A Walk Between the Winds
Haunted by a Spirit Warrior, Soft Morning Mist, a young woman of the Skuna River Chickasaw tribe, feels trapped into a marriage she does not want.
When her friend, Swamp Lily, disappears, Soft Morning Mist suspects foul play when a lecherous, old man from the Hatchie River tribe accosts her. The mournful howls of a dog lead her to Swamp Lily’s body. As rumors of suicide circle, she fights to prove it was murder.
Release Date: January 10, 2017
Genre: Historical | Native American | Romance
~ A Pink Satin Romance ~
Grand Village of the Natchez
White Egret sprawled under the spreading branches of a towering magnolia, leaning back against the old tree as if it were a comfortable friend. The wind fluttering through the leaves lulled him to sleep. A vision had been occurring for years now, only recently becoming clearer and more urgent. A spiritual vision of a mysterious maiden haunted his dreams.
The tree was in bloom with its bounty of large, lemon scented blossoms. She emerged from a lacy veiling mist. Ever so lightly, she knelt beside him, taking his sleeping face into her hands, and placing her lips upon his.
He awoke with a start, expecting to find the exquisite beauty within his grasp. Instead, only the heat of her lips lingered. The soft caress of a breeze fluttered through the dark, evergreen leaves.
A longing for her touch and gentle kiss drew him to this place as often as time would allow. Dreaming of her had become an obsession. He believed she was a vision of destiny sent by the great power, the ruling deity of the Natchez—The Great Sun.
Spring had arrived in the Grand Village. It pleased White Egret. He had spent months gathering and planting trees, scrubs, and wild flowers. His efforts paid off, transforming the lackluster village into a spectacular display of colors; each moving in the winds of spring like rolling waves of colored water.
The ethereal maiden inspired him, and now that warmer weather had arrived, he could begin his search for her anew.
Four summers ago, he started looking for her among the many villages of the Natchez. Though he hadn’t found her, he knew she was out there somewhere, a real flesh and blood woman. One day soon, she would belong to him.
As he lounged daydreaming of the future, the white egret plume entwined in his long, dark hair blew in the wind. For a moment, her presence was palpable, as if wherever she was, she was thinking of him.
His gaze drifted to a thatched hut atop the high Mound of the Great Sun Chief. He squinted into the late afternoon sun. Inside the hut, his uncle, the current ruler of the Natchez, was deathly ill. Lately, he had barely been able to perform his duty of pointing the westward route taken across the sky each dawn for his elder brother, the original Great Sun.
Before the year was out, his uncle would die. Being the firstborn son of White Woman, White Egret would then reside in a hut on top of a new Great Mound. Natchez oral history declared White Woman the direct descendant of the original Great Sun; the deity who brought religion and a stable government to the Natchez people before ascending into the sky as the Great Light of the world.
White Egret was twenty-one winters old, and when he became the Great Sun, he would be the ruler of the Natchez nation. Time was precious. The spirit maiden must be found before his uncle left this world.
On the day he ascended the Mound of the Great Sun with her as his wife, they would rule the Natchez together.
Far across the ceremonial plaza, White Woman came toward him, pulling a young woman behind her. From the way the young girl was dressed, she was a commoner, or as nobles referred to commoners, a stinkard. By Natchez law, nobles could only take a commoner as a mate.
White Woman, citing the seriousness of his uncle’s illness, was determined to marry him off as soon as possible.
Pretending not to see her, he jumped to his feet and rushed toward the quarters housing the slaves captured from the Choctaw, Creek, Caddo, and the ever-fierce Chickasaw tribes.
With his mother hot on his heels, he hurried to collect a few good workers and covertly renew his search for the maiden. He ducked around a hut and into the shadows. As his mother staggered past, he held his breath and crouched down further into the darkness. When he was sure it was safe, he stepped out into the sun.
He had told no one about his vision.
During his last search, he had skipped the southern section of the Natchez domain. He would begin there, along the lowlands of the Mississippi River. If he didn’t find her, he would work his way northward toward the boundary separating the domain of the Chickasaw from the lands of the Natchez.
Enthusiastic about his prospects, he hastened his step. Raising his eyes toward the bright sun, he stopped to gaze with reverence at the deity he worshipped.
Stretching his arms overhead, he prayed aloud, “O Great Sun, guide me to her, my brother. Surely, as you are shining on me, you are also shining on her. Show me the way.”