Architects of Illusion (Echoes of Olympus, #1): Tale of the Tortoise

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 trio of tortoise troughs, click HERE!  Want to read more? Visit my A to Z “Sneak Peeks” page!

Tale of the Tortoise

THE TRIO of tortoises stared at us blankly, water bubbling from their burnished beaks.

“You can’t be serious?” I asked Tari, gesturing towards the troughs. “They’re turtles.”

Tari crossed her slender arms, puffing at the raven ringlets that teased her face. “Not all of them.” She paced between them, her ebony brow wrinkled with concentration.

I followed her gaze as she studied each one. “What are you looking for?”

“Not what. Who.”

“Okaaaay,” I peered into the hooded patina eyes of the one nearest me. “Who?”

“Chelone,” Tari replied, “a nymph who was turned into a tortoise when she angered Zeus.”

“Wow. That’s harsh. What’d she do?”

Tari glanced at the leather band wrapped around her wrist, its copper gears winking in the sun. “She was late for his wedding.”

“Surprised I’m not a fountain by now,” I mumbled, punctuality not being my strong suit. I sat on the stone ledge of the shallow pool, running my fingers through the cool water. “So, we’re seeking the guidance of a nymph-turned-turtle-turned-fountain. How is that helpful?”

“Nothing at Olympus is what it seems, even the fountains,” Tari tossed over her shoulder. “You’ll learn to look beyond the illusions.”

A choking cough erupted behind me, nearly knocking me to the floor. I spun around, coming face to face with an animated terrapin. It shook its scaly metal head, spraying me with spit.  

The turtle stretched out its rumpled neck, narrowing its eyes. “It’s not polite to stare, dear.”

Tari slid in beside me. “Oh, good. They’re awake.”

© 2014 Samantha Redstreake Geary



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13 thoughts on “Architects of Illusion (Echoes of Olympus, #1): Tale of the Tortoise

  1. Once again you spoil us with your talent to turn a tale into a living, breathing entity. But I’m sad to see there are no posts for U and V. Hope everything’s okay your end. Probably busy … yes, that’s it. 🙂


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