||April 30, 2007
This inspirational romance chronicles the journey a young girl makes from a love-less life with well-to-do parents to a new life full of hope, faith, acceptance and an adventure she never saw coming with a Maidu Indian boy named Jesse.
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Linda Strawn, Christian romance author
Katy Breyer lives with her father in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Her young life is happy and secure until her estranged mother takes custody of her and moves her to a city hundreds of miles away. For five years she endures the neglect of her mother and the indifference of her stepfather. Her only happiness is found in the care and friendship she receives from the servants who work in her stepfather's mansion. After a tragic accident claims the life of her mother and stepfather, she is reunited with her uncle who takes her to live with him and his family in the mountains. She finally has the home and family she longs for but the unexpected friendship of a Maidu Indian boy tests her faith in God and forces her to make a decision that will change her life forever.
From Chapter 15:
Jesse packed the last of his supplies and hoisted the bundle onto the back of a second horse, a sturdy buckskin mare that Jack so generously gave him. Then he walked around to the front of his own horse. He stroked the mare’s soft muzzle, recalling how he felt the day Jack brought her to him. She was a fine animal and he hoped that by presenting both horses as a gift, he would find favor in the eyes of his people. His people were not dependent on horses like some other cultures, but they were a prized possession nevertheless.
Jesse took one last look around to make sure he packed everything he would need. The people who bought the ranch were kind and generous. They told Jesse to help himself to whatever he needed for his journey. He was thankful that God sent them to the Breyers. It made a bad situation much easier to deal with.
He checked the pack a second time and was just about to mount his horse when he heard gunfire. It was some distance away, probably in town, but it still alarmed him. He hoped that Madeline, Katy, and the children were all right. Then he heard another sound. He looked towards the road and saw a wagon coming in. It was probably someone who worked for the new owners, maybe coming to check the house out. He couldn’t tell for sure as the wagon was in the shadows of the trees that lined the road. Thinking no more about it, he lifted himself onto his horse.
Just as he reined his horse about, he thought he heard Katy call for him. He shook his head and chided himself for hearing things. He knew he was sick about being without her but now his mind was playing tricks on him. He urged his horse on then heard the voice again. He turned around and couldn’t believe his eyes. He looked again. It was Katy! He slid off his horse and ran to meet her. She fell into his arms.
“Jesse, oh Jesse!” she cried, clinging to him.
“Katy!” he exclaimed, still not believing that she was really there. He held her tight and kissed her several times on the face. He released her and held her shoulders. “What’s going on Katy?” he asked.
“I’m coming with you,” she replied, laughing. “That’s what is going on!”
“But I thought you were going to Sacramento with Maddy.”
“She let me go Jesse,” Katy declared. “She said for me to go to you, that I belong with you.”
Jesse didn’t know what to say. He felt so happy, happier than he ever felt in his life. He pulled Katy to him and held her.
“You’re crazy, you know that?” he said, laughing.
“I know,” she laughed. “I’m crazy for you!”
He pulled back and smiled at her. “I’m glad you came back, I’m a little worried about what’s ahead of us, but I’m still glad you’re coming with me.”
“Everything will be fine,” she said in a husky voice. “I just know it.”
“I wasn’t planning on heading out for awhile,” he said as he grabbed her bag and tied it on with the rest of the supplies. “I suppose we might as well leave now.” He looked at her and grinned. “I’m glad I over packed now that I’ve got a traveling partner.”
Jesse got on his horse then pulled Katy up behind him. She adjusted her skirt and wrapped her arms around his waist. He turned around to look at her. His heart beat wildly at the thought that she was with him. It took everything he had to contain his excitement. He smiled at her and she smiled back as her eyes sparkled, revealing her own quiet excitement. As
he turned back around, she held him tighter and laid her cheek against his back.
"I'm almost afraid to ask you this but I heard you say someone's name. Was she someone you used to know?"
Running Elk's eyes grew wide. "Who...what name?" he asked.
Running Elk smiled, and then laughed. "You don't know?"
"The people are calling you 'Singing Winds' now."
"Yes, apparently one of the elders heard you singing by the river. It suits you, you know."
"It is a beautiful name," she sighed.
"A beautiful name for a beautiful woman," Running Elk said as he raised her chin. "I told you it is a gift from God and no matter how hard you try to hide it, you can't, you just can't."
Katy laid her head against Running Elk's chest.
