THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF, an excerpt

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Well, I am going to be on the road all day, Tuesday, and believe it or not, I don’t have one of those fancy i-phones.  So I’ll be off email pretty much the whole day.

However, I do plan on giving away a free e-book (your choice).  But bear with me — I’ll be on the road for a few days and so I won’t be able to send it until I finally am able to get back on the computer and do a drawing.

Lately I’ve been blogging about the awesome ability of the American Indian scout — there’s more…so much more.  But today, I thought I’d post an excerpt from the book, THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF, which is just out (end of July) in Tradepaper.

So here we go:

SpiritoftheWolf-The-R -- first draftTHE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF, Excerpt

By Karen Kay

 

At last, they reached the top of the little mesa, and as soon as they did so, Marietta was no longer left in doubt as to what was in Grey Coyote’s mind. It wasn’t from necessity that they were here. Indeed not. Grey Coyote had come here by choice.

Standing quite still, he gazed at the sunset laid out before them. As though only now remembering her, he looked behind him, and Grey Coyote motioned, indicating that she should slip down from the pony.

Wasn’t he going to help her down? Disappointment washed over her. It was too bad, for she had begun to think of Grey Coyote as a savage sort of gentleman.

“Sir,” she said, “do you mean not to aid me in getting to the ground?”

Grey Coyote spun back toward her, and she at once wished she had remained silent. It was one thing to ride next to the man with scant inches of clothing between them; it was another to bear witness to the wide expanse of the man’s muscular and naked chest. Perhaps she would do well to hand him back his shirt.

She gulped instead.

Frowning up at her, he asked, “Help you to the ground? Do you have an affliction that does not allow you to jump off the pony on your own?”

She bit her lip. “No, I can jump.”

His frown deepened.

“It is only,” she continued, “that in my society, a gentleman helps a lady down from her mount. It is considered good manners.”

Grey Coyote nodded. “And so you think I am ill-mannered?”

“Well…”

“This is not a custom in my country. Here, most women would be offended if I offered help. Here, a woman might wonder why I was assisting her instead of attending to my duty to guard her.”

“Really?”

Hau, hau, it is so. She might even be angered if I tried to aid her, for in her mind, for me to do this, would be as to say that she was not worthy of defending.”

“Truly?” Marietta gazed off at the panorama of beauty. “It’s strange, isn’t it?”

“Strange?”

“How different are some of our customs.” Bringing her attention back to the matter at hand, she started to vault down from the pony. But she had only begun when he was there in front of her.

He tossed her a lighthearted grin. “Let me help you.”

She laughed.

Looking up at her, he stopped cold, staring at her as though she had sent a poisoned arrow to his heart. His smile faded, and time seemed to have developed a warp, for she could have sworn it stood still.

He recovered swiftly enough, and without further hesitation, his hands came around her waist, and he lifted her easily from the pony. On the descent, she rubbed against him, the action sending a jolt of energy surging through her body.

Briefly, he held her closely, and then with a chuckle and a shake of his head, he said, “I never realized how clever is the white man.”

“Oh?”

Hau, hau, it is so.”

“And what makes you say that?”

He grinned. “A red man would need a very big reason to hold a woman such. But the white man excuses himself with manners. Hau, hau. I think the white man is very clever, indeed.”

Marietta, too, grinned. “Indeed.” Gazing up at him, she stepped out of his arms.

For a fleeting moment, their eyes met, held. Then, unexpectedly, he turned away.

To her surprise, she felt suddenly bereft. “Mr. Coyote,” she said, stepping up to him. “Did I say something to offend you?”

Hiya, you did not. In truth, I am uncertain that you could do something which would offend me. But I came here to see this.” He gestured toward the western side of the prairie, where the sun was announcing its departure by means of a glorious, golden sunset.

Marietta looked the way he indicated, and saw that the sun, which had been hidden from them most of the day, was practically screaming at them now. As they gazed outward, the sun sent streaks of light upward through clouds, clouds that were awash in various shades of golds, reds, pinks, blues and greys. Moreover, the sky itself was painting the once brown-drab prairie, transforming it into shades of amber and scarlet, the land appearing as though it were a gigantic mirror, set afire in color.

