Today, I am featuring Goddess Born, the first novel by Kari Edgren, which can be read by YA and New Adult readers, as well as adults who enjoy historical novels mixed with mythology or the supernatural! The protagonist is descended from a Celtic goddess, and has powers, but is now living amid Pennsylvania Quakers circa 1730.
Check out the GORGEOUS cover, the synopsis, and then read my review. Just following, you can enjoy an amazing and beautifully written excerpt from the book!
Goddess Born, Synopsis~
Publication Date: May 29, 2014
eBook; ISBN: 9781426898365
Genre: Historical/Fantasy/Paranormal/New Adult/Romance
2013 RWA Golden Heart© Finalist
2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist
The power to heal is her divine gift, the fear of discovery, her mortal curse.
Selah Kilbrid is caught between two worlds. A direct descendant of the Celtic goddess Brigid, she is bound by Tuatha Dé law to help those in need. Yet as a human, she must keep her unique abilities hidden or risk being charged for a witch. In 1730 Pennsylvania, the Quaker community of Hopewell has become a haven for religious freedom—and fanaticism—and there are those who would see her hanged if the truth were revealed.
For eighteen years, Selah safely navigates the narrow gap between duty and self-preservation, until the day a prominent minister uncovers her secret. Obsessed with her power, Nathan Crowley disregards her betrothal to a distant cousin from Ireland and demands marriage in exchange for his silence. Selah stalls for time, but when news reaches the Colonies of her cousin’s death, time has run out.
Rather than submit to Nathan, Selah coerces a stranger to pose as her husband. It’s a good plan—her only plan—even though Henry Alan harbors his own dark secrets. But when she returns to Hopewell a married woman, the real fight has just begun. As unseen forces move against her, Selah doesn’t know which poses the greater danger—a malignant shadow closing in from outside or the internal fire that threatens to consume her heart.
Book Two in the Goddess Born series will be published in November 2014 and Book Three in June 2015.
Wow! This book was amazing. I love anything historical, of course, and throw fantasy or magical themes in too, and you’ve got me. If you hook me with legends or witchcraft, then I’ll feed you chocolate! That said, in Goddess Born, Kari manages to bring me a world of which I could immerse quickly into the story and be surrounded by her eloquent, flowing words and her emotional prose, ripe with details and character development. I’ve been really busy lately, and I’ve needed to have some books I could manage to read through pretty easily. Kari’s novel allowed me to do this because it propelled my interest through her plot and her lyrical writing.
As well I loved the Celtic mythology. The way she weaved it into her story was captivating. I felt swept away and into her protagonist’s life. This book is definitely a book to pick up if you want reading to offer you some stress relief by transporting you completely to another time and place.
For my personal tastes with most romance, this book was clean (in other words, their wasn’t any overdone sex and there wasn’t bad language). The passion and the romance shined through, but it was very well done and I’d let my almost 11-year-old daughter read it in a few years. Of course, there is also a mystery element, which kept the pace up of the book as well. The twists kept me guessing and left enough to be desired along the way that I didn’t figure everything out immediately.
Furthermore, I loved her strong, independent female protagonist and her attention to history, as well as her mystery and romance themes. And overall, her choice to intertwine Old World magic and Celtic lore (Selah is descended from a Celtic goddess) with the life of 1700s-era Quakers in Pennsylvania, made this book a winner for me. I highly recommend it for readers of YA or New Adult, as well as other readers who like historic fiction with a touch of the mythological, supernatural, and romance.
I didn’t stop running until Brighmor was well out of view. With my heart pounding, I ducked out of sight behind a large oak tree to wait. A good ten minutes passed before my heart finally slowed, and I felt confident that Henry hadn’t followed me. Returning to the narrow pathway, I walked at a more leisurely pace, throwing the occasional furtive look over my shoulder as I went deeper and deeper into the woods to the manmade alcove that had been built right into the sidhe, or small earthen mound.
Years ago my grandparents had carved away enough dirt to stack large rocks three feet high, forming a wall in the shape of a half-moon. It measured about twelve feet from end to end with an arc deep enough to accommodate my full height if I were inclined to lie down. In the middle of the arc stood an altar, hewn from a piece of gray granite that had been sealed to the earth by my grandmother’s blood mixed with a handful of sacred dirt brought over from the Old World. Green and brown lichen grew on the stones, and dense foliage pushed up along the perimeter, ready to spill over into the clearing.
With the rock wall behind me, I knelt down at the altar and set the dried herbs on the smooth stone surface, charred black from countless fires. Finding the flint, I struck it repeatedly to release a shower of white sparks over the bundle. As it started to smolder, fragrances of cowslip, angelica, and goat’s rue rose up. With a long, deep breath, I pulled the smoke inside, letting it inundate my senses. Then I began to recite the ancient words in preparation to cross over.
Brigid Buadach, Buaid na fine, Siur Rig nime, Nar in duine,
Eslind luige, Lethan breo. Riar na n-oiged, Oibel ecnai,
Ingen Dubthaig, Duine uallach, Brigid buadach, Brigid
The physical world began to waver. Keeping my voice to a low monotone, I repeated the Gaelic words. At the end of the third repetition, the trees and stones, the smoldering bundle, all flickered in and out of view, then disappeared altogether as my soul passed into to the Otherworld.
For a moment, there was nothing more than thick gray mist and the memory of burning herbs. I stepped out of the mist into the warm sunlight at the edge of Brigid’s garden, free of the night and my body that remained kneeling at the altar.
Buy the eBook~
Author Kari Edgren, Biography~
Kari Edgren did not dream of becoming a writer. Instead, she dreamed of everything else and was often made to stay inside during kindergarten recess to practice her letters. Despite doting parents and a decent school system, Ms. Edgren managed to make it through elementary school having completed only one book cover to cover – The Box Car Children, which she read approximately forty-seven times. Things improved during high school, but not until she read Gabrielle Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude in college, did she truly understand the power of a book.
Ms. Edgren aspires to be a Vulcan, a world-acclaimed opera singer, and two inches taller. She resides in the Pacific NW where she spends a great deal of time torturing her husband and children with strange food and random historical facts. Ms. Edgren hasn’t stopped dreaming, but has finally mastered her letters enough to put the stories on paper.
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