Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Passion's Vision Receives Reader's Favorite Award

I have been so busy with writing and promotion and all the things authors get all tangled into, that I finally realized I had not blogged about Passion's Vision receiving a Reader's Favorite Award. Can you imagine forgetting to blog about something that exciting and wonderful?

Well,... Reader's Favorite is a prestigious International Award. They have several awards they give out to numerous genres. Passion's Vision was awarded 2014 Finalist in Historical Fiction. I just have to post my Award. Believe me, it is in a beautiful frame hanging in my office.

I also wanted to post a site that features great books of every genre with links to purchase. Just click the link, of course it goes to Passion's Vision, but at the top of the page you can navigate to your favorite genre.

Don't forget, Raven's Passion will be on special at Amazon 12/25 to 12/31/14 at Amazon Kindle for .99cents


Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Native American Christmas

The stories I am writing for the Passion’s Series take place in the 1700s and my characters are Native American Cherokees. While researching for my Native American novels I came across some amazing information about Native American celebrations. Before the white man came to their land they had no knowledge of Christian teachings. As the missionaries introduced them to Christian traditions, the Native Americans found that the story of Christmas and Christ’s birth sounded similar to some of their own tribal prophecies and considered the familiarity of the message of Jesus with their own truths handed down by their ancestors.

Many Native Americans in North America did observe a celebration near Christmas time, that we call the Winter Solstice.  The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year and falls on December 21-22. It was celebrated in the Americas long before European influence arrived. Different Native American tribes associate different beliefs and rituals with it.
For example, the Hopi tribal celebrations are meant to give aid and direction to the sun which is ready to return and give strength to new life. Their ceremony is called Soyal and lasts for 20 days. During this time there is prayer stick making, purification and other rituals, and is concluded with a rabbit hunt a great feast and many blessings.
There is a  Native American story of a brave named, Handsome Fellow. He could be called a Native American Santa. He is a handsome brave who wears white buckskins, and brings gifts to Indian children. Other gift bringers come at different times of the year, often in the summertime. What intrigues me the most about the Native American culture is their love for giving. The gift bringing and giving element is always a part of the American Indian culture, whatever the occasion is for a gathering.
I was struck by the words of  Looks for Buffalo, an Oglala Sioux spiritual leader, the full-blood Oglala grandson of Chief Red Cloud and White Cow Killer, and a Cheyenne Oglala leader, as he explains the meaning of Christmas to the traditional Indian people of the Americas. The following words are his own words:

"Traditional American Indians are raised to respect the Christian Star and the birth of the first Indian Spiritual Leader. He was a Star Person and Avatar. His name was Jesus. He was a Hebrew, a Red Man. He received his education from the wilderness. John the Baptist, Moses, and other excellent teachers that came before Jesus provided an educational foundation with the Holistic Method."

"Everyday is our Christmas. Every meal is our Christmas. At every meal we take a little portion of the food we are eating, and we offer it to the spirit world on behalf of the four legged, and the winged, and the two legged. We pray--not the way most Christians pray-- but we thank the Grandfathers, the Spirit, and the Guardian Angel."

"The Indian Culture is actually grounded in the traditions of a Roving Angel. The life-ways of Roving Angels are actually the way Indian People live. They hold out their hands and help the sick and the needy. They feed and clothe the poor. We have high respect for the avatar because we believe that it is in giving that we receive."

"We are taught as Traditional children that we have abundance. The Creator has given us everything: the water, the air we breathe, the earth as our flesh, and our energy force: our heart. We are thankful every day. We pray early in the morning, before sunrise, to the morning star, and the evening star. We pray for our relatives who are in the universe that someday they will come. We also pray that the Great Spirit's son will live again."

"To the Indian People Christmas is every day and they don't believe in taking without asking. Herbs are prayed over before being gathered by asking the plant for permission to take some cuttings. An offer of tobacco is made to the plant in gratitude. We do not pull the herb out by its roots, but cut the plant even with the surface of the earth, so that another generation will be born its place."

"It is really important that these ways never be lost. And to this day we feed the elders, we feed the family on Christmas day, we honor Saint Nicholas. We explain to the little children that to receive a gift is to enjoy it, and when the enjoyment is gone, they are pass it on to the another child, so that they, too, can enjoy it. If a child gets a doll, that doll will change hands about eight times in a year, from one child to another."

"Every day is Christmas in Indian Country. Daily living is centered around the spirit of giving and walking the Red Road. Walking the Red Road means making everything you do a spiritual act. If your neighbor, John Running Deer, needs a potato masher; and you have one that you are not using, you offer him yours in the spirit of giving. It doesn't matter if it is Christmas or not."

"If neighbors or strangers stop over to visit at your house, we offer them dinner. We bring out the T-Bone steak, not the cabbage. If we don't have enough, we send someone in the family out to get some more and mention nothing of the inconvenience to our guests. The more one gives, the more spiritual we become. The Christ Consciousness, the same spirit of giving that is present at Christmas, is present every day in Indian Country."

Looks For Buffalo resides on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and can be contacted at (605)867-5762 or P.O. Box 150, Pine Ridge, SD 57770. He is a contributor to www.ewebtribe.com.
I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas, filled with many blessings and lots of giving.

Above Photos from Google Commons.

                               Passion's Vision (Passion Series Book 1)
                               Raven's Passion (Passion Series Book 2)
                               Passion's Price (Passion Series Book 3)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Welcome to Featured Guest Blogger, Monica LaSarre

Welcome to Featured Guest Blogger, Monica LaSarre.

I am grateful to the very talented Mary Adair for the opportunity to share a few words on her blog. I’ve enjoyed her Passion series immensely and am honored to have her as a supporter of my recently published children’s novel, Japer Penzey: International Boy Detective, The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis.

Let me cut right to the chase regarding what I hope you’ll take away from this blog post: I’ve discovered the fountain of youth and it’s not at the gym, or in a bottle of wrinkle cream, or hidden deep in the jungles of Africa. It’s at your finger tips. Its name is “Children’s Literature”.

I’m almost 40, writing is my second career (I worked in non-profit health care and transfusion medicine for decades), I’m a mom of two really great kids, and I love to read. I’m not different from many of you, most likely. We are adults, we have responsibilities, reading is a good way to relax and squeeze some extra joy out of life, but we read adult books (adult fiction, romances, non-fiction). I was in that boat too.

For many reasons, a few of which I’ll share momentarily, I found I had a burning desire to write a novel for kids. And I have to say, writing it has become a fountain of youth for me in so many ways. Since writing this novel, I laugh a lot more, I look at the world through a simpler gaze, and I’m a bit more unencumbered and gravitate towards adventure and learning with the wide-eyed expectation of a child. Through the experience, I’ve learned an amazing fact: children are simpler, happier beings and the way they look at the world is beautiful and enviable. Now, one of my favorite things to share with my reading friends is how I’ve come to appreciate mixing in children’s literature as a reading choice for myself. Beyond my book alone (which many adults are enjoying as a fountain of youth as well!), I enjoy reading classic children’s literature and books geared towards younger readers. I challenge you to try it. You will feel younger, I promise you.

