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

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 bass pond, click HERE!  Want to read more? Visit my A to Z “Sneak Peeks” page!


THE BREATH of dawn hovered over the water, its swirling smoke drifting up the mossy banks and clinging to the canvas of brushed oranges and vibrant reds.

I would’ve appreciated the view loads more, if it weren’t for the ungodly hour. As a rule, I rolled out of bed long after the sun crested the hills and barely before brunch.

“Tell me again why you dragged me out here?” I huffed, shuffling my feet against the wooden planks in a futile effort to generate warmth.

Tari, clearly a morning person, glared at me. “Do you want the key back or not?”

“Not this badly.”

“You mean not this early,” she puffed at the raven curls dangling in her face.

Especially not this early,” I pointed out, the key in question recently relocated to the bottom of the bass pond, which was more than a little inconvenient.

“They’ll only help us at dawn.”

I seriously doubted the validity of that statement. “Who? The swim team?”

“Not exactly,” a lilting voice chuckled behind us. I spun around, well, more like stumbled, since I was still half asleep. A smug-faced Conrí materialized from the mist. “Lose something?” he asked, emerald eyes twinkling with mild amusement.

She lost something,” I tossed an accusatory glance at Tari.

“Oh, for–” Tari sighed, “it was an accident.”

“Who accidentally drops a priceless artifact into the middle of a lake?” I retorted, waving my hand over the water’s edge.

“Pond, actually,” Conrí added. “She’s got a point, lass,” he grinned at Tari. “Luckily, I can help you out.”

I raised my eyebrows. “You’re diving in there?”

“Not me, luv,” he replied,  nodding towards the water.

The heads of three girls slipped silently through the glassy surface, their shimmering silver manes framing translucent skin that pulsed with a luminous light.

“Who. Are. They?” I stammered.

Tari sniffed. “His fan club.”

© 2014 Samantha Redstreake Geary



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