Sunday, 31 October 2010
Kelly Heckart - Cat's Curse
Celtic historical romance/fantasy
Enter Dark Age Scotland—a mysterious, dangerous and exciting place…
Blurb: Cardea is cursed to live an eternity as a blood drinker. Aedan mac Gabrain, prince of Dal Riata, trusts no one after suffering a curse that keeps him from touching any females. Can two tortured souls find love while battling a dark goddess determined to destroy them?
Available in ebook formats on http://www.awe-struck.net./
Cat's Curse will be available on amazon.com Kindle and fictionwise.com soon.
Cat's Curse is my latest release from Awe-Struck. My book page at Awe-Struck
Samhain signaled the darker half of the year to the ancient Celts, a time of sacrifice and survival with the culling of the herds, the reaping of the fields and preparing for the long cold winter. Cat Anna was known throughout the highlands as a frightening being that often traveled in the shape of a black cat, terrorizing the countryside. She is linked to a winter goddess called Cailleach and they may have been the same being. Samhain was her night of greatest power, but to gain her power, she had to take a sacrifice. In Cat’s Curse, her intended sacrifice is the heroine, Cardea.
A large full moon filled the twilight sky on the night before Samhain, resting above a red, hazy horizon spreading across the sky in layers resembling fresh streaks of blood. To Cardea the blood red horizon of the dying sun spoke of what lay ahead and a feeling of doom pressed against her heart.
The fortress rang with the sounds of an impending celebration for the plentiful harvest and the coming of winter. Large bonfires burned until they would be extinguished like the long days of sunshine. She noted how the important festival had survived the rising power of the Christ god. ‘Perhaps not all is lost,’ she thought.
Galan stood before Aedan and Cardea. “I wish I could do something to help.”
“We have to do this alone.” An uneasy feeling shadowed Cardea’s heart.
Aedan studied her with concern in his eyes. “Are ye ready?” He squeezed her hand.
She nodded. “I hope to see you soon, Galan.” She kissed his cheek.
“Go with God,” he called after them.
Riding past the small church, Cardea stared at the blazing torches filling the burial site near the church. In anticipation of the open barriers between the living and the dead, torches had been planted in memory of those who had left the earthly realm. Each torch represented a villager who had passed into the Otherworld. She wondered that there were so many of them, lost souls lighting up the heavens.
Riding side by side, they followed the wide strath to the west along the loch, past darkened farmsteads. They followed the same path they took to the small village where Aedan’s warriors took refuge.
Clear fall skies twinkled with stars. The full moon acted as a guiding light, illuminating the deep valley and casting the bleak hills in a ghostly glow. They rode without speaking, each lost in their own troubled thoughts. Silence surrounded them; the only sound the soft plodding of their horses on the path empty of other travelers, spreading an edgy feeling over her. Her eyes and ears stayed aware of any unusual sounds and moving shadows. Aedan's hand rested on his sword hilt, his eyes following every rustle and stir, his jaw set in grim concentration. Cardea's heart filled with warmth, touched by the way he protected her and their unborn babe.
Rolling hills turned into forest-lined paths. Leaving the wide-open spaces and sweeping hills behind, they entered woodlands of multi-colored fall leaves. Trees on either side of the path reached across, the wide-leafed branches touching overhead, forming a grand, natural archway. In the moonlight the colors looked muted, but sparkled in the wondrous moonlight. She stared upward at the archway, captivated by the otherworldly scenery. She wondered if it would be the last time she would see such beauty.
Four books! This is true dark ages stuff—the aftermath of Rome’s occupation of Britain, and the growing influence of Christianity vs. the old pagan ways and gods. I love epic historical/high fantasy. Fae, Celt, vampire, curses—all rolled into one book. You truly are transported to a magical time and place…it’s a wonderful escape book for anyone wanting to get away from it all and I would definitely recommend it.
Reviewed by Heather from the Long and the Short of It
'Timeless tales of romance, conflict & magic'
My book page at Awe-Struck
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