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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.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Tabby's Nocturnal Nights: Setting the scene for readers

Tabby's Nocturnal Nights: Setting the scene for readers: There are many techniques that are essential for writing a good novel. One of them is setting the scene at each new chapter and scene break...

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Weird Word Wednesday

noun  ca·sa·ba  \kə-ˈsä-bə\
Definition of casaba
Popularity: Bottom 10% of words
:  any of several winter melons with usually yellow rind and sweet white, yellow, or orange flesh

Origin of casaba
Kasaba (now Turgutlu), Turkey

First Known Use: 1887

Kelley Heckart
Otherworldly tales steeped in myth & magic.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Weird Word Wednesday

noun  car·a·bi·neer  \ˌker-ə-bə-ˈnir, ˌka-rə-\
Definition of carabineer
Popularity: Bottom 30% of words
:  a cavalry soldier armed with a carbine

Variants of carabineer
or car·a·bi·nier play \ˌker-ə-bə-ˈnir, ˌka-rə-\
Origin of carabineer
French carabinier, from carabine carbine

First Known Use: 1672

Kelley Heckart
Otherworldly tales steeped in myth & magic.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Weird Word Wednesday

noun  ca·ra·bi·ne·ro  \ˌker-ə-bə-ˈner-(ˌ)ō, ˌkär-, ˌka-rə-\
Definition of carabinero
Popularity: Bottom 20% of words
plural ca·ra·bi·ne·ros
:  a member of a Spanish national police force serving especially as frontier guards
:  a customs or coast guard officer in the Philippines

Origin of carabinero

Spanish, from carabina carbine, from French carabine

Kelley Heckart
Otherworldly tales steeped in myth & magic.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Weird Word Wednesday

noun  car·a·bi·ner  \ˌker-ə-ˈbē-nər, ˌka-rə-\
Definition of carabiner
Popularity: Bottom 30% of words
:  an oblong metal ring with one spring-hinged side that is used especially in mountain climbing as a connector and to hold a freely running rope

Variants of carabiner
also kar·a·bi·ner \ˌker-ə-ˈbē-nər, ˌka-rə-\
Origin of carabiner

German Karabiner, short for Karabinerhaken, literally, carabineer's hook

Kelley Heckart
Otherworldly tales steeped in myth & magic.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Monday Musings: A Beltaine's Song excerpt in honor of Beltaine

“I give you the branch (of victory),
Said the crow to the old woman;
You are as old as the old grandmother,
Long ago, who ate the apples.”
‘From Legends of Saints and Sinners’

Eireann, AD 559

The word rang through her mind like a beautiful melody. It was all she remembered.
Under cloudy skies, she stood inside a circle of stone giants, the earth vibrating beneath her feet. Touching the weathered stones sparked a familiar sensation inside her, and she knew this place meant something special to her once. Light mist swirled around the powerful stones like restless serpents. In her mind’s eye, she saw cloaked figures moving and chanting inside the circle. Their rich, joyful voices were lost to her now, the once sacred stones abandoned.
Sighing, she moved on, wandering the countryside. The clouds parted and summer skies greeted her with a smile. In the distance, puffy white and gray clouds floated against a bright blue sky the color of a robin’s egg. A gentle breeze tousled her hair and the fresh scent of summer, of things fresh and new, brightened her spirits. Swallowed by rolling green hills clothed in a light mist, she walked without knowing her destination, pausing when she came to a break in the hills.
Below her sat clusters of roundhouses and fields surrounded by raths. The earthen walls surrounded the homes in a protective embrace. Farther away, a jumble of forest and pasture land rolled to the horizon. Beyond this stretched mixed landscapes of low mountains, vast bogs, and dense woodlands. She descended the hills, passing families moving their cows and sheep to the summer pastures high in the mountains.
All around her, the earth sang of life. Milk and honey flowed freely in the summer months. Shimmering fields of wheat sprouted from the well-tended earth, its green grass-like stalks gradually changing to a ripe golden color.
It was all familiar and yet foreign to her.
She watched all of this taking place around her, the men, women, and children going about their summer chores, smiling, grateful for the blessed time of rebirth. They passed by her with nary a glance in her direction.
It was as if she did not exist at all.

