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Gail L. Jenner

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Across the Sweet Grass Hills
by Gail L. Jenner   

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Books by Gail L. Jenner
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Historical Fiction

Publisher:  Creative Arts Book Company ISBN-10:  0887393020 Type: 


Copyright:  Feb 1 2001

Barnes &
Gail L. Jenner

A romantic historical, Across the Sweet Grass Hills, is more than a love story. It is the story of a man, a woman, and a people, all trapped by the events of the brutal Marias Massacre of 1870. Winner of the 2001 WILLA AWARD from Women Writing the West.

After attacking bandits kill their guide and leave Elizabeth Ralston's father gravely wounded, Elizabeth and her father are stranded in the Montana wilderness with little chance of survival. Then Red Eagle, a Pikuni "half breed", finds them and tries to help them. But Elizabeth doesn't trust Red Eagle. She believes all Indians are savage and not trustworthy.

Ironically, trapped by events, Liza is forced to put aside her old prejudices and adapt to a new way of life. As she begans to embrace the Pikuni culture and people, as well as accept the love she feels for Red Eagle, she is caught between three warring factions: the army, pressed to exterminate the Indians; a disgruntled band of Pikuni, who want to purge their land of white men; and a small band of Pikuni, who hope to achieve peace. Unfortunately, fate intervenes, and tragedy befalls the Pikuni. Tragedy likewise befalls Liza and Red Eagle, who, through a horrendous series of historical events, learn to persevere.

The old woman came to him in sleep, her dark eyes round and large, white eyebrows a stripe across her forehead. From the yawning black hole of her mouth came a haunting cry that curled up through the darkness like a thin thread of smoke. Another cry answered it. The man shivered as the sounds whirled around him, rising higher and higher. He wanted to cover his ears, but couldn't move his hands. Instead he closed his eyes, trying to stop the pain in his head, but there was no way to shut it out. He wanted to shout at the old woman, but his throat was dry and his words transparent. The woman's black turtle eyes closed suddenly and her mouth snapped shut. Then she glided away, strands of long gray hair billowing about her like a cloud, the ends twirling like ribbons around her beaded white
buckskin dress. Beyond, blue shadows weaved back and forth. He reached out, hoping to capture the old woman and draw her back. What secret did she hide? What warning did she bring?

But as quickly as she had appeared, the old woman vanished. A strange, chilling emptiness descended upon him. Red Eagle sat up slowly, his heart thumping, his hands damp. He looked around, but saw only the dying embers of the cooking fire and the shadowy darkness of a night when the moon is hiding.

"Tomorrow," he said out loud, addressing his restless spirit. "I must find Crying Wind." Surely his uncle would know why the old woman wept.

Professional Reviews

More Than a Love Story
Gail Jenner’s ACROSS THE SWEET GRASS HILLS is a love story, and yet to say that touches only the surface of what takes place within the pages of this remarkable book. Yes, there is a compelling relationship between the young pioneer woman Liza Ralston and the Blackfoot warrior called Red Eagle, but Ms. Jenner goes much deeper, impressing the reader with her respect for and understanding of a brave, beleaguered people. Vella Munn, WILLA Award Winner, Soul of the Sacred Earth

An Authentic Story
Set against an authentic historical background, written by an author with the soul of a poet, this debut historical romance speaks, in a lyrical voice, of a love that transcends the hate, fear, and ugliness of the bloody cultural clash between whites and Native Americans in the late 1860's and early 1870's. EPPIE Award winning author, Patricia L. White, P.S., I'VE TAKEN A LOVER and LEGEND OF LEJUBE ROGUE (a Crescent Blues Review)

A Passionate Story
With three-dimensional characters and passion for her story, Gail L. Jenner authentically recreates the raw and rugged world of Montana in the late 1800s . Jane Kirkpatrick Award-winning author of ALL TOGETHER IN ONE PLACE

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Reader Reviews for "Across the Sweet Grass Hills"

Reviewed by Cheryl O'Hare 6/6/2002
A truely wonderful story that I couldn't put down. The characters and plot came alive and held my interest to the very end.The touching story set in early American History was well written and researched. A must read for anyone that enjoys adventure and romance yet loves History.
Reviewed by Pat Peterson 6/4/2002
This book is a page turner. The story is compelling, the characters are wonderful. I have read it several times through. A must read for everny history, romance, western, or Native American story enthusiast.

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