A few things about my book: First, I wrote it to be read-aloud friendly. Sadly, so many children’s chapter books aren’t. I would see my kids’ eyes glaze over at long, descriptive, beautifully written passages in the books I would read to them, and wish there were more chapter books that kept them engaged. I found so few read-aloud friendly books; I decided to write my own. As an author, I’m compelled to share in my stories some valuable tools for helping our children grow into conscientious, thoughtful, compassionate people. Through my own love of culture and travel and sharing those passions with my kids, Jasper Penzey’s story was born.

A 9-year old international boy detective, Jasper has never known his mother. He moves to Greece with his history professor father and for the first time in his young life he has the opportunity to view another culture and another part of the world. He is pulled into a mystery involving the location of the lost civilization of Atlantis, which surprisingly exposes him to clues indicating his mother is out there somewhere in the wide world, and he would give anything to find her and know her. Filled with age-appropriate morals and quips, Jasper’s tale illustrates the power of bedtime stories, that people worldwide are different and special in their own way, and that history and mystery can be a lot of fun.

Ideal for readers aged 7-12 and for all adults wanting to discover their own fountain of youth, I’m pleased to share Jasper Penzey’s story with you. The first in an 8-book series, Book 2 takes place in Panama and will be published in early 2015. I hope you’ll join me on this adventure and share Jasper’s story with all the readers in your life, young and old. I give away a free book (children’s literature) daily (on average) on my Facebook page, so join me there as well. I love fan mail and dialogue with readers via my website, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I hope to get to know you and interact with you based on our shared love of reading and all things books.

These photos were taken while on a family vacation. Both were taken on the island of Santorini, both in the exact spots that became scenes in the book. One  taken on a boat to the temple island, the other one in Amoudi where Jasper saw the best sunset.
M.A.A.    Thank you, Monica for guesting my blog today. I agree with you totally, nothing brings back the feeling of youth like the antics and laughter of children. The whole world is a new and wonderful place when seen through the eyes of a child. I loved book one and will be waiting anxiously for the book two. Please come back and share with me when Jasper's next adventure is published.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Jasper-Penzey-International-Detective-Atlantis-ebook/dp/B00OR2NFXG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418065773&sr=8-1&keywords=Monica+LaSarre

My website: http://www.monicalasarre.com

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

REVIEW: Jasper Penzey The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis by Monica LaSarre

The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis (Japer Penzey: International Boy Detective, #1)The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis by Monica LaSarre
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First of all…I love the title! Don’t you just love that name “Jasper Penzey”

I have nothing against fantasy, like Harry Potter, but I cheer anytime I read a children's book that can excite a child about "real" abilities like Thinking, (I loved that Jasper would Stop and take time to Think about the situation.) He reasoned things out. Also, I liked that he had patience with a child that was so different from himself and saw the good things about her. It took no time at all and they were fast friends. They ran around outside, not spending their whole day on the computer or TV.

Unlike the Harry Potter stories, which I also love, This book is not a story about an imaginary place with people that have magical powers. Jasper's "power" comes from his ability to thing and follow clues. Jasper is a nine year old boy with the budding talent of Sherlock Holms. He has sleuthing in his blood and determined to be the best sleuth ever. In fact, his nickname, given to him by his nanny, Renee, is “Sherlock”.

The story of Jasper starts with a mysterious woman as she bids her tiny baby goodbye. Nine years later the faint scent of jasmine and a feathery soft kiss still lingers in Jaspers mind.
Jasper’s need to follow the clues is evident from chapter one. He tallies the clues but is totally blindsided when he is told by his dad that he is moving to Greece. How did all the clues lead him on the wrong path? The worst thing ever was to move! That night he finds a small box hidden in his room. Inside the box was a letter from his mom and a mysterious amulet. These two items is all he has of his mom’s and he treasures them in secret. Once settled in his new home he contacts his best friend and has him watch his old house for the possible arrival of his mother.

It does not take long for him to make a new friend and of course, they become hip dip in a mystery that would rival any of Sherlock Holms’ escapades. With help from Cally, his new best friend, even if she is a girl, they begin a journey of discovery and danger. Together they crack the case of the missing ice cream; unravel the mystery of the men in sunglasses, smooth over a family misunderstanding…and of course save the day. I am being careful not to put in any spoilers.

I just can’t say enough good stuff about this story. This is a story that will ignite the interest of any young sleuth. It is packed with tidbits of a faraway place that mixes “learning” with the joy of reading. It is definitely a page turner and is kid tested! My nieces and nephews L-O-V-E-D it! Ms. LaSarre is a talented storyteller and I look forward to reading more of her work, and I know my nieces and nephews are going to be begging for more.
Also the cookie recipes at the end are wonderful!

View all my reviews

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Jewel Box

The Jewel BoxThe Jewel Box by C. Michelle McCarty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Life is a lesson. Take notes…” on page 33. I love this line from the Jewel Box, and to me, it sums up the storyline in a wonderful way. The Jewel Box is an absorbing, well-written story of a young woman struggling to overcome and learn from her mistakes while living her life to the fullest.

I loved this book! There were so many things within its pages that took me back in time. I love it when a book can make you cry as well as laugh and even get angry with a character.
The story begins when Jill, aka Cherie, accepts the delivery of a beautiful antique bar to her antique shop. This antique piece will never be sold. The beautiful bar, that hosts the initials carved by the love of her life so many years before, brings with it a rush of cherished memories that span her lifetime.

The story unfolds as her memories take her back through her life filled with tremendous tests of her will, more than one heartbreaking loss, and a once in a life time love to a beautiful conclusion that will warm your heart and have you wiping a tear .

The Jewel box captured me from the first page. Ms McCarty’s talent shines as the characters and situations jump right out of the pages and into your imagination. Every character is so well developed you just know she must have known some of your beloved and sometime corky friends.

I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys Romance. I will be anxiously awaiting her next book. I now have a new author to add to my “Favorites list”.

View all my reviews

Monday, November 24, 2014

The First Thanksgiving Celebration.

Thanksgiving and Sukkot (Tabernacles)

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. I give thanks every day for my blessings, but to have a day set aside for thanks giving is truly special.  Knowing all (if not many) Americans celebrate by remembering all the good things and wonderful people in their lives for which they are thankful adds to the festivity.

I decided to look into the roots of the celebration, and this is what I learned.

