Well, I’m a little late — don’t know what has happened to my time clock. Seems that all the days are running into one another.
Hope y’all will forgive me.
Well, because I’m so late, I’ll give away an e-book of the new book, THE EAGLE AND THE FLAME, so hopefully you can come on in and leave a comment and get into the drawing for the free book.
Excerpt: THE EAGLE AND THE FLAME by Karen Kay
THE EAGLE AND THE FLAME
A vision foretold his tribe’s doom. Is the flame-haired beauty the trickster or his true love?
Lucinda Glenforest’s father, a general who’d fought in the Indian Wars, taught his flame-haired daughter to out-shoot even the best men the military could put up against her. When Luci’s sister is seduced and abandoned, it’s up to Luci to defend her honor in a duel. Although she wins, the humiliated captain and his powerful family vow vengeance. The sister’s only hope is to flee and hide until their father returns from his overseas mission. Out of money, Luci hatches a plan to disguise herself as a boy and use her sharpshooting skills in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.
The chief of the Assiniboine tribe has a terrifying vision, that someone called the deceiver, or trickster, spells doom for the children of his tribe. He enlists Charles Wind Eagle to join Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, in hopes of appealing to the President of the United States for help, and to find and stop the deceiver. When Wind Eagle is paired with a girl whom he knows is disguised as a boy, he believes she might be the deceiver. Still, she stirs his heart in ways he must resist, for he has a secret that can never be told, nor ignored. And Luci can never forget that her father would destroy Wind Eagle if she were to fall in love with him.
Forced to work together, they can’t deny their growing attraction. Will Luci and Wind Eagle find a way through the lies to find true love? Or will they be consumed by the passion of deception and slander?
Warning: A sensuous romance that might cause a girl to join the rodeo in order to find true love.
“With any wood, you must look for as straight a piece of it as possible. Try to find one that is free of offshoots and knots. You will want as large a log as you can find and is easy to manage.”
“But I thought that one had to fell a tree to get the wood needed for a bow.”
“Sometimes, that is true,” he replied. “But this wood that surrounds our camp is full of large branches that have only recently fallen, and these will do. Over there—” he pointed, “do you see that big one?”
She nodded and followed him toward it. He picked it up and presented it to her.
“Do you perceive that it is still wet? Would make bad firewood, but good material for bow. Do you have a large, firm piece of flint?”
“Here, use mine.” He pushed a piece of flint into her hand, where she stared at it, dumbfounded.
“Ah…all right,” she acknowledged. “But, couldn’t I just go out and buy a bow and some arrows? If not from your people, there might be a store in this big city that would carry what I need.”
“Not good. Do we compete Indian-style, fairly matched, or do you wish to cheat?”
“Think well on what I ask, for your answer will determine your character, I think.”
It was a serious question, yet within his gaze, his eyes twinkled as though he were sharing a good joke with her. Even one side of his lips slanted upward, in a half-hearted grin.
She sighed. It would appear that learning to shoot a bow and arrow as accurately as he did was going to be a little harder, and require more work than she had assumed. Yet, she would not be turned away, and she would not be bested by him on a personal basis. Angling him a sharp stare, she confessed, “I suppose I would rather buy a bow and some arrows, but, if that is cheating and if that gives me an unfair advantage over you, a man who has shot a bow and arrow for all his life,” she continued sarcastically, “then I will do all I can to make a bow and some arrows as you instruct, but—be warned.” She turned the sarcasm in her voice into as low and as stern a manner as she could, saying, “I don’t trust you. There is a light in your eyes that makes me doubt your sincerity. Although we have only just met, there are now many times when I have seen humor in your manner as you speak to me. Do you think that I am stupid?”
“Hiyá, I do not.” He laughed, the action making light of his words. “But,” he continued after a bit, “I believe that you might be hiding a truth that I have yet to discover.”
“Baaa…” She made the sound as she blew out a disgusted breath. Nevertheless, she looked away from him.
“That is what I suspect, but come, we will let the future tell us the truth. For now, let us set to work and make that bow. Then I will instruct you on the best way to create arrows that shoot straight every time. Are you ready to begin?”
She glanced up at him suspiciously, if only because he had given in to her doubts about him much too quickly. All she said, however, was, “Yes, let’s start.”
For answer, he merely winked at her, and, clearing a spot on the ground on which they were to work, he showed her how to use the flint he had given her as a tool to separate the bark from the wood. And, as the sun arose in the eastern sky, showering her in its light, she threw herself into the chore, ignoring for the moment that the task was labor intensive and that the temperature was getting hotter, and hotter….
“The day is warm,” he observed after they had been working over the making of the bow for several hours. It was true. Had he deliberately given her a seat in the sun, while he basked in the shade? Even now, she could feel the beads of sweat that were gathering over her brow, several making paths down her face, and dripping down the end of her nose.
“Why don’t you do as I do,” he suggested, “and take off your shirt?”
She glanced up at him to witness again that ever-present gleam of humor in his eye. As her gaze met his, he again winked at her. She looked away. Why did he seem to be so perpetually in a good mood? And why did he appear to be continuously laughing at her? Hadn’t her father said that these people were glum and sullen? She didn’t answer his question.
He continued, “Let us take our leave from this task and journey to the water that is hidden from the many eyes of the Showman’s performers. There we could cool off from this heat by swimming as nature intended, as naked as the day we were born.”
Momentarily, she paused, shocked. At last, however, she managed to mutter, “Ah…no thanks.”
“No?” Again that note of humor entered into his expression. “Then perhaps we might journey to the arena, where we can both show each other the strength of our skills.”
The idea of ceasing this project, if only for a moment, seemed to her to be a gift from the gods, and she at once agreed, saying, “Yes. That would be most welcome.”
“Then come, follow me,” he encouraged, rising to his feet. “I will show you the way to the arena that the Showman uses for his exhibition. That place is somewhat distant from here.”
“Yes, good. How many weeks do we have for practice before the show begins?”
“Several, I believe. Do you worry about that?”
“Absolutely not. I am certain I can learn to shoot an arrow as well as you in only a week.” She frowned at him as she sarcastically added, “Although you have had a lifetime to perfect your skill.”
His only answer to her ill-humor was a round of what appeared to be good-hearted laughter, and, truth be known, it was given at her expense….