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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Romance / Fantasy
  • Language:English
  • Series title:The Journey
  • Series Number:1
  • Pages:378
  • eBook ISBN:9781483561257
  • Paperback ISBN:9781483561240


The Journey Begins

by Gwendolyn Curran

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Born in sea foam and blessed by the Great Goddess, Zarda is raised to be a woman among women. Zarda's mythic journey leads her through field and forest, mountain and valley, searching for the spiritual truth. She encounters love, evil, revenge, rape, lust, death, birth and all that woman meets along life's journey. Honored by her homeland, she strikes out alone to find her place in the world with only her knowledge that truth is love and love is truth. Along the way, Zarda meets her first love, a duplicitious Priestess, a magical wise woman, a young lover, and the Great Goddess. Throughout her journey she is connected with her teacher Morrigan, Her mother Rhiannon and her father Hector by mystical dreams. Open and loving to all that cross her path, Zarda knows that she has been chosen to spread the truth of love. Although her journey is difficult, she knows her physical and spiritual guides will lead her to the glory of being a leader for all the ages.
A leather volume picked up in a dusty shop led me a merry chase for years. With the help of ancient language scholars, divination experts, and personal channeling, the secrets of Zarda's journey are in this first book in a series called "The Journey". Zarda is chosen by the Goddess Arduina, educated by her family, and then sent out to become a woman. In the village of Serniz she is captured by the charm of Manton, secret son of the Priestess and an apprentice healer. Manton chooses Zarda to bond with him. She accepts. The Priestess, Salu, senses immense spiritual power in Zarda. Salu uses her magic to turn Manton away from Zarda and sends her into the mountains with Rainbow Man (Namair). During the trip, Namair who is really Salu's lover and Manton's father, rapes Zarda and uses her to pull his cart of the bells. An avalanche sends Namair to his death and leaves Zarda stranded on a ledge. Rescued by passing shepherds and taken to Mt. View, their village,she isgiven her own hut, and is accepted as daughter by Mother Maya, a wise woman. Foretold in a dream-vision, Zarda travels through the forest and into the foothills to find the erotic cave of the Great Goddess who shares her wisdom with Zarda. Returning to Mt. View with a new life outlook, Zarda begins teaching the village children with tales, dance and love. Cara, one of the village women leads Zarda to a rare secret Women's Celebration deep in the woods. There Zarda, as Arduina's moon daughter, mates with the comet Madrone in the physical young man of the village named Kar. Soon after Zarda is charged with treason in a holy trial, or Tanul. During the trial Kar and his brother Bakmuk speak of the secret women's ceremony where they claim the maleness of their God was debased. Kar charges Zarda with raping him with her magic. Mother Maya tells her version of that night in support of Zarda. Zarda explains about her previous trip to the Great Goddess cave and begs them to let her return for advice. The Elders grant her wish and send Kar with her as a shepherd of Mt. View. During the walk to the cave Kar admits he loves Zarda and tells her that his brother, Bakmuk, told him what to say at the Tanul. Zarda listens, but resists Kar's magnetism. A magical swan appears and carries Zarda and Kar to the Great Goddess Cave, for she knew of their travels. At the cave The Great Goddess gives Zarda the gift of an amethyst embedded into her third eye. Zarda is overcome and returns by pulling her still beating heart out of her body and presenting it to the Great Goddess. Zarda is infused with undying universal love. Returning to the forest on the swan's back, Kar and Zarda argue. Still angry, Kar enters his brother's rooms and tells how Zarda was transformed into a bird, seduced him, gave her heart to the Great Goddess, and attacked him with her claws. Having forgiven Kar in her heart, Zarda returns to her hut to write of her cave visit. She also translates Maya's words of wisdom as puzzle poems. The Elders have received a request from Luna for a master healer. The Elders will send Zarda. However, Bakmuk turns the tables by getting himself crowned king and driving Zarda, naked and shunned, out of Mt. View. Mother Maya draws a small band of supportive people to follow Zarda's trail. Even Kar helps. Zarda is ill when they discover her. Maya joins Zarda in her dream-world and successfully cures her. Eventually the band finds shelter at the House of Pele, near Luna. Excitement reigns when Zarda is invited to Luna. Luna welcomes Zarda with joy, especially King Marcxis, who claims Zarda as his queen. A huge marriage celebrations follows and Luna enters its Silver Age. Marcxis sister, Bastet, is furious over Zarda. She shouts her anger at Marcxis. To save the peace, Marcxis makes her a royal emissary. Zarda knows she carries Kar's child. Under an eclipse of the moon Zarda almost dies giving birth to her daughter. Mother Maya takes Zarda and Dierdre to safety.
About the author
Gwendolyn Curran was born into a military family and moved almost every year until she was 19. She learned the love of travel from her father and the love of books from her mother. Sadly, her father died in the Korean war and left her mother a widow with three daughters whom she raised with a loving hand. Gwendolyn is a graduate of San Francisco State, where she met her first husband while studying both education and dance. Ms. Curran chose teaching as a profession and taught at every level from Kindergarten to Graduate School. Her first teaching experience in Eugene, OR was to produce an educational dance series for the school district's television. She loved being called the Dance Lady when she toured around Oregon. Always creative, she related the arts to all her classroom teaching and even was able to help start a K-8 school for the arts in Eugene, Oregon, where she taught dance to all the students. Dance was always at the core of her life. She is very proud to have been named a Kennedy Center for the Arts Fellow in dance. She has written many articles on both dance and education for different journals, and curriculum guides for dance and related arts. Gwendolyn completed her Masters at the University of Oregon. Retired from teaching, Ms Curran lives in Eugene, Oregon, where she volunteers with AARP and writes the dance reviews for the Eugene Register Guard in addition to finishing her first of three novels in "The Journey" series. A mother of two successful daughters and two accomplished grandchildren, she makes frequent trips to both Seattle and New York City to visit her family. Ms Curran is also very close to her two younger sisters. One lives in Denver and the other in Chico, CA. She has lived in and/or traveled to almost every European country plus the Soviet Union and China. An avid reader, Gwendolyn feels that reading and listening to the stories of friends and family has provided her an excellent platform for her writing career.