Hope your July 4th celebration was wonderful. July is such a terrific month, isn’t it? Because this is the month of our country’s Declaration of ’76, I’m putting two of my books (which I call my freedom books) on sale for $.99 cents throughout the month of July. Those books are BLACK EAGLE and SENECA SURRENDER. Usually I give this little warning concerning these two books, which is that these two books are a little more sensuous than my usual Historical Romances.
Black Eagle — https://tinyurl.com/vyygnvn
Seneca Surrender — https://tinyurl.com/wjj49nk
Then, PROUD WOLF’S WOMAN has just been released in its 25th Anniversary Edition. This book has been out of print for about 25 years and is now back in print.
There’s really quite a bit of editing and that sort of thing that goes into these Anniversary books. Often, when the books were converted from mass market books to e-books, there were errors due to the conversion. So the extra editing is to find those errors and correct them. It’s a beautiful edition and is on sale for $3.99 — regularly priced at $4.99. The paperback edition is also on sale for $9.99. Recently we’ve put our paperback books on sale from $13.99 to $9.99 because with this unusual world situation, sometimes it’s nice to lose ourselves in a story that ends happily.
So, in celebration of this book coming back into print after about 25 years, I’ll leave you with this excerpt and back blurb from the book. Hope you will enjoy.
Proud Wolf’s Woman — https://tinyurl.com/y8x5p4qs
PROUD WOLF’S WOMAN by Karen Kay
He rescued her from slavery…now he is captive to desire.
Lakota Warriors, Book 2
Stolen from a cruel husband by the savage Kiowa, Julia Wilson’s life has gone from bad to worse. Just when she has reached the end of her endurance, salvation rides into camp. Neeheeowee, a proud Cheyenne brave who once filled her young heart with romantic dreams, has come to save her from everything—except the flames of desire that still burn.
Bitter and intent on vengeance against the man who killed his wife and unborn child, Neeheeowee has no room in his heart for love. His captured ponies and treasured robes were supposed to be traded for Kiowa weapons. Instead, to his annoyance, he must trade everything for his old friend’s life.
Hard as he tries to hang on to his anger at being set off his mission, he cannot deny that he yearns for the woman whose gentle, healing presence reminds him that happiness might exist beyond revenge. Her lips tease him with passion he dare not risk, for those who are long dead still haunt him. To take the love she offers risks his honor—perhaps his very life.
Warning: Sensuous romance might cause one to go West to find one’s own true love.
Enjoy this excerpt from PROUD WOLF’S WOMAN
They had been traveling that way for some time now, and always, after they had reached the Arkansas River, there had been buffalo. But before that, before they had reached the river, there had been nothing.
She remembered again the harshness of the last few weeks of traveling. It had been a cruel trek across what she now came to realize had been the Jornada, or Horn Alley, as the Americans called it: a desert march.
She remembered being glad to drink of the chalky white substance Neeheeowee had called mahpe, not even caring anymore if the water might be contaminated.
It was also during this time that she’d become aware that they traveled the Santa Fe Trail, and she remembered wondering if she might come across white travelers. So far, though, she had seen no one…up until now.
She looked down again upon the scene below her, her gaze taking in the herd of buffalo that seemed to stretch out to the horizon. Sometimes she and Neeheeowee had been forced to move amongst those numerous herds these past few days, Neeheeowee seemingly at ease over it, Julia half-afraid of the huge beasts. Often they would follow a buffalo trail, seeking out the hollows where buffalo had lain down and rolled over and over, these spots dotting the flat, endless land as though they were shimmering aqua beads strung out on a necklace of brown and green grasses.
It was in these hollows that she and Neeheeowee would water the pony and stock up on their own water supply, if low.
She smiled, watching the sun as it began to set in the western sky, the magnificence of color there, the golds and pinks, the reds and oranges, unlike anything she’d ever seen, and as Julia watched it, she experienced a sense of well-being that was as pleasurable as it was unusual. There was something about this limitless space that did something to her: the prairie that looked more silver than green under the hot, spring sun; the grasses that waved in the wind; the expanse of sky and high clouds. Even the air seemed magnified in purity, and she breathed it in now with a satisfied sigh.
She listened to the wind, the breeze blowing the faraway sounds of the trailblazers to her.
She supposed she might have gone down there to them, since they camped so close by, but she didn’t and she wouldn’t, content to continue her travels with her Indian companion, her proud wolf.
Yes, that was how she had come to think of Neeheeowee now: Proud Wolf. It was difficult not to picture him this way; not when he tilted his head a certain way, sometimes looking down his nose at her, although she knew it was all a facade.
She wondered again at how the white man had ever come to think of the Indian woman as a slave. Clearly there were divisions of labor as to the men’s and women’s work, but Neeheeowee did not balk at taking on her tasks when she didn’t know them or couldn’t do them.
And never did he scold her nor make her feel his inferior. Never.
In truth, she had never felt so cherished.
Still, there was something else: She had never asked, she had not thought to, but she had come to understand that Neeheeowee was taking her back to Fort Leavenworth. Another chivalrous move on his part.
