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Beneath the Blackberry Moon Part 3: the Ebony Cloak

by April W Gardner

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(Christian Historical Romance) Big Warrior Totka Hadjo enters his toughest battles yet--the fight for love, the invasion of fear, and the inescapable ashes of each. The war has ended, and now, Totka Hadjo must endure eleven moons and twenty-six sleeps without his beloved Copper Woman. But he has a two-fold task to keep him occupied: establish a lodge deserving of her and challenge her Jesus Creator to a vision, to prove his existence. Totka leaves the white settlements with Copper Woman's holy book, an object with medicine strong enough to keep at bay the hounding ghosts of his unavenged ancestors. But the sacred writings cannot restrain the Bluecoat who has returned from the dead, the one who first owned her heart. From the far reaches of the Muscogee Confederacy, Totka is powerless to stop the onslaught of events that conspires to take his beloved from him forever. Leaping Waters, Totka's old passion, is a constant presence he cannot escape, but she might be able to unlock the spiritual mysteries found in the holy book's talking leaves. While he wades through the confusing symbols, the Choctaws, his ancient enemy, are determined to seize prime Muscogee hunting lands. In the process, they aggravate wounds that might never heal and expose him to a truth too bitter to swallow. Denial and revenge go down much easier. About the Creek Country Saga, a Christian Historical Romance Series Beneath the Blackberry Moon is one story consisting of three complete parts plus a novella-length compilation of bonus scenes. 1. The Red Feather 2 The Sacred Writings 3. The Ebony Cloak The Untold Stories (supplemental reading) 4. Bitter Eyes No More 5. Love the War Woman (coming 2017) 6. Finding Pretty Wolf (coming 2018) EXCERPT "If I chose to pursue Leaping Waters, my cousin would not kill me for it," Totka said. Thick lids pinching, Grandmother Kit Fox grunted. "He would try." He hated to contradict the elder, but she was quite wrong. Ayo splashed water while swirling an arm through the vessel for more fibers. "Lance and Totka are as close as brothers," she said. "There would be no killing." Totka nodded. "Ayo is right. Lance would never lift a hand against me. Not for a woman. Not for anything." Grandmother tsked. "Ignore the warning if you wish, but I say your love for him has blinded you to his ways. The many winters you have spent in the shadow of his resentment has made you like a potted frog to a boil. Today, you feel no pain, see no danger. But tomorrow, you'll be dead." He wanted to argue with the old woman, but his breeding and respect for her won out. "Thank you, Grandmother Kit Fox. Your warning is heard. I'll think on it." It would be a pointless exercise, though, because there would never be a day he would provide Leaping Waters a buck, a doe, a plot with a lodge. A child. His blood floundered in his veins, betraying him. He snipped off the thought and left to find the woman they spoke of. She was as he'd suspected--on hands and knees, ripping weeds from the garden with a cyclone's efficiency. On his way to her, he collected the hoe from the storehouse. A hearty tug released the root she labored over. "It's too late, Totka Lawe. Too late." Fists filled with weeds, she sat back on her heels and looked up at him, lower lip trapped between her teeth, big brown eyes bright with tears. He eased himself into a squat before her, then struck a flint in his mind and let the sparks ignite. For once, he considered his own wishes, considered what might be if he were a more selfish man. If there were no impediment, he would have his clan mothers bid for Leaping Waters before this moon gave way to the next.… (more)
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(Christian Historical Romance) Big Warrior Totka Hadjo enters his toughest battles yet--the fight for love, the invasion of fear, and the inescapable ashes of each. The war has ended, and now, Totka Hadjo must endure eleven moons and twenty-six sleeps without his beloved Copper Woman. But he has a two-fold task to keep him occupied: establish a lodge deserving of her and challenge her Jesus Creator to a vision, to prove his existence. Totka leaves the white settlements with Copper Woman's holy book, an object with medicine strong enough to keep at bay the hounding ghosts of his unavenged ancestors. But the sacred writings cannot restrain the Bluecoat who has returned from the dead, the one who first owned her heart. From the far reaches of the Muscogee Confederacy, Totka is powerless to stop the onslaught of events that conspires to take his beloved from him forever. Leaping Waters, Totka's old passion, is a constant presence he cannot escape, but she might be able to unlock the spiritual mysteries found in the holy book's talking leaves. While he wades through the confusing symbols, the Choctaws, his ancient enemy, are determined to seize prime Muscogee hunting lands. In the process, they aggravate wounds that might never heal and expose him to a truth too bitter to swallow. Denial and revenge go down much easier. About the Creek Country Saga, a Christian Historical Romance Series Beneath the Blackberry Moon is one story consisting of three complete parts plus a novella-length compilation of bonus scenes. 1. The Red Feather 2 The Sacred Writings 3. The Ebony Cloak The Untold Stories (supplemental reading) 4. Bitter Eyes No More 5. Love the War Woman (coming 2017) 6. Finding Pretty Wolf (coming 2018) EXCERPT "If I chose to pursue Leaping Waters, my cousin would not kill me for it," Totka said. Thick lids pinching, Grandmother Kit Fox grunted. "He would try." He hated to contradict the elder, but she was quite wrong. Ayo splashed water while swirling an arm through the vessel for more fibers. "Lance and Totka are as close as brothers," she said. "There would be no killing." Totka nodded. "Ayo is right. Lance would never lift a hand against me. Not for a woman. Not for anything." Grandmother tsked. "Ignore the warning if you wish, but I say your love for him has blinded you to his ways. The many winters you have spent in the shadow of his resentment has made you like a potted frog to a boil. Today, you feel no pain, see no danger. But tomorrow, you'll be dead." He wanted to argue with the old woman, but his breeding and respect for her won out. "Thank you, Grandmother Kit Fox. Your warning is heard. I'll think on it." It would be a pointless exercise, though, because there would never be a day he would provide Leaping Waters a buck, a doe, a plot with a lodge. A child. His blood floundered in his veins, betraying him. He snipped off the thought and left to find the woman they spoke of. She was as he'd suspected--on hands and knees, ripping weeds from the garden with a cyclone's efficiency. On his way to her, he collected the hoe from the storehouse. A hearty tug released the root she labored over. "It's too late, Totka Lawe. Too late." Fists filled with weeds, she sat back on her heels and looked up at him, lower lip trapped between her teeth, big brown eyes bright with tears. He eased himself into a squat before her, then struck a flint in his mind and let the sparks ignite. For once, he considered his own wishes, considered what might be if he were a more selfish man. If there were no impediment, he would have his clan mothers bid for Leaping Waters before this moon gave way to the next.

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