While everyone around her exuded happiness, sorrow filled her heart, and she wandered the countryside without purpose, lost and alone.

Beltaine's Song is the second book in my Dark Goddess trilogy, set in Dark Age Scotland. A mix of history and mythology, it is filled with spring themes of new beginnings and loss.

For each of them, spring's song has a different meaning.

Now king and queen of the powerful kingdom of Dal Riata, Aedan and Domelch have more than just Cailleach's wrath to contend with. Aedan struggles with being a king and being a husband. Domelch struggles with her beliefs, trying to be the Christian woman Aedan wed, but her heart still thrums with the voices of old gods. They must battle earthly foes—enemy kings and traitorous allies. For the first time, the arrival of spring heralds the sound of a harsh battle horn as their foes close in. Through all this turmoil, can their love survive?  

Gartnait, the first-born son of Aedan and Domelch, has lived in secrecy most of his young life to escape Cailleach's wrath. Fostered in Fortriu, he has earned his first mark of manhood and on his way to becoming a formidable warrior. He grapples with the awakening of his true destiny and the meaning of the appearance of a beautiful maiden in spring only he can see. Does she mean to harm him? For him, spring brings with it the promise of new love and the thrilling sound of the battle horn, putting those he cares about in danger.
“Even those who can see the future cannot be certain that the future they see will not change. One small ripple can change the future.” –from Beltaine’s Song
The story of Cardea (now called Domelch) and Aedan mac Gabrain continues…Reading this book makes me ask, again, why humans inflict such suffering on each other, and why we cannot stop fighting each other. Why is it so difficult to truly forgive someone? The ending of Beltaine’s Song is a tear-jerker (my mind decided to play the theme song from Braveheart). And I wonder: can one really find peace in death?
I’m looking forward to Book 3, Winter’s Requiem. Review by Jane Li

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/

To sign up for my newsletter and receive special notices like new book releases and giveaways only for my subscribers: http://kelleyheckart.com/Contact_Kelley_Page.html

Kelley Heckart
Otherworldly tales steeped in myth & magic.
Kelley's books on amazon.com:

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Tabby's Nocturnal Nights: Signs of spring as Beltaine draws near

Tabby's Nocturnal Nights: Signs of spring as Beltaine draws near: Spring is one of my favorite times of the year. The hummingbirds are visiting my feeder, the quail babies hide in my yard while their parent...

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Weird Word Wednesday

noun  ca·ra·bid  \ˈker-ə-bəd, ˈka-rə-, kə-ˈra-bəd\
Definition of carabid
Popularity: Bottom 10% of words
:  ground beetle

Origin of carabid

ultimately from Greek karabos horned beetle

Kelley Heckart
Otherworldly tales steeped in myth & magic.

Beauty may be the real beast

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Weird Word Wednesday

adjective  ca·pa·cious  \kə-ˈpā-shəs\
Simple Definition of capacious
Popularity: Bottom 50% of words
: able to hold or contain a lot : large in capacity

Full Definition of capacious
:  containing or capable of containing a great deal
ca·pa·cious·ly adverb
ca·pa·cious·ness noun

Examples of capacious

Origin of capacious

Latin capac-, capax capacious, capable, from Latin capere

Kelley Heckart
Otherworldly tales steeped in myth & magic.

Beauty may be the real beast

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Weird Word Wednesday

noun  caou·tchouc  \ˈkau̇-ˌchu̇k, -ˌchük, -ˌchü\
Definition of caoutchouc:

Origin of caoutchouc

French, from obsolete Spanish cauchuc (now caucho), probably from a language of Amazonian Peru or Ecuador

Kelley Heckart
Otherworldly tales steeped in myth & magic.