According to some scholars, before coming to the new world, the Pilgrims lived for a decade among the Sephareic Jews in Holland.  Holland was considered a safe haven from religious persecution at the time.  The Pilgrims, being  devout Calvinist and Puritans considered themselves as “New Isreal”. I can see where they likely learned that Sukkot commemorated Israel’s deliverance from the religious persecution in ancient Egypt and thought of it as a parallel to their own situation.

 After they immigrated to the promised land of America, it is not surprising to me that the Pilgrims may have considered the festival of Sukkot when planning their own celebration. The Pilgrims considered their perilous journey to the new world as a type of exodus and wanted to associate their new celebration to the appropriate Biblical holiday.

It is interesting to me that the Jewish observance of their holiday always falls on Thursday and there is a special prayer of “Thanksgiving” before eating the meal.  It is also interesting to note that the Hebrew word for Turkey is tarnegol hodu, literally “Indian chicken”.  Is it a happy coincidence that we customarily eat Turkey on thanksgiving?

We all have times of up and downs. We all have something and someone (probable more than one someone) to be thankful for. My Thanksgiving wish for all my friends and family, is well expressed in this Cherokee Prayer Blessing.

May the Warm Winds of Heaven Blow softly upon your house.
May the Great Spirit Bless all who enter there.
May your Moccasins Make happy tracks in many snows,
and may the Rainbow Always touch your shoulder.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Find Award Winning Passion's Vision ay StoryCartel


You know how authors always harp about needing reviews? Well, that is because they do. Reviews help an author become recognized, and helps them to sale books, true. But, most of all reviews help authors become better writers. Every author I know, and I know many, write for the love of the art. They love to create and approach it in just that way, as an art.

Most people have a special talent, one they love to do and they thrive on the appreciation of that talent by the people they care about. When someone loves what they do, they want to do it again, even better the next time. It may be a special recipe for their family or church social, It may be a beautifully decorated nursery or crocheted shawl for a loved one or a song they wrote themselves. I think each of us were created with a need to express themselves, don't you agree?

I wrote a book, Passion's Vision. It has won awards and it has been a best seller off and on at Amazon. But all that dims to the happiness I get from receiving reviews. Reviews tell me that my fans are happy with what I write, they enjoy my stories and want to read more.  I loved everything about writing Passion's Vision and now I would love to see reviews. Good or bad. Of course we all love good reviews, but the negative ones help us grow as well.

A Free copy Passion's Vision is available for 18 days at https://storycartel.com/books/passions-vision. Story Cartel is where you can get a free copy of a book in exchange for a review. No body will hound you if you do not leave a review. It is up to you, but I truly hope you download a copy, Love the story and comeback to Story Cartel to leave a review.

If you have never heard of Story Cartel and love to read, it is a wonderful site to pick up some great reads!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Writing Humor is not so easy

Writing humor.
I love to read stories that incorporate humor. To me humor is one of those “spice of life” things, so how could I not write humor? Well, writing humor is much harder than you would think. You would think having a sense of humor would be all you need. Not so, as I quickly learned.

So what did I do? Like any good writer, I researched the subject. Here is something I read…
Rule 1: Words with the k sound (Cadillac, quintuplet, sex) are perceived as the funniest, and words with a hard g (guacamole, gargantuan, Yugo) are almost as funny. I am sure this is a good rule, not that I understand it.

This is what I can get out of it… “Sex in the back seat of a Cadillac could lead to quintuplets.”   Okay! Not Funny!

My story, Passion’s Vision, is filled with historical detail portraying the Cherokee People during a turbulent time of war, smallpox, great loses and miraculous victories. It is a fast passed adventure containing intrigue and a dash of Native American mysticism.

New Moon is a Cherokee warrior. She and her husband fought together in many battles. She mourns the death of her husband whose life was taken by a white man and to top that off she is having visions of a white man soon to arrive in her village. She is not sure, but he sets all her warrior senses aquiver over not knowing if she is supposed to kill him or have his child. That is defiantly not the funny part, though just at this moment, it kind of struck me that way.

James Fitzgerald is an agent in King George’s court. He is commissioned to blend into Dancing Cloud’s village to uncover and botch the plans of a French agent creating discord and bloody conflict between the settlers and the Cherokee.

These are two warriors from different worlds who meet and clash. It does not take long before it is revealed their survival depends on their ability to overcome their differences and defeat those who seek to destroy them both.

This story needed a bit a humor. I chose James to be the brunt of my moments of humor. He was just so clueless at times when he stumbles into confusion over the nuances of Cherokee culture.

In Passion’s Price I really had fun with my characters.  Raven, Red Panther’s adoptive son is the serious one. Dawn, Red Panther and New Moon’s daughter is also very serious, strong headed and, a visionary…like her mother. Now imagine tossing a heavy dose of Cherokee culture into an English fountain, in the way of a Sun Greeting Ceremony, performed in the nude of course, or dropping into a Cherokee Death Sleep during a “Coming out ball” just to prove a point. You have to admit that would cause a bit of a ruckus among the English elite.

 I added in two precious grandmothers who are known for their matchmaking and meddling into other’s affairs. I also introduced Sir William, affectionately called Willy by his grandmothers. William is totally smitten by Dawn but is quick to realize he has no chance winning her affection, so settles back to watch the battle of wills between Raven and Dawn.
Passion’s Price is every bit as serious a book as Passion’s Vision, but I really enjoyed and could not stop myself from stirring in a bit of humor at every opportunity.
 excerpt: From Award Winning Passion’s Vision:

A shout rose up from the watchman of the gate as Red Panther and New Moon emerged into the clearing that surrounded the village. The Old Beloved Woman quickly hurried through the gate with a robe to place about New Moon. Clucking like an old hen the elderly woman ushered her back toward the village.

Just before disappearing through the gate New Moon looked back at him, her eyes twinkling with promise and her lips spread in a smile that made his heart jump and his stomach tighten.

As James passed through the gate Dancing Cloud met him and slapped him warmly on the shoulder.
"Panther, it is good you have returned to us. I see your scalp," he said, pointing to the scalp at James' waist."Will his blood cry?"

"He killed New Moon's brother. He would have killed New Moon. He got what he deserved."

Dancing Cloud nodded his approval, "Good. It is finished." With a sideways glance he asked, "Did New Moon accept you?"


"Good! I would not have given back the bride price." Dancing Cloud said jovially. Noticing Red Panther's downcast expression he said, "You do not look good, my friend. I do not understand. You saved your woman, killed your enemy, you were alone in the mountains with New Moon. You should have come back strutting like that new stallion of mine."

James looked confused as he stared at Dancing Cloud, "Yes, I killed my enemy." He sounded incredulous. "I saved my woman, but the nights alone with my conquest were the most difficult of all. This custom of yours, of a warrior not defiling himself when on the warpath, almost killed me."

Dancing Cloud fought valiantly with his features but soon gave up and crumpled over in great laughter. James waited patiently for the chief to regain his composure. Finally the chief straightened and wiped his eyes as his face once again molded itself into the mask of total sobriety. "You must have strong medicine." He let his eyes casually roam about the village as if in thought, "Much control." With this last statement, he turned his back to James and walked away.

The village shaman hurried from his lodge, his hands filled with a variety of rattles and pouches of herbs, toward Red Panther. As he neared the chief, Dancing Cloud reached out and caught his arm. Pulling the old man close Cloud leaned toward his ear as if to whisper, but rather said very loudly, "You will not need all of those things. Red Panther did not break purification."

The old man looked at the chief in surprise and then to James. James, in an attempt to ignore the scene the Chief was causing, allowed his gaze to wander about the village.

To his dismay every face was turned his way. It seemed the entire village could find nothing of more interest than his sex life! Tucking his rattles back into his medicine pouch the shaman turned, and with one last glance at James, walked with Dancing Cloud back to his lodge.

 excerpt:Passion’s Price: 

"I can't believe everyone thinks that she fainted. I have a bad feeling about her," Dawn mumbled.
"And well you should, she's French you know." Lady Montgomery's words and tone of voice left little doubt as to her opinion of England's neighboring countrymen.
Dawn only half listened. The whole affair seemed a form of madness to her. The loud music, women's high, exaggerated giggles springing fourth in response to nonsense, men's blind doting over staged performances. This miss-matched accumulation of nonsense made this the most unpleasant and curious evening in all her experience with the white man's world.
Lady Montgomery interrupted her thoughts. "And no one really thinks she fainted, dear." She patted Dawn's hand. "Or, at least most of them don't."
"Then why all this?" She indicated the activity that was taking place a short distance from them, where men still thronged around Marguerite as she pretended to weakly accept their assistance.
"Why, dear, because it's expected. Ladies are supposed to swoon."
"They are expected to swoon?" Dawn asked incredulously. "Yes, of course, and some truly do," Lady Gaylord answered.
"Of course, the tight corsets, the drink, the crowd, the excitement. It's only natural that some sweet frail little thing will be overcome by it all and naturally swoon," Lady Montgomery added.
"But," she continued in what appeared to be an attempt to head off Lady Gaylord, "there are those who are not so overcome. When they feel they're being left out, they bring the attention back to themselves by feigning a swoon. I'd suggest Marguerite’s little performance was equal to that of a temper tantrum."
"Yes! She's angry," Lady Gaylord pushed forward.
Dawn gazed at her in surprise. "Why? With whom?"
"Why, with you, dear."
"Don't look so startled, dear. You've stolen her...thunder, you might say."
Dawn smiled. Knowing about her Cherokee ancestry the two dears continually tried to interject words into their speech they thought would make her feel more at home. Considering what they had just said, she looked hard in Marguerite’s direction and replied, "That is ridiculous. I never stole her thunder or anything else. Perhaps she's just insecure."
Both women swung their heads in Marguerite’s direction and stared for a short while before shaking their heads. "No," Lady Gaylord spoke decisively.
"No, you're wrong, my dear," Lady Montgomery agreed as she turned back to Dawn.
"She knows what she wants," injected Lady Gaylord.
"And she knows just how to get it. I'm sure she would stop at nothing. You, my dear, took away some of her thunder. She just took it back."
"You know, Victoria," Lady Montgomery tapped her fan against her hand speculatively. "I don't think she likes it at all that Dawn is here."
Dawn listened while the two matrons conversed between themselves as if she were not present.
Lady Gaylord nodded in agreement. "No, she's very unhappy about Dawn. Raven has given his new ward far too much attention to suit Marguerite."
"Well, why shouldn't he? She is his partner's daughter and she is here under his protection." Lady Montgomery smiled slyly, a hint of triumph in her voice. "And she's very beautiful."
"Yes, she is. More beautiful even than Marguerite, in my opinion." Lady Gaylord grinned wickedly, then sobered. "Dawn must be very careful of Marguerite." Dawn stiffened.
"Yes, she must," Lady Montgomery spoke softly as she moved closer, reminding Dawn of a mother hen shielding her chick.
Lady Gaylord, with the same air of protectiveness, put a reassuring hand at Dawn's waist. "We'll just have to help her."
"Yes, we must."
"Help me what?" Dawn could hold her tongue no longer.
Both women jumped and quickly exchanged secretive looks before they returned their attention to Dawn.
"Oh, nothing, dear. Nothing at all."
"You have nothing to worry about." Lady Gaylord patted Dawn's hand. "We'll not let Marguerite hurt you."
Dawn straightened. "I do not need anyone to protect me. I'm not afraid of some silly white woman who can't even achieve a proper death sleep."
"Oh, of course you're not afraid, dear." The grandmothers exchanged looks again. "You've nothing to fear. We just feel that you should not underestimate Marguerite. She is very cunning. By the way, dear, what is a death sleep?"
Dawn shrugged. "I'll explain later." She was stung by the older women's lack of belief in her. She was as much a warrior as her mother, and Marguerite had declared war.
She stole a glance at Marguerite, who now sat perched on a low stool where some gallant young man had placed her after he so graciously caught her in his arms. All around Marguerite silly young men, and not so young men, fretted and fluttered like wild birds in a mating dance.
Yes, this was war, a different kind of war. The rules, as she understood them, were confusing, but she knew she would win it. The stakes were too high to lose.
She looked at Raven leaning against the mantle, the look of a storm cloud on his face. The strength she saw in him did nothing to reassure her. Her vision was real. Raven was in mortal danger and his strength would not save him. It was up to her. The Great Spirit would not have sent her the dream if that were not so.
She saw him take a deep breath and push himself away from the backrest. He was about to go to Marguerite. It was time to let Raven's fiancée know her challenge had been accepted.
Without a word Dawn raised her wrist to her forehead.
A glance in Dawn's direction and Raven froze. "Great Spirit, no.”
William shoved himself from the mantle. "Good Lord, Raven, what's got into you?"
Raven watched as Dawn sank to the floor. As if in slow motion Lady Gaylord turned in Dawn's direction, placed a hand to her cheek and let out a wail to put any Cherokee mourner to shame. The resulting pandemonium gave credit to Dawn's flare for drama. Ladies, young and old, no doubt believing they had just witnessed the demise of one of their own, dropped faster than the bewildered gentlemen could respond.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Last Day

Today is the last day to get Raven's Passion for 99 cents. http://tinyurl.com/ptona3o

Raven Who Flies To Meet The Clouds is a young half breed warrior who struggles to accept his heritage as well as to be accepted by the People he loves and the adoptive father he feels he will never be able to equal.

