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Karen Michelle Nutt

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Copyright:  Feb. 2010 ISBN-13:  9781465942692

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KMN Books

Time travel fantasy to the Island of Skye

Heart of A Warrior

Scáthach is the warrior goddess from the Isle of Skye. When a young boy  pleads for the goddess to help his Uncle Trey, his prayers do not go unheard. However, she is surprised to find Trey Brennan, not on a battlefield but in a hospital room, hooked to monitors, his body rejecting a bone marrow transplant. She would accept the challenge and educate Trey in the art of warfare. A war was a war no matter where the battle was held. Be it on the fields of heather with an army or an illness attacking the body. Both held the enemy that needed to be defeated.

Trey Brennan knew he was dying, but he awakes in another realm where the goddess Scáthach wants to teach him to be a warrior. He is sure he’s dreaming, but what did he have to lose? He would train and he would fight. Perhaps his destiny on the Isle of Skye would also change his path in his world.

“What is going on?” Trey thoughts were a jumbled mess as he sorted through where he was and why. He’d been ill—cancer. The big “C” word sent tremors down his spine. Leukemia to be exact and the bone marrow transplant hadn’t worked. His body was rejecting the treatment. So why wasn’t he in the hospital? “Don’t be stupid, Brennan. This is a dream.” His brow creased and his frown deepened as he wondered why the dream seemed so real. “The meds must be strong if I can bring on this delusion with such vivid detail.”
No, this was something entirely different. The inkling in the back of his mind told him this wasn’t a dream. His eyes widened then. “I’ve died and this is… what exactly? Was this Heaven? Or perhaps this was one of the levels of Hell.

He threw back the furs that covered him intent on finding out what was going on, but halted when he realized he was bare as the day he’d been born. Not that he was opposed to sleeping in the nude, but when he didn’t know how he came to be without his clothes that was a whole different story. Apprehension knotted in his stomach. Then he chuckled over the obscurity of the situation. “You’re probably dead, man. Why would you need clothes?” As he said the words his gaze landed on the garments beside his makeshift bed.
At the same moment the flap opened.
“Shit.” He hastily covered his lower extremity with his hands for what good it did when he was standing there in all his natural glory. If he was dead, how come he still had emotions like being embarrassed over being found with his pants down, so to speak? To make matters worse, the visitor was a knock-you-off-your-feet gorgeous woman. She was tall, standing only a few inches shorter than his height of six-foot four. Her hair was long almost black, but the light shining through the opening of the tent danced off the strands, highlighting her tresses with beams of cinnamon, russet, and red amber. She was clad in a tight fitting garment of leather and fur that accentuated every curve. Silver bands adorned her arms with Celtic carvings etched into the metal. Her firm thighs were bare and went on forever. Fur boots covered her feet to mid calf. “Warrior,” he whispered wondering why that word of all words came to mind. Not exactly a word used for an endearment and yet the woman’s lips twitched at the corners and her pale blue eyes twinkled in merriment as if he paid her a compliment.

His body reacted like a man fully alive and well and he knew his fair skin turned a nice shade of pink. Her gaze flickered down to his groin and he backed up a step. What was he doing? Surely this was only a dream, some fantasy he had locked away in his pea brain to only resurface now moments before he died. That was it. This was like a last request before death took him. If that was so, then why did he have reservations?

“If you’re ready, we’ll begin.” Her voice was a slow burr like a melodious vibration.

“Ready?” Oh his body parts—one in particular was ready, but he had a hunch she was speaking of something entirely different.

Again, those lush full lips of hers twitched but this time a smile appeared, revealing straight white teeth. “I’ll allow you to dress then meet me outside. You don’t have much time to prepare.”

He drew his brows together in a frown.

“Prepare for what?”

“To meet and destroy the enemy of course.” She didn’t wait for him to question her further, but whirled around and left the tent expecting him to do as he had been told.

Enemy? Fight? “What the hell?” He glanced around him. Maybe he had hit it on the nail. Maybe this was hell and he would be tortured by having a beautiful woman within his grasp but unable to have her, but have to wage war on some unknown enemy for further punishment. He may have never been a saint, but he hadn’t lived a wicked life. He worked hard, paid his taxes and cared for his nephew as if he were his own son. Why was he being punished? There was only one way to find out and she was waiting for him outside the tent. He was no coward and would meet whatever challenge awaited him.

He grabbed the clothes.

Professional Reviews

The Romance Studio
Trey Brennan is in a fight for his life… and losing. His nephew sends up a hopeful prayer to the Warrior Goddess, Scáthach. When she responds, she is taken aback to see Trey in a hospital bed fighting against an illness that is ravaging his body. Trey awakens to find himself in another world with a beautiful goddess urging him to learn to fight. Can Scáthach teach Trey to fight well enough to win.

“Praise to Ms. Nutt This is one of the few short stories that feels complete. There is a clear and complete story line that leaves the reader satisfied. Scathach is a take charge warrior that has no problem addressing a fight and Trey makes a worthy student. The love scene is sweet, well placed and adds to the romance of the whole story. The writing is fluid and fast paced. As a female reader, I love that Trey was portrayed not as a barbarian but a simple guy who takes up a weapon to save himself. For a short story, I am still surprised and thrilled at how neatly the author presents a whole package. I will definetely be looking for more from Ms. Nutt.”

Reviewer, Helen Ruby

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