Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Write Pet: Kelley Heckart || DAUGHTER OF NIGHT

I almost didn’t keep Xena. My other dog at that time was old and I sensed he wouldn’t be around much longer. When I (and my husband) adopted Xena, I thought my old dog was upset with having another dog around. I thought maybe I had made a mistake and considered returning her to the pound. Xena sensed my ambivalence toward her, she was really sensitive that way, and she worked so hard to gain my approval. I came to love her and kept her. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

She turned out to be one of the smartest and gentlest dogs I’d ever owned. She was the first female dog I’d ever had, too. She found a special place in my heart, always there when I was feeling down and always at my side when I was writing. Her favorite position was to lie on her back with her belly up. She loved peanut butter and belly rubs. Xena is gone now but she lives on in one of my books. Inspired by her gentleness and strength, I based a white wolf on her because as an American Eskimo, she reminded me of a wolf. She even had a beautiful singing voice just like a wolf.

One of my fondest memories is of her singing along while my husband played the guitar. She would run over to him whenever he picked up his guitar, waiting for him to start playing. All of my dogs hold a special place in my heart, but Xena was really extraordinary, so intuitive and full of energy, she was the life of our house. She always reminded me to take breaks from writing by barking at me. When she left us, there was an empty space, even though we still had one dog.

We thought we would wait until our other elderly dog passed before getting another one because he hated other dogs—he only accepted Xena because she had been there before him. But animals and people seem to come into our lives when they are meant to, not when we plan them. Not long after we lost Xena, we started pet sitting my niece’s Chihuahua. It was so strange because he just fit into our lives like he was already part of our family. My dog that hates all other dogs accepted him, and he didn’t threaten my old dog’s position in the family. I bonded with him right away, and my husband also fell in love with him. My niece was going through a lot of changes in her life and she couldn’t give him the attention he needed, so we took him into our family. It’s weird how things work out.

Once more, I have two dogs hanging out with me when I write, two dogs to love. And the weirdest thing is the new dog has what my husband and I call “Xenaisms.” Even though I still miss Xena, that empty place isn’t so empty any longer.

Title: Daughter of Night

Publisher: Mundania Press

Date Published: July 24, 2012

Genre: Historical fantasy romance/Greek mythology

Word Count: Full-length novel

Their destiny began in the ancient land of Anatolia.

Becuille is a daughter of Night, a servant of the Great Goddess created to impart Her vengeance on mortal and immortal wrongdoers. Made mortal by Rhea, she is sent to find the ones who betrayed the Great Goddess. In the land of Hatti, she meets a proud and handsome prince. When love binds her to him, her loyalties are torn.

Callileon, a prince of the Hatti, has closed off his heart to love only to rediscover it in the arms of the mysterious and fiery slave girl he has purchased. He is caught up in a dangerous world of power hungry gods, jealous goddesses and potent magic, which even the Fates cannot steer him away from.

Can two mortals fight the will of the gods?


With the servant's help, they dressed Inaras in a warm tunic. He carried her to bed and covered her with warm blankets, stroking her cheek. She closed her eyes, falling asleep. He left her side and sat near the fire to dry his wet clothes, shifting to accommodate his aching balls. The kick she had delivered to his sensitive man parts had been like a kick from an untamed horse. He could not help smiling at her unbridled spirit. The smile faded and he stared into the fire, brooding.
“My lord, I found the pipe.” Zunia handed it to him.
“You may go now, but return at daybreak.”
“Yes, my lord.” She left the room.
He held the smooth clay pipe, feeling rage at the instrument that threatened to destroy the one he loved, but he knew the pipe was not his true enemy. Whatever had driven Inaras to hide behind the poppy demons was the true enemy. Clutching the pipe in his fist, he threw it into the fire. The pipe broke in two pieces. He watched with satisfaction as the flames consumed the evil pipe, crackling and spitting.
Inaras called out his name. He helped her from the bed.
“I feel as if I am going to be sick.” Shaking and sweating, she leaned against him, groaning. Holding her up, he half carried her to the bathing room and to the squatting hole. Retching violently, she emptied her body of the demon poppies. He held her hair back from her face and when she finished, he held her trembling body. He wiped her sweating forehead with a wet cloth and dripped cool drops of water into her mouth. Carrying her back to bed, he realized how much weight she had lost, how fragile she had become. He covered her with blankets, staring down at her sleeping face.
In sleep, her face looked so innocent. He realized that he knew very little about her, but he had seen her tender side when she calmed the mare with her beautiful, enchanting lullaby. It was difficult for him to comprehend that such an innocent looking woman could be capable of killing four armed warriors with her bare hands. Had she commanded the King Horse? A dread feeling came over him that Ninuba could have been speaking true about Inaras when she called her a sorceress of black magic.

Available for purchase:
Mundania Press (in ebook formats and trade paperback):

Author Bio:
Kelley writes historical romances with fantasy/paranormal elements. Her stories reflect her passion for ancient and medieval time periods, storytelling and the supernatural. Inspired by the ancient Celts, her tales are filled with fierce warriors, bold women, otherworldly creatures, magic and romance.

Author Links:
Twitter:  @CelticChick


  1. Hi Melissa,
    Thanks for having me at your blog.

    1. Hi Kelly, Thank you for participating in the Write Pet. I love the photo of Xena. So pretty. My brother has an American Eskimo and they're such gorgeous dogs.

  2. Aren't pets wonderful? I have two dogs and a cat. The dogs keep me company at night and throughout the day. They always make me feel better. I love the cover of your book and wish you much success!

  3. This is a wonderful way to celebrate Xena's wonderful life and what joy and love she brought to you and Mike. They are ultimately and most definitely our family forever!

  4. Thank you for telling the story of Xena.
    My daughter does volunteer work at the animal shelter, and a little Pomeranian had a fit every time she came in, wanting her attention. So we adopted her and renamed her Sugar. She is very loving and sweet.