Architects of Illusion (Echoes of Olympus, #1): Muse of Music

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 Winter Garden where a glass roof illuminates the center fountain sculpture “Boy Stealing Geese” by Karl Bitter, click HERE!  Want to read more? Visit my A to Z “Sneak Peeks” page!


Muse of Music

GLEAMING CHESTNUT winked in the firelight, its restless strings silent. I could almost feel it trembling, eager to escape my abuse. “No. Really,” I puffed out a sigh, “I can’t play the viol–”

“Tsk, focus!” Euterpe chided, circling me like I was her next meal, her silky crimson sari flying behind her back, struggling to stay in stride.

The Muse of music was nothing if not intimidating. Her piercing eyes, one a gleaming gold, the other an emerald green, could reduce even the most challenging pupil to a quaking pile of flesh.

Euterpe propped a hand on her mahogany corset and cocked her head, studying me. “Your placement. It’s all wrong.” She manipulated my hold on the confounded instrument until I was a hundred percent more uncomfortable than I was five seconds ago.

The elaborate pattern painted on her honeyed skin caught my eye. Burnished henna vines encircled her arms, curling into her palms and winding through her fingers as if it had a life of its own.

“Now. Close your eyes and feel it in here,” she gently touched her hand above my heart.

I humored her and shut my eyes, praying the little bronze boy on the fountain would set loose his geese and disrupt the slow death of my music career.

I’d never played an instrument, unless you counted the xylophone I had when I was five. I was fairly certain my past lives did not include a musical prodigy, if the barely suppressed laughter rippling through the class was any indication.

In lieu of the snickering, I imagined hearing whispers of wonders fill the winter garden, their secrets soaring with abandon to the top of the leaded glass roof.  I fancied the feel of the bow as it glided across the bridge between music and magic, coaxing the voice of the strings to sing.

My eyes flew open, the last of the notes hovering in the humid air, the students shocked into stillness.

Euterpe gently lifted the violin from my grasp, a glint of triumph in her eyes. The intricate leaves and birds that wrapped around her wrists shifted into a symphony of shimmering copper notes. “A soul born of music never forgets how to sing.


© 2014 Samantha Redstreake Geary


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