We are happy to invite Selah Kilbrid from the Goddess Born novel to talk about author Kari Edgren. Miss Kilbrid, the floor is yours.
Selah Kilbrid on the challenges of working with Ms. Kari Edgren
Ms. Edgren doesn’t seem to understand me. I am Goddess Born, which means there are four specific laws that govern my life. It’s a matter of safety, really, to keep my gift from being discovered and ultimately mistaken for witchcraft. To this day it’s unclear how many of my ancestors were either burned at the stake or driven from their homes because they failed to follow these basic precepts. Why then does Ms. Edgren feel compelled to do everything possible to practically ensure my disobedience?
The trouble starts in the very beginning when I cross paths with the loathsome Nathan Crowley. Ms. Edgren isn’t content with the average disgruntled suitor. Oh, no, she has to create a delusional fanatic, as no sane man would threaten my utter ruin if I refuse to marry him.
Then there is my father’s untimely death. What good is the power to heal any sickness or wound if my father is too stubborn to even accept my gift? Of course he thinks it’s God’s will as I’d already healed the sickness last summer and it came back. And believe me, no amount of arguing or pleading will sway him once Ms. Edgren has put the whole ‘divine will’ bug in his ear.
A delusional suitor and the death of a parent should be trial enough for any young lady. But not for Ms. Edgren. She isn’t satisfied until my betrothed dies as well, and I am forced to seek other means to protect myself. Under such circumstances, who can blame me for buying Henry Alan’s contract for the sole purpose of pawning him off as my betrothed? A fake marriage seems just the way to force Nathan’s attention elsewhere. Once that is done, Henry need only fake his death and leave Hopewell for good, thus absolving the marriage.
It is the perfect plan… if Ms. Edgren can just leave well enough alone. Or if Henry doesn’t prove to be everything I’ve ever wanted in a husband. Everything, that is, except being Goddess Born.
At times I wonder if she enjoys turning my nicely ordered life on its head. Why else does she send Henry to the docks that day? And why will she then ask me to make an impossible choice—to follow the law or my heart?
ExcerptI 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
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
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.
About the BookGoddess Born Pennsylvania, 1730 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?
2013 RWA Golden Heart© Finalist
2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist