Architects of Illusion (Echoes of Olympus, #1): Chariot of Aurora

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 library’s Pellegrini ceiling painting, The Chariot of Aurora (where there is, in fact, a rooster) click HERE! Want to read more? Visit my A to Z “Sneak Peeks” page!


Chariot of Aurora

TARIRO EDGED closer, transfixed by the swirling ball of magic dangling from my neck. “Your teleo…it’s beautiful. I’ve never seen one like it.” She reached for the crystal, twirling it between her fingers. The storm clouds pitched and rolled within, igniting tiny silver sparks. Tariro’s sea-glass eyes lit up, her lips curving with delight. “You must have been someone quite special.”

It’s a surreal notion, referring casually to one’s previous lives when I’ve yet to find purchase in my current one.

Before I could reply, an ethereal figure threw open the library doors in a flock of doves, her trailing gossamer gown unfurled like feathery wings. “I am Calliope, your headmaster. Welcome to my domain,” she announced, her arms outstretched to encompass Delphi’s mountain of words in ancient bindings, their stale breaths bound between the pages.

A red bantam rooster, who apparently lost sight of his proper place, hopped onto the edge of a large ceramic bowl depicting a five-fingered Chinese dragon, scaring me half to death.

My attention snapped back to the Muse of epic literature moving fluidly about the room. Like a Native American princess, her radiant caramel skin and startling violet eyes glowed with wisdom. A feather-adorned raven river cascaded down her back, pooling at bare feet. She gestured towards the soaring ceiling, reverently. “Here, you shall discover who you once were, who you are, and who you shall become!”

I followed her gaze to the painted scene above.

Beyond the intricate Grecian columns, the light of learning penetrated the billowing clouds of an open sky where angels welcomed the dawn, flowing robes and feathers dancing in the wind.

I felt a sharp prick on the tender flesh of my wrist. The chicken, enamored with my shiny silver-plated band, pecked away with abandon, determined to draw blood. I shooed him away with a flap of my highly irritated hand. In a not-so-subtle batting of wings and squawks, the rooster flew up to the pictorial balcony and landed, astonishingly, atop one of its pillars, its plumage transformed into painted canvas. My mouth hung open as oil-glazed women leaned over and waved, their laughter trickling down in the space between myths and magic.


© 2014 Samantha Redstreake Geary


PHENOMENA Cover PHENOMENA’s EPIC HEROES CONTEST

Open Internationally!

Create an original Superhero story and/or artwork for a chance to WIN amazing prizes, including PUBLICATION in the first ever audiomachine companion ebook!

Click HERE for more details.

 

Architects of Illusion (Echoes of Olympus, #1): Bowling Night

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 House, including a great image of the double lane bowling alley installed in 1895 (one of the oldest in the nation), click HERE! Want to read more? Visit my A to Z “Sneak Peeks” page!


Bowling Night

I WAS navigating the bowels of the stone behemoth, losing faith in my inner compass, when I heard it. Echoes of rumbling thunder and rolling claps bounced off my skull.

Curiosity pulled me down the dusky limestone tunnels into the mouth of a cavern. The soaring brick walls were alive with a vibrant gypsy parade of characters captured in a kaleidoscope of colors. For a moment, I was lost in the swirling sea of dancing dyes.

A deafening crash jarred my bones. Against my better judgement, I followed the source into an adjoining hallway teeming with students. Stretching to the tips of my toes, I craned my neck over the swarm of patchwork heads buzzing with energy and the occasional expletive.

Nudging the nearest boy, I asked, “Are we under attack?”

He glanced down at me, his liquid green eyes working to place my foreign face. “Depends on who you’re rooting for,” he quipped, a pleasing lilt to his voice. He nodded his head towards the back wall. “My team’s gett’n slaughtered. Have a look for yourself,” he added, moving aside.

I climbed onto the piano bench, gaining an outstanding view of the chaos. The air, thick with a hundred breaths, split with a sharp crack. A spray of ivory pins scattered across the double lane alley, followed by a wave of cheers and the fluttering of tiny wings.

My head spun with images of the impossible. 

“Whoa! Wha-what? Why—” I stumbled, earning a glare from the girl whose head met with my hip.  

“We don’t have an automated system,” the boy offered, misunderstanding my confusion. “Someone’s gotta reset the pins,” he shrugged apologetically.

“Are those…an-angels?” I stutter, my gaze glued to the chubby cherubs darting across the lanes, pins grasped between alabaster fingers. One flitted past, catching my eye. His tiny stone lips puckered in a kiss, alabaster dimples flashing.

“Angels? Those mischievous buggers?” he let out a raucous laugh.  “There’s not an angelic ounce carved into their bums.”


© 2014 Samantha Redstreake Geary


PHENOMENA Cover PHENOMENA’s EPIC HEROES CONTEST

Open Internationally!

Create an original Superhero story and/or artwork for a chance to WIN amazing prizes, including PUBLICATION in the first ever audiomachine companion ebook!

Click HERE for more details.

 

Architects of Illusion (Echoes of Olympus, #1): Appalachian Mountains

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 lovely Belgian draft horses, Chester & Bert, click HERE! Want to read more? Visit my A to Z “Sneak Peeks” page!


Appalachian Mountains

IT WASN’T a Pegasus that stole me away in the dead of night, like the twins had hoped. Nor was it a grand golden chariot. It was, in fact, an unremarkable pair of tawny Belgian draft horses that stomped impatiently on our dusty farmhouse drive. Wild eyes peeked beneath drapes of milky manes that poured down the length of their necks. Their heads were enormous, leaving ample room for an exceptional sense of direction, as noted by the empty driver’s seat.

I climbed reluctantly into the covered carriage of polished mahogany and gleaming brass, barely finding purchase on the velvet cushions before the clinking of chains and screeching of wheels announced our sudden departure.

Looking back, I could still see the silhouettes of my siblings. Their tiny hands pressed against the second story window, the sticky breath of their disappointment fogging the glass. I tugged my coat tighter, the collar still damp with my mother’s goodbye. I breathed in the whispers of woodsmoke lingering from my father’s embrace.

The steeds’ swift descent drove me through the verdant veins of the Southern Appalachians, deep into the heart of the mountains. My gut twisted in knots with every road that unraveled before me.

A brick archway materialized in a hidden grove, its slate tiles glinting in the starlight. My frantic pulse tripped and fell through the gates marking the boundary between my world and the birthplace of legends.

The spiraling path stretched for an eternity. A wave of shifting shadows in an endless sea of trees swam past, until abruptly breaking into a clearing shrouded in mist and mystery.

Olympus

It was beyond anything I could have imagined.

I stumbled from the carriage, marveling at the beauty of my new home. My gaze traveled over the massive miracle of stone and steel, drawn by the winking of a hundred glass eyes and the towering spires spinning secrets from silken moonlight.

I barely registered the movement near my feet, where my luggage sat, neatly stacked. I turned to toss a word of thanks, only to catch a flash of the carriage being pulled into the night by two bare-chested men with long, fair locks falling over flesh that faded into the familiar hindquarters of horses.


© 2014 Samantha Redstreake Geary


PHENOMENA Cover PHENOMENA’s EPIC HEROES CONTEST

Open Internationally!

Create an original Superhero story and/or artwork for a chance to WIN amazing prizes, including PUBLICATION in the first ever audiomachine companion ebook!

Click HERE for more details.

A to Z Theme Reveal_A Glimpse Behind the Curtain

FINAL A to Z Theme Reveal It’s finally here! The moment we’ve all been waiting for! The coolest virtual social gathering leading up to the largest and longest international party on seven continents, The A to Z Challenge *sign up here*!

Special shout-out to the Magnificent Seven of #TeamDamyanti for hosting this historic event! Be sure to visit my fellow house elves, Vidya Sury, Anna Tan, Csenge Zalka, Guilie Castillo Oriard, Jemima Pett & Mary Wallace, and our fearless leader, Damyanti!

 

Check out the hundreds of REVEALS HERE!

Damyanti Team BannerNow, for a sneak peek behind the red curtain. *insert drum roll here*

Wait for it.

Man-of-Steel-Henry-Cavill-as-Superman-HD

Henry Cavill as Superman in Man of Steel

Oh, hello Henry. Thrilled you could swing by, but it’s not time for you yet. Ahem, BEHIND the guy wearing the red curtain.

Castle in the Mist by Gray Artus

A to Z THEME

Welcome to Olympus, where the Muses of Greek Mythology are charged with the responsibility of discovering, inspiring, guiding, and molding the young incarnations of legends past until they once again take the form of greatness. Enter a world steeped in ancient mythology and mystery. Embark on a journey through the imagination with an enchanting cast of characters as they uncover who they once were and who they will become.

Join me, and a host of brilliant composers from the film music industry, this April, as I unveil sneak peeks of an epic YA fantasy series inspired by my backyard neighbors, the Biltmore Estate!

Oh, and there will be PRIZES! I adore comments. So much so, that I’m willing to part with a very tempting Biltmore-themed prize pack, that may include three of a writer’s main food groups: Coffee, Wine, and Chocolate.

Every comment = a coveted entry into the proverbial hat for the prize pack!

Should you feel compelled to FOLLOW this site, LIKE my author FB and FOLLOW me on TWITTER I will happily reciprocate and throw in some extra entries!

AND that’s not all!

Speaking of EPIC, I’ve another surprise glimpse behind the cinematic red curtain!

Thor_111

Chris Hemsworth as Thor

Also in the month of APRIL, I’ll be hosting the mother of all WRITING CONTESTS with my favorite composer gang over in Hollywood and leaders of the film music industry, AUDIOMACHINE! As part of a global, cross-industry promotional project for audiomachine’s upcoming public release, PHENOMENA, we’re introducing a groundbreaking campaign to encourage the next generations of authors, artists, musicians & composers! And YOU can be a part of this historical event!

PHENOMENA’s EPIC HEROES CONTEST

Open Internationally!

▶ Create your own Superhero and give us an extraordinary tale, under 1200 words, geared toward Young Adults and inspired by the PHENOMENA album track, “Fortress of Solitude“.

Entries will be accepted April 1st through May 1st. Entries must be posted in the comments section of the dedicated PHENOMENA page (opening April 1st)

The Top 3 Winners will be determined by myself and audiomachine. PHENOMENA-themed prizes will be awarded to our Top 3. The 1st place winner will be PUBLISHED in the first ever audiomachine album companion ebook for PHENOMENA.

Stop by April 1st for more details on this incredible event, including a special contest announcement for ARTISTS!

Speaking of Heroes, I’m thrilled to announce the latest release from my dear friend and literary hero, M. Pax!

worldsonedgeWEBWorlds on Edge, Backworlds Book 5

AmazonUS / Amazon UK / Nook / Smashwords / iTunes / Other Outlets

War is coming. A horde of merciless aliens poise just beyond the Edge. In a matter of weeks they will devour the worlds.

Racing ahead of the apocalypse, Craze returns to the Backworlds to warn them and plan a defense. Only he can’t go home. Banned from Pardeep Station, he must wage a more urgent battle. His moon is under siege, and his friends are dying.

Bad things come in threes, and the galaxy is no exception. An old enemy returns, attacking moons and defenseless globes, leaving a wake of destruction. Worse than that, they threaten to join forces with the alien horde.

Defeat seems inevitable. Craze may not be able to stop it. Yet home is worth the fight.