She straightened up, away from the tree, looking out upon the camp that Neeheeowee had pitched. Stretched out beneath a canopy of cottonwood trees, their site disappeared into the landscape. And she knew it would take more than a little expertise for anyone, even an Indian, to find their camp.
She had noticed that Neeheeowee made no moves to light a fire this night, and Julia could only assume that was because of the close presence of the pioneers. And though she had come to realize that Neeheeowee did not much fear the white man, he did go out of his way to avoid them.
She glanced over to Neeheeowee now and watched him as he worked at camp chores, untying his bow, working over the wood, even chipping away at an arrowhead and shaft. These actions had become so commonplace to her of late, she barely even noticed him doing them.
As though aware of her scrutiny, Neeheeowee inclined his head just slightly before turning it quickly to his left, a gesture which had become familiar to Julia, and she couldn’t help but believe it an Indian custom, with some meaning to it.
He looked over to her, his expression stoic, unreadable.
“Ta-naestse,” he said, making a gesture toward her, indicating her voice. With a lift of his shoulders, he gave her to understand that he asked a question and Julia realized she had been humming, something she’d not been aware of until this moment. She stopped, but he motioned her to continue and then, possibly by way of a compliment, he smiled.
Julia was immediately captivated; so rarely did he honor her with such an expression.
She smiled back and continued to hum in tune along with the lazy fiddle, whose notes drifted up to them from the pioneer camp below. She knew the song being played down there and had she felt more at ease she might have sung along, but, being a little self-conscious, she contented herself with a mere hum.
At length, she rose, wandering to the edge of the ridge and there, looked over to the pioneer camp. Dusk had fallen all around her, bringing with it the scent of the pioneers’ campfire, the soft feel of evening air, and the nightly squawk of prairie hawks. Also, too, were the sounds of laughter and of happy music which filtered up to her. All at once, a sense of melancholy overcame her, and Julia wondered at the cause. Perhaps it was only her desire to be near to the things she had once known, or perhaps it was simply the melancholy which she had heard so often attached itself to the prairie traveler.
Whatever the cause, Julia began to recall the dances, the jigs, the excitement of being young, unattached, and in love, the thrill of being asked to dance by the most handsome of beaus.
Caught up in her reminiscence, she swayed to the rhythm of a jig, her feet finding their way into the simple steps of the dance. And all at once, she twirled once, again, until at length she spread her arms, spinning round and round, the leather fringe of her gown flowing outward and swaying like so much prairie grass in the wind.
She smiled as a slower waltz took over the beat and melody, remembering when she’d danced to this very song not so long ago.
And without even thinking about it, she curtsied as though to a suitor.
“Oh, my, yes,” she said to this most handsome of imaginary partners. “I’d be more than happy to accept this dance.”
Her arms came up to rest on her partner’s strong, invisible shoulders as he began to twirl her around and around the carpet of prairie grass, the hard earth beneath her feet her dance floor, the darkened sky overhead her ballroom.
“Are you planning to ask me to walk with you in the garden after the dance?” Julia asked into her shadowy partner’s ear, throwing her head back while the dark curls of her hair fell down around her waist.
She giggled as she pretended her fanciful partner’s reply, deeming it to be a most naughty of answers, and she feigned a blush, saying softly, “Why sir, how dare you speak to me as such.”
But when she smiled, it took the edge off her words, so that the dreamy figure holding her continued to whisper to her, the words so terribly naughty, it made Julia laugh.
She reached down, to sweep the train of her fictitious gown over her arm and then it happened.
Neeheeowee stood before her, stepping into her arms as though he were her fancied prince, his very real arms encircling her, his hand over hers.
His steps were smooth and slow, his look at her intense under the beginning shadows of a softened night.
She matched his steps, looking up to meet his gaze.
The moon appeared as an imperfect disk in the soft hush of evening, its radiance already beaming down, basking them in a glow of silvery light, and, as she looked up to him, Julia thought Neeheeowee more handsome than anyone of her acquaintance, and at this moment he bore more traits of what is considered the civilized man than anyone else, white or red.
Her one hand rested over his smooth shoulder, her other hand he clasped tightly within his own and he twirled her around their ballroom of softened prairie grass and hushed, moon-filled night. They danced as though to the tune of a hundred violins with thousands of spectators watching, yet they danced only for themselves.
The music from below had long ago ceased to play, but not so these two dancers. They swept around the circle there on the ridge, each twirl bringing her closer and closer into his arms, neither one aware that they danced to none other than the music of their own hearts.
His head came breathlessly close to hers, his lips hovering over her own and Julia, looking up, begged him silently for his kiss, her gaze pleading, her lips trembling.
She didn’t have to wait. As he completed the one last twirl, his lips pressed sweetly over hers and Julia responded as though she had waited all her life for this moment, or more particularly, seven and one-half years.
Proud Wolf’s Woman — https://tinyurl.com/y8x5p4qs
Be sure to leave a comment, as I will be giving away a free e-book of your choice: Black Eagle, Seneca Surrender or Proud Wolf’s Woman.
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