platform — more at bema

First Known Use: 1941

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com        
My author page at amazon.com with all my books listed

Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday Musings: Coming soon--The Wolf Queen

The second book in my Arcadia Series is due to be published by the end of the year. The edits are finished. My editor is tough. LOL I just have to give it another read through and get it formatted. I might have someone else do the formatting this time. I hate doing it.
Here is a sneak peek from The Wolf Queen:
A tormented wolf man… A mysterious girl with a secret…

Alara, a princess from a foreign land, is forced to wed the sorcerer-king Aramon, a power-hungry warlord, who discovers her dark secret and wants to use her to create an invincible army. When she meets Lycaon, she must decide whether to trust the cursed, tormented man wolf who she realizes might be her true mate.

Lycaon, once a great king until he was cursed by Zeus to be a werewolf, is drawn to the mysterious princess and torn between helping Alara escape and using her to gain power over those who despise him.

Secrets abound and old enemies are reunited to battle Aramon before his terrible plan is unleashed on Arcadia. With only a short time left before the dark moon, time is running out. Soon, Arcadia will be overrun with an unstoppable, vicious army unless Aramon can be defeated. To prevent Aramon’s victory, the cost is high. As his affection for Alara grows, it becomes more difficult for him to decide which to save: Arcadia or her.

Later that day, Lycaon stood with his motley but highly skilled warrior band and faced Aramon’s heavily armed warriors at the southeastern edge of his territory. Their armor was meant to intimidate. He sneered at their matching high-peaked helmets, short red cloaks, black leather scale armor tunics, and light brown loose-fitting wool leggings with bold blood-red stripes emblazoned on the sides. Aramon’s insignia of a lightning bolt erupting from a sword gleamed in polished silver against black leather.
Lycaon was well-acquainted with Aramon’s power. A grim smile played at the corners of his mouth. Aramon’s warriors facing him now were dressed the same as the ones he’d encountered 330 years ago except the gleaming bronze helmets, swords, and bronze plates sewn into their leather tunics were replaced by the cold gray glint of iron.
He straightened to his full, towering height and addressed Aramon’s commander, a hawk-nosed man named Veritus. “I have an agreement with your king so you’d best have a good reason for entering my lands.” From within the hood he wore to hide most of his face, Lycaon sent the commander an unyielding glare.
Veritus regarded Lycaon’s warriors with a curled upper lip, disdain darkening his eyes. “A slave has escaped and was seen heading in this direction.”
He was sure the commander looked down on his warriors who lacked the discipline of Aramon’s uniformed warriors, but he decided to ignore his slight this time. “I knew not that your king kept his slaves so close to my lands.”
“He travels with his personal slaves. It was one of his personal slaves that escaped.” The commander spoke through tight lips.
Lycaon shrugged. “A slave is a slave. Why not just imprison another?”
The commander cleared his throat. “This slave is valuable to the king.”
“How valuable?” Lycaon moved his hand to rub his stubbly chin and smiled when Veritus flinched.
“Very.”
“Well, if I find this slave, I will be certain to let you know.” He sensed Beleg tense next to him. “But I would not be too hopeful that she is still alive. This forest has many dangers.”
“I will let King Aramon know, but he will be greatly displeased we have returned without her.” Veritus’s expression hardened.
The veiled warning did not go unnoticed. He wouldn’t have much time to decide what to do with Alara. “Give him my deepest regrets.”
The commander ordered his men to return to the camp just outside Lycaon’s borders.
He waited until the unwelcome warriors left his territory. “I want men guarding this entrance day and night. Tantaus, you are in charge.”
Tantaus nodded, looking intently at Lycaon with his one good eye. “Those cocky bastards will never cross this border on my watch.”
Beleg watched Lycaon with interest. “I thought you were going to turn her over to Aramon.”
“I changed my mind.”
Beleg glanced toward the border. “They will be back.”
“I know.”
“Have you grown fond of the spirited girl? She is quite comely.” Beleg smiled.
His friend’s words were said in jest, but Lycaon considered them. Something about Alara did raise his interest, but anything beyond that seemed impossible. He was a danger to any human. Until he could get a reward for her, she was a thorn in his side and nothing more. “She is nothing but a bartering means for me.”
Beleg shifted his spear to his other hand. “Why do you suppose Aramon wants her?”
“That is a mystery I intend to solve.” The girl was hiding something from him, and he doubted she was a slave. She could have stolen the fine clothing and the sword with the gold hilt, but her proud bearing pointed to noble blood. In that way, she reminded him of himself.