Beauty may be the real beast

Monday, April 11, 2016

Monday Musings: Do memories reside in your home or do they exist in any place you call home?

I come from a family of gypsies, not in the sense that we have gypsy blood, though I wouldn’t discount that, but in the sense that we moved all the time when I was a child, and my parents continued to move well into my adulthood. They just moved from the dream house they had built and had no trouble leaving it behind.
How do they do this?
I know so many people who refuse to leave a home they have lived in for many years because “all of their memories are in that home.”
Now, you would think that I’d be like my parents, having moved so much, but I am not. My husband, on the other hand, who’d lived in the same house since he was born, has no problem moving.
See, I get attached to things. And I’m having trouble with our latest move. We made the decision to downsize. It’s for all the right reasons, but I’m having trouble letting go of the home we lived in for 15 years, the longest I’ve ever lived in any home. There are so many memories there—good and bad—but for me there is a special energy in that house and it’s hard for me to leave it behind.
There is the beautiful, large Palo Verde tree we planted and is what I call, “the tree of life,” because of all the wildlife that gathers around that tree. There are my desert iguanas, Mr. and Mrs. Godzilla, I see each year in spring and summer and are more like pets than wild animals.
There are so many great memories of my dogs that have since passed away.
There are memories of when we first moved into the house and how excited and happy we were to be embarking on a new path in life.
There are also the not-so-good memories of struggling to get through the Great Recession, but we prevailed, mostly unscathed, from that troubling time and found hope again.
Will I forget all of that once I have left that home behind?
I sure hope not.
As I settle into our new home, surrounded by my possessions and photographs, I sense a new special energy forming like a familiar, comfortable blanket.  I think it’s clear to me now. My memories live inside me. They are a part of me. I will still have my old memories and will make new ones here in this place I now call home.
This is my new Palo Verde tree. I'm watering it and hoping it will grow to be as large and beautiful as my old tree.

Kelley Heckart
Otherworldly tales steeped in myth & magic.

Beauty may be the real beast 

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Weird Word Wednesday

noun  cal·a·boose  \ˈka-lə-ˌbüs\
Definition of calaboose
Popularity: Bottom 30% of words
:  jail; especially :  a local jail

Examples of calaboose

Origin of calaboose
Spanish calabozo dungeon

First Known Use: 1792

Kelley Heckart
Otherworldly tales steeped in myth & magic.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Monday Musings: An Easter surprise, my hummingbird visitors

I woke up on Easter morning and went about my usual chores, which included watering the Palo Verde tree growing on our back slope. We just moved and I've been a little bummed about leaving my old house with the large, beautiful Palo Verde tree and a multitude of Arizona wildlife, my desert iguanas and all the birds we had visit that tree. This Easter morning was pretty special and a bit magical because as I was watering the tree with the hose, a hummingbird appeared. She buzzed around the water's spray and then she landed. I let the hose rest between the chain links in the fence and hurried to grab my camera. When I returned, she was taking a bath in the water puddles. Then another hummingbird appeared to do the same. I wasn't fast enough to catch both of them, but I managed to get a couple of shots of one. Having the hummingbirds visit me made my day. Even though I will miss my lizards at the old house, it looks like I will have some new backyard wildlife here at the new place.

Easter is all about rebirth and new beginnings. The hummingbirds symbolized this for me.

This hummingbird appeared on Easter morning.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Weird Word Wednesday

noun  cal·a·bash  \ˈka-lə-ˌbash\
Definition of calabash
Popularity: Bottom 30% of words
:  a tropical American tree (Crescentia cujete) of the bignonia family; also :  its large hard-shelled globose fruit
:  gourd; especially :  one whose hard shell is used for a utensil
:  a utensil (as a bottle or dipper) made from the shell of a calabash

Origin of calabash

French & Spanish; French calebasse gourd, from Spanish calabaza

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
My author page at amazon.com with all my books listed