Welcome to Olympus, where the Muses of Greek Mythology are charged with the responsibility of discovering, inspiring, and guiding the young incarnations of legends past until they once again take the form of greatness.
Embark on an enchanting journey through Architects of Illusion (Echoes of Olympus, #1), a YA fantasy novel series inspired by my backyard neighbors, Biltmore Estate, in honor of George Vanderbilt‘s extraordinary legacy.
▶ For a detailed PHOTO TOUR of Biltmore House, including a great image of the double lane bowling alley installed in 1895 (one of the oldest in the nation), click HERE! Want to read more? Visit my A to Z “Sneak Peeks” page!
I WAS navigating the bowels of the stone behemoth, losing faith in my inner compass, when I heard it. Echoes of rumbling thunder and rolling claps bounced off my skull.
Curiosity pulled me down the dusky limestone tunnels into the mouth of a cavern. The soaring brick walls were alive with a vibrant gypsy parade of characters captured in a kaleidoscope of colors. For a moment, I was lost in the swirling sea of dancing dyes.
A deafening crash jarred my bones. Against my better judgement, I followed the source into an adjoining hallway teeming with students. Stretching to the tips of my toes, I craned my neck over the swarm of patchwork heads buzzing with energy and the occasional expletive.
Nudging the nearest boy, I asked, “Are we under attack?”
He glanced down at me, his liquid green eyes working to place my foreign face. “Depends on who you’re rooting for,” he quipped, a pleasing lilt to his voice. He nodded his head towards the back wall. “My team’s gett’n slaughtered. Have a look for yourself,” he added, moving aside.
I climbed onto the piano bench, gaining an outstanding view of the chaos. The air, thick with a hundred breaths, split with a sharp crack. A spray of ivory pins scattered across the double lane alley, followed by a wave of cheers and the fluttering of tiny wings.
My head spun with images of the impossible.
“Whoa! Wha-what? Why—” I stumbled, earning a glare from the girl whose head met with my hip.
“We don’t have an automated system,” the boy offered, misunderstanding my confusion. “Someone’s gotta reset the pins,” he shrugged apologetically.
“Are those…an-angels?” I stutter, my gaze glued to the chubby cherubs darting across the lanes, pins grasped between alabaster fingers. One flitted past, catching my eye. His tiny stone lips puckered in a kiss, alabaster dimples flashing.
“Angels? Those mischievous buggers?” he let out a raucous laugh. “There’s not an angelic ounce carved into their bums.”
© 2014 Samantha Redstreake Geary
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