Raven, is strong, without fear and respected for his prowess as a young warrior. He is also battling his anger with a father he does not know. A white man who would love and then leave a young Cherokee woman to raise his child alone. The villagers see this pent up anger take control of his reactions each time he perceives a threat toward his near-sister, Golden Dawn. The village is unsure and concerned by his aggressiveness and inability to control his anger when Dawn is threatened. Now Raven's adopted father, Red Panther, is missing and possibly dead. Raven must prove to Chief Dancing Cloud as well as the rest of the village that he possesses the love and selflessness that a warrior, a protector of The People, must possess as he leaves with the war party to find Red Panther.

Golden Dawn:
Golden Dawn is Red Panther's, a white man, and New Moon's daughter. She has inherited her father's fair coloring, his pride and his determination. From her mother she is blessed with strength, courage, a warrior's abilities, and a gift of visions. She alone understands Raven's pain. She alone knows their paths are intertwined. She alone knows that someday, she will no longer be his near-sister and because of the love she has for him she will willing pay the price to save his life.

Raven's Passion:

The story of a young warrior struggling with the meaning of life, a life filled with the passion of a time when one's existence depended on unity, love, selflessness, and the village.

Review:   5 STAR
Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers' Favorite 
Raven's Passion is a wonderful young adult book written by Mary Adair. Raven is raised by his adoptive parents. He is a confused, temperamental young man who does not know who his white biological father is, and feels like a misfit with the Cherokees. He does his best to adjust, but the taunts of some Indians always remind him that he is a half breed. Raven's adoptive father, Red Panther, is a good role model, but Raven yearns to know his father. 
When Indians are abducted by ruthless men, Raven and a war party search for them, encountering challenges along the way. Raven faces these battles with courage while fighting his own personal battle. 
Although Raven's Passion has a setting in the untamed western frontier, the story is one that many young adults will find interesting. It deals with issues that today's younger generation often faces. One of these is the burning desire to know the biological parent who has been absent from their lives from birth. 
I thought author Mary Adair did well, creating characters who were so realistic with their problems. She skillfully displayed how people lived in the past, while making the different personalities and feelings of the characters connect with the reader. I am impressed with the quality writing I have seen, as well her expertise on Indian history. This is the first book I have read from Mary Adair, but do intend to read more from this author.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Raven's Passion offered on a countdown discount

In honor of Passion's Vision's Readers' Favorite Award Kindle version of Raven's Passion, Book two in the Passion Series, will be offered on a countdown discount. 

 I hope everyone gets a copy at the lowest price. 

Book 2…RAVEN’S PASSION:  Raven Who Flies To Meet The Clouds is a young half breed warrior who struggles to accept his heritage as well as to be accepted by the People he loves and the adoptive father he feels he will never be able to equal.

Here is the schedule:
1 September 7, 2014 at 8:00 AM (PST) 40h $0.99 81%
2 September 9, 2014 at 12:00 AM (PST)40h $1.99 61%
3 September 10, 2014 at 4:00 PM (PST)40h $2.99 41%
4 September 12, 2014 at 8:00 AM (PST)40h $3.99 21%
End September 14, 2014 at 12:00 AM (PST) Original list price $4.99

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Awards Announced on Readers’ Favorite.

I have two announcements today.

One…PASSION’S VISION placed in Readers’ Favorite.

September 1st. was the big day for all the Finalists in The Readers’ Favorites to find out if their books were winners.

I am happy to announce my book, Passion’s Vision, placed as Finalist in Historical Romance.  
This experience has been a wonderful ride of ups and downs. I have formed new friendships that I know will last a lifetime. This is the link to check out all the winners of this year’s awards.

Two…My new Box Set PASSION SERIES is live on Amazon. 

PASSION SERIES, follows one family through a turbulent time in history when men and women struggled to survive through bloody wars and deadly epidemics. It was a time when passions ran deep and honor and family meant everything. 

Book 1...PASSION’S VISION: New Moon. Strong, beautiful, a visionary, and warrior. She blames herself for the death of her husband. If only she had been there. Now her visions warn...once again, her warrior skills will come to bear... 

Two warriors’ from different worlds meet and clash. Soon it is revealed their survival depends on their ability to overcome their differences and defeat those who seek to destroy them both. 

Book 2…RAVEN’S PASSION: Raven Who Flies To Meet The Clouds is a young warrior of interracial descent who struggles to accept his heritage as well as to be accepted by the People he loves and the adoptive father he feels he will never measure up to. 

Book 3: PASSION’S PRICE: Golden Dawn is blessed with her mother’s courage, warrior abilities and gift of visions; and her white father’s pride and determination. She alone understands Raven's pain. She alone knows their paths are intertwined. She alone knows that someday she will willing pay the price to save his life. And that day has come. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Writing is a Discipline. Story Telling is an Art and Reviews are a Necessity.

Simply said, authors write because the stories inside their imagination clamor to be released. Any art needs discipline, you might say. Of course, that is true, but that special talent that resides within any artist to express themselves in their craft is unique to them. If I picked up an unknown book and began reading, and that book happened to be written by Kathleen Woodweiss,  I would recognize her style of storytelling. I would know, without being told, Ms Woodweiss is the author. 

The same is true for Bess Trissell.

And Caroline Clemmons.              

All great Storytellers, who excel in their craft and are easy to recognize.

Every author I know, wants to find and develop their own particular talent for storytelling, their “voice”. They study and research their topic, they plot, they outline, and then they “Create” the best story they have written.  Believe me, turning that baby you have just produced, and dressed up in the best, prettiest, most exciting cover, over to the publisher is both accelerating and frightful. Of course, a writer must write, so even though the author starts on their next book, they have not turned their back on the newly released book.

There are blogs to write, tweets to be tweeted, announcements to be sent and reviews to be checked. Believe it or not, Reviews are the most important. Honest reviews from readers and fans are necessary for the author to know how well they are doing. Sales are important, true, but it’s the reviews and comments from readers that make the whole process rewarding to an author. Even a bad review is not bad to receive. The reviews, the good, the bad and the ugly, not only help the author hone their craft, but they direct other story lovers to the books they would most enjoy.

So…after finishing your next book, make the author’s day by leaving an honest review on the site you bought the book.

Award winning, PASSION’S VISION will be available FREE at Story Cartel for a short while in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Raven's Passion

Raven’s Passion is now live on Amazon. I am so excited about the 5 star review it received from Readers’ Favorite.

A story of the coming of age of a young man and the girl who loved him in an age where ones very survival depended on their honor, their strength, and the village.  

I did not know when I started writing Native American Romance that I would enjoy it as much as I do. But I struck out on the path, and what a journey it became. When I researched Cherokee culture for my Passion’s Series I was drawn in by its richness from the games, to the spirituality, and the love of nature and all creation. A good example of how even their games held a high place in their society and preparation for life is the game of stickball

I am passing on the information I gleaned from a book written in that time period by one of my husband’s ancestors. The game of stickball, also called “The Little War” was a favorite sport. This simple game was not simple. It brought villages together, was used to teach team cooperation, bravery, agility, and brute strength. The winners and the most accomplished players won respect and great honor. There was no such thing as “cheating”. From what I read in this old book, the game made football seem tame. If someone were injured in the game, or even killed, there would be no retaliation.

