Heart of Warrior (Short Story)

Heart of the WarriorDramatic300Heart of A Warrior

(Fantasy, time travel, Paranormal)

Publisher: OtherWorldly Publishing
Word Count: 9,500 Price: $0.99
ISBN: 978-1-4659-4269-2
Heat range: sensual to stimulating (three flames)
Cover Artistt: Karen Michelle Nutt

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Previously published by Tease Publishing’s Pantheon Series

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.

Excerpt:

Trey awoke with a start, inhaling as he did so as if he couldn’t catch his breath. Wide eyed he glanced around his make shift room—a tent of some sort with only furs to cover what he supposed was his bed. Clothing lay neatly beside him along with furred boots. A long sword etched with Celtic symbols rested on top of the garments, gleaming silver in the light that shone through the opening in the tent. “What is going on?” His 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:

~Paranormal Romance Reviews

“Ms. Nutt does it again with another heartfelt story”

The Tuatha De Dannon had touched her, making her the warrior goddess Scáthach. She trains only worthy men on the magical Isle of Mist. She guides souls slain in battle to their death journey. Scáthach heard a plea from a young man, calling out to her. Answering that call, what she finds is not a battle field, but a hospital room. The plea was from a young boy sitting beside a hospital bed with his uncle in it. In that bed was a strong looking man, hooked up to wires and tubes. Giving Trey Brennan a choice, she will teach Trey to be a warrior and all that she asks in return is that he fight to live. For all warriors must have something to fight and live for.

The last thing Trey Brennan remembers is being in a hospital on his deathbed. When he awakens it is to a beautiful woman who offers to train him to become a warrior. All he has to do is defeat the enemy in the Isle of Skye and then he will go back home a Warrior! Thus begins his teachings of learning things the hard way. When his battle begins, will all of Trey’s hard work and training pay off with the promise of his life?

I am a huge fan of Karen Michelle Nutt! She can take an ordinary idea and turn it into a heartfelt lesson that makes you think. Heart of a Warrior is a quick read full of two very real characters who are both fighting for something. Trey is struggling to survive and Scáthach is teaching him to live. If you are looking for quality storytelling I promise you, you will never go wrong with a Karen Michelle Nutt story!

Reviewed by Missy Brown Paranormal Reviews

Overall rating: 5 stars

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

~Bitten By Books~

****

When a young boy stands over his dying uncle’s bed, he makes a plea to a warrior goddess of legend to heal his guardian and give him a place among her warrior men. Scathach had heard prayers to her before and found very few worthy of her interest, but when she appears by Trey’s hospital bed, she feels the potential power within the cancer-weakened man and she decides to give him the chance to prove himself.

Trey Brennan knew he had very little time left in this world. His only regret was that with his death, his young nephew would once again be left alone since he was the only guardian the boy had after loosing his parents. Waking in the hospital bed to a beautiful warrior woman hovering above him, he believed that he was dreaming as she asked him to accept her as his teacher and become one of her warriors. The end must be near if this angel of a woman wanted him to go with her to train for a battle. His own battle with cancer was obviously near the end. What else could he do but accept her offer and follow the sexy goddess to what awaited him beyond this sick bed?

Scathach had not found a more beautiful warrior to mold since she had trained the legendary Cu Chulainn, the most powerful warrior in all of Ireland’s legends. She was sure the man would become one of her finest warriors as he had easily made the transition to her home, the Castle of Shadows on the Isle of Skye, without any complications. The main obstacle the warrior goddess of Celtic legend had was to keep her own growing desires for the man apart if she was to succeed in teaching him what he needed to know to face the battle in her world so he could return to face his own battle in his own.

Training the man by day and making love to him at night, Scathach put her best effort into molding the man she had plucked from death’s door into the warrior she knew he would be. His battle would come soon enough, but when she teaches him to use her legendary spear, Gae Bulg, she knows it will give him the advantage over his opponent and speed up his return to his home and his loving nephew, despite the tear it will bring to her heart when he returns to his home and his life without her.

I really enjoyed this short novella. I found the plot, characters and unique twist of the story to be very entertaining and captivating. I think that this book would have the potential to be expanded and wish that there were more to it. Despite the quantity of the words, the quality of the novella was superb. I would have no problem recommending this book to someone who wants a short erotic and romantic adventure to escape to for a bedtime read.

Bitten By Books

~Joyfully Reviewed~

Reviewed by Tanya

Trey Brennan is a strong man who doesn’t give up and as the sole guardian of his young nephew, is in for the fight of his life.  He appears to be rejecting a bone marrow transplant, which might be his last hope for survival.  Trey’s young nephew has been reading about Celtic lore and decides to plead to the warrior goddess Scáthach from the Isle of Skye.  If the goddess will accept the challenge she would need to educate Trey in the art of warfare.  A war is a war no matter where the battle is to be held.  Be it in a body or on an ancient open field.

Now, Trey must decide if he will use everything that is offered to him to fight?  Or will he reject this potential life changing offer?

Knowing people who have fought the tumultuous battle of cancer the premise of Heart of a Warrior is fantastic, and I wish it was true.  I absolutely love the idea that if you were to prepare and fight in a dream world it might have impact on reality.  I found Heart of a Warrior well written, a great fast read, and a wonderful concept.

~Ghost Writer Reviews~

****`4 1/2 stars

Trey Brennan was a modern man in a fight for his life. Scathach is the Warrior Goddess of legends, and is called upon by Trey's nephew to help Trey fight in the battle of his life. But he must learn to believe that he could be a warrior and not just a man, and must learn how to defeat the enemy that resides in his body and is trying to kill him.

I enjoyed the read. It kept my interest and made me think of possibilities.

 

Reviewer: Chrystal, Ghost Writers Reviews

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Scáthach and Trey,

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