He looked toward the northern part of his territory. Beyond his woodlands, high, sheer rock barriers surrounded Artemis’s forest. How did the mysterious gray-eyed beauty manage to make it through unscathed? Only those invited by the goddess, which was very rare, or animals could safely enter her sacred lands. The shadows stirred, the leaves ringing in the wake of a sudden, unnatural icy gust. A warning.

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com        


Friday, September 25, 2015

Favorite Friday: Sharing a favorite fantasy book

Favorite fantasy book: Song of Unmaking

Blurb:
Stubborn, single-minded and steadfast . . .
Striving to save the Aurelian Empire, Valeria reached for too much power too quickly and a darkness has rooted inside her. Unable to confess the truth, Valeria turns to Kerrec, her former mentor, one of the elite Riders from the Mountain, home of the gods. But Kerrec, too, is deeply wounded and his darkness may be even deeper than hers -- and he is refusing to face it. Until his weakness nearly destroys the Riders and their immortal white stallions . . .
As Kerrec is sent from the Mountain on a desperate quest for healing, Valeria is forbidden to follow. But compelled by a power she cannot understand and encouraged by her own stallion, she shadows Kerrec on a perilous mission.
The patterns of deception and secrets have been woven, the threats of war and unrest spread throughout the land, the barbarian hordes return and once more it is Valeria -- and Kerrec -- who must gather their strength and their wounded magic to protect all that they believe in . . .
But who will believe in them?


Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com        




Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Weird Word Wednesday

Bilby
      noun bil·by \ˈbil-bē\
plural bilbies
Definition of BILBY

:  either of two burrowing nocturnal bandicoots (Macrotis lagotis and M. leucura) having a long tapered muzzle and large pointed ears —called also rabbit-eared bandicoot
Origin of BILBY

Yuwaalaraay (Australian aboriginal language of northern New South Wales) bilbi

First Known Use: 1888

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com        
My author page at amazon.com with all my books listed

Monday, September 21, 2015

Monday Musings: AZ sunset pics #10






Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com        


Friday, September 18, 2015

Favorite Friday: Sharing a favorite movie, a comedy

Favorite movie: Galaxy Quest

For four years, the courageous crew of the NSEA protector - "Commander P eter Quincy Taggart" (Tim Allen), "Lt. Tawny Madison (Sigourney Weaver) and "Dr. Lazarus" (Alan Rickman) - set off on a thrilling and often dangerous mission in space...and then their series was cancelled! Now, twenty years later, aliens under attack have mistaken the Galaxy Quest television transmissions for "historical documents" and beam up the crew of has-been actors to save the universe. With no script, no director and no clue, the actors must turn in the performances of their lives.

One word: Hilarious, especially if you are familiar with Star Trek. Highly recommended.




Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com        

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Weird Word Wednesday

1     Bilbo
      noun bil·bo \ˈbil-(ˌ)bō\
plural bilboes
Definition of BILBO

:  a long bar of iron with sliding shackles used to confine the feet of prisoners especially on shipboard
Origin of BILBO

perhaps from Bilboa, Spain
First Known Use: 1557
bilbo
noun \ˈbil-(ˌ)bō\
plural bilboes or bilboas
Definition of BILBO

:  sword
Variants of BILBO

bilbo or bil·boa \ˈbil-(ˌ)bō\
Origin of BILBO

Bilboa, Bilbao, Spain

First Known Use: 1565

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com        
My author page at amazon.com with all my books listed

Monday, September 14, 2015

Monday Musings: AZ sunrise pics




Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com        


Friday, September 11, 2015

Favorite Friday: Sharing a favorite movie

Favorite movie: Phantom of the Opera

Amazon description:
Deep in the passageways below the Paris Opera lives a lonely, talented, horribly disfigured man who revels in terrorizing the theater's employees as The Phantom of the Opera. But when the masked Phantom sees young Christine Daaé, his heart melts. He secretly trains her, transforms her into a star ... and loves her. But when she cannot return his affection, as her heart already belongs to another, all the pain that the Phantom has held within is revealed with horrifying results.


I hate musicals but I loved this one, maybe because it was dark and mysterious. Anyway, I highly recommend this one. Not only is the acting and singing great, the setting is beautiful.


Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com        


Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Weird Word Wednesday

1   Bilabial
      adjective bi·la·bi·al \(ˌ)bī-ˈlā-bē-əl\
Definition of BILABIAL

of a consonant
:  produced with both lips
Origin of BILABIAL

International Scientific Vocabulary
First Known Use: 1878
2bilabial
noun
linguistics : a sound made by using both lips
Full Definition of BILABIAL

:  a bilabial consonant
See bilabial defined for English-language learners
Examples of BILABIAL

English bilabials such as and .
First Known Use of BILABIAL

1829
bilabial
adjective  bi·la·bi·al  \(ˈ)bī-ˈlā-bē-əl\
Medical Definition of BILABIAL


:  of or relating to both lips

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com        
My author page at amazon.com with all my books listed

Monday, September 07, 2015

Monday Musings: AZ cloud formation pics #11








Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com        


Friday, September 04, 2015

Favorite Friday: Sharing a favorite childhood book

Favorite childhood book: Where the Red Fern Grows

Amazon book description:

In Where the Red Fern Grows, Billy and his precious coonhound pups romp relentlessly through the Ozarks, trying to "tree" the elusive raccoon. In time, the inseparable trio wins the coveted gold cup in the annual coon-hunt contest, captures the wily ghost coon, and bravely fights with a mountain lion. When the victory over the mountain lion turns to tragedy, Billy grieves, but learns the beautiful old Native American legend of the sacred red fern that grows over the graves of his dogs. This unforgettable classic belongs on every child's bookshelf. (Ages 9 and up)


Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com        

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Weird Word Wednesday

Bijouterie
      noun bi·jou·te·rie \bi-ˈzhü-tə-(ˌ)rē\
Definition of BIJOUTERIE

:  a collection of trinkets or ornaments :  jewels; also :  decoration
Origin of BIJOUTERIE

French, from bijou

First Known Use: 1735

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com        
My author page at amazon.com with all my books listed

Monday, August 31, 2015

Monday Musings: AZ cloud formation pics #10






Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com        
My author page at amazon.com with all my books listed


Friday, August 28, 2015

Favorite Friday: Sharing a favorite fantasy TV show

Favorite fantasy TV show: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
With magic long since lost to England, two men are destined to bring it back; the reclusive Mr. Norrell and daring novice Jonathan Strange. So begins a dangerous battle between two great minds.

Stars: Bertie Carvel, Eddie Marsan, Marc Warren

This is set during the Napoleonic Wars in an alternate England where magic exists. I like stories that mix history with fantasy and this one has my interest so far. It’s based on a book series by Susanna Clarke.
   


Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com        
My author page at amazon.com with all my books listed


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Weird Word Wednesday

Bignonia
      noun big·no·nia \big-ˈnō-nē-ə\
Definition of BIGNONIA

:  a woody evergreen vine (Bignonia capreolata of the family Bignoniaceae, the bignonia family) of the southern and central United States that has compound leaves and tubular flowers
Origin of BIGNONIA

New Latin, genus name, from J. P. Bignon †1743 French royal librarian
First Known Use: 1785

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com        
My author page at amazon.com with all my books listed



Monday, August 24, 2015

Monday Musings: More backyard wildlife, A lizard hitched a ride

I came back inside the house from doing some evening chores like adding chlorine tabs to the pool and emptying the kitchen trash when I felt something crawling on my head. On instinct, I brushed my hand through my hair and something fell out and landed on the kitchen floor. It was a baby lizard that immediately crawled under the stove. I couldn’t let it stay there because it would die if stranded in the house. Fortunately, my husband was home. I had him move the stove while I scooped the little guy into a plastic container and set him free outside. I have no idea how the lizard ended up hitching a ride on my head. I seem to attract wildlife in strange ways and this is one of them.
This is the little hitchhiker.

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com        
My author page at amazon.com with all my books listed



Friday, August 21, 2015

Favorite Friday: Sharing a favorite new Sci-Fi TV show

Favorite new TV show—The Whispers

An unseen force is manipulating society's most innocent-our children-to act in favor of its cause. As the kids unwittingly help this unknown enemy, the clock counts down in this suspenseful race to save humanity.

Creator: Soo Hugh
Stars: Milo Ventimiglia, Barry Sloane, Lily Rabe


This show gives me the chills because the children involved are Children of the Corn creepy. It’s not as fast paced as most of the shows now, but if you like your Sci-Fi spine-chilling, this is it.




Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com        
My author page at amazon.com with all my books listed


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Weird Word Wednesday

Bight
     noun \ˈbīt\
: a curve in a coast or the bay formed by such a curve
Full Definition of BIGHT

1
:  a bend in a coast forming an open bay; also :  a bay formed by such a bend
2
:  a slack part or loop in a rope
Examples of BIGHT

Origin of BIGHT

Middle English, from Old English byht bend, bay; akin to Old English būgan to bend — more at bow

First Known Use: 15th century

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com        
My author page at amazon.com with all my books listed

Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday Musings: Retelling the Greek myth of Callisto

There are a couple of different versions of the Greek myth about Callisto, the nymph who betrayed Artemis, but ancient writers seemed to agree on some facts: Zeus seduced Callisto, she was changed into a bear and bore a son named Arcas, was hunted down as a beast and then placed among the stars as the constellation Ursa Major. In some stories she is the daughter of King Lycaon while in other, older versions she is simply another incarnation of Artemis as the bear.

