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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.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Favorite Friday: Sharing a favorite vampire book

Favorite vampire book: 'Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

Book Description:
Ben Mears has returned to Jerusalem’s Lot in hopes that exploring the history of the Marsten House, an old mansion long the subject of rumor and speculation, will help him cast out his personal devils and provide inspiration for his new book. But when two young boys venture into the woods, and only one returns alive, Mears begins to realize that something sinister is at work—in fact, his hometown is under siege from forces of darkness far beyond his imagination. And only he, with a small group of allies, can hope to contain the evil that is growing within the borders of this small New England town.

With this, his second novel, Stephen King established himself as an indisputable master of American horror, able to transform the old conceits of the genre into something fresh and all the more frightening for taking place in a familiar, idyllic locale.
**************

This is one of my favorite Stephen King books. I love the way he takes an ordinary town with ordinary people and fills it with something terrifying. Highly recommended for horror and vampire fans.


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, October 21, 2015

Weird Word Wednesday

binaural
      adjective bin·au·ral \(ˌ)bī-ˈnȯr-əl, (ˌ)bi-\
Definition of BINAURAL

1
:  of, relating to, or involving two or both ears
2
:  stereophonic
— bin·au·ral·ly \-ə-lē\ adverb
Origin of BINAURAL

International Scientific Vocabulary

First Known Use: 1861

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, October 19, 2015

Monday Musings: Lessons I learned from my dogs

This article was printed in our local newspaper back in July. I decided to share it on my blog because I know there are a lot of pet owners out there.

Lessons I learned from my dogs

Besides loyalty and companionship, dogs have a lot more to offer us. If we take the time to watch and connect with them, we can learn some important lessons.

Having dogs helped me through a dark time when I didn’t know if I would be permanently disabled. Crippled by severe pain, it was easy to give in and stay in a pain-medication fog, but my dogs depended on me to care for them while my husband was at work. So, I forced myself to get up and fight to get better.

My recovery had a lot to do with lessons I learned from my dogs. The first one is perseverance. Animals don’t allow an illness or injury to stop them from enjoying life. One of my dogs hurt her leg and managed just fine by hopping around on three, even chasing rabbits, until her leg healed. In the animal world, only the strong survive and unfortunately, this is also a harsh truth in the human one, a frightening reality I came close to experiencing.

Another important lesson is living in the moment. Dogs know how to relax in the sun and watch birds or sniff the different scents in the air. This reminds me to stop and enjoy a sunset or take in the wildlife in my backyard, to put my troubles aside. I’ve also learned the importance of exercise and play to keep physically and mentally fit. Dogs love to play. I have a nightly ritual with my Chihuahua. We play a game where I try to take his toy (a plush chicken or banana) away from him, if I can. He’s very fast. I come away from this refreshed and ready to work on writing or editing. This also helped me heal because exercise and physical therapy was very important to my recovery and for the regular management of my chronic condition.

My dogs have also taught me the importance of taking breaks, letting me know when it is time to eat or go outside—and always at the same time each day. This routine keeps me from sitting too long at the computer and worsening my back pain. After a break, I return to work, my energy restored.

Dogs have remarkable intuitive abilities. They know when a storm is approaching, when someone is coming home, or whether they like someone or not. This has taught me to listen to my intuition, especially when it came to finding the right occupation and exercise schedule that suited my health issues. I kept trying to do things the way I had before my illness. Once I stopped fighting myself and listened to my gut feeling, everything fell in to place.

The unconditional love dogs offer us might be the most important lesson. They love you regardless of your problems, your physical appearance, or your imperfections. This lesson has helped me strengthen my human relationships.


The lessons I learned from my dogs improved my life in ways I never realized until I opened my eyes and took notice, and I can’t imagine living without at least one dog by my side.



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

Friday, October 16, 2015

Favorite Friday: Sharing a favorite historical fantasy book

Favorite historical fantasy book: The Light Bearer by Donna Gillespie
Book description on Amazon.com:

In the harsh wastes of the barbarian north, a child is born on dirt and straw in the rude thatched hall of a Germanic tribal chieftain. She is Auriane, destined to follow the pathway of her tribe’s most revered seeress. But as ruthless Roman invaders plunder her people's lands, burn their crops and kidnap their young men for the imperial army, Auriane is chosen to lead her tribal people in their struggle against the empire.

When the Emperor Domitian crosses the Rhine with four legions, the north’s hope resides in a woman…

And as the only world she has known collapses around her, Auriane is captured and taken to Rome, and into a life of horror and glory no seeress could have foreseen.

In Rome, senator and Stoic humanist Marcus Arrius Julianus rises to the loftiest pinnacles of government. Through wit, daring and brilliant maneuvering, he struggles to check the murderous whims of the increasingly corrupt Emperor Domitian. As a reign of terror begins, Julianus orchestrates a vast plot to assassinate the emperor.

