Architects of Illusion (Echoes of Olympus, #1): Hearthstone

Castle in the Mountains by Gray Artus

Castle in the Mountains by Gray Artus

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. 

Join me, and a cast of brilliant film composers, as we awaken your imagination to the magic of the mountains during this year’s international A to Z Challenge (representing #TeamDamyanti).

For a detailed PHOTO TOUR of Biltmore Estate, including the Banquet Hall’s triple stone fireplace featuring a high relief panel entitled, “The Return from the Chase,” carved by acclaimed Viennese sculptor Karl Bitter, click HERE!  Want to read more? Visit my A to Z “Sneak Peeks” page!


TENDRILS OF burning pine pulled me to the glowing mouths, their fiery tongues licked at my skin, consuming the chill that gripped my heart.

A procession of men and beast paraded across the towering triple hearth, their fluid forms spilling from the stone in perpetual pursuit.

“It takes a master to capture the essence of movement,” Seok whispered, his warm honey voice laced with reverence. I watched his gaze caress the intricate carvings as they slipped and shifted along the panel, flames flickering in his silver eyes.

“They say you’re a master,” I said softly, my own gaze tracing the delicate lines of his face.

“Perhaps I was…long ago,” he turned to face me. “I’ve much to learn in this life, if I’m to live up to the legends before me.”

“Is it true? That you’re an incarnation of Daedalus?”

Seok tilted his head, a slip of a smile hiding behind locks of raven hair. “Does it matter?  We may share the same spirit, but I’ve none of his memories.” He stretched his hands out between us, palms facing the soaring ceiling, long fingers flexing into fists. “It’s up to me to shape my destiny in this life. The gifts coursing through my veins mean nothing without the passion to create—to be something greater than I am.”

“At least you know what you’re destined for,” I muttered, “They haven’t a clue who I was…who I’m meant to be. I don’t…I’m not like you,” I turned away from him, pain burning a trail down my cheek. “I don’t belong here.”

“Anise,” he edged towards me. “The past doesn’t control your fate,”  he said, gently brushing back my curls. “There’s greatness in you,” he cupped my chin, his almond eyes searching mine. “Believe that it’s there and anything is possible.

© 2014 Samantha Redstreake Geary



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22 thoughts on “Architects of Illusion (Echoes of Olympus, #1): Hearthstone

  1. Hi human, Samantha,

    Your words doth dance from my screen and the ambience is enhanced in my doggy mind. “There’s a greatness in you.” Samantha, those words echo the wonder, the magic of your writing 🙂

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!


  2. I can’t believe it has taken me until the letter H, to realise there is music to accompany your writing. *face plants the table* Oh well, at least I know now. 😉
    Beautiful piece today. Not that I’d expect anything different. 🙂


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