I came into this with an open mind, using what I knew from the various myths and what I discovered from other sources on Greek mythology and history. Since I was writing a series set in Arcadia, Artemis’s realm, Callisto’s story had to be part of that series, but I had to figure out how to make this myth into my own story. I focused on the one common thread of the myth—Callisto betrayed Artemis whether she meant to or not. Who can say that when you fall in love you can fight those feelings? I wanted to make Callisto flawed like a human with real problems—even though she was a nymph, like the rest of us she wasn’t perfect.

The next thing I decided was that my nymphs were not going to be innocent and vulnerable. I did discover that the Oreades, the mountain nymphs, were known as great huntresses, they were tall and fierce. So my nymphs were going to be dangerous and quite capable of defending their goddess’s forest. I created The Guardians, an elite group of nymphs who could fight as good as any male warrior.

I also created an honored station among the nymphs, the Bear Goddess, who would act in Artemis’s stead when she wasn’t present and keep the barriers around the goddess’s forest strong. Only the Bear Goddess could take the form of a bear and the other nymphs could take the shape of other forest animals.

I actually ended up changing quite a bit. Zeus doesn’t seduce Callisto, but one of his followers does—a centaur who can take human shape. I had this idea of a forbidden love theme since the original versions hint at this. In my version she is the daughter of Lycaon and the nymph Maia. While my story may differ from the original myths, it stays true to the main theme—betrayal. And despite Callisto’s flaws, she possesses bravery and conviction, two traits I admire and hopefully readers will too.

****************
Short excerpt from The Bear Goddess:
Kasin stared at the line of nymphs, a formidable wall of gold and black leather-clad Guardians flanked by brown-clad nymphs and satyrs. Artemis’s powerful symbol of a full moon and crossed arrows taunted him from the unyielding line of small round shields his opponents held in steady grips.
He waited for the nymphs to make the first move. He would give them a chance to negotiate his terms and, if fortune favored him, avoid a battle.
Davona stepped into place next to him. “That is their merciless leader, Maia, the one who called for my death. She is also Callisto’s mother.”
Kasin looked closer at the nymph at the head of their army. She had dark red hair that almost looked black, an unusual color among the brown and fair hair of the other nymphs, and she had been among those that captured him.
“Callisto’s mother is a fire nymph. They are a particularly nasty kind of nymph.” He felt a twinge of sympathy for Callisto for it seemed her mother was as difficult as was his armor-hearted father.
“If she will allow her own daughter to die…” Davona stared fiercely at the leader of the nymphs. “She will not be easy to negotiate with.” 

 Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com        

My author page at amazon.com with all my books listed


Friday, August 14, 2015

Favorite Friday: Sharing a favorite fantasy book

Favorite book—Clash of Kings, Book Two in the Song of Ice & Fire series. This is the book behind season two of Game of Thrones on HBO. Highly recommended for fans of this series. The books expand on the characters and intricate storylines.




Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com        
My author page at amazon.com with all my books listed


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Weird Word Wednesday

Biggety
      adjective big·ge·ty \ˈbi-gə-tē\
Definition of BIGGETY

1
Southern & Midland :  conceited, vain
2
Southern & Midland :  rudely self-important :  impudent
Variants of BIGGETY

big·ge·ty or big·gi·ty \ˈbi-gə-tē\
Examples of BIGGETY


Origin of BIGGETY

big + -ety (as in persnickety)

First Known Use: 1880

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com        
My author page at amazon.com with all my books listed

Monday, August 10, 2015

Friday, August 07, 2015

Favorite Friday: Sharing a favorite kitchen item

Favorite kitchen tool—wooden chopping bowl from Alaska. I've had this for years. I use it more than anything else in my kitchen to chop chicken or vegetables. It’s easy to use and clean. Highly recommended.




Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com        
My author page at amazon.com with all my books listed

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Weird Word Wednesday

Bigeminy
  
  noun bi·gem·i·ny \bī-ˈje-mə-nē\
Definition of BIGEMINY

:  the state of having a pulse characterized by two beats close together with a pause following each pair of beats
— bi·gem·i·nal \-mə-nəl\ adjective

Origin of BIGEMINY

bigeminal (double, paired), from Late Latin bigeminus, from bi- + geminus twin

First Known Use: circa 1923

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com        
My author page at amazon.com with all my books listed

Monday, August 03, 2015