Cultured Marcus Julianus and barbarian Auriane meet — and form a powerful bond across the gulf of their vastly different ways of life.

Domitian condemns Auriane to the arena, where in the halls of a gladiatorial training school she discovers the tribesman who betrayed her people in war. As Julianus’ assassination plot rushes to its cataclysmic conclusion, Auriane must carry out the solemn rite of vengeance before a maddened throng in the Colosseum.

An immediate international bestseller, The Light Bearer is the product of twelve years of research into the history, culture and mythology of classical Rome and the proto-Germanic tribes.
************

I loved this book. It is beautifully written and well-researched. I loved Auriane's strength. Highly recommended to anyone interested in classical Rome and the ancient Germanic tribes.

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, October 14, 2015

Weird Word Wednesday

bimillenary
      noun bi·mil·le·na·ry \(ˌ)bī-ˈmi-lə-ˌner-ē, -ˌne-rē, ˌbī-mə-ˈle-nə-rē\
Definition of BIMILLENARY

1
:  a period of 2000 years
2
:  a 2000th anniversary
— bimillenary adjective
Variants of BIMILLENARY

bi·mil·le·na·ry or bi·mil·len·ni·al \ˌbī-mə-ˈle-nē-əl\
First Known Use of BIMILLENARY

1850

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, October 12, 2015

Monday Musings: Arizona Backyard Wildlife

The quail go to each backyard. One acts as a lookout for the others.

Quail family including the babies.

Quail family visits the backyard.

Baby Godzilla sitting in the same place as mom and dad.

Doves that always visit the backyard.

This little guy scared my husband when it got inside the house. I got him safely back outside.

This quail was either scolding Loki or warning the other quail of a dog.

Loki ignored the scolding.

Another shot of baby Godzilla.

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


Friday, October 09, 2015

Favorite Friday: Sharing a favorite Romans vs. Picts movie

Favorite movie: Centurion
Product Description

AD 117. The Roman Empire stretches from Egypt to Spain, and East as far as the Black Sea. But in northern Britain, the relentless onslaught of conquest has ground to a halt in the face of the guerrilla tactics of an elusive enemy: the savage and terrifying Picts. Quintus Dias (Fassbinder), sole survivor of a Pictish raid on a Roman frontier fort, marches north with General Virilus' (West) legendary Ninth Legion, under orders to wipe the Picts from the face of the earth and destroy their leader Gorlacon. But when the legion is ambushed on unfamiliar ground, and Virilus taken captive, Quintus faces a desperate struggle to keep his small platoon alive behind enemy lines. Enduring the harsh terrain and evading their remorseless Pict pursuers led by the revenge hungry Pict Warrior Etain (Kurylenko), the band of soldiers race to rescue their General and to reach the safety of the Roman frontier.

I really like this movie. My favorite scene is when the Roman legion marches into the mist-filled forest of Caledonia (Scotland) and the Picts attack. It gave me goosebumps. I loved Michael Fassbender as the centurion who survives being captured and pursued by the savage Picts. Olga Kurylenko does a great job as Etain, a frightening Pict warrior driven by revenge against the Roman soldiers. Highly recommended to anyone interested in this time period.


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, October 07, 2015

Weird Word Wednesday

bimbette
      noun bim·bette \ˌbim-ˈbet\
Definition of BIMBETTE

slang
:  an attractive but vacuous woman
Origin of BIMBETTE

bimbo + -ette

First Known Use: 1982

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, October 05, 2015

Monday Musings: Sharing some new moon pics










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


Friday, October 02, 2015

Favorite Friday: Sharing a favorite fantasy book

Favorite fantasy book: The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
Amazon.com book description:
Tolkien considered THE SILMARILLION his most important work, and, though it was published last and posthumously, this great collection of tales and legends clearly sets the stage for all his other writing. The story of the creation of the world and of the the First Age, this is the ancient drama to which the characters in THE LORD OF THE RINGS look back and in whose events some of them, such as Elrond and Galadriel, took part. The three Silmarils were jewels created by Feanor, most gifted of the Elves. Within them was imprisoned the Light of the Two Trees of Valinor before the Trees themselves were destroyed by Morgoth, the first Dark Lord. Thereafter, the unsullied Light of Valinor lived on only in the Silmarils, but they were seized by Morgoth and set in his crown, which was guarded in the impenetrable fortress of Angband in the north of Middle-earth. THE SILMARILLION is the history of the rebellion of Feanor and his kindred against the gods, their exile from Valinor and return to Middle-earth, and their war, hopeless despite all their heroism, against the great Enemy.

I know I may get some hate emails for this, but I like this better than the other books. lol I loved reading about the history of Middle-earth and the collection of legends that led to The Lord of the Rings. Highly recommended! I need to get the Kindle version.


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, 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