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 lovely Belgian draft horses, Chester & Bert, click HERE! Want to read more? Visit my A to Z “Sneak Peeks” page!
A FLASH of white swooped in beside me, where I lay battered and bleeding on the frozen trail between death and dying.
The slip of snow ruffled its downy coat, its sapphire gaze studying me.
“If you’ve come to save me….you’re late,” I wheezed, my lungs collapsing against the lack of wind.
The owl blurred into slippery smoke that stretched above me, its edges sharpening into the shape of a silver-haired girl with ivory skin and striking cerulean eyes.
“Are you…an angel?” I asked, certain I was on the wrong side of a pulse.
The girl scowled. “An angel wouldn’t have saved your life.”
“I’m feeling very unsaved at the moment,” I spat, my mouth burning with liquid iron. “Couldn’t you have showed up before I was mauled by that…that…whatever that thing was.”
“That thing was only a test.”
“I’m not a good test-taker,” I groaned, gingerly exploring the angry gash that grinned near my temple.
“That’s painfully obvious,” she sighed, shaking her head. “You’ll need to work on that before the Zenith.”
“That sounds…unpleasant.” I wasn’t up for any more tussles with irate Gods and their supernatural pets.
“My father isn’t known for his pleasantries,” she scoffed.
“And you are?” I asked, prying myself from the crimson stained sheet of ice stuck to my skin.
She offered her hand. “Athena.”
I pulled my palm from her grasp. “You’re defying Zeus to help me? Why?”
Athena pierced me with a knowing gaze. “I owe you a debt–one that’s taken millennia to repay.”
Athena wrapped her steel hands around my wrists, wrenching me to my unsteady feet. The world surged and spun, stabbing at my skull. “How…how do you know me?”
“I was there the day you first drew breath, Anise,” Athena braced my swaying sides with a firm grip, forcing me to face her. “You’re born of power, and more than capable of being you’re own hero.”
© 2014 Samantha Redstreake Geary
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