06 October 2011

Excerpt Thursday: Once a Goddess by Sheila Lamb

This week on Excerpt Thursday we're welcoming Sheila Lamb, who is celebrating the release of her debut historical title, Once a Goddess, set in ancient Ireland. Join us Sunday when Sheila will be here to talk about the novel, answer questions and give away a copy. 

Here's the blurb:

Two tribes battle for control of ancient Ireland, and Brigid must find her place among them, trapped between the will of her people and the desires of her heart. 

For the sake of peace, Brigid of the supernatural Túatha dé Danann enters into an arranged marriage with Bres, the next chieftain of the enemy Fomorian tribe, whose iron weapons and brute strength challenge the Danann magic. The Danann instruct Brigid to spy for them, and to keep the source of their powers secret, dangerous tasks that complicate her goal of making the best of her forced union.

Sacrificing her own hope for love, Brigid faces the Fomorians alone. She must confront her rival, Morrigan, who competes for Bres's affections, as she begins to suspect that he is breaking the truce through lies and political manipulation. When his tyranny threatens the very existence of the Danann, Brigid must risk her life to unseat Bres from power.

Set in a time when myths were reality, Once A Goddess brings the legend of Ireland's magical Túatha dé Danann to life.

**An Excerpt from Once a Goddess**

My father’s incantation had ended and it was our turn to speak quietly to each other. 

Danann couples spoke sacred words of magic at this point in the ceremony, words to bind them for a lifetime. Of course, I had been warned not to use those words, our secret. My promise was simple: to uphold the treaty.

Bres spoke first. “Brigid, our joining will be new to both our people and to this island. If you can’t bear the pressures that will be put on us, then you may walk away now.”

He knew I couldn’t walk away. He knew we were trapped together.

“There will be pressures,” I said. “However, the purpose of our union is peace. Not for my personal gain.” I paused. “Nor yours.”

Bres smirked at my implications and our eyes met, each daring the other to turn away first. 

So, this was how it would be. I knew in that instant that I couldn’t let him catch me off guard; I would have to think carefully before I spoke and always remember that cunning motivation hid behind his words. I would protect our gifts, our knowledge of the elements that surrounded us, with my life. The Fomorians would use that information to take the earth, the source of our strength, from us. And as mine was to protect, I believed that Bres’s mission was to discover.

With sickening clarity, I understood why Father and Mother had chosen me. I, Brigid, was quiet and reserved, able to turn to stone. Stone is what they wanted to give to Bres and the Fomorians.

Bres studied my face as though looking for fractures in my expression. I would not give in to him. Instead of showing my trepidation, I smiled and touched a forelock of his black hair that escaped the tight leather band that kept its length pulled back. He grinned and brought my hand to his lips, biting lightly. His gesture sent a chill down my spine.

Visit Sheila's website, Pagans, Saints, and Potatoes  



Georgie Lee said...

What a great premise and I enjoyed the excerpt. Congrats on the release!

sheilarlamb.com said...

Thank you! Look forward to Sunday's interview :-)