"Singing Winds," she sighed then repeated the name again. She liked the sound of it and she felt honored.
"I won't hide it anymore, my husband," she declared. "I will use my gift to honor God and our people."
Review by: The Romance Studio
Let us follow Katy, our woman of admirable exploits, as she opens doors to new adventures that lead her through numerous struggles through life. Katy started out as a bitter child. If someone told her that her voice sounded great, or just happened to mention how pretty she was, her mother would throw it back at her, causing more anger. Like the wicked queen telling Snow White her failures. Or the wicked stepmother keeping Cinderella from the Ball. The hatred Katy formed in her heart, plus stubborn pride kept her a safe distance from her mom. This sounds like a good recipe for insecurity.
Katie’s mom’s death drew her even farther inside her shell of insecurity. She didn’t trust her stepfather, so she went to live with her Uncle Jack and Aunt Madeline. A Christian family. Upon entry into another new home, Katy learns an unique way of living that helps her to better understand life. She and Jesse find each other as trusting friends. A beautiful couple. Will this friendship form a love connection between the two, or bring more sadness for Katy?
SINGING WINDS, an appropriate title. I loved it! This amazing slow moving saga starts out on a sad note and tears at the heart strings. Emotions overflowed throughout the story. Devastated at what was happening in her young life, Katy still learned many ways to appreciate affection. One part in particular moved this reader to tears when a miracle happened with Jesse, our brave hero, who will always have a warm spot in my heart. The suspense held me like a magnet drawn to metal.
Linda Strawn’s unique style with the dialogue captured the warmth of the characters that lingered in my mind long after the heart moving story was read. The characters caused an overall reaction or impression on me that filled me with awe. I laughed with Katy. I cried with Madeline. I was filled with fear for Jesse. I will never forget them. Definitely a keeper!
Review by: Coffee Time Romance
As a child, Katy Breyer lived with her father in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and was very happy. Then her mother and stepfather took her to the city and neglected her to the point that she came to rely on the servants as her friends. After an accident took the lives of her mother and stepfather, she went to live with her uncle and his family.
A series of events led Jesse, a Maidu Indian separated from his tribe during a hunting expedition that came under attack, to Katy’s uncle Jack. Jack and his wife Madeline took Jesse in and raised him as their own. They taught him the ways of the white man and of God. He became a strong believer and knew in his heart that God would use him to spread the word among his people.
Katy and Jesse are wary of each other at first, but as they learn more about God and His works, they build up their faith. Their friendship soon turns to love and they begin the journey of a lifetime together. As they spread the word of God to the Maidu tribe, they come together as one and face many obstacles; everything from a bear trap to prejudice of a race of people.
What a wonderful story of faith, strength and character. This couple takes on every challenge thrown at them and finds a way to adapt to the outcome. The many stories told in Singing Winds effortlessly intertwine the characters together. You will fall in love with these loving, kind people as they give you hope for mankind’s fate. Ms. Strawn has started her writing career with a bang with this exciting new book. You will not want to miss Singing Winds.
Review by: Ghost Writers Literary Reviews
Set in the Sierra Mountains in the 1800’s, this romance is about an orphaned girl named Katy, who goes to live with her uncle Jack and his wife. Jesse is a hired hand to assist Jack on the ranch. Katy has suffered from a lack of love from her mother growing up, and her father and grandmother try to take up the slack. After a long train ride from Utah to California, to the Nevada desert and Mountains, they arrive at Uncle Jack’s ranch. There Katy meets Jesse for the first time and her heart pitter patters with unknown feelings. Little did she know that this Maidu Indian boy had the same stirrings as she did. Jack confides to Jesse about Katy's had a hard life, just as he had told Katy about Jesse’s past life. Although the both of them had a hard life it was unexpected that they should come into a relationship all their own. Through Jesse’s guidance, Katy can come to forgive her mother. This historical romance will win your heart as you watch their love grow, going through many life changing adventures along the way.
"Singing Winds" by Linda Strawn has brought about a beautiful and romantic setting in the historical 1800’s where romance, Indians, and ranch life take you on the most love filled adventures that you will absolutely love to read. If romance is what you are into then this is a must have in your library. I say to Linda Strawn this is a job well done. I enjoyed every adventure and every page. It kept me on my toes as to where this was going. Congratulations for bringing to life the romance in which I think everybody will be enthralled to read.
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