GODDESS BORN Synopsis:
Selah Kilbrid keeps a dangerous secret: she has the power to heal.
A direct descendent of the Celtic goddess Brigid, it’s Selah’s sacred duty to help those in need. But as the last of the Goddess Born living in the New World, she learned from an early age to keep her supernatural abilities hidden. The Quaker community of Hopewell has always been welcoming, but there’s no doubt they would see her hanged if her gift was revealed.
When a prominent minister threatens to try her with witchcraft unless she becomes his wife, Selah has only one hope–that her betrothed, a distant cousin from Ireland, arrives as planned. Marrying Samuel would keep her secret safe, preserve her sacred bloodline, and protect her from being charged as a witch.
But when news of Samuel’s death reaches the Colonies, Selah is truly on her own. Terrified, she faces an impossible choice–forfeit her powers and marry the loathsome Nathan? Or find an imposter to pose as her husband and preserve her birthright?
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 buadach.
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.
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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