The game could last for days but when it was over there would be a celebration. A blanket would be laid on the ground. Anyone wanting to participate in the dance describing the memorable plays would deposit an offering to be given to villagers that were in need. The rewards earned by the players were comprised of honor and respect for their prowess, and experience that would aid them on the hunt and strengthen them for war. Their generous gifts to the needy endeared them to the villagers as well as bringing them honor for being providers and protectors of the people.

It was truly a time in history when ones very survival depended on their honor, their strength, and the strength of the village. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014


My books are now listed on BookDaily. Passion's Vision is being featured.

Bookdaily is a great site with an abundance of books listed. If you have not visited the site before you should take a couple of minutes to check it out.
Excerpt from Passion's Vision: It is pretty long...

New Moon dug her nails into the soil as she peered out from her hiding place among the river cane. The white man invaded her special place. All the others knew this was her place. No one ever bothered her here. Not until now, not until this...white man. She watched and listened as he washed and sang a white man's song. He sang loudly in his own language. His voice changed in tone in a most unusual, but not unpleasant way. She glanced to the east. The sky brightened as she watched. Her resentment grew and made sitting still more than she could manage. She shifted her weight, a motion too minute to attract attention. The sun rose to brighten the eastern sky and she gritted her teeth. He raised his arms and spoke the first words of the Cherokee prayer. His deep voice embraced the words of her ancestors and presented them with pride to the sun and the Great Spirit, causing her breath to catch in her throat as she listened. He spoke the greeting beautifully. Finishing the prayer he turned back toward the bank. New Moon tensed as his gaze moved across the cane where she hid. She assured herself he could not see her, but still her skin tingled with uncertainty.
Passion’s Vision
This white man was like no other she had seen. Even in nakedness he wore his strength and pride as naturally as a most beloved warrior. This was uncommon for white men who thought the layers of bear-hide and the assortment of weapons hanging from their bodies could enhance their strength. The aura of power that surrounded him intrigued her. She held her breath as water ran from his hair in little streams that captured her attention and carried her vision along. It cascaded over the bulging strength of his shoulders and down his chest to his narrow waist. She closed her eyes and swallowed hard as the memory of that chest and rippled waist pressed hard against her back flooded her being with unwanted desire. Like a person suffocating, she gulped in the air she withheld from her lungs. New Moon stiffened and her eyes flew open. The scent of a mountain cat filled her nostrils. Instantly her warrior instincts came to life and she berated herself for behaving like a silly woman. The cat was near. She glanced at the leaves of the cane, checking the wind's direction. Her entire being tensed with foreboding as she turned her attention back to the No Thing. He took another step in her direction and she saw the smug grin spread across his face. This white man who thought to pass himself off as a warrior was aware of her, but not the cat! Could he not sense the danger? Of course not, he was too busy strutting and waving his spear. He stepped onto the bank and moved with feline grace toward the cane where she crouched. From the corner of her eye she saw the cat as it leapt from the boulder to land lightly on the ground near her
Mary Adair
hiding place. It was her own totem, her sister from the animal world. To the white man's credit, he too stood his ground, his eyes boring into those of the cat. The cat dropped her ragged ears low to her head and growled a warning. A muscle worked in the white man's cheek and his fingers curled more tightly about his knife. Great Spirit! Her heart cried out. He was going to make war with the mountain cat! A flood of emotions sprang up within her, but it was anger that finally ruled her actions as she pushed aside the cane and stepped out into the open. James' gaze slipped from the yellow eyes of the cat to New Moon's, and felt the tension arch between them. Neither was willing to break eye contact, even when New Moon spoke to the cat. "Go home to your young ones, little sister. I will not allow you to have this foolish white man." The cat rumbled deep within its chest as she glanced nervously over her shoulder at New Moon. "Go!" New Moon commanded. The cat, as if deciding the effort to stay would take too much energy, turned away and disappeared between the large boulders. "Are you out of your mind?" The anger in his expression was great, but her anger was just as great. New Moon squared her shoulders in challenge as she looked with disgust at James. The cat now forgotten, he let his gaze travel over her. She'd been wet when she pulled on her dress. She was acutely aware of how the soft doe-hide clung to the moisture on her skin. Two long steps and he reached out for her. She swung at him, but was no match for his strength. He caught her easily. Taking hold of her wrist, James pulled her struggling arms to her back and clasped one large
Passion’s Vision
hand around both of her smaller wrists and pulled her up tightly. His grip was as unbreakable as ropes of new rawhide, yet as gentle as a caress. Awareness of his naked body against her spread heat through her wet dress to sear her skin. She clenched her teeth together in an attempt to deny the uncontrollable sensations coursing through her with the vigor of a raging mountain river. This white man who strutted with the pride of a warrior watched her with eyes that pierced her to her soul and grinned. "You look like a she-lion," he whispered. She struggled harder. James chuckled softly and ran the fingers of his free hand along her jaw line. "Your skin is very soft, my little Wa-sa. From this day forward, you will always be my little Wa-sa...my little mountain cat." New Moon growled deep in her throat, sounding not far removed from the very cat he spoke of. "You stupid white man" she spat at him. "That lioness almost had you for her cubs. Do you think I am any less dangerous? Many strong warriors have tried to humble me, warriors who would not have become cornered by a kitten." For all her strong talk her body quaked inside. The lonely hollow place left by her husband's death ached to be filled. She needed a man, but not any man. New Moon wanted a man whose spirit was stronger than hers. One she could not bend to her will. One she could love and respect. One with skin as dark as her own! James seemed not to hear as he smiled down at her. He held her dainty chin with his strong fingers and bent his face close to hers, their lips almost touching. "Have you ever been kissed, my little Wa-sa?' Her eyes bore hatefully into his, "There have been white men in our village before you came, Blue Eyes.
Mary Adair
This touching of the lips is nothing more than stalling for time. The weak pale-skin must have time to coax his pitiful manhood to rise so he can try to dominate and humble the women of warriors." With maddening slowness he took his hand from her chin and laid it on the slim column of her throat, feeling the rapid pulse beating there. His hand slid downward over her doeskin-covered breast and lingered to tease the tempting bud that hardened of  its own will beneath his thumb. His knowing smile gnawed at her insides. He slid his hand to her waist and then around and down her back. When his hand reached the soft, round firmness of her hips he kneaded his fingers gently around the warm mound before he jerked her up hard against himself. "Do you still think I need to stall for time?" Struggle! Her mind screamed to her unresponsive muscles, but her body was not hers to command. A scent uniquely his filed her nostrils. She could taste his breath on her tongue. She tested his hold on her wrist by pulling against his grip. His hold on her was secure and yet as gentle as one would cradle a baby. He studied her face as he held her. Could he see the sparks of passion in her eyes? Could he feel the weakening of her body, or her heart pounding against his chest? His deep, husky voice slid over her like sun-warmed honey. "You talk strong for a woman. Like a woman who thinks she doesn't need a man." She felt the vibrations from his words. She closed her eyes as rumbling, tingling sensations traveled from her chest to her groin. When she again opened her eyes he stared down at her. Gone from his sky blue eyes was the teasing twinkle, replaced by the dark, smoldering shades of desire.
Passion’s Vision
"Someday you will want me, my little lioness. Then your struggles will be to pull me closer." He rocked his hips forward, and her stomach tightened painfully, causing a gasp to slip from between her lips. "That's when I will show you the pleasure in needing a man." Lowering his head he covered her mouth with his own. She struggled but his hand on her wrist held with little effort. Her body trembled uncontrollably beneath his touch, and she realized her struggles had stopped as she waited in anticipation. His mouth against hers was hard, hot, and wet. She didn't know what to expect next, but the sensations he caused in her now made her head spin. As his wet lips slid seductively over hers he nibbled gently. His tongue came out to trace the outline of her lips. Finally he placed a thumb on her chin and applied pressure. When she opened her mouth to protest, his tongue swept inside to stroke the interior of her mouth with blatant ownership. Passion ignited like a prairie fire within New Moon as his tongue rubbed against hers. She opened her mouth wider to welcome the intimate intrusion. Her spirit soared and her head spun as her inner voice, her spirit voice, told her once again...He is the one. The white man released her arms and they rose upward over his wet chest to his neck and onward until her fingers wound their way into his hair. His warm hands went lower to slip beneath the curve of her bottom. Heat from his naked body scorched her through her still damp dress, and her skin beneath tingled with desire. New Moon could feel his strength as well as his heat. She felt it in the way he held her, in the way his muscles bunched beneath her fingertips. Clawing at his shoulders she returned his kiss in kind. A moan of pure pleasure erupted deep within his
Mary Adair
chest. To New Moon the sound was like tossing fresh kindling on an already burning fire. Then his words screamed into her consciousness, "I will show you the pleasure in needing a man." Her slipping resolve strengthened. No man, especially a white man, would ever dominate her! She would bring him to his knees first. She could feel the power she had over him even as her own flesh burned from the touch of his fingers on her exposed skin. Then he brought her further under his spell as he slipped her hem up about her waist, leaving more of her sensitive flesh exposed to his searching hands. The full heat of his hands, no longer kept at bay by her damp dress, burned into her flesh. He pressed her hips, pulling her up tightly against himself. She clung to him as one falling would cling to a vine. There was no longer a barrier between his body and hers. If she did not pull away soon he would slide her legs about his waist and she would be lost. She must pull back first, she screamed silently in an attempt to gain control of her warring passions. He broke the kiss and pulled back to look into her eyes. She gazed into their blue depths and for a moment felt a comfort she had never experienced before. The spell was broken with his next words, "Now is not the time to make you mine, little purring kitten." The reality of what almost happened, what could have happened slammed into her. For a moment she was lost in a swirling mix of emotion, regret, surprise, and finally anger. Her body was still too attuned to his as he held her hips pressed tightly against him. She fought without success to quail the quivering in her own body that called out to his in a way that made her doubt her own control.
Passion’s Vision

In near panic she raked her nails downward from his shoulder and across his bare chest. Finding herself suddenly free from the support of his body she stumbled. Her eyes never left his as she steadied herself. How could he just stand there with that grin on his face? His eyes actually twinkled with laughter as they devoured her hair, her eyes, and her lips while what she wanted—what her body cried out for—was for him to take her. An exaggerated huff escaped her lips while she raised her chin and smoothed her dress down to cover her exposed hips. With as much Cherokee pride as she could muster she turned and made her way to the narrow pass. *** James tilted his head to one side as he watched the retreating hips swish angrily from side to side. Then, with a quick glare over her shoulder, she was gone. The woman must be crazy to step out and face a cat with no weapon! Yet he couldn't help but be impressed by her calm bravery. He was surprised by his own actions. He'd shook with relief that the cat had not turned on her, yet was burned with fury because she took such a risk. But she is alive, he told himself. Alive...and brave and beautiful beyond any other woman. God, but she is magnificent. He looked down at the four long, red welts stretching across his left breast. Several drops of blood oozed slowly to the surface. "So much for not making the same mistake twice," he mumbled as he touched a finger to one small, ruby-red drop of blood. He rubbed the crimson drop between thumb and finger. "So your claws are as sharp as your tongue, my little Wa-sa." Laughing loudly he called out, "Did you know that you have stolen my heart away, Little Wa-sa?"

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Last Day

The giveaway for Raven's Passion ends 12:00 AM 7/26/14

Click on the link to the right of this post and enter to win a copy of Raven's Passion.
As Raven cleared from those still fighting on the ground, a member of the opposing team came at him sprinting madly.  At the last moment, movement caught his eye and Raven ducked to avoid the swing of his opponent's stick.  It missed, but then the other young warrior sprang with a tackle that drove them both to the ground.  Raven's head snapped back and thudded against the ground as he lost control of the ball.

Panther turned to New Moon with a smile, “His head will definitely be sore tomorrow...”

 “Golden Dawn!”  Moon screamed as she dashed out on the field.
Panther’s heart skipped a beat as he swore beneath his breath and darted after his wife and child.

Already halfway across the field, Dawn darted and dodged as she headed straight for Raven.  The young brave was having trouble standing, obviously woozy from the last hit he had taken.  Dawn's face contorted with worry, and she yelled as she ran, “Get up!  Don't let the women take you off the field!”
Behind her, New Moon was closing the distance fast, with Red Panther catching up right behind her.  However, the braves playing the game had not noticed the young girl running onto the field or her concerned parents trying to catch up with her.  They were still playing with fierce determination, hardly registering that anything abnormal was going on.

Suddenly, a young warrior near to Golden Dawn slung the ball quickly to pass it down the field.  His stick swung wide after the toss, slapping the young girl across the back of her head and sending her plunging to the ground.

Raven had pushed himself to his feet by then, controlling his face to hide the lingering wooziness he felt.  The world still felt as if it shifted beneath his feet.  Even with his vision blurred, he saw as the young warrior struck Golden Dawn.  His adrenaline surged and he sprang toward the other player, forgetting himself and letting his anger show, “You would hit a young child?”

Panther and New Moon arrived too late to stop their near-son's actions of anger.  Around the field, bets exchanged hands as their focus shifted from the stickball game to the sudden fight.  Some placed wagers on how many punches Raven would get in before Panther intervened.

The brave on the field spun on his heel; he had not noticed that his stick struck the small one.  He only saw one of the other players coming to attack him, and intended to play the game.  His stance lowered and he swung a fist at his attacker.

Raven no longer thought of himself as playing a game.  Instead, he had let his anger overcome his judgment.  Ducking under the punch, he kicked at the other and then jumped forward to tackle him to the ground.  His knee slammed into the brave's chest, pinning him and knocking his knuckles into the young man's face.  He was rearing back for another attack when strong hands grabbed him under his arms and dragged him away.

Red Panther fought with his own emotion.  The two persons that meant more than life to him had just run blindly into a game of Little War.  He did not know if he were angrier with Dawn for putting herself, her mother, and her unborn brother in danger or Raven for his loss of control.

He took a deep breath.  He could not let Raven or the others see just how close he was to losing control himself.  Forcing himself to maintain outward calm, he yanked Raven to the side of the field.  With careful control, he smoothly struck the back of the youngster's knees and drove him to a sitting position, “Your passion shows in every straining sinew and muscle.  You will gain much in wisdom by resting for a moment to reflect on your action so that your future choices are well thought out.”

In a state of shock, Raven fumed at being moved so quickly from the fight to the side of the field.  He barely registered it was Panther who had done it, “That careless fool meant to do that.  He is one who has ridiculed her for the color of her hair.  He obviously looks for a chance to strike at those he finds different.”  With some difficulty, he tried to get back to his feet.

Panther held his charge's shoulder firmly, pressing down so that Raven thumped back onto the dirt surface, “You show the stubborn ways of a buffalo, insistent upon your decision.  I would be very surprised if you did not run from the herd in this state, so certain you are that your direction is true.”
At the reference to his childhood name, Raven grimaced sourly, peering at the one who had tutored him, taken him in as a son, “You have not seen all that I have seen.  Your eyes are clouded from your acceptance into this village.  I still know the touch of coldness that exists when there is no belonging.”

New Moon was holding Golden Dawn's hand as she walked toward Panther and Raven.  Raven felt the tension in Panther’s grip on his shoulder relax.  He knew Panther was relieved to see they were both sound and felt his own rage cool slightly.  It was easy to see his near-father’s pride in Golden Dawn.  This little girl that was small for her age was proving to be as tough as any boy her own age and twice her size.  She appeared only to be concerned over the drama that erupted after her own injury. 

Moon glared with a stern expression which Raven knew was for his benefit, “Our girl is fine.  She did not even cry after being struck, and she was up on her feet faster than you had managed.”

Panther smiled at his daughter’s next words.

“I am too old to cry.  But my head hurts really bad.”  She stepped forward and placed a hand on Raven’s cheek.

Raven noticed Panther’s smile disappeared at the next words she uttered.
 “I am not a baby, Raven.  But your concern for me makes me very happy.”

Raven smiled and winked at his Little Funny Face.  He did not want her to know how ashamed he was by his rash actions.  He watched as New Moon pulled Dawn toward their lodge then let his gaze slowly rise to meet Panther’s.

Others began to gather around them now.  From the whispered talk and a hushed exchanged of bets, it was obvious that most were shocked by Raven's outburst.  There was noted approval for Panther's stern response, as well as the speech used toward the young half-breed to admonish such childish actions.
The game still sped forward to the side of them.  Raven Who Flies To Meet The Clouds had effectively been carried from the field.  He ran his fingers through his hair.  He had not made it to the end of the game.  Because of his rash actions, he’d lost face and knew that cost him in his standing with the other braves.

He watched as Panther crouched down beside him, a pained expression on his face.  Panther would have to fix this problem somehow.  It was not the first time Raven came into trouble because of his inability to control emotions.  The inhabitants of Chota Town knew this as well, and he understood they would look to Red Panther to handle this problem.

 “Raven Who Flies To Meet The Clouds.”  Panther began, “You have done well here, and have learned much in the way of your Cherokee side.”

Raven had trouble matching that fierce gaze.  He realized how stupid his actions had been, and how it must look to the villagers.  His performance would reflect poorly on Panther, who still took responsibility for his development.  Though he often tried to keep the white man's custom of looking Panther in the eye as a sign of respect, this time he could hardly manage looking over the older man's shoulder as Cherokee custom dictated.  As it had been for his entire life, he felt caught somewhere between the two ideals.
It was James Fitzgerald that spoke now.  Raven knew Panther hardly thought of himself in that role anymore, and truly felt that Red Panther was his “true” name.  James was his alter ego, the other version of himself.  For the first time Raven considered Panther should have at least a small understanding of his own feeling of battling dualities.

Panther spoke now in stern English rather than with the fluidity of their beloved tongue, “However, perhaps it is time for you to learn more of your other half's ways and lifestyle.  I am going to send you away for a while.”
Raven started to respond, but James did not let him interrupt.

“I am going to send you to a school of reading and writing, tactics and strategy.  It will be in England.  You can come back once you graduate from their course for young men.  Hopefully, there you will learn to control yourself better.  Perhaps you will find yourself along the way.

“The school’s breaks are too short for you to travel home.  The Ladies Gaylord and Montgomery have always loved your visits.  I have no doubt they will have your room ready and waiting for you to visit on breaks.  William as well will look forward to spending time with you.”

Raven only nodded, actually feeling somewhat relieved.  Panther had taken him to England several times before, fully taking on the role of James Fitzgerald and dressing the other up as Raven Cloud for lessons and business meetings. 

In some ways, he looked forward to the trip and spending time with the grandmothers, as he always called them.  He enjoyed spending time with William as well.  They were very near the same age and as different as night and day, but they shared similar losses.  Will’s mother, Lady Gaylord’s daughter, died in childbirth and Will’s father, Lady Montgomery’s son, was killed in an accident around the same time Raven lost his mother.  Panther had taken Raven to England at that time, not wanting to leave him behind so soon after his mother’s death.  On this visit, he and William had shared memories, he of his mother and William of his father.  Through their time of mourning, they had developed a strong friendship. 

He actually looked forward to this trip.  Perhaps he would be gone long enough for the others to forget his foolishness, remembering only his strength and ability.  His face twisted with a faint scowl as his thoughts took a turn, “Red Panther wishes to be rid of me.  I am an embarrassment to him!”  The anger from before flared up, and he hung his head to hide his face.

Panther stood, speaking in Cherokee again to announce his decision to the group.  The village would all know now, and would see this for what it was.  A punishment seen as a temporary banishment.  The nods of others showed their acceptance of the idea, and many spoke of Red Panther's continued wisdom.

Raven glanced toward the lodge and saw Golden Dawn gripping her mother's waist, and holding back tears he knew she so dearly wanted to set free.  He could almost hear her thoughts; her most beloved companion was leaving her.  His own eyes threatened to shame him further.