Then the strangest thing happened. Coming down onto his knees and lifting his hands to the sky, Grey Coyote began to sing.

Watching, Marietta stood aghast. The moment was unusual, yes, for Marietta was not accustomed to men opening their arms and breaking out into song. But unaccountably, the event was also stunning, and she hardly dared breathe, afraid she would disturb its remarkable charm.

In due time, she allowed herself to take a breath as she looked out toward the west. From here one might very well be able to see forever. In truth, so much space was there, she felt as though her soul expanded.

It was then that it came to her. Grey Coyote was praying. He had climbed all this way to do no more than communicate with his Creator. Was he even now thanking the Lord for the beauty set here before them?

Looking on, Marietta was aware that her throat felt tight, and worse, there was a tear forming in her eye. Not because of him. No, more likely it was because of the enchantment of the prairie, or maybe even the crisp feel of the pure air. Or perhaps it was no more than the incessant wind, which was now blowing directly in her face.

How curious to discover such artistry here, here where there was nothing but the earth, the sky, the winds. Unforeseen, unexpected, the beauty seemed to take hold of her.

“It reminds me of you,” said Grey Coyote, and Marietta was awakened to the knowledge that it had been several moments since he had stopped singing.

“What was that?” she asked. “What did you say?”

“The sunset.” He pointed outward toward the west. “It is golden like your hair, red like your cheeks, pink like your lips. You should be called Little Sunset, I think. Even now, your hair reflects the colors, looking as though it is set afire.”

The praise was simply said, yet it was one of the most excellent compliments she had ever received. Certain she was blushing, Marietta turned away.

 

THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF

By Karen Kay

Well, there you have it.  Do leave a message, and although it might be a few days before I will be able to access the internet, I will eventually do that drawing and pick a winner for a free e-book.  Picture below taken close to Chief Mountain (a main figure in the book SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE) in Montana.

PHOT0043

Karen Kay
KAREN KAY aka GEN BAILEY is the multi-published author of American Indian Historical Romances. She has written for such prestigious publishers as AVON/HarperCollins, Berkley/Penguin/Putnam and Samhain Publishing. KAREN KAY’S great grandmother was Choctaw Indian and Kay is honored to be able to write about the American Indian Culture.
Please refer to http://petticoatsandpistols.com/sweepstakesrules for all contest rules.
Updated: August 24, 2015 — 3:28 pm

16 Comments

  1. Love the excerpt! Can’t wait to read the book.

    1. Hi Kimberly!

      Thank you so much. Finally home. : )

  2. I love the excerpt and the vivid imagery! Beautiful!

    1. Oh Britney, you do my heart so much good! Thank you.

  3. Well done. You paint a beautiful picture, Karen. It is interesting to note the cultural differences.

    1. Hi Rosie!

      What a wonderful thing to say! Thank you!

  4. Great snippet… thanks for sharing!

    1. You bet, Colleen! Thanks for posting a comment today.

  5. Thanks for the excerpt Karen! Love the cover of your newest book! The picture of Montana threw me! I didn’t know there were rock formations like that in Montana! I have only been to the Yellowstone area. I think I would have believed it was South Dakota before Montana. I obviously have to get out more LOL!

    1. Hi Kathryn!

      Yeah, it’s on the Blackfeet reservation. It’s in several of my scenes from SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE. : )

  6. Every time I read about your book I think I need to read this one 🙂
    Montana is a lovely state to visit..

    1. Oh, DK, I, too, love Montana. My husband is from Montana. : )

  7. wonderful excerpt! I am looking forward to reading THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF,

    By Karen Kay.

  8. Thank you for the excerpt. It is a shame that so many people have lost their connection to Nature. They miss so much. It is spectacular in its sunsets, storms, and features such as mountains, lakes, and expanses of forest and plain. It is also inspiring in the little things – a butterfly, a hummingbird feeding, a pair of kit foxes playing, a group of ants moving food to their hill, the ripple on a pond. Everyone should take the time to sit in a quiet place outdoors and do nothing but observe for at least 15 minutes. Really listen to the sounds around you and look at what is going on. You will be surprised what you see.

    Enjoy your travels.

  9. Hi Patricia!

    So well said. Yes, am finally home. Yea!

Comments are closed.