Architects of Illusion (Echoes of Olympus, #1): Visions of Venus

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 two iron & polished steel andirons of Venus and Vulcan in the library fireplace, created by Karl Bitter, click HERE!  Want to read more? Visit my A to Z “Sneak Peeks” page!

Visions of Venus


I SAT on the blood-red velvet bench across from the dying fire, my body shaking with a cold that gripped my bones and stole my breath.

The iron andiron of Venus eyed me curiously. Leaping gracefully from her perch, she walked into the flickering flames, gesturing for Vulcan to follow. Together they lifted logs into the mouth of the hearth, coaxing the fading embers back to life. Within seconds, hungry flares licked at the wood, consuming the chill that hung heavy in the air.

The polished pair walked through the roaring fire, wiping the ash from their metal skin. Vulcan returned to his post, while Venus edged closer.

Did she know what I was? Had everyone at Olympus known?

I could barely fathom the web of deceit they built before my birth.

“They said it was to protect me,” I laughed aloud, rancor lacing my words. “Protect me from what? From who?” I jumped to my feet, pacing a burning path across the library floor.

“This place isn’t my home…it’s a prison of lies!” I screamed at the sleeping Oracles towering above me, the same Pythias who spoke to me of incarnations that never existed…of a destiny that didn’t belong to me…of dreams that were never mine.

I had lost my identity…my place in the world plucked from my grasp. I crumpled to the floor with an anguish too heavy to bear.

I could feel the heat of her sleek body before she reached out her tiny hand to mine, searing my skin. I raised my head to meet the eyes of Venus, whose carved features fell with sympathy. She glanced at Vulcan, who shook his head in warning. She nodded her head, sharply, and turned back to me. Her gaze held mine for a heartbeat, before traveling towards the churning clouds of the ceiling to fixate on something she wanted me to see…to understand.

There were far worse things than lies lurking in Olympus.

© 2014 Samantha Redstreake Geary



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10 thoughts on “Architects of Illusion (Echoes of Olympus, #1): Visions of Venus

  1. I frickin love this! Love your writing Sam, and it only helps that it is wrapped in Greek mythology (my favourite). Just love that line: There were far worse things than lies lurking in Olympus. Like sdneeve1 said, goosebumpssssss!


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