Not only have I lived in the Old Dominion for most of my life, but also several previous centuries in the sense that my family were among the earliest settlers of the Shenandoah Valley. My Scots-Irish forebears settled in Augusta County in the southern valley with names like Houston, Patterson, Finley, Moffett and McLeod. These clannish people frequently intermarried so I can tie in with many of the early families depending on how I swing through the ancestral tree. In those days Augusta Country was vast, much of it in the colonial frontier. Settlers came for a chance at cheap land resulting in clashes with the Native Americans.
One account I came across in my study of the early Scots-Irish influenced my writing more than any other, the tragic story of a captive woman who fell in love with the son of a chief. As the result of a treaty, she was taken from her warrior husband and forced back to her white family where she gave birth to a girl. Then the young woman’s husband did the unthinkable and left the tribe to go live among the whites, but such was their hatred of Indians that before he reached his beloved her brothers killed him. Inconsolable and weak from the birth, she grieved herself to death.
Heart-wrenching, it haunts me to this day. And I wondered, was there some way those young lovers could have been spared such anguish; what happened to their infant daughter when she grew up? I couldn’t let this happen to my hero and heroine, but how could I spare them. I schemed and dreamed and hatched more stories in the fertile ground of Virginia.
Two of my books were strongly influenced by that account. Daughter of the Wind, a light paranormal romance with American historical roots set among the clannish Scots in the mist-shrouded Alleghenies, is a tale of the clash between two peoples and the young lovers caught in the middle. Another book that sprang from the above account is my Native American historical romance novel Red Bird’s Song. The hero and heroine in this story, Wicomechee and Charity, were most like the couple in the original tragedy, while the parents of the heroine, Karin, in Daughter of the Wind were based on that pair’s sad fate. Not to fear, though, in romance you get your Happy Ever After, or as near to that as my bittersweet endings can provide.
Blurb for Red Bird’s Song:
Taken captive by a Shawnee war party wasn't how Charity Edmondson hoped to escape an unwanted marriage. Nor did Shawnee warrior Wicomechee expect to find the treasure promised by his grandfather's vision in the unpredictable red-headed girl. George III's English Red-Coats, unprincipled colonial militia, prejudice and jealousy are not the only enemies Charity and Wicomechee will face before they can hope for a peaceful life. The greatest obstacle to happiness is in their own hearts. As they struggle through bleak mountains and cold weather, facing wild nature and wilder men, Wicomechee and Charity must learn to trust each other.~
*As most of Red Bird’s Song is set in the Virginia colonial frontier, I am giving away an ebook, pdf or kindle, your choice, chosen from among visitors who leave me a comment.
Red Bird’s Song is available in print and various ebook formats